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Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Current Affairs Update – 2nd December, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 2nd December, 2015. These are Important for the upcoming IBPS Clerk and Insurance Exams.


Finance/Banking/Economy –

Axis Bank launches country's first 'display variant' debit card


  • Country's third largest private sector lender Axis Bank today said it has launched a 'display variant' debit card which does away with the hassles of generating one time password (OTP) over SMS while transacting.
  • The card, which is being made available for high-value NRE customers, has an embedded EMV chip, a display screen and a touch-sensitive button which helps generating the OTP on the card itself.
  • "This OTP, in conjunction with the user ID and password, allows the customer to transact on internet banking without having to wait for OTP delivery via SMS or email," a bank statement said, adding that it is the first lender in the country to offer the facility.
  • The card comes with free ATM access across the world, offers on lounge access, loyalty points on transactions and an air accident insurance of Rs 25 lakh and a personal accident insurance of Rs 5 lakh.
  • Details on the charges or the minimum balance requirements were not immediately available.



RBI inks information exchange pact with UK financial body


  • The Reserve Bank has signed an agreement with the UK's Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority for supervisory cooperation and exchange of information.
  • "The Reserve Bank signed separate Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) on Supervisory Cooperation and Exchange of Supervisory Information with Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), United Kingdom," RBI said in a statement.
  • The central bank had entered into an MoU for supervisory co-operation with the Financial Services Authority (FSA) of the UK in July, 2012.
  • Subsequently, as part of comprehensive reforms implemented in UK financial services regulation, the functions exercised by FSA were transferred to PRA, FCA and Bank of England, it said.



Boeing-Tata Advanced Systems JV to make Apache fuselage


  • In a major leap forward for Telangana in the aerospace sector, Minister for IT K.T. Rama Rao, top executives of Boeing India and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) have announced setting up of a facility on the outskirts of the city to make the fuselage for Apache helicopters.
  • The announcement came from Boeing India President Pratyush Kumar and Managing Director of TASL, Sukaran Singh in the presence of Mr. Rama Rao and Secretaries Arvind Kumar (Industries) and Jayesh Ranjan (IT).
  • The finer details of the extent of land to be made available, the exact location and the timelines are yet to be firmed up.
  • Briefing media after participating in a supplier meet during the ongoing Defence & Aerosupply Conclave 2015 here on Wednesday morning, the Minister said that it was a historic occasion to witness the signing of the the JV by the two majors.



Maharashtra is biggest state economy, says report


  • Maharashtra is the biggest economy within India at Rs 16.87 lakh crore in terms of gross state domestic product (GSDP), according to the latest report by credit rating agency Brickwork Ratings. The state is followed by Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The report, which said Maharashtra’s GSDP has grown by 11.69 per cent for the financial year ended March 31, 2015, also highlights the fact that Maharashtra earns approximately 70 per cent of its total receipts through tax revenues — the highest among the bigger states — followed by Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
  • The findings are part of Brickwork’s fourth edition of a nationwide, multi-state research analysing finances of all the states. The rating agency looks at the State government’s willingness and ability to honour debt obligations, and the rating criterion includes an analysis of political, economic, budgetary, financial and institutional parameters considered relevant to the State government’s creditworthiness.
  • According to the report, Gujarat and Maharashtra accounted for 27.26 per cent and 25.18 per cent of GSDP respectively in 2014-15, and led other state economies in terms of level of contribution from the manufacturing sector. Other states with higher manufacturing sector share were Tamil Nadu (19.1 per cent), Jharkhand (18.8 per cent) and Haryana (18.1 per cent).


Wipro to acquire German consulting firm cellent AG for Rs 517 crore


  • Wipro, India's third largest Information technology services company on Wednesday said it has signed an agreement with German-based Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg (LBBW) to acquire cellent AG for 73.5 million Euros (about Rs 517 crore or $77 million).
  • cellent AG, which provides IT consulting and software services, is a fully-owned subsidiary of LBBW, a provider of banking and financial services. The company with a team of around 800 German speaking consultants operates in Central Europe, primarily the DACH region, which includes Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In calendar year 2014, cellent AG had reported revenues of 87 million Euros (around $92 million).


