Daily Current Affairs - 24th Dec 2017

Banks lost nearly Rs 17,000 crore to frauds last fiscal

  • Banks lost a whopping Rs 16,789 crore on account of frauds in the last fiscal, the finance ministry said in the Lok Sabha.
  • The Reserve Bank has informed that as per the fraud monitoring reports submitted by the scheduled commercial banks and select financial institutions, "the amount lost on account of frauds during 2016-17 was Rs 16,789 crore.

Centre formally launches Ganga Gram project

  • Government formally launched 'Ganga Gram' project at Ganga Gram Swachata Sammelan in New Delhi.
  • As part of its clean Ganga mission - Namami Gange, Ganga Gram project is an integrated approach for holistic development of villages situated on the banks of the holy river with active participation of villagers.
  • The project envisages solid and liquid waste management, renovation of ponds and water resources, water conservation, organic farming, horticulture, and promotion of medicinal plants.

China launches land exploration satellite

  • China launched a land exploration satellite into a preset orbit for remote sensing operations. It was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi.
  • The satellite is mainly used for remote sensing exploration of land resources. A Long March-2D rocket carried the satellite into space. The launch was the 259th mission of the Long March rocket series.

HAL gets order for 15 attack helicopters

  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) received a request for proposal (RFP) for 15 limited series light combat helicopters from the Air Force and the Army.
  • The development comes days after the Air Force issued the RFP to HAL for manufacturing 83 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) in the Mk-1A configuration.
  • The light combat helicopter (LCH) is a 5.5 tonne class multirole attack helicopter developed by HAL, and is intended to play a major role in providing close air support to ground forces.

India's First design University Opens in Haryana

  • India's first and only design university, 'World University of Design' opened its campus at Sonipat, Haryana. The University is promoted by Om Parkash Bansal Educational and Social Welfare Trust of Mandi Gobindgarh, Punjab.
  • The university is currently located in a sprawling lush green picturesque campus with the state-of-the-art infrastructure and world-class facilities. WUD is India's first university dedicated to education in the creative domain.

India, Russia hold talks to firm up economic and cultural relations

  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation with visiting Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.
  • The meeting will enable the two sides to review the progress achieved by various Working groups and Sub-groups under the IRIGC-TEC and also discuss new areas of cooperation that could strengthen bilateral trade and investment.

India’s m-cap crosses Rs 150 lakh crore for first time

  • India's stock market achieved a new milestone with BSE's market capitalisation crossing Rs 150 lakh crore for the first time. The stock market rally and record listings helped the country's market value grow by 49 per cent — the highest worldwide.
  • While the Sensex has risen 27 per cent so far this year, several big-ticket initial public offerings have contributed to the increase in the total market value. IPOs alone have added Rs 6.4 lakh crore to the market cap this year.
  • India's market capitalisation-togross domestic product (GDP) ratio crossed 100 per cent after five years.
  • South Korea witnessed the second highest growth in market cap in 2017 so far at 39 per cent.

INS Trikand and INS Teg to sail into port of Abu Dhabi

  • As a part of comprehensive strategic relationship and to strengthen defence cooperation between India and the United Arab Emirates, two ships of the Indian Navy - INS Teg and INS Trikand will make port of call in Abu Dhabi.
  • The visit will provide opportunity of cooperation between the friendly Navies of the two countries. It will also showcase India’s impressive achievements in the Maritime capabilities. The current visit seeks to underscore India’s peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly countries in the Gulf and strengthen the existing bonds of friendship between India and UAE.

IOC bans 11 Russians for life over alleged Sochi Games doping violations

  • Sochi luge silver medallists Albert Demchenko and Tatyana Ivanova are among a group of 11 Russians disqualified for doping and handed lifetime bans by the International Olympic Committee.
  • The announcement comes following hearings by an IOC commission into allegations of state-sponsored doping by hosts Russia at the 2014 Winter Games.
  • Russia has been banned from taking part at next year's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea due to this widespread doping. However, athletes who prove themselves to be clean have been told by the IOC they can compete under strict conditions, and under a neutral flag.

Pankaj Advani enters semifinals of 7th National 6-Red snooker tournament

  • Defending champion Pankaj Advani of PSPB entered the semifinals of the 7th National 6-Red snooker tournament in Chennai.
  • The other semifinal will pit Akshay Kumar of Uttar Pradesh against former IBSF world 6-Red Championship runner-up Kamal Chawla.

PCA only to improve banks’ health, says RBI

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has once again clarified that prompt correction action (PCA) is imposed to encourage banks to improve their financial health.
  • The reiteration comes in the wake of rumours on social media that some of the banks that are under PCA could be closed down.
  • The PCA framework is intended to encourage banks to eschew certain riskier activities and focus on conserving capital so that their balance sheets can become stronger.

Salman Khan tops Forbes India celebrity list

  • Actor Salman Khan continues to rule the Forbes Top 100 Celebrity list (2017) for a second year in a row. He is followed by Shah Rukh Khan and Virat Kohli in second and third places, respectively, also the same as last year. Akshay Kumar also managed to retain his position at number four.
  • Of the top 100 celebrities on the list, the highest gainer was shuttler P V Sindhu who went from 62 in 2016 to 13 this year. The other big gainer was actor Ajay Devgn, who went from 70 to 16 in a year.

TCS wins record $2.25 billion Nielsen outsourcing contract

  • India's leading IT exporter Tata Consultancy Services has bagged a USD 2.25-billion outsourcing contract from Nielsen, a television rating measurement firm.
  • The filing stated that the Mumbai-based firm will globally provide Nielsen with professional services relating to IT -- including application development and maintenance -- BPO, client service knowledge process outsourcing, management sciences, analytics, and financial planning.

UN imposes tough new sanctions on North Korea

  • The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved tough new sanctions against North Korea in response to its latest launch of a ballistic missile that Pyongyang says is capable of reaching anywhere on the U.S. mainland.
  • The new sanctions include sharply lower limits on North Korea's oil imports, the return home of all North Koreans working overseas within 24 months, and a crackdown on ships smuggling banned items including coal and oil to and from the country.