19 December 2018 - Daily Current Affairs

19 December 2018 - Daily Current Affairs

19 December 2018 - Daily Current Affairs

1. Sonam Kapoor named PETA India’s 2018 Person of the Year

  • Bollywood actress ‘Sonam Kapoor’ has been named People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India’s Person of the Year for 2018.
  • Sonam Kapoor has been feted as she sings in praise of vegan eating and because she keeps animal skins out of her handbag line for her fashion brand Rheson, apart from taking other action for the welfare of animals.
  • In 2016, Sonam was named PETA India's Hottest Vegetarian Celebrity.
  • Earlier, Delhi Minister Imran Hussain has been recently awarded PETA ‘Hero to Animals’ Award.
  • People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is an American animal rights organization based in Norfolk, Virginia.
  • Its slogan is ‘Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way’.

National Affairs

2. Indian Railways: 1st AC local train in north India next year

  • zAccording to the ICF (Integral Coach Factory) General Manager Sudhanshu Mani, The first AC local train in north India will hit the tracks in February 2019.
  • The MEMU (mainline electric multiple units) trains will cater to the Uttar Pradesh cities within 200-300 km from Delhi.
  • The upgraded MEMU air-conditioned trains can run at a speed of 130 kmph (earlier-100 kmph).
  • It has been manufactured at a cost of Rs 26 crore and has a capacity to carry 2,618 passengers.
  • All the eight coaches will have two toilets each, GPS-enabled information system, automated doors, CCTV surveillance systems and cushioned seats.

3. Govt releases a commemorative stamp on freedom fighter Rajkumar Shukla

  • The Union Communications Minister Manoj Sinha has released a commemorative postage stamp (worth Rs 5) on freedom fighter Raj Kumar Shukla in New Delhi.
  • Rajkumar Shukla made a seminal contribution culminating in the launch of the ‘Champaran Satyagraha’ (in 1917) by Mahatma Gandhi ji.
  • With this stamp, the Communication Department has released 43 issues in the current calendar year.
  • The Champaran movement was the first civil disobedience movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi in protest against the injustice meted out to tenant farmers in Champaran district in Bihar.

4. Assam govt approves debt relief scheme for farmers

  • The Assam state cabinet headed by Chief Minister ‘Sarbanand Sonowal’ has approved the debt relief scheme for the farmers of the state.
  • The state cabinet decided to waive 25% of loan amount to the farmers.
  • The maximum relief per farmer would be capped at 25 thousand rupees.
  • The cabinet also decided that a farmer could avail a Kisan Credit Card (KCC) loan at 0% interest.
  • Farmers incentive scheme also approved by the state cabinet, under which 10 thousand rupees would be given to farmers having bad debts for taking a loan under KCC.

Important Days 

5. Goa celebrating 57th Liberation day today

  • Today, Goa is celebrating its 57th Liberation Day.
  • The state was liberated on this day (19th December) in 1961 from Portuguese control after almost 450 years of colonial rule.
  • The state-level Goa Liberation Day programme to be held in Panaji in North Goa.
  • Goa is a state in India within the coastal region known as the Konkan in Western India, bounded by Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the east and south, with the Arabian Sea forming its Western coast.
  • It is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population.


6. Former PM of Nepal Tulsi Giri passes away

  • Former Prime Minister of Nepal Tulsi Giri (93-years) passed away at his residence in Kathmandu.
  • Dr. Giri was suffering from liver cancer for a long time.
  • Dr. Giri had served twice as the prime minister of Nepal first (1962 to 1964) and from (1975 to 1977).

International Affairs

7. New Zealand to phase out plastic shopping bags

  • In New Zealand, regulations for mandatory phase-out of single-use plastic shopping bags will take effect from 1st July 2019.
  • Retailers will no longer be able to sell or give away single-use plastic shopping bags from July next year.
  • Plastic shopping bags are a hazard for nature, particularly marine wildlife.
  • They can also introduce harmful microplastics into the food chain.

8. Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel resigns over migration spat

  • Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has resigned due to ongoing upheaval within his minority Government over the signing of UN's migration treaty.
  • Earlier, his biggest coalition partner (the right-wing N-VA party) quit the government over the issue.
  • Michel lost the backing of the party over his support for the UN migration pact, a cause celebre for European anti-immigration parties.
  • The Prime Minister of Belgium is the head of the federal government in the Kingdom of Belgium.
  • The political importance of the King of the Belgians has decreased over time, whereas the position of Prime Minister has gradually become more important.

Science & Defence

9. ISRO launches communication satellite GSAT-7A today

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched GSLV F 11 carrying GSAT-7A from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota.
  • GSAT 7A is a geostationary communication satellite weighing 2250 kilogram.
  • It will provide communication services in Ku Band over the Indian region.
  • GSLV F 11 with indigenous cryogenic upper stage has a total of three stages before reaching the destined orbit using the onboard propulsion system.
  • Though the first stage will take place within 20 minutes of the lift-off, it might take one or two days after separation from the launcher to reach its final orbital stage.
  • This heavyweight communication satellite will provide vital data for hi-tech communication in strategic fields.

National Appointments

10. Interim CBI chief M Nageswara Rao elevated to Additional Director rank

  • The interim chief of Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) M Nageswara Rao (1986-batch IPS officer-Odisha cadre) has been promoted to the rank of an Additional Director by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.
  • Rao was appointed as interim chief of the CBI (No. 3) after the government stepped in between the fight of CBI Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
  • After his appointment, the Centre had sent both Verma and Asthana on a leave with immediate effect.

11. SEBI gets first full-time chief vigilance officer

  • Arti Chhabra Srivastava (Indian Ordinance Factory Services officer-1990-batch) has been appointed as the SEBI’s first full-time Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO).
  • The appointment was duly approved by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).
  • CVOs are considered an extended hand of the CVC, which is tasked with detecting graft by officials holding public office.
  • The SEBI CVO will mainly keep tabs on its officials and detect & punish corruption and other malpractices.
  • The CVO will also have to examine the existing rules and procedures of the organisation to eliminate or minimise the scope for corruption and malpractices.

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