Current Affairs Update – 8th December, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs Update of 8th December, 2015. These are important for the upcoming IBPS Clerk Mains and Insurance Exam.

Finance/Economy –

Rajya Sabha passed Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015

  • Rajya Sabha on 7 December 2015 passed the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015. The Bill provides for filing of cheque bounce cases at the place where a cheque is presented for clearance and not the place of issue.
  • Earlier in August 2015, the bill was passed by Lok Sabha during the Monsoon Session of the parliament.
  • The Bill seeks to amend the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881. It will have implications for over 18 lakh cheque bounce cases pending in various courts.

Provisions of the Bill
  • It amends the Act to state that cases of bouncing of cheques can be filed only in a court in whose jurisdiction the bank branch of the payee (person who receives the cheque) lies.
  • If a complaint against a person issuing a cheque has been filed in the court with the appropriate jurisdiction, then all subsequent complaints against that person will be filed in the same court.
  • If more than one case is filed against the same person before different courts, the case will be transferred to the court with the appropriate jurisdiction.
  • The Bills also amends the definition of cheque in the electronic form.  The definition has been amended to mean a cheque drawn in electronic medium using any computer resource.

ONGC joined World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 Initiative

  • The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited on 7 December 2015 joined Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 Initiative of the World Bank on the sidelines of Conference of Parties-21 (COP-21) of UNFCCC in Paris.
  • With this joining, ONGC has become the first oil company from India to join the global initiative that is aimed at curbing routine gas flaring at oil production sites around the world by 2030.
  • Along with ONGC, 19 other entities endorsed the initiative taking the number of total countries or companies or development institutions to 45 since its inception in April 2015.
  • Altogether these 45 endorsers represent more than 40 percent of all global gas flaring.

Features of Zero Routine Flaring by 2030
  • It encourages oil companies to seek economically viable solutions to eliminate ongoing “legacy” flaring as soon as possible and no later than 2030.
  • It will ensure that when oil fields are developed, plans include gas utilization solutions that do not involve routine flaring or venting.

India –

Andhra Pradesh became first state to join discom revival scheme UDAY

  • Andhra Pradesh on 5 December 2015 became the first state of India to join the Union Government’s Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY). The scheme aims at reviving debt-stressed power distribution companies.
  • Andhra Pradesh joined the scheme after the state gave in-principle nod to the Power Ministry for joining UDAY.
  • UDAY envisages reducing the interest burden, cost of power, and aggregate technical and commercial losses. Consequently, distribution companies would become sustainable to supply adequate and reliable power, enabling 24x7 power supplies.

Indo-Russia bilateral naval exercise Indra Navy-15 began in Visakhapatanam

  • Indo-Russia bilateral maritime exercise Indra Navy 2015 commenced on 7 December 2015 in Vishakhapatanam. The exercise epitomises the strategic relationship between the two nations.
  • The 8th edition of Indra Navy will be conducted in the Bay of Bengal till 12 December 2015.
  • About Indra Navy 2015
  • The primary aim of Indra Navy 2015 is to increase interoperability between the two navies and develop common understanding of procedures for maritime security operations.
  • The scope of the exercise includes wide-ranging professional interactions during the Harbour phase and a diverse canvas of operational activities at sea across a spectrum of maritime operations.
  • The Indian Navy will be represented by INS Sahyadri an indigenous frigate, INS Ranvijay, a guided missile destroyer and INS Shakti a Fleet Support Ship.
  • The Russian Federation Navy (RFN) will be represented by Vadm Ryabukhin Andrey, Deputy Commander of the Pacific Fleet.

India launched I-LTEO programme to monitor 8 different biomes

  • India on 7 December 2015 launched the Indian Long Term Ecological Observatories (I-LTEO) programme to scientifically monitor eight different biomes (natural landscapes) across the country. The initiative was launched on the sidelines of the Conference of Parties-21 (COP-21) of UNFCCC in Paris.
  • The programme aims to identify and monitor targeted socio-ecological challenges and help build capacity within India. The studies under the programme will indicate the need for imminent adaptation measures.

Appointments –

Ola appointed Joy Bandekar as Corporate President

  • Taxi aggregator platform Ola on 7 December 2015 appointed Joy Bandekar as Corporate President to lead new initiatives.
  • Bandekar will be a part of Ola’s core leadership team.
  • Before joining Ola, Bandekar worked with Flipkart as its corporate president for over three years.
  • Before Flipkart, he worked with Medi Assist Healthcare for a short duration.
  • Prior to that, he was the Director and Head of corporate affairs at eBay for over six years.

World –

Beijing issued first-ever Red Alert on Air Pollution

  • Authorities in Chinese capital Beijing on 7 December 2015 issued its first-ever red alert on air pollution ordering schools to close due to hazardous air quality. Red alert is the highest possible state of caution.
  • The order was issued after acrid smog enveloped the capital for the second time in December 2015.
  • The order will last from 7am (local time) on 8 December 2015 morning until midday on 10 December 2015, when the weather is expected to change and blow away the smog.
  • The red alert was announced for the first time since an emergency air-pollution response system (four-tier system) was introduced in 2013.

Opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable won 2015 Venezuelan parliamentary election

  • Opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) won majority seats in the Venezuelan parliamentary election that were held on 6 December 2015.
  • The Jesus Torrealba-led coalition secured 110 seats in the 167-seat legislature, while the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezueala (PSUV) won 55 seats so far.
  • The PSUV is headed by the incumbent president Nicolas Maduro.
  • For PSUV, It is the worst-ever defeat for the leftist movement founded by former leader Hugo Chavez in 1999.

Latvia’s Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma resigned

  • Latvia’s first female Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma announced her resignation on 7 December 2015.
  • Until a new government is chosen by the Latvia parliament, Straujuma will head the three-party coalition that includes centre-right Unity party, the Greens and Farmers party and the far-right National Alliance in a caretaker capacity.
  • Straujuma’s resignation came after she fired the transport minister in November 2015, sparking rumours of discontent within the centre-right Cabinet that took office in January 2014.

Sports –
ICC Rankings: Jadeja Breaks Into Top-10 Test bowlers, Ashwin Top All-Rounder

  • India's left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja has broken into top-10 of the Test bowlers rankings for the first time as he climbed up four places to earn a career-best seventh position, while Ravichandran Ashwin gained a spot to top the all-rounders' list.
  • Ajinkya Rahane became India's highest-ranked Test batsman. He has stormed up 14 places to claim a career-high 12th spot.
  • The 27-year-old Jadeja had started the just-concluded Test series between India and South Africa in 30th position. But a consistent performance from him in the series, saw him climb up the ladder. In the final Test match at New Delhi alone, he picked up seven wickets.
  • Fast bowler Umesh Yadav has also been rewarded for his figures of two for 32 and three for nine as he has vaulted 13 places to achieve a career-best 32nd position in the Test bowlers' chart, which is continued to be headed by South Africa pacer Dale Steyn.
  • Rahane had entered the Test in 26th spot, but after scoring 127 and 100 not out in his side's 337-run win over South Africa in the Delhi Test that helped the home side post a 3-0 series win, he leapfrogged his skipper Virat Kohli.

Maharashtra won Wheelchair Basketball Championship

  • Maharashtra on 6 December 2015 defeated Punjab to win the 2015 National Wheelchair Basketball Championship.
  • The competition opened on the eve of the International Day of People with Disabilities. Nine states took part in the competition. The states are Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
  • The second edition of the Wheelchair Basketball Championship was organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross, Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India and the Sports Authority of India.


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