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Current Affairs Today December 8 2017

We are here for you to provide the important current affairs December 8 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

Govt sets up panel under Amitabh Kant to address NPAs in the power sector
Central Government has set up a high-level panel to address the problem of Non-performing assets (NPAs) in India’s power sector.
Panel to address NPAs in Power Sector:
i. This panel is headed by NITI Aayog chief executive Amitabh Kant and comprises secretaries in the ministries of power, coal and department of financial services.
ii. According to the second volume of the Economic Survey 2016-17 released in August 2017, NPAs in power generation accounted for around 5.9% of India’s banking sector’s total outstanding advances of Rs. 4.73 trillion.
iii. Besides, weak financial health of the state-owned power distribution companies is hampering the process of signing long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) through competitive bidding.
iv. Addressing the problem of Non-performing assets (NPAs) in India’s power sector and arriving at a viable solution will provide respite to Indian banks that have been weighed down due to such bad loans.

President inaugurates naval maritime aircraft museum in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
On December 7, 2017, President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the Naval Maritime Aircraft Museum in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. Andhra Pradesh Governor, ESL Narasimhan, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N Chandrababu Naidu, Indian Navy Chief, Admiral Sunil Lanba and Union Civil Aviation Minister, P Ashok Gajapati Raju were also present at the occasion.Aircraft MuseumInformation about Naval Maritime Aircraft Museum, Visakhapatnam:
i. This museum features the maritime patrol aircraft Tupolev-142M.
ii. Tupolev-142M is the reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft which served the Indian Navy for almost three decades. It was decommissioned in March 2017.
iii .Tupolive-142M, the Soviet era aircraft, had an accident-free record and served in various operations including the Kargil war .
iv. Andhra Pradesh State government has spent Rs 10 crore over four months for the museum project. The museum will now be looked after by Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority. 

NCM sets up committee for granting Minority status for Hindus
National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has formed a three-member internal committee to look into a petition for granting minority status to Hindus in eight states where they are not the dominant religious group.
NCM Committee to look into Minority Status for Hindus:
i. This committee is led by NCM vice-chairman George Kurien.
ii. The committee has been formed in response to a petition filed by BJP activist Aswini Upadhyay. In the petition, Aswini Upadhyay has mentioned that according to 2011 Census, Hindus are a minority in eight states/union territory – Jammu & Kashmir, Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab and Meghalaya.
iii. The petitioner has sought minority status for Hindus in these states as they are being deprived of their minority rights.
iv. The committee will look into all aspects related to this matter by interacting with lawyers and stakeholders. It has been asked to submit a report on the same in three months.

First SAICON 2017 inaugurated in New Delhi
1st SAICON 2017, an International Conference on Sports Medicine & Sports Sciences is being held in New Delhi from 7th – 9th December 2017.SAICON 2017Highlight of SAICON 2017:
i. The conference was inaugurated by Union Sports Minister, Colonel Rajyavardhan Rathore.
ii. Eminent Olympians, Gurbax Singh , Leander Paes, K. Malleshwari and Yogeshwar Dutt were also present at the inaugural function.
iii. SAICON 2017 has been organised by Sports Authority of India (SAI).
iv. The theme of the  conference is ‘Scoring Goals in Sports with Science and Technology’.
v. Objective of this conference is to inspire students, educationists and researchers to take up sports science and research to the next level.
vi. This 3-day event will be attended by 1000 national and international delegates.

Goa unveils solar power policy
On December 6, 2017, Goa State Cabinet approved Solar Power Policy, under which the State Government has laid out plans to generate 150 MW of solar power by 2021.
Salient Features of Goa’s Solar Power Policy:
i. The Solar Power Policy was approved during meeting of Goa State Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar.
ii. The policy will come into force by the end of financial year 2017-18.
iii. Under the Solar Power Policy, State Government has made a provision to provide 50 per cent of the project costs as interest-free loans to the units.
iv. Even the residential societies, which can generate less than 100 KV power would be compensated by the government s as per the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission rates.
v. Goa’s Solar Power Policy also encourages power generation by individuals, who own land, by setting up the solar power generation unit.
Quick Facts about Goa:
♦ Capital – Panaji
♦ Current Chief Minister – Manohar Parrikar
♦ Current Governor – Mridula Sinha
♦ Important River – Mondovi

Kacheguda becomes India’s ‘first’ energy-efficient railway station
Kacheguda Railway Station in Hyderabad has become the first energy-efficient ‘A1 Category’ railway station in India.KachegudaAbout Kacheguda Railway Station:
i. Kacheguda Railway Station falls under the Hyderabad division of the South Central Railway (SCR).
ii. The station attained the 100 percent energy-efficient status by replacing 1312 conventional lights with light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, 12 air conditioners (ACs) with energy efficient inverter type ACs and 370 ceiling fans with Brushless DC Electrical (BLDC) motors energy-efficient fans.
iii. On account of these changes, Kacheguda Railway Station will save about 1.76 lakh units and Rs. 14.08 lakh annually.
iv. Kacheguda is not just a historic and the most beautiful railway station building of SCR but also one of the landmarks of Hyderabad city.

NGT forms panel under Swatanter Kumar to inspect over hotels in Kullu Manali
On 7th December 2017, the National Green Tribunal set up a committee to inspect over 1700 hotels, lodges and home stay accommodations in Kullu and Manali towns of Himachal Pradesh.
Committee to inspect hotels in Kullu and Manali:
i.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar formed the committee comprising senior officers from state tourism department and Himachal state pollution control board, scientists from the Shimla-based Institute of Himalayan Studies, the SDM of Kullu and Manali and a representative from excise department.
ii. The committee will conduct joint inspection and submit a report relating to source of water, management of solid waste, sewage treatment plant, source of power and generation of effluents.
iii. The committee will submit the report to the Himachal Pradesh government along with the recommendations for protection of environment and ensure that the area is not exposed to natural disasters like earthquakes.
About Institute of Integrated Himalayan Studies:
♦ President – Prof. Arun Diwaker Nath Bajpai
♦ Director – Prof. Arivind Kumar Bhatt
♦ Location – Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India to achieve ‘electricity for all’ by early 2020s: IEA
According to the World Energy Access report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), electrification rate in India has almost doubled since 2000.
Highlights of World Energy Access Report:
i. On account of this phenomenal growth, India is poised to achieve ‘electricity for all’ target in the early 2020s.
ii. Since 2012, more than 100 million people per year have gained electricity access. This marks an improvement from the rate of 62 million people per year recorded between 2000 and 2012.
iii. As per the report, about 75% of the new electricity access since 2000 are fuelled by coal,  while renewable sources contribute around 20%.
iv. The report outlined that, percentage of population depending primarily on biomass for cooking fell to 59% in 2015 as compared to 66% in 2011.
Quick Facts about International Energy Agency (IEA):
♦ Established in – 1974
♦ Secretariat – Paris, France

UNESCO released Global Education Monitoring Report 2017-18
Global Education Monitoring Report 2017-18 supported by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), released on December 4, 2017, expresses concern over school textbooks in many countries glorifying war and military heroes rather than teaching peace and non-violence.Global Education ReportHighlights of Global Education Monitoring Report 2017-18:
i. As per the report, just 10% of the textbooks across the world explicitly teach the need for conflict prevention and resolution.
ii. The report has cited examples of textbooks in Pakistan that focus on militarism, wars with India and propagate differences between Hindus and Muslims.
iii. Global Education Monitoring Report highlights the role of accountability in education systems across the world, regarding achievement of the vision of UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4: ensuring inclusive, equitable and good-quality education and lifelong learning for all.
iv. This report is an independent annual publication funded by a group of governments, private foundations and multilateral entities. Publication of this report is facilitated and supported by UNESCO.

