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Current Affairs Today December 22 2017

We are here for you to provide the important current affairs December 22 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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INDIAN AFFAIRS

MEA launches SAMEEP to take Indian foreign policy to students across the country
Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has launched Students and MEA Engagement Programme (SAMEEP), which aims to take Indian foreign policy and its global engagements to students in small towns and cities across India.
i. The objective behind this programme is not only to familiarise students about India’s foreign policy and functions of MEA but also to inspire them for considering diplomacy as a career option.
ii. MEA has also started an interactive program on social media called “ask the spokesperson”…………………………………………Click here to Read more

India-Switzerland sign agreement for automatic sharing of tax related information
In a bid to curb and trace black money stashed abroad, India Government has signed an agreement with Switzerland to allow automatic sharing of tax- related information.India - Switzerlandi. This agreement was signed on December 21, 2017 and will be effective from January 1, 2018.
ii. It was signed by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman, Sushil Chandra and Swiss Ambassador to India Andreas Baum.
iii .Under this agreement, from 2018, India and Switzerland would start collecting data in line with global standards and will exchange it from 2019 onwards.
Quick Facts about Switzerland:
♦ Currency – Swiss franc
♦ Important Rivers – Rhine, Aare, Rhone

Lok Sabha passes Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill
On December 20, 2017, Lok Sabha passed Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to amend regulations pertaining to compensation payable for acquisition of immovable property by the Centre for defence and security purposes.
More Information about Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill:
i. The bill was moved by Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri.
ii. This is the 12th amendment to the Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act and contains a provision to allow Central Government to re-issue the notice of acquisition, so as to ensure that the property’s owner gets an opportunity to be heard.
iii. Those individuals whose land is acquired by the centre will be able to get justice through this amendment.
iv. However, cases where the compensation has already been provided will not be taken up post this amendment is passed.

Government forms panel to examine complaints against PSU top bosses
Central Government has formed a committee to examine complaints filed against Chairman and Managing Directors (CMDs), chief executives, directors of public sector enterprises, public sector banks, insurance companies and financial institutions
More Information about Committee to examine complaints against PSU top bosses:
i. This committee will be chaired by the Secretary (Coordination) in the Cabinet Secretariat.
ii. Secretaries of Department of Public Enterprises and Department of Financial Services and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) secretary will be the members of this committee.
iii. This committee will also examine complaints against workmen directors, chartered accountant directors (excluding government nominee directors, shareholder directors, RBI nominee directors) and officers’ directors of public sector banks.
iv .After initial examination, if the complaint is found to be valid, the committee would recommend further investigation/course of action.
v. Complaints which do not hold any substance will be closed by the committee.

Bengaluru to host 7th India International Coffee Festival (IICF)
The 7th India International Coffee Festival (IICF) will be hosted by Bengaluru from 16 to 19 January, 2018, at Hotel Lalit Ashok.IICF7th India International Coffee Festival (IICF):
i.The India International Coffee Festival (IICF) is organised by India Coffee Trust and Coffee Board of India. This festival will promote coffee tourism in Karnataka.
ii. Around 500 international delegates would participate in this festival. The festival will include seven skill building workshops in roasting, brewing and post-harvest technologies.
iii. It will conduct an expo, in which latest coffee-related technologies will be exhibited by more than 60 companies. Also, a startup pavilion and golf championship will be arranged as part of this festival.
About Coffee Board of India:
♦ Secretary – Srivatsa Krishna
♦ Managed by – Ministry of Commerce and Industry
♦ Aim – to promote coffee production in India

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India declares $25 million assistance for Rakhine State
India has announced a grant of $25 million as development assistance for Rakhine State of Myanmar.
India – $25 million assistance for Rakhine:
i .India’s External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar mentioned the amount will be spent over a period of five years. This development assistance would be utilized to restore normalcy in the Rakhine state.
ii .Thousands of Rohingya Muslims recently fled from Rakhine state after facing violence targeted on them.
About Rakhine:
♦ Country – Myanmar
♦ Capital – Sittwe
♦ Chief Minister – Nyi Pu

India to set up IT centre in Egypt’s Al Azhar University
India has announced that, it would set up a Centre of Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT) at Al Azhar University, Egypt.Al Azhar UniversityCentre of Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT):
i. India’s Ambassador to Egypt, Sanjay Bhattacharyya, said that, the equipment and course material for CEIT have reached Egypt. Also, the premises are under construction.
ii. The CEIT would provide high-tech education and skills to the youngsters of Egypt. Sanjay Bhattacharya visited the Al-Azhar Observatory recently.
About Al-Azhar University:
♦ Egypt’s oldest degree-granting university
♦ President – Usama al-Abd
♦ Location – Cairo, Egypt

