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Current Affairs Today December 27 2017

We are here for you to provide the important current affairs December 27 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

India’s 1st pod taxi on the way, to follow U.S. safety norms
The five-member committee headed by transport expert S K Dhramadhikari, set up for technical and safety standards of India’s pod taxi scheme (also known as Personal Rapid Transit – PRT) has recommended to invite fresh bids incorporating strictest safety standards on the lines of those prescribed by an American body.
i. India’s pod taxi scheme is Rs. 4000 crore project spearheaded by Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.
ii. National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been mandated to execute it on 12.30 km Delhi-Gurgaon pilot corridor on a PPP (public-private partnership) basis……………………………………………Click here to Read more

Odisha Government to set up Heritage Cabinet headed by Naveen Patnaik
On December 26, 2017, Odisha State Government decided to set up a unique ‘Heritage Cabinet’ with an objective to preserve the relics and monuments across the state.
About Odisha’s ‘Heritage Cabinet’:
i. Odisha’s ‘Heritage Cabinet’ would be headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
ii. Main aim of Heritage Cabinet is to protect ancient monuments, temples and archaeological sites across Odisha.
iii. On December 26, 2017, Odisha State Cabinet approved a proposal to bifurcate the tourism and culture department. The Culture Department will now be renamed as Odia Language, Literature and Culture Department.
iv. A decision has also been taken to set up Odia Language Commission. Details pertaining to this commission would be disclosed later.
Quick Facts about Odisha:
♦ Capital – Bhubaneswar
♦ Current Chief Minister – Naveen Patnaik
♦ Current Governor – S. C. Jamir
♦ Important National Park – Bhitarkanika National Park

President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurates AP Fibre Grid
On December 27, 2017, President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated AP Fibre Grid Project in Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh. Chandrababu Naidu, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh was also present at the inauguration event.AP Fiber GridDetails about AP Fibre Grid Project:
i. Andhra Pradesh Fibre Grid project, undertaken by Andhra Pradesh State Government is aimed at providing high-speed internet service to every household in the state at affordable rate.
ii. The fibre grid will also offer telephone and television services at nominal rates.
iii. Besides, Andhra Pradesh State Government will use it for state-wide surveillance through more than 20000 closed-circuit cameras.
iv. This project is being implemented by Andhra Pradesh State Fibernet Limited (APSFL), which has become the largest state government-owned telecommunication company in India.
v. Under this project, APSFL has already laid over 23000 kms of the total 55000 kms long Optical Fibre Cable in 13 districts of the Andhra Pradesh.

Indian Air Force Conquers ‘Seven Summits’
On December 26, 2017, a team of Indian Air Force (IAF) mountaineers successfully scaled Mt Vinson in Antarctica and thereby completed ‘Mission Seven Summits’:
About ‘Mission Seven Summits’:
i. In 2005, after successfully scaling Mt Everest, IAF had launched ‘Mission Seven Summits’, a series of mountaineering expedition to fly the Indian tricolour and the IAF flag on the highest peaks in every continent.
ii. Expedition to scale Mt Vinson in Antarctica was flagged off on December 8, 2017. IAF team that scaled Mt Vinson was led by Capt RC Tripathi.
iii. IAF has thus become the first organisation in India to accomplish this feat.
Quick Facts about Indian Air Force:
♦ Founded in – 1932
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Current Chief of the Air Staff – Birender Singh Dhanoa

President inaugurates Indian Economic Association summit in Andhra Pradesh
On December 27, 2017, President Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the centenary conference of the Indian Economic Association in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh.
Highlights of 100th Annual Conference of Indian Economic Association:
i. Overarching theme of the conference was ‘India’s Development Experience’.
ii. The conference also had five sub-themes viz. ‘Pace and Pattern of Development’, Monetary and Fiscal Issues in Development Process’, ‘India and External World’, ‘Issues in Distribution’ and ‘Sectoral Performance in Agriculture, Manufacturing and Service Sector’.
iii. The conference was attended by several dignitaries including Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu, Governor of Andhra Pradesh, E. S. L. Narasimhan, Former Governor of Reserve Bank of India, Dr C. Rangarajan and Nobel Laureate and Founder of the Grameen Bank, Professor Muhammad Yunus from Bangladesh.

