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December 30, 2015

30th December 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Afghanistan will host a meeting with officials from Pakistan, the United States and China next week to prepare the way for possible peace talks with the Taliban
    • This preliminary meeting will focus on the move to resume the peace process, which was stalled in July following the death reports of Taliban chief Mullah Omar.

National Affairs
  • All central government ministries and their Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) were today told to dispense with the requirement of interviews for selections at junior level posts within next two days, however, they may continue with skill or physical test.
  • Haryana Government has decided to fix a minimum educational qualification for aspirant of contesting Urban Local Bodies (ULB) elections by amending state's Municipal Corporation Act.
    • Earlier, the government has included educational qualifications and other criteria for Panchayat elections
    • Like in case of panchayats, matriculation (class 10) has been proposed as the minimum qualification.

Awards & Honors
  • Eminent Gujarati writer Raghuveer Chaudhary is going to be honored with the 51st
    Jnanpith Award 2015. 
    • He has won this award for his contribution to Indian literature. 
    • He is the fourth Gujarati litterateur to bag this prestigious award after,
      • Uma Shankar Joshi (1967), 
      • Pannalal Patel (1985) 
      • Rajendra Shah (2001). 
    • This award carries a cash prize of 11 lakh rupees, a citation plaque and a bronze replica of Saraswati. 
  • Odisha's famous Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik's Santa Claus sculpture (45-foot-tall) has got a place in the Limca Book of Records as the world's largest sand sculpture.

Business & Economy
  • The Centre has sanctioned over Rs 5,000 crores for drought-hit Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
    • Rs.3049 crores have been alloted for the drought affected regions of Maharashtra and around Rs. 2000 crores for Madhya Pradesh.
  • Low cost airline SpiceJet today launched, an end-to-end travel solutions platform to offer customised travel packages.
    • The travel solutions platform will enable customers to choose from thousands of travel packages from its network of domestic and international destinations for leisure travel like pilgrimage, honeymoon or a wildlife tour.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved an increase in the budget for implementation of grid connected solar rooftop systems under National Solar Mission from Rs 600 crore to Rs 5,000 crore by 2019-20. 
    • This will support Installation of 4,200 megawatt peak (MWp) solar rooftop systems in the country in the next five years.
    • Important Note :
      • A capital subsidy of 30% will be provided for general category states and union territories, and 70% for special category states including Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and those in the Northeast. 
New Appointments
  • The Georgian Parliament today confirmed Giorgi Kvirikashvili as the country`s new Prime Minister.
    • He became Georgia`s third prime minister since the Georgian Dream coalition came into power in October 2012, preceded by Bidzina Ivanishvili and Irakli Garibashvili.
    • He has been serving as foreign minister since early September 2015. 
    • Before that, he was the economy minister.

Science & Technology
  • The Indian Navy today successfully conducted the maiden firing of its newly developed Long Range Barak 8 Surface-to-Air Missile (LR SAM), crossing a significant milestone in enhancing its anti-air warfare capability.
    • Apart from the missile, the system includes a Multi Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MF STAR) for detection, tracking and guidance of the missile. 
    • The firing trial of the LR SAM has been jointly carried out by the Indian Navy, DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries.
  • China today successfully launched its “most sophisticated” observation satellite, Gaofen-4, as part of the country’s high-definition earth observation project.
    • Gaofen-4 was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the southwestern province of Sichuan aboard a Long March-3B carrier rocket. 
    • It was the 222th flight of the Long March rocket series.
    • Note : Gaofen-4 is China’s first geosynchronous orbit HD optical imaging satellite and the world’s most sophisticated HD geosynchronous orbit remote sensing satellite.
  • Russia's Rostech State Corporation has tied up with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for manufacture of at least 200 Kamov 226T light helicopters to replace the ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak, in a deal estimated to be worth USD 1 billion under the 'Make in India' initiative.
    • This is the first Russian-Indian high-tech project implemented by the Indian government within the framework of the 'Make in India' programme.

  • Former chief of army staff General Om Prakash Malhotra passed away.
    • General Mahotra was the 13th chief of army staff of the Indian Army and served as the army chief for three years between 1978 and 1981. 
    • He served as the Indian ambassador to Indonesia from 1981 to 1984 and was later appointed as the governor of Punjab from 1990-91 when militancy was at its height in the state.
  • Veteran singer Subir Sen, known for his work in Chhoti Bahen, passed away.
    • Some of his well-known songs include Dheere chalao zara with Lata Mangeshkar in Aas Ka Panchhi and Humein un rahon par chalna hai in Masoom
  • Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, founding member and singer in the British heavy metal band Motörhead passed away.
  • Iconic Marathi poet and Padma Bhushan recipient Mangesh Keshav Padgaonkar passed away.
    • He penned University of Pune’s theme song Punyamayee De Amha Akshar Vardaan. 
    • Books :
      • He has written a collection of essays and published it under the title Nimbonichya Zaadamage. 
      • He translated works of Mirabai and published a book Mira in 1965. 
      • He also translated works of Kabir and Surdas in Marathi along with Shakespeare’s plays The Tempest, Julius Ceasar and Romeo and Juliet.
      • His translations of Bible : The New Testament was published in 2008. 
      • He also published his experiences of poetry writing in the book Shodh Kavitecha.
    • Awards :
      • He received several awards, including the Sahitya Academy Award in 1980 for his collection of poems Salam, the MP Literary Conference Award in 1956, and the Maharashtra State Award in 1953 and 1955.
      • In 2012, he was also honoured with Jeevan Sadhana Gaurav Puraskar by University of Pune for his contributions in the field of literature. 

  • Rising India wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Ritu Phogat won the gold medals in Men's 65kg and Women's 48kg Freestyle categories respectively on the first day of the National Wrestling Championship in Delhi.

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