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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS ON DEC 16 2016

 DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS ON DEC 16 2016

1. State - Assam government has launched 'Sustainable Action for Climate Resilient Development in Majuli' (SACReD, Majuli) to make river island Majuli country's first ever Carbon Neutral district by 2020.
  • The project has been initiated by Assam's department of Environment and Forest to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • It presents a vision and roadap for a carbon netural Majuli.
  • SACReD, Majuli project is part of the French Development Agency assisted Assam Project on Forest and Biodiversity Conservation (APFBC).
  • Under it, mitigation through forestry activities and biodiversity conservation will be the starting points for carbon neutral agenda followed by other interventions over the next three years.
  • The Assam Government has granted district status to Majuli, a 400 square kilometres island in the Brahmaputra River. With this it becomes India's first island district.
  • With this erosion-troubled Majuli island will become the 35th district of Assam.
  • Earlier it was sub-division of Jorhat district.
  • It is the world's largest mid river delta (island) system.
  • Majuli island is mostly inhabited by Mishing tribal people.
  • Majuli island is a rich environmental hotspot harbouring.
  • It is home of many rare and endangered avifauna species including migratory birds

2. National - The Supreme Court ordered that Indian Airforce (IAF) personnel cannot keep beard. It held that Central Government's decision to ban beards in the IAF does not infringe upon fundamental rights.
  • The appellant had claimed that keeping beard is his fundamental right to freedom of religion. However, IAF had countered it saying that keeping a beard was not an essential practice of their faith unlike in the Sikh religion.
  • The Armed Forces Regulation, 1964 allows growing hair or to retain a beard is where there is a religious command which prohibits either the hair being cut or a beard being shaved.
  • Article 33 of the Constitution has the authority to impose restriction on the fundamental rights of Armed Forces personnel.
  • Defence Ministry's 2003 notification allows only those Muslim personnel who sported a beard along with moustache at time of commissioning (prior to January 1, 2002) to retain it.
  • These regulations are meant for uniformity and discipline and have nothing to do with religious rights.


3. International - The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has officially added word 'Brexit' in it. It is among 1,500 new words added to the OED.
  • The OED has defined word 'Brexit' as "the (proposed) withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, and the political process associated with it".
  • The word Brexit was used first after then Prime Minister David Cameron announced in 2013 that UK will hold a referendum on its EU membership. But it entered common parlance as campaigning Brexit intensified before citizen of Britain vote to leave EU in June 2016.
  • The word Brexit has been developed from "Grexit" which describs a similar process in which Greece might leave the Eurozone.
  • Grexit was added in OED, calling politics "a fruitful area for new words".

4. International - The UN cultural body UNESCO has accorded world heritage status to Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro (nicknamed as Marvelous City).
  • It has been registered as "Carioca Landscapes between Mountain and Sea" on the UNESCO world heritage list.
  • Rio de Janeiro has been accorded this status in recognition of its extraordinary fusion of man-made and natural beauty, soaring granite cliffs, urban rainforest and beaches.
  • It also had hosted 2014 football World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.
  • The UNESCO status to Rio de Janeiro was announced in 2012.
  • It became official after the Brazilian authorities were given four years to report on their plans for protecting Sugarloaf Mountain, Flamengo Park, Corcovado, Copacabana beach, Botanical Garden and Tijuca forest.
  • The committee comprises of 21 UNESCO member states which are elected by the General Assembly
  • Presently, Italy with 50 sites is home to the greatest number of World Heritage Sites
                                                   More Daily Current Affairs




5. National - The Supreme Court has ordered a ban on all liquor shops on national as well as state highways to reduce drink driving and road accidents that claim thousands of lives every year across the country.
  • The three-judge SC bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur gave its order on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO called 'Arrive Safe'.
  • All liquor shops on national as well as state highways to be completely banned.
  • Licenses of existing Liquor shops will not be renewed after March 31, 2017.
  • All ads indicating presence of liquor vends must be prohibited on national and state highways.
  • Liquor Shops must be at least 500 metres away from the outer edge of the highways or service lanes.
  • This ban will also extend to stretches of such highways that fall within limits of municipal corporations, city towns and local authorities.

6.International - The fifth edition of the India-Arab Partnership Conference was held in Muscat, Oman from December 14 to 15, 2016.
  • Theme of the conference was 'Partnership towards innovation and cooperation in IT'.
  • It discussed several important topics in fields of technology, innovation, health, pharma sector, clean technology, renewable energy, food security, education, skills development and tourism sector.
  • Around 500 representatives including from the Arab League and Indian government officials, businessmen, investors and academicians participated in the conference.
  • Other collaboration partners of the conference included Federation of Arab Businessmen (FAB) and the General Union of Arab Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Agriculture (GUCCIA).
  • Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Oman Chamber of Commerce were the coordinating agencies.
  • Besides, nine other chambers from the Arab States also participated.

