Current Affairs: December 16, 2011

Hazare is CNN-IBN Indian of the Year

  • Anna Hazare was honoured with the CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2011 award while West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was feted for her contribution to politics.

Vijay Divas celebrated to remember victory over Pakistan

  • Vijay Diwas, marking the country’s victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war, was celebrated at Pangode Army Station. Vijay Diwas marked the day when on December 16, 1971 over 90,000 Pakistani soldiers led by Lt General A K Niazi surrendered unconditionally before the Indian Army led by Lt General J S Arora, the then GOC-in-C, Eastern Command, in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh which was then East Pakistan.
  • The year 2011 mark 40th anniversary of Vijay Diwas.

Interpol proposes fight against corruption in cricket

  • World police organisation Interpol has proposed to collaborate with the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) to fight corruption, illegal gambling and the influence of the underworld on the game. The proposal was made during the two-day visit of Interpol Secretary General Ronald K Noble to the CBI headquarters. The purpose of his visit to India was to explore the possibility of a tie-up among Interpol, ICC and BCCI for eradicating corruption and promoting integrity in sports.

India, Russia sign 5 agreements; no pact for Kudankulam 3, 4

  • India and Russia signed five agreements including on defence, health and education, and resolved to carry forward bilateral cooperation to strengthen their strategic partnership for meeting future global challenges. No agreement on Kudankulam nuclear power reactors 3 and 4 was signed, as anticipated.

FICCI welcomes Russia’s joining WTO

  • Welcoming Russia’s inclusion in World Trade Organisation (WTO), industry body FICCI held that the move would make the world trade rules-making body more broad-based. Russia is the largest economy that remained outside the WTO until now. Russia is all set to join WTO after 18 years. Russia to become part of the 153-strong trade club.

Myanmar is now second-largest producer of opium: UN

  • There has been a significant increase in opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar and Laos, according to a survey conducted by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). In 2011 cultivation in the region jumped from 42,000 hectares to almost 48,000 hectares, a 16 per cent rise over 2010. Opium poppy cultivation has doubled in Southeast Asia since 2006, noted the UN agency. Myanmar accounted for 91 per cent of cultivation in the region, with Laos taking nine per cent. Myanmar remained the second largest poppy-crop grower and opium producer in the world after Afghanistan.

U.S. formally ended military operations in Iraq

  • At a simple ceremony in Baghdad, called the Casing Of Colours“, the flag of the American forces in Iraq was lowered, a military tradition that symbolised the end of the war
  • All US Forces were mandated to withdraw from Iraqi territory by 31 December 2011 under the terms of a bilateral agreement signed in 2008.

Food inflation drops off to 4.35%, a 4 year low

Food inflation slumped to a near four-year low of 4.35 per cent for the week ended December 3, 2011. Food inflation stood at 6.6 per cent in the previous week and food inflation was at 10.78 per cent in the like week of 2010.

Kerala ready for tripartite agreement: Chandy

  • Voicing Kerala’s readiness to walk the extra mile to resolve the Mullaperiyar dam row, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy held that he is willing to enter into a tripartite agreement and enact a law assuring Tamil Nadu of the ‘same quantity’ of water from the proposed new dam.

CAG raised objections to flaws in military intelligence contract

  • In its 2001 report, CAG raised objections to Rs. 38-crore contract given to Indian firm Rolta in 1996 for image analysis equipment, which is used by the Directorate of Military Intelligence to scan raw images gathered by satellites and unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicles.
  • It pointed out that the Army paid Rolta for software upgrades as part of a maintenance contract even though it was contractually obliged to provide them i.e. it was already entitled to them for free.
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