Daily Current Affairs - 25th Dec 2018

3 States Among Best Performing States Under Maternity Benefit Programme: WCD

  • Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh were the top three performing states under the maternity benefit programme Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY). Minister of State for the Women and Child Development Ministry Virendra Kumar stated PMMVY is a centrally-sponsored scheme under which the cost-sharing ratio between the Centre, states and the Union Territories with the legislation is 60:40.
  • For the eight northeastern states and the three Himalayan states it is 90:10, and 100 per cent central assistance for the Union Territories without the legislation. About 51.70 lakh beneficiaries are covered annually under the PMMVY and grants-in-aid amounting to Rs 2,048.59 crores and Rs 369.31 crores have been sanctioned to the states and the Union Territories during the year 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively.

55th anniversary of Sashastra Seema Bal held

  • The 55th anniversary of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) was held in New Delhi on 24th December.
  • Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), is one of India's Central Armed Police Forces. It is currently under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India. Prior to 2001, the force was known as the Special Service Bureau (SSB).

BVP Rao Elected Archery Association of India President

  • BVP Rao has been elected as the president of the Archery Association of India in the polls held under a High Court-appointed administrator. Rao, who represented Archery Association of Assam, beat Rupak Debroy of Tripura at the elections held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.
  • A retired IAS officer of Assam cadre, Rao earlier served as vice president of the archery association of the northeastern state. He was also earlier associated with Sports Authority of India in various capacities.

December 23rd: National Farmers Day

  • India celebrates National Farmers Day on 23rd December to commemorate the birth anniversary of the 5th Prime Minister of India, Choudhary Charan Singh. He was a farmer’s leader and he had introduced many policies to improve the lives of the Indian farmers.
  • Choudhary Charan Singh served as the Prime Minister of India between 28 July 1979 and 14 January 1980. He is often referred to as the ‘champion of India’s peasants. His memorial in New Delhi is named as Kisan Ghat.

December 24th: National Consumer Day

  • National Consumer Day observed on December 24. The objective is to highlight the importance of the consumer movement and the need to make every consumer more aware of their rights and responsibilities. The theme this year is “Timely Disposal of Consumer Complaints”.
  • On this day the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was enacted. The Act aims to provide consumers with effective safeguards against different types of exploitation, such as defective goods, deficiency in services and unfair trade practices.

December 25th: Good Governance Day

  • Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's birthday is being celebrated as Good Governance Day across the country.
  • The day was established in 2014 to honor the Bharat Ratna by fostering awareness among the people on accountability in Governance and Government.

Five weightlifters banned after 2012 Olympic tests reanalyzed

  • The International Weightlifting Federation announced in Paris that five weightlifters have been provisionally suspended after reanalysis of their urine samples provided during the 2012 London Olympics.
  • They include two Olympic champions, Ukrainian Oleksiy Torokhtiy and Uzbek Ruslan Nurudinov. Oleksiy is 105kg gold medallist six years ago, and Ruslan Nurudinov won the same category in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.
  • Only Torokhtiy stands to lose his title, as the samples retested were given four years before Nurudinov's gold-medal winning performance in Brazil.
  • The third weightlifter facing ban is Valentin Hristov of Azerbaijan. He could lose his 2012 bronze medal from the -56kg category after testing positive for an anabolic agent. He is currently serving an eight-year ban following two positive doping tests in 2013 and 2015. The other two athletes to test positive are Armenia's Meline Daluzyan and Belarusian Mikalai Novikau. They did not win medals in London.

Govt extends ban on import of milk products from China for 4 months

  • India which is the largest producer and consumer of milk has extended the ban on import of milk products from China for 4 months. The ban would continue till 23rd April 2019 as per the notification issued by the Ministry of Commerce.
  • The ban was primarily imposed due to the concerns about the presence of melamine in some of the milk consignments from China. Melamine is a toxic non-edible chemical used for making plastics and fertilisers. Even though India does not import milk products from China, the ban is imposed as a preventive measure.

Indian Firm Takes Over Operations of Strategic Iranian Port Chabahar

  • India Ports Global Limited Company has opened its office and took over operations at the Shaheed Behesti port at Chabahar. It happened during the occasion of the first meeting of the follow-up committee for implementation of the trilateral Chabahar agreement between India, Afghanistan and Iran.
  • Chabahar port in the Sistan-Balochistan province of Iran’s southern coast is easily accessible from India’s western coast and is increasingly seen as a counter to Pakistan’s Gwadar Port, which is being developed with Chinese investment.
  • India Ports Global Private Limited is a private registered company and classified as Union Government Company. It is involved in Sea and coastal water transport.

Indian Navy commissions Naval hospital INHS Sandhani

  • The Indian Navy has commissioned a naval hospital ship, the INHS Sandhani at Naval station Karanja in the Raigad district of Maharashtra.
  • INHS Sandhani is the tenth one commissioned by the Indian Navy. The Navy had earlier commissioned its ninth hospital ‘INHS Navjivani’ at the Indian Naval Academy in Kerala’s Ezhimala.

