Daily Current Affairs - 15th Dec 2018

Allan Border Medal to be rebranded as Australian Cricket Awards

  • With the increase in recognition of women’s cricket and the popularity of the T20 format, Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) have announced to rebrand its Allan Border Medal to Australian Cricket Awards from 2019 onwards.
  • The event is held on an annual basis to celebrate the performances of Australian players across national and domestic cricket.
  • The 2019 Australian Cricket Awards is slated to be held on February 11 at The Crown Palladium, Melbourne.

Amazon India signs MoU with FISME to empower MSME sector

  • Amazon India has announced a partnership with FISME (The Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises) to empower Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to leverage growth opportunities in the e-commerce sector.
  • As per the MoU, Amazon.in in collaboration with FISME will conduct various events and workshops across the country that will enable and encourage the MSMEs in India to sell their products to millions of consumers from India and across the globe by leveraging e-commerce marketplace solutions.
  • Through the collaboration, MSMEs will get access to experts from Amazon, FISME and various service providers to help them understand the procedures and requirements related to areas such as logistics, cataloging, imaging and taxation.

BWF World Tour Finals: PV Sindhu, Sameer Verma to play Semi-finals

  • P.V.Sindhu will face Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon in the semi-final of the BWF World Tour Finals at Guangzhou in China. Sindhu registered her third straight win to advance to the semi-finals. With three wins, Sindhu also finished at the top of her group.
  • In Men's singles Sameer Verma sailed into semis after defeating World No. 17 Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand 21-9, 21-18.
  • Verma will take on All England champion Shi Yuqi of China in the semis.

Government forms panel under BBB to select MD for PSU insurance firms

  • The Union government has constituted a seven-member panel to select managing directors of public sector insurance companies. The panel would be headed by Banks Board Bureau (BBB) chairman B P Sharma. The other members of the panel are Financial Services Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises Secretary and Chairman of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India.
  • Besides, three insurance sector experts -- G N Bajpai, Mathew Varghese and T Bhargava have been appointed on the selection panel.

Governor invites Ashok Gehlot to be sworn-in as CM of Rajasthan

  • In Rajasthan, Governor Kalyan Singh has invited senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot to be sworn-in as the Chief Minister. Mr Sachin Pilot will be Deputy Chief Minister. A Congress delegation last night had called on the Governor about the government formation. The delegation handed over a letter containing names of MLAs supporting Mr Gehlot.

Govt formulates Crisis Management Plan to counter cyber attacks

  • The Union government has formulated a Crisis Management Plan to counter cyber attacks and cyber terrorism. It will be implemented by all Ministries and Departments of the Centre and the state governments in critical sectors. As several thousand Indian websites were hacked between 2016 and 2018.
  • The Government has empaneled 76 security audit organisations to ensure information security. The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team or CERT-In conducts regular training programmes for network administrators to mitigate cyber attacks.

India's first private UAV factory opened at Adani Aerospace Park in Hyderabad

  • India' first private sector unit for manufacturing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) opened at Adani Aerospace Park in Hyderabad. Built by the Adani Group and Israel-based Elbit Systems, the 50,000 square feet facility will develop Hermes 900 medium altitude long-endurance UAVs for the Indian and global markets.
  • The unit will begin with the manufacture of complete carbon composite aerostructures for Hermes 900, followed by Hermes 480, catering to global markets. It will further be ramped up for assembly and integration of complete UAVs.
  • The facility also houses advanced composites and high precision machining capabilities.

J&K becomes first State to bring a law to prevent people in power from exploiting subordinates sexually

  • Jammu & Kashmir has become the first State in the country to bring a law to prevent people in power from exploiting subordinates sexually. J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik’s administration has approved an amendment to the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC), to insert a section to provide for the offence of “sextortion.”
  • Under Section 354E of the RPC, the new law explicitly bans sexual exploitation of women by those in positions of authority, having a fiduciary relationship, or a public servant.

Jharkhand gets "Krishi Karman" award in rice category

  • Jharkhand has been selected for "Krishi Karman" award in the rice category from the Union Ministry of Agriculture. The award to be given away in February next year carries a cash prize of Rs 2 crore and a citation.

Ministers work around the clock to strengthen global Climate Deal

  • Ministers from 200 nations are now working to finalize the rules to make Paris climate deal operational with only a day left for the climate conference to end In Katowice, Poland.
  • The Paris Agreement of 2015, which comes into force in 2020, aims to limit the global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius from the pre-industrial revolution level.
  • To hit the breaks at 1.5 degrees, global carbon emissions would need to immediately begin to slow down. Failing to address this, sea level would rise, inundating large low-lying areas across the world.

MNF Chief Zoramthanga to be sworn in as Mizoram CM

  • Mizo National Front (MNF) President Zoramthanga will be sworn in as the Chief Minister of Mizoram.
  • Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan will administer the oath of office and secrecy to Mr. Zoramthanga and his Council of Ministers at Raj Bhavan in Aizawl.
  • In the 40-member Assembly, the MNF has bagged 26 seats. This will be for the third term that the MNF is forming government in Mizoram and after a gap of 10 years.