Delhi ranks 7th in most expensive office locations list
According to a latest report released by JLL India (a real estate services firm), Delhi is the 7th most expensive premium office location in the world.
i. Mumbai (16th rank) is another Indian city to feature in this list.
ii. Interestingly, rent of premium office location in Delhi is much higher than San Francisco and Dubai.
iii. As per the report, Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Bangkok are the top three most affordable premium office locations in the world.
iv .The report has outlined that many of world’s most expensive premium office spaces are located in Asia-Pacific region. Average annual rent in this region is $111 per square foot which is almost 30 percent more than the America’s ($85 per square foot per year).
World’s most expensive premium office locations – Top 5:

1st Hong Kong
2nd London (West), UK
3rd New York, US
4th Beijing, China
5th Tokyo, Japan

BANKING & FINANCE

IMF and WB releases the Financial System Stability Assessment (FSSA) and Financial Sector Assessment (FSA)
On December 21, 2018, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) released the Financial System Stability Assessment (FSSA) and Financial Sector Assessment (FSA) respectively. Second comprehensive Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) for India too has been conducted during 2017.
i. During these years, size of India’s financial system has remained broadly stable in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
ii. FSAP has acknowledged Reserve Bank of India (RBI’s) initiatives of introduction of risk-based supervision in 2013 through Supervisory Program for Assessment of Risk and Capital (SPARC), Asset Quality Review (AQR) and the tightening regulations in 2015 for timely identification of distressed assets………………………………………….Click here to Read more

NPAs may rise to 10.8% in March 2018, 11.1% by Sept 2018: RBI
Results of macro stress test, carried out by Reserve Bank of India (RBI), revealed that gross non-performing assets (GNPAs), in proportion to gross advances might rise from 10.2 per cent in September 2017 to 10.8 per cent in March 2018 and may touch 11.1 per cent by September 2018.
RBI’s assessment of NPAs:
i. This information was provided in RBI’s Financial Stability Report (FSR) released on December 21, 2017.
ii. The report outlined that gross non-performing advances (GNPA) ratio and the stressed advances ratio in Indian banking sector increased during the period from March – September 2017.
iii. For the same period, capital to risk-weighted assets ratio (CRAR) of banking sector improved from 13.6 per cent to 13.9 per cent.
iv. In terms of credit growth between March – September 2017, scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) showed an improvement while public sector banks (PSBs) continued to lag in comparison to private sector banks.
v. GNPAs of the non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) as a percentage of total advances rose between March – September 2017.

SBI Card and Bharat Petroleum Launch BPCL SBI Card
On December 21, 2017, SBI Cards and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL) launched ‘BPCL SBI Card’, a co-branded credit card.BPCL SBI Cardi. ’BPCL SBI Card’ will offer up to five per cent savings on fuel purchases, which is being considered as most beneficial proposition in this segment.
ii. It can be used on any of the 14000 Bharat Petroleum fuel stations across India. Annual membership fee for this card is Rs. 499.
iii. This card will also offer savings deal on other regular spends for grocery, entertainment and utility bill payments.
Quick Facts about SBI Cards:
♦ Founded in – 1998
♦ Headquarters – Gurugram
♦ Joint Venture between – State Bank of India (SBI) and GE Capital
♦ Current CEO – Vijay Jasuja

World Bank approves USD 40 mn loan for UP tourism project
On December 20, 2017, World Bank Board of Directors approved a loan worth USD 40 million for a tourism project in Uttar Pradesh (UP).
Details about World Bank loan for UP tourism project:
i. The loan will be granted by International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD (member institution of World Bank Group). The loan will have a maturity term of 19 years.
ii. This project of UP tourism will be executed in a way that optimizes state’s existing assets in a sustainable and inclusive manner which will benefit poor residents and local entrepreneurs.
iii. The project will focus on Agra and the Braj region and will enhance linkage of local businesses with the tourism value chain.
Quick Facts about World Bank:
♦ Formed in – 1945
♦ Headquarters – Washington D.C., US
♦ Current President – Jim Yong Kim
♦ Parent Organisation – World Bank Group

SEBI hikes FPI investment limit
In a bid to boost inflows of foreign funds in India, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)has raised the investment limit for foreign portfolio investors (FPI) in central government securities to over Rs 191000 crore.
i. This new limit will come into effect from January 1, 2018.
ii. Current investment limit for FPIs in central government securities  is Rs 189700 crore.
iii. Besides, for sovereign wealth funds, multilateral financial agencies, foreign insurance funds, pension funds and foreign central banks, which are categorised as long-term FPIs, the investment limit in central government bonds has been raised to Rs 65100 crore from the existing Rs 60300 crore.
iv. Investment limit in state development loans (SDL) has also been raised to Rs 31500 crore and Rs 13600 crore for FPIs and long-term FPIs respectively.
Quick Facts about SEBI:
♦ Formation Year: 1988 (as non-statutory body). It received statutory powers in 1992 through SEBI Act, 1992.
♦ Purpose: Regulation of Securities Market in India
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Current Chairman: Ajay Tyagi

