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Current Affairs Today December 12 2017

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We are here for you to provide the important current affairs December 12 2017 which have unique updates of all daily events from all newspapers such as The Hindu, The Economic Times, PIB, Times of India, India Today, Indian Express, Business Standard, all Government official websites. Our complete current affairs helps you to get more marks in Banking, insurance, UPSC, SSC, CLAT, Railway and all other competitive Exams.

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West Bengal announces life insurance of Rs. 5 lakh each for pilgrims
West Bengal State Government has announced that pilgrims coming to upcoming Gangasagar fair will be provided life insurance cover amounting to Rs 5 lakh each.
i. Gangasagar fair is held annually on the occasion of Makar Sankranti at the confluence of the Ganges at Sagra Islands in South 24 Parganas district.
ii .Around 5-6 lakh pilgrims attend this fair. Every year, several deaths are reported from this fair that are caused due to sinking of boats, stampede, fire and cold.
iii. The premium for this insurance cover of Rs. 5 lakh will be borne by West Bengal State Government.
Quick Facts about West Bengal:
♦ Capital – Kolkata
♦ Current Chief Minister – Mamata Banerjee
♦ Current Governor – Keshari Nath Tripathi
♦ Important National Park – Sundarbans National Park

Jammu & Kashmir government launches SAUBHAGYA to provide free electricity
On 11th December 2017, the Jammu and Kashmir government launched SAUBHAGYA (Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna) with an aim to provide free electricity connections to poor people in the state.SAUBHAGYASAUBHAGYA launched in Jammu & Kashmir:
i. SAUBHAGYA, an initiative taken by the prime minister, seeks to provide electricity to 4 crore families across India by December 2018. Jammu & Kashmir’s Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh launched the scheme.
ii. He said electric connections would be given to poor people, identified by the Socio Economic and Caste Census of 2011 and others sections for Rs 500, payable in 10 installments in the bill. The scheme also provides on-the-spot registration of applicants.
About Wildlife sanctuaries of Jammu & Kashmir:
♦ Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary – Shopian, Jammu and Kashmir
♦ Karakoram Wildlife Sanctuary – Leh District, Jammu and Kashmir

Hyderabad to become ‘beggar-free’ city
Telangana Prisons Department has started a drive to turn Hyderabad into “Beggar Free” city. This drive was first launched ahead of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit that was held in Hyderabad from 28th – 30th November, 2017. Delegates from across the world, including United States President, Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump attended this summit.
i. Under this drive, Prisons Department has started two Beggar homes, one is in Challapalli jail for female beggars and another in Chanchalguda jail for male beggars.
ii. The Beggar Homes have all kinds of facilities including cot, mattress, TV and pillows.
iii. Several programmes to give education and boost morale of beggars are also being conducted at these Beggar Homes.
iv. Besides, beggars at these homes are also being provided breakfast, lunch and dinner with two times tea. Prisons Department is spending Rs. 68-70 per head for diet for beggars.

Government launches first NIC-CERT to prevent, predict cyber attacks
On December 11, 2017, Union Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics & Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad inaugurated the first “NIC-CERT”, a setup of National Informatics Centre (NIC).NIC CERTAbout NIC-CERT:
i. NIC-CERT has been setup with an objective to detect, prevent and respond to cyberattacks on government networks.
ii. Setting up NIC-CERT holds special significance as Government’s inter-departmental communications as well as communication between Centre, States and Districts takes place through NIC’s network.
iii. Currently, 30 cybersecurity professionals are working at NIC-CERT.  By using gathered intelligence and tools, NIC-CERT team will detect any unusual movement on NIC network such as attacks/intrusion and will take action to neutralise the threat.
iv. NIC-CERT will operate in close coordination and collaboration with sectoral CERT’s (computer emergency response teams) and also with Cert-in (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team).

