Current Affairs Update – 24 – 26 December, 2016

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 24, 25 and 26 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 – 24 – 26 December, 2016

  1. All individuals in families whose
    total income is below Rs 5 lakh will be covered under a cashless health
    insurance scheme in Assam. Called ‘Atal Amrit Abhiyan’, the plan was launched on
    Sunday to coincide with the 92nd birth anniversary of former Prime Minister
    Atal Behari Vajpayee.
  2. The Union Government on 25
    December 2016 launched the Aadhaar Payment App with an aim to simplify the digital
    transactions
    . This app will do away with the need of carrying
    plastic cards and the point of sale machines.
  3. India’s largest private sector
    bank ICICI
    Bank
    on 23 December 2016 launched EazyPay mobile application for
    merchants as an all-in-one acceptance payment platform.
  4. The Union Government on 24
    December 2016 launched ‘Smart Consumer’ mobile
    App to provide speedy redressal of consumer grievances.
  5. The Government of Andhra Pradesh on 22 December 2016 allotted land for the construction of nuclear power plant at Kovvada in
    Andhra Pradesh
    .
  6. Aiming to modernise and
    indigenise the Army’s infrastructure capabilities as part of the Union
    government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, the Army has selected IIT Gandhinagar (IIT GN)
    as its research hub and will sign an agreemen
    t with IITGN to
    collaborate in identifying problems faced by the former and find technical
    solutions.
  7. India successfully test fired its
    home-grown long range intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missile
    Agni-5
    . The missile was test-fired from the Abdul Kalam Wheeler
    Island off Odisha coast at 11:05 am on 26 December 2016.
  8. The Defence and Research Development Organization (DRDO) has successfully flight tested the Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW), from an Indian
    Air Force aircraft
    .
  9. The Jnanpith Selection Board on 23 December 2016 conferred the 52nd
    Jnanpith Award on eminent modern Bengali poet Shankha Ghosh
    .
  10. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
    (PETA)
    recently declared that
    actor Sunny
    Leone is PETA’s Person of the Year
    .
  11. Indian actor Anupam Kher’s 500th film ‘The
    Big Sick’ has been selected for world premier at the Sundance Film
    Festival
    , to be held in the United States from 19 January to 29 January
    2017.
  12. The 31st National Consumer Day was celebrated
    on 21 December 2016
    across India
    with the theme Alternate Consumer Disputes Redressal.
  13. Good Governance Day is being observed
    across India on 25 December 2016
    . The day is observed to mark the
    birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who has turned
    92.
  14. Broking firm Geofin Comtrade today said it has appointed Vinodkumar Balakrishnan as its Managing
    Director and Chief Executive Officer
    .
  15. Indian tennis player Yuki Bhambri on
    25 December 2016 won the title of the $10000 ITF Hong Kong F4 Futures
    . It
    is the first singles trophy of the season. It was his 11th title on the ITF Pro
    Circuit.
  16. India on 23 December 2016 won
    the Asian Cricket Council Under-19s Asia Cup title.
    In the final played at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka, India
    defeated hosts Sri Lanka by 34 runs.

Finance/Banking/Economy –
Cashless health insurance for families earning below Rs 5 lakh in Assam

  • All individuals in families whose
    total income is below Rs 5 lakh will be covered under a cashless health
    insurance scheme in Assam. Called ‘Atal Amrit Abhiyan’, the plan was launched
    on Sunday to coincide with the 92nd birth anniversary of former Prime Minister
    Atal Behari Vajpayee.
  • Under the scheme, cashless cards
    will be provided to eligible individuals, which they can use to avail treatment
    for as many as 437 diseases under six categories, at most major hospitals
    across the country. The six categories listed under the plan are: cardiovascular
    diseases, cancer, kidney diseases, neo-natal diseases, neurological conditions
    and burns. 
  • Assam’s health minister Himanta
    Biswa Sarma, who called it the biggest health plan, said it would cost the
    state exchequer Rs 200 crore a year, adding that the government was committed
    to make the amount available to ensure health for targeted people of the state.
    For the current fiscal, which ends in another three months, the outlay would be
    around Rs 50 crore, Sarma said.

Union Government launches Aadhaar Payment App to simplify digital
transactions

  • The Union Government on 25
    December 2016 launched the Aadhaar Payment App with an aim to simplify the
    digital transactions. This app will do away with the need of carrying plastic
    cards and the point of sale machines.
  • It will also do away with the
    additional fee payments for service providing card companies such as Mastercard
    or Visa.

