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Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Current Affairs Update – 1st December, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 1st December, 2015. These are important for the upcoming IBPS Clerk Exam and Insurance Exams.

Finance/Economy –

RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 6.75%

  • RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan today kept the key policy rate unchanged but affirmed the Central Bank’s commitment to ease it as and when room is available, saying inflation is likely to perform better than expected.
  • Accordingly, the repo rate at which the Reserve Bank lends to the system will continue at 6.75 per cent. The cash reserve ratio (CRR) or the amount of deposits banks park with RBI has also been unchanged at 4 per cent. The status quo was widely expected.
  • RBI, which is set to achieve its target of getting inflation down at 6 per cent by January and is aiming to reduce the number further to 5 per cent by March 2017, will monitor developments on the commodity prices, including food and oil and external developments in its future policy formulations, Mr. Rajan said.
  • Though the RBI Governor noted that second-quarter GDP numbers indicate early signs of recovery, he chose to stick to the earlier projection of 7.4 per cent for the fiscal with a marginal downward bias.
  • Rajan also expressed anguish at the banks’ reluctance to pass on the benefits of the earlier rate cut actions to the borrowers, saying the median decrease in the base rates over the course of the year has only been 0.60 per cent as against the RBI’s 1.25 per cent cut in the repo rate since January.

IMF approved China's Yuan as Elite Reserve Currency

  • International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 30 November 2015 included China's Yuan into its elite reserve currency basket. Yuan's entry into the basket takes effect from 1 October 2016.
  • Yuan also known as the Chinese Renminbi (RMB) was included in the basket after it met the existing criteria for its inclusion. The action was taken after the executive board at IMF completed the regular five-yearly review of the basket of currencies that make up the Special Drawing Right (SDR).
  • Yuan will be a freely usable currency and will be included in the SDR basket as a fifth currency, along with the US Dollar, Euro, Japanese Yen and British Pound.
  • Launching the new SDR basket on 1 October 2016 will provide sufficient lead time for the Fund, its members and other SDR users to adjust to these changes.

India –

Union Government launched IPV injection as part of Global Polio Endgame Strategy

  • The Union Government on 30 November 2015 launched the injectable Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) as part of its commitment to the Global Polio Endgame Strategy.
  • The IPV injection was launched in New Delhi by Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda. It is part of next step in India's universal immunization programme to fight against polio in the country.

Main highlights of the Initiative
  • The first phase this vaccine will be introduced in six states, viz Assam, Gujarat, Punjab, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • IPV injection will be given to children below one year of age along with the third dose of the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) at the routine immunization sessions free of cost.
  • New evidences now clearly show that IPV and OPV together will further strengthen the children’s immune system and will provide double protection against polio.

India, France launched International Solar Alliance

  • India and France on 30 November 2015 launched the International Solar Alliance in Paris. The alliance was launched jointly by PM Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande during the United Nations climate change conference (COP21).
  • The alliance also invited all countries located fully or partly between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn to join the group. It will function from the National Institute of Solar Energy in India, Gurgaon.

Highlights of the alliance
  • It aims to bring 121 tropical countries together to tap solar energy.
  • The Alliance will enable solar-rich developing countries to make the best use of an abundant, free natural resource.
  • It seeks to share collective ambitions to reduce the cost of finance and technology that is needed to deploy solar power widely.
  • It would adapt the generation and storage technologies to the individual countries’ needs.

Awards & Honors –

Hinduja Brothers received lifetime achievement award at Asian Business Leadership Forum 2015

  • Hinduja Brothers on 29 November 2015 were honoured with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Asian Business Leadership Forum (ABLF) Series in Dubai.
  • The prestigious award recognizes the most powerful and influential business leaders.
  • ABLF Series' Royal Patron and the UAE's Minister of Culture Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan presented the award to Gopichand P Hinduja, Co-Chairman, Hinduja Group of Companies, The Hinduja Group, UK.

Robert Lewandowski awarded with four Guinness World Record certificates for scoring five goals in nine minutes

  • Polish professional footballer Robert Lewandowski’s nine-minute, five-goal haul for German Football Club Bayern Munich against Wolfsburg was officially recognised on 30 November 2015 by Guinness World Record.
  • Lewandowski was presented with four separate official Guinness World Records certificates for his goal scoring spree during a special press conference which took place at Bayern Munich’s ground.