Bihar launches scheme for checking crimes against women at public places
On December 11, 2017, Bihar State Government approved a “Safe City Surveillance” scheme for curbing eve-teasing, harassment and other crimes against women at public places.
About Bihar’s “Safe City Surveillance” scheme:
i. Decision to launch this scheme was taken at State Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
ii .The scheme envisages installation of CCTV cameras at public places across the state.
iii. “Safe City Surveillance” scheme will be implemented in a phase-wise manner and Home Department of Bihar will be the nodal agency for implementing this scheme.
iv. Patna will be the first district to be covered under this scheme. Bihar State Government has already sanctioned Rs. 110.68 crore for this purpose.
Quick Facts about Bihar:
♦ Capital – Patna
♦ Current Chief Minister – Nitish Kumar
♦ Current Governor – Satya Pal Malik
♦ Important National Park – Valmiki National Park

International Workshop on Physics of Semiconductor Devices held in New Delhi
19th International Workshop on Physics of Semiconductor Devices (IWPSD 2017) was inaugurated at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi on December 12, 2017.
More Information about IWPSD 2017:
i. This four-day workshop was inaugurated by Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Dr. AS Kiran Kumar.
ii. The workshop has been jointly organised by Solid State Physics Laboratory (SSPL) and  Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi in association with Semiconductor Society (India), Society for Semiconductor Devices and Society for Information Display.
iii. IWPSD, which takes place every two years, is considered as an important international forum on Advanced Semiconductor Technologies.
iv. During the course of this workshop, scientists and academicians from educational institutes across the world, government laboratories and leading industries will interact on advanced semiconductor research and development.
v .At this workshop, Indian researchers will get an opportunity to interact with internationally acclaimed experts.

International conference on Ground water held in New Delhi
An International conference on Ground water is being held in New Delhi from 11th – 13th December 2017.Ground Water Conference Highlights of International conference on Ground water:
i. Theme of this conference is “Ground water Vision 2030- Water Security, Challenges and Climate Change Adaptation”.
ii. This conference has been organised by National Institute of Hydrology (NIH), Roorkee and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) under the aegis of Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
iii .On December 11, 2017, the conference was inaugurated by  Union Minister for Water Resources, Ganga Rejuvenation and River Development, Nitin Gadkari,  Union Minster for Drinking water and Sanitation, Ms Uma Bharti,  Union Minster for Science and Technology, Dr. Harsh Vardhan and Union Ministers of State for WR, RD & GR, Arjun Ram Meghwal and Dr. Satya Pal Singh.
iv. Delegates from 15 countries are participating in this conference and 250 research papers including 32 Keynote papers will be presented.

Government nod must for electric bus supply under FAME India Scheme
Department of Heavy Industry (DHI) under Union Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises has specified that all proposals for supplying electric buses by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) registered under FAME India Scheme shall be first brought to its notice.
i. OEMs have thus been asked to await the directions from DHI before accepting any order for which it seeks to claim incentives for fully electric buses under the FAME India scheme.
ii. OEMs shall be eligible for FAME India incentives only after getting approval from DHI.
iii. This decision has been taken in order to facilitate smooth roll out and proper management of demand incentives for electric buses under FAME India scheme.
About Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME-India) Scheme:
FAME India scheme was announced in Union Budget 2015-16 with an initial allocation of Rs. 75 crore.
♦ It is being administered by Union Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises.
♦ Under this scheme, Govt. encourages buyers to purchase hybrid and electric vehicles by providing monetary support.


Sri Lanka hands over running of Hambantota port to Chinese company
On 9th December 2017, Sri Lanka formally handed over the strategic southern port of Hambantota to China on a 99-year lease.Hambantota portHambantota port leased out to Chinese company:
i. Two Chinese firms – Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) and Hambantota International Port Services (HIPS) – managed by the China Merchants Port Holdings Company (CMPort) and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority will own the port and the investment zone around it.
ii. Sri Lanka received $292 million out of a $1.12 billion deal. The port is expected to play a key role in China’s Belt and Road initiative, which will link ports and roads between China and Europe.
About China Merchants Port Holdings Company (CMPort):
♦ Founded – 1991
♦ Headquarters – Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China
♦ Chairman – Li Xiaopeng

India ranks 109th in mobile net speed, 76th in Broadband: Ookla
In terms of mobile internet speed, India has ranked 109th on Speedtest Global Index for the month of November 2017. This index has been released by broadband speed measuring firm, Ookla.
Internet Speed in India:
i. India’s 109th rank in November 2017 marks a drop by one spot as compared to previous month.
ii. In January 2017, average mobile download speed in India was 7.65 Mbps (megabit per second). For November 2017, it improved to 8.80 Mbps.
iii. In terms of fixed broadband speed, India ranked at 76th spot globally for the month of November 2017. Average fixed broadband download speed too has improved to 18.82 Mbps in November 2017 as compared to 12.12 Mbps in January 2017.
iv. For the month of November 2017, Norway topped Speedtest Global Index in terms of highest average mobile Internet download speed (62.66 Mbp), while Singapore topped in average fixed broadband download speed (153.85 Mbps).

