Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the important Current Affairs of 22 December, 2016. These are important for the upcoming RBI Assistant Mains, IPPB PO Mains, NIACL AO Mains and RBI Assistant Mains 2016-17.
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Snapdeal launches Cash@Home will deliver Rs 2,000 at your doorstep
- Snapdeal, on Thursday announced the launch of a “Cash@Home” service, which allows users to order cash and have it delivered at their doorstep.
- The service is a goodwill gesture by Snapdeal to allow users to easily access cash without having to queue up at their bank or at the ATMs. Snapdeal will be using the cash that it receives through Cash on Delivery (CoD) to operate this facility.
- Snapdeal will charge a nominal amount of Re 1 as convenience fee, which will need to be paid through FreeCharge / through a debit card at the time of booking the order.
- At the time of cash delivery, the consumers will need to swipe their ATM card on the PoS machines, which Snapdeal’s courier partners will carry for all such deliveries. Once transaction is successful, the courier person will hand over Rs 2000 in cash.
- A user can request Rs 2000 per booking and any bank’s ATM card can be used to pay for the cash. The customers are not obligated to order anything else from Snapdeal to access the “Cash@Home” facility.
Sun Pharma acquires Novartis' oncology brand Odomzo for $175 mn
- Sun Pharma has acquired a branded oncology product, Odomzo (sonidegib), from Novartis for an upfront payment of $ 175 million (about Rs 1180 crore) and additional milestone payments.
- The agreement has been signed between subsidiaries of both the companies and will close following anti-trust clearance and further closing conditions.
- Odomzo, approved by the US FDA in July 2015, is a hedgehog pathway inhibitor indicated for the treatment of adult patients with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma (laBCC) that has recurred following surgery or radiation therapy, or those who are not candidates for surgery or radiation therapy.
- Approximately 70 percent of the prescribers are dermatologists and rests are oncologists for this class of drug.
Union Cabinet approved creation of Indian Enterprise Development Services
- The Union Cabinet on 21 December 2016 approved the creation of Indian Enterprise Development Services. A decision in this regard was taken at a Cabinet meeting headed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Details related to Indian Enterprise Development Services
- The service was created by subsuming 11 trades, recruitment to which had been done differently following different rules.
- Subsuming of the 11 trades into one umbrella service is also indicative of the government’s emphasis on promoting ease of doing business.
- These 11 trades were created in the 1950s and 1960s when there was a prevalence of a license, permit and quota raj in the Indian economy.
- The new service will be created in the Office of Development Commissioner (MSME) of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
- It will help in achieving growth in MSME sector through a specialised and dedicated cadre of technical officers.
- The service is expected to boost the capacity and efficiency of the MSME.
- The Indian Enterprise Development Services will have initial cadre strength of 617 officers. Among them, 6 officers will be having joint secretary level status.
- These officers will oversee the functioning of 72 field offices of the Development Commissioner as well as the headquarters in New Delhi.
- Out of these 72 field offices, 30 are MSME development institutes and 28 are branch institutes.
RBI to issue Rs 500 banknotes with the inset letter ‘R’
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 19 December 2016 announced to issue Rs 500 denomination banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi (new) series with inset letter 'R' in both the number panels.
- These new notes will bear the signature of Urjit R Patel, Governor of Reserve Bank of India. The year of printing '2016' will be printed on the reverse side of the banknote.
- The design of these notes will be much similar in all respects to the Rs 500 banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series which are currently in legal tender.
- However, all Rs 500 bank notes issued earlier after 8 November 2016 in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) series will continue to be a legal tender. These banknotes came with the inset letter 'E' in both the number panels. Swachh Bharat Logo was also printed on the reverse side of the note.
Cisco inks MoU with MeitY for cyber security cooperation
- Information technology company Cisco on Thursday has signed a memorandum of understanding with Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) for cyber security cooperation.
- Under the MoU, Cisco and Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In, under MeitY) will establish a threat intelligence sharing programme wherein personnel from Cisco and CERT-In will work together to address cyber-security threats and incidents, identify and shape emerging security market trends, share leading practices, and learn new approaches to enhance cyber-security.
- The company will also open a new Security Operations Centre (SOC) in Pune to provide a broad range of services, from monitoring and management to comprehensive threat solutions and hosted security that can be customised to meet customer needs.
Union Government launches GARV-II mobile app and citizen engagement window SAMVAD
- Union Minister of Power Piyush Goyal on 20 December 2016 launched the GARV-II mobile app with an aim to provide village-wise and habitation-wise base line data on household electrification for all the states.
