DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS : December 11, 12 & 13, 2019
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International Mountain Day: 11 December
- International Mountain Day is observed on December 11 every year.
- Due to the increasing attention towards the importance of mountains, the United Nations declared 2002 as the UN International Year of Mountains.
- The theme of International Mountain Day 2019 is ‘Mountains matter for Youth.
International Day of Neutrality: 12 December
- International Day of Neutrality is a United Nations observance held on December 12 each year.
- It was officially declared by a UN General Assembly resolution adopted in February 2017 and first observed on December 12 of the same year.
- The UN General Assembly calls for all Member States, organizations of all levels and concerned individuals to hold educational events aimed to raise public awareness of the value of neutrality in international relations.
International Universal Health Coverage Day: 12 December
- Every year 12 December is celebrated as International Universal Health Coverage Day across the world, as an annual rallying point for the growing movement for health for all. The day is promoted by World Health Organization (WHO).
- To raise awareness of need for strong and resilient health systems and universal health coverage with multi-stakeholder partners.
- The theme ‘Keep the promise’ has been chosen following the UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage on 23 September 2019, where world leaders endorsed the most comprehensive and ambitious political declaration on health in history.
Bill introduced in Lok Sabha to amend welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act
- The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced in the Lok Sabha today.
- It was introduced by Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot.
- The bill, among other things, seeks to remove the ceiling of ten thousand rupees as maintenance and includes the preference to dispose of applications of senior citizens, above 80 years of age.
- It also provides for the registration of senior citizens’ care homes and home care service agencies and seeks to ensure that minimum standards are maintained at such homes.
ISRO successfully launches earth observation satellite RISAT-2BR1
- Indian Space Research Organization’s trusted workhorse the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle achieved a landmark today with its 50th mission lifting off successfully from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
- In his address from the Mission Control Centre on the occasion, ISRO Chairman Dr. K. Sivan said, the 50th PSLV mission had successfully injected RISAT-2BR1 and nine customer satellites precisely into a 576 kilometres orbit.
- The 628-kilogram RISAT-2BR1 is the second radar imaging satellite in the RISAT-2B series and along with the CARTOSAT-3 is part of a group of satellites that will boost India’s earth imaging capabilities from space.
- The satellite will help in agriculture, mining, forestry and coastal management, soil monitoring, disaster management support and round the clock border surveillance.
MEA to host 6th Indian Ocean Dialogue and Delhi Dialogue XI tomorrow
- External Affairs Ministry will host the 6th Indian Ocean Dialogue and Delhi Dialogue XI at the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi tomorrow.
- For the first time, these two dialogues will be held consecutively and on similar Indo-Pacific themes.
- The theme for Indian Ocean Dialogue is “Indo-Pacific: Re-imagining the Indian Ocean through an Expanded Geography”.
- The theme for this year’s Delhi Dialogue is “Advancing Partnership in Indo-Pacific”, and is being organized with the assistance of the Research and Information System for Developing Countries.
Workshop on Bamboo cultivation to be held on 19 & 20 Dec in Jammu
- In Jammu and Kashmir, a first of its kind workshop on Bamboo cultivation will be held on 19th and 20 of this month in Jammu.
- Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh will inaugurate the exhibition.
- The workshop will focus on promotion of Bamboo cultivation in the potential Kandi areas of Jammu and its value addition as an economic activity and to generate entrepreneurship and employment opportunities.
Sri Lankan govt working on plan to provide increased training opportunities for its officials at Indian institutions
- Sri Lankan government is working on a plan to provide increased training opportunities for its government officials at Indian institutions.
- President Gotabaya Rajapksa has said more training opportunities will be offered to government officials and this matter was discussed during his recent visit to India. This was stated during swearing in of new state secretaries at a function in Colombo last evening.
ICJ begins hearing on Rohingya atrocities case
- The International Court of Justice (ICJ) started the hearing on the case of Rohingya atrocities by Myanmar today.
- On Tuesday, Gambia will present its case at the ICJ followed by the defence presented by Myanmar on Wednesday.
- On the final day of the hearing on Thursday, both the sides will present their second round of observations.
- Myanmar’s state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in her capacity as foreign affairs minister arrived in the Hague on Sunday to lead Myanmar’s defence against the allegations over the next three days of hearing at the ICJ starting on Tuesday.
- Myanmar has consistently denied the allegation of atrocities against the Rohingyas.
- It claims that the ‘clearance operations’ by the military in the Rakhine province were counter-terrorism measures against insurgents active in that area of Myanmar.
- The ICJ is not empowered to punish individuals.
- Gambia has requested the ICJ to impose provisional measures to protect Rohingyas from further persecution by the Myanmar military. The final ruling on the ‘genocide’ issue may take a long time to be decided by the ICJ. In another development on Nov 14, the International Criminal Court (ICC), based in The Hague authorized its prosecutor office to launch an investigation into the Rohingya situation in Bangladesh/Myanmar.