Second UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture at Muscat
Second UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture: Fostering Sustainable Development, was held in Muscat, Oman from 11th – 12th December, 2017.UNWTO UNESCO world conferenceAbout Second UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture:
i. This conference was hosted by the Government of the Sultanate of Oman. It was conducted within the framework of International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
ii. It is to be noted that United Nations has declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, to highlight tourism’s potential in transforming the world.
iii. Ways to build and strengthen partnerships between the Tourism and Culture sectors and increasing its contribution to UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were explored during the course of this conference.
iv. First UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture was held in Siem Reap, Cambodia in February 2015.
Quick Facts about World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO):
♦ Formed in – 1975
♦ Headquarters – Madrid, Spain


Indian economy likely to grow by 7.2% in 2018 & 7.4% in 2019: UN
As per ‘World Economic Situation Prospects’ (WESP 2018), released by United Nations, India’s economy is likely to grow at 7.2 per cent in 2018 and 7.4 per cent in 2019.
Growth Projection for Indian Economy – UN:
i. As per the report, India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is projected to accelerate from 6.7 per cent in 2017 to 7.2 per cent in 2018 and 7.4 per cent in 2019.
ii .Indian economy is expected to accelerate at above mentioned pace despite of slowdown observed during 2017 and the after effects of demonetisation in November 2016.
iii. The outlook for India economy for 2018 and 2019 remains positive on account of robust private consumption patterns, public investment as well as ongoing structural reforms.
iv. However, performance of private investment in India has been outlined as a key macroeconomic concern along with subdued credit growth, balance sheet problems in the banking and corporate sectors and low capacity utilisation in some industrial sectors.
v. On the positive side, the report stated that fiscal deficit in India has declined considerably. In 2018, fiscal deficit is expected to narrow further to 3.2 per cent of GDP.

AIIB grants 1st loan to China to reduce dependence on coal
On December 11, 2017, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) approved USD 250 million loan to China to reduce its dependence on coal by building a natural gas distribution network for villages.AIIBAIIB’s loan to China:
i. This is AIIB’s first loan to China. It is to be noted that China is the largest shareholder in AIIB.
ii. Funds procured through this loan will be used in a project to connect 216750 households in 510 villages to the natural gas distribution network.
iii. On completion, the project is expected to reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 595700 tonnes, sulfur dioxide by 1488 tonnes, particulate matter by 3700 tonnes, and nitrogen oxide by 4,442 tonnes.
iv. This loan is AIIB’s first corporate loan as the project will be executed by the Beijing Gas Group Company.
Quick Facts about AIIB:
♦ Commenced Business in – January 2016
♦ Headquarters – Beijing, China
♦ Current President – Jin Liqun


India’s first EMC is coming to Andhra Pradesh
India’s first Electronic Manufacturing Cluster (EMC) will be coming to Andhra Pradesh.
India’s first EMC in Andhra Pradesh:
i. An EMC is designed and developed for providing facilities and amenities for manufacturing mobiles and allied products.
ii. In 2015, the Andhra Pradesh government announced the first exclusive mobile and electronic manufacturing cluster in the new capital, Amaravati.
iii. A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) called Sri Venkateswara Mobiles and Electronics Manufacturing Hub Private Limited was formed.
iv. Indian mobile manufacturers Celkon, Karbonn and Lava have come forward to establish their units in the EMC. An anchor unit has been formed in the name of Seven Hills Digital Park Private Limited for the three companies.
v.113.27 acres of land has been allotted for the new cluster, through Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC).
vi. The new EMC is being developed at the cost of Rs 104 crore. Around 50,000 jobs will be created every year in the cluster.
About Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC):
♦ Andhra Pradesh Government initiative
♦ Purpose – providing infrastructure through development of industrial areas
♦ Established – 1973


Priyanka Chopra receives Mother Teresa Memorial award for social justice
Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra has been honoured with Mother Teresa Memorial award for social justice 2017.Mother Teresa memorial awardPriyanka Chopra – Mother Teresa Memorial award for social justice 2017:
i. Priyanka Chopra received the award for her contribution towards lending her support to social causes, such as her recent visit to Syria, where she met and interacted with refugee children.
ii. She is also UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador and is known for supporting various philanthropic activities. Her mother Madhu Chopra, received the award on her behalf.
About Missionaries of Charity:
♦ Formation – 1950
♦ Founder – Mother Teresa
♦ Type – Catholic religious order
♦ Headquarters – Kolkata, India