Highlights of the Aadhaar
Payment App
  • There are two sides to this
    Aadhaar Payment app, one is the consumer app and the other is the merchant app.
  • On the consumer front, the app is
    just like any mobile wallet which will be used to transfer money.
  • The customer needs to enter his
    or her Aadhar number into the app, select the bank through which the
    transaction will take place and then the biometric scan will work as a password
    for the transaction to be authenticated.
  • While, merchants will require two
    things to use this app, one is an Android smartphone and second is a
    fingerprint scanner.
  • This app can also be used by a
    person to make payments without any phone.
  • The app was developed by IDFC
    Bank along with UIDAI and National Payments Corporation of India.

ICICI Bank launches EazyPay app for merchants

  • India’s largest private sector
    bank ICICI Bank on 23 December 2016 launched EazyPay mobile application for
    merchants as an all-in-one acceptance payment platform.
  • The app will consolidate all the
    digital wallets, QR code, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Debit Card and
    Credit Card.
  • With this, ICICI Bank becomes the
    first bank to roll out all-in-one payments platform in the country. 

Highlights of the App
  • It is a sustainable payment mode
    in comparison with other digital applications.
  • It’s open architecture makes it
    different from other digital platforms that are actually closed-loop prepaid
    instruments.
  • Customers can make payments by
    using this app through any bank account using UPI, internet banking or by
    entering credit or debit card details on a link forwarded by the merchant.
  • There is no issue of hitting the
    limit with this app as the money flows directly into the bank account of
    merchant.

Union Government launches ‘Smart Consumer’ mobile app

  • The Union Government on 24
    December 2016 launched ‘Smart Consumer’ mobile App to provide speedy redressal
    of consumer grievances.
  • Besides, the government also
    launched an Online Consumer Mediation Centre (OCMC) and a helpline number 14404
    for redressal of consumer related grievances. These initiatives will benefit
    the consumers in the digital world.
  • The government also launched a
    microsite based on the theme ‘Digitally Safe Consumer Campaign’ to help
    consumers for being vigilant and not falling prey to cyber frauds.
  • All these launches were made on
    the occasion of National Consumer Day that is observed on 24 December every
    year. 

Highlights of Online Consumer
Mediation Centre (OCMC)
  • The OCMC was launched in
    association with Bengaluru based National Law School of India University
    (NLSIU) to provide speedy redressal of consumer grievances.
  • It will encourage consumers and
    companies to go for pre-litigation and will also provide them with an option to
    settle disputes harmoniously.

Andhra Pradesh allots land to NPCIL for Kovvada N-Plant
  • The Government of Andhra Pradesh
    on 22 December 2016 allotted land for the construction of nuclear power plant
    at Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh.
  • In this regard, the Government
    Order 1179 was issued giving advance possession of land under its control to
    the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL).
  • The GO facilitates the NPCIL to
    take possession of 1473 acres of government land and pay for it as per the
    value fixed by the Revenue Department.

About Kovvada N-Plant
  • The nuclear power plant will be
    set up at Kovvada in Ranasthalam block of the coastal district of Srikakulam in
    Andhra Pradesh.
  • In 2009, the Department of Atomic
    Energy (DAE) of the Union Government gave an in-principle approval to the
    project.
  • The ambitious project will be
    executed at an estimated cost of Rs 60000 crore.
  • The 6600 MW project will be
    executed by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). Russia is
    expected to join the NPCIL in design and implementation of the project.

India –
Army to ink MoU with IIT Gandhinagar for R&D

  • Aiming to modernise and
    indigenise the Army’s infrastructure capabilities as part of the Union
    government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, the Army has selected IIT Gandhinagar
    (IIT GN) as its research hub and will sign an agreement with IITGN to collaborate
    in identifying problems faced by the former and find technical solutions.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding
    (MoU) in this regard will be signed on December 27.
  • Under this initiative, the IITGN
    will help in identifying problems faced by the Indian Army while operating in
    extreme weather conditions and border areas etc.
  • The institute will work towards
    addressing such issues through research and development activities and
    projects.

India successfully test-fires surface-to-surface ballistic missile
Agni-5

  • India successfully test fired its
    home-grown long range intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear capable
    ballistic missile Agni-5. The missile was test-fired from the Abdul Kalam
    Wheeler Island off Odisha coast at 11:05 am on 26 December 2016.
  • As per an official release, this
    was the fourth developmental and second test-trail of the long-range missile.
    Unlike other missiles of Agni series, the Agni-5 is the most advanced missile
    with new technologies. The technologies incorporated in this version of Agni
    includes navigation and guidance, warhead and engine.