BUSINESS

Patanjali ranked India’s most trusted FMCG Brand
Brand Trust Report, India Study 2017 has ranked Patanjali as India’s most trusted Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brand.PatanjaliPatanjali – India’s most trusted FMCG Brand:
i. Patanjali has also been named the most attractive brand. The study was conducted on 11,000 brands in 16 cities of India.
ii .Patanjali Ayurved Limited was started in 2006. Its founders are Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna.
About The Brand Trust Report, India Study:
♦ Author – N. Chandramouli
♦ Country – India
♦ Publisher – Trust Research Advisory

TCS wins record $2.25 billion Nielsen outsourcing contract
Indian information technology firm, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been awarded a USD 2.25-billion outsourcing contract from UK-based Nielsen Holdings PLC.
i .Nielsen is a multinational information & measurement company which provides market research, trends and insights about what people watch, listen and buy.
ii. This contract is the renewal of TCS’ existing contract with Nielsen. TCS and Nielsen had entered into a 10-year agreement in 2008 for USD 1.2 billion. This collaboration was expanded to USD 2.5 billion in 2013.
iii. Under this contract, Nielsen will purchase services relating to IT, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), client service knowledge process outsourcing (KPO), management sciences, analytics and financial planning from TCS.
Quick Facts about TCS:
♦ Founded in – 1968
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Current Chairman – Natarajan Chandrasekaran

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Salman Khan tops Forbes India Celebrity 100 list for 2nd year
Actor Salman Khan has been ranked number one on the sixth Forbes India Celebrity 100 List.ForbesSalman Khan – tops Forbes India Celebrity 100 List:
i. Salman Khan was followed by Shah Rukh Khan and Virat Kohli in the 2nd and 3rd positions respectively. Actor Priyanka Chopra is the only female celebrity to make the top 10 list.
ii. The 2017 Forbes India Celebrity 100 List takes into account entertainment-related earnings of celebrities. The period considered was October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017.
iii. Salman Khan has topped this list for the second consecutive year. He has earned Rs. 232.83 crore in total for the period considered.
About Salman Khan:
♦ Age – 51
♦ Occupation – Actor, producer, singer, presenter

Kolkata Police wins NASSCOM-DSCI excellence award
The 2017 NASSCOM-DSCI excellence award has been awarded to the cyber section of Kolkata Police.
Kolkata Police – NASSCOM-DSCI excellence award:
i. The cyber section of Kolkata Police was awarded the NASSCOM-DSCI excellence award at an All India Security Seminar held recently in Gurgaon.
ii. Cyber units from various state police forces all over India participated in the All India Security Seminar.
About Kolkata Police Force:
♦ Commissioner – Rajeev Kumar
♦ Formed – 1856
♦ Parent agency – Ministry of Home Affairs (West Bengal)

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Prabhat Kumar Sinha appointed as CMD of Northern Coalfields Ltd
On 21st December 2017, Prabhat Kumar Sinha was appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the Northern Coalfields Limited.Kumar SinhaPrabhat Kumar Sinha – CMD of Northern Coalfields Ltd:
i .Prabhat Kumar Sinha has been appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the Northern Coalfields Limited till 31 December, 2021, the date of his superannuation.
ii .The order of his appointment was issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). At present, Prabhat Kumar Sinha is the Director (Technical) of the South Eastern Coalfields Limited.
About Northern Coalfields Limited (NCL):
♦ Product – Coal
♦ Founded – 1985
♦ Headquarters – Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh, India

Subbarayudu appointed as Ambassador of India to the Republic of Peru
Subbarayudu has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Peru.
Subbarayudu – Ambassador of India to the Republic of Peru:
i. M. Subbarayudu is an Indian Foreign Service Officer (IFS) of 1994 batch. He is presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs.
ii. He has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Peru. He would soon take charge as Ambassador to the Republic of Peru.
About Appointments Committee of the Cabinet:
♦ Purpose – decides appointments to top posts under the Government of India
♦ Chairman – Prime Minister: Narendra Modi
♦ Member – Minister of Home Affairs: Rajnath Singh

