Current Affairs Update – 22nd December, 2016

Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the important Current Affairs of 22 December, 2016. These are important for the upcoming RBI Assistant Mains, IPPB PO Mains, NIACL AO Mains and RBI Assistant Mains 2016-17.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 22nd December, 2016

  1. Snapdeal, on Thursday announced
    the launch of a “[email protected]” service, which allows users to order cash and
    have it delivered at their doorstep.
  2. Sun Pharma has acquired a branded oncology product, Odomzo
    (sonidegib)
    , from Novartis for an upfront payment of $ 175 million (about Rs 1180 crore) and additional milestone
    payments
    .
  3. The Union Cabinet on 21 December 2016 approved the creation of Indian Enterprise
    Development Services
    . A decision in this regard was taken at a
    Cabinet meeting headed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  4. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 19 December 2016 announced to issue Rs
    500 denomination banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi (new) series with inset letter ‘R’
    in both the number panels
    .
  5. Information technology company Cisco
    on Thursday has signed a memorandum of
    understanding with Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) for cyber security
    cooperation
    .
  6. Union Minister of Power Piyush Goyal on 20 December 2016 launched the GARV-II mobile app
    with an aim to provide village-wise and habitation-wise base line data
    on household electrification for all the states.
  7. Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung
    submitted his resignation to the Union Government
    on 22 December 2016. He resigned 18 months short
    of his tenure.
  8. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 December 2016 laid the foundation
    stone of a Madan Mohan Malviya Cancer Center in
    Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
    . The dedicated cancer centre will be built
    at an expense of Rs 500 crore.
  9. Luggage maker American Tourister has appointed India Test skipper Virat Kohli as its brand ambassador.
  10. The Additional Chief Secretary
    and Commissioner of Land Administration, Girija Vaidyanathan has been appointed as the new Chief
    Secretary of Tamil Nadu state
    , replacing P Rama Mohana Rao.
  11. India’s premier off-spinner Ravichandran
    Ashwin on Thursday was named the International Cricket Council’s (ICC)
    Cricketer of the Year
    , while Test skipper Virat Kohli was chosen to lead the
    ODI Team of the Year
    .
  12. Praful Patel, President of the All India Football Federation (AIFF),
    announced on 21 December 2016 that Jeje Lalpekhlua has
    been nominated as the 2016 AIFF Player of the Year
    .
  13. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja on 21 December 2016 made it a rare instance of two Indian bowlers topping the ICC Test
    rankings
    .
  14. Hong Kong, the special
    administrative region of China has withdrawn its previous visa-free facility
    for Indians. The announcement was made by the Hong Kong Immigration Department
    on its official website.
  15. Sahitya Akademi on 21 December 2016 announced the Sahitya Akademi Awards for the year 2016 in 24 languages.
  16. National Mathematics Day was observed on 22
    December 2016 across India
    . The day marks the birth anniversary of
    Indian Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan.

Finance/Banking –
Snapdeal launches [email protected] will deliver Rs 2,000 at your doorstep

  • Snapdeal, on Thursday announced
    the launch of a “[email protected]” service, which allows users to order cash and have it
    delivered at their doorstep.
  • The service is a goodwill gesture
    by Snapdeal to allow users to easily access cash without having to queue up at
    their bank or at the ATMs. Snapdeal will be using the cash that it receives
    through Cash on Delivery (CoD) to operate this facility.
  • Snapdeal will charge a nominal
    amount of Re 1 as convenience fee, which will need to be paid through
    FreeCharge / through a debit card at the time of booking the order.
  • At the time of cash delivery, the
    consumers will need to swipe their ATM card on the PoS machines, which
    Snapdeal’s courier partners will carry for all such deliveries. Once
    transaction is successful, the courier person will hand over Rs 2000 in cash.
  • A user can request Rs 2000 per
    booking and any bank’s ATM card can be used to pay for the cash. The customers
    are not obligated to order anything else from Snapdeal to access the
    [email protected]” facility.
Sun Pharma acquires Novartis’ oncology brand Odomzo for $175 mn

  • Sun Pharma has acquired a branded
    oncology product, Odomzo (sonidegib), from Novartis for an upfront payment of $
    175 million (about Rs 1180 crore) and additional milestone payments.
  • The agreement has been signed
    between subsidiaries of both the companies and will close following anti-trust
    clearance and further closing conditions.
  • Odomzo, approved by the US FDA in
    July 2015, is a hedgehog pathway inhibitor indicated for the treatment of adult
    patients with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma (laBCC) that has recurred
    following surgery or radiation therapy, or those who are not candidates for
    surgery or radiation therapy.
  • Approximately 70 percent of the
    prescribers are dermatologists and rests are oncologists for this class of
    drug.
Union Cabinet approved creation of Indian Enterprise Development
Services