India’s first music museum to be set up in Thiruvaiyaru

  • Tamil Nadu has announced the setting up of country’s first music museum with assistance from the Central government in Thiruvaiyaru which is the birthplace of Saint Tyagaraja, one of the Trinities of Carnatic music.
  • The other two of the Trinity are Muthuswami Dikshitar and Syama Sastri.

Manipur Assembly Passes Anti-mob Violence Bill

  • The Manipur Assembly has passed a bill which recommends life imprisonment for those involved in mob violence if it results in the death of a person. Chief Minister N Biren Singh, who also holds charge of the Home department, moved the ‘The Manipur Protection from Mob Violence Bill, 2018’ in the state Assembly. The bill was passed by the Assembly unanimously.
  • It recommends a rigorous life imprisonment term if the crime results in the death of a victim. The bill was introduced in the Assembly in the wake of incidents of mob lynchings in the state.

NABCB Accreditation Secures Recognition in Asia- Pacific Region

  • The National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB), India’s national accreditation body, has secured equivalence for its accreditation programme for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS) Certification Bodies in Asia- Pacific region.
  • It has signed the Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) of the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC). NABCB is the third accreditation body in the Asia Pacific Region to become internationally equivalent in the region, the other two being the accreditation bodies of Hong Kong and Mexico.

P. V. Bharathi appointed as MD and CEO of Corporation Bank

  • P.V Bharathi has been appointed as managing director and chief executive officer of the Corporation Bank. P.V. Bharathi is currently working as the Executive Director in the Canara Bank. She will take charge on or after 1st February 2019 and remain in the post till March 31, 2020.
  • The ministry has also released another order as per which, Birupaksha Mishra and Balakrishna have been appointed as executive director in the Corporation Bank and the Oriental Bank of Commerce, respectively. Also, K Ramachandran has been appointed as executive director of the Allahabad Bank.

PM Modi launches Paika Rebellion Chair in Utkal University

  • PM Modi announced setting up of a Chair on the Paika Rebellion, in Utkal University, Bhubaneswar. He also released a commemorative stamp and coin on the Paika Rebellion.
  • The Paika Rebellion of 1817 in Odisha briefly shook the foundations of British rule in the eastern part of India. Paikas were the peasant militias of the Gajapati rulers of Odisha and rendered military service to the king during times of war while taking up cultivation during times of peace.

Power Ministry decides to make meters smart prepaid in 3 yrs from April 1

  • Minister of Power and New & Renewable energy R.K Singh has said that in the next three years electricity metering will go smart and prepaid. He has also asked the manufacturers to scale up manufacturing of smart prepaid meters and to work towards bringing down their prices.
  • This step is likely to bring revolution in power sector by way of reduction in the Aggregate Technical and Commercial losses, better health of power distribution companies, incentivization of energy conservation, ease of bill payments and doing away with the paper bills.

Rafi Award conferred to late music composer Laxmikant and singer Usha Timothy

  • The Mohammed Rafi Award has been bestowed upon late music composer Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar and playback singer Usha Timothy. The award was instituted by an NGO headed by Mumbai BJP Chief Ashish Shelar.
  • Kudalkar, of the Laxmikant-Pyarelal duo, was given the Mohammed Rafi Lifetime Achievement Award consisting of 1 lakh rupees and a trophy. The award was received by his daughter.

Sangeeta Verma joins Competition Commission of India (CCI)

  • Sangeeta Verma, a former Indian Economic Services (IES) officer has joined the Competition Commission of India (CCI) as a member.
  • The CCI is now at its full strength with Ashok Kumar Gupta as chairperson, Sangeeta Verma, Augustine Peter and UC Nahta as members. In April the union cabinet had reduced the number of members of the competition commission of India from six to three.

Strategy for New India @ 75: Health Sector

  • The government think tank Niti Ayog has unveiled the Strategy for New India @ 75 which define clear objectives for 2022-23. The document makes the recommendations related to the health sector under the Drivers section.
  • Niti Ayog estimates that around 8.18 lakh doctors may actually be available for active service assuming 80% availability. This puts the doctor-population ratio of India at 1:1613 against the WHO norm of 1:1000. The other big concern is the disparity between states and those between urban and rural areas.

‘Nightingale of Assam’ Dipali Borthakur Passes Away

  • Legendary Assamese singer Dipali Borthakur popularly referred to as the “Nightingale of Assam” passed away.
  • For her outstanding contributions to the field of arts, Borthakur was honored with the Padma Shri award in 1998. The Silipi Bota conferred on her by the state government in 2010 and the Aideu Handique Silpi Award in 2012 are among the numerous accolades she received.