7. National - The Union Government has extended the facility of e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) Scheme for citizens of 161 countries.
  • It was announced by Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.
  • The reply also mentioned that number of foreign tourist arrivals on e-TV during January to November 2016 was 9,17,446.
  • This period registered a growth of 168.5% over same period of previous year.
  • This indicates success of the e-TV Scheme.
  • Union Government had launched e-Tourist Visa Scheme (as Tourist Visa on Arrival scheme) on November 27, 2014.
  • The scheme facilitates pre-authorization of Visa i.e. electronic travel authorisation is given to foreigners prior to travel after applicant registers for visa online.

8. Person - The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed Sunil Arora as Director General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA).
  • He will have tenure of 5 years or till attaining 65 years of age
  • He had retired as Information and Broadcasting Secretary earlier in 2016.
  • Presently, he is serving as an advisor at Prasar Bharati.
  • IICA is a think tank that comes under the Union Corporate Affairs Ministry
                                                       More Daily Current Affairs
9. Person - The ACC has appointed VK Sharma as Chairman Life Insurance Corp. of India (LIC), India's biggest insurer and investor.
  • He will have tenure of five years.
  • Since September 2016, he was serving as acting chairman of LIC

10. State - The 'Thal Favang Kut' festival organised by Department of Tourism, Government of Mizoram began in state capital Aizawl with enthusiasm and fervour.
  • It is a post-harvest festival which is celebrated after harvesting the paddy.
  • It is celebrated every year in to thank the almighty as well as to promote tourism in the state.

11. International - Bangladesh celebrated 45th anniversary of victory over Pakistan and its emergence as a new country on the map of the world on 16 December 1971.
  • On this day, Chief of Pakistani Army General AAK Niazi along with 93,000 Pakistani troops surrendered to allied forces of Mukti Fouz and Indian Army at Ramna Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka following a defeat.
  • India had entered war on 3rd Dec 1971 after being attacked by Pakistan on the western front.
  • The 13-day war culminated in birth of the new Bangla nation from eastern Pakistan.
  • The nation is paying tributes to the bravehearts on  16 December 2016, who laid down their lives during 1971 India-Pakistan war on the occasion of Vijay Diwas which is observed on 16 December of every year.
  • On the occasion, Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar along with three Service chiefs paid tributes to the bravehearts at Amar Jawan Jyoti.

12. Person - Nigeria's Amina Mohammed named UN's Deputy Secretary-General Nigeria's Environment Minister Amina Mohammed was named as the Deputy Secretary-General of United Nations.
  • It was announced by incoming UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
                                                               More Daily Current Affairs
13. Person - Savita Vaidhyanathan became first Indian-American woman to get elected as new Mayor of key Californian city of Cupertino, globally known for its Apple headquarters.
  • She holds an MBA and had worked as a high school Math teacher and as an officer in a commercial bank as well as in non-profit management.
  • She has been a Cupertino resident for over 19 years and has been deeply involved in several community activities in the city.
  • Cupertino one of most educated small towns in US with local public schools ranking highly.

14. Award - An Indian physics teacher Kavita Sanghvi has made it to the list of top 50 contenders for The Global Teacher Prize 2017 by Varkey Foundation.
  • She was shortlisted from over 20,000 nominations and applications from across 179 countries for the $1-million prize for her experiential method of teaching physics.
  • At present, she is Principal of Mumbai's MET Rishikul Vidyalaya

15. Person - Renowned economist Thomas Schelling who won a Nobel Prize in economics in 2005 for using game theory to explain nuclear strategy passed away.
  • He was 95.
  • His best-known book was The Strategy of Conflict (1960), in which he had used game theory (a mathematical analysis of strategies used in competitive situations) to analyse negotiations between nuclear powers.

