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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Current Affairs Update - 20th December, 2016

Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the important Current Affairs of 20 December, 2016. These are important for the upcoming RBI Assistant Mains, IPPB PO Mains, NIACL AO Mains, IBPS Clerk Mains and RBI Assistant Mains 2016-17.


Current Affairs at a Glance - 20 December, 2016
  1. The Union Ministry of Finance on 19 December 2016 announced various measures to improve ease of doing business in the country. The objective of these measures is to improve country’s ranking in the World Bank’s report on Ease of Doing Business.
  2. The Union Government on 20 December 2016 released Rs 450 crore to Telangana for the development of backward areas in the state during 2016-17.
  3. India and Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday signed six agreements, including on tourism, agriculture and youth affairs, following delegation-level talks led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kyrgyz President Almazbek Sharshenovich Atambayev here.
  4. The Union government on 17 December 2016 formed a high-level inter-ministerial task force to look into all the strategic aspects of Indus Water Treaty (IWT) with Pakistan. This task force will be headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Principal Secretary Nripendra Mishra.
  5. The Indian Special Forces unit, National Security Guard may participate in the upcoming Republic day parade for the very first time in the history.
  6. The US Electoral College on 19 December 2016 formally elected Donald Trump as the President of the nation. Six weeks after winning the polls, the Republican Candidate Trump was able to secure the 270 votes needed to formalise his victory.
  7. Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar on 19 December 2016 was appointed as the 44th Chief Justice of India by the President Pranab Mukherjee.
  8. India on 20 December 2016 won the five-match test series against England, 3-0-1. In the fifth and final test played at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, England wrapped up the second innings at 207 in 88 overs.


Finance/Industry –

Union Government announced measures to improve Ease of Doing Business ranking


  • The Union Ministry of Finance on 19 December 2016 announced various measures to improve ease of doing business in the country.
  • The objective of these measures is to improve country’s ranking in the World Bank’s report on Ease of Doing Business.

Some of the major decisions announced are –
  • eBiz portal shall be mandated for starting a business which shall include three services of Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Registration for PAN and TAN and also for EPFO & ESIC.
  • Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Ministry of Labour and Employment will work towards reducing the number of procedures for starting a business to 4 and the number of days to start a business also to 4.
  • Shram Suvidha Portal shall be the only portal for filing returns, challan and making online payment for EPFO & ESIC contributions as well as other filings and payments.
  • Department of Revenue and Ministry of Shipping shall work towards increasing the number of direct delivery consignments to 40 percent by end of this month.
  • These Departments shall also ensure that the cost and time to export and import gets reduced substantially to bring India within top 50 ranks.
  • Ministry of Corporate Affairs shall work with the concerned stakeholders so that the provisions recently enabled under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code are implemented.
  • To further improve the country’s rank in the indicator ‘Getting Credit’, Department of Financial Services and Ministry of Corporate Affairs shall work towards integrating CERSAI database with ROC Registry of Charges to create a single registry of assets.
  • The initiative of eCourts should be expedited for electronic filing of complaints, summons and payments.


Micromax partners with Uber to offer integrated experience

  • Mobile phone brand Micromax Informatics, and taxi-hailing service Uber today announced a partnership that will help Micromax customers book an Uber ride on their phones without having to download application.
  • Through the partnership, Micromax aims to push nearly 100 million devices that offer an integrated experience with Uber over the next three years, it said in a statement here.
  • This move will propel both the companies to create a feature-driven experience for smartphone users and as a part of this partnership, the Uber app will come in-built in close to 100 million Micromax smartphones, the statement said.


Union Government released Rs 450 crore to Telangana for development of backward areas

  • The Union Government on 20 December 2016 released Rs 450 crore to Telangana for the development of backward areas in the state during 2016-17.
  • The special assistance was released in keeping with the Union Government’s commitments to support the development of backward areas.
  • These additional resources from the Union Government would enable the State to devise and implement schemes best suited for mitigation of backwardness and alleviation of poverty.
  • The developmental activities would improve the physical and social infrastructure bringing these districts at par with the developed districts of the state.


India –

India, Kyrgyzstan sign six agreements


  • India and Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday signed six agreements, including on tourism, agriculture and youth affairs, following delegation-level talks led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kyrgyz President Almazbek Sharshenovich Atambayev here.
  • A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on cooperation in youth exchange.
  • Another MoU was signed on cooperation between the Foreign Service Institute and the Diplomatic Academy of the Kyrgyz Republic.
  • A third MoU was signed on cooperation in the field of tourism, while a fourth one was signed on cooperation in the field of broadcasting and exchange of audio-visual programmes.
  • A fifth agreement was signed on cooperation in youth development.
  • Another agreement was signed on cooperation in agriculture and the food industry.
  • Earlier on Tuesday, President Atambayev was accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan here.
  • He arrived here on Sunday on a four-day official visit to India.


