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Current Affairs Today December 29 2017

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We are here for you to provide the important current affairs December 29 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

Environment Ministry launches new regional project to tackle stubble burning
On December 28, 2017, Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change approved a regional project on ‘Climate Resilience Building among Farmers through Crop Residue Management’ under the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC).
Salient features of Project on ‘Climate Resilience Building among Farmers through Crop Residue Management’:
i. This project aims to contain the problem of stubble/crop residue burning which has intensified during recent years in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
ii. Stubble burning results in deterioration of air quality in surrounding region and thereby poses a serious health hazard.
iii. The project will be initiated with awareness generation among farmers. Following the awareness generation drive, capacity building activities will be undertaken to encourage farmers to adopt alternate practices.
iv. Besides, various technology-based interventions will be resorted to for managing crop residue.
v. Approval has been granted for first phase of the project covering Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Inter-ministerial panel established to look into violation by TV channels
Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has set up an inter-ministerial committee to look into complaints of violation of programme and advertising codes by TV channels.
Details about Inter-ministerial panel to look into violation by TV channels:
i. The inter-ministerial committee has representatives from the ministries of defence, home affairs, external affairs, women and child development, law, health and family welfare, information & broadcasting, consumer affairs and a representative from Advertising Standards Authority of India.
ii. Government has set up an Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC) to monitor content telecast on private TV channels. Task of EMMC is to report any violation of programme and advertising codes.
iii. The above stated information was provided in Lok Sabha by Minister of state for information and broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Rathore.

Telangana becomes first state to offer free power to farmers 24 hours a day
From January 1, 2018, farmers in Telangana will get 24-hour free power supply.Telangana i. This is a first of its kind initiative, undertaken by Telangana State Government which will benefit 23 lakh farmers in Telangana.
ii. Electricity supply is of utmost importance for farmers who use motorised pumps for irrigation.
iii. Supplying free 24-hour electricity to all farmers in the state will create an overall power demand of 11000 MW which will be fully met by March 2018.
iv .Power utilities in Telangana have spent Rs 12610 crore in setting up new power lines, transformers and sub-stations for this purpose.
Quick Facts about Telangana:
♦ Capital – Hyderabad
♦ Current Governor – E.S.L. Narasimhan
♦ Current Chief Minister – K. Chandrashekar Rao
♦ Important National Park – Mrugavani National Park

Centre releases Rs 24500 crore to compensate states post GST
Central Government has released Rs. 24500 crore compensation to states to make up for revenue loss on account of Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation. This compensation is for the period between July-October 2017.
i. Karnataka got maximum compensation (Rs 3271 crore) followed by Gujarat (Rs 2282 crore) and Punjab (Rs 2098 crore).
ii. The other states that required huge amount of compensation include Rajasthan (Rs 1911 crore), Bihar (Rs 1746 crore), Uttar Pradesh (Rs 1520 crore), West Bengal (Rs 1008 crore) and Odisha (Rs 1,020 crore).
iii. This compensation comes from cess (on top of the highest tax rate of 28 %) on luxury, demerit and sin goods.
Quick Facts about GST:
♦ Rolled out on – July 1, 2017
♦ Type – Indirect Tax
♦ Tax Slabs – 5%, 12%, 18% 28%

MP CM flags off mobile museum ‘Adi Shankara Sandesh Vahini’
On December 29, 2017, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan flagged off ‘Adi Shakara Sandesh Vahini‘, from a place near Piravom, Kerala.https://affairscloud.com/assets/uploads/2017/12/MP-CM-flags-off-mobile-museum-Adi-Shankara-Sandesh-Vahini.jpgAbout Adi Shankaracharya and ‘Ekatm Yatra’:
i. This mobile museum, showcases various aspects of the life of Adi Shankaracharya, an early 8th century Indian philosopher and theologian who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta.
ii. The mobile museum would cover various places including Kalady, Udupi, Dharmasthala and Sringeri.  It will reach Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh on January 22, 2017 where a 108-feet high Ashtadhatu statue of the saint would be installed.
iii. It is a part of ‘Ekatm Yatra’ launched by the Madhya Pradesh government to collect metal pieces for installing a 108-feet tall statue of Adi Shankaracharya at Omkareshwar, Madhya Pradesh.
iv. ’Ekatm Yatra’, launched on December 19, 2017, would traverse through Indore, Dewas, Rajgarh, Guna, Ashok Nagar, Shivpuri, Sheopur, Morena, Bhind, Gwalior and Datia in Madhya Pradesh and would culminate at Omkareshwar on January 22, 2017.
v. Young Adi Shankara met his guru Govinda Bhagavatpada at Omkareshwar, situated on the banks of the Narmada river.

