Current Affairs December 29, 2018

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of December 29, 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 Madhya Pradesh government has declared the Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS) as National Park in compliance with the last condition imposed by a Supreme Court-appointed committee for the much awaited ‘translocation of Asiatic lions from Gir in Gujarat’. The move is expected to pave way for translocation of lions from Gir National Park (GNP) in Gujarat to Kuno. The Palpur-Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Sheopur district of Gwalior division & has been chosen as a second home for over 500 Asiatic lions. It is spread over 750 sq km area.

2. On December 26, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has been conferred the “Champions of Change” award by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu for exemplary leadership in bringing about transformation in governance in the Northeastern state at an event organized at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. The other awardees included Union Minister of State for Food Processing Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Sudarshan and Member of Parliament Nishikant Dubey. The award was instituted by the Centre to identify remarkable progress made in 115 “aspirational” districts whose development is being monitored by NITI Aayog. The event was attended by eminent jurists, politicians, social leaders etc. The award is an initiative of the Interactive Forum of Indian Economy, a Government of India (GoI) recognized NGO.

3. Aadi Sai Vijaykaran, a 13-year-old from Chennai, has created history by winning the Junior Debate Championship at the World Scholar’s Cup held at Yale University, the USA from November 16-21. He has been adjudged the world’s best School debater at a global contest. This is the first time an individual from India has won the coveted title. The theme for the cup was ‘An Entangled World: diplomacy, human relationships, the science of memory, and literature, art'. Vijaykaran is a trained Carnatic musician, has a black belt in Karate, plays chess and football.

4. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted an expert committee, headed by its former governor Dr. Bimal Jalan, to review the existing Economic Capital Framework (ECF). The purpose of the committee is to suggest how the central bank should handle its reserves and whether it can transfer its surplus to the Government of India (GoI). The six-member panel has former deputy RBI governor Rakesh Mohan as its vice chairman and comprises economic affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, RBI central board members Bharat Doshi and Sudhir Mankad and deputy governor NS Vishwanathan. It will review the need and justification of various provisions, reserves and buffers that RBI has maintained for contingency purposes and suggest an adequate level of risk provisioning. It will submit its report within 90 days of its first meeting.

5. Russia has successfully tested a new hypersonic nuclear weapon delivery system , named “Avangard”, from the Dombarovskiy missile base in the southern Ural Mountains. It successfully hit a practice target on the Kura shooting range on Kamchatka, 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) away. The Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle flies 27 times faster than the speed of sound, which makes it impossible to intercept. It has been claimed the Avangard system is designed using new composite materials to withstand temperatures of up to 2000 degrees Celsius that come from a flight through the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds. As per officials, the Avangard could be fitted to the Soviet-made UR-100UTTKh intercontinental ballistic missile, which is code-named SS-19 Stiletto by NATO. Russia claims its new weapons will be more nimble and can change direction making them far harder to track and intercept.

6. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has recently resumed its diplomatic service in Syria after six years of suspension, signaling a thaw in the relations between the two countries, as also with the Arab world. The diplomatic thaw comes after the U.S. announced plans to pull its troops from Syria. This move will also prevent the dangers of regional interference in Syrian affairs. Hence, this marks the first official acknowledgment by regional adversaries of Syrian President Bashar Assad that he has won the almost 8-year civil war to dislodge him. Earlier, the UAE broke ties with Syria in February 2012 when “Arab Spring”-inspired protests began against Assad’s rule and metastasized into a sectarian conflict that killed hundreds of thousands, made millions of others refugees and laid waste to vast areas of the country. Syria was also expelled from the 22-member Arab League in 2011. Arab countries sanctioned Damascus and condemned its use of military force against civilians.

7. The Odisha forest department is all set to add another Olive Ridley mass nesting site to its wildlife map at the Bahuda river mouth in Ganjam district to lure the endangered sea turtles to come over for mass nesting in 2019. Around 3-km stretch of the beach from Sunapur to Anantpur at Bahuda rookery is being developed as a possible olive ridley mass nesting site. The Bahuda rookery is located around 20 km to the south of Rushikulya rookery coast, a major mass nesting site of olive ridleys on the Indian coastline. In Odisha, Gahirmatha marine sanctuary and Rushikulya rookery coast in Ganjam district are the two main Olive Ridley nesting sites. Of these sites, Gahirmatha marine sanctuary is the world’s largest rookery of endangered Olive Ridley Sea Turtles. Odisha is home to 50% of the total world’s population of Olive Ridleys and about 90% of Indian population of sea turtles.

8. The scientists at Cambridge University have built a Virtual Reality (VR) 3D model of cancer that will help increase the understanding of cancer as well as in the search for new treatment. Researchers from the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Researchers started with a one millimetre cubed piece of breast cancer tissue biopsy, containing around 100,000 cells. They cut wafer thin slices, scanned and then stained them with markers to show their molecular make-up and DNA characteristics. The tumour was then rebuilt using virtual reality (VR), which allows multiple users from anywhere, in the world to examine the tumour. Although the human tissue sample was about the size of a pinhead, using the VR headsets, it could be magnified to appear several metres across. To explore the tumour in more detail, the VR system allows one to 'fly through' the cells.

9. Nirendranath Chakraborty (94), the famous Bengali poet , has passed away in Kolkata, West Bengal on December 25, 2018. Born in 1924 at Faridpur in undivided Bengal, Chakraborty was a dominant figure in the modern Bengali literary field. His first book of poems 'Nil Nirjone' was published in 1954 when he was 30 years old. He won the Sahitya Akademi award in 1974 for his poem 'Ulanga Raja' (naked king) which mocked the social set up. His 'Amalkanti Roddur Hote Cheyechhilo' (Ammalkanto wanted to be the sunshine), 'Kolkatar Jishu' (Christ of Kolkata) and 'Pahari Bichhe' (Mountain scorpion) are considered his two other cult poems. Chakraborty had been associated with leading Bengali magazine 'Desh' and 'Anandamela' for children, whose editor he had been for years, and some well known other magazines. He had penned more than 47 books, many of them for children, apart from 12 novels and numerous essays on different issues.

10. The 26th edition of International Camel Festival (ICF-2019) will be organized by the Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan in Bikaner on January 12 and 13. The fest is a lively and colourful event & activities such as fur cutting, camel decoration, designing among others would be organized in the event. Competitions like Mr Bikana and Miss Marwan, cultural performances by folk artistes from different regions would also be held during the festival.

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