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December 26, 2015

26th December 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • The Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan are going to meet on 15th January 2016 at Islamabad.
    • The purpose of this meeting is to draw a roadmap to carry forward the engagement under the newly-announced Bilateral Comprehensive Dialogue.
    • During the meeting, the two secretaries will discuss modalities and other schedule-related aspects to carry forward the dialogue which was announced during the visit of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Islamabad earlier this month.
    • Indian Foreign Secretary : S. Jaishankar
    • Pakistan's Foreign Secretary : Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry
  • Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is going to visit Sri Lanka next month.
    • During this visit, the two sides will sign several agreements including a pact on combating money laundering and terrorism financing.

National Affairs
  • The Government has added 106 drugs including that of Cancer, HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C to the list of essential medicines.
    • The move will ensure their availability across the country at affordable prices. 
    • This also takes the total number of items in the list to 376.
    • Important Points to Note
      • Essential medicines are those that satisfy the priority health care needs of the population. 
      • They are based on the country's disease burden, priority health concerns, and affordability concerns etc.
  • 11th anniversary of Tsunami being observed today
    • On this day in 2004, more than 230,000 people were killed due to this natural calamity.
    • With a magnitude of Mw 9.1–9.3, it is the third-largest earthquake ever recorded on a seismograph.
    • It had the longest duration of faulting ever observed, between 8.3 and 10 minutes. 
    • It caused the entire planet to vibrate as much as 1 centimeter (0.4 inches) and triggered other earthquakes as far away as Alaska.
Business & Economy
  • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has been officially launched in Beijing today.
    • This bank was initiated by China.
    • This bank is expected to start operations from January 2016.
    • With authorized capital of $100 billion, the AIIB will initially prioritise investment in energy, power generation, transportation, rural infrastructure, environmental protection and logistics.
    • It is expected to offer loans to the first batch of projects in mid-2016.
  • IT major Tech Mahindra has launched first of its kind ‘Tap N Pay’ contactless digital payment wallet MoboMoney for the Indian masses. 
    • Note : MoboMoney is India’s first commercial NFC ecosystem rollout that would allow consumers to convert cash into e-cash for making payments.
  • Tata Power has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Development of Russian Far East to explore and develop investment opportunities in the energy sector.
    • Under the agreement, the Ministry of Development of Russian Far East will cooperate with and support Tata Power at all stages of investment projects, including assisting the company’s communications with federal and regional authorities, state-owned companies and the private sector.
Science & Technology
  • The government of Seychelles has allowed India to build its first Naval Base on the Assumption Island in the Indian Ocean region (IOR) as a joint project between the two countries.
    • In this regard, the Seychelles government has allocated a plot of land on in its Assumption Island which will help to enhance mutual security along our western seaboard in IOR.
    • Note : India’s first Naval Base project has acquired significance following China acquiring its first African naval base in Djibouti (near Horn of Africa) in November 2014.
Awards & Honors
  • Aircraft-carrier INS Viraat has today won the coveted Cock Trophy during the Western Fleet Whaler Pulling Regatta, making it the last time the warship participated in the event before she is decommissioned.
    • INS Viraat was declared overall winner team and awarded the trophy. 
    • INS Vikramaditya has emerged as runner-up.
    • Note : The INS Viraat will be called the Cock Ship till the next regatta.
  • In order to encourage innovators in India in the area of Payment and Settlement System, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced “Payment System Innovation Awards”.
    • Broad areas of innovation which could be considered for the awards are:
      • Payment security including fraud prevention
      • Customer convenience and cost reduction
      • Mobile payments
      • Acceptance /electronic payment infrastructure
      • Use of emerging technologies for payments
  • A Chennai based techie, Ramki Krishnan emerged the winner of the Indian Crossword League (IXL) 2015 and lifted the National Crossword Champion Trophy.

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