Tatas join hands with ICBC of China


  • Tata group holding firm, Tata Sons and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) have formed a long-term partnership, under which ICBC will become a strategic banking partner to the Tata group.
  • The global alliance will spread across geographies, including India, China, Singapore, Europe, USA, and South America. At present, of its $100 billion global revenues, the Tata group earns close to 70 per cent from its international operations.
  • As per the alliance, ICBC will provide Tata group with financing products, global cash management, consulting, international trade finance business, investment banking, foreign exchange, derivatives trading, and other global financial services.
  • ICBC will also create a global service team which will support Tata group’s strategic development plans. Tata group will consider proposals from ICBC and solicit its participation on bilateral transactions and tender offers.
  • A team of Tata executives, led by Chairman Cyrus P. Mistry, met with Jiang Jianqing, Chairman from ICBC and his team to formalise the engagement.


India –

President gave nod to Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2015 to allow women to work in night shifts

  • President Pranab Mukherjee on 1 December 2015 gave assent to Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2015 of Maharashtra. Among other things, the bill amends Section 66(1)(c) of the Factories Act, 1948 that restricts women from working at a factory between 7 PM and 6 AM.
  • The Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2015 was passed by the Maharashtra legislature in July 2015. Later, it was reserved for consideration of the President by the State Governor C Vidyasagar Rao under article 200 of the Constitution.

The other proposed changes to the Factories Act, 1948 include
  • Workers to be eligible for paid leave after working for 90 days in a year instead of the existing 240 days or more.
  • It would not be mandatory for workers to take the management's permission for overtime, the limit for which in three months will be increased to 115 hours from the current 75.


Idea launches Mid-Day Meal project in Odisha


  • Idea Cellular, Aditya Birla Group's telecom company, signed a memorandum of understanding with Akshaya Patra Foundation in Odisha for providing mid-day meals to school students in the state.
  • Around 47,000 students from 625 schools in 10 locations of the state would benefit through this initiative.
  • The objective of this mission is to provide children with nutritious meals every day and also ensure that they attend school daily, a company release said today.
  • This initiative was launched in Bijaya Ramchandrapur UGUP School in Puri district and Khannagar Nodal UP School in Cuttack district through two separate events organised recently by the Idea team in Odisha, it said.


Appointments/Retirements –

Dr Henk Bekedam named new WHO representative to India


  • Senior World Health Organisation (WHO) public health specialist Dr Henk Bekedam has taken charge as the UN body's representative to India.
  • Dr Bekedam, a Dutch national and medical doctor by training, has worked for 19 years with WHO as its representative in China and Egypt, Director of Health Sector Development in the WHO Western Pacific Region Office in Manila, and as team leader of the health sector reform project in Cambodia, a WHO release said today.
  • Bekedam, who did his M.Sc in Economics from London School of Economics in 1996, was seconded to governments in Zambia and Malawi before joining WHO.
  • Incidentally, Bekedam's work has included supporting the Chinese government in successfully containing the SARS outbreak in 2003.


Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan assumed Presidency of the Royal Society


  • Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan on 1 December 2015 assumed Presidency of the Royal Society in London. He was elected to the office in March 2015 by the society’s council and will serve for up to five years.
  • With this appointment, he became the 61st president of the society. And, he joined the elite club that has included Christopher Wren, Samuel Pepys, Isaac Newton, Joseph Banks, Humphry Davy, and Ernest Rutherford.
  • The Indian-American scientist Venkatraman Ramakrishnan received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2009 with Tom Steitz and Ada Yonath.
  • He was awarded a knighthood in 2012



Central Information Commission Goes Headless Again


  • Country's transparency watchdog Central Information Commission has gone headless again with incumbent Chief Vijai Sharma completing his tenure yesterday and no appointment made by the Central Government.
  • The situation has arisen second time since the BJP Government came into power in 2014. The appellate body remained headless for nearly 10 months after the then Chief Information Commission Rajiv Mathur retired in August 2014.
  • Sharma, who was appointed on June 9, 2015, attained the age of 65 yesterday and demitted office.
  • The Chief Information Commissioner is the administrative head of the Commission and as per convention s/he decides the formation of benches, administrative and financial matters of the Commission besides distribution of workload which comes to halt in the absence.
  • During the 10 months without Chief, over 35,000 cases were accumulated before the panel.