India’s Lakshmi Puri receives ‘Power of One’ Award at UN
Six top diplomats, including India’s Lakshmi Puri, have been felicitated with the inaugural Diwali “Power of One” award at New York, for their contribution to help form a more perfect, peaceful and secure world.
“Power of One” award:
i. The awards were presented on 11th December 2017 on the occasion of the first anniversary of the US Postal Service’s issuing of a forever Diwali stamp last year.
ii. The awardees are Matthew Rycroft, Nawaf Salam, Indian head of the UN Women Lakshmi Puri, Maged Abdelaziz, Ion Botnaru and Yuriy Sergeyev.
iii. The event was co-organised by the Permanent Missions of Belarus, Georgia and India. The event was co-sponsored by nearly two dozen countries including the US, Britain, France, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Spain, Kuwait and Algeria.
About Lakshmi Puri:
♦ Born – 1952
♦ Position – Assistant Secretary-General for Intergovernmental Support and Strategic Partnerships at the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women


Dhammapiya elected as new secretary general of International Buddhist Confederation (IBC)
Buddhist monk Dhammapiya from Tripura has been elected as the new secretary general of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC).IBCDhammapiya – Secretary General of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC):
i. Dhammapiya was elected as Secretary General at the second general assembly of the IBC held in New Delhi.
ii. The IBC is a global Buddhist forum for preservation and development of heritage sites of Buddhism in India and other parts of the world.
iii. More than 150 international participants, including around 80 from India, met for the election of the new general secretary and members of the governing councils of the organisation.
iv .governing board was also elected with representatives from Mongolia, Australia, Mexico, Bhutan, Uganda and other countries.
About World Buddhist Sangha Council (WBSC):
♦ Founded – 1966
♦ Honorary President – Ven. Wu Ming of Taiwan
♦ Honorary Vice-President – Sik Kok Kwong

Nakul Chopra elected as BARC India Chairman
Nakul Chopra, President of AAAI and Senior Advisor, Publicis Communications, has been elected as the next Chairman of BARC India.
Nakul Chopra – Chairman of BARC India:
i. Nakul Chopra succeeds Viacom18 Group CEO Sudhanshu Vats, who completed his one-year tenure as Chairman.
ii. Nakul Chopra will be the third Chairman of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India. He had joined the BARC India Board in September 2016. Since then he has been an integral part of the various decisions taken by the board.
About Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India:
♦ Incorporated in – 2010
♦ Based in – Mumbai, India
♦ CEO – Partho Dasgupta


Apple acquires popular music recognition app Shazam
Apple has confirmed that it is acquiring popular music recognition app Shazam beating Snapchat and Spotify.Apple Shazam Apple acquires Shazam:
i. Apple has signed a deal with Shazam for a sum of nearly $400 million. The Shazam app was built by Shazam Entertainment Ltd, a British app development company.
ii. Shazam is used by hundreds of millions of people each month to instantly identify music that’s playing and see what others are discovering.
About Shazam Entertainment Ltd:
♦ Founded – 1999
♦ Headquarters – London, England
♦ CEO – Rich Riley


ISRO developing compact launcher for smaller satellites
Sivan, Director of ISRO’s rocket development node, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre said, preliminary work to design and develop a small launch vehicle began about three months ago.
Comapact launcher by ISRO:
i. The small launch vehicle’s design will enable a handful of engineers to assemble it within a week. And the launcher should be able to put satellites of up to 500-600 kg in orbits close to the Earth.
ii. Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre has designed the vehicle using the rocket technology that is awaiting ISRO’s approval.
iii. The development cost would be kept low at a few crore as the new launcher’s requirement of advanced electronics is considerably lower. It could also tremendously cut the launch fee that customers would have to pay.
About ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation):
♦ Established – 1969
♦ Headquarters – Bangalore
♦ Chairman – A. S. Kiran Kumar

