Monday, 14 December 2015

Current Affairs December 14, 2015

Pranab inaugurates eastern India’s tallest Shiva idol

  • President Pranab Mukherjee  inaugurated an idol of Lord Shiva, stated to be the tallest in eastern India, at Salkia area of Howrah district.
  • The 51-feet idol, set up at Seth Banshidhar Jalan Smriti Mandir, has five faces.
  • Raising his concern about the pollution in the Ganga, the President stressed on the importance of keeping it clean.

Centre for Rs. 3,000 cr equity for SPVs in CBIC project

  • The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has proposed up to Rs. 3,000 crore as equity in Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) under Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor (CBIC) project.
  • The Southern Zonal Council meet took stock of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) prepared by the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) for Chennai Bangalore Industrial Corridor (CBIC) project in the city.

Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh announces schemes for tribal groups

  • The measures, that have a two year time frame, include a house for the landless, a hand pump for drinking water, electricity, health check-ups and ration cards for all.
  • On a day that marked the beginning of his 13th year as Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Raman Singh announced an 11-point programme specially for tribal groups categorised as “most vulnerable” by the state.
  • The move to announce measures for their upliftment comes more than a month after Leburam, a Pahadi Korva, allegedly died of starvation in Jashpur district.

IISc develops solar hybrid desalination system

  • The system met the major objectives: low lifespan cost and performance.
  • The desperation is not entirely unknown in Peninsular India, where, even with seas surrounding the land on three sides, water often eludes parched tongues.
  • With desalination that involves converting saline sea water to potable water  being out of reach currently for the shallow pockets of the government, researchers of Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have hit upon the idea of utilising copious solar energy in the South to reduce the costs of the process.

Odisha signs MoU with Wildlife Trust of India to prepare a comprehensive wildlife management plan

  • Odisha Government signed MoU with Wildlife Trust of India to prepare a comprehensive wildlife management plan for protection and management of rich wildlife resources and many endangered wildlife species inhabiting the forests and aquatic eco-systems of the State.
  • The MoU was signed between, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (WL), Odisha Chief Wildlife Warden and the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) .The plan will be prepared at a cost of Rs 3.65 crore and completed within 15 months.

Afghanistan, Pakistan, India join Turkmenistan in breaking ground on gas pipeline

  • Leaders from Afghanistan, India and Pakistan have joined the President of Turkmenistan in breaking ground on a new pipeline intended to deliver natural gas from the energy-rich former Soviet republic to their three countries.
  • Turkmenistan is believed to have the world’s fourth-largest gas reserves, but currently exports mainly to China.
1800-km pipeline
  • The 1,800-kilometre (1,080-mile) TAPI pipeline is intended to carry gas through the Afghan cities of Herat and Kandahar and end up in the India-Pakistan border town of Fazilka.

Gambia declares itself an ‘Islamic republic’

  • Gambia’s President has declared the tiny West African country an Islamic republic, saying he decided this because Islam is the religion of the majority of its citizens and to break from the nation’s colonial past.
  • “In line with the country’s religious identity and values, I proclaim Gambia as an Islamic state,” the Gambian leader.
  • About 90 per cent of Gambia’s 1.8 million people are Muslim. “Gambia cannot afford to continue the colonial legacy,” Mr. Jammeh said. The country gained independence from Britain in 1965.

Action plan aims at single digit IMR by 2020

  • The State Health Department has come out with a Karnataka Child Health Action Plan aimed at ending preventable newborn deaths and achieving single digit infant mortality rate (IMR) by 2020. Presently, Karnataka’s IMR is 31.
  • “In the next 12 to 18 months, the plan is to introduce hospital and community audits for maternal, neonatal and child mortality.

EPFO savings to cross Rs.10 lakh-cr

  • The retirement savings managed and overseen by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) are set to cross the Rs.10 lakh- crore mark this month, making it the eleventh largest pension fund in the world.
  • With savings of over 8.5 crore employees in the formal sector from 6.32 lakh establishments, the EPFO is already India’s second largest non-banking financial institution with only Life Insurance Corporation of India having a bigger kitty.

