Current Affairs December 22, 2018

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of December 22, 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. In order to mark the 125th anniversary of the Battle of Patharughat, the Assam government has announced three schemes – Assam Farmers’ Credit Subsidy Scheme (AFCSS), Assam Farmers’ Interest Relief Scheme (AFIRS) and Assam Farmers’ Incentive Scheme (AFIS) – for the welfare of farmers. On 28th January 1894, approx 140 peasants were killed in an unprovoked police firing while protesting against enhanced revenue. Hence, Patharighat is also known as Assam’s Jallianwala Bagh. Under ‘AFCSS’, whatever amount of loan the farmers took from banks and whatever amount they repaid, 25% of the money will be reimbursed by the state government. Under ‘AFIRS’, currently 3% of the 7% interest against farm loan is paid by the Central government and the remaining 4% is required to be paid by farmers. The state government has decided to pay the remaining 4% loan to give relief to the farmers. Under ‘AFIS’, the state government will pay a one-time cash incentive up to Rs 10,000 for activating the inactive KCC accounts provided the farmers deposits the outstanding loan amounts.

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2. Former India opener, W. V. Raman has been appointed the new coach of the Indian women’s cricket team. The selection of Raman was based on recommendations of the ad-hoc committee comprising Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy. His first assignment is the tour of New Zealand beginning on January 2019. Raman is a vastly-experienced coach having been in charge of Tamil Nadu and India Under-19 teams in the past. Raman has represented India in 11 Tests and 27 ODIs.

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3. The book titled “Changing India” has been author by former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh & is recently released at an event in New Delhi. In the book, the Congress leader narrated his journey from an economist to a politician and shared anecdotes from his life.

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4. The SDG India Index: Baseline Report 2018 has been released by the NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar, CEO Amitabh Kant and UN Resident Coordinator Mr. Yuri Afanasiev at NITI Aayog in New Delhi on December 21. The Index is intended to provide a holistic view on the social, economic and environmental status of the country and its States and UTs. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which came into being in September 2015, are in the Third year of global implementation. The SDGs are ambitious global aspirations on development that address key aspects of universal wellbeing, across different socio-economic, cultural, geographical divisions as well as the interconnectedness among the economic, social and environmental dimensions of development. NITI Aayog has the twin mandate to oversee the implementation of SDGs in the country and promote Competitive and Cooperative Federalism among States and Union Territories. In exercise of these roles, NITI Aayog has developed the SDG India Index and the First Baseline Report for 2018 with the support of Global Green Growth Institute and UN in India.

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5. As per latest report of Reporters without Borders (RSF), Afghanistan is the most deadliest country for journalists in 2018, with 13 deaths, followed by Syria (11) and Yemen (8). India has emerged among the world’s fifth-most deadliest place for journalists alongside a first-time entrant in the list – the United States. The report titled ‘Worldwide Round-up of Journalists Killed, Detained, Held Hostage’, highlighted that the risk journalists face even in countries like India which are not even at war. It observed that the killing of journalists were carried out using barbaric methods. In India, six journalists have been murdered in 2018 and many others were the targets of murder attempts, physical attacks, and threats. In addition, the journalists witnessed hate campaigns against them, including incitement to murder, which is a common thing on social networks. However, the RSF highlighted some positive news from Iraq, where no journalist was killed for the first time since the US-led invasion of 2003.

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6. India’s largest cancer hospital-cum-research facility- the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has recently opened its OPD services after soft launch at Badhsa village in Jhajjar district of Haryana on December 18, 2018. The hospital’s foundation stone was laid by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2014. It is expected to be fully operational by December 2020. The NCI, which is a project under Delhi AIIMS, will be headed by Dr GK Rath who is also the chief of Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital at AIIMS. The institute is spread over 50 acres. The facilities of X-ray, ultrasound, blood tests and biopsy have been made available at the Outpatient Department (OPD). The NCI is being developed at a cost Rs 2,035 crore. It will have 710 beds for different facilities like surgical oncology, radiation oncology, medical oncology, anaesthesia, palliative care and nuclear medicine, besides 1,080 hostel rooms for doctors and 800 rooms for attendants of cancer patients.

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7. NITI Aayog has released its comprehensive national ‘Strategy for New India @ 75′ document with an aim to accelerate growth to 9-10% and make the country a $4-trillion economy by 2022-23. It is a detailed exposition across 41 crucial areas, that recognizes the progress already made, identifies binding constraints, and suggests the way forward for achieving the clearly stated objectives. The 41 chapters in the document have been disaggregated under four sections: Drivers, Infrastructure, Inclusionand Governance. The overarching focus of the Strategy document is to further improve the policy environment in which private investors and other stakeholders can contribute their fullest towards achieving the goals set out for New India 2022.

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8. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has launched the “Asiatic Lion Conservation Project” with an aim to protect and conserve the world’s last ranging free population of Asiatic Lion and its associated ecosystem. The total budget of the project for 3 years that amounts to nearly Rs. 9784 lakh will be funded from the Centrally Sponsored Scheme- Development of Wildlife Habitat (CSS-DWH) with the contributing ratio being 60:40 of Central and State share. The conservation of Asiatic Lions has always been a priority of Government of India (GoI). The project activities is envisaged in a manner to cause habitat improvement, scientific interventions, disease control and veterinary care supplemented with adequate eco development works for the fringe population in order to ensure a stable and viable Lion population in the Country. The 2015 census showed a population of 523 Asiatic Lions in the Gir Protected Area Network of 1648.79 sq. km.

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9. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, a 1984-batch Indian Foreign Service diplomat, has been appointed as the new Ambassador of India to the United States (US). He will succeed Navtej Sarna. Presently, Shringla is the High Commissioner to the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Beside him, Riva Ganguly Das, 1986 batch IFS, who is presently Director General of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) will take over as the High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh.

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10. The Consumer Protection Bill 2018 has recently passed in Lok Sabha to strengthen the rights of consumers and to provide a mechanism for redressal of their complaints regarding defects in goods and deficiency in services. It seeks to establish Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions at District, State and National levels. It will replace the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 & will now go to the Rajya Sabha for passage. As per provision in 2018 bill, the Central Consumer Protection Authority shall consist of a Chief Commissioner and such number of other Commissioners as may be prescribed, to be appointed by the Central Government to exercise the powers and discharge the functions under this Act. The headquarters of the Central Authority shall be at such place in the National Capital Region of Delhi. By notification, the Central Government may make rules to provide for the qualifications for appointment, method of recruitment, procedure for appointment, term of office, salaries and allowances, resignation, removal and other terms and conditions of the service of the Chief Commissioner and Commissioners of the Central Authority.

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