Daily Current Affairs - 05th Dec 2018

'Bahrain and Maharashtra Government signs MoU on fintech

  • The Economic Development Board (EDB), the investment promotion arm of the Kingdom of Bahrain signed an MoU with the Maharashtra Government to provide a framework for Co-operation between the two authorities to promote FinTech in their respective markets.
  • The MoU was signed by Dr. Simon Galpin, MD, EDB & Shri S.V.R. Srinivas, IAS Principal Secretary, DIT. This MoU is in line with the EDB’s aims of exploring greater synergies between India and Bahrain in the financial technology space and will last for an initial period of three years.

8th session of the Foreign Office Consultations between India and Sudan held in New Delhi

  • The 8th session of the Foreign Office Consultations between India and Sudan was held in New Delhi. During the consultations, the entire gamut of bilateral relations that include political, trade, investments, defence and security were reviewed.
  • The Indian side was led by Joint Secretary (West Asia and North Africa) in the Ministry of External Affairs, Dr B. Bala Bhaskar. The Sudanese side was headed by, Mahmoud Fadl Abdel Rasoul Mohammed, Director General of Arab and Asian Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sudan.

Book: Blue Waters Ahoy!’ Chronicling the Indian Navy’s History from 2001-10

  • Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, ADC Chief of the Naval Staff, released a book titled ‘Blue Waters Ahoy!’ – chronicling the Indian Navy’s History from 2001-10.
  • The book has been authored by Vice Admiral Anup Singh, who retired as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Naval Command in 2011. This is, in fact, the sixth volume of the Navy’s history; the first five having covered the period from 1945 to 2000.

Croatia’s Luka Modric wins Men’s Ballon d’Or award 2018

  • Croatia’s midfielder Luca Modrich (33) has won prestigious honor of football, Ballon d’Or. He was rewarded for his key role in Croatia’s historic run to FIFA World Cup final (defeated by France) and his club Real Madrid’s third straight Champions League trophy.
  • Norway’s Ada Hegerberg (23) wins Women’s Ballon d’Or. It was inaugural edition of Women’s Ballon d’Or.
  • FIFA Ballon d’Or Award is annual football association award given by FIFA to the male player who has performed the best in previous calendar year. Women’s Ballon d’Or was established in 2018.

December 5th: World Soil Day

  • World Soil Day is observed annually on 5th December to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and advocating for the sustainable management of soil resources.
  • The theme for this year's World Soil Day is - 'Be the Solution to Soil Pollution'.

Gautam Gambhir announces retirement from all forms of cricket

  • Gautam Gambhir has announced his retirement from all forms of Cricket. The 37-year-old announced his retirement on social media. A 12-year international career fetched over 10,000 runs for the country; 4,154 in 58 Tests, 5,238 in 147 ODIs and 932 in 37 T20Is.
  • Gambhir, who last donned India colors in a Test against England in November 2016, was part of Indian title-winning teams at both the 2007 World T20 and the 2011 World Cup top-scoring for India in the finals of both events. Gambhir’s final outing on the cricket field came at his home ground, New Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla, in a Ranji Trophy tie for Delhi against Andhra Pradesh.

Govt notifies dual-fuel usage for agri, construction equipment vehicles

  • Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has notified dual-fuel usage for agricultural and construction equipment vehicles.
  • These include tractors, power tillers, construction equipment vehicles and combine harvesters which have originally been manufactured as dual- fuel with diesel as primary fuel and CNG, Bio CNG as secondary, or have been converted as such from in-use diesel vehicles.
  • Rules 115A and 115 B of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 have been amended to incorporate new rules 115 AA and 115 BB for the purpose.
  • This move will give a boost to vehicles run on bio-fuel and help in reducing both cost and pollution.

India Water Impact Summit-2018 to be held in New Delhi

  • Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari will inaugurate India Water Impact Summit 2018, being jointly organized by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and the Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (cGanga) from 5-7 December 2018 in New Delhi.
  • The India Water Impact Summit is an annual event where stakeholders get together to discuss, debate and develop model solutions for some of the biggest water related problems in the country. The discussions this year will be on rejuvenation of the Ganga River Basin.

