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Current Affairs Today December 7 2017

We are here for you to provide the important current affairs December 7 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

Kerala raises minimum liquor drinking age to 23 from 21
On December 6, 2017, Kerala State Government issued an ordinance raising the minimum age for liquor consumption from 21 to 23.
i .This ordinance seeks to make suitable amendments to Kerala’s Abkari laws.
ii. The decision has been taken with an objective to curb the liquor consumption among youngsters.
iii. Since 2016, when CPI-led government came to power in Kerala, it has considerably diluted state’s liquor policy. Its predecessor, Congress-led government, followed a stringent policy inclined towards banning liquor in phased manner.
iv. In context of this news, it is important to note that Kerala has the second highest level of per capita liquor consumption (after Andhra Pradesh) among all Indian States and Rs. 40000 crore revenue from liquor trade constitutes  one fourth portion of Kerala State Government’s annual revenue .
Quick Facts about Kerala:
♦ Capital – Thiruvananthapuram
♦ Current Chief Minister – Pinari Vijayan
♦ Current Governor – P. Sathasivam
♦ Important National Park – Silent Valley National Park

India, Israel open centre for floriculture in Tamil Nadu
On December 7, 2017, a centre for excellence in floriculture jointly set up by India and Israel was inaugurated at Thally in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu.Centre for floricultureIndia-Israel Centre for floriculture in Tamil Nadu:
i. This centre is the first agro-technology development centre set up with assistance of Mashev, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
ii. A similar centre specialising in vegetables such as capsicum, cucumber and tomatoes will be established in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu. This centre is expected to be launched in January 2018.
iii. The centre at Thally and upcoming centre at  Dindigul are part of a three-year Indo-Israel agricultural partnership signed between Mashav and mission for integrated development of horticulture of Union Agriculture Ministry.
iv. These centres would develop agricultural practices suitable for that particular geographical region and will share the best practices with local farmers.
Quick Facts about Israel:
♦ Capital – Jerusalem
♦ Currency – Shekel
♦ Current Prime Minister – Benjamin Netanyahu
♦ Important River – Kishon

India and Cuba sign MoU for enhanced cooperation in the health sector
On December 6, 2017, India and Cuba signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for enhanced cooperation in the health sector in New Delhi.
India-Cuba MoU for enhanced cooperation in health sector:
i. This MoU was signed between Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, J P Nadda and Cuba’s Public Health Minister, Dr Roberto Tomas Morales Ojeda.
ii. The MoU seeks cooperation between India and Cuba in the field of health by sharing technical and scientific insights.
iii. The objective of this MoU is to enhance the quality and reach of healthcare infrastructure, education and research in both countries.
iv. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology, in which Cuba has made remarkable progress has also been listed as potential areas of cooperation under this MoU.
Quick Facts about Cuba:
♦ Capital – Havana
♦ Currency – Peso
♦ Current President – Raul Castro
♦ Important River – Cauto, Almendares

Health Ministry and Rotary India sign MoU for concerted efforts towards achieving immunization target
On December 6, 2017, Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Rotary International’s India National PolioPlus signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for concerted efforts towards achieving immunization targetnull i .The MoU was signed in New Delhi in presence of Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, J P Nadda.
ii. As per the terms agreed in the MoU, India National PolioPlus will provide support to Government’s efforts in Polio Eradication Programme and Routine Immunization including Mission Indradhanush and Intensified Mission Indradhanush.
iii. Under the MoU, both the entities will collaborate for social mobilisation of beneficiaries, especially in urban slums and underserved areas.
iv. Awareness will be generated through innovative approaches. Besides, private practitioners and local leaders will also be involved for generating awareness and mobilisation of beneficiaries.

