Current Affairs December 20, 2018

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of December 20, 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. ‘Period. End of Sentence’, the short documentary film on the stigma surrounding women during menstruation in rural India, has been shortlisted at the 91st Oscar in the Documentary Short Subject category. The short film is directed by award-winning Iranian-American filmmaker Rayka Zehtabchi. It is executive produced by Guneet Monga and is co-produced by Monga’s Sikhya Entertainment, which has backed films like ‘The Lunchbox’ & ‘Masaan’. The 26-minute film follows the exploits of two girls from Hapur village in Uttar Pradesh as they struggle to fight the stigma against menstruation and install a pad vending machine in their village.

*******

2. Uday Shankar, currently chairman of Star India and president of 21st Century Fox Asia-Pacific (only Asia), has been elected as vice president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) for the year 2018-19 at the 91st AGM of the apex industry body. Shankar is the first Indian media and entertainment executive to assume the leadership position in a national industry chamber like FICCI. He has recently been appointed Chairman of Star and Disney India and President of Asia Pacific unit of The Walt Disney Company. The appointment is part of Disney’s integration planning for its acquisition of 21st Century Fox and strategic alignment of its consolidated international business units.

*******

3. Jammu and Kashmir has become the first State in India to bring in a law banning “sextortion”, i.e. sexual exploitation of women by those in positions of authority or those in a fiduciary relationship or by a public servant. The State Administrative Council (SAC) led by Governor Satya Pal Malik has recently approved two bills – the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018 and the Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018. The latter bill seeks to amend the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC), whereby specific offence under section 354 E is being inserted to provide for the offence of ‘Sextortion’. The RPC is the criminal code applicable in the state of J&K. Sextortion is a corruption in a form where the government officials, judges, educators, law enforcement personnel force people for sexual favours in return of something which is under their authority to grant.

*******

4. Industry body Nasscom has collaborated with the IIT-Madras for its FutureSkills Platform that is targeted at re-skilling/upskilling 4 million people from the IT-ITeS industry, students entering the workforce and employees of other industries/government on digital skills. The partnership will be directly with the Sector Skills Council (SSC), which is the education and skill development initiative of Nasscom. The SSC and IIT Madras will work towards building a skills academy and establish a program with extensive courses and training programmes to facilitate skill building in the institution.

*******

5. An international team of astronomers has discovered the most-distant object ever spotted in our solar system. It’s provisional designation is ‘2018 VG18’ & nicknamed as “Farout” for its extremely distant location. The pinkish dwarf planet is more than 100 times farther from the sun than Earth is — and almost four times more distant than Pluto. Farout is about 120 astronomical units (AU), where 1 AU is defined as the distance between the Earth and the Sun. It is discovered by Scott S Sheppard from Carnegie Institution for Science, David Tholen from University of Hawaii, and Chad Trujillo from Northern Arizona University in the US. On 17th Deember 2018, Farour’s discovery was announced by the International Astronomical Union (IAU)’s Minor Planet Center. The second-most-distant observed solar system object is Eris at about 96 AU & Pluto is currently at about 34 AU.

*******

6. Actress Sonam Kapoor has been named People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India’s Person of the Year for 2018 for her animal advocacy efforts. Sonam has been feted as she sings in praise of vegan eating and because she keeps animal skins out of her handbag line for her fashion brand Rheson, apart from taking other action for the welfare of animals. Past recipients of PETA India’s Person of the Year Award include Anushka Sharma, Sunny Leone, Shashi Tharoor, Kapil Sharma, Hema Malini, R. Madhavan and Jacqueline Fernandez. The motto of PETA India is “Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”.

*******

7. The Department of Posts (DoP) has recently released the commemorative Postage Stamp on Rajkumar Shukla, who was associated with Champaran Satyagraha of 1917. In drawing the attention of Mahatma Gandhi to the plight of peasants suffering under an oppressive system established by European indigo planters in Champaran (Bihar), Rajkumar Shukla made a seminal contribution culminating in the launch of the Champaran Satyagraha in 1917 by Mahatma Gandhi ji. This struggle was a turning point in India’s fight for independence. The DoP has been paying a tribute to eminent personalities who have made a significant contribution to public life especially freedom fighters. With this stamp, the Department has released 43 issues in the current calendar year.

*******

8. The European Union (EU) has decided to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from new cars and vans by 2030 despite industry concerns the targets are for now “totally unrealistic”. The targets will require new cars sold in 2030 to emit 37.5% less Co2 on average compared to 2021 levels. Emissions from new vans will have to be 31% lower. Ambassadors from EU countries are expected to endorse the deal in Brussels on 19th December 2018 after the COP24 summit in Poland aimed at breathing new life into the 2015 Paris climate deal. The new law means by 2030 around a third of new cars will be electric or hydrogen-powered. Under the COP21 agreement in Paris, the EU pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions (like those of carbon dioxide and methane) by 40% of 1990 levels by 2030.

*******

9. The Haryana Government has launched ‘Shiksha Setu’ app to ensure better connectivity with college students. It will provide students information on attendance, fee, online admission and scholarships of all government colleges of the state. The app will provide instant updates of important notices, circulars and other programmes to students and teachers, while allowing the former to pay their fee online. During admissions, the students would be able to check the status of seats or course in every college in the state and will also get access to information such as details of scholarships and eligibility conditions among others. Apart from this, the students will also get instant information on assignments and notifications.

*******

10. India has been ranked 108th among 149 countries at the World Economic Forum (WEF) gender gap index for year 2018. As per report titled ‘Measuring the Global Gender Gap’, India ranked lower on all segments – economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival ranking, and political empowerment.“It needs to make improvements across the board, from women’s participation to getting more women into senior and professional roles. The global list was topped by Iceland having closed more than 85.8% of its overall gender gap. Iceland holds the top spot in the index for the 10th consecutive year. Nordic countries Norway (2nd, 83.5%), Sweden (3rd, 82.2%), and Finland (4th, 82.1%) dominated the top slots. The Gender gap was measured across four key pillars — economic opportunity, political empowerment, educational attainment, and health and survival.

*******

Comments