Agni-5 missile
  • It is a three-stage propellant
    missile with nuclear warhead carrying capacity of more than one tonne.
  • It is capable of striking a
    target more than 5000 kilometres.
  • It is about 17 meters long and 2
    meter wide and has a launch weight of around 50 tonnes.
  • Agni-5 has been developed by the
    Defence Research and Development Organisation under the Integrated Guided
    Missile Development Program.

Odisha to launch malaria elimination programme named DAMAN in eight
districts

  • The Odisha Government recently
    decided to launch a new malaria control programme, DAMAN, in remote
    tribal-dominated areas.
  • Odisha has 62 types of tribes
    including 13 primitive tribes that constitute 22.3 per cent of the state’s
    population. The population is under the high risk of malaria infection.
  • The annual expenditure for the
    programme will be Rs 24 crore from the state budget. The drive aims at
    supplementing the routine malaria control activities and fill the gaps in case
    finding and treatment among the high risk population of inaccessible villages
    of high endemic areas.

Key highlights of the
programme
  • DAMAN stands for Durgama
    Anchalare Malaria Nirakaran (Malaria Control in Inaccessible Areas).
  • It will be implemented in 8000
    villages of all 79 blocks of eight high malaria endemic southern districts.
    These districts are Koraput, Malkangiri, Kalahandi, Rayagada, Nabarangapur,
    Nuapada, Kandhamal and Gajapati.

DRDO successfully flight tests Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon system in
Odisha

  • The Defence and Research
    Development Organization (DRDO) has successfully flight tested the Smart
    Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW), from an Indian Air Force aircraft.
  • In a statement, the DRDO said,
    the flight test was conducted at the integrated test range in Chandipur,
    Odisha. It was flight tested on 24 December 2016.
  • Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW)
  • Developed by DRDO, SAAW is an
    indigenously designed and developed the 120-kilogram class smart weapon.
  • This lightweight high precision-guided
    bomb is one of the world class weapons systems.
  • The system is capable of engaging
    ground targets with high precision up to a range of 100 kilometres.

Registration fee for Pakistani Hindus as Indian citizens reduced from
Rs 15000 to Rs 100
  • The Union Government on 24
    December 2016 notified that the registration fees for Hindus and other minority
    community people as Indian citizens have been reduced from Rs 15000 to Rs 100.
  • The new rules will be applicable
    to minority communities from three neighbouring countries Pakistan,
    Afghanistan, Bangladesh living in India on long term visa. These minority
    communities are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians.
  • For minority community people
    from countries other than Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, the fees will be
    Rs 10000 for registration in India and Rs 15000 if they are registered
    elsewhere.

Awards & Honors –
Bengali poet Shankha Ghosh conferred with 52nd Jnanpith Award

  • The Jnanpith Selection Board on
    23 December 2016 conferred the 52nd Jnanpith Award on eminent modern Bengali
    poet Shankha Ghosh.
  • An announcement in this regard
    was made at a meeting of the board chaired by noted scholar, writer and critic
    Prof. Namwar Singh.
  • With this announcement, the award
    returned to Bengal after a gap of 20 years. Before Ghosh, noted Bengali fiction
    writer and social activist Mahasweta Devi won the award in 1996.

Sunny Leone declared PETA’s Person of the Year

  • The People for the Ethical
    Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently declared that actor Sunny Leone is PETA’s
    Person of the Year.
  • Leone will receive the award for
    her commitment for promoting the rescue of homeless dogs and cats, as well as
    her compassion for abused animals.
  • Earlier in 2016, Leone featured
    in PETA’s ad campaign, which encouraged people to “be an angel” and
    adopt a homeless dog.
  • In 2015, Kapil Sharma was chosen
    for the PETA’s Person of the Year award.

Anupam Kher’s film to Premiere at Sundance

  • Indian actor Anupam Kher’s 500th
    film ‘The Big Sick’ has been selected for world premier at the Sundance Film
    Festival, to be held in the United States from 19 January to 29 January 2017.
  • The Big Sick, which is an
    upcoming American romantic comedy film, has been directed by Michael Showalter.
    Apart from Kher, it stars stand-up comedians Kumail Nanjiani and Ray Romano and
    American actresses Holly Hunter and Zoe Kazan.
  • The screenplay has been written
    by Nanjiani himself along with his wife Emily V Gordon and it is based largely
    on their own relationship. The film traces the challenges faced by a
    Pakistani-born man (Nanjiani) and his American girlfriend (Kazan).