Rajasthan government to start ‘Guru-Shishya’ programme
The Rajasthan government will soon introduce ‘Guru-Shishya’ (student-teacher dialogue) programme to address problems faced by students in various colleges in all districts.
Guru-Shishya:
i. According to Rajasthan Higher Education Minister Kiran Maheshwari, the programme will be held in one nodal college in each district where students selected on merit and elected members of students union would participate. It will soon begin from Jaipur.
ii. Under the Guru Shishya scheme college students can discuss with their teachers the issues and problems related to their institutes.
National Parks in Rajasthan:
♦ Darrah National Park
♦ Desert National Park
♦ Ranthambore National Park
♦ Sariska Tiger Reserve

U.P. becomes first State to endorse Centre’s triple talaq draft bill
On December 6, 2017, Uttar Pradesh became the first state to endorse Central Government’s draft bill that makes the practice of instant “triple talaq” a cognisable and non-bailable criminal offence.Triple Talaq i. In August 2017, Supreme Court of India banned the practice of “triple talaq”, calling it “unconstitutional”. As per Supreme Court, practice of “triple talaq” violates Article 14 (Equality before law) of Indian Constitution.
ii. Central Government’s draft provides for three-year imprisonment and a fine to a man who tries to divorce his wife through triple talaq.
iii. State Governments have been asked by Central Government to submit their respective views on this draft bill by December 10, 2017.
iv. A Government official has stated that 66 cases (maximum reported from Uttar Pradesh) of triple talaq have been reported even after the Supreme Court verdict.
Quick Facts about Uttar Pradesh:
♦ Capital – Lucknow
♦ Current Chief Minister – Yogi Adityanath
♦ Current Governor – Ram Naik
♦ Important National Park – Dudhwa National Park

Modi inaugurates BR Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi
On 7th December 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the BR Ambedkar International Centre in Janpath, New Delhi.
BR Ambedkar International Centre:
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also unveiled two statues of BR Ambedkar at the BR Ambedkar International Centre. The foundation stone for the centre was laid by Prime Minister in 2015.
ii. Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot was also present at the event.
Some of the cricket grounds in New Delhi:
♦ Feroz Shah Kotla Ground
♦ Harbax Singh Stadium
♦ Jamia Millia Islamia University Ground
♦ Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Australia joins International Solar Alliance
On December 6, 2017, Australia joined the International Solar Alliance (ISA).ISAi. This decision was jointly announced by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg and Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop.
ii. Australia which is a world leader in the solar energy sector will now share its expertise in solar technologies and research with other ISA member countries.
iii. In Australia, around 17 per cent households have rooftop solar panels. It has the highest per capita rate in the world.
iv. Decision to join ISA reiterates Australian Government’s commitment to clean energy cooperation and will help in meeting its Paris Agreement emissions targets.
About International Solar Alliance (ISA):
♦ The International Solar Alliance is an alliance of countries which are located completely or partly between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn.
♦ It was jointly launched by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and the then President of France Francois Hollande in November 2015 in Paris, on the side lines of United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21.
♦ Under the ISA, solar rich countries will collaborate to fulfil their objectives and needs pertaining to solar energy by emulating successful practices and setting up common mechanisms and instruments for harnessing solar energy on a huge scale.

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI rationalises MDR to woo small merchants accept cards
On December 6, 2017, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) rationalised merchant discount rate (MDR) in a bid to increase the number of non-cash transactions.
Non-Cash Transactions and MDR:
i. Fee charged to a merchant by a bank for providing debit and credit card payment services is referred to as merchant discount rate (MDR).
ii. In recent times, the growth in non-cash transactions has almost been stagnant. This may partially be due completion of remonetisation exercise. However, higher MDR is also considered as an important factor hampering the growth of non-cash transactions.
iii .Thus, RBI has tweaked MDR in such a way that will encourage merchant establishments to accept card payments. This will eventually increase non-cash transactions.
iv. The MDR has been rationalised on the basis of merchant turnover rather than the existing slab rates based on the transaction value.
v. The increase in non-cash transactions will make investment in cash-less payment infrastructure viable for the banks.

