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Monday, December 19, 2016

Current Affairs Update - 18 - 19 December, 2016

Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the important Current Affairs of 16 and 17 December, 2016. These are important for the upcoming IPPB PO Mains, NIACL AO Mains, IBPS Clerk Mains and RBI Assistant Mains 2016-17.


Current Affairs at a Glance - 18 - 19 December, 2016
  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 19 December 2016 unveiled first ever Indian Institute of Skills at Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. On this occasion, Modi also launched Kaushal Pradarshini to portray major skill development initiatives of the Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE).
  2. State Bank MobiCash Mobile Wallet was launched on 18 December 2016. MobiCash is a product of State Bank of India (SBI) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL).
  3. Lanura, a village in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), became the first village in the state to go cashless.
  4. Government is planning to start soon a toll free number 1955 for taking feedback of telecom subscribers on call drops.
  5. To help kids imbibe technical skills at an early age, Disney has launched its ‘Hour of Code’ campaign in India. Under the campaign, the entertainment firm will teach computer programming to school children through its free online tutorial featuring characters from its film Moana.
  6. Swasthya Raksha Programme: The programme was launched by the AYUSH Ministry to promote health and health education in rural villages.
  7. Indian cricketer Karun Nair on 19 December 2016 scored triple century in first innings of the fifth and final test-match against England. The match is being played at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. With this, Nair became the second Indian batsmen to score triple century in tests. Earlier, Virendra Sehwag scored two triple centuries in test matches.
  8. As India gears up to host its first ever major FIFA tournament, Bank of Baroda has come on board as the first national supporter for the Under 17 FIFA World Cup to be held in the second half of 2017.
  9. Atletico de Kolkata on 18 December 2016 was crowned the Indian Super League champions for the second time in three seasons.
  10. India on 18 December 2016 defeated Belgium 2-1 in the final to lift the 2016 Men's Hockey Junior World Cup. The final was played at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
  11. Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle was crowned Miss World 2016 at the 66th edition of the event held at MGM National Harbor, Maryland in the United States of America on 18 December 2016.
  12. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 13 December 2016 accorded the World Heritage Site Status to the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro.



Finance/Banking/Industry –

PM Narendra Modi unveiled first ever Indian Institute of Skills in Kanpur


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 19 December 2016 unveiled first ever Indian Institute of Skills at Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
  • On this occasion, Modi also launched Kaushal Pradarshini to portray major skill development initiatives of the Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE).

About Indian Institute of Skills
  • The institute at Kanpur is the country’s first ever Indian Institute of Skills.
  • The primary objective of the institute is to empower India’s youth to be more employable and self-sustainable.
  • The institute has been conceptualised by the Prime Minister during his visit to Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education.
  • The institute is inspired by the Singapore model of training and would adopt various best practices from the country.
  • The plan is to set up six such institutes across the country in coming years.

About Kaushal Pradarshini
  • It is a skill exhibition for the youth of Uttar Pradesh.
  • The exhibition showcases state-of-the-art vocational training practices across different sectors.
  • It will remain open for public view at the Railway Grounds in Kanpur between 19 December 2016 and 22 December 2016.


State Bank of India launched State Bank MobiCash


  • State Bank MobiCash Mobile Wallet was launched on 18 December 2016. MobiCash is a product of State Bank of India (SBI) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL).
  • It was jointly inaugurated by Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley and Minister of State for Communications (Independent charge) and Minster of State for Railways Manoj Sinha.
  • While introducing the MobiCash Mobile Wallet service, Finance Minister appreciated the broader vision of SBI and BSNL to bring a Wallet both for smart and feature phones.

Definition of State Bank MobiCash Mobile Wallet
  • State Bank MobiCash will be the Mobile Wallet Service of the State Bank of India and includes the service over the Application/USSD/SMS.
  • In this case, bank means State Bank of India or any of its successors or assignees, while, wallet means a mobile-based prepaid wallet registered with the Bank.
  • Wallet Holder means the holder of State Bank MobiCash. This wallet service can be accessed with the help of 6 digits Mobile Personal Identification Number (MPIN).
  • These mobile wallets will be governed by RBI and Bank’s policy. The product will be available to applicants having a valid Mobile number, identity proof and address proof.
  • Limits for the daily and monthly transaction under the MobiCash Wallet will be dependent on KYC norms.

