Current Affairs Update – 12 December, 2016

Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the important Current Affairs of 12 December, 2016. These are important for the upcoming IPPB PO Mains, NIACL AO Mains, IBPS Clerk Mains, IBPS RRB Office Assistant Mains and RBI Assistant Mains 2016-17.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 12 December, 2016

  1. India and Indonesia on 12 December 2016 released a joint statement in New Delhi.
    The statement was released after extensive talks between the Indian Prime
    Minister Narendra Modi and the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo.
  2. Uttar Pradesh tops the list of states with
    the most deposits in Jan Dhan accounts
    , followed by West Bengal and
    Rajasthan.
  3. President Pranab Mukherjee on 11 December 2016 flagged off a ‘100 Million for 100 Million’ Campaign organised
    by the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation
    . The Campaign aims at
    mobilising 100 million youth and children for the upliftment of 100 million
    underprivileged children across the world.
  4. Alpha Design, a Bengaluru-based
    defence equipment maker on Monday announced the signing of a contract with Indian Space
    Research Organisation (ISRO)
    for assembly, integration and testing
    of Indian Regional Navigation Satellite
    System Satellites (IRNSS)
    .
  5. Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, on 11
    December 2016 launched
    Narmada Seva Yatra at Amarkantak
    . The yatra that will continue till
    11 May 2017 (about five months) aims at turning the River Narmada pollution
    free and unceasing.
  6. New Zealand’s National party has chosen Bill English as the country’s 39th Prime Minister.
    He will be succeeding John Key, who announced his surprise resignation last
    week.
  7. Antonio Guterres, who was the
    Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, will be sworn-in as the UN Secretary General on 12 December 2016.
  8. Italy’s Foreign Affairs Minister Paolo
    Gentiloni
    was invited by President Sergio Mattarella to form the new
    government on 11 December 2016.
  9. India has been ranked as the fourth most
    vacation deprived country globally
    , as 63 per cent take fewer days
    of the vacations that they get, according to to a report.
  10. The world’s longest tunnel, Gotthard Base
    Tunnel (GBT) in Switzerland
    was
    opened for regular rail services on 11 December 2016.
  11. The International Mountain Day 2016 was
    observed across the world on 11 December 2016
    with the theme
    Mountain Cultures: Celebrating diversity and strengthening identity.
  12. Virat Kohli, India’s captain for Test
    Cricket, on 11 December 2016 became the fifth batsman in the world to score
    three double-hundreds in a calendar year
    . He scored his third
    double-century in the first innings of the third test match against England. His
    score of 235 also became the highest score for an Indian captain in Test
    cricket.

Finance/Economy –
India, Indonesia released Joint Statement in New Delhi

  • India and Indonesia on 12
    December 2016 released a joint statement in New Delhi. The statement was
    released after extensive talks between the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
    and the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo.
  • Joko Widodo is on a three-day
    visit to India on the invitation of Narendra Modi. This is the first bilateral
    visit to India by the Indonesian President.

Highlights of the Joint Statement
  1. Strategic Engagement: Both the
    leaders agreed to hold annual summit meetings, including on the margins of
    multilateral events.
  2. They also welcomed the submission
    of a Vision Document 2025 by the India-Indonesia Eminent Persons Group (EPG).
  3. The group had begun their work in
    early 2016 to suggest ways and means to deepen the strategic engagement up to
    2025 and beyond.
  4. Defence and Security Cooperation:
    They directed the two Defence Ministers to explore collaboration between
    defence industries for the joint production of equipment including capacity
    building cooperation.
  5. The Leaders highlighted the
    importance of the maritime domain to their respective countries, the
    surrounding regions, and the world.
  6. Comprehensive Economic
    Partnership: The Indian Prime Minister briefed the visiting President about the
    business opportunities provided by the initiatives such as Make in India,
    Digital India, Skill India, Smart City, Swachh Bharat and Start-Up India.
  7. President Widodo welcomed Prime
    Minister Modi’s initiatives in the area of renewable energy, particularly the
    establishment of the International Solar Alliance.
  8. They welcomed the signing of the
    MoU between the Indonesian National Standardization Agency (BSN) and Bureau of
    Indian Standards (BIS) on Standardization Cooperation.
  9. Cultural and People-to-People
    Links: Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation on youth affairs and sports and
    in this regard welcomed the signing of an MOU on Cooperation in Youth Affairs
    and Sports.
  10. Cooperation in Responding to
    Common Challenges: The two leaders agreed to cooperate on common challenges
    such as terrorism, the threat to freedom of navigation, an early conclusion of
    Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations, UNSC reforms, etc.