Government ropes in ICICI Bank to enable cashless payments on e-NAM
Central Government has roped in ICICI Bank to enable online payments at 470 mandis integrated with national portal of electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM).e-NAMEnabling Cashless Payments on e-NAM:
i. e-NAM was launched in April 2016 with an aim to revolutionise agri markets by ensuring better price discovery, bringing in transparency and fostering competition to enable farmers to get better remuneration for their produce.
ii. Currently, payments on e-NAM are done through conventional modes via bank branches, debit cards and net banking.
iii .ICICI Bank will enable Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) on the e-NAM portal for making cashless payments.
iv. These modes will provide seamless experience for making online payment of trade and services undertaken on 470 mandis integrated with the e-NAM platform.
v. Government has set a target to connect 585 mandis with e-NAM by March 2018.
Quick Facts about ICICI Bank:
♦ Founded in – 1994
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Current MD & CEO – Chanda Kochhar
♦ Tagline – ‘hum hai na’, ‘khayaal aapka’

IMF approves $44.5 million credit for Madagascar
On 6th December 2017, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it has approved a further $ 44.5 million credit for Madagascar, as part of a drive to support the country’s economic recovery.
IMF approves $44.5 million credit for Madagascar:
i. The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the second review of Madagascar’s program supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF).
ii. The decision was taken without a Board meeting to disburse a further $ 44.5 million. Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest countries, even though it has reserves of nickel, cobalt, gold, uranium and other minerals.
About International Monetary Fund (IMF):
♦ Headquarters – Washington, D.C., United States
♦ Membership – 189 countries
♦ Managing Director – Christine Lagarde

Financial Services Commission, Mauritius opens representative office in Mumbai
On 7th December 2017, the Financial Services Commission, Mauritius said it has opened its representative office in Mumbai.
Financial Services Commission, Mauritius – opens representative office in Mumbai:
i. The Financial Services Commission, is the integrated regulator for the non-bank financial services sector in Mauritius.
ii. The representative of the Commission in India will be P K Kuriachen. He was former Chief General Manager of SEBI. The office of the Commission is currently housed within the Mauritius Consulate in Mumbai.
iii. Through its presence in Mumbai, the Commission is establishing the mechanism to further strengthen and deepen its partnership with its Indian counterparts in the fields of capacity building, financial literacy and exchange of expertise.
About Financial Services Commission (Mauritius):
♦ Purpose – regulation, supervision and inspection of all financial services other than banking and global business in Mauritius
♦ Headquarters – Ebene, Mauritius
♦ Chairman – Rajeshsharma Ramloll

Overseas bank branches can refinance ECBs: RBI
International or overseas branches of Indian banks will now be able to refinance external commercial borrowings (ECB) of AAA-rated private and public sector companies.
Refinancing of ECBs:
i. Announcement in this regard was made after RBI’s fifth bi-monthly monetary policy review on December 6, 2017.
ii. Currently Indian banks are allowed to fund dollar loans but are not allowed to refinance these borrowings abroad. This restriction was placed to avert any risks linked to excess foreign currency exposure.
iii. Owing to these restrictions, companies sought refinance only through foreign lenders. Now, with RBI’s permission, Indian banks can also participate in refinancing and can earn a higher return on their funds abroad.
iv. From borrowers perspective, this decision will improve the liquidity in refinance market and will thus, marginally reduce the cost of borrowing.

World Bank approves $1.15bn development policy loan for Egypt
On December 5, 2017, World Bank Group announced that its executive board has approved a $1.15 billion development policy loan for Egypt to support its economic reform programme.World Banki. The break-up of this $1.15 billion loan is: $500 million from the World Bank Group, $150 million from Britain and $500 million from the African Development Bank.
ii. This loan is the last in a series of three annual loans (issued from 2015-2017) totalling $3.15 billion.
iii. Funds procured through this loan will be deployed for creating jobs, strengthening public finances, ensuring energy security, and enhancing business competitiveness in Egypt.
Quick Facts about Egypt:
♦ Capital – Cairo
♦ Currency – Egyptian Pound
♦ Current President – Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
♦ Important River – Nile

