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Friday, December 11, 2015

Current Affairs Update – 11th December, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 11th December, 2015. These are important for the upcoming IBPS Clerk Mains and Insurance Exams.

Finance –

Union Government slashed Minimum Export Price of onions to 400 dollar per tonne

  • Union Government on 10 December 2015 slashed the Minimum Export Price (MEP) of onions to 400 US dollars per tonne from 700 dollars a tonne. The decision to slash the MEP on Onions was taken at a meeting chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
  • MEP is the rate below which no traders are allowed to export their goods. The rise in MEP restricts exports and improves domestic supply.
  • Earlier on 23 August 2015, the MEP on onions were hiked to 700 dollars per tonne, as prices at both wholesale and retail levels were skyrocketing on lower output due to unseasonal rainfall. 
  • However, earlier in first week of December 2015, Maharashtra government asked the Union Government to slash the MEP for onions to help boost overseas shipments after its wholesale prices went down to the 10 rupees per kg level.

Tata JLR will build 1 bn pound factory in Slovakia

  • Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover will set up a one-billion pound premium manufacturing plant in Slovakia to make all-new aluminium vehicles as part of its commitment to deliver lightweight cars, the company said on Friday.
  • The UK-based luxury car maker clinched an agreement with the government of the Slovak Republic to build a new plant in the city of Nitra, western Slovakia. The new world-class 1-billion pound worth premium manufacturing facility is expected to employ around 2,800 people over time.
  • It is anticipated that the first cars will come off the production line in late 2018.
  • The factory will have an initial capacity of 150,000 vehicles and construction will commence in 2016.

List/Indexes –

India Ranks 135 on Women Empowerment Index of UN: Govt

  • India ranks 135 among 147 nations on women empowerment as per United Nation's Human Development Index, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said today.
  • "According to the Human Development Index as reported in the Human Development Report 2014 published by United Nation Development Programme, India ranks 135 out of 147 countries," Gandhi said in a reply to Lok Sabha.
  • The report titled 'Women and Men in India-2015' by Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation highlights the status of women covering health, education, work and decision making along with social obstacles in women empowerment.
  • She also said over 80 per cent women in India do not receive full ante-natal care during pregnancy, while replying to another question.
  • "As per the Rapid Survey of Children Report 2013-14, full Ante-Natal Care (receipt of 3+ ANC, at least one dose of TT and consumption of 100 Iron Folic Acid Tablets/syrup) has been received by 19.7 per cent of pregnant women," she said.

Shah Rukh Khan Unseats Salman As India's Top-Earning Celebrity

  • Shah Rukh Khan has regained his position as India's top-earning celebrity with estimated earnings of Rs 257.5 crore this year, pushing Salman Khan to the second position in the latest Forbes list.
  • Shah Rukh had lost his top rank to 'friend and archrival' Salman last year and had slipped to the third position, Forbes said in its annual India Celebrity List for 2015 today.
  • Incidentally, the list comes a day after Salman Khan was acquitted by Bombay High Court in a nearly 13-year-old hit and run case.
  • Salman's estimated earnings, as per the latest list, stands at Rs 202.75 crore -- more than Rs 50 crore less than that of Shah Rukh Khan. Amitabh Bachchan is at third position, down from his second position last year.
  • Forbes said the total wealth of top 100 celebrities stood at Rs 2,819 crore, while cinema and cricket dominate the top-ten positions.
  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been ranked fourth and is followed by Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar, Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Deepika Padukone and Hrithik Roshan in top-ten.

India –

India Health Report: Nutrition 2015 released

  • Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda on 10 December 2015 released the India Health Report: Nutrition 2015.
  • The report by Transform Nutrition consortium offers a critical analysis of the current situation with nutrition at the national and state levels in India.

Highlights of the India Health Report: Nutrition 2015
  • It provides easy-to-understand, state-wise data dashboards for 28 states and Delhi that give a comprehensive view of nutrition and its determinants.
  • It looks at disparities in these outcomes and their multiple determinants across geographical regions, socio-economic classes, and demographic groups and helps identify strategic choices for policy-making at the state level.

O.P. Jindal University signs MoU with London university

  • Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate collaboration between emerging research universities in South Asia for teaching, academic and research activities.
  • The MoU was signed on Decemebnr 9th at the start of a three-day British ministerial visit led by Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Sajid Javid and Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, to promote cooperation in education, skills and research.
  • QMUL's Vice Principal David Sadler and O.P. Jindal University's Vice Chancellor C. Raj Kumar signed the MoU, under which QMUL expresses support for the International Institute for Higher Education Research and Capacity Building (IIHEd), O.P. Jindal Global University, in its endeavour to create the Association of Emergent South Asian Research Universities (AESARU).
  • The AESARU is perceived as a network of universities that are relatively newly-established, aspire to a significant research ambition in their institutional mission, aim to contribute to economic and social progress and are genuinely not-for-profit in their operating model.