Uttar Pradesh garners maximum deposits under Jan Dhan

  • Uttar Pradesh tops the list of
    states with the most deposits in Jan Dhan accounts, followed by West Bengal and
    Rajasthan.
  • The total deposits in Jan Dhan
    accounts stand at Rs 74,610 crore as of December 7, as per Finance Ministry
    data.
  • UP has about 3.8 crore Jan Dhan
    accounts with deposits of Rs 12,021.32 crore. It is followed by West Bengal
    with 2.44 accounts and deposits of Rs 9,193.75 crore.
  • Rajasthan comes in third with 1.9
    crore accounts and Rs 6,291.1 crore deposits, followed by Bihar (2.62 crore
    accounts, Rs 6,160.44 crore deposits).
  • Total deposits in Jan Dhan
    accounts surged by around Rs 28,973 crore in about a month after the
    announcement of ban on old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.
  • Despite the surge, about
    one-fifth of these accounts still have no balance.

India –
Pranab Mukherjee launches Kailash Satyarthi’s ‘100 Million for 100
Million’ campaign
  • President Pranab Mukherjee on 11
    December 2016 flagged off a ‘100 Million for 100 Million’ Campaign organised by
    the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation. The Campaign aims at mobilising
    100 million youth and children for the upliftment of 100 million
    underprivileged children across the world.
  • ‘100 Million for 100 Million’
    Campaign seeks to end child slavery, labour and violence and promote the right
    of every child to be safe and educated, over the next five years.
  • The campaign was flagged off in
    presence of Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi and spiritual leader Dalai Lama.
  • 11 December was celebrated as the
    81st birth anniversary of President Pranab Mukherjee. On the occasion of
    President Mukherjee’s birthday, a number of programmes were organised by the
    Rashtrapati Bhavan. Programmes included
  • President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice
    President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi released three books
    titled ‘From Raj to Swaraj’, ‘Life at Rashtrapati Bhavan’ and ‘Indradhanush-
    Volume-2’.
  • The President also inaugurated a
    new Museum for vintage tapestries and carpets and a new Hall for encouraging
    innovation in the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The museum displays Zardari canopies and
    spreads belonging to the early 1900s, for the 1911 Delhi Durbar of King George
    VI, a collection of Buddhist art, paintings, carvings and assorted gifts
    presented to different Presidents and much more.

Alpha Design inks pact with ISRO for satellites

  • Alpha Design, a Bengaluru-based
    defence equipment maker on Monday announced the signing of a contract with
    Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for assembly, integration and testing
    of Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System Satellites (IRNSS).
  • In the next two years, with the
    help of ISRO, Alpha Design Technologies Pvt Ltd (ADTL) will be investing in
    creating, an ultra-modern satellite manufacturing, assembly, integration,
    testing and qualification facilities, to independently supply four to five
    satellites to ISRO, the company said in a release here.
  • IRNSS is an independent regional
    navigation satellite system being developed by India.
  • The city-based company, a
    manufacturer and technological services provider in India’s defence and
    paramilitary markets, is known for its capabilities in delivering advanced
    defence electronics and aero structures, as well as R&D and manufacturing,
    Alpha said in a release.

Narmada Seva Yatra launched in Madhya Pradesh
  • Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the Chief
    Minister of Madhya Pradesh, on 11 December 2016 launched Narmada Seva Yatra at
    Amarkantak. The yatra that will continue till 11 May 2017 (about five months)
    aims at turning the River Narmada pollution free and unceasing.
  • This Narmada Sewa Yatra that will
    cover more than 1900 kilometres (from Amarkantak to Sondwa (Alirajpur)) in 16
    districts will also help in making people aware about the conservation of the
    river.
  • Before kick starting the
    campaign, Chouhan performed all religious rituals and invited religious leaders
    to join the yatra. He said that he will join the campaign every week.
  • All villages that lie on the bank
    of the river will have its own Narmada Sewa Samiti, which will undertake the
    follow-up action on measures for its preservation.
  • Sewage water that flows into the
    river will be treated before being released into the river.
  • Trees will be planted along the
    banks of the Narmada.