The record
  • On 22 September 2015, the Polish star scored five goals during the league encounter with Wolfsburg in nine minutes, the fastest in any major European football league since records have been kept.
  • He broke a series of records including Fastest Bundesliga hat-trick (3 minutes 22 seconds), Fastest Four Goals in a Bundesliga Match (5 minutes 42 seconds), Fastest Five Goals Scored in a Bundesliga Match (8 minutes 59 seconds), Most Goals Scored by a Substitute in a Bundesliga Match (5 goals).

Embrace of the Serpent bagged Golden Peacock Award for Best Film at IFFI 2015

  • Internationally co-produced adventure drama film Embrace of the Serpent on 30 November 2015 was awarded with the Golden Peacock Award for the Best Film at the 46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa.
  • The Best Film Award comprises the Golden Peacock and a citation with prize money of 40 lakhs rupees to be shared between the Director and the Producer of the movie.
  • The film is produced by Christina Gallego and directed by Ciro Guerra.

IFFI Winners 2015
  • The Best Director award went to Peter Greenaway for the film Eisenstein in Guanajuato.
  • The Best Actor (Male) went to Vincent Lindon for his portrayal of a laid off factory worker Thierry Taogourdeau in the film The Measure of a Man.
  • The Best Actor (Female) award was shared by Gunes Sensoy, Doga Doguslu, Tugba Sunguroglu, Elit Iscan and Ilyada Akdogan for portrayal of role of five young orphaned sisters in the Turkish fim Mustang.
  • The Special Jury Award went to the Spanish film Sealed Cargo directed by Julia Vargas. 
  • The ICFT – UNESCO Fellini Medal was awarded to Kaushik Ganguly’s Cinemawala that focuses on the sad state of single screen cinema halls in West Bengal.

Days –

World AIDS Day observed across the world

  • The World AIDS Day was on 1 December 2015 observed across the world with the theme Getting to zero, End AIDS by 2030. However, the federal theme for the World AIDS Day 2015 was The time to act is now.
  • Both themes comply with fast-track strategy of UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, to end the Aids epidemic by 2030. The strategy is aimed at averting 21 million Aids-related deaths, 28 million new HIV infections and 5.9 million new infections among children by 2030.

World –

UN chief launched Anticipate, Absorb, Reshape Initiative to build climate resilience

  • The United Nations (UN) Chief Ban Ki-moon along with the agencies of the UN system on 30 November 2015 launched initiative titled Anticipate, Absorb, Reshape to build climate resilience in the world’s most vulnerable countries.
  • The initiative was launched during the United Nations climate change conference (COP21) in Paris. The initiative was launched in the wake of economic losses that have increased by more than half over the past decade. Ecosystems, and food and water supplies are under increasing pressure.

Lists & Indexes –

ITU released Measuring the Information Society Report 2015

  • The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on 30 November 2015 released the Measuring the Information Society Report 2015. It was launched on the first day of the World
  • Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Symposium (WTIS) 2015 in Hiroshima, Japan.
  • The report, through ICT Development Index (IDI), captures the level of ICT developments in 167 economies worldwide and compares progress made since the year 2010.
  • As per the report, India ranked 131 out of 167 nations surveyed in terms of information and communication technology development.

Key findings of the report
  • Top 5 countries with higher ICT development are South Korea (1), Denmark (2), Iceland (3), the UK (4) and Sweden (5).
  • Bottom 5 countries are Malawi (163), Madagascar (164), Ethiopia (165), Eritrea (166) and Chad (167).

Report with respect to India
  • Compared to its 125th rank in 2010, India was placed at the 131st position in the overall ranking with 2.69 IDI score.
  • In terms of IDI access and IDI use categories India was placed at the 135th position.

However, in terms of IDI skills India was placed at the 120 position.

Appointments –

Roch Marc Christian Kabore elected president of Burkina Faso

  • Roch Marc Christian Kabore on 30 November 2015 was elected as the President of the West African country Burkina Faso.
  • Kabore won the vote in the first round with 53.49 percent of ballots, which was enough to secure a first round victory.
  • Zephirin Diabre came in the second place with 29.6 percent of the vote, and Tahirou Barry stood third with just three percent of the votes.


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