Lieutenant General B S Sahrawat takes over as Director General of National Cadet Corps
Lieutenant General B S Sahrawat has taken charge as Director General of National Cadet Corps (NCC).NCCLieutenant General B S Sahrawat – Director General of NCC:
i. Lieutenant General B S Sahrawat is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.
ii. He has a Masters degree in Management Studies from Osmania University, Hyderabad and M Phil from Madras University.
iii. He has completed his PhD in ‘Human Capital Management in Army’. He also bags a Sena Medal.
About National Cadet Corps (NCC):
♦ Formed – 1948
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Motto – Unity and Discipline

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Quikr acquires HDFC’s digital, realty units in all stock deal
Housing Development Financial Corporation (HDFC) has sold its realty brokerage business ‘HDFC Realty’ and its digital real estate business ‘HDFC Red’ (owned by HDFC Developers) to online advertisements platform Quikr.
i .Combined value of both these businesses of HDFC is being estimated to be about Rs 357 crore.
ii. In return, HDFC will get 3.5% stake in Quikr.
iii .Including this acquisition, Quikr’s valuation has soared to $1.6 billion.
iv. In past couple of years, Quikr has been on an acquisition spree in the real estate business. In 2015, it bought real estate platform CommonFloor for about $120 million. 
Facts about Quikr:
♦ Founded in – 2008
♦ Headquarters – Bengaluru
♦ Current CEO – Pranay Chulet

SPORTS

Indian Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Ekta Bisht make it to the ICC Women’s team of the year
Indian women cricketers Ekta Bisht, Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur have been selected to the ICC Women’s team of the year.ICC Women TeamICC Women’s team of the year:
i. Ekta Bisht, left-arm spinner, has been selected to both the ICC women’s One-Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 teams of the year.
ii. Mithali Raj, batter, has been selected to the ICC women’s T20 teamHarmanpreet Kaur has been selected to the ICC women’s ODI team.
iii .England’s Heather Knight has been appointed as captain of the 50-over team. Stafanie Taylor of West Indies has been appointed as captain of the 20-over team.
About International Cricket Council (ICC):
♦ Headquarters – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
♦ Chairman – Shashank Manohar
♦ President – Zaheer Abbas

India’s Prasad, Shaikh to officiate in 2018 Hockey World Cup
On 20th December 2017, India’s Raghu Prasad and Javed Shaikh were selected in the panel of umpires for 2018 Hockey World Cup to be held in Bhubaneswar, from November 28 to December 16, 2018.
Raghu Prasad & Javed Shaikh – umpires of 2018 Hockey World Cup:
i. The International Hockey Federation (FIH)has announced that 25 officials from 19 countries from all 5 continents will officiate the 2018 Hockey World Cup.
ii. Francisco Vazquez of Spain, Martin Madden of Scotland and Simon Taylor of New Zealand have been appointed as Golden Whistle umpires of 2018 Hockey World Cup.
iii. Philip Schellekens of Netherlands and Minka Woolley of Australia have been appointed as umpire managers.
About International Hockey Federation:
♦ Formation – 1924
♦ Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland
♦ President – Narinder Batra

OBITUARY

Bengali Singer Jatileswar Mukhopadhyay passes away
On 21st December 2017, Bengali singer Jatileswar Mukhopadhyay died due to long term illness, in Kolkata.JatileswarDeath of Jatileswar Mukhopadhyay:
i. Jatileswar Mukhopadhyay was 82 years old. He is survived by his wife, son and daughter. He died due to multiple organ failure.
ii. He was awarded the Sangeet Samman award in 2012. He had a great place in Bengali music in the 70s-80s.
iii. Some of his popular works are E kon sakal, Tomar Sange Dekha Na Hole, Aamar Swapan Kinte Paare and Bondhuya Amar Chokhe Jal Enechhe.
Some museums in West Bengal:
♦ Asutosh Museum of Indian Art – Kolkata
♦ Birla Industrial & Technological Museum – Kolkata
♦ Gurusaday Museum – Kolkata
♦ Indian Museum – Kolkata

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Mathematics Day – December 22
On 22nd December 2017, National Mathematics Day was celebrated all over India.
National Mathematics Day:
i. National Mathematics Day is celebrated in memory of mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan’s birth anniversaryon 22 December.
ii. In 2012, Dr Manmohan Singh, Ex-Prime Minister of India, declared 22 December as National Mathematics Day. Also, 2012 was celebrated as the National Mathematics Year.
iii .On this day, various educational events are conducted in schools and colleges all over India.National-Mathematics-DayAbout Srinivasa Ramanujan:
♦ Born – 22 December 1887
♦ Award – Fellow of the Royal Society
♦ Known for – Ramanujan theta function, Ramanujan’s sum, Rogers–Ramanujan identities, Ramanujan’s master theorem, etc.