Current Affairs December 30, 2018

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of December 30, 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. Luka Modric, who led Croatia to their first-ever FIFA World Cup final, has been named the 2018 Balkan Athlete of the year. Modric won the Champions League for the third time in a row with his club “Real Madrid” in May 2018 before leading Croatia to the 2018 World Cup final, where they lost 4-2 to France. He also won the prestigious Ballon d’Or for the first time earlier in December 2018. While Tennis player Novak Djokovic of Serbia got 2nd position in the Balkan poll, and Romania’s Simona Halep third. The poll was organized by the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) and included the national news agencies of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Turkey.

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2. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) was awarded Best Capital City in the Solid Waste Management in the Swachh Survekshan 2018 rankings. The Swachh Survekshan was launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) under Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban). According to a press release, the Swachh Survekashan survey ranks cities on various parameters including sanitation, provision of basic amenities etc.

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3. The Central Zone of Indian Railways has developed an AI-powered robot, named as ‘USTAAD’, which will scrutinize parts of train coaches in real time and transmit them over a WiFi connection. The acronym ‘USTAAD’ stands for Undergear Surveillance Through Artificial Intelligence Assisted Droid. The robot is developed by the mechanical branch of Central Railway’s Nagpur division. It would click pictures and record videos of the under-gears of trains and send them to engineers for repairs and maintenance. The robot is also capable of zooming into a spot in case of any doubt. It is equipped with LED flood light and able to capture the videos in low light as well as in dark mode. By use of this robot the chances of mistake and any deficiency overlooked by human eye can be eliminated thus reducing chances of human error. With the help of USTAAD, engineers can easily see and examine areas which are hard to see and hard to approach such as cramped or narrow spaces between under-gear parts.

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4. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched a ‘Survey on Retail Payment Habits of Individuals (SRPHi)’ to capture payment habits of individuals in six cities, including four metropolitan towns. According to RBI release, the survey will cover a sample of 6,000 individuals from various socio-economic backgrounds across six cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Guwahati. The survey seeks qualitative responses from individuals on their payment habits. The findings may provide some idea about awareness and usage habits of digital payment products.

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5. On December 28, the unique Chapparam (Chariot) festival was celebrated with traditional rituals and festivities in the famous Madurai Meenakshi temple, in Tamil Nadu. The fest symbolizes the importance of preserving all kinds of food and fodder. The festival is also an auspicious occasion when the God and Goddess measure out food for all living beings. In it, both Goddess Meenakshi and her spouse Lord Sundareswarar circumambulate the four main streets around the temple. Cooked rice, which is distributed among devotees, are taken home and preserved because it signifies prosperity for the whole year. Another specialty of the festival is that the chariot of Goddess Meenakshi is pulled by lady devotees alone.

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6. The book titled “Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From” has been authored by journalist Tony Joseph, which unravels our history using the results of genetics and other research. According to book, the Indian population is a result of four major migrations, including that of the Aryans, into the country in prehistoric times. Apart from the formation of the Indian population and the development of the Harappan Civilisation, the book also looks into when and how the caste system began.

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7. On December 29, the 12th Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The summit is being organized by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, more commonly known as AAPI. Mr. Kovind acknowledged the professionalism and excellent reputation of doctors of Indian origin in the US.

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8. The Union Cabinet has recently approved Submission of India’s 2nd Biennial Update Report (BUR) to the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), which contains 2014 updates of national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories. As per an official statement, in 2014, approx 2.607 billion tonnes of of CC-2 equivalent) of GHGs were emitted from all activities, excluding ‘land use, land use change and forestry’ (LULUCF) in India. The net national GHG emissions after including LULUCF were around 2.306 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent. The BUR contains five major components – National Circumstances; National Greenhouse Gas Inventory; Mitigation Actions; Finance, Technology and Capacity Building Needs and Support Received and Domestic Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) arrangements. As per the report, India is on course of achieving the target for emission intensity of the economy and share of non-fossil fuel-based power capacity.

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9. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has brought out a booklet on cyber safety for school children to inform them about different aspects of cyber safety. The booklet, titled ‘A Handbook for Students on cyber Safety’, also deals with the problems of cyber bullying, cyber grooming and email fraud. It advises teenagers against accepting friend requests from unknown people on social media. The booklet explains various kinds of cyber crimes like identity theft, job fraud, email spoofing and how children can overcome them. The information provided in the handbook is intended to create awareness among citizens especially students about various cyber threats that can impact them and ways to safeguard themselves against cyber crimes. The booklet also provides details about various safeguards that can be adopted by children to protect themselves from cyber grooming.

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10. The Union Cabinet has recently approved amendments to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act of 2012 to make punishment more stringent for committing sexual crimes against children. To discourage the trend of child sexual abuse by acting as a deterrent, Section-4, Section-5 and Section-6 are proposed to be amended to provide the option of stringent punishment, including the death penalty, for committing aggravated penetrative sexual assault crime on a child. The amendments are also proposed in section-9 to protect children from sexual offences in times of natural calamities and disasters. The amendment is expected to discourage the trend of child sexual abuse by acting as a deterrent due to strong penal provisions incorporated in the Act. It may protect the interest of vulnerable children in times of distress and ensure their safety and dignity. The amendment aims to establish clarity regarding the aspects of child abuse and punishment.

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