Australia legalises same-sex marriage
On December 7, 2017, Australian Parliament voted in favour to legalise same-sex marriage.
i. The House of Representatives approved the bill to legalise same-sex marriage with just four members voting against the bill.
ii. Earlier, a national referendum on this matter had garnered strong public support.iii. Since 2004, there had been 22 unsuccessful attempts in Australian Parliament to legalize same-sex marriage.
iv. Austrlia has thus become 24th country in the world to allow same-sex couples to marry.
Quick Facts about Australia:
♦ Capital – Canberra
♦ Currency – Australian dollar
♦ Current Prime Minister – Malcolm Turnbull
♦ Important Rivers – Murray, Darling

US approves Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
On 6th December 2017, US President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Jerusalem as Israel’s capital:
i. President Donald Trump has announced that the US now recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, overturning decades of official US policy.
ii. Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem has never been recognised internationally, and until now all countries have maintained their embassies in Tel Aviv.
iii. Eight of the 15 nations who are currently members of the United Nations Security Council have called for the body to hold an urgent meeting on the US decision by the end of the week.
About United Nations Security Council:
♦ Purpose – maintenance of international peace and security
♦ Council President – Koro Bessho
♦ Formation – 1945

BANKING & FINANCE

India’s GDP growth to rise to 7.5 pc in 2018: Morgan Stanley
According to global financial services major, Morgan Stanley, India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is likely to grow from 6.4 per cent in 2017 to 7.5 per cent in 2018 and further to 7.7 per cent in 2019.GDP GrowthIndia’s GDP Growth Forecast: Morgan Stanley:
i. Morgan Stanley has outlined several factors that would accelerate India’s GDP growth in coming years. These include improvement in corporate return expectations and balance sheet fundamentals.
ii. As per the report, demand conditions have improved post demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation, which has brightened the prospects for a recovery in private capital spending.
iii. Corporate revenues are expected to improve as consumption cycle has been restored and exports are also picking up.
iv. The report has highlighted that plan to recapitalise the public sector banks would remove the potential risk of crisis in banking system. This would further open up the headroom for growth, and will boost investors’ sentiment.
Quick Facts about Morgan Stanley:
♦ Founded in – 1935
♦ Headquarters – New York, United States

IMF approves $44.5 million credit for Madagascar
International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced that it has approved $44.5 million credit to support Madagascar’s economic recovery.
i. This credit facility extended to Madagascar by IMF is in addition to $86 million credit that was approved in June 2017.
ii. It is to be noted that IMF and other international financial organisations had stopped giving support to Madagascar after a coup in 2009. However, after a peaceful presidential vote in late 2013, IMF resumed its support.
iii. In early 2017, Madagascar was affected by a drought and cyclone. Despite of these adversities, Madagascar’s economy recovered gradually and is managing to exhibit signs of solid growth.
iv.Madagascar’s finance ministry has projected that country’s economy will grow by 5.1 percent in 2018.
v. Madagascar, an island nation off the southeast coast of Africa, is one of the world’s poorest countries, despite of having rich reserves of nickel, gold, cobalt, uranium and other minerals.
Quick Facts about Madagascar:
♦ Capital – Antananarivo
♦ Currency – Malagasy ariary
♦ Current President – Hery Rajaonarimampianina
♦ Important Rivers – Mangoky, Betsiboka

BUSINESS

Wassenaar Arrangement admits India as its 42nd Member
On December 7, 2017, Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies admitted India as its 42nd member.
i. India has been admitted to WA, despite of not being a signatory to NPT. However, in the beginning of 2017, India had updated its export control lists to align it with international standards.
ii. Besides, Russia played an important role in facilitating India’s entry in the WA……………………………………………………..Click here to Read more

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Cristiano Ronaldo wins fifth Ballon d’Or Award
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo has been awarded the Ballon d’Or for world player of the year for the fifth time to equal Lionel Messi’s achievement.Cristiano RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo wins Ballon d’Or Award:
i. The award was handed out by magazine France Football, for the second consecutive year. Ronaldo collected the trophy in a ceremony at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, presented by former France player David Ginola on 7th December 2017.
ii. Lionel Messi came second while Paris’ Neymar Jr, came third, Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon finished fourth and Luka Modric came fifth.
iii. Chelsea and France midfielder N’Golo Kante was the highest ranked Premier League player, coming eighth. Harry Kane, ranked 10th, was the only English player to make it into the top 10.
About Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) award:
♦ Annual football award
♦ Awarded since – 1956
♦ Presented by – France Football

