Daily Current Affairs - 24th Dec 2018

Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine launched 50-day countdown for Unani Day 2019

  • The Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine has launched a 50-day countdown for Unani Day 2019. Unani Day is celebrated on 11th February every year on the birthday of Hakim Ajmal Khan in recognition of his contribution as an eminent Indian Unani physician. February 11th was adopted as Unani Day by the Ministry in 2016.

Cold wave continues to sweep North India

  • The cold wave is continuously sweeping North India and fog is disrupting normal life at various places. Cold conditions are prevailing in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi.
  • Delhi recorded its coldest December temperature in the past 12 years with the mercury dipping to 3.7 degrees Celsius, as a moderate cover of fog surrounded the city affecting visibility.
  • All water bodies, including ponds, were frozen in Ladakh shivered at minus 17.3 degrees.

Death toll from volcano-triggered tsunami in Indonesia rises to 281

  • The death toll from a volcano-triggered tsunami in Indonesia has risen to 281. The deaths were reported mainly from Padenglang Regency, South Lampung and Serang, all less than 150 kilometers from Jakarta.
  • The possible cause of the tsunami was undersea landslides following the eruption of the Krakatoa volcano.
  • The national disaster agency said more than 1,000 people have been injured and desperate search is on for survivors. The agency stated that the number of victims and damage will continue to rise.
  • Indonesia
  • President: Joko Widodo
  • Capital: Jakarta
  • Currency: Indonesian rupiah

EC makes fresh push for election reforms

  • The Election Commission of India is set to make a fresh push for electoral reforms with the union government, including making filing of false declaration a ground for disqualification and putting a cap on expenditure by candidates in Legislative Council polls. As of now, candidates contesting the Legislative Council elections do not have a bar on expenses.
  • The Commission would also ask the Ministry to take a call on its demand to extend constitutional protection to the two Election Commissioners on the lines of the provision given to the Chief Election Commissioner.

Foreign investors pump in Rs 4,000 cr this month on strong rupee

  • According to data available with the depositories, foreign investors have pumped in nearly Rs 4,000 crore in the Indian capital markets this month so far in which FPIs infused a net amount of Rs 1,332 crore in equities and Rs 2,552 crore in the debt markets.
  • This inflow is due to the inflow to persistent fall in crude oil prices. Another reason is the strengthening rupee against the dollar.
  • FPIs have pulled out over Rs 84,200 crore from the capital markets so far this year.

India needs to open up dredging market: NITI

  • Government think tank NITI Aayog has opined that India needs to open up its dredging market to boost trade by its major ports, which currently cannot handle very large vessels in the absence of proper draft depth.
  • More competition, mainly from global players, in dredging activities would help increase and maintain draft depth at ports and attract large vessels, enabling them to become hub ports.
  • At present, the Dredging Corporation of India and a limited set of private vendors serve the Indian dredging market, limiting competition.

India perceives poorly, 12th on ‘misperception index

  • According to the MORI Perils of Perception Survey 2018, done by Ipsos India, Indians stood at 12th rank in the “misperception index”, behind several countries like, Italy, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Chile and Argentina, among others.
  • The countries which performed poorer than India were Thailand, Mexico, Turkey, Malaysia, and Brazil, which were ranked first in five, in that order.

India successfully test-fires Agni-IV ICBM from Odisha coast

  • India has successfully test-fired its nuclear-capable long-range Inter Continental Ballistic Missile Agni-IV, with a strike range of 4,000 km. The strategic surface-to-surface missile was flight tested from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Dr Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha.
  • Agni-IV missile is equipped with advanced Avionics, 5th generation On Board Computer and distributed architecture. It has the latest features to correct and guide itself for in-flight disturbances.
  • Ballistic missiles like Agni-I, II and III and Prithvi have already been inducted in the arsenal of the armed forces.

India's Vedangi Kulkarni becomes fastest Asian to cycle the globe

  • Indian woman Vedangi Kulkarni has become the fastest Asian to cycle the globe. She spent 159 days peddling up to 300 kilometers a day in 14 countries completing the 29,000 kilometers' distance required to qualify as bicycling across the globe.
  • British adventurer Jenny Graham is the fastest woman to have cycled the globe in 124 days this year.

Magistrate can’t order FIR on private complaint: SC

  • The Supreme Court has ruled that an executive magistrate has no power under the Code of Criminal Procedure to direct the police to register an FIR on a private complaint filed before him. The apex court stated that the Sub-Divisional Magistrate does not exercise powers under Section 156(3) of the Code. The Executive Magistrate has no role to play in directing the police to register an FIR on basis of a private complaint filed before him

Patrick Shanahan to replace James Mattis as US Defense Secretary

  • United States President Donald Trump has announced that Patrick Shanahan will replace Defence Secretary Jim Mattis on January 1. Mr Mattis announced his resignation with a letter saying his views were not aligned with Mr Trump.

PM Modi announces new award for National Unity

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the institution of a national unity award on the lines of the Padma awards. The annual award would be given to any Indian who has contributed to national unity in any manner. This announcement was made at the annual conference of DGPs and IGs of police.

PM Modi to release commemorative coin to honour Atal Bihari Vajpayee

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release a commemorative coin in honour of former Prime Minister and Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee in New Delhi. Atal Bihari Vajpayee's anniversary on December 25th will be celebrated as Good Governance Day.
  • He served as the Prime Minister thrice and led the National Democratic Alliance government from 1998 to 2004.

PSBs’ merger plan likely by month-end

  • The scheme of the merger of Bank of Baroda (BoB), Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank, is expected to be finalized by the end of this month. As per the requirement, the scheme of amalgamation would be placed before Parliament, which is in session till January 8.

RBI mulls cooling-off period for its retired top officials

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has come up with a new norm for its top officials who want to take up the job of a chairman or chief executive of any other entity, post retirement. The RBI has mandated a three-year cooling-off period for retired officials before they can take over as chairman or chief executive of any other entity.
  • However, to join as a director of any company’s board, the one-year cooling period mandate continues. RBI had been liberal in waiving off the one-year cooling period in the past.

RBI shortlists Wipro, TCS, 4 others for PCR

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has shortlisted six major IT companies, including TCS, Wipro and IBM India, to set up a digital public credit registry (PCR) for capturing details of all borrowers and wilful defaulters. The other three shortlisted vendors are Capgemini Technology Services India, Dun & Bradstreet Information Services India and Mindtree Ltd.
  • The proposed PCR will also include data from entities such as markets regulator SEBI, the Corporate Affairs Ministry, Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN) and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI), to enable banks and financial institutions to get a 360-degree profile of existing as well as prospective borrowers on a real-time basis.
  • The PCR would be the single point of mandatory reporting for all material events for each loan.