SEBI open to make changes on exchange-traded funds norms

  • Pitching for more transparency and disclosures with regard to exchange traded funds (ETFs), SEBI chief U K Sinha said the markets regulator is willing to make changes to norms regulating the financial product based on inputs from market players and experts.
  • “We have to be conscience that those types of innovation where higher risk are being taken in some of the countries outside India we are able to avoid,” Sinha told reporters on the sidelines of NSE’s ‘India ETF Conference 2015’

Cairn to launch world’s largest oil recovery project in Rajasthan

  • Barmer, Dec 13 (IANS) Oil and gas major Cairn India is to launch the world’s largest enhanced oil recovery programme in the Rajasthan desert using polymer injection technology for recovering more oil at its processing terminal.
  • The Mangala processing terminal in Barmer district, which laid the foundation of Cairn India’s “Rajasthan Project” and transformed the company with the discovery of its first oil well Mangala-1, in 2004, is now home to Cairn’s new polymer injection facility where new cutting-edge technology Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) has been introduced to maximise the potential.

Market valuations of top 5 firms slump by Rs. 47,445 crore

  • RIL, HDFC Bank, ITC, CIL and ONGC see erosion in market capitalisation, TCS, Infosys, HDFC, Sun Pharma and HUL gain in domestic m-cap chart.
  • The combined market valuation of top five Sensex companies plummeted by Rs. 47,445.38 crore last week in line with an overall weak broader market.

Jaguar Land Rover plans plant in Slovakia, to invest Rs.10,000 cr

  • The first cars are expected to come off the production line in late 2018.
  • British luxury car maker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), the fully-owned subsidiary of Tata Motors, has signed an agreement to set up a manufacturing facility in Slovakia with an investment of £1 billion (over Rs.10,000 crore). The company will build a new plant in the city of Nitra, western Slovakia.

Indian Oil Corporation to invest Rs.1.75 lakh cr to expand

  • The plan includes spending Rs.34,555 crore in the 15 million tonnes a year from Paradip oil refinery in Odisha.
  • Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), India’s largest oil firm, will invest Rs.1.75 lakh crore over the next seven years on expanding refinery capacity, building petrochemical plants and laying pipelines, a company official said.

Farida group to start manufacturing in West Bengal

  • Farida group, one of the country’s largest exporters of footwear, will start manufacturing shoes at a new factory in West Bengal.
  • The unit set up at an investment of Rs.5 crore is located outside Kalyani and will make 3,000 pairs a day.

Dilip Kumar gets Padma Vibhushan, turns emotional

  • Legendary actor Dilip Kumar was presented with the Padma Vibhushan by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at the thespian’s residence in suburban Bandra.
  • The 93-year-old legend was presented a medal, a certificate and a shawl by Mr. Singh, in the presence of the actor’s wife Saira Bano.
  • The announcement to honour Bollywood veterans Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan and a few others with the prestigious Padma Vibhushan award was made by the government on the eve of Republic Day on January 25, 2015.

ISRO gears up for PSLV C-29 launch

  • According to officials, this will be the 32nd flight for the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle
  • Space scientists of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) are all set to launch the PSLV C-29 rocket from the Sriharikota space centre in Nellore district here on December 16 at 6 p.m.
  • Through this launch, ISRO will be sending six satellites belonging to Singapore.
  • Of these, the TeLEOS-1 will be the main satellite which weighs 400 kg and it is meant for remote sensing applications for commercial purposes.

Brendon McCullum joins Adam Gilchrist as test cricket’s most prolific six hitter

  • Brendon McCullum joined Adam Gilchrist as test cricket’s most prolific six hitter against Sri Lanka in Dunedin and then spared Rangana Herath further punishment as the Black Caps captain pushed for victory at University Oval.
  • McCullum got off the mark by smacking Herath down the ground after taking a cursory guard he also finished a six-ball, 17-run cameo by hitting the left arm spinner over the ropes at mid wicket to bring up his 100.
  • New Zealand declared at 267-3 close to lunch on day four, to set Sri Lanka 405 to win
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