Current Affairs December 23, 2018

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of December 23, 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 first-ever meeting of the newly constituted India-China High-Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges was held in New Delhi on December 21, 2018. The new mechanism aims to build synergies in people-to-people ties. The meeting was co-chaired by the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. In it, India and China identified 10 areas for boosting people-to-people cooperation in keeping with the ‘Wuhan spirit’ put in place by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping after their informal summit at Wuhan in April 2018. These are as follows: cultural exchanges, films and television co-production, media, sports, youth affairs, tourism, exchanges between states and cities, traditional medicine, yoga, and academics.

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2. Ten monuments have been adopted under the ‘Adopt A Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan’ scheme, which is a collaborative effort by Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), and State/UTs Governments . The project primarily focuses on providing basic amenities that include cleanliness, public conveniences, safe drinking water, ease of access for tourists, signages, illumination, Wi-fi etc. No fund is given by Ministry of Tourism. The 10 sites include Red Fort (Delhi) and Gandikota Fort (Andhra Pradesh) adopted by Dalmia Bharat Limited; area surrounding Gangotri Temple, Trail to Gaumukh in Uttarakhand and Mt Stok Kangri Trek (Ladakh) adopted by Adventure Tour Operators Association of India; Jantar Mantar (Delhi) by Apeejay Park Hotels; Surajkund in Haryana by Bliss Resorts; and Qutub Minar (Delhi), Ajanta Caves (Maharashtra), Leh Palace of Leh (Jammu & Kashmir) and Hampi (Hazara Rama Temple) of Karnataka adopted by Yatra Online.

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3. On 20th December, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh launched the iGOT (Integrated Government Online Training Programme) for government employees. The iGOT will augment the existing training mechanism with online module-based training coupled with certification. The programme, developed by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Ministry of Personnel, will make training inputs available to a government servant on-site and on flexitime basis. The initiative aims at “competent civil services for good governance”. Dr. Singh also launched Right to Information (RTI) Portal on Judgments/Orders of Supreme Court, High Courts and CIC that will provide a learning environment for all stakeholders under which a repository on the landmark cases on the RTI will be available at one place. He also launched a hybrid course on administrative laws developed by the DoPT in collaboration with premier law institute National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bengaluru.

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4. The National Mathematics Day (NMD) is celebrated every year in India on December 22 to commemorate the birth anniversary of great mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan. The day also recognizes his contribution to the world of mathematics, which includes mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions. The NMD was declared by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2012 to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Ramanujan. Born in 1887 in Erode, Madras Presidency (now Tamil Nadu), Ramanujan’s affinity for Mathematics was such that he failed in college exams because of his negligence for non-mathematical subjects. However, his talents were recognized by a mathematician at Madras Port Trust were Ramanujan had started working as a clerk in 1912. In 1917, Ramanujan was elected to be a member of the London Mathematical Society. In 1918 he also became a Fellow of the Royal Society, becoming the youngest person to achieve the feat. But due to ill health, he died in 1920 at the age of 32.

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5. As per global auditors – International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Indian aviation sector has maintained the highest safety audit rating in 2018. Provisionally, India has been given 74% marks by ICAO and has maintained Category 1 (highest category) under International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) by FAA in 2018. FAA had conducted an audit of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in July 2018 — the third since 2013 — to confirm India’s adherence to standards laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and oversight of Indian airlines. The Category 1 means the carriers from the assessed state may initiate or continue service to the US in a normal manner and take part in reciprocal code-share arrangements with American carriers.

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6. The Ministry of Aviation along with the Airport Authority of India (AAI) has launched an official mobile app “GAS-2019” for the Global Aviation Summit (GAS) for 2019, which is scheduled to be held in Mumbai in January 2019. The app enables users to interact with the co-delegates and speakers besides providing a platform for networking through personal and group chats. The summit is being hosted by the civil aviation ministry along with the AAI and industry lobby FICCI.

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7. Arjuna awardee Anup Kumar, the legendary kabaddi player and India’s World Cup-winning captain, has announced his retirement with immediate effect on 19th December 2018. He began his international career in 2006 at the South Asian Games in Sri Lanka. He captained the National team in 2014 and it was during his tenure that the team won 2 gold medals at the Incheon Asian Games in 2014 and the Kabaddi World Cup in 2016. In a career spanning over 15 years, Kumar has led several teams to victory and grown the sport in the country. In season 2 of the Pro Kabaddi League, Anup captained U Mumba and led the team to victory.

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8. Ten central agencies have been authorized by the Government of India (GoI) to intercept information from any computer. This notification was issued by the ‘Cyber and Information Security’ division of the Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) under the authority of Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba. The 10 agencies notified under the new order are the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Enforcement Directorate (ED), the Central Board of Direct Taxes (for Income Tax Department), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), National Investigation Agency (NIA), the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Directorate of Signal Intelligence (in service areas of J-K, North East and Assam) and Delhi Police commissioner. According to the new order, the agencies have been authorised “for the purpose of interception, monitoring and decryption of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource under section 69 of the Information Technology (IT) Act of 2000”.

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9. Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal , has been conferred the Skoch Chief Minister of the Year Award for 2018 for her contribution in the overall development of the state and emerging as the best chief minister in the country. Banerjee has been conferred with the prestigious award on the basis of the state’s performance in the field of governance, culture, finance, urban and rural development. In 2018, The state has bagged 31 Skoch Awards for its performance across different fields besides implementing unique projects. As per Skoch, West Bengal has also won the top position in terms of the number of man-days created and the amount spent in paying people for their work in the 100 days’ work scheme. Besides Banerjee, the Skoch Group has also awarded Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu with the ‘SKOCH Sprinter of the Year’, and Commerce and Industry and civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu as the ‘Steady Reformer’.

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10. On 22nd December 2018, the 6th edition of Yuva Natya Samaroh has started at Kamani Auditorium in New Delhi with some of the best modern, mythological as well as Parsi style drama. It is a theatre festival of five young directors. The 5-day fest is being organised by Sahitya Kala Parishad, Department of Art, Culture and Languages, Government of Delhi. The festival lineup includes Mahasweta Devi’s iconic ‘Rudali’ directed by Arvind Singh, Ashok Lal’s ‘Shatru’ directed by Sunil Rawat, Chandrashekhara Kambar’s mythological drama ‘Shivarathri’ translated by Veena Sharma and directed by Susheel Sharma. The event will come to a close on December 26 with Parsi play ‘Safed Khoon’ directed by Samiruddin (Javed Sameer).

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