ICICI Bank launches service to open PPF account online
On 7th December 2017, ICICI Bank said it has launched a digital service to allow customers to open a Public Provident Fund (PPF) account online, eliminating the need for furnishing paper documents.
Digital service to open PPF account online:
i. ICICI said it is the first lender in India to introduce a fully digital and paperless procedure for opening a PPF account. The facility will be available 24×7 and on all days.
ii. It will require customers to login to their internet banking or mobile banking and apply for a PPF account. After submission of required details, the customer’s PPF account is created instantly within a few seconds, and their account number will be displayed instantly.
About ICICI Bank:
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ Chairman – Mr. M. K. Sharma
♦ MD & CEO – Mrs. Chanda Kochhar

BUSINESS

Uttarakhand Govt signs MoU with HP to provide tele-medicine facilities
On December 6, 2017, Uttarakhand State Government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with multinational Information Technlogy (IT) company, Hewlett Packard (HP) to provide tele-medicine facilities in the remote areas of the state.
i. This MoU was signed in  presence of Uttarkhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.
ii. Under this MoU, HP will create tele-medicine facilities at four Community Health Centres in Uttarakhand.
iii. Usage of telecommunication and information technology to provide clinical health care from a distance is referred to as tele-medicine.
iv. As Uttarakhand is a hilly state, many areas do not have access to proper healthcare facilities. Tele-medicine facilities which will be set up by HP under this MoU will boost State Government’s efforts in making adequate healthcare facilities more accessible.
Quick Facts about Hewlett-Packard:
♦ Founded in – 1939
♦ Headquarters – California, USA
♦ Businesses – Computer Hardware, Software, Information Technology Services and Consultancy

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

UNESCO recognises India’s Kumbh Mela as an Intangible Cultural Heritage
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has inscribed Kumbh Mela (the mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith) on its Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
i. Kumbh Mela was inscribed in this list at 12th session of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage held in Jeju, South Korea.
ii. Kumbh Mela which is held in Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik has been adjudged by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee as the largest peaceful congregation of pilgrims on earth…………………………………….Click here to Read more

TIME magazine names abuse ‘silence breakers’ as Person of the Year
On 6th December 2017, Time magazine named “The Silence Breakers” who have shared their stories about sexual assault and harassment that triggered a national reckoning in the United States as Person of the Year.TIME MagazinePerson of the year:
i. US President Donald Trump was runner-up in the Person of the year ranking, ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
ii. Time designated as “silence breakers” the individuals, mostly women, who came forward this year to publicly expose patterns of sexual harassment, assault and even rape by some of society’s most powerful public figures.
iii. Those recognized by Time range from famous actresses to ordinary women who shared their stories of abuse using the hashtag #MeToo and its foreign language equivalents.
About TIME Magazine:
♦ Editor-in-Chief – Edward Felsenthal
♦ Country – United States
♦ Category – News magazine

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Tesla builds world’s biggest lithium-ion battery in Australian Outback
The world’s biggest lithium-ion battery has been plugged into an Australian state grid, delivered by Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk.
World’s biggest lithium-ion battery:
i. The lithium-ion battery has the capacity to power 30,000 homes for up to an hour in the event of a severe blackout.
ii. The battery power packs are installed near the Outback town of Jamestown, about 200 kilometers (120 miles) north of the state capital Adelaide.
iii. They store energy generated by the neighboring Hornsdale Wind Farm, owned by French renewable energy company Neoen, to bring added reliability and stability to the state grid.
About Tesla, Inc.:
♦ Founders – Martin Eberhard, Marc Tarpenning, Ian Wright, Elon Musk, JB Straube
♦ Headquarters – Palo Alto, California, US

ENVIRONMENT

World’s heaviest bony fish discovered in Japan
The world’s heaviest bony fish ever caught weighing 2,300 kilograms has been identified by Japanese experts.
World’s heaviest bony fish:
i. The fish is a Mola alexandrini bump-head sunfish, according to researchers from Hiroshima University. Bony fish have skeletons made of bone rather than cartilage.
ii. The study was published in the journal Ichthyological Research. The researchers were led by Etsuro Sawai.
iii. Ocean sunfishes count among the world’s largest bony fish. Specimens can measure up to three meters (total length), and many weighing more than two thousand kilogrammes have been caught.
Some of the aquariums in India:
♦ Bagh-e-Bahu Aquarium – Jammu
♦ Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA) Aquarium – Bhubaneswar
♦ Dr. A. M. Michael Aquarium – Kochi
♦ Jagdishchandra Bose Aquarium – Surat

