Current Affairs of December - 2016

Twin deficit i.e. Fiscal and Current Account deficit widens.

World Economic Forum publishes annually "Global Enabling Trade Report". SBI, HDFC, AXIS bank are top three POS machine service providers of India.

OPEC (Organization of Petroleum exporting countries) decide to reduce oil production. Saudi Arabia and Iraq are top two producers. Only Iran allowed to increase exports and production as it is recovering from sanctions.

Udey Desh ke Aam Nagrik scheme launched by Government to impose levy on flights to promote development of airports in rural areas. UDAN creates a Regional Connectivity fund financed by center and states in 80:20 ratio.

Pharmacy sector will get a boost from the government scheme to set up clusters to boost pharmaceutical drugs. Currently 65% of bulk drugs are imported from China. Central Statistics Office, Ministry of Statistics releases GDP data.

As per SEBI norms the Maximum shareholding in Listed companies should be 75%.

Liberalised Remittance Scheme that allows Indians $250000 of remittance abroad doesn't allow speculative activities and so traders might not be able to do so in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City [GIFT] at Gandhinagar. GIFT is India's first International Financial Service Centre.

PM Garib Kalyan Yojana as an amnesty scheme that offers 30% tax, 10% penalty and 10% PMGKY cess on black money voluntary disclosure. Another 25% shall be parked in an interest free deposit for 4 years.

Market stabilization scheme of Government to drain out excess cash by issuing bonds.

Mahindra becomes first Indian non banking company to offer blockchain technology - backbone of crypto-currency bitcoins. ICICI bank first bank to do a blockchain transaction.

District central cooperative banks disallowed from accepting deposits in banned notes. 80% of Maharashtra farmers operate through these banks.

90% of ATM's are located in 16 states and remaining 10% in 13 states and 7 UT's. In North east 3700 out of 5200 ATM's are found in Assam.

World’s largest solar power plant being built by Adani group in Tamil Nadu. India’s largest oil refinery being built in Maharashtra by State Oil Companies. Currently largest is by Reliance in Gujarat.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Rural Fellowship Programme announced for any graduate between 20-30 years old from a recognised university is eligible. Tenure is 1 year.

LIGO - Laser inferometer gravitational waves observatory will be set up in India. It will detect cosmic gravitational rays.

India is the worlds largest producer of bananas and Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra are top producers.

PM Garib Kalyan Yojana offers full confidentiality and freedom from prosecution to black money disclosures. The defaulters have to pay tax, cess, surcharge of 49.90% of the amount. 25% over and above this shall be locked in interest free for 4 years.

World bank was consulted by Pakistan to create a Court of Arbitration under the Indus Water treaty. The Bank is the arbitrator of the dispute which relates to construction of Kishanganga and ratle projects.

Coal mitra web portal was launched by Ministry of Power to facilitate coal swapping between government and private entities to bring in operational efficiency.

Maharashtra to get a new Start up policy with a State of the Art start up park in Pune. MIDC to reserve 5% space for incubators.

India has 7% broadband penetration so TRAI [Telecom regulator] has recommended TV based broadband delivery. This is simpler as it needs changing of rules and can benefit the total digitization of cable services to be completed by Dec 31.

H.C. overturns ban on fixed dose combination medicines [ 2 / more active ingredients combined in a fixed dose to form a new drug]. The Government didn't not provide a mandatory 3 month notice or Consult the Drug Technical Advisory Board or Drug consultative committee before such an action.

UK becomes First country to approve Three parent babies. Babies born from this technique receive certain genes from a third women along with genes of both parents. The defective genes from mother are masked by genes of the third donor women.

“Lucky Grahak Yojana” and “Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana”announced to rewards users of digital payment options.

Krygyzthan and India sign pact for Mountain Bio medical research.

Transform Maharashtra initiative launched by which students in colleges of the states can come up with policy and program level suggestions that address 11 critical issues faced by the state.

Lifeline express is a joint initiative by tata memorial, Ministry of Railways and NGO to provide cancer care for the underprivileged.

AGNI V is an inter continental ballistic missile with range of 5000 km. It has a three stage, solid propellant, surface to surface missile.

Unified payment interface application rebranded as BHIM (Bharat Interface for money)

Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar with aim to rebuild Afghanistan. Afghanistan, Pakistan and India are participating.

India has three strategic underground oil reserves that can maintain supply if imports are disrupted. Latest one was unveiled at Padur, Karnataka. Others are at Vizag and Mangalore.

India become a Major defence partner of USA.

Columbian President Juan Maual Santos wins Nobel Peace Prize in 2016.

