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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS ON DEC 14 2016

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS ON DEC 14 2016

1. National - Rajya Sabha has passed the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2016.
  • The bill repeals Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunity Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act of 1995.
  • It complies with the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to which India became a signatory in 2007.
  • Definition of disability: It has defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept to include 21 conditions as disable. Expands the list of disabilities from seven to 21.
  • It also defines Persons with benchmark disabilities as those with at least 40% of any of the above specified disabilities.
  • Speech and Language Disability and Specific Learning Disability have been added for the first time. Acid Attack Victims have been included
  • National and State Fund: It will be created to provide financial support to the persons with disabilities.
  • The existing National Fund for PwDs and the Trust Fund for Empowerment of PwDs will be subsumed with the National Fund.
  • Punishment: It provides for imprisonment ranging from six months to two years, along with a fine ranging from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 5 lakh, for discriminating against differently abled persons.

2. International  - The sixth edition of Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) began in New Delhi.
  • It was inaugurated by Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu
  • In this conference ministers and senior officials from 68 countries in the Asia-Pacific region are expected to deliberate on challenges of urban planning and management.
  • It will adopt Delhi Declaration and implementation plan for aligning urban development strategies of member countries with New Urban Agenda adopted at Quito, Eucador
  • It was adopted at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (also known as "Habitat III" conference) held in Quito, Ecuador
  • APMCHUD is an intergovernmental mechanism for collaboration and cooperation in the field of housing and development among Asia Pacific countries.
  • It was established under the aegis and support of UN-Habitat.
  • It is consultative mechanism on the promotion of sustainable development of housing and urban development in Asia-Pacific region

3. National - The ninth edition of exercise INDRA NAVY, an annual bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Russian Navy began in the Bay of Bengal.
  • The primary aim of exercise INDRA NAVY-16 is to increase inter-operability amongst the two navies and develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.
  • The exercise will be held in two phases viz. Harbour Phase (14 to 18 December 2016) at Visakhapatnam and tSea Phase (19 to 21 December 2016) off Visakhapatnam.
  • The Harbour Phase will encompass table-top exercises, planning conferences, and professional interactions prior progressing to sea.
  • The thrust of exercises at sea will be on Air Defence Drills, ASW, Surface Firings, visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS) and Tactical procedures.
  • Indian Navy will be represented by INS Ranvir a guided missile destroyer, INS Satpura an indigenous frigate and INS Kamorta an indigenous Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) corvette.
  • INDRA NAVY is a bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian and Russian navies was initiated in 2003


4. International - According to the recently released 2016 IHS Jane's Defence Budgets report, India has become the world's fourth largest defence spender.
  • In this edition of report published by US research firm IHS Inc, India has surpassed Russia, France, Japan and Saudi Arabia to become the world's fourth largest defence spender.
  • United States, China, and the UK remain the top three defence spender in the world.
  • In 2016, the total global defence spending increased to $1.57 trillion.
  • US tops with mammoth defence spending of $622 billion.
  • China is second with defence spending of $191.75top-10-defence billion.
  • India had spent $50.6 billion in 2016 on defence sector, up from $46.6 billion the year 2015.
  • Thus, India spends some 1.8% of its GDP on defence. Of this, up to 36% is spent on capital acquisition.
  • India will surpass the UK in defence spending by 2018
  • The foreign direct investment (FDI) limit for the defence sector in India also has been raised to 49%

5. Science and Technology - The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is building a robotic spacecraft dubbed as 'Restore-L Spacecraft' to refuel, repair satellites currently in orbit.
  • In this regard, NASA has awarded a $127 million contract to California-based satellite company Space Systems/Loral to build Restore-L Spacecraft.
  • Space Systems/Loral will provide NASA with spacecraft bus, critical hardware and services for the Restore-L mission.
  • This mission will be launched in 2020 to perform in-orbit satellite servicing in low-Earth orbit
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6. National -  India Signs Grant Agreement with the IBRD


  • An agreement for Global Environment Facility Grant of USD 5.19 Million for "Additional Financing for Financing Energy Efficiency at MSMEs Project- Programmatic Framework for Energy Efficiency" was recently signed between India and IBRD.
  • The proposed additional financing (AF) would be used to help further scale up the initiatives taken up under the parent project- India: Financing Energy Efficiency at MSME Project (FEEMP)

7. National - Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs in collaboration with UNDP and National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation (NSTFDC) is all set to launch "Vanjeevan" the National Resource Centre for Tribal Livelihood issues at Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
  • Vanjeevan will be a programme to identify the problems in livelihood issues in select districts of six states having low HDI of tribal people in the first phase.
  • The states are Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha and Telangana.
  • In the second phase the programme will be implemented in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Meghalaya and Tripura.
  • The programme will focus on the identification of local resources, keeping in view the existing skill level.
  • The programme will facilitate utilization of funds under various Government programmes for the above purpose.
  • The National Resource Centre will serve as a platform for livelihood mapping, skill gap analysis and knowledge hub where consolidation of best livelihood and entrepreneurship models will be accessible for tribal entrepreneurship development.

8. International - The recently released World Malaria report by the World Health Organization (WHO), the global fight against malaria is in "urgent need" of more funding.
  • There were 212 million new cases of malaria and 4,29,000 deaths worldwide in 2015. Further, nearly 78% of Plasmodium vivax malaria cases in 2015 occurred in just four countries: Ethiopia, India, Indonesia and Pakistan.
  • Despite the billions of dollars spent on malaria programmes, too many people are missing out on available resources like medicines and bed nets that protect against mosquitoes that spread the disease.
  • Surveillance systems catch fewer than 20% of cases. The vast majority cases are in Africa. About 70% of deaths are in children under the age of five.
  • WHO had set a goal of cutting malaria cases to "near zero" by the end of last year. It fell far short, and now is aiming to reduce malaria cases and deaths by at least 90% by 2030.

