Daily Current Affairs - 15th Dec 2017

3rd World Telugu Conference begins in Hyderabad

  • The third World Telugu Conference is all set to begin on December 15, in Hyderabad amidst much fanfare.
  • The aim of the Conference is to promote Telugu and its literature besides helping the present generation learn more about Telugu language and its rich culture and heritage.
  • Telugu poems, Telugu literature, and Telugu culture will take the centre-stage as the World Telugu Conference commences at the Lal Bahadur Stadium this evening.

ATMs not to be replenished with cash after 9 pm

  • Concerned over incidents of attack on cash carrying vans, the government has proposed that ATMs should not be replenished with cash after 9 pm in cities and private cash transportation agencies must collect money from the banks in the first half of the day.
  • The deadline for putting money in the ATMs in rural areas would be 6 pm, and 4 pm in Naxal-affected districts. Also, specially designed cash vans, fitted with CCTVs and GPS, must not carry more than Rs 5 crore per trip.

Batra takes over as IOA president

  • Narinder Batra formally took over as the new president of the Indian Olympic Association after winning elections at the Annual General Meeting.
  • Batra received 143 of the 160 votes polled to elect the office-bearers for the next period of four years from 2018-22 while his rival Anil Khanna, honorary life president of the All India Tennis Federation, got 13.

Dubai Super Series Final : P V Sindhu advances to knockout stage of Women's Singles

  • P V Sindhu has advanced to the knockout stage of the Women's Singles at Dubai Super Series Final badminton tournament with two consecutive wins.
  • However, fourth ranked Kidambi Srikanth crashed out of the Men's Singles by suffering his second consecutive defeat.

Elavenil Valarivan wins 10m air rifle gold

  • Elavenil Valarivan (Gujarat), captured the women’s 10m air rifle gold at the 61st National shooting championships at the National Games shooting range.
  • In the team event for women for the same discipline, Gujarat took the gold medal with a total of 1244.3 ahead of Maharashtra (1244.0) and Bengal (1243.0).

Feminism' beats 'complicit' to be Merriam-Webster's word of the year

  • Feminism has been named word of the year by the American dictionary Merriam-Webster.
  • The US dictionary said that it had seen a 70% increase in online searches for the word in 2017, compared to 2016. The largest spike in searches came in the last weeks of January, following the Women’s March in Washington DC and around the world.
  • Other contenders for the top spot at Merriam-Webster included “complicit”

General Electric ties up with Tatas for jet engine, defence

  • General Electric (GE) and the Tata Group announced the signing of an agreement to manufacture CFM International LEAP engine components in India, for the global supply chain.
  • The two companies also announced their intention to jointly pursue military engine and aircraft system opportunities for the India market.
  • The LEAP engine is the world’s leading jet engine known for its technological superiority, fuel efficiency, performance for powering single-aisle commercial jets.

Income share of top 1% surged: report

  • Income inequality in India rose rapidly since the 1980s to a situation where the top 10% of the earners accounted for 56% of the income earned in 2014, according to a new report by economists, including Thomas Piketty and Lucas Chancel.
  • In 2014, the share of national income captured by India’s top 1% of earners was 22%, while the share of the top 10% of earners was around 56%,” the report said.
  • The top 0.1% of earners has continued to capture more growth than all those in the bottom 50% combined.

India, Morocco sign pact to boost cooperation in health sector

  • India and Morocco signed a pact to enhance cooperation in several areas of health sector, including non-communicable diseases and maternal, child and neonatal health.
  • The main areas of cooperation included non-communicable diseases, including child cardiovascular diseases and cancer, drug regulation and pharmaceutical quality control, communicable diseases and maternal, child and neonatal health.

Lighthouse projects to spur digitisation’

  • The government and the industry decided to carry out a number of ‘lighthouse projects’ to spur digitisation.
  • Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad IT Minister said a lot of individual companies would be carrying out ‘lighthouse projects’. For eg., Google will work with publishers and advertisers to bring more regional language content online, while Bharti Airtel will be working towards bringing high speed Internet to rural India as well as building data centres in the country.
  • The digital economy is pegged at about $413 billion at present. MeitY expects IT/ITeS sector to grow to $350 billion by 2025 from $160 billion, while the electronics sector is likely to touch $300 billion by the same time.

Manchester City set a new top-flight record of 15 consecutive wins

  • Manchester City set a new top-flight record of 15 consecutive wins as its seemingly unstoppable march towards the Premier League title continued with a 4-0 romp at bottom club Swansea City.
  • Manchester United toiled to a 1-0 defeat of Bournemouth to remain 11 points adrift in second place, Romelu Lukaku’s ninth league goal of the season.

Mercedes-Benz India to drive into Tier-2 markets

  • Luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz India is sharpening its focus on Tier-2 markets to sustain its growth momentum.
  • Currently, Mercedes-Benz India has 90 outlets in 45 cities. With the ‘Go to Customer’ strategy, the firm continues its strategic expansion in Tier-2 markets to maximise accessibility.
  • Tier-2 markets have the potential to emerge as key markets and they are the engines of future growth for this country,” said Roland Folger, MD and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India.

Railways introduces online bill tracking system for vendors/contractors

  • The Union Ministry of Railways has introduced Indian Railways E-Procurement System (IREPS), an online bill tracking system for vendors and contractors.
  • It aims to enhance transparency in the processing and settlement of bills by increasing use of information technology.
  • IREPS will help contractors and vendors of Indian Railways to track status of their bills.

SC clears 12 special courts to try cases against politicians

  • The Supreme Court gave the green signal for the Centre’s scheme to set up 12 fast track courts to exclusively prosecute and dispose of 1,581 criminal cases pending against Members of Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies within a year.
  • A Bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha directed the Centre to forthwith allocate Rs. 7.8 crore to the States for setting up of the special courts.

Tata Motors delivers EVs to EESL

  • Tata Motors delivered the first set of Tigor Electric Vehicles (EVs) to Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. (EESL), which is in the process of procuring 10,000 electric vehicles for the use of government entities.
  • Guenter Butschek, CEO & MD, Tata Motors, handed over the keys of the Tigor EVs to Saurabh Kumar, Managing Director, EESL

US regulators rollback net neutrality rules

  • US regulators today voted to rollback "net neutrality" rules that require internet providers to treat all traffic equally.
  • The Federal Communications Commission voted to roll back U.S. laws designed to ensure a free and open internet.
  • The five-member panel voted three votes to two to roll back rules implemented in 2015 under then-president Barack Obama aimed at ensuring internet service providers have to treat all data equally along their networks, a principle known as net neutrality.

WPI inflation at 8-month high in November

  • Inflation based on wholesale prices accelerated to 8-month high of 3.93% in November due to a sharp rise in onion prices and costlier seasonal vegetables, government data showed.
  • Calculated on wholesale price index (WPI), the inflation was 3.59% in October this year, and 1.82% in November last.
  • The November figure is the highest so far this fiscal and the previous high was when the WPI touched 3.85% in April. Kitchen staple onion witnessed a whopping 178.19% inflation last month.