American songwriter Bob Dylan wins Nobel Literature Prize in 2016.

Worlds highest bridge opens to traffic in Southwest China

Oxford dictionary Word of the Year 2016 - "Post Truth"

India has signed the Double taxation Avoidance Agreement with Mauritius, Cyprus and Singapore.

Deepa Malik becomes the first Indian women to win a medal at Paralympics as she gets silver in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in Shot put event. Brazilian Football team Division A dies in Plane crash.

Norwegian champion Magnus Carlsen wins the Chess championship crown for the third time in a row by beating Sergey Karjakin of Russia.

Ballon D’ Or Award 2016 goes to Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo for the fourth time.

India wins the World Cup of Junior Hockey after 15 years in 2016 beating Belgium.

Karun Nair becomes the second Indian batsman to reach a triple century.

ICC Awards 2016

  1. Cricketer of the year - R Ashwin
  2. Test Cricketer of the year - R Ashwin
  3. ODI Cricketer of the year - Quinton Decock
  4. T20 Cricketer of the year - Brathwaite
  5. Emerging Cricketer of the year - M Rehman
  6. Spirit of cricket award - Misbah ul Haq

Games and their locations

  1. Pyongchang city, South korea in 2018 and beijing , china in 2022 shall host the winter olympics.
  2. jakarta, indonesia shall host the asian games in 2018
  3. 2020 summer olympics shall be in tokyo
  4. 2018 gold coast , australia and 2022 durban, south africa shall host commonwealth games.
  5. 2018 south asian games shall be in kathmandu, nepal

Kurukshetra hosts the International Gita Mahotsav. Haryana celebrates its 50th foundation year.

Person with disabilities bill, 1995 to be amended to make it compliant with UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The bill shall expand the number of disabilities to 21 and allow Union government to notify additional. The reservations in jobs to be increased to 4%. Now even private firms to be made mandatory to make access disabled friendly. The bill however is not creating a National Commission for Persons with disabilities instead the Chief commissioner's office shall continue to function. It also fails to specify degree of disability for thalassaemia and learning disabilities.

Right to Information Act which was a tool to bring transparency in the functioning of public authority has become redundant due to loopholes like high pendency of appeals with information commissioners. The large number of vacancies is also a reason for this.

The Whistle Blowers Protection Act,
too needs to be upgraded to allow whistle blowers to publicize his allegations through the media. The RTI activists too have seen increased threats to their lives. All such cases have to be investigated on a priority. The Central Information Commission had ruled that the RTI activist if killed during pendency of his appeal, the CIC shall direct the concerned department to make public the information that was sought by the activist. However this hasn't been implemented by all departments.

The Citizenship bill, 2016 introduced in Parliament proposes to give citizenship to immigrants belonging to buddhist, jain, christian, hindu identity from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan if they had entered India before 31 December 2014.

Due to the centers inability to get consensus on the Land Acquisition Bill, many states are allowing amendments to the Existing central law to allow leasing of agricultural land for non agricultural purposes. Even tribal owned agricultural land is being considered to be allowed to be leased to other tribals. This measure if implemented can ease land acquisition for industries.

Cyclone Verdah makes landfall at Chennai.

Government approves changes to e-visa policy that shall boost medical tourism. Visa policy is decided on advice of Home Ministry. Government i.e. Union Cabinet to include new OBC castes on advice of National commission on backward castes.

Supreme Court makes it mandatory for all to stand up for the national anthem in cinema halls. Though there is no provision in the law for this. Even the Constitution doesn't enforce respecting the National anthem by legal diktat.

Unorganized sector and farmers affected by demonitization as both sectors run on cash. 76% Agriculture credit came from SCB rest from RRB's and Cooperative banks. To counter this Custom made Point of Sale machines operated by business correspondents should be deployed as they cost 1/10th of an ATM. Other measures could be DBT of payment from APMC to farmer, DBT of fertilizers subsidy. To counter Black money loopholes like Total exemption to agriculture should be removed as it won't affect 98% of farmers.

Fidel Castro, Ex dictator of Cuba buried. Rohingya migrants of Myanmar flee to Bangladesh. Nepal's Madhesi group to protest against Constitution Amendment that seeks to change the boundaries of provinces.

Maharashtra produces 30% of India's onion crop with 60% of it being Rabi crop.

Team Indus, India's first private mission to the moon.

Yoga added as intangible cultural heritage of the world by UNESCO.

GAIL is the country's largest Natural gas producer which owns 11000km pipeline network out of India's 15000 km pipeline network. But 50% of India still has no access to NG.

Abdus Salam was the first nobel laureate of Pakistan and Muslim world.