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Maharashtra MP Nana Patole resigns from Lok Sabha over farmers’ issue
On 8th December 2017, Maharashtra BJP MP Nana Patole said he has resigned from BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and the Lok Sabha.
Resignation of MP Nana Patole:
i .Nana Patole had been openly criticising the state and Central governments lead by Devendra Fadnavis and Narendra Modi. He had joined the BJP by quitting Congress after 2009 Lok Sabha election.
ii .In a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, he cited 14 issues related to agriculture, the economy and unemployment as the reasons for his resignation.
iii. He alleged that he had time and again raised certain issues with the prime minister, but they were ignored.
Some of the temples in Maharashtra:
♦ Ekvira Aai Mandir – Pune
♦ Aundha Nagnath Temple – Hingoli
♦ Bhadra Maruti Temple – Aurangabad
♦ Durga Devi Temple – Ratnagiri

Sarvesh Kumar Tiwari appointed President of Para-Sports Foundation (PSF)
Renowned communication expert, Sarvesh Kumar Tiwari, has been appointed President of Para-Sports Foundation (PSF), India.Para Sport FoundationSarvesh Kumar Tiwari – President of Para-Sports Foundation (PSF):
i. The announcement was made at the National Award for Divyangjan 2017 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, on 3rd December 2017.
ii. As a President, Sarvesh Tiwari would be leading the Para Sports Foundation from the front with forthcoming initiatives such as Asian T-20 Wheelchair Cricket Tournament.
iii .Sarvesh Tiwari is a well-known philanthropist. He is a communication expert, and also runs an integrated communication consultancy firm, PR Professionals headquartered in Gurgaon.
About Para-Sports Foundation (PSF):
♦ Non-profit organization working towards the social welfare of persons with disabilities
♦ Founder – Pradeep Raj

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Giriraj Singh launches Public Procurement Portal for MSEs – MSME Sambandh
On 8th December 2017, a Public Procurement Portal ‘MSME Sambandh’ (http://msefc.msme.gov.in) was launched by Giriraj Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for MSME (Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises).
MSME Sambandh:
i .Giriraj Singh highlighted the fact that this portal would enable the ease of doing business and ‘Make in India’ initiatives of the Government of India.
ii .The Procurement Policy launched in 2012 mandates the Central Government Departments / CPSUs to procure necessarily from MSEs.
iii. By creating an online portal, the Ministries and the CPSEs (Central Public Sector Enterprises) can assess their performance.
About National Small Industries Corporation:
♦ Founded – 1955
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Industry – Manufacturing, Marketing, Finance, Technology, etc

Goa CM to unveil India’s ‘first’ mobile food testing lab
India’s ‘first’ mobile food testing laboratory, which will enable on-the-spot food safety tests to be conducted in Goa, would be launched by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on 10th December 2017.
India’s first mobile food testing lab:
i. This is the first ever ‘Food Safety on Wheel’ mobile laboratory in India. The vehicle is equipped to conduct on-the-spot tests to check the food quality.
ii. It will also check the hygiene level of water. The results can be received within 15 minutes.
iii. The mobile laboratory costs Rs 45 lakhs. It has been fully funded by the Central Government. The vehicle would also be used to conduct surprise checks by the FDA for scheduled tests.
About FDA (Food and Drug Administration):
♦ Formed – 1906
♦ Headquarters – Maryland, US
♦ Commissioner of Food and Drugs – Scott Gottlieb

ENVIRONMENT

New species of extinct lion discovered in Australia
Australian scientists have discovered a new species of marsupial lion which has been extinct for at least 19 million years.LionWakaleo schouteni:
i. The animal, named Wakaleo schouteni, was a predator about the size of a border collie dog. It stalked Australia’s abundant rainforests 18 to 26 million years ago.
ii. Fossils of the unique species were found in remote northwestern Queensland. The details of the discovery have been published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.
iii. The fossils were found by University of New South Wales (UNSW) scientists in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area of remote north-western Queensland.
Some of the Wildlife sanctuaries of India:
♦ Spike Island Wildlife Sanctuary – Andaman and Nicobar Islands
♦ Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary – Andhra Pradesh
♦ Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary – Assam
♦ Udaypur Wildlife Sanctuary – Bihar

