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December 29, 2015

29th December 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • The 18th session of the India-Iran Joint Commission was held in New Delhi on December 28, 2015. 
    • The session was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ali Tayebnia.
  • Guinea was declared free of Ebola transmission after more than 2,500 people died from the virus in the West African nation, leaving Liberia as the only country still counting down the days until the end of the epidemic.
    • The announcement comes 42 days after the last person confirmed with Ebola tested negative for a second time. 
    • The country now enters a 90-day period of heightened surveillance.
    • Important Note : Ebola, the world's worst outbreak of the disease began in Gueckedou, eastern Guinea, in December 2013 before spreading to Liberia, Sierra Leone and seven other countries. In all, more than 11,300 people died.

National Affairs
  • The central government is planning to organize the ‘Make in India Week’ in Mumbai during 13th to 18th February 2016.
    • The week-long event, being organised by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, will have investors meet for the manufacturing sector under Make in India.
  • The Civil Aviation Ministry has given clearance for four greenfield airports including the Rs. 1,378 crore international airport at Dholera in Gujarat, which is expected to reduce air traffic load at the existing Ahmedabad airport.
    • The three other greenfield airports are proposed to be set up in Andhra Pradesh, with two of them likely to be no-frills ones.
    • Note : The Environment Ministry has already given environmental clearance to Rs. 1,378 crore airport project at Dholera in Ahmedabad last year.
  • The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) has introduced e-office, an initiative which will help provide efficient services to the people by digitizing more than 12,000 files. 
    • It was formally launched by WCD Minister Maneka Sanjay Gandhi in New Delhi on the lines with the spirit of Good Governance initiative of Union Government. 

Awards & Honors
  • Pump manufacturing major CRI Pumps has bagged 'Export Quality Excellence' award for the 11th time in a row.
  • The Globe Soccer has announced the winners of Globe Soccer Awards 2015.
    • Best Player of The Year - Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
    • Best Agent of the Year - Jorge Mendes (Portugal)
    • First Player Career Award - Andrea Pirlo (Italy)
    • Best Coach of the Year - Marc Wilmots (Belgium)
    • Best Media Attraction in Football - FC Barcelona
    • Best Club of the Year - FC Barcelona
    • Best President of the Year - Josep Maria Bartomeu (Barcelona)
    • Best Referee of the Year - Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan)
Business & Economy
  • Union Minister for Communications and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad today announced that the India Post Payment Bank will start operations in March 2017
    • He said several Indian and foreign financial institutions such as the World Bank and Deutsche Bank have approached the state-owned postal department for a tie-up. 
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released the Report on Medium-term Path on Financial Inclusion submitted by 14-member committee headed by RBI Executive Director Deepak Mohanty.
  • The Union Ministry of Finance has released the report of the Committee on Revisiting and Revitalising Public Private Partnership (PPP) Model
    • The 9-member committee was headed by former Finance Secretary Vijay Kelkar.
    • The committee was constituted on 26 May 2015 to review the experience of PPP Policy and suggest measures to improve capacity building in Government for their effective implementation.
  • State-run oil refiner and marketer Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) today commissioned a new 6-million tonne crude distillation unit (CDU) at its Mumbai refinery, which will take the capacity of its oldest facility to 12 million tonne per annum.
    • The Rs 1,419-crore CDU, fourth unit was completed as per schedule.

  • Oscar-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler passed away.
    • He is best known for his work in films like “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “American Graffiti”. 

New Appointments
  • The Government today appointed senior IAS officer, Amitabh Kant as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NITI Aayog.
    • He will hold the additional charge in place of Sindhushree Khullar, whose tenure ends on December, 31. 
  • Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) today announced that it has appointed Karan Adani as its chief executive officer.
    • He will replace the current CEO Sudipta Bhattacharya.
  • Jakkampudi Adiseshaiah Chowdary, who is the Vice-President of Federation of AP Chambers of Commerce and Industry, has been appointed as the advisor to Government of Andhra Pradesh for Information Technology.
    • He will also serve as ex-officio secretary in the Chief Minister’s office.

  • Mumbai Garuda beat Haryana Hammers to win the first season of Pro Wrestling League title 2015.

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