78th session of Indian History Congress begins in Kolkata
On 28th December 2017, the 78th session of the Indian History Congress started at the Jadavpur University campus, in Kolkata.
Indian History Congress:
i. The 78th session of Indian History Congress is held for three days. It consists of 6 sections – Ancient India, Medieval India, Modern India, Countries Other than India, Archaeology and Contemporary India.
ii. It also stages speeches of famous historians Irfan Habib and Romila Thapar. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also addresses the congress.
iii. Main focus of the Indian History Congress is promotion and encouragement of scientific study of Indian History, holding Congresses and publishing of the proceedings, bulletins, memoirs, journals etc.
About Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR):
♦ Chairman – Professor Sudershan Rao
♦ Based in – Delhi
♦ Regional centres – Bengaluru, Guwahati

Orange Festival of Music and Adventure celebrated in Arunachal Pradesh
On 15th to 18th December 2017, Orange Festival of Music and Adventure was held in Dambuk village of Arunachal Pradesh.
Orange Festival of Music and Adventure:
i. Dambuk produces some of the best oranges of India. This is the reason for naming this festival as orange festival.
ii. Director of the Orange festival was Abu Tayeng. Musical bands from India and other countries participated. Some of them are Rain in Sahara, Humsafar Moscow, Fame the Band, Tangerine Dream, etc.
iii. The Orange festival is supported by Arunachal Pradesh Tourism Department. Adventure sports like JK Tyre Orange 4X4 Fury were also held during the festival.
Mountains in Arunachal Pradesh:
♦ Kangto – 7,060 metres
♦ Nyegyi Kansang – 7,047 metres

‘Modi Kaka Ka Gaon’ – Film inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi
On 29th December 2017, ‘Modi Kaka Ka Gaon’, a Hindi feature film inspired by Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi was released all over India.Modi KakaModi Kaka Ka Gaon:
i. The film is directed by Tushar A. Goel. The character of Narendra Modi is played by Mumbai businessman Vikas Mahante. The music for the film was composed by Manojanand Choudhary.
ii. This film is said be inspired by Narendra Modi’s development plans for India. This film was granted censor certification by Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in November 2017.
About Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC):
♦ Chairperson – Prasoon Joshi
♦ CEO – Anurag Srivastava

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

China launches world’s largest human genome research project
China has launched the world’s largest human genome research project to document the genetic makeup of one lakh people.
Details about World’s Largest Human Genome Research Project:
i. The objective of this project is to detect the genetic links between health and sickness and use that information to generate precision medicines for the future.
ii. The project envisages to decode the hereditary information contained in each of the 25000 known human genes.
iii. One person from different ethnic backgrounds and regions across China have been selected to be a part of this project.
iv. The project will be executed in four stages viz. collecting, sequencing gene samples, gathering the data and sharing the findings.
v. Gene sequencing and analysis is expected to be completed within four years.

China to build Mars village in Qinghai Province
As a part of its preparation for Mars Exploration Mission, China will build a Martian village (simulating the environmental conditions on Mars) in Qinghai Province. Mars VillageMore Information about Mars village in Qinghai Province:
i. The upcoming Martian village will be constructed in the red rock area of the Qaidam basin in western Qinghai.
ii. Owing to the red rocky area, Qaidam basin is recognised as “the most Martian place on Earth.”
iii. The Martian Village will be spread across 702 hectares of land and will entail an investment of USD 130 million.
Quick Facts about China:
♦ Capital – Beijing
♦ Currency – Renminbi
♦ Current President – Xi Jinping
♦ Important Rivers – Yellow River, Yangtze

China successfully tests country’s first photovoltaic highway
China has successfully tested its first photovoltaic highway constructed in Shandong province.
Details about China’s first photovoltaic highway:
i. China’s photovoltaic highway is based on home-grown technology using solar panels which have a thin sheet of clear concrete on top of them.
ii. The 1-kilometer stretch of solar-power highway has a surface area of 5875 square meters.
iii. The solar-power stretch constitutes three layers viz. insulator (at bottom), photovoltaic device in middle and protective transparent concrete layer on top.
iv. Electricity generated through photovoltaic highway will be transmitted to China’s national power grid.
v. In 2016, France became the first country to introduce photovoltaic road fitted with solar panels.