SPORTS

Sushil Kumar quits as National Sports Observer for wrestling
Double Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar has quit his role as a National Sports Observer for wrestling.Sushil KumarSushil Kumar quits as National Sports Observer for wrestling:
i. Sushil Kumar is a 34-year-old wrestler. He was among 12 national observers appointed by then Sports Minister Vijay Goel. Sushil Kumar is still active in wrestling.
ii. Recently, Mary Kom had also resigned as the national observer for boxing after Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore made it clear that active sportspersons will not be considered for the position.
About Wrestling Federation of India:
♦ President – Brijbhushan Sharan Singh
♦ General Secretary – V.N. Prasood
♦ Location – New Delhi

Mujeeb Zadran becomes first 21st century born male cricketer
Afghanistan cricket team spinner Mujeeb Zadran has become the first 21st century born male cricketer to play international cricket.
Mujeeb Zadran – first 21st century born male cricketer:
i. The first 21st century born to play international cricket is Ireland women’s all-rounder Gaby Lewis. Mujeeb Zadran has become the first 21st century born male cricketer to play international cricket.
ii. Mujeeb Zadran was born on March 28, 2001. He made his ODI debut against the Ireland cricket team at Sharjah on 5th December 2017.
Oldest Test cricket debutants:
♦ James Southerton – 49 years
♦ Miran Bakhsh – 47 years
♦ Don Blackie – 46 years
♦ Bert Ironmonger – 46 years

OBITUARY

Noted music director Adithyan passes away
On 6th December 2017, noted South Indian music director, Adithyan, passed away in Hyderabad following a kidney problem.AdithyanDeath of Adithyan:
i. Adithyan was 63 years old. He was undergoing treatment in Hyderabad for the past one week for his kidney ailment. He is survived by wife and two daughters.
ii .He is known for his songs in movies like Amaran, Seevalaperi Pandi, in the early 90s. He has composed music for many Telugu and Malayalam movies. Adithyan also hosted a culinary show in a popular Tamil TV channel.
Some of the temples of Hyderabad:
♦ Birla Mandir, Jagannath Temple, Ashtalakshmi Temple and Katta Maisamma temple

 

IMPORTANT DAYS

Indian Armed Force Flag Day – December 7
On 7th December 2017, Indian Armed Force Flag Day was celebrated across India.
Indian Armed Force Flag Day:
i. The Indian Armed Forces Flag Day is observed every year on December 7 since 1949 to honour the soldiers, airmen and sailors of India who fought on the borders to safeguard India’s honour.
ii. It is a day dedicated to collection of funds from people for the welfare of the Armed Forces personnel. The Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB), distributes small paper flags, stickers in return of voluntary contributions from people across India.
iii. This year the Ministry of Defence launched the Armed Forces Week to conduct a digital campaign to bring together the entire nation to express solidarity with the Armed Forces personnel.
About Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB):
♦ President – Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
♦ Purpose – formulates policies for Resettlement and Welfare of Ex-Servicemen and their dependents

International Civil Aviation Day – December 7
On 7th December 2017, International Civil Aviation Day was celebrated all over the world.Civil Aviation DayInternational Civil Aviation Day:
i. The purpose of International Civil Aviation Day is to help generate and reinforce worldwide awareness of the importance of international civil aviation to the social and economic development of states.
ii. Also the unique role of ICAO in helping states to cooperate and realize a truly global rapid transit network at the service of all mankind is highlighted.
iii. For 2015-2018 inclusive the following theme has been declared: Working Together to Ensure No Country is Left Behind.
About International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO):
♦ Formation – 1947
♦ Headquarters – Montreal, Quebec, Canada
♦ Secretary General – Fang Liu