Current Affairs December 16, 2018

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of December 16, 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. Noted English author Amitav Ghosh has been honoured with 54th Jnanpith Award for 2018 for his outstanding contribution towards literature. The decision was taken in a meeting of Jnanpith Selection Board chaired by eminent novelist, scholar and Jnanpith laureate Pratibha Ray. Mr. Ghosh’s novels include Shadow Lines, The Glass Palace, The Hungry Tide, and the Ibis trilogy — Sea of Poppies, River of Smoke, and Flood of Fire — discussing the opium trade between India and China run by the East India Company. He is also recipient of the Padma Shri and Sahitya Akademi Award.

2. The Union government has constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to examine the specific recommendations of High Level Empowered Committee (HLEC) constituted to address the issue of stressed power projects and forward their comments for consideration by the Union Cabinet. The panel, headed by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, had submitted its report in November 2018. The other members of the GOM are Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and Power Minister R K Singh.

3. On December 11, the world's first Floating Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) - Akademik Lomonosov - has become operational at the Baltiysky Zavod shipyard in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is constructed by the state nuclear power firm Rosatom. The FNPP has a capacity of 70MW and is equipped with two reactors of 35MW each. According to Rosatom, an FNPP's operational life span is 40 years, with the possibility of being extended up to 50 years. An FNPP is basically a mobile, low-capacity reactor unit operable in remote areas isolated from the main power distribution system, or in places hard to access by land. They are designed to maintain both uninterruptible power and plentiful desalinated water supply in remote areas.

4. The 39th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit 2018 was held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In it, the Secretary-General Abdellatif al-Zayani read the closure declaration in which member countries underscored their loyalty to the organization. The declaration called on to form a route map to complete the integration between member states and ensure financial unity until 2025. GCC declaration also emphasized that it would continue to support fellow states, the Palestinian cause, and Yemen. Although the 39th summit was held in Riyadh upon a request from Oman, Oman will be the president for the next 12 months. The next summit is going to be held under the United Arab Emirates (UAE) presidency. The GCC, established in 1981 in Abu Dhabi, comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

5. The National Energy Conservation Day (NECD) is observed every year on 14th December by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), under Ministry of Power, with an aim to demonstrate India’s achievements in energy efficiency and conservation, while working for its ambition of holistic development as part of the nation’s overall effort towards climate change mitigation. The day is also meant to raise awareness about the importance of energy & its conservation.

6. On the occasion of 2018 National Energy Conservation Day (NECD), the Ministry of Power has launched the ECO Niwas Samhita 2018 - an Energy Conservation Building Code for Residential Buildings (ECBC-R) - to promote energy efficiency in home construction. It’s purpose is to benefit the occupants and the environment by promoting energy efficiency in design and construction of homes, apartments and townships. The parameters listed in the Code have been developed based on large number of parameters using climate and energy related data. The Code is expected to assist large number of architects and builders who are involved in design and construction of new residential complexes in different parts of the country. Implementation of this Code will have potential for energy savings to the tune of 125 billion units of electricity per year by 2030, which is equivalent to about 100 million tonnes of carbondioxide emission.

7. Pu Zoramthanga, the President of Mizo National Front (MNF), has been sworn-in as the new Chief Minister of Mizoram. He was administered the oath of office and secrecy in Mizo Language by Mizoram Governor K Rajasekharan during a ceremony at Raj Bhavan in Aizawl. This is his third stint as chief minister of the northeastern state, having led the MNF government in Mizoram in 1998 and 2003. Mr Tawnluia will be the deputy chief minister. The MNF came to power in Mizoram capturing 26 of the 40 seats in the state assembly in the recently-held polls.

8. The Nigerian military has lifted a ban on UNICEF operations in the ravaged northeast of the country. Earlier, the army had suspended the aid agency & accused it of training spies supporting Boko Haram jihadists. Boko Haram's Islamist insurgency has killed more than 27,000 people since it began in 2009 and has triggered a humanitarian crisis in the wider Lake Chad region, where the jihadists have stepped up attacks in recent months.

9. The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) recently launched an exercise 'Operation Oliva' along the serene sea waters of Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in Odisha to protect the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles during their mating season. The exercise is part of its annual mission to ensure the safe mid-sea sojourn of breeding Olive Ridley sea turtles.

10. The Punjab Legislative assembly has unanimously passed a resolution to seek 33% reservation for women in both Parliament and state assemblies. The resolution, which was moved by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, has urged the Union Government to enact the Women’s Reservation Bill as fast as possible. The Bill would ensure greater equity and balanced representation for both men and women in the national electoral process and decision making. Once the bill got enacted, 181 seats in Lok Sabha will be reserved for women along with 1,370 assembly seats (out of a total of 4,109) in 28 state assemblies in the country.

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