Nancy Wilson, legendary jazz singer, passed away

  • Nancy Wilson, a three-time Grammy-winning artist has died. She was 81. She made her debut with her 1961's single, "Guess Who I Saw Today." Wilson's biggest hit came in 1964 with "(You Don't Know) How Glad I Am," which rose through the charts to the #11 spot on Billboard's Hot 100 singles and earned her a Grammy Award for best R&B recording.
  • She won two more Grammy Awards, in 2005 and 2007.

National Energy Conservation Day 2018-December 14

  • National energy conservation day is celebrated every year by the people all over the India on 14th of December. The Energy Conservation Act in India was executed by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) in the year 2001. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency helps in the development of policies and strategies in order to reduce the energy use.
  • The Bureau of Energy Efficiency is an agency of the Government of India, under the Ministry of Power created in March 2002 under the provisions of the nation's 2001 Energy Conservation Act.

Nepal to create awareness not to use Indian currency

  • The Nepal government has decided to issue a notice to create awareness among the people not to use, keep and carry Indian currency notes of Rs 200, Rs 500 and Rs 2000 denominations. After demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes by the Indian Government, the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), through a circular, declared using, carrying or keeping Indian currency above Rs 100 denomination illegal in Nepal.

New Facebook bug may have exposed unposted photos

  • Social Networking company Facebook apologized for a “bug” that may have exposed unposted photos from as many as 6.8 million users over a 12-day period through third-party applications.
  • In the latest in a string of incidents on data protection, the leading social network said using Facebook login and granting permission to third-party apps to access photos may have led to the unintended lapse between September 13 and 25.

OBOPAY launches a new generation pre-payment instrument for enterprise customers

  • OBOPAY, the global financial technology company, announced the launch of a new generation pre-payment instrument in partnership with Federal Bank and Mastercard. Called OBOPAY Card, the new electronic format payment instrument can be swiped at over three million Mastercard outlets in India.
  • It will offer multi-wallet facility facilitating dedicated payments and allocation of money for varied user needs like withdrawals, shopping, groceries and food

One-stop centres help 2 crore women

  • The Centre informed Parliament that almost two crore women survivors of violence received help at one-stop centres opened in the past three years. Since April 2015, 234 one-stop centres have been established across the country for women facing physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
  • The total number of women who have been given assistance at these centres is 1,90,527. With Uttar Pradesh was at the top spot in the total number of women seeking help 1,18,833. It was followed by Andhra Pradesh, 26,884, Chhattisgarh, 10,868, Telangana, 7,807, Punjab, 4,964, and Haryana, 3,878

PSU Banks recover Rs 2.33 lakh cr worth of bad loans during 4 years

  • Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla informed Parliament that Public Sector Banks (PSBs) have recovered 2.33 lakh crore rupees worth of bad loans during the four years from financial year 2014-15 to fiscal 2017-18.
  • As per RBI data on global operations for PSBs, during the financial years 2014-15 to 2017-18, PSBs recovered 2,33,339 crore rupees, of which 32,693 crores were from written-off accounts.
  • Country's largest lender SBI, stood on a gross bad loans of 2.02 lakh crore rupees as on September 30, 2018.
  • Among the rest of the 20 PSBs, Punjab National Bank had grossed NPAs to the tune of 80,993 crore rupees, IDBI Bank 50,690 crore rupees, Bank of India 50,338 crore rupees, Union Bank of India 48,575 crores
  • Bank of Baroda also had NPAs to the tune of 46,454 crores, Canara Bank 41,907 crores, Central Bank of India 37,411 crores, Indian Overseas Bank 35,607 crores and UCO Bank 28,822 crores.
  • Aggregate gross advances of PSBs increased from 16.98 lakh crores as at end-March 2008 to 45.91 lakh crores by the end of March 2014.

Sri Lankan PM Rajapaksa to resign

  • Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa will resign to pave the way for formation of new government under ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe. A Presidential advisor confirmed that Mr. Wickremsinghe will be appointed as the Prime Minister by Monday and President Maithripala Sirsiena has reportedly agreed to it.
  • Earlier, the Supreme Court had refused to vacate interim order of lower court restraining Rajapaksa and his Cabinet from functioning.

Swedish lawmakers reject PM as head of new government

  • Sweden’s parliament has voted against outgoing Prime Minister Stefan Lofven as head of a new government, more than three months after an election that has spawned political stalemate. Lawmakers voted 200 to 116 against the Social Democrat Lofven.
  • Lofven’s left-wing bloc holds 144 parliamentary seats which is not enough for a ruling coalition in the 349-seat Riksdag, where the threshold is 175.
  • Both Lofven and the leader of the conservative Moderates party, Ulf Kristersson, have been unable to form a government that has the support of a parliamentary majority.
  • Sweden
  • Capital: Stockholm
  • Currency: Swedish krona

Term of IB, RAW chiefs extended

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved a six-month extension in service to Intelligence Bureau Director Rajiv Jain and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) Secretary A.K. Dhasmana. The Centre has sought to maintain status quo in top security posts till the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
  • They will now remain in office when the new government is elected in May 2019.

Trump names Mick Mulvaney as acting chief of staff

  • US President Donald Trump has named Mick Mulvaney as the acting chief of staff, a week after he announced John Kelly's scheduled departure. The latest announcement came as Trump spent almost a week considering a nominee to fill the vacancy left by Kelly, a retired U.S. Marine Corps general.