BANKING & FINANCE

KKR gets RBI nod to start India’s 1st Foreign-owned ARC
International investment firm, KKR & Co has received an approval from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to start an asset reconstruction company (ARC) in India and has thereby become the first foreign investor to fully own ARC in India.KKRi. Asset Reconstruction Company is a financial entity that buys the non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad assets from banks and financial institutions at a mutually agreed value and tries to revive it by using specialised knowledge and expertise. ARCs help banks/financial institution to get rid of NPAs and focus on their core business rather than chasing defaulters.
ii. In a bid to tackle the mounting NPAs problem in Indian banking system, in May 2016, Indian Government allowed foreign institutions to have 100% ownership in asset reconstruction companies in India.
iii. KKR is known for its big ticket financing and private equity deals in India.
iv. It is planning to deploy a major portion from its Asia fund for buying troubled assets in India.
Quick Facts about KKR & Co.:
♦ Founded in – 1976
♦ Businesses – Private Equity, Investment Banking
♦ Headquarters – New York, US

S&P puts Indian banks in ‘Group 5’ with Italy, Spain, UAE
International rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has classified Indian Banking sector under ‘Group 5’ of its Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment (BICRA).
S&P’s outlook on India Banking Sector:
i. Spain, Italy, Ireland, Panama, Poland, Bermuda, Peru, South Africa, Qatar and UAE are other countries placed under ‘Group 5’ along with India.
ii. As per S&P, risk of rising economic imbalances for banks in India is ‘low’ on account of good franchise, extensive branch networks and large domestic savings base.
iii. However, it has drawn attention to the massive non-performing assets (NPAs) in the Indian banking system and has stated that asset quality of Banks in India has been deteriorating in the past four years.
Quick Facts about Standard & Poor’s:
♦ Incorporated in – 1941
♦ Headquarters – New York, United States

Pluto Exchange launches India’s first bitcoin trading app
Pluto Exchange, a Dubai-based cryptocurrency dealer has announced the launch of India’s first mobile application for transacting in virtual currencies.BitcoinDetails about Pluto Exchange’s app for trading virtual currencies:
i. Pluto Exchange’s app will be India’s first app-based wallet that enables bitcoin transactions using a mobile number.
ii. Users of Pluto Exchange’s app will be able to buy, sell, store and spend bitcoins via a mobile by number using a four-digit personal identification number (PIN).
iii. The app would also permit a range of transactions including payments, business-to-business commerce, remittances, asset management supply chain finance and trading.
iv. In the context of this news, it is important to note that crypto currencies including Bitcoin are decentralised digital currencies which are not backed by any Sovereign Government, Central Bank or monetary authority.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Cristiano Ronaldo wins best player at Globe Soccer Award
On 28th December 2017, Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid was awarded the Globe Soccer’s Best Player award, in Dubai.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Globe Soccer’s Best Player award:
i. Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Globe Soccer’s Best Player award for the second consecutive year and fourth time overall.
ii. Also, Real Madrid club was named the best club of the year. Also, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane was given the best coach award.
iii. The event was organised by the Dubai Sports Council. Cristiano Ronaldo was not able to attend the event in person, he appeared through video call.
About Globe Soccer Awards:
♦ Organised by – EFAA (European Association of Player’s Agents) and the ECA (European Club Association)
♦ Purpose – annual awards given for excellence in footballCristiano

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

IPS Officer Gurbachan Singh appointed DG (Investigation) in NHRC
On 27th December 2017, senior IPS officer Gurbachan Singh was appointed the Director General (Investigation) in National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
Gurbachan Singh – DG (Investigation) in NHRC:
i. Gurbachan Singh is a 1984 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of Odisha cadre. He has been appointed as Director General (Investigation) in National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) till December 31, 2018 (till his superannuation).
ii. Gurbachan Singh is currently working as Special Director in Intelligence Bureau.
About National Human Rights Commission (NHRC):
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Chairman – Justice H. L. Dattu
♦ Formed – 1993

IAS officer Manisha Nanda appointed Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Principal Secretary to the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister
On 27th December 2017, senior IAS officer Manisha Nanda was appointed as Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Principal Secretary to the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister.
Manisha Nanda – Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Principal Secretary:
i. Manisha Nanda is a 1985 batch IAS Officer of the Himachal Pradesh cadre. She is currently the Additional Chief Secretary, Town and Country Planning, Housing and Urban Development.
ii. She has been appointed as the Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Principal Secretary to the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
Some festivals of Himachal Pradesh:
♦ Mandi Shivaratri Fair – Worship of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva
♦ Dhaam – traditional food festival
♦ Sati Pradha Mela – to mark the death of local queen Sati

George Weah elected as Liberian President
Former football player George Weah has been elected as Liberian President.LiberianGeorge Weah – Liberian President:
i. George Weah won the Liberian presidential election. He won 61.5 % of the vote (based on 98.1% of ballots cast) and defeated Vice-president Joseph Boakai.
ii. George Weah replaces Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Liberian president. George Weah is 51 years old.
iii. He is the only African football player to have won FIFA World Player of the Year award and Ballon D’Or award. He entered politics in 2002, after retiring as a football player.
About FIFA (International Federation of Association Football):
♦ Headquarters – Zurich, Switzerland
♦ President – Gianni Infantino
♦ Secretary General – Fatma Samoura

