21 December 2018 - Daily Current Affairs

21 December 2018 - Daily Current Affairs

1. Harsh Vardhan Shringla appointed new Indian Ambassador to the US

  • Harsh Vardhan Shringla (Indian Foreign Service officer - 1984 batch) has been appointed as the Ambassador of India to the United States of America (USA).
  • Currently, He is High Commissioner to Bangladesh.
  • Riva Ganguly Das (IFS official-1986 batch) has been appointed as the next Indian Ambassador to Bangladesh.
  • The Indian Ambassador to the United States (US) is the chief diplomatic representative of India to the United States, housed in Embassy of India, Washington, D.C.

National Affairs

2. Jammu & Kashmir becomes the first state to bring a law against ‘Sextortion’

  • Jammu & Kashmir has become the first Indian state to enact a law banning sexual exploitation of women “by those in positions of authority, having a fiduciary relationship or a public servant”.
  • The State Administrative Council (SAC) under the chairmanship of Governor Satya Pal Malik approved the 'Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018' and the 'Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018'.
  • Any person committing the offence of sextortion shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term not be less than three years, may extend to five years and with fine.
  • The offence is ‘non-bailable’ and ‘not compoundable’.

3. The Union Govt. launches Asiatic Lion Conservation Project

  • The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has launched the “Asiatic Lion Conservation Project” to protect and conserve the population of Asiatic Lion and its associated ecosystem.
  • The Asiatic Lion Conservation Project is aimed at the conservation and recovery of Asiatic Lion with the help of up to date techniques, instruments, regular scientific research studies, disease management, modern surveillance and patrolling techniques.
  • The total budget of the project is around Rs 9784 lakhs for 3 years.
  • The project will be funded under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme - Development of Wildlife Habitat (CSS-DWH) with (60:40 ratio) the Central and State share.
  • The last census in the year 2015 showed the population of 523 Asiatic Lions in Gir Protected Area Network of 1648.79 sq. km.

4. Gujarat emerges as best performing state in start-up ranking 2018

  • Gujarat has emerged as the best-performing state in the Startup Ranking 2018.
  • The National Report on States' Startup Ranking was unveiled by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi.
  • Gujarat (100%) has performed better than all other states in all the seven areas including startup policy, incubation support, seeding innovation and scaling innovation.
  • Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha and Rajasthan (score- more than 85 percentile) have been adjudged the top performers.
  • Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana have been recognised as Leaders.
  • 27 states and 3 union territories participated in the ranking process.

5. India’s largest Cancer Institute launched at AIIMS’ Jhajjar Campus

  • India’s largest cancer institute ‘National Cancer Institute’ (NCI) has been launched at Jhajjar area in Haryana.
  • The institute was finalised at a cost of Rs 2,035 crore and the project was approved by the cabinet committee in 2013.
  • The aim is to strengthen research and also bring down the patient load at All India Institute of Medical Sciences’ (AIIMS) cancer centre.
  • The hospital will be fully functional by December 2020.

6. PM Modi addressed the annual conference of DGPs, IGPs in Gujarat

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the annual conference of Directors General and Inspectors General of Police at Kevadia colony of Narmada district, Gujarat.
  • The venue for the conference is a Tent city set up nearer to the Statue of Unity.
  • This Police conference is an annual event in which top police officers from all over the country share and discuss security-related issues.
  • Cross-border terrorism and attempts to radicalise youth top the agenda of the conference. 

International Affairs

7. Sri Lanka: 28 Cabinet Ministers sworn in today

  • Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena administered the oath of office to the 28 cabinet ministers.
  • The swearing-in comes after the leader of United National Party (UNP) Ranil Wickremsinghe took over as Prime minister.
  • Mr Thilak Marapana is the foreign minister while Mr. Mangala Samarweera retained the finance portfolio.
  • Prime Minister Mr. Wickremsinghe has kept with himself the portfolio of national policies, economic affairs, resettlement and rehabilitation and northern development.

8. India & China hold first People-to-People exchanges meeting

  • The Union External Affair Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi will co-chair the first-ever meeting of India-China High-Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges in New Delhi.
  • Earlier, India and China had decided to set up people to people mechanism during the meeting between PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.


9. US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis resigns

  • US Defence Secretary (26th) Jim Mattis has resigned from his post due to policy differences with President Donald Trump (leave on Feb 2019).
  • General Mattis' departure comes a day after, President Trump has announced that all US troops would be withdrawn from Syria.
  • Jim Mattis was sworn in on 20 January 2017.
  • The Secretary of Defense is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate and is by custom a member of the Cabinet and by law a member of the National Security Council.
  • The Secretary of Defense is the leader and chief executive officer of the United States Department of Defense, the executive department of the Armed Forces of the U.S.

Banking & Finance

10. Capital First merged with IDFC Bank to create ‘IDFC First Bank’

  • IDFC Bank and Capital First (non-banking financial company) has announced the completion of their merger.
  • They created a combined loan asset book of Rs 1.03 lakh crore for the merged entity IDFC First Bank, (subject to shareholders’ approval).
  • Capital First and IDFC Bank shares had also gained 5% each in previous session.
  • After merger, the board of IDFC Bank approved the appointment of V Vaidyanatha (founder and chairman of Capital First Ltd) as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the merged entity.


11. ICC orders PCB to pay 60% of a compensation claim to BCCI

  • The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Dispute Resolution Panel has ordered Pakistan to pay 60% of the cost demanded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
  • Earlier, the ICC rejected Pakistan Cricket Board PCB's com2s.
  • The Panel orders the PCB to pay the BCCI 60% of the claimed Costs, administrative costs and expenses of the Panel.
  • The BCCI has been asked to pay 40% of the administrative costs and expenses of the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC).

12. W V Raman appointed India women’s Cricket team Coach

  • Former Indian Cricketer W V Raman (53-years) has been appointed as the new coach of the Indian women’s cricket team.
  • He will take over the role from Ramesh Powar.
  • Mr. Raman played domestic cricket for Tamil Nadu, mainly as a left-handed batsman and a part-time left arm spinner.
  • Raman played 11 Tests (448-runs) and 27 ODIs ( 617-runs).
  • India women's national cricket team represents the country of India in international women's cricket, governed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

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