  • The Union Cabinet on 21 December
    2016 approved the creation of Indian Enterprise Development Services. A
    decision in this regard was taken at a Cabinet meeting headed by the Prime
    Minister Narendra Modi.
Details related to Indian
Enterprise Development Services

  • The service was created by
    subsuming 11 trades, recruitment to which had been done differently following
    different rules.
  • Subsuming of the 11 trades into
    one umbrella service is also indicative of the government’s emphasis on
    promoting ease of doing business.
  • These 11 trades were created in
    the 1950s and 1960s when there was a prevalence of a license, permit and quota
    raj in the Indian economy.
  • The new service will be created
    in the Office of Development Commissioner (MSME) of the Ministry of Micro,
    Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
  • It will help in achieving growth
    in MSME sector through a specialised and dedicated cadre of technical officers.
  • The service is expected to boost
    the capacity and efficiency of the MSME.
  • The Indian Enterprise Development
    Services will have initial cadre strength of 617 officers. Among them, 6
    officers will be having joint secretary level status.
  • These officers will oversee the
    functioning of 72 field offices of the Development Commissioner as well as the
    headquarters in New Delhi.
  • Out of these 72 field offices, 30
    are MSME development institutes and 28 are branch institutes.
RBI to issue Rs 500 banknotes with the inset letter ‘R’

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
    on 19 December 2016 announced to issue Rs 500 denomination banknotes in Mahatma
    Gandhi (new) series with inset letter ‘R’ in both the number panels.
  • These new notes will bear the
    signature of Urjit R Patel, Governor of Reserve Bank of India. The year of
    printing ‘2016’ will be printed on the reverse side of the banknote.
  • The design of these notes will be
    much similar in all respects to the Rs 500 banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi (New)
    Series which are currently in legal tender.
  • However, all Rs 500 bank notes
    issued earlier after 8 November 2016 in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) series will
    continue to be a legal tender. These banknotes came with the inset letter ‘E’
    in both the number panels. Swachh Bharat Logo was also printed on the reverse
    side of the note.
Cisco inks MoU with MeitY for cyber security cooperation

  • Information technology company
    Cisco on Thursday has signed a memorandum of understanding with Ministry of
    Electronics and IT (MeitY) for cyber security cooperation.
  • Under the MoU, Cisco and Indian
    Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In, under MeitY) will establish a threat
    intelligence sharing programme wherein personnel from Cisco and CERT-In will
    work together to address cyber-security threats and incidents, identify and
    shape emerging security market trends, share leading practices, and learn new
    approaches to enhance cyber-security.
  • The company will also open a new
    Security Operations Centre (SOC) in Pune to provide a broad range of services,
    from monitoring and management to comprehensive threat solutions and hosted
    security that can be customised to meet customer needs.
India –
Union Government launches GARV-II mobile app and citizen engagement
window SAMVAD

  • Union Minister of Power Piyush
    Goyal on 20 December 2016 launched the GARV-II mobile app with an aim to
    provide village-wise and habitation-wise base line data on household
    electrification for all the states.
  • This GARV-II mobile app is an
    upgraded version of the GARV mobile app that was launched in October 2015 for
    the efficient monitoring of the village electrification programme. This version
    has till now mapped the data of only 18452 un-electrified villages.
Highlights of the GARV-II
mobile app

  • Data of about 6 lakh villages
    having 17 crore people has been mapped in the app for tracking progress on
    household electrification in each of the habitations of the villages.
  • Status of village-wise works
    sanctioned under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana and release of
    funds to the states for these projects has been mapped in the app to monitor
    the progress.
  • All the data will be made
    available in the app to ensure transparency and enhance accountability of
    various stakeholders along with facilitating view of real time progress.
Citizen Engagement Window
‘SAMVAD’

  • The Union Ministry also launched
    the Citizen Engagement Window SAMVAD with an aim to enhance the participation
    of public at large.
  • This window will take in the
    feedback and suggestions from the people which will be then automatically
    forwarded to the concerned Managing Director and Superintending Engineer.
  • The information will be given
    through SMS and e-mail for online monitoring and further action.
Najeeb Jung resigned as Lieutenant Governor of Delhi