Sumita Misra appointed as joint secretary in PM’s economic advisory council
Senior bureaucrat Sumita Misra has been appointed as joint secretary in Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, EAC-PM.
About Sumita Misra and EAC-PM:
i. Sumita Misra is 1990 batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre. She has been appointed to this post for a period of five years.
ii. EAC-PM was set up in September 2017. Its task is to analyse all critical issues, economic or otherwise, that are referred to it by the Prime Minister and offer advise on the same.
iii. Dr. Bibek Debroy, Member of NITI Aayog is the Chairman of EAC-PM, while Ratan P. Watal, Principal Adviser of NITI Aayog is the Member Secretary. Dr. Surjit Bhalla, Dr. Rathin Roy and Dr. Ashima Goyal are part time members of this council.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

NASA to launch Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) in 2020
NASA has scheduled to launch the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) in the middle of 2020.NASANASA to launch WFIRST in 2020:
i. WFIRST has a 300-megapixel Wide Field Instrument. This will capture the sky area 100 times larger than the previous Hubble telescope.
ii. WFIRST will study about dark energy. The Wide Field Instrument will also enable WFIRST to measure matter in hundreds of millions of distant galaxies through a phenomenon stated in Einstein’s relativity theory.
iii .WFIRST will picture how matter is structured throughout the universe. This will help scientists to test the governing physics of the assembly of universe.
Some of NASA’s missions to Mars:
♦ Mars Polar Lander
♦ Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)
♦ Mars Scout program

SPORTS

Association of Indian Football Coaches launched in Mumbai
On 27th December 2017, the Association of Indian Football Coaches (AIFC) was launched at the Andheri Sports Complex, in Mumbai.
Association of Indian Football Coaches (AIFC):
i. The objective of Association of Indian Football Coaches (AIFC) is to create a platform for the development of football coaches and their welfare.
ii. The AIFC has been recognized by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). AIFC will support AIFF to conduct AFC coaching license courses, refresher courses and work for coach education.
iii. AIFC is supported by SportingLions Foundation, owned by Lions Club of Bombay Willingdon Crescent Charity trust.
About All India Football Federation (AIFF):
♦ President – Praful Patel
♦ Headquarters – Dwarka, Delhi

Viswanathan Anand wins World Rapid Chess Championship in Riyadh
On 27th December 2017, Viswanathan Anand won World Rapid Championship (WRC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.ViswanathanVishwanathan Anand wins World Rapid Championship (WRC):
i. India’s Viswanathan Anand defeated Russia’s Vladimir Fedoseev in the final of the World Rapid Championship (WRC) in a tie breaker.
ii. Vishwanathan Anand beat Vladimir Fedoseev 2-0 in a two-game tie-break and won the title. He last won this title in 2003.
About FIDE (World Chess Federation):
♦ Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland
♦ President – Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Chennai woman Kavitha Bharanidaran breaks Guinness World Record in yoga marathon
On 28th December 2017, Kavitha Bharanidaran broke Guinness World Record in yoga marathon by performing the longest yoga marathon.
Kavitha Bharanidaran breaks Guinness World Record in yoga marathon:
i. Kavitha Bharanidaran hails from Chennai. She is mother of a 3 and a half year old kid.
ii. She started performing yoga on 23rdDecember 2017 at 7 am and broke the record by doing the longest yoga marathon at 02:02 am on 28th December 2017.
iii. She has broken the record that was created by Pradnya Patil of Nashik. She is still continuing the marathon and has planned to continue it till 30th December 2017 to create a new record.
About Guinness World Records:
♦ Editor – Craig Glenday
♦ Publisher – Jim Pattison Group
♦ Started – 1955

OBITUARY

Former Mumbai cricketer Amroliwala dies
On 29th December 2017, Hoshang Dadiba Amroliwala, former cricketer, passed away due to age related health issues.
Death of Hoshang Dadiba Amroliwala:
i. Hoshang Dadiba Amroliwala was 86 years old. He was a right-hand batsman and leg-spinner. He has played 44 first class matches.
ii. He had played in Ranji Trophy for Bombay Cricket Association. He had also represented the Parsi cyclists club in 1950s-60s.
About Ranji Trophy:
♦ Administrator – BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India)
♦ Format – First-class cricket

Noted eye surgeon Dr Daljit Singh passes away
On 27th December 2017, noted ophthalmologist Dr Daljit Singh passed away following brief illness, at a private hospital, in Amritsar, Punjab.Noted EyeDeath of Dr Daljit Singh:
i. Dr Daljit Singh is named a pioneer of lens implant surgery. He was born on October 11, 1934, in Amritsar.
ii. He served as a general practitioner in rural areas. He had worked at Government Medical College, Patiala, for five years. He had received Padma Shri award for his service to medical science in 1987.
About Indian Medical Association (IMA):
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Established in – 1928