Days –
National Consumer Day celebrated with theme Alternate Consumer Disputes
Redressal

  • The 31st National Consumer Day
    was celebrated on 21 December 2016 across India with the theme Alternate
    Consumer Disputes Redressal.
  • To mark this occasion, the
    Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs Food and Public
    Distribution organised a special event at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi.
  • The event was inaugurated and
    presided over by the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public
    Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan.
  • In the event, the participants
    discussed on the theme Alternative Dispute Resolution, which is already being
    practiced in resolving civil disputes.

Good Governance Day being observed to mark Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s
Birthday

  • Good Governance Day is being
    observed across India on 25 December 2016. The day is observed to mark the
    birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who has turned
    92.
  • To mark the occasion, a Good
    Governance campaign will be undertaken for 100 days. During this campaign,
    ministers and members of Parliament will travel across India and attend
    programmes that highlight the key initiatives of the government.
  • Besides, six major initiatives
    will be launched by the  Ministry of
    Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. 

The initiatives include

  • Immovable Property Return through
    Property Related Information System (PRISM)
  • Recruitment Rules Formation,
    Amendment Monitoring System (RRFAMS)
  • Announcement of E-Service Book
  • Mandatory online filing of APAR
    by all All India Services and Central Group A Service Officers
  • Launching of redesigned website
    of Department of Personnel and Training
  • The endeavour of the government
    is to improve delivery systems, to promote digital transformation and take
    forward the connectivity revolution in all sectors.

Appointments –
Geofin Comtrade appoints former HDFC Bank VP Balakrishnan as MD &
CEO
  • Broking firm Geofin Comtrade
    today said it has appointed Vinodkumar Balakrishnan as its Managing Director
    and Chief Executive Officer.
  • Balakrishnan previously worked as
    HDFC Bank’s vice president and cluster head in its branch banking division.
  • C P Krishnan, a whole-time member
    with Geofin, said that as MD and CEO, Balakrishnan “will help in broadly
    expanding our footprint across newer product domains and steer the organisation
    to greater growth trajectories“.
  • The Kochi-based brokerage deals
    in commodity futures.

Sports –
Yuki Bhambri clinches ITF Hong Kong F4 Futures title

  • Indian tennis player Yuki Bhambri
    on 25 December 2016 won the title of the $10000 ITF Hong Kong F4 Futures. It is
    the first singles trophy of the season. It was his 11th title on the ITF Pro
    Circuit.
  • The third seed from India
    defeated the tournament’s number two Shintaro Imai of Japan 6-4, 7-5.
  • Bhambri won 75% of his first
    service points and broke serve three times to lock victory in one hour and 54
    minutes.
  • With the win, the world number
    534 takes away $1440 in prize money along with 18 ATP ranking points.
  • On the other hand, Cheng-Peng
    Hsieh of Taipei and Pak Long Yeung from Hong Kong defeated Hong Kong’s Karan
    Rastogi and Jack Wong to win the doubles title 5-7, 6-3, 10-4.

India lifts Under-19s Asia Cup title beating Sri Lanka
  • India on 23 December 2016 won the
    Asian Cricket Council Under-19s Asia Cup title. In the final played at R
    Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka, India defeated hosts Sri Lanka by 34
    runs.
  • Opting first after winning the
    toss, India Under-19s team posted a competitive score of 273 runs for a loss of
    eight wickets in their 50 overs. In reply to it, the Sri Lankan side was bowled
    out for a score of 239 in 48.4 overs.
  • Foundation of India’s total was
    based on the first five batsman, especially due to the score of 71 and 70 by
    Himanshu Rana and Shubham Gill respectively. Later, the fine bowling efforts by
    Indian spinners helped the Indian side in dismissing the Under-19 team of Sri
    Lanka and clinch the trophy.

Pankaj Advani won National title in 6-red Snooker
  • Pankaj Advani on 23 December 2016
    bagged the National title in 6-red Snooker, the shorter format of the game, in
    Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Advani defeated Ishpreet Chadha
    in the final 7-4 to grab the title. Advani first won the title during the
    inaugural edition in Bangalore in 2010.
  • With this win, Advani has emerged
    as the strongest contender to represent India in the Asian and World
    Championships in 6-red Snooker in 2017.
  • The Indian player is the only
    player in the world to win all the titles, National, Continental and World, in
    6-red Snooker.

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