Chinese Long March 3B launches Algeria’s first telecom satellite
On 10th December 2017, China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) launched Algeria’s first telecommunications satellite, Alcomsat-1, aboard a Long March 3B rocket.
i. The 5,225-kilogram satellite carries a 33-transponder payload comprised of 19 in Ku-band, 12 in Ka-band and two in L-band.
ii. CGWIC built the satellite and provided the launch vehicle.  The Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) will operate Alcomsat-1, which has a design life of 15 years.
iii. Chinese satellite operator China Satcom assisted with the Alcomsat-1 program, including frequency coordination, defining the system and gauging user needs.
iv. Alcomsat-1 will support television broadcasting and broadband communications for remote education, e-government, and other services.
About China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC):
♦ Established – 1980
♦ Purpose – to provide commercial launch services, satellite systems and to carry out space technology cooperation
♦ President – Yin Liming


India to host Afghanistan’s first-ever Test match: BCCI
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced to host Afghanistan for their first-ever Test match.
India to host Afghanistan’s first-ever Test match:
i. The historic match will be held in the upcoming home season (2018-19). The dates of the historic Test will be announced later.
ii .In 2015, the BCCI and Afghanistan Cricket Board signed an MOU with Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority to use Sports Complex as the home ground for Afghanistan Cricket Team.
About Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI):
♦ Founded – 1926
♦ Headquarters – Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
♦ President – C K Khanna
♦ Chief Executive – Rahul Johri

Shubhankar Sharma wins Joburg Open golf tournament
On 11th December 2017, Shubhankar Sharma of India won the Joburg Open golf tournament to qualify for 2018 edition of the British Open.Shubhankar SharmaShubhankar Sharma wins Joburg Open golf tournament:
i. Shubhankar Sharma closed with a 69 at the Randpark Golf Club to claim his first European Tour victory in the Joburg Open golf tournament.
ii. On the final day he birdied his first full hole, the 9th, and then steered a steady course through the back nine, parring every hole on the run for home to secure athree-shot win over Erik van Rooyen.
iii. Shaun Norris of South Africa closed with a 65 to finish in a tie for third with Finland’s Tapio Pulkannen. England’s Marcus Armitage finished alone in fifth place.
About Joburg Open golf tournament:
♦ Location – Johannesburg, South Africa
♦ Established – 2007
♦ Tours – Sunshine Tour, European Tour, Asian Tour
♦ Format – Stroke play

Shooters Mehuli Ghosh, Tushar Mane bag 2018 Youth Olympic Games quota places
On 9th December 2017, Mehuli Ghosh and Tushar Mane became the first Indian shooters to secure the women’s and men’s quota places for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG).
Mehuli Ghosh, Tushar Mane – bag Youth Olympic Games quota places:
i. Mehuli Ghosh and Tushar Mane secured the women’s and men’s quota places for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) by winning medals at the 10th Asian Championship 10M Rifle/Pistol at Wako City, Japan.
ii. Mehuli Ghosh won gold to bag one out of three quota places available in women’s 10m Air Rifle Youth.
iii .Tushar Mane won a bronze medal to secure one out of four quota places available in the men’s 10m Air Rifle Youth.
About 2018 Summer Youth Olympics:
♦ Host city – Buenos Aires, Argentina
♦ Dates – 6 October – 18 October 2017
♦ Main venue – Antonio Vespucio Liberti Monumental Stadium


J P Nadda launches new initiatives on Universal Health Coverage Day
On December 12, 2017, on the occasion of ‘Universal Health Coverage Day’, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, J P Nadda launched following initiatives to advance the agenda of Universal Health Coverage in India.
i. Laqshya – Labour Room Quality Improvement Initiative – This initiative has been launched to improve the quality of care that is being provided to the pregnant mother in the Labour Room and Maternity Operation Theatres.
ii. Safe Delivery is a mobile application for health workers who manage normal and complicated deliveries in the peripheral areas………………………………...Click here to Read more

International Day of Neutrality – December 12
On 12th December 2017, International Day of Neutrality was celebrated all over the world.International Day of NeutralityInternational Day of Neutrality:
i. The idea of dedicating a day to neutrality was coined by Turkmenistan. On 2 February 2017, the UN General Assembly declared 12 December as the International Day of Neutrality.
ii. The UN General Assembly called for marking the day by holding events aimed at enhancing public awareness of the value of neutrality in international relations.
About Turkmenistan:
♦ President – Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow
♦ Possesses the world’s sixth largest reserves of natural gas resources
♦ Most of the country is covered by the Karakum (Black Sand) Desert