  • Lieutenant Governor of Delhi
    Najeeb Jung submitted his resignation to the Union Government on 22 December
    2016. He resigned 18 months short of his tenure.
  • He didn’t cited ant reason for
    his resignation. In an official press release, he thanked Prime Minister
    Narendra Modi for all his cooperation during his tenure as Lt Governor.
  • He also thanked Arvind Kejriwal,
    the Chief Minister of Delhi, for his association in past two years. He also
    thanked people of Delhi for their support especially during the one year’s
    President Rule in Delhi.
PM Modi laid foundation stone of Cancer Center in Varanasi

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on
    22 December 2016 laid the foundation stone of a Madan Mohan Malviya Cancer
    Center in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The dedicated cancer centre will be built at
    an expense of Rs 500 crore.
  • After laying the foundation stone
    of the cancer centre, Modi said that the role of technology in medical science
    has increased and that’s why his government is making all efforts to provide
    best medical facilities across India. This is a time when quality and
    affordable healthcare should be provided to people, especially the poor.
  • Modi is on a one-day visit to his
    Parliamentary constituency Varanasi.
  • PM Modi visited Swatantrata
    Bhavan of Banaras Hindu University (BHU).
  • He laid the foundation of super
    speciality block of Institute of Medical Science of BHU.
  • He attended a cultural event
    being organised under Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav from BHU premises.
  • During his visit to BHU, Prime
    Minister called upon people to adopt digital economy for cashless transactions.
    This adoption would help him to curb regeneration of black money.
Appointments –
American Tourister appoints Virat Kohli as brand ambassador

  • Luggage maker American Tourister
    has appointed India Test skipper Virat Kohli as its brand ambassador.
  • The signing of this cricketer
    coincides with the launch of new backpack collection by American Tourister for
    2017, it said in a statement today.
  • The luggage brand has signed the
    ace cricketer to feature in a new integrated marketing communications campaign,
    which will be publicised in India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman,
    Bahrain, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, kick starting in March, 2017, it
    added.
Girija Vaidyanathan appointed new Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu

  • The Additional Chief Secretary
    and Commissioner of Land Administration, Girija Vaidyanathan has been appointed
    as the new Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu state, replacing P Rama Mohana Rao.
  • The announcement was made through
    an official statement by the government of Tamil Nadu. Along with being the
    Chief Secretary, Girija will also hold the position of Vigilance Commissioner
    and Commissioner for Administrative Reforms.
  • This appointment follows the
    shocking removal of P Rama Mohana Rao from the top post. Rao was sacked a day
    after an Income Tax raid seized hidden cash and gold from his residence and
    other properties in Chennai on 21 December 2016.
  • A total of Rs 30 lakh cash in the
    new currency and 5 kg of gold was recovered during the raid, following which
    opposition parties started demanding for his removal.
Sports –
Ravichandran Ashwin becomes the ICC Cricketer of the Year

  • India’s premier off-spinner
    Ravichandran Ashwin on Thursday was named the International Cricket Council’s
    (ICC) Cricketer of the Year, while Test skipper Virat Kohli was chosen to lead
    the ODI Team of the Year.
  • Ashwin was the only Indian in
    ICC’s Test Team of the Year and was also named the Test Cricketer of the Year.
    Batsman Rohit Sharma and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja were named in the ODI
    team.
  • Pakistan captain Misbah-Ul-Haq
    won the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award, becoming the first player of his country
    to win the award.
  • South Africa’s Quinton de Kock
    was selected the ODI Cricketer of the Year.
  • Afghanistan’s Mohammad Shahzad
    was named the ICC Associate Cricketer of the Year while the West Indies
    all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite won the T20 International Performance of the
    Year.

Jeje Lalpekhlua declared 2016 AIFF Player of the Year
  • Praful Patel, President of the
    All India Football Federation (AIFF), announced on 21 December 2016 that Jeje
    Lalpekhlua has been nominated as the 2016 AIFF Player of the Year. The
    announcement was made at the AIFF Annual General Body Meeting held at the AIFF
    Football House in New Delhi.
  • Jeje will be presented a prize of
    Rs. 2.5 lakh along with a trophy.
  • On the other hand, Sasmita Malik
    was chosen for the 2016 AIFF Woman Footballer of the Year. She will be bestowed
    with a prize of Rs. 2 lakh along with a trophy.
  • Also, AIFF selected Gurpreet
    Singh Sandhu and Uvena Fernandes for the 2016 AIFF Award for Special
    Recognition awards. They will be bestowed with Rs. 1 lakh besides a trophy.
    Gurpreet is the first Indian to feature in a Europa League fixture. He
    represented Stabaek FC in the Europa League. On the other hand, Uvena is the
    first Indian Official to officiate in a World Cup final match.
  • The 2016 AIFF Emerging Player of
    the Year went to Rowllin Borges, whereas Sanju was selected for the 2016 AIFF
    Emerging Women Footballer of the Year award.

Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin occupy top two spots in ICC
Test bowling chart

  • Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra
    Jadeja on 21 December 2016 made it a rare instance of two Indian bowlers
    topping the ICC Test rankings.
  • Jadeja’s maiden 10-wicket match
    haul against England in the Test match on 20 December 2016 in Chennai made him
    achieve the second position in the rankings. His performance earned him 66
    points and brought him within eight points of Ashwin, who is grabbing the first
    position in the rankings.
  • Interestingly, it is the second
    time that the top two spots in the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers are
    occupied by India players. In 1974, left-arm spinner Bishan Singh Bedi and
    leg-spinner Bhagwath Chandrasekhar were ranked one and two in the rankings,
    respectively.
  • Also, Jadeja gained one place in
    the recent rankings to reach a career-best third rank in the list of
    all-rounders, which is also led by Ashwin.

World –
Hong Kong withdraws visa-free facility for Indians
  • Hong Kong, the special
    administrative region of China has withdrawn its previous visa-free facility
    for Indians. The announcement was made by the Hong Kong Immigration Department
    on its official website.
  • According to the Immigration
    department’s statement, all Indian tourists will have to complete a pre-arrival
    registration in order to gain permission to enter the Hong Kong Special
    Administrative Region (HKSAR).

Key Highlights
  • The pre- arrival registration for
    Indian Nationals will be implemented from 23 January 2017. Its online service
    has already been opened.
  • The registration will not be
    required for Indians in direct transit by air and those who will not be leaving
    the airport transit area.
  • This new rule is a setback for
    millions of Indians who travel to the region for trade, business and leisure
    purposes.
  • Earlier, Indians with valid
    passport were permitted to enter Hong Kong for a period of 14 days without
    having a visa. The facility has been reportedly revoked due to the rise in the
    number Indian asylum seekers.

Nepal to hold military exercise with China
  • Nepal is all set to hold its
    first-ever military exercise with China on 10 February 2017. The decision to
    initiate this new level of bilateral engagement was taken during Nepal’s Army
    Chief General Rajendra Chhetri’s visit to Beijing in March 2016.
  • The military exercise called
    Pratikar-1 will focus on training Nepali forces in dealing with extreme
    situations like hostage situation involving international militant groups. This
    will make Kathmandu more prepared in dealing with terror attacks like the one
    that happened in Dhaka’s Holey Artisan bakery in July 2016, causing the death
    of numerous innocent civilians.
  • Nepal has conducted similar
    military drills with India as well.
  • Though this new relationship
    between Nepal and China does not violate the 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace
    and Friendship, it does not stand well for India either due to its strained
    relationship with the latter.

Awards & Honors –
Sahitya Akademi Award 2016 announced
  • Sahitya Akademi on 21 December
    2016 announced the Sahitya Akademi Awards for the year 2016 in 24 languages.
    Eight books of poetry, seven books of short stories, five books of novel, two
    books of criticism, one book of essays and a book of play have won the
    prestigious awards for the year.
  • The awards were recommended by
    distinguished jury members representing 24 Indian languages and approved by the
    Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi, under the Chairmanship of Dr.
    Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari, President of the Akademy.
  • The prestigious award will be
    presented to the winners at a special function to be held on 22 February 2017
    in New Delhi. The Award includes a casket containing an engraved copper-plaque,
    a shawl and a cheque of Rs. 100000.

Important Awardees
  • Nasira Sharma – Hindi
  • Sitanath Acharya – Sanskrit
  • Nizam Siddiqui – Urdu
  • Jerry Pinto – English

Days –
National Mathematics Day observed on 22 December 2016
  • National Mathematics Day was
    observed on 22 December 2016 across India. The day marks the birth anniversary
    of Indian Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan.
  • This observation was first
    introduced by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 26 February 2012. The announcement
    was made at Madras University on the occasion of 125th birth anniversary of
    Ramanujan. The year 2012 was also observed as the National Mathematics Day.
  • His discoveries in mathematics
    include Ramanujam Prime and Ramanujam theta. These discoveries also propelled
    further research on the subject.
  • He along with Godfrey Harold
    Hardy, a British Mathematician, discovered the smallest number represented as
    sum of two cubes 1729. This number is known as Hardy–Ramanujan number 1729.

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