Sports –

Ashwin, Shami only Indians in ICC Test, ODI team of year


  • Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and seamer Mohammed Shami were the only Indians to feature in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test and One-Day International (ODI) teams of the year 2015, respectively, announced here on Wednesday.
  • Ashwin is the highest wicket-taker of 2015 with 55 scalps, ahead of England pacer Stuart Broad (51). But he was been named the 12th man of the Test side.
  • Shami has been included in the first 11 of the ODI team.

  1. ICC Test Team of the Year 2015: David Warner, Alastair Cook (captain), Kane Williamson, Younis Khan, Steven Smith, Joe Root, Sarfraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Stuart Broad, Trent Boult, Yasir Shah, Josh Hazlewood, Ravichandran Ashwin.
  2. ICC ODI Team of the Year 2015: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Hashim Amla, Kumar Sangakkara (wicket—keeper) AB de Villiers (captain), Steven Smith, Ross Taylor, Trent Boult, Mohammed Shami, Mitchell Starc, Mustafizur Rahman, Imran Tahir, Joe Root.



India’s Thakur Anoop Singh won gold medal in World Bodybuilding and Physique Championships

  • India’s Thakur Anoop Singh on 28 November 2015 won gold medal in the 7th WBPF World Bodybuilding and Physique Championships. He won the medal in the fitness physique category.
  • Overall, India won 11 medals in the championships that saw participation from 47 nations. The championships were held in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Along with him, Arambam Boby (Manipur) also won gold in the championship. For him, it was the 4th world title in his career.
  • Also, Thingbaijam Sarita who had won a silver medal in Asian Bodybuilding Championships 2015 also bagged a bronze medal in the event.



Days –

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery Observed globally


  • The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery was observed globally on 2 December 2015. The day is observed to focus on the elimination of human trafficking, child labour and other forms of modern-day slavery.
  • According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), there are currently an estimated 21 million forced labour victims worldwide, creating 150 billion US dollars in illegal profits in the private economy each year.
  • To tackle with the situation, ILO has adopted a new legally binding Protocol designed to strengthen global efforts to eliminate forced labour and which will enter into force in November 2016.



Awards & Honors –

Renowned violinist L Subramaniam to be honoured with ITC Sangeet Samman

  • Renowned violinist Lakshminarayana Subramaniam will be honoured with the Sangeet Samman at the ITC Sangeet Sammelan 2015 beginning on 4 December 2015 at the Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata.
  • The ITC Sangeet Research Academy Executive Director Rabi Srinibasan on 1 December 2015 announced the name of the artist for the award .
  • Born on 23 July 1947, Subramaniam was trained in the classical Carnatic music tradition and Western classical music. The artiste is known for his virtuoso playing techniques and compositions in orchestral fusion.
  • The violinist has also composed the film scores for the films like Salaam Bombay and Mississippi Masala directed by Mira Nair.
  • Subramaniam has been awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Limca Book of Records in 2012. He also won the President's Award for Best Violinist, All India Radio in 1963. In 2001, the renowned violinist was honoured with the Padma Bhushan.



Delhi Development Authority awarded with E-India Award

  • The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) was on 1 December 2015 awarded with the E-India Award for adopting technology to serve the public better and using resources efficiently through mobile applications.
  • The award was received by VS Tomar, Director (Systems) DDA during the e-INDIA SUMMIT 2015 in Mumbai.

The award was given to DDA for the following mobile application development:
  • It bagged the award under the category of Digital India IT initiatives for extraordinary IT initiatives in the field of land protection and engineering projects.
  • It was awarded for the vacant land photo uploading system app wherein officials of the land and engineering department upload photographs of vacant land to keep a check on encroachment.
  • The second award winning app of DDA was the Measurement Books for e-filing of measurement of engineering projects for exact estimation of parameters and project requirements.





Regards



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