Awards & Honors –
Naseeruddin Shah honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award at Dubai International Film Festival

  • Veteran Indian actor Naseerudin Shah on 9 December 2015 was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 12th edition of Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) in Dubai.
  • Besides, Egyptian actor Ezzat Al Alayli, award-winning French-Tunisian actor Sami Bouajila and French actress Catherine Deneuve were also honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the festival.

Salman Rushdie receives Mailer Prize for lifetime achievement

  • Salman Rushdie is this year’s recipient of the Mailer Prize for lifetime achievement.
  • The author of Midnight’s Children, The Satanic Verses and other novels was presented his award by Laurie Anderson at a ceremony on Thursday night at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, the New York City borough where Norman Mailer was raised and lived off and on until his death in 2007.
  • Mr. Rushdie, like Mailer, is a former president of the American chapter of PEN, the literary and human rights organization. He said Mailer had inspired him to help found the PEN World Voices Festival, an annual gathering of writers from around the world.

JNU Confers Honorary Doctorate on Japanese PM Shinzo Abe

  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was today conferred with an honorary doctorate in International Relations by Jawaharlal Nehru University here for Japan's role in India's economic development.
  • The Japanese prime minister is on a three-day visit to India during which he will hold annual summit talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.
  • Upon receiving the doctorate degree, which was conferred on him by JNU Vice Chancellor Sudhir Kumar Sopory, Abe expressed hope that his meeting tomorrow with Modi will further elevate Indo-Japan ties.
  • JNU has Japanese Studies Programme at research, postgraduate and undergraduate level in the School of International Studies and School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies.

Books & Authors –

Sharad Pawar’s autobiography On My Terms released

  • On My Terms: From the Grassroots to the Corridors of Power, an autobiography of Sharad Pawar was released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 10 December 2015.
  • The book was released on the 75th birthday of Pawar, the Maratha strongman and the leader of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
  • In this book, Pawar has detailed his experiences of political and social issues spanning 50 years. He, in his book, has provided a detailed account of the reason which helped in creation of rough patches in his relation with Rajiv Gandhi. He tells that his proximity with Chandra Shekhar brought rough patches to his ties with Rajiv.

World –

Myanmar inaugurated Yangon Stock Exchange

  • Myanmar on 9 December 2015 inaugurated a new stock exchange, named Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX), with plans for six companies to start trading in March 2016.

The six companies that will start the business by March 2016 are:
  1. First Myanmar Investment Company
  2. First Private Bank Limited
  3. Great Hor Kham Public
  4. Myanmar Agribusiness Public Corporation
  5. Myanmar Citizens Bank
  6. Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings Public

Initially, the Yangon Stock Exchange will be open only to Myanmar companies and investors and will eventually allow foreigners to invest in Myanmar shares.

UN agencies launched $1.98 billion Sahel humanitarian appeal for 2016

  • The United Nations agencies and partners on 9 December 2015 launched the Sahel humanitarian appeal for 2016. The purpose of the initiative is to mobilise international support to tackle triple crisis of poverty, insecurity and climate change that plagues the Sahel region in Africa.
  • Highlights of Sahel humanitarian appeal for 2016
  • It includes a regional plan that calls for 1.98 billion US dollars to provide vital assistance to millions of people in nine countries across the region.
  • It will focus on tackling dire effects of climate change, abject poverty, fast population growth and a tormenting rise in violence and insecurity in Africa’s Sahel region.

Appointments –

Mauricio Macri Blanco sworn in as President of Argentina

  • Mauricio Macri Blanco was on 10 December 2015 sworn in as the President of Argentina. He succeeded Cristina Elisabet Fernandez de Kirchner who was in the office for two terms between 2007 and 2015.
  • Mauricio Macri is the leader of the centre-right Cambiemos (Let's Change) coalition. He secured 51.5 percent of votes in the elections held in November 2015.
  • He defeated Centre-left Peronist candidate Daniel Scioli who secured 48.5 percent votes.           

ABB India appoints Sanjeev Sharma as MD

  • Power and automation company ABB India Ltd said it has appointed Sanjeev Sharma as its managing director effective January.
  • He replaces Bazmi Husain, who ABB said in September will take over as the global chief technology officer for ABB Group. Husain was leading ABB India as its managing director since 2011.
  • Sharma, who joined ABB in 1990, was the global managing director for ABB's low voltage systems business unit based out of Malaysia prior to the new post, a statement said. He started his career working for ABB in India and has also lived and worked in Germany and Switzerland.


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