16. Sports - India's opener batswoman Smriti Mandhana was named in the International Cricket Council (ICC's) Women's Team of the Year 2016.
This is for the first time ICC has named a women's team of the year.
Women's Team of the Year acknowledges and appreciates outstanding performances of women's cricketers over a 12-month period.
The first of kind women's team of the year 2016 will be captained by West Indies' Stafanie Taylor.
It also comprises three players from New Zealand, two each from Australia, England and West Indies and one South African.
                                                             More Daily Current Affairs
17. Science and Technology - The world's first three-parent baby boy was born in Mexico to a Jordanian couple with the help a controversial new fertility technique that incorporates DNA from three people in the embryo.
  • The 'three-parent' technique also known as Mitochondrial donation (Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy) allows parents with rare genetic mutations to have healthy babies.
  • The boy's mother was carrying genes for Leigh syndrome, a fatal genetic disorder that affects the brain, muscles and nerves of developing infants.
  • Genes for the genetic disease reside in DNA in the mitochondria (powerhouse of the cell), which provide energy for our cells.
  • In this case spindle nuclear transfer was used to remove the faulty nucleus from one of the mother's eggs and inserted it into a donor egg that had its own nucleus removed.
  • The resulting egg with nuclear DNA from the mother and mitochondrial DNA from a donor – was then fertilised with the father's sperm to create embryos.
  • This embryo was implanted in the mother and the child was born nine months later in April 2016.
  • Researchers have tested the boy's mitochondria and found it contains less than 1% mutation.
  • MRT or Mitochondrial donation is a medical technique in which defective mitochondria carried by a woman is replaced with the healthy mitochondria of a donor.
  • Through invitro fertilization technique (IVF), the egg is then fertilised with the partner's sperm. Thus the embryo remains free from any such defects.
  • MRT proposes to give parents chance of having a child that is over 99% genetically matched to them and most importantly free of the mitochondrial disease.
                                                                More Daily Current Affairs
18. Award - ICFA presents 'Global Agriculture Leadership Award 2016' to Ratan Tata:
  • The Indian council of Food and Agriculture (ICFA) has presented "Global Agriculture Leadership Award 2016" to Interim Chairman of Tata sons Ratan Tata in Mumbai.
  • He was conferred with the award for his transformational role in scaling Tata Group as the globally admired group during 20 years as chairman.

19.National - Kochi to get India's first transgender school:
  • Sahaj International School in Kochi will be the first residential transgender school in the country.
  • Kochi also known as Cochin
  • The school will initially accommodate ten transgender children, who will study under the National Open School system.
  • The school will led by six transgenders working with the TransIndia Foundation.
  • It will provide education and examination equivalent to Class X and XII.
                                                             More Daily Current Affairs

20. International - India & ASEAN set target of $100 billion trade to be achieved by 2020:
  • India and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) have set a target of trading at 100 billion dollars to be achieved by 2020.
  • Currently, the trade between ASEAN and India is 57 billion.
  • ASEAN and India will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2017, which will be attended by the head of states of all the ASEAN countries.

21. International - India tops Asia in innovation chart:
  • India has Topped the Asia's innovation chart Index.
  • The 'Silicon Valley' of the east, Bengaluru, which is 5th largest hub at the global level, saw most of the innovations in 2016.

22. Sports - India's Largest indoor sports arena will come up in - West Bengal

22. International - The Country that recently inaugurated its first organ tansplant centre is Pakistan
                                                        More Daily Current Affairs
23. State - Gujarat Government has passed a law proposing tougher action against illegal liquor sale and purchase

24. International - The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India is partnering in the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (CEPI), a new global alliance between governments, industries, academia, philanthropy, inter-governmental institutions, the World Health Organization, and civil society.
  • The DBT is hosting the Second Meeting of the Interim Board of CEPI at New Delhi.
  • The meeting is focused on identifying disease priorities, future strategy and setting of Permanent Secretariat for CEPI.
  • The meeting will be attended by Board members from countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, South and North America as well as civil society organizations including Medecins Sans Frontiers as well as the World Health Organization.
  • The structure of CEPI was laid on August 31, 2016 in London and there is an interim Board currently chaired by Prof. K. VijayRaghavan, Secretary DBT. It is the highest decision making body of CEPI, and has supreme decision-making authority for all funding, policy, and product development aspects of CEPI's operations.
  • The scientific input to the Board is provided by a Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) where Indian scientists are members and the joint coordinating group (JCG) is the co-ordination mechanism between CEPI and stakeholders including the vaccine companies.
  • The CEPI aim to finance and coordinate the development of new vaccines to prevent and contain infectious disease epidemics.
  • CEPI is currently being steered by five founding partners. They are: Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, GOI; Government of Norway; Wellcome Trust; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and World Economic Forum.
  • India's participation in CEPI would provide the opportunity to leverage vaccine development capacities in India, access to vaccines as and when needed, protection of our population and boost our ability to have a competitive vaccine industry.







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