Facilities offered under State Bank MobiCash includes fund transfer, mobile recharge (BSNL Pre-paid), bill payment (BSNL landline and Post-paid), balance enquiry and mini statement.


Lanura becomes first village to go cashless in J&K


  • Lanura, a village in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), became the first village in the state to go cashless.
  • As per reports, at least one member of every household in the village has been trained to use the Electronic Payment System (EPS) and so far, 150 people were trained for the purpose.
  • An official spokesperson said, the feat was achieved due to the efforts of the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and the CSC e-Governance Services India Limited under the objective of Digital Financial Inclusion. The government has been pushing for digital transactions since the demonetisation move that was announced on 8 November 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Lanura village is located some 30 kilometres away from Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. The village falls in Panchayat Bugroo-B in block Khansahab of the district.


India, Tajikistan signed 4 agreements to boost bilateral relations

  • India and Tajikistan on 17 December 2016 signed 4 agreements to boost bilateral relations. The agreements/Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed in New Delhi during the State visit of Tajikistan president Emomali Rahmon.


Details related to the agreements/MoUs
  1. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Committee of television and radio of Tajikistan and the Prasar Bharati for cooperation on broadcasting in exchange of audio visual programs. Prasar Bharati is the public service broadcaster of the country that manages All India Radio and Doordarshan.
  2. A protocol was signed that seeks to amend the agreement between Tajikistan and India for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
  3. A MoU was signed between the Financial Intelligence Unit of India and the Financial Monitoring Department of Tajikistan concerning cooperation in the exchange of financial intelligence to deal with crimes related to money laundering and financing of terrorism.
  4.  An agreement was signed to initiate bilateral investment treaty between both the countries. The treaty will improve ease of doing business environment in India.


India –

Govt to launch toll free number '1955' for taking feedback on call drops


  • Government is planning to start soon a toll free number 1955 for taking feedback of telecom subscribers on call drops.
  • Provisioning of this number will be mandatory for telecom operators and should be accessible for local and STD calling.
  • As per a letter by the Department of Telecom to operators in last week of November the '1955' number "is for the outbound calls to the subscribers, the IVRS system will have to present a pre-defined CLI (caller line identification) to the subscribers, through short code '1955'."
  • State-run telecom firm MTNL has been directed to configure this short code. Telecom operators have been directed not to charge any integration, maintenance, operational fee from MTNL.
  • Official sources said that Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha will launch the service but did not disclose any further details.


Centre to set up single tribunal to decide inter-state water disputes

  • The Union government has taken the call of setting up a single committee to hear all the inter-state river water disputes.
  • The step would merge all existing tribunals into one single body and by doing this, the centre hopes to fasten the process of water dispute resolution. Apart from this central body, the government has also proposed to create some benches to look into disputes as and when required. These benches will not be permanent like the Tribunal and will be dissolved once the dispute is solved.

Key Highlights
  • The government has proposed the creation of one permanent Tribunal. It will be chaired by a retired judge of the Supreme Court.
  • In comparison to earlier tribunals that took very long to deliver the final verdict, this tribunal will be expected to deliver its verdict within three years.
  • Apart from this, the government has also proposed to set up a Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) comprising experts and policy makers.


Disney launches Hour of Code campaign to teach computer programming to school kids


  • To help kids imbibe technical skills at an early age, Disney has launched its ‘Hour of Code’ campaign in India. Under the campaign, the entertainment firm will teach computer programming to school children through its free online tutorial featuring characters from its film Moana.
  • Presently, Disney is teaching coding to school students in different states of India like Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
  • Disney came to India with this campaign in its third global edition. Facts of the campaign
  • It will teach the basics of coding to students aged 8 years and above
  • It is being taken in over 700 private and Public schools of these three states.
  • The programme that aims to reach out to a million students in India is being carried under the partnership with Next Education.


