Current Affairs December 05, 2018

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of December 05, 2018 in Short Notes form for preparation of IBPS, Banking, CLAT, SSC, Railway, UPSC, IAS/PCS, UPPSC, BPSC, MPPSC, RPSC, TNPSC, MPSC, KPSC and all other competitive examinations of India.

1. The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed every year on December 3 to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. The annual observance of the Day was proclaimed in 1992, by a United Nations General Assembly resolution. The 2018 theme ‘Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality' focuses on empowering persons with disabilities for an inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This year, the United Nations has launched the first-ever flagship report on disability and development "UN Flagship Report on Disability and Development 2018 - Realizing the SDGs by, for and with persons with disabilities". The Report provides an evidence base for disability-inclusive policy-making, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of an inclusive, accessible and sustainable global development agenda.

2. On December 2, India's first locomotive-less train, known as Train 18, has breached the 180 kmph speed limit during a test run at Kota-Sawai Madhopur section in Rajasthan. When this indigenously designed train is made operational, it will become the country's fastest train. Train 18 is capable of touching 200 kmph provided the rest of Indian Railways' system, such as tracks and signals, permit. With 16 coaches, the train will have the same passenger carrying capacity as that of the Shatabdi Express. It has aerodynamically designed driver cabins at both ends for quicker turn-around at destinations. The train also sports an advanced regenerative braking system which saves power. The fully air-conditioned train offers better passenger comfort and safety, as all equipment are fixed under the carriage so that more space is available on board.

3. Qatar has decided to withdraw its membership from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) with effect from 1st January 2019. The decision to withdraw from OPEC came after Qatar reviewed ways to enhance its role internationally and plan its long-term strategy. It has plans to increase its annual exports of Liquified Natural Gas (LPG) from 77 million tons of gas per year to 110 million tons. Qatar is the world's largest exporter of LPG. It also wants to raise its oil production from 4.8 million barrels of oil equivalent a day to 6.5 million barrels. Currently, the Vienna-based OPEC comprises 15 oil-producing and exporting countries. These are as follows: Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, the Republic of the Congo, Saudi Arabia (the de facto leader), United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.

4. Imran Hussain, the Delhi Environment minister, has been awarded the 'Hero to Animals' award by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India for banning the Chinese manjha (or glass-coated kite strings) in the national capital in 2017. He received a award for saving the lives of humans and animals by banning all forms of manja throughout the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The policy of PETA is to ensure animals do not suffer in laboratories, food industries, leather trade, recreational businesses like circus, roadshows. It is also actively involved in policy formulation and legislative work with governments in order to improve the quality of life of animals.

5. The Bilaspur Police in Chhattisgarh now holds the Guinness World Records for its 'Rakhi with Khakhi' as part of which girls and women tied rakhis to 50,033 police officials rakhis over a span of ten hours and then uploaded selfies with hashtags #rakhiwithkhaki and #HappyRakshaBandhan. The initiative was the brainchild of Bilaspur Superintendent of Police Sheikh Arif Husen & was held on 25th August 2018, a day before Raksha Bandhan. The Guinness World Records certificate was awarded to Bilaspur police at a function held at the Lakhiram Memorial Auditorium on 1st December 2018. The aim of the initiative is to reach out to women and girls and to assure them of security.

6. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a $85 million loan to improve skill development eco-system in Odisha and establish an advanced skill training centre at Bhubaneswar. The project will help over 1.5 lakh people learn skills in priority sectors, including manufacturing, construction and services for formal employment. The World Skill Centre (WSC) at Bhubaneswar will deliver 8 training courses for 13,000 full-time students, provide training for 5,000 teachers, and train 1,000 assessors. It will improve the overall eco-system of skill development in Odisha by providing integrated services through an entrepreneurship incubation centre, a career counselling and placement centre, a curriculum design and development centre, and education technology deployment centre.

7. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, popularly known by his initials AMLO, has been sworn-in as the new President of Mexico on December 1, 2018. He won the historic landslide victory at July 1 presidential election 2018 with over 50% of the popular vote. He started his six-year term with a promise to end the corruption, poverty and extreme violence that have plagued the country for more than a decade. This was the first time since the 1988 election that a presidential candidate was elected with an absolute majority (50%+1) of the votes cast. The President of Mexico is the head of state and government of Mexico. Under the Constitution, the president is also the Supreme Commander of the Mexican armed forces.

8. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has launched a new mass media campaign “Heart Attack Rewind” to eliminate industrially produced trans fat in the food supply by 2022 before WHO deadline. The campaign is the 30 second Public Service Announcement (PSA), which will warn citizens about the health hazards of consuming trans fats and offer strategies to avoid them through healthier alternatives. Edible oil industries took a pledge to reduce the levels of salt, sugar, saturated fat and trans fat content by 2% by 2022. As per records, trans fat intake leads to more than five lakh deaths from cardiovascular diseases every year, globally. Trans fat is made by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to solidify them and increase the shelf life of food. Trans fat is largely present in vanaspati, margarine, and bakery shortenings, and can be found in baked and fried foods.

9. On December 2, the Asia Pacific Summit-2018 was held in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The theme of two day Summit is "Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity, and Universal Values". It was organised by the controversial South Korea-based Universal Peace Federation and supported by the Government of Nepal. Around 1500 participants from 45 countries including India attended the summit. They discussed various global issues including peace, development, good governance and role of parliamentarians, climate change and role of media.

10. The Indian Navy will conduct its flagship Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX), from January end till early March 2019. This will provide an opportunity to test the combat capability of the Indian Coast Guards (ICG), Indian Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF), Indian Navy, and strengthened inter-operability and joint operations in complex conflict situation. As part of TROPEX, the Indian Navy would also conduct a large-scale coastal defence exercise ‘Exercise Sea Vigil’ which will involve all stakeholders across mainland and island territories. The aim of such an exercise is to test the robustness of our entire coastal security apparatus through his massive exercise. The yearly exercise takes place on the Western Seaboard which will have participation of over 45 ships from both the Western and Eastern Naval Commands of the Indian Navy, including the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, submarines including the nuclear powered Chakra, naval aircraft MiG-29K, helicopters as well as ships from the ICG.


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