Current Affairs December 08, 2018

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of December 08, 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 Indian Coast Guard has conducted the Regional Level Marine Oil Pollution Response Exercise titled ‘Clean Sea – 2018’ at sea off Port Blair on December 6. Coast Guard ships Viswasth, Vijith, Rajveer, Rajshri, 4 interceptor boats and its air assets Dornier and Chetak helicopters participated in the exercise.The preparedness of all agencies during the exercise was conducted under observation of Inspector General Maneesh V Pathak, Commander Coast Guard Region (Andaman and Nicobar Islands) and was overseen by Chief Secretary of Andaman and Nicobar Administration Shri Chetan B Sanghi, who embarked onboard Coast Guard Ship Vijith.

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2. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has launched National Challenge for Youths ‘Ideate for India – creative solutions using technology’ at New Delhi on December 6. The aim of this National Challenge is to give school students across the country a platform and opportunity to become solution creators for the problems they see around them and their communities. It is open to students of classes 6 – 12 all across the country – all 29 States and 7 Union Territories and aims to reach out to at least 1 million youth over the next 3 months. “Ideate for India” will help inculcate innovation skills in youth and equip all students to utilise technology for the betterment of their communities and the society at large. Simultaneously, this will prepare them to contribute towards the realization of Digital India goals. The challenge has been designed and launched by the National e-governance Division in collaboration with Intel India, with support from the Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSE&L) of Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD).

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3. Kenyan distance runner Eliud Kipchoge, and Colombian long & triple jumper Caterine Ibarguen have been named male and female world athletes of the year at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2018. The pair were honoured by the IAAF at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.

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4. Preeti Saran, a former senior Indian diplomat, has been elected unopposed to an Asia Pacific seat on the UN’s Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) for a four-year term beginning on the 1st of January 2019. Members of the CESCR serve in their personal capacities as experts and do not represent their countries even though they may have been nominated by their own nation. All States parties are obliged to submit regular reports to the committee on how the rights are being implemented. States must report initially within two years of accepting the Covenant and thereafter every five years. The committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of concluding observations. The panel meets in Geneva and holds two sessions per year. The other Asian member is Shiqiu Chen of China, whose term ends in 2022.

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5. In a bid to transform rural Maharashtra, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has launched a unique initiative called “SMART”, which stands for State of Maharashtra’s Agribusiness and Rural Transformation. This World Bank assisted project aims to revamp agricultural value chains, with special focus on marginal farmers across 1,000 villages. The initiative will support post-harvest value chain and bring efficiency to benefit economy at large. Stimulating small and medium enterprises within the value chain, the project seeks to establish partnership between the various stakeholders in the agri-business segments including farmer organisations, start-ups, SMEs and large corporates along with women’s self-help groups. The project will entail an investment of $300 million of which World Bank would contribute $210 million. Almost 50 MoUs, involving top corporate houses like Amazon and Tata were signed on the occasion.

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6. According to the study by the Global Carbon Project, India is the fourth highest emitter of CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the world, accounting for 7% of global emissions in 2017. India’s emissions look set to continue their strong growth by an average of 6.3% in 2018, with growth across all fuels — coal (7.1%), oil (2.9%) and gas (6%). The world’s top 10 Co2 emitters were China, the US, the EU, India, Russia, Japan, Germany, Iran, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. The study said that while China and India still rely heavily on coal, the US and the EU are slowly decarbonising. It further said that India can continue to deploy solar farms, leveraging its leadership of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to displace coal and clean up its smog-choked cities. The study was recently released on the occasion of the 2018 UN Climate Summit (COP24) in Katowice, Poland. It warned that global emissions of Co2 from fossil fuels and industry are projected to rise for the second consecutive year in 2018 by more than two percent to a new record mainly due to sustained growth in oil and gas use.

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7. The World Soil Day (WSD) is observed every year on December 5 to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and advocating for the sustainable management of soil resources. The 2018 theme is ‘Be the Solution to Soil Pollution’. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Soil holds 3 times as much carbon as the atmosphere and can help meet the challenges of a changing climate. It further stated that 815 million people are food insecure and 2 billion people are nutritionally insecure, but it can be mitigated through soil. 95% of food comes from soil and 33% of the global soils are already degraded. In wake of this cause, the Government of India (GoI) has launched nationwide Soil Health Card Scheme (SHCS) to take care of Soil Health for the first time in a uniform manner to evaluate the soil fertility across the country. Soil health card provides information to the farmers on fertility status of their soil and enables them to apply soil health card based recommended dosages of fertilizers including micro-nutrients, bio-fertilizers, manures as well as soil ameliorants. It is helpful in checking the declining fertility of agriculture land and improve the fertility of soils to increase productivity besides enhancing farmers income.

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8. Dr Krishnamurthy Subramanian has been appointed the new Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) for a period of three years. The post of CEA had been lying vacant since Arvind Subramanaian left the finance ministry after a four-year stint. Dr Krishnamurthy is currently working as an Associate Professor and the executive director at the Indian School of Business (IBS), Hyderabad. The CEA is the ex-officio cadre controlling authority of the Indian Economic Service (IES) & is under the direct charge of the Minister of Finance.

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9. Maulana Asrar-ul-Haque Qasmi (76), noted Islamic scholar and Congress Lok Sabha MP from Bihar’s Kishanganj constituency, has passed away on December 7, 2018. Qasmi won the Kishanganj seat in 2009 general elections by contesting on an Indian National Congress ticket after five consecutive failures. He retained his constituency in the 2014 general elections by defeating BJP’s Dilip Kumar Jaiswal. He was a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and also a founder member of the All India Milli Council.

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10. Mushtaq Ahmad Tantray, a prominent Kashmiri short-story writer and eminent broadcaster, bagged 2018 Sahitya Academy Award for his collection of short stories “AAKH’’. Mr Tantray is presently posted as Head of the Regional News Unit at Radio Kashmir Srinagar. “AAKH”, a collection of eighteen short stories, published in 2012 had earlier bagged the best book award in Kashmiri at the state level from State Academy of Art, Culture and Languages for the year 2014.

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