Swasthya Raksha Programme launched by AYUSH Ministry to promote health in villages


  • Swasthya Raksha Programme: The programme was launched by the AYUSH Ministry to promote health and health education in rural villages.
  • The Swasthya Raksha Programme was in news on 16 December 2016 as the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH Shripad Yasso Naik provided information about the programme in the Lok Sabha.
  • It was launched by the Union Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) in October 2015.
  • The purpose of the programme is to promote health and health education in villages
  • The Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), the Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM), the Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) and the Central Council for Research in Siddha (CCRS) are implementing the programme.


Sports –

Karun Nair became second Indian to score triple century in Tests


  • Indian cricketer Karun Nair on 19 December 2016 scored triple century in first innings of the fifth and final test-match against England. The match is being played at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
  • With this, Nair became the second Indian batsmen to score triple century in tests. Earlier, Virendra Sehwag scored two triple centuries in test matches.
  • Karun Nair’s unbeaten 303 helped India to reach 759/7 score. This score also helped India to lead England by 282 runs.
  • In the first innings of the match England scored 477 runs.


Bank of Baroda backs Under-17 FIFA World Cup


  • As India gears up to host its first ever major FIFA tournament, Bank of Baroda has come on board as the first national supporter for the Under 17 FIFA World Cup to be held in the second half of 2017.
  • The Local Organising Committee (LOC) that comprises of members from the All India Football Federation and FIFA is looking at five more national supporters for the World Cup by the time the tournament rolls out.
  • While the financial details of the deal are not disclosed, Bank of Baroda has earmarked Rs 80 to 90 crore this fiscal on brand building and promotional activities, which includes sports sponsorships. The bank recently got Olympic medallist PV Sindhu on board as a brand ambassador as well.


Atletico de Kolkata crowned 2016 Indian Super League champions


  • Atletico de Kolkata on 18 December 2016 was crowned the Indian Super League champions for the second time in three seasons.
  • The team defeated the Kerala Blasters in a penalty shootout, 4–3, during the final. The match had ended 1–1 after 90 minutes and extra time.
  • The marquee player for the 2016 season was Portugal international forward Helder Postiga. Spanish midfielder Borja Fernández served as the captain of the team.


Vijender Singh defeats Francis Cheka to retain WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title


  • India's Vijender Singh on 17 December 2016 knocked out Tanzania's Francis Cheka at the Thyagaraj Stadium, New Delhi, to defend his WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title.
  • Singh took less than 10 minutes to knock Cheka out in the third round itself to retain the title.
  • The Haryana boxer had won the title in July 2016 by defeating WBC European champion Kerry Hope.
  • On the other hand, the Indian boxers dominated the undercard fights as well. In the first fight of the evening, Rajesh Kumar defeated Mubaraka Sseguya of Uganda in the Lightweight category. In the same category, Kuldeep Dhanda outpunched Egy Rozten of Indonesia. Deepak Tanwar emerged victorious in the Welterweight division by defeating Indonesian Sutriyono Bara Boys by technical knockout. In the Cruiserweight division, Dharmender Grewal overpowered Ugandan Abasi Kyobe by unanimous decision.


India defeats Belgium to win 2016 Men's Hockey Junior World Cup


  • India on 18 December 2016 defeated Belgium 2-1 in the final to lift the 2016 Men's Hockey Junior World Cup. The final was played at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
  • The third place in the tournament went to Germany, who was defeated by Belgium in the semi-final.
  • Also, it was the first time that a host nation has won the Cup in 11 editions of the tournament.
  • Top scorer in the tournament: England’s Edward Horler (8 goals)
  • Best player in the tournament: Spain’s Enrique Gonzalez de Castejon
  • Best goalkeeper in the tournament: Belgium’s Loic Van Doren  