- This GARV-II mobile app is an upgraded version of the GARV mobile app that was launched in October 2015 for the efficient monitoring of the village electrification programme. This version has till now mapped the data of only 18452 un-electrified villages.
Highlights of the GARV-II mobile app
- Data of about 6 lakh villages having 17 crore people has been mapped in the app for tracking progress on household electrification in each of the habitations of the villages.
- Status of village-wise works sanctioned under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana and release of funds to the states for these projects has been mapped in the app to monitor the progress.
- All the data will be made available in the app to ensure transparency and enhance accountability of various stakeholders along with facilitating view of real time progress.
Citizen Engagement Window ‘SAMVAD’
- The Union Ministry also launched the Citizen Engagement Window SAMVAD with an aim to enhance the participation of public at large.
- This window will take in the feedback and suggestions from the people which will be then automatically forwarded to the concerned Managing Director and Superintending Engineer.
- The information will be given through SMS and e-mail for online monitoring and further action.
Najeeb Jung resigned as Lieutenant Governor of Delhi
- Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung submitted his resignation to the Union Government on 22 December 2016. He resigned 18 months short of his tenure.
- He didn’t cited ant reason for his resignation. In an official press release, he thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for all his cooperation during his tenure as Lt Governor.
- He also thanked Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, for his association in past two years. He also thanked people of Delhi for their support especially during the one year’s President Rule in Delhi.
PM Modi laid foundation stone of Cancer Center in Varanasi
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 December 2016 laid the foundation stone of a Madan Mohan Malviya Cancer Center in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The dedicated cancer centre will be built at an expense of Rs 500 crore.
- After laying the foundation stone of the cancer centre, Modi said that the role of technology in medical science has increased and that’s why his government is making all efforts to provide best medical facilities across India. This is a time when quality and affordable healthcare should be provided to people, especially the poor.
- Modi is on a one-day visit to his Parliamentary constituency Varanasi.
- PM Modi visited Swatantrata Bhavan of Banaras Hindu University (BHU).
- He laid the foundation of super speciality block of Institute of Medical Science of BHU.
- He attended a cultural event being organised under Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav from BHU premises.
- During his visit to BHU, Prime Minister called upon people to adopt digital economy for cashless transactions. This adoption would help him to curb regeneration of black money.
American Tourister appoints Virat Kohli as brand ambassador
- Luggage maker American Tourister has appointed India Test skipper Virat Kohli as its brand ambassador.
- The signing of this cricketer coincides with the launch of new backpack collection by American Tourister for 2017, it said in a statement today.
- The luggage brand has signed the ace cricketer to feature in a new integrated marketing communications campaign, which will be publicised in India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, kick starting in March, 2017, it added.
Girija Vaidyanathan appointed new Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu
- The Additional Chief Secretary and Commissioner of Land Administration, Girija Vaidyanathan has been appointed as the new Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu state, replacing P Rama Mohana Rao.
- The announcement was made through an official statement by the government of Tamil Nadu. Along with being the Chief Secretary, Girija will also hold the position of Vigilance Commissioner and Commissioner for Administrative Reforms.
- This appointment follows the shocking removal of P Rama Mohana Rao from the top post. Rao was sacked a day after an Income Tax raid seized hidden cash and gold from his residence and other properties in Chennai on 21 December 2016.
- A total of Rs 30 lakh cash in the new currency and 5 kg of gold was recovered during the raid, following which opposition parties started demanding for his removal.
Ravichandran Ashwin becomes the ICC Cricketer of the Year
- India's premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Thursday was named the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricketer of the Year, while Test skipper Virat Kohli was chosen to lead the ODI Team of the Year.
- Ashwin was the only Indian in ICC's Test Team of the Year and was also named the Test Cricketer of the Year. Batsman Rohit Sharma and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja were named in the ODI team.
- Pakistan captain Misbah-Ul-Haq won the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award, becoming the first player of his country to win the award.
- South Africa's Quinton de Kock was selected the ODI Cricketer of the Year.
- Afghanistan's Mohammad Shahzad was named the ICC Associate Cricketer of the Year while the West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite won the T20 International Performance of the Year.
Jeje Lalpekhlua declared 2016 AIFF Player of the Year
- Praful Patel, President of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), announced on 21 December 2016 that Jeje Lalpekhlua has been nominated as the 2016 AIFF Player of the Year. The announcement was made at the AIFF Annual General Body Meeting held at the AIFF Football House in New Delhi.
