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December 20, 2013

Current Affairs Updates of 18th December 2013

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International Affairs
  • The United Nations' (UN) International Migrants Day is annually held on December 18 to recognize the efforts, contributions and rights of migrants worldwide.
  • The anti-dumping duty against hot-rolled steel from India, China and four other countries would continue for another five years, a federal US body has ruled.
  • Italy's navy rescued 110 mostly African men from an inflatable dinghy in trouble off the coast of the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, and found one passenger on board dead.
  • The lead singer of rock group Lostprophets was sentenced on Wednesday to 35 years in a British jail for child sex offences, and police said they were investigating whether he committed similar crimes in Germany and the United States.
  • Hundreds of people have died and up to 20,000 others have fled to UN bases in days of fierce fighting in South Sudan's army after an alleged coup bid, officials said.
  • Egypt’s public prosecutor charged former President Mohamed Mursi and 35 other top Islamists on Wednesday with conspiring with foreign groups to commit terrorist acts in Egypt, in a case that could result in their execution.
National Affairs
  • National Commission for Minorities celebrates Minorities Rights Day on Dec 18.
  • Anna Hazare breaks his fast on 9th day after LokSabha passes Lokpal Bill.
  • The US confirmed diplomat Devyani Khobragade was strip-searched and kept in a cell with other inmates, adding that it hoped to prevent the episode from harming ties with India.
  • Operations in public sector banks were hit across the country as their employees went on a one-day strike     to press for wage revision and other demands but private sector banks were not affected.
  • J&K govt takes up beautification of Jhelum River to promote Tourism.
  • Five Institutes of Technology (IITs) are in the top 20 in the world's first dedicated ranking of universities in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) group of countries.
  • AamAadmiParty to write 25 lakh letters to the citizens of Delhi to know their views on government formation, says ArvindKejriwal.
  • India launched a major diplomatic offensive against the United States with the government reacting strongly to the humiliation meted out to its deputy consul general in New York Devyani Khobragade.
  • Poaching of tigers in 2013 has been the highest in the past seven years, data compiled by the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) shows.
  • The Central Vigilance Commission has recommended disciplinary action against 105 officials of the Ministry of Defence since 2012.
  • Tripura government has constituted State commission for protection of child rights to comply with recommendations of the national commission.
  • University Grants Commission (UGC) has warned higher educational institutes across the country about getting themselves accredited by June 1, 2015, failing which financial assistance to them would be frozen.
Awards and Honors
  • Miss Philippines Bea Rose Santiago was declared the winner of the 53rd Miss International beauty pageant, held in at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
  • India's first World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev conferred the Col C K Nayudu Lifetime Achievement award for the year 2013.
  • Diplomat Devyani Khobragade, arrested and ill-treated in the US, shifted to India’s Permanent Mission to UN to enable her to get fuller diplomatic immunity.
  • Bollywood lyricist-scriptwriter Javed Akhtar, Hindi novelist Mridula Garg and renowned Bengali poet Subodh Sarkar are among those selected for this year’s Sahitya Akademi Award (download pdf file of complete winners list of Sahitya Akademi Award 2013 from here) .
  • R. Lalrinawma elected unopposed as Deputy Speaker of Mizoram Assembly
  • RonnieBiggs, one of Britain's most notorious criminals, popularly known as 'Great Train Robber' dies in Britain at the age of 84.
Business and Economy
  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) surprised everyone by keeping rates unchanged on Wednesday in the mid-quarter review of the monetary policy despite high inflation levels citing the prospect of easing retail prices and its concerns about the weak domestic economy.
Science and Technology
  • Google may be gearing up to build robots that resemble props in science-fiction movies as the ambitious internet company expands into yet another technological frontier.
  • Sony has launched the PlayStation 4, its new gaming console in the Indian market for Rs 39,990. The console will be available in stores starting January 6, 2014.
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has developed a new gen-next spacesuit, which is much lighter and mobile, for its first ever mission to allow astronauts to spacewalk on an asteroid.
  • Russia will begin deploying a new type of long-range missile in 2018 to replace a Cold War standby known in the West as "Satan", a military commander said.
  • For the first time ever, researchers from UK have used inkjet printing technology to successfully print two types of cells from the retina of adult rats - ganglion cells and glial cells.
  • Virat Kohli, who walked out at No 4 in place of the recently-retired batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, stamped his authority with a stroke-filled century against South Africa.
  • The Sports Authority of India has decided to appoint qualified CEOs to professionalise the management of the National Sports Federations (NSFs).
  • Government to promote indigenous sports in tribal, J&K, NE and naxal affected areas by setting up Special Area Games (SAG) centers.
  • India's Somdev Devvarman was included in the main draw of the ATP Chennai Open tennis tournament which is to be held from December 30 January 5 after Estonia's Jurgen Zopp pulled out with a back injury.

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