INTACH to provide consultancy services for Post-Earthquake reconstruction of Cultural Heritage sites in Nepal
- The government of India has deployed Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) to provide consultancy services for Post-Earthquake reconstruction of 11 Cultural Heritage sites in Nepal.
- An agreement in this regard was signed by Dr. Ajay Kumar, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India and Dr. C.T. Mishra, Member Secretary, INTACH in Kathmandu this morning.
- INTACH will provide Design and Project Management Consultancy services for the reconstruction of 11 Cultural Heritage sites in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur and Solukhumbhu districts of Nepal.
- INTACH will work with Nepal’s Department of Archeology to reconstruct/conserve Cultural Heritage sites as per the Government of Nepal’s guidelines.
World’s First commercial electric plane takes flight in Canada
- The world’s first fully electric commercial aircraft took its inaugural test flight, taking off from the Canadian city of Vancouver.
- Vancouver-based Harbour Air Seaplanes and U.S. electric engine-maker magniX said the flight was the world’s first by an all-electric commercial aircraft.
- The Company said the technology would mean significant cost savings for airlines — not to mention zero emissions.
- It hopes to be using the electric-powered planes to carry passengers by 2022.
Odisha to set up 45 new fast track courts
- To expedite the trial of cases relating to women and children, 45 new fast track courts will be set up in Odisha.
- State Law Minister Pratap Jena said 21 courts would be dedicated for cases of rape and sexual harassment of women.
- The remaining 24 fast track courts will specifically deal with Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) cases.
- The State government’s action comes after Centre’s decision to formulate a scheme for setting up 1,023 fast track special courts for expeditious trial and disposal of rape cases.
Xiaomi launches service “Mi Credit” in India for Android phones
- Xiaomi has formally launched its lending platform “Mi Credit” in India for Android phones. According to platform “Mi Credit” individuals can avail up to Rs 1 lakh loan.
- The company is planning to introduce more financial products in India.
- The company has been operating Mi Credit platform on a pilot basis.
- Xiaomi has roped in Aditya Birla Finance Ltd, Money View, EarlySalary, Zestmoney and CreditVidya as the current lending partners for Mi Credit service.
- Mi Credit app will come pre-loaded on all MIUI phones , and can be downloaded from Google Play Store.
Gulu Mirchandani bags CEAMA Lifetime Achievement Award
- Gulu Mirchandani has been conferred with “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association.
- Gulu Mirchandani is the founder & chairman of Mirc Electronics Ltd. (Onida).
- He has been awarded for his extensive contribution to the consumer electronics industry.
- He has been associated with consumer electronics industry for more than 3 decades.
- Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA) is an all-India organisation in the consumer electronics and durables sector. It has been in existence for over three decades.
Ethiopia’s PM receives Nobel Peace Prize
- Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has received the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to achieve international peace and cooperation. After receiving the prestigious award in a formal ceremony at Oslo’s City Hall today, Mr Ahmed said, he accepted this award on behalf of Ethiopians and Eritreans, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of peace.
- This year’s Nobel Peace Prize was the 100th to be awarded. The Nobel Peace Prize consists of a diploma, a gold medal and a cheque for nine million Swedish kronor (850,000 euros).
- The Nobel Committee announced in October it was honouring Abiy Ahmed for his efforts to resolve the long-running conflict with neighbouring for Eritrea.
Priyanka Chopra honoured at the Marrakech Film Festival
- Shortly after Priyanka Chopra was bestowed with UNICEF’s Danny Kaye Humanitarian Award in New York last week, the Bollywood star flew to Morocco where she was honoured at the 2019 Marrakech Film Festival on Thursday for her outstanding contributions to cinema.
- She was honoured, alongside Hollywood legend Robert Redford, Moroccan actor Mouna Fettou and French filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier.
Odisha wins ‘World Habitat Award’ for OLHM- Jaga Mission
- Odisha won the bronze in ‘World Habitat Award‘ for Jaga Mission also called Odisha Liveable Habitat Mission (OLHM), a slum land titling project executed for the benefit of millions of urban-poor people living in slums.
- The award was given by the World Habitat, a UK (United Kingdom) based organization which gives the award annually to recognize innovative housing projects around the world.
- The Jaga is a society under Housing and Urban Development Department (HUDD), Government of Odisha.
- The OLHM-JAGA aims at transforming the slums into livable habitats and under which 52,682 urban poor families living in the slums have been granted land rights certificate.
- The mission works under the Odisha Land Rights to Slum Dwellers Act passed in September 2017.
C. Sugandh Rajaram appointed as India’s next envoy to the Republic of Ghana
- Sugandh Rajaram has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Ghana.