9. National -  The government is mulling a review of the more than 15-year-old Information Technology (IT), Act to strengthen cybersecurity infrastructure, following the push for digital payments post-demonetisation.
  • A closed group, under IT Secretary Aruna Sundarajan, has been set up to look into various aspects of the Act in line with the changing times.
  • The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) has also set up a separate 'digital payments' division under Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) — its cyber security arm — to monitor and strengthen cashless transactions.
  • All digital payments agencies have also been asked to report to CERT-In any unusual activity that they see on their platforms.
  • The IT Act came out in 2000. Since then, it has not been reviewed. However, since we are moving towards a digital economy now, the act should be reviewed to see if there is a need to re-look at the IT Act architecture to make it more of a deterrent for cyber criminals.
  • Besides, Venezuela, which like India has withdrawn its highest currency note from the market, has also cautioned New Delhi about cybercrimes that target the digital economy.

10. National - Seventh edition of Exercise EKUVERIN will shortly be held at Kadhdhoo, Laamu Atoll, Maldives.
  • The Exercise is a 14 day platoon level joint military exercise between the Indian Army & the Maldives National Defence Force conducted on a yearly basis.Kadhdhoo
  • The aim of the exercise is to conduct military training with emphasis on amphibious & counter insurgency/ counter terrorism operations with a view to enhance interoperability between the two armies.
  • The previous edition of the exercise was held in India at Trivandrum, Kerala.
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11. State - This Indian state is planning to create a Wagah-like border viewing point - Gujarat

12. Science and Technology - This augmented reality game is finally making its debut in India- Pokemon Go

13. State - This state recently approved the recommendations of the seventh pay commission, ahead of elections next year- Uttar Pradesh

14. International  - This multilateral agency halted two concurrent processes initiated by India and Pakistan under the Indus Water Treaty - World Bank Group

15. International  - The country that replaced the controversial Kafala Labour System with the Contract-based Labour System is Qatar
16. Person - Name of the book that was released by the Supreme Court on the history of Indian Judiciary Courts of India- Past and Present

17. Person - Person elected as President of 90th Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan- Akshay kumar M Kale

18. Person - Biography titled on Gymnastic Dipa Karmakar in 2016- Dipa Karmakar: The Small Wonder

19. Person - Legendary horse jockey who died recently and was the rider of the Shergar- Walter Swinburn

20. Sports - The Russian city, Sochi that hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics, was stripped from hosting - the 2017 Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Championships
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21. International -  Madonna biopic that was named as the most admired unproduced film script available at present in the Hollywood system in the annual Black List is - Blond Ambition

22. State - The High Court of the state that issued a notice to the state government seeking its reply over the appointment of 11 MLAs as Parliamentary Secretaries is Chhattisgarh

23. National -  New modern superfast train for unreserved passengers: Antyodaya Express
  • After Deen Dayalu coaches and Humsafar Express, Indian Railways is getting ready to introduce the all new Antyodaya Express.
  • Antyodaya Express has been envisioned as an unreserved, superfast service, that will ply on high density routes.
  • "Antyodaya Express will be a long-distance, fully unreserved, superfast train service, for the common man to be operated on dense routes
  • The train will have modern facilities and multiple comforts for the unreserved passenger, a move that is likely to benefit and bring cheer to the common man.

24. Person - Sushma Swaraj named Global Thinker for novel Twitter diplomacy:
Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been named as one of 15 Foreign Policy Global Thinkers.
She has named in the decision-makers category for fashioning a novel brand of Twitter diplomacy.
The list has been compiled by the Foreign Policy magazine. 14 other notable thinkers in the list include Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel and Justin Trudeau.

25. Person - Ravindra Kumar, First IAS Officer To Scale Mt Everest Pens Motivational Book:
The book titled "Many Everest" An Inspiring Journey of Transforming Dream into Reality' is penned by Ravindra Kumar.
Ravindra Kumar 2011 batch IAS officer as well as the first Seafarer of India, to climb the Mount Everest has written a motivational book for students, which was released by the Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha on December 12, 2016 in New Delhi.
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26. Banking - Yes Bank ties with Grofers to deliver cash at doorstep:
Yes Bank has tied-up with e-grocer Grofers to deliver cash at doorstep, allowing customers to get cash of up to Rs 2,000 when they order grocery online.
The cash delivery service has started  from December 12, 2016, to all customers of bank across Mumbai, Gurgaon and Bengaluru. Other cities will be added to the list gradually.

27. Sports - Andy Murray, Angelique Kerber named ITF Players of the Year:
Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber were named ITF (International Tennis Federation) World Champions of the year 2016.
Andy Murray (Britain) has won 9 titles in this year and sealed the year-end rankings top spot.
Angelique Kerber (Germany) has won Australian and US Open titles as well as a silver medal in Rio Olympics. She is the first German to win this award since Steffi Graf claimed in 1996.

28. Sports - PV Sindhu wins Most Improved Player award:
Rio Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu has won the Badminton World Federation (BWF) 2016 Most Improved Player of the Year award at the Players' in Dubai.
Pusarla Venkata Sindhu is an Indian professional badminton player. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, she became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal.


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