Current Affairs December 28, 2018

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of December 28, 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. On December 27, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant released the Second Delta Ranking of the Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP). The ranking details the incremental progress achieved by the districts during June to October in 2018 across six key development sectors. Virudhunagar district in Tamil Nadu has shown the most improvement overall, followed by Nuapada district in Odisha, Siddarthnagar in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar’s Aurangabad and Koraput in Odisha. The districts have been ranked in a transparent basis on parameters across various performance indicators like Health and Nutrition, Education, Skill Development and Basic Infrastructure among others. The rankings are based on the data that is publicly available through the Champions of Change Dashboard, which includes data entered on a real-time basis at the district level. The rankings, for the first time, also factored in inputs from household survey conducted by NITI Aayog’s knowledge partners, namely, TATA Trusts and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

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2. Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki has officially declared that Palestine would apply for full state membership at the United Nations in January 2019. To secure full state membership, the Palestinians need support from at least nine out of the UNSC’s 15 member states. Beside this, Mr Al-Malki would also demand the UNSC implementation of Resolution 2334 and ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an official inquiry into Israeli settlement construction. According to UNSC Resolution 2334, the UN Secretary General should present the Security Council with a progress report every three months on Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories. Palestine has been recognized by the UN as a non-member observer state since 2012.

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3. The Central government has decided to rename three popular islands of Andaman and Nicobar to mark the 75th anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s historic visit to the islands. The names of Ross Island, Neil Island and Havelock Island will be changed to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island, Shaheed Dweep and Swaraj Dweep, respectively. On 30th December 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Port Blair to make the announcement of name change. He will also release a commemorative stamp and a coin on the occasion. On 30th December 1943, Bose had hoisted the national flag at the Gymkhana Ground (now Netaji Stadium) in Port Blair and announced that the islands were the first Indian Territory to be freed from British rule. This was done after the Japanese captured the islands during the time of World War II. At that time, Bose reportedly suggested renaming Andaman and Nicobar islands as Shaheed and Swaraj Dweep.

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4. Thailand has become the first nation in Southeast Asia to legalize medical use of marijuana, as well as the kratom, a locally grown plant traditionally used as a stimulant and painkiller. The changes, which become law when published in the Royal Gazette, legalize the production, import, export, possession and use of marijuana and kratom products for medical purposes. But, recreational use of the drugs remains illegal and subject to prison terms and fines commensurate with the quantities involved. Marijuana is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant intended for medical or recreational use. Earlier, in October 2018, Canada officially becomes the 2nd Country in the world to legalize the recreational use of marijuana nationwide after Uruguay.

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5. The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, has unanimously approved long-awaited, controversial law to allow exports of medical marijuana, allowing Israel to tap the lucrative global market. Though, the bill still needs approval from the cabinet and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But, this step is seen as a formality. With this approval, Israel will become the third country, after the Netherlands and Canada, to do so. Marijuana (scientific name: Cannabis sativa) is the most commonly used illegal substance worldwide. The main psychoactive part of cannabis is THC (Tetra Hydro Cannabinol). Of the 483 known compounds in the cannabis plant, THC affects the brain the most. Cannabis can be used by smoking, vaporizing, within food, or as an extract. The short-term side effects of marijuana include a decrease in short-term memory, dry mouth, impaired motor skills, red eyes, and feelings of paranoia or anxiety. Long-term side effects may include addiction, decreased mental ability in those who started as teenagers, and behavioral problems in children whose mothers used cannabis during pregnancy.

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6. On 27th December, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat launched a universal health coverage scheme, which is known as the ‘Atal Ayushman Uttarakhand Yojana’. Under the scheme, each household in the state will be able to avail medical treatment of up to Rs 5 lakh annually. The scheme will benefit 23 lakh households and will cover 1,350 critical diseases. A total of 99 government and 66 private hospitals have been selected under the scheme. With this, the hill state has become the first in the country to offer universal health coverage.

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7. The 26th National Children’s Science Congress (NCSC) has been inaugurated by the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (SOA) in Bhubaneswar, Odisha on December 27, 2018. Over 800 school students across the country including differently-abled children, students from 10 ASEAN & 5 Gulf countries are expected to attend the five-day Congress. NCSC is a nationwide Science Communication programme started in the year 1993. The primary objective of the NCSC is to make a forum available to children of the age-group of 10-17 years, both from formal school system as well as from out of school, to exhibit their creativity and innovativeness and more particularly their ability to solve a societal problem experienced locally using the method of science. The 2018 theme is “Science, Technology & Innovation for A Clean, Green and Healthy Nation”.

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8. Dr. Hamidi Kashmiri, the tallest literary figure in the world of Urdu language, literature and literary criticism, has passed away in Srinagar, J&K on December 27, 2018. He was a prolific creative writer, an acclaimed critic and propounder of “Iktishaafi Tanqueed”. He has also been the Vice Chancellor of University of Kashmir for years during the most difficult times of militant unrest. His some notable works include Iqtishafi Tanqeed Ki Sheryat, Ainame Ibraaq, Mahasir Tanqeed, Riyasati Jammu Aur Kashmir Urdu Adab, Jadeed Kashir Shayeri , etc. Kashmiri is a recipient of the Ghalib Award and Sahitya Akademi Award (2005). The Government of India honored him in 2010, with the third highest civilian award of Padma Shri.

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9. In Assam, the third Dwijing Festival 2018 has started on the bank of Aye river at Chirang district on December 27. Around 15 lakh tourists are expected to participate in the 12 day long festival. Adventure sports, food mart, cultural events, traditional games are being organized in the fest. Participants from Thailand, Bhutan and Bangladesh are also taken part in the festival. The festival provides livelihood opportunities for the local people and focuses on business activities for better economic generation through rural tourism.

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10. Dronacharya awardee C A Kuttappa has taken over as India’s chief boxing coach at the ongoing national camp. Kuttappa is credited with shaping some of the country’s most successful boxers such as Vijender Singh, M Suranjoy Singh and Shiva Thapa, among others. He took over from veteran coach SR Singh at the beginning of the camp which started December 10. Singh has since retired. The current set of boxers in the camp, barring the national champions, will be giving trials in the second week of January 2019, which will lead to a pruning and form the basis of selection for the India Open and the prestigious Strandja Memorial in Bulgaria.

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