- Jeje will be presented a prize of Rs. 2.5 lakh along with a trophy.
- On the other hand, Sasmita Malik was chosen for the 2016 AIFF Woman Footballer of the Year. She will be bestowed with a prize of Rs. 2 lakh along with a trophy.
- Also, AIFF selected Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Uvena Fernandes for the 2016 AIFF Award for Special Recognition awards. They will be bestowed with Rs. 1 lakh besides a trophy. Gurpreet is the first Indian to feature in a Europa League fixture. He represented Stabaek FC in the Europa League. On the other hand, Uvena is the first Indian Official to officiate in a World Cup final match.
- The 2016 AIFF Emerging Player of the Year went to Rowllin Borges, whereas Sanju was selected for the 2016 AIFF Emerging Women Footballer of the Year award.
Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin occupy top two spots in ICC Test bowling chart
- Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja on 21 December 2016 made it a rare instance of two Indian bowlers topping the ICC Test rankings.
- Jadeja’s maiden 10-wicket match haul against England in the Test match on 20 December 2016 in Chennai made him achieve the second position in the rankings. His performance earned him 66 points and brought him within eight points of Ashwin, who is grabbing the first position in the rankings.
- Interestingly, it is the second time that the top two spots in the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers are occupied by India players. In 1974, left-arm spinner Bishan Singh Bedi and leg-spinner Bhagwath Chandrasekhar were ranked one and two in the rankings, respectively.
- Also, Jadeja gained one place in the recent rankings to reach a career-best third rank in the list of all-rounders, which is also led by Ashwin.
Hong Kong withdraws visa-free facility for Indians
- Hong Kong, the special administrative region of China has withdrawn its previous visa-free facility for Indians. The announcement was made by the Hong Kong Immigration Department on its official website.
- According to the Immigration department’s statement, all Indian tourists will have to complete a pre-arrival registration in order to gain permission to enter the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
- The pre- arrival registration for Indian Nationals will be implemented from 23 January 2017. Its online service has already been opened.
- The registration will not be required for Indians in direct transit by air and those who will not be leaving the airport transit area.
- This new rule is a setback for millions of Indians who travel to the region for trade, business and leisure purposes.
- Earlier, Indians with valid passport were permitted to enter Hong Kong for a period of 14 days without having a visa. The facility has been reportedly revoked due to the rise in the number Indian asylum seekers.
Nepal to hold military exercise with China
- Nepal is all set to hold its first-ever military exercise with China on 10 February 2017. The decision to initiate this new level of bilateral engagement was taken during Nepal’s Army Chief General Rajendra Chhetri’s visit to Beijing in March 2016.
- The military exercise called Pratikar-1 will focus on training Nepali forces in dealing with extreme situations like hostage situation involving international militant groups. This will make Kathmandu more prepared in dealing with terror attacks like the one that happened in Dhaka’s Holey Artisan bakery in July 2016, causing the death of numerous innocent civilians.
- Nepal has conducted similar military drills with India as well.
- Though this new relationship between Nepal and China does not violate the 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship, it does not stand well for India either due to its strained relationship with the latter.
Awards & Honors –
Sahitya Akademi Award 2016 announced
- Sahitya Akademi on 21 December 2016 announced the Sahitya Akademi Awards for the year 2016 in 24 languages. Eight books of poetry, seven books of short stories, five books of novel, two books of criticism, one book of essays and a book of play have won the prestigious awards for the year.
- The awards were recommended by distinguished jury members representing 24 Indian languages and approved by the Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi, under the Chairmanship of Dr. Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari, President of the Akademy.
- The prestigious award will be presented to the winners at a special function to be held on 22 February 2017 in New Delhi. The Award includes a casket containing an engraved copper-plaque, a shawl and a cheque of Rs. 100000.
- Nasira Sharma - Hindi
- Sitanath Acharya - Sanskrit
- Nizam Siddiqui - Urdu
- Jerry Pinto - English
National Mathematics Day observed on 22 December 2016
- National Mathematics Day was observed on 22 December 2016 across India. The day marks the birth anniversary of Indian Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan.
- This observation was first introduced by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 26 February 2012. The announcement was made at Madras University on the occasion of 125th birth anniversary of Ramanujan. The year 2012 was also observed as the National Mathematics Day.
- His discoveries in mathematics include Ramanujam Prime and Ramanujam theta. These discoveries also propelled further research on the subject.
- He along with Godfrey Harold Hardy, a British Mathematician, discovered the smallest number represented as sum of two cubes 1729. This number is known as Hardy–Ramanujan number 1729.
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