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December 22, 2015

22nd December 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Spain's Ruling conservative People’s Party (PP) led by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has won the 2015 general elections.
  • In a bid to curb the dramatic decline of their population, the US is going to place Indian lion (a breed of lion found in India and Africa) in the endangered species list.
  • On the back of online buzz around beef ban and associated discussions on intolerance, "COW" has emerged as Yahoo India's 'Personality of the Year'.
  • The European Union (EU) has extended its economic sanctions against Russia for six months over its involvement in the Ukraine crisis.
    • The 28-member body renewed the sanctions until 31 July 2016.

National Affairs
  • Today (22nd December) is National Mathematics Day.
    • Nation observed this day to commemorate 129th birthday of great Indian Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan who made extraordinary contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions.
    • He compiled more than 3900 mathematical results and equations.
    • On his 125th birth anniversary in 2011, India declared the birthday of Ramanujan, 22 December, as 'National Mathematics Day' and the year 2012 was celebrated as the National Mathematics Year.
    • Note : Today, in a joint statement by D.G. UNESCO and the Minister for Human Resource Development of India, Smriti Irani, on the occasion of National Mathematics Day, 2015, said they would work jointly in spreading the joy of mathematics and knowledge to students and learners across the world.
  • The government is planning to set up Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) in all the Lok Sabha constituencies in the country.
    • HRD Minister : Smriti Irani
  • The Odisha Government has launched Anwesha scheme in the state.
    • This scheme will provide free education to students who belongs to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe categories.
    • Under the scheme, 5000 SC and ST children will annually be enrolled into Standard I in leading private schools in urban areas of the state.
  • The National Waterways Bill, 2015, which provides for declaring certain inland waterways as national waterways, was passed in the Lok Sabha today.
    • Under this bill, 106 additional inland waterways will be added to the list of national waterways, taking the number to 111.
  • The Delhi government has approved setting up of a one-member Commission of Inquiry to probe the alleged irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).
    • This committee will be headed by : Gopal Subramanium (former Solicitor General)

New Appointments
  • The South India-based Lakshmi Vilas Bank today announced that Parthasarathi Mukherjee will be bank’s new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD & CEO).
  • Indian ODI and T20I captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today appointed as the Brand Ambassador for the inaugural edition of Masters Champions League (MCL).

Science & Technology
  • US Company SpaceX has successfully landed an unmanned rocket upright, after sending 11 satellites into orbit.
    • The Falcon-9 craft touched down late on Monday night, about 10km from its launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
    • The Falcon-9 flight, which also went twice as high as New Shepard, is a milestone towards reusing rockets.

Business & Economy
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is working towards harmonising regulations for non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) to reduce the number of categories in the sector.
  • India's  second-largest handset maker Micromax has partnered with TranServ to integrate payments with its service platform, which will allow Micromax users to use mobile wallets in a simplified manner.
    • Using this platform, Micromax users will be able to conduct financial transactions like sending or requesting money, splitting bills and making payments to contacts in the device address book.
  • State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lender, will raise up to Rs.12,000 crore by issuing bonds that are Basel-III complaint. 
    • The funds will be raised in one or more tranches through private placement.
    • Important Points to Note :
      • Basel-III capital regulations are being implemented in India with effect from April 1, 2013 in a phased manner.
      • Allahabad Bank has already raised Rs.1,000 crore by issuing Tier-II bonds on a private placement basis.

Awards & Honors
  • Vijaya Bank bagged DSCI Excellence Award for the year 2015.
    • DSCI - Data Security Council of India

  • The  Scottish professional tennis player (World No. 2), Andy Murray has been voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for the second time in three years.
  • India's Abhay Singh has won the boys Under-19 title, beating second seed Alwin Chai of Malaysia.
  • New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum announced that he will retire from international cricket in February, ending one of the sport’s most colorful careers.
    • Note : He will become the first cricketer to play 100 consecutive Test matches when he takes the field in New Zealand’s first Test against Australia in Wellington from 12th February 2016.
  • India's men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy claimed their maiden Grand Prix title with a straight-game win over Thailand's Bodin Issara and Nipitphon Puangpuapech in the finals of Mexico Open. 

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