Union Government forms high-level task force on Indus Water Treaty


  • The Union government on 17 December 2016 formed a high-level inter-ministerial task force to look into all the strategic aspects of Indus Water Treaty (IWT) with Pakistan.
  • This task force will be headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Principal Secretary Nripendra Mishra. The other members of the team include NSA Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Secretaries in Ministries of Finance, Environment, Power and Water Resource.
  • Besides, Chief Secretaries of Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab will be invitees in the task force. Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab are the states from where the six Indus system rivers flow.


NSG commandos may march on Republic Day Parade

  • The Indian Special Forces unit, National Security Guard may participate in the upcoming Republic day parade for the very first time in the history.
  • The decision was taken following a meeting between the Union Home and Defence Ministries. The Special Forces unit, popularly known as the ‘black cat’ commandos due to their black uniform, has already begun its preparation for the parade.

Key Highlights
  • The NSG would have to choose a contingent of about 60 commandos.
  • The contingent is expected to include personnel from both its army and paramilitary-based units.
  • The commandos will for the first time display their prowess and commando-style fast march past at the parade.
  • The first clearances for NSG’s participation have been issued.
  • The only commando force to take part in the Republic Day celebrations until now has been the troops of Army’s Special Forces.


Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar’s statue unveiled in Haridwar

  • Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on 19 December 2016 unveiled the statue of renowned Tamil poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar on the premises of Mela Bhawan in Haridwar.
  • Thiruvalluvar is a renowned poet believed to have lived between 3rd Century BC and 1st Century BC.
  • Thiruvalluvar is a celebrated Tamil poet and philosopher.
  • His contribution to Tamil literature is the Thirukkural, a work on ethics. It is one of the most revered ancient works in the Tamil language.
  • It is believed that he was born either in Thiru Mylai (Mylapore) Chennai in Tamil Nadu or in ThirunainarKuruchi, a village in Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu.


Appointments –

US Electoral College formally elects Donald Trump as President


  • The US Electoral College on 19 December 2016 formally elected Donald Trump as the President of the nation. Six weeks after winning the polls, the Republican Candidate Trump was able to secure the 270 votes needed to formalise his victory.
  • In the voting by 538 electors across the country, Trump comfortably crossed the 270 majority mark. At the end of polling, he was able to secure 304 electoral votes, while Hillary Clinton garnered 227 votes
  • While the result will be officially announced on 6 January 2017 in a special joint session of Congress, he will assume the office on 20 January 2017.


Justice J S Khehar appointed as 44th Chief Justice of India


  • Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar on 19 December 2016 was appointed as the 44th Chief Justice of India by the President Pranab Mukherjee.
  • Justice Khehar will be sworn-in as the Chief Justice of India on 4 January 2017. He will retire from his office on 27 August 2017.
  • The incumbent Chief Justice T S Thakur on 6 December 2016 had communicated his recommendation to the Union Government to appoint Justice Khehar. Justice Thakur will retire on 3 January 2017 after tenure of a year.
  • Justice Khehar will be the first Chief Justice of India from the Sikh community.


World –

Resolution seeking demonetisation of Rs 5000 notes adopted in Pakistan

  • Weeks after India demonetised its high-value currencies, Pakistan’s Senate on 19 December 2016 passed a resolution that seeks withdrawal of high denomination Rs 5000 currency notes. This currency note will be withdrawn in a phased manner.
  • The resolution was passed with an aim to curb the flow of black money in the nation.
  • As per reports, the currency notes will be withdrawn in three to five years and this time period will help the government to purge markets of the notes.
  • The resolution was tabled in the upper house of Pakistani Parliament by Senator Usman Saif Ullah Khan of Pakistan Muslim League. His resolution was endorsed by the majority of lawmakers.
  • As per reports, the resolution said, the withdrawal of bank notes of Rs 5000 will encourage the use of bank accounts. It will also reduce the size of the undocumented economy.


Sports –

India wins five-match series against England


  • India on 20 December 2016 won the five-match test series against England, 3-0-1. In the fifth and final test played at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, England wrapped up the second innings at 207 in 88 overs.
  • Karun Nair’s triple century in first innings of the fifth test-match against England was the key factor in the enormous win of India.
  • India's first innings total was its highest score in Tests and was the most runs made against England by any team.


Obituaries –

Environmentalist Anupam Mishra passes away

  • Renowned environmentalist Anupam Mishra passed away on 19 December 2016 in Delhi following a prolonged illness. He was 68.
  • His seminal work on water conservation 'Aaj Bhi Khare Hain Talab' fired the imagination of common people and ecology warriors and gave wings to India's indigenous wisdom on this subject.





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