Five-day Teesta Rangit Tourism festival begins in Darjeeling
On 27th December 2017, the five-day Teesta Rangit Tourism Festival 2017 started in Darjeeling.Teesta RangitTeesta Rangit Tourism festival:
i. The Teesta Rangit Tourism festival will be held in separate phases in different places of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts.
ii. It will be held in Darjeeling from December 27 to 29, in Kurseong from December 28 to 29, in Kalimpong from December 29 to 30 and in Mirik from December 30 to 31.
iii. This festival is organized by Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) and Darjeeling state tourism department and information and cultural affairs department.
About Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA):
♦ Purpose – administrative body for the Darjeeling and Kalimpong hills
♦ Headquarters – Darjeeling
♦ Chairman – Binoy Tamang

AIM selects 1500 schools for tinkering labs across India
Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) has selected additional 1500 Schools for establishment of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs), thereby taking the total number of schools selected so far to 2441.
About Atal Innovation Mission (AIM):
i. NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is Indian Government’s endeavour to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across Indian schools, universities and industries.
ii. Vision of AIM is to ‘Cultivate One Million children in India as the Innovators of tomorrow’.
iii. Under AIM, Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) have been established in schools across India to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young generation.
iv. ATLs are open-ended innovation play workspaces for students between Grade VI to Grade XII. It stimulates innovations by combining science & latest technology.
v. Including these recently selected 1500 schools, the total 2441 schools have been selected from over 25000+ applications.

National Children Science Congress begins in Ahmedabad
On 27th December 2017, the 25th National Children Science Congress begun in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
25th National Children Science Congress:
i. The 25th National Children Science Congress was inaugurated by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. This event is held till 31st December 2017.
ii. The theme of the 25th National Children Science Congress is: ‘Science and Innovation for Sustainable Development’. The event’s  main focus will be on persons with disabilities.
iii. Children and teachers from various Asian countries are participating in this event. The event consists of science exhibitions, hands-on demonstrations, presentations, poster session and cultural programmes.
About Department of Science and Technology (DST):
♦ Established – 1971
♦ Head of the department – Dr. Harsh Vardhan
♦ Secretary – Ashutosh Sharma

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

UNESCO recognizes Panama Hats
Cultural authorities at United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have recognised the skill of Ecuadorian artisans who make ‘Panama Hats’.Panama HatsAbout ‘Panama Hats’:
i. The famous “Panama hat” is a brimmed hat traditionally made in Ecuador from the straw of the South American toquilla palm plant.
ii. Despite of being made in Ecuador, the hat got its name after Panama, as they were sold in nearby Panama to prospective miners travelling through that country to California during the Gold Rush.
iii. La Pintada, a district about 170 km west of Panama City is the main hub where these hats are made. Making these hats is a family business in La Pintada.
iv. These hats are an integral part of regional outfits and are worn during traditional dances and community festivities.

BANKING & FINANCE

UN cuts budget by 286 million dollar
On December 24, 2017, United Nations General Assembly approved the regular budget of $5.397 billion for 2018-2019.
i. This marks 5% cut (286 million dollar) as compared to final budget approved for 2016- 2017.
ii. Budgetary cut has been imposed on almost all Departments and Offices of UN, including the Special Political Missions.
iii .Besides, General Assembly has endorsed the proposal to shift from the current biennial planning and budgeting period to annual programme budget (on a trial basis) from 2020.
Quick Facts about United Nations (UN):
♦ Established in – 1945
♦ Headquarters – New York, US
♦ Current Secretary General – Antonio Guterres

Paytm becomes India’s first payments app to cross 100 million downloads on Google Play Store
On 27th December 2017, Paytm announced that its app had passed the 100 million milestone on Google Play Store in the 2nd week of December 2017.PaytmPaytm – crosses 100 million downloads on Google Play Store:
i. Paytm has become India’s first payments app to cross the 100 million downloads milestone. The app offers online recharges, bill payments, movie tickets booking, travel booking etc.
ii. Paytm has also emerged as the most preferred payments app in India. It enables users to scan its QR code and pay at stores, petrol pumps, multiplexes, restaurants etc.
About Paytm:
♦ Headquarters – Noida, Uttar Pradesh
♦ Chairman – Vijay Shekhar Sharma
♦ CEO & MD – Renu Satti