India, UAE sign two agreements, including one on currency swap

  • India and the United Arab Emirates have signed two agreements, including one on currency swap, during visit of the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Abu Dhabi.
  • She held exhaustive discussions with her UAE counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed to step up bilateral cooperation in areas like security, defense, counter-terrorism, trade and energy.
  • Currency Swap is such a pact between two countries that allows trading in their own currency and payments to import and export trade at pre-determined exchange rate without bringing in a third benchmark currency like the US dollars.
  • The second agreement would enable both sides to undertake development projects in Africa.

Indian Navy to conduct TROPEX Exercise to test robustness of coastal security apparatus

  • Indian Navy will conduct its flagship large-scale coastal defense exercise Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX) from January to March 2019 to test robustness of entire coastal security apparatus. As part of TROPEX, Indian Navy will conduct large-scale coastal defense exercise ‘Exercise Sea Vigil’.
  • Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX) is yearly exercise that takes place on Western Seaboard. It will see participation of all operational ships, submarines and aircraft as well as units of Indian coast guards (ICG), Indian Army and Indian Air Force (IAF).

IPL: Delhi Daredevils renamed as Delhi Capitals

  • Delhi Daredevils was renamed as Delhi Capitals with a hope that it would bring a change in fortunes of the franchise after a poor track record over the past 11 IPL seasons.
  • Co-owners Parth Jindal, representing JSW Sport, and Kiran Kumar Grandhi of GMR, unveiled the new name of the team.
  • Shreyas Iyer will continue to lead the team despite the presence of Shikhar Dhawan. Dhawan returns to Delhi for the 2019 season after being traded by Sunrisers Hyderabad.
  • Australian great Ricky Ponting will continue to coach the team.

Jon Ridgeon appointed as CEO of IAAF

  • The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced the appointment of Jon Ridgeon as its new CEO following approval by the IAAF Council on the first day of its 215th Council Meeting in Monaco. Ridgeon will take up the new role in March 2019.

Men's Hockey WC: Australia beat England by 3-0

  • In the Men's Hockey World Cup, two-time defending champions Australia scored three goals in the final quarter to beat England by a comfortable 3-0 margin and register their second consecutive win in Pool-B at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
  • The win took Australia to the top of Pool-B with six points from two games and virtually secured their place in the quarterfinals of the 16-team event.

National Rail Museum & Madame Tussauds Wax Museum join hands to boost tourism

  • National Rail Museum and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum have joined hands to provide combo offer to Delhi NCR tourists.
  • As a part of the collaboration, a special discount of 35 per cent on ticket prices will be offered to Rail Museum visitors when they visit Madame Tussauds Museum.
  • Similarly, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum visitors will be getting discount of 30 per cent on combo packages of National Rail Museum.

PRASAD Scheme: Centre includes Gangotri, Yamunotri in Uttarakhand, Amarkantak in MP and Parasnath in Jharkhand

  • Union Government has included Gangotri and Yamunotri in Uttrarakhand, Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh and Parasnath in Jharkhand under Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) to develop pilgrimage and heritage destinations in the country. With the new additions, the number of sites under PRASAD has now reached to 41 in 25 states.
  • PRASAD Scheme focuses on the development and beautification of the identified pilgrimage destinations. For components within public funding under this scheme, Central Government will provide 100% fund.

Shri A. N. Jha appointed as Finance Secretary

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has cleared Jha’s appointment to the post after incumbent Hasmukh Adhia, a 1981-batch Gujarat cadre officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), retired on November 30.
  • Fifty-nine-year old Ajay Narayan Jha, is a 1982-batch IAS officer of Manipur Tripura cadre.Jha is a recipient of World Bank scholarship to pursue Masters in Economic Policy Management from McGill University in Canada.

SpaceX launches 64 satellites aboard reusable rocket

  • SpaceX has successfully launched 64 small satellites, including India’s ExseedSAT-1 in the company’s largest-ever “rideshare” mission on a twice-reused Falcon 9 rocket that lifted off from a California launchpad. This is a new US record.
  • The Falcon 9 rocket carried 15 micro-satellites and 49 CubeSats belonging to 34 different clients including public, private and university sources from 17 different countries across the world including South Korea, France and Kazakhstan.

State Bank of India ropes in Swapna Barman as brand ambassador for YONO

  • State Bank of India has roped in Asian Games gold medalist Swapna Barman as brand ambassador for its digital app YONO. YONO, the bank’s digital platform that makes both lifestyle and banking available through a single app, was launched exactly a year back.
  • Swapna won Gold medal in Heptathlon in Jakarta Asian Games with a score of 6026 and is looking to break the 6200 score barrier to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.