- He will replace Birender Singh Yadav as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Ghana.
- Sugandh Rajaram is presently the Consul General, Consulate General of India to Southern Germany.
Puma Signs Sunil Chhetri as Brand Ambassador
- German multinational brand PUMA has signed Sunil Chhetri, captain of the Indian national football team and Bengaluru Football Club, as the brand ambassador on a three-year deal.
- With this deal Chhetri has joined the brand’s roster of global players like Antoine Griezmann, Romelu Lukaku, Luis Suarez and Sergio Aguero among others.
- Previously, PUMA has teamed up with India’s top athletes including Virat Kohli and MC Mary Kom to Dutee Chand. The brand is fueling the growing passion for sports across disciplines.
Pepsi India ropes in Salman Khan as brand ambassador
- Pepsi India has roped in actor Salman Khan as its brand ambassador.
- Pepsi will be launching its association with the actor by tying up with Dabangg 3.
- This campaign will give consumers a sneak peek into what the Pepsi 2020 campaign will look like.
India among top 10 countries with higher climate performance
- India, for the first time, ranks among the top 10 in this year’s Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) at the COP25 climate summit in the Spanish capital Madrid. The current levels of per capita emissions and energy use in India ranked 9th in the high category showing that emissions are still comparatively low.
- The authors of the report noted that while the country receives an overall medium rating in the renewable energy category, India’s 2030 renewable energy target is rated very high for its well-below 2 degrees Celsius compatibility. They noted that as none of the countries assessed is already on a path compatible with the Paris climate targets, the first three places of the ranking remain unoccupied.
- While some EU countries such as Sweden (4th) and Denmark (5th), one of the best climbers, achieve overall high or very high ratings, the performance of EU countries varies largely.
- While only two G20 countries, the UK (7th) and India (9th), are ranked in the high category, eight G20 countries are remaining in the worst category of the index.
ADB lowers India’s GDP growth forecast to 5.1% in FY20
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has lowered its forecast for India’s economic growth in fiscal year 2019-20 to 5.1%.
- ADB has stated that the consumption was affected by slow job growth and rural distress was aggravated by poor harvest.
Summit and Conferences
Switzerland to be the country partner of BioAsia 2020
- Switzerland will be the country partner at the 17th edition of BioAsia2020 scheduled to be held from February 17-19, 2020 with the theme “Today For Tomorrow” in Hyderabad, Telangana.
- Switzerland is making innovations in the world of medical healthcare and that many pharmaceutical companies have emerged as the center of Switzerland.
- While the city of Hyderabad has become a hub in the field of health tech and will be introduced to the Switzerland Health Tech Ecosystem through the Bio Asia Summit.
13th South Asian Games concluded in Nepal
- The 13th South Asian Games concluded in Nepal. India finished on top with 312 medals comprising 174 gold, 93 silver and 45 bronze. Host Nepal remained second and Sri Lanka got third place.
- During the 10 day long biggest sporting event of the South Asia, over 2700 athletes from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Maldives competed for 1119 medals. Sporting events in 26 games were held at Kathmandu, Pokhara and Janakpur.
GS Lakshmi to become 1st Woman Match Referee to officiate men’s ODI match
- Indian match referee GS Lakshmi is set to become the first woman match referee to officiate a men’s ODI match. She will oversee the third series of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2. The opening match of the competition will take place between the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
- Earlier in May 2019, she also became the first woman to get appointed onto the ICC International Panel of Match Referees.
- Lakshmi has the experience of officiating in three women’s ODI matches, 16 men’s T20Is and seven women’s T20Is.
George Laurer, inventor of bar code dies at 94
- George J. Laurer, whose invention of the Universal Product Code at IBM transformed retail and other industries around the world, has died. He was 94. He died on Thursday at his home in Wendell, North Carolina in US.
- Laurer was an electrical engineer with IBM in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park in the early 1970s when he spearheaded the development of the UPC, or bar code.
- The now-ubiquitous marking, composed of unique black bars and a 12-digit number, allowed retailers to identify products and their prices as they are scanned, usually at checkout.
ICSSR Chairman Braj Bihari Kumar passes away
- Braj Bihari Kumar, the Chairman of Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) passed away. He was appointed as the chairman of the ICSSR in May 2017.
- Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) was established in the year of 1969 by the Government of India to promote research in social sciences in the country. provide grants for projects, fellowships, international collaboration, capacity building, survey, publications etc. to promote research in social sciences in India.
Former US Federal Reserve chief Paul Volcker passes away
- The former US Federal Reserve chief Paul Volcker passed away. He was appointed as the chief of the US Federal Reserve in 1979.
- He was popularly known for fighting inflation by raising interest rates. He was a legendary figure in American finance.
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