Tamil Nadu Gets $318 Million World Bank Loan for Irrigation Projects
On December 26, 2017, Governments of India and Tamil Nadu signed $318 million loan agreement with the World Bank.
i. Funds procured through this loan will be deployed for modernisation of irrigation projects in Tamil Nadu, adoption of climate resilient techniques and for improving market opportunities for small and marginal farmers.
ii. Tamil Nadu State Government is executing ‘Tamil Nadu Irrigated Agriculture Modernisation project’, under which, 4800 irrigation tanks and 477 check dams across 66 sub-basins will be rehabilitated and modernised.
iii. This project will benefit 5 lakh small and marginal farmers in Tamil Nadu as more than 160000 hectares of currently partially irrigated lands will come into full irrigation.
iv. This project will also help farmers to diversify into high value crops and produce crops that are resilient to increasing threats of climate change.
Quick Facts about World Bank:
♦ Formed in – 1945
♦ Headquarters – Washington D.C., US
♦ Current President – Jim Yong Kim

Rajasthan govt sets up Automatic service ATMs at nearly 9900 Atal Seva Kendras
Rajasthan State Government is setting up Automatic Service ATMs, ‘E-Mitra Plus’ at 9900 Atal Seva Kendras and 2500 urban location across the state.
About ‘E-Mitra’ Plus:
i. Through ‘E-Mitra Plus’, people from urban as well as rural areas will be able to access 380 services of various government departments. Besides, it will also provide access to over 100 services of private sector.
ii. ‘E-Mitra Plus’ will be accessible 24X7 for 365 days.
iii.It has human-less interface and is linked to AADHAR. It has provision to make payment with cash as well as with card.
iv.Currently, over 60 lakh transactions with turnover of about Rs. 700 crore take place through E-Mitra.

BUSINESS

Maruti to set up automated driving test centres in Delhi
On December 27, 2017, Maruti Suzuki India announced that it has entered into a partnership with Delhi government to set up 12 automated driving test centres across the city.Maruti SuzukiAutomated Driving Test Centres by Maruti:
i. Maruti Suzuki India will invest approximately Rs 15 crore for setting up these centres.
ii. These centres will have scientifically laid driving test tracks, integrated IT systems and advanced high definition cameras.
iii. Maruti Suzuki will set up the centres and maintain them for three years, while Delhi Government’s transport department will conduct the tests at these centres and issue driving licenses to eligible applicants.
iv. It is to be noted that Maruti Suzuki India currently operates 430 Maruti Driving Schools across India in partnership with its dealers. Besides, it also manages six IDTRs (Institute of Driving Training and Research) in partnership with state governments. 
Quick Facts about Maruti:
♦ Founded in – 1981
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

K S Chitra bags ‘Harivarasanam’ award
Singer K S Chitra has been selected for 2017 ‘Harivarasanam’ award, awarded by the Kerala government.
K S Chitra – ‘Harivarasanam’ award:
i. K S Chitra has been selected for ‘Harivarasanam’ award to honour her contribution to spread the spirit of secularism, equanimity and universal brotherhood.
ii. The ‘Harivarasanam’ award consists of a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh, citation and a plaque. K S Chitra will be given this award at a function at Sabarimala Sannidhanam on January 14, 2018.
iii. Her selection was made by a panel headed by Sabarimala high-power committee chairman Justice (ret) S Sirijagan.
Some National Parks in Kerala:
♦ Anamudi Shola National Park – Idukki District
♦ Eravikulam National Park – Idukki District
♦ Mathikettan Shola National Park – Idukki district

Anushka Sharma named PETA’s Person of the Year 2017
Actress Anushka Sharma has been awarded the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) 2017 Person of the Year Award.Anushka SharmaAnushka Sharma – (PETA) 2017 Person of the Year Award:
i. Anushka Sharma has been awarded for her contributions to animal welfare like protecting dogs from fireworks, advocating for horses forced to pull carriages in Mumbai etc.
ii .She was named PETA’s Hottest Vegetarian Celebrity in 2015. Recently she has launched her cruelty-free NUSH clothing line. She also launched a campaign called PAWsitive to create awareness of the suffering fireworks cause to animals.
About People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA):
♦ Founded – 1980
♦ Location – Virginia, United States
♦ Founder – Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco

Mayanka Patel and Poonam Gaur win Mrs India-Pride of Nation 2017 contest
On 23rd December 2017, Mayanka Patel and Poonam Gaur were crowned Mrs India-Pride of Nation 2017 contest in two different categories, in Gurgaon.
Mrs India-Pride of Nation 2017:
i. Mayanka Patel from Mumbai was named winner in Group A – 21 years to 34 years women’s category. Poonam Gaur from Gurugram won the crown in Group B– 34 years to 45 years women’s category.
ii. The Mrs India-Pride of Nation 2017 contest was organised by Glamour Gurgaon. The Grand Finale consisted of 3 rounds and 61 contestants participated.
iii. Punjabi actor Ihana Dhillon, and Telugu actor Payal Ghosh were present in the jury for the finale event.
Recent Femina Miss India World winners:
♦ 2017 – Manushi Chhillar
♦ 2016 – Priyadarshini Chatterjee
♦ 2015 – Aditi Arya
♦ 2014 – Koyal Rana