Awards & Honors –

Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle crowned Miss World 2016


  • Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle was crowned Miss World 2016 at the 66th edition of the event held at MGM National Harbor, Maryland in the United States of America on 18 December 2016.
  • The competition saw a total of 117 contestants from countries across the globe. Stephanie Del Valle beat runner-ups Miss Dominican Republic Yaritza Reyes and Miss Indonesia Natasha Mannuela to grab the esteemed title. Other contestants who made it to the top five were Miss Philippines Catriona Elisa Gray and Miss Kenya Evelyn Njambi.
  • 19-year-old Dev Valle was crowned by Miss World 2015, Mireia Lalaguna Royo. With the win, she becomes the second Puerto Rican to hold the title since the start of the competition in 1951. The first Puerto Rican to win the title was Wilnelia Merced in 1975. Dev Valle hopes to use this victory to enter the entertainment industry.
  • Miss India Priyadarshini Chatterjee, fell out of the race after failing to qualify in the top 10.


UNESCO accorded World Heritage Site Status to Rio de Janeiro


  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 13 December 2016 accorded the World Heritage Site Status to the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro.
  • The city has been registered as Carioca Landscapes between Mountain and Sea on the UNESCO world heritage list.
  • The UNESCO announced World Heritage Status to Rio de Janeiro on 1 July 2012. Subsequently, the city administration was given four years time to report on their plans to protect landmark places such as Sugarloaf Mountain, Flamengo Park,  Copacabana beach, Botanical Garden and Tijuca forest, etc.
  • Upon reviewing these plans, the UNESCO authorities finally approved the World Heritage Status to the city.
  • It is also known as Marvelous City.


World –

UK became the 1st country to legally approve 3-parent technique

  • The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) of the United Kingdom (UK) on 15 December 2016 approved the 3-parent technique.
  • A 3-parent baby contains Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from three parents. This technique allows parents with rare genetic mutations to have healthy babies by replacing a mother's faulty mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) with another woman's mDNA.
  • With the present approval, the UK has become the first country in the world to legally approve the controversial medical advancement.
  • Though Mexico became home to the first baby with this technique in September 2016 itself, the country has no explicit legal stance on this issue so far.


British Library to digitise 4000 Bengali books

  • In an interesting new project, British Library- the national library of the United Kingdom- is going to digitise 4000 early printed Bengali books, amounting to almost 800000 pages.
  • The project is being conducted as a part of the UK-India Year of Culture plans for 2017. It is also a part of a wider project titled ‘Two Centuries of Indian Print’, which is an international partnership headed by British library to digitise all unique reading material from its South Asian printed books collection.
  • The collection features books that are highly popular, covering almost 22 South Asian languages.


Fifth edition of India-Arab Partnership Conference concluded in Muscat

  • The fifth edition of the India-Arab Partnership Conference concluded on 15 December 2016 in Muscat, Oman. The two-day conference focused on devising strategies to boost economic partnership between India and Arab League.
  • The theme of the conference was - Partnership towards innovation and cooperation in Information Technology.
  • It was organised by the Oman Foreign Ministry and Arab League Secretariat in partnership with the Union Ministry of External Affairs of India.
  • The participants in the conference deliberated on means and ways to enhance the flow of investments, accelerate the investment projects of prioritized sectors and export promotion.


Obituaries –

Henry Heimlich, inventor of Heimlich manoeuvre, dies

  • Henry Judah Heimlich, inventor of life-saving Heimlich manoeuvre, passed away on 17 December 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S. He was 96.
  • Heimlich had graduated from New Rochelle High School in 1937. He earned a BA degree from Cornell University in 1941. He received his M.D. from the Weill Cornell Medical College in 1943.
  • Heimlich also invented the Micro Trach portable oxygen system for ambulatory patients. He was also the inventor of the Heimlich Chest Drain Valve, which drains blood and air out of the chest cavity. The valve’s design allows air and blood to drain from the chest cavity in order to allow a collapsed lung to re-expand.




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