Alappuzha among 5 global cities in UN list to successfully manage solid waste
Alappuzha, a coastal city of Kerala, has been listed in a United Nations (UN) report of 5 global cities that have successfully tackled solid waste management.
Alappuzha – among 5 global cities to successfully tackle solid waste management:
i. The UN Environment report lists Alappuzha, also called Aleppey, along with cities like Osaka in Japan, Ljubljana in Slovenia, Penang in Malaysia and Cajica in Colombia.
ii. The report has called the town’s municipality “progressive”. A few years ago, roadsides and canals filled with stinking garbage were threatening Alappuzha’s status as a tourist destination.
iv. After that, the municipality had set up a de-centralised waste management system to separate biodegradable waste at the ward level.
Some of the dams of Kerala:
♦ Malampuzha Dam – Bharathapuzha River
♦ Parambikulam Dam – Chalakkudy River
♦ Peringalkuthu Dam – Chalakkudy River

SPORTS

Lifter Gurdeep Singh creates three national records in IWF Championships 2017
Gurdeep Singh created three new senior national records in +105kg weight category in the IWF (International Weightlifting Federation) World Weightlifting Championships 2017 at Anaheim in USA.
Gurdeep creates three national records:
i. Gurdeep Singh finished 13th overall with a total lift of 388kg (172 + 216) but created national records in snatch, clean and jerk, and the total lift.
ii. In snatch, he bettered his own earlier national record of 171kg by one kilogramme. In clean and jerk, he broke the earlier national record of 215kg which was in the name of Sarabjit Singh by clearing 216kg.
iii. In the total lift also, he bettered the earlier national record of 384kg which was in the name of Sarabjit Singh with an effort of 388kg.
IWF World Weightlifting Championships 2017:
♦ Dates – 28 November – 5 December 2017
♦ Host city – Anaheim, United States
♦ Nations participating – 68

FIFA lifts ban on Kuwaiti football
FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced here that a two-year ban imposed on Kuwait’s football federation has officially been lifted.
Ban on Kuwaiti football lifted:
i .FIFA banned Kuwait’s national football federation in 2015 over alleged government interference in the running of the country’s football governing body.
ii. The lifting of the suspension came after the Kuwaiti parliament agreed recently to amend sports laws in a bid to end the suspension of the country’s sports teams from international competitions by FIFA and the International Olympic Committee.
About FIFA (International Federation of Association Football):
♦ Headquarters – Zurich, Switzerland
♦ Membership – 211 national associations
♦ Secretary General – Fatma Samoura

Nagpur’s Kanchanmala becomes first Indian to win gold at World Para Swimming Championship
Nagpur’s visually challenged swimmer Kanchanmala Pande became the first Indian to win the gold medal in the World Para Swimming Championship.KanchanmalaKanchanmala – gold medal at World Para Swimming Championship 2017:
i. Kanchanmala participated in World Para Swimming Championship 2017 and secured the top spot in 200 meters medley event in S-11 category.
ii. Kanchanmala, works with Reserve Bank of India (RBI). She was the only Indian swimmer to qualify in the women’s category.
iii. Kanchanmala hails from Amravati. She is a regular swimmer of Aqua Sports Club, Nagpur.
About World Para Swimming Championship 2017:
♦ Dates – 2–7 December 2017
♦ Venue – Mexico City
♦ Organised by – International Paralympic Committee (IPC)

46th International Hockey Federation Congress held in New Delhi
The 46th Congress of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) will be held in New Delhi from October 30 to November 3, 2018.
46th International Hockey Federation Congress:
i. The biennial event will run for four days. It will comprise meetings, social events, networking opportunities and presentations.
ii. The Congress will also chart out the future roadmap of the game, including the ongoing Hockey Revolution, FIH’s 10-year strategy to drive hockey’s status as a global sport.
iii. Former Hockey India chief Narinder Batra was elected as the first non-European FIH President in 2016.
About International Hockey Federation (FIH):
♦ Formation – 1924
♦ Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland
♦ Membership – 125 national associations
♦ President – Narinder Batra