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Paul Antony appointed as Kerala Chief Secretary
Paul Antony has been appointed as the next Chief Secretary of Kerala.Paul
Paul Antony – Chief Secretary of Kerala:
i. Paul Antony is an IAS Officer of the 1983 batch. He will take charge as the Chief Secretary of Kerala on January 1, 2018. He will work as Chief Secretary tillJune 27, 2018.
ii. He replaces K.M. Abraham, who will retire on December 31, 2017. Paul Antony is currently the Additional Chief Secretary in charge of Industries, Power, and Forest departments.
iii. He has held various posts like Collector of Kollam and Alappuzha, chairman of the Cochin Port Trust, chairman and managing director of KSEB Limited and the Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation.
About Kerala State Electricity Board Ltd (KSEBLtd):
♦ Headquarters – Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
♦ Chairman & managing director – Elangovan
♦ Formed – 1957

IPS officer Abhay appointed Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau
On 27th December 2017, senior IPS officer Abhay was appointed as Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
Abhay – Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB):
i. Abhay is currently working with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). He has been appointed as Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) till November 18, 2019.
ii. His appointment has been approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.  Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) issued his appointment order.
iii. This post was vacant since R R Bhatnagar took charge as Director General of CRPF in April 2017.
About Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB):
♦ Purpose – fighting drug trafficking and the abuse of illegal substances
♦ Formed – 1986
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Russia launches first telecom satellite for Angola
On 26th December 2017, Russia launched Zenit-2SB rocket carrying Angosat-1, the first national telecoms satellite for Angola, from Baikonur space pad, in Kazakhstan.
Russia launches first telecom satellite for Angola:
i. Angosat-1 has reached initial orbit. Angosat-1 was carried to orbit by Zenit-2SB rocket. Zenit-2SB was supplied by Yuzhmash, a Ukrainian maker.
ii. The Angosat project was signed by Russia and Angola in 2009. The project costs $280-million.
iii. Angosat-1 has been designed for a 15-year mission to enhance satellite communications, Internet access, radio and TV service.
iv. Nearly 50 Angolan aerospace engineers will monitor the functioning of the satellite from a control centre near Luanda.
About Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities:
♦ Headquarters – Moscow, Russia
♦ Administrator – Igor Komarov
♦ Purpose – responsible for the space science program of the Russian Federation and general aerospace research

ENVIRONMENT

New marine spider species ‘Desis bobmarleyi’ named after Bob Marley
Researchers have discovered a new water-adapted species of spiders named ‘Desis bobmarleyi’ in Queensland, Australia.SpiderDesis bobmarleyi:
i. The new spider species has got its scientific name Desis bobmarleyi after singer and songwriter Bob Marley. This research has been published in the journal Evolutionary Systematics.
ii. Both male and female spiders of this species are seen in red-brown colour. Their legs are orange-brown colour and with dense layer of long, thin and dark grey hair-like structures.
Some wildlife sanctuaries in Tamil Nadu:
♦ Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Palani Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park
♦ Palani Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park

OBITUARY

Veteran sports administrator Ashok Mattoo passes away
On 27th December 2017, veteran sports administrator Ashok Kumar Mattoo died following prolonged illness.
Death of Ashok Mattoo:
i. Ashok Mattoo was 75 years old. He is survived by his wife and two daughters. He served as IABF (Indian Amateur Boxing Federation) President for 16 years.
ii. He was also the first President of Hockey India. He also worked as the Treasurer of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
About Indian Olympic Association (IOA):
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ President – Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra
♦ Secretary General – Mr. Rajeev Mehta

The creator of Bugs Bunny, Bob Givens, passes away at 99
On 14th December 2017, Bob Givens, creator of Bugs Bunny, died due to acute respiratory failure at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, US.Bugs BunnyBob Givens:
i. Bob Givens was an animator for around 60 years. He has worked with Walt Disney Studio, Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera and Jack Kinney.
ii. While working with Warner Bros. he created the first design for the cartoon ‘A Wild Hare’, which is popularly known as Bugs Bunny.
About The Walt Disney Company:
♦ Founders – Walt Disney, Roy O. Disney
♦ Headquarters – California, United States
♦ Chairman & CEO – Bob Iger