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December 20, 2015

20th December 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (20th December) is International Human Solidarity Day.
    • This day is observed to celebrate unity in diversity.
    • It also aims to remind people on the importance of solidarity in working towards eradicating poverty.
    • The UN General Assembly, on 22 December 2005, by resolution 60/209 identified solidarity as one of the fundamental and universal values that should underlie relations between peoples in the Twenty-first century, and in that regard decided to proclaim 20 December of each year International Human Solidarity Day.
    • 2015 Theme : Shared Progress & Prosperity based on global solidarity
National Affairs
  • Meghalaya government today signed a peace pact with yet another militant outfit, the United Achik Liberation Army (UALA) which was active in the Garo Hills region of the state.
    • This is the third peace pact by the state government after the ones signed with ANVC and its breakaway faction, the ANVC-B, last year.
    • About UALA :
    • The outfit was formed in 2012 with the demand for a separate Garoland to be carved out of the state.
    • The outfit, which has a cadre strength of 71, began its dialogue with the government in December last year and held at least four round table discussions before declaring for peace officially.
  • The Supreme Court puts on hold the appointment of Justice VirendraSingh as Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta in a special sitting on Saturday.
Awards & Honors
  • Spain's  Mireia Lalaguna Royo has won the Miss World crown for the year 2015. 

New Appointments
  • Rattan Lal Hangloo, Vice-Chancellor of Kalyani University, West Bengal, has been appointed as Vice-Chancellor of Allahabad University, the fourth oldest university in the country established in 1887.
Business & Economy
  • Private sector lender Axis Bank has partnered with a digital security company, e-Mudhra to facilitate digital signature facility to its customers.
    • The new service will facilitate a Aadhaar holder to digitally sign a document within seconds. 
    • Note : The government had launched "e-sign" services early this year as part of its digital India campaign.
  • Pension fund regulatory body PFRDA has started using PAN instead of Aadhaar for validation of new customers who can now be registered online under the National Pension System (NPS) scheme.
    • PFRDA - Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority
  • BSNL slashes mobile rates by up to 80% for the first two months under a scheme for new customers. 
    • The call rates have been reduced both per minute and per second billing plan, and will be valid only for the first two months of a customer's joining BSNL. 
    • New customer buying BSNL connection will have to buy plan voucher of 36 rupees for per second plan and 37 rupees for per minute plan.
  • The Kerala government proposed to set up the state's first Petcoke (Petroleum coke)-based power plant using the fuel produced from Kochi Refinery's Integrated Refinery Expansion Project (IREP).
    • The IREP, expected to be completed by May 2016, will yield approximately 1.4 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of petcoke, which can be used to produce around 500-600MW of power.
    • Note : Petcoke is a high calorific value solid fuel and is extensively used for power generation in various countries.
  • Indian boxer Vijender Singh scores hattrick in professional circuit by thrashing Bulgaria's Samet Hyuseinov in Manchester.
    • Important Note : He becomes First Indian to Score Pro-Boxing Hat-Trick.
  • Rugby World Cup-winner, Dan Carter (New Zealand) has been named BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year for 2015.
    • Carter beat Usain Bolt, Novak Djokovic, Katie Ledecky, Jordan Spieth and Serena Williams to the award that was decided by public vote for the first time.
  • India's Abhay Singh beats Alwin Chai of Malaysia to win boys Under-19 title at Old Chang Kee Singapore Squash Open.
  • YuvrajSingh and Manish Pandy are included in Indian team for tour of Australia.
  • Jamaican cricketer Chris Gayle has achieved a rare feat of becoming the first player to hit 600 sixes and 600 fours in Twenty20 cricket. 

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