Nobel Peace Laureate Jose Ramos-Horta urged for peace in J & K
  • Nobel Peace Laureate Jose
    Ramos-Horta strongly urged for peace in Jammu and Kashmir. He made this appeal
    on 11 December 2016 in New Delhi on the sidelines of a child slavery abolition
    programme of a non-governmental organisation (NGO).

Observations of Ramos-Horta on
Jammu and Kashmir peace process
  • Dialogue is the only viable
    solution to resolve the decades-long conflict between India and Pakistan.
  • An impartial military is
    necessary to achieve tension-free atmosphere in the region.
  • Towards this end, the UN Military
    Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) will play a key role.
  • The Government should focus on
    priority issues in the region and gradually move towards long-pending issues.

Appointments –
Bill English elected as New Zealand’s new Prime Minister

  • New Zealand’s National party has
    chosen Bill English as the country’s 39th Prime Minister. He will be succeeding
    John Key, who announced his surprise resignation last week.
  • English’s name was confirmed for
    the role during a National Party meeting, which took place early on 12 December
    2016. He was formerly serving the nation as the Deputy Prime Minister and
    Minister of Finance (MoF).
  • While Paul Bennett will be
    replacing English as the new Deputy PM, senior Cabinet minister Steven Joyce
    has been named as the new finance minister.

Antonio Guterres to be sworn-in as ninth Secretary General of United
Nations
  • Antonio Guterres, who was the
    Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, will be sworn-in as the UN
    Secretary General on 12 December 2016. He will succeed Ban Ki-moon as the ninth
    chief of the organisation.
  • President of the UN General
    Assembly Peter Thomson administered his Oath of Office at a special plenary
    meeting of the 193-member General Assembly. After the sworn-in ceremony,
    Guterres, 67, also addressed the General Assembly.
  • Guterres was unanimously
    appointed by the General Assembly as the successor to Ban, after the 15-nation
    Security Council had in October 2016 decided by acclamation to send his name to
    the Assembly for final approval.
  • Guterres will assume his new role
    for a five-year tenure beginning 1 January 2017. He will serve the organisation
    till ending 31 December 2021.

Paolo Gentiloni named Italy’s new Prime Minister

  • Italy’s Foreign Affairs Minister
    Paolo Gentiloni was invited by President Sergio Mattarella to form the new
    government on 11 December 2016. The decision comes in the wake of Matteo
    Renzi’s resignation following a referendum defeat in the Parliament.
  • Renzi, whose term had almost
    neared three years, took the decision to resign on 4 December 2016 after voters
    rejected the constitutional reforms proposed by him.
  • Gentiloni, a close aid of the
    outgoing PM, will now have to put together his own new centre-left team before
    the parliamentary confidence vote, which is due on 14 December 2016. He was
    chosen after the opposition turned down the possibility of a national unity
    government and the President rejected opposition’s demand for an immediate
    election.

Reports –
India ranks 4th most vacation deprived country globally: Report

  • India has been ranked as the
    fourth most vacation deprived country globally, as 63 per cent take fewer days
    of the vacations that they get, according to to a report.
  • “After Spain (68 per cent),
    UAE (68 per cent), Malaysia (67 per cent) and South Korea (64 per cent), India
    is ranked as the fourth most vacation deprived country globally,”
    according to Expedia ‘Vacation Deprivation report 2016’.
  • The report revealed that 40 per
    cent Indians don’t use all vacation days as work schedule does not allow for
    vacation or don’t have enough staff to cover and 32 per cent are not able to
    take vacation days due to personal schedule.
  • “Vacations play a critical
    role in creating work-life balance as it re-energises people to be more focused
    at work (95 per cent of Indians agree in the survey),” Expedia, India,
    Marketing Head Manmeet Ahluwalia said.
  • The report was conducted on
    behalf of Expedia by Northstar, a globally integrated strategic insights consulting
    firm online from September 12-29, 2016, across North America, Europe, South
    America, and Asia Pacific.
  • It was conducted among 9,424
    employed adults aged 18 years of age and older across 28 countries.

World –
World’s longest tunnel opened for commercial service

  • The world’s longest tunnel,
    Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) in Switzerland was opened for regular rail services
    on 11 December 2016.
  • It got a ceremonial wave off in
    June this year with top European leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel
    and French President Francois Hollande hopping on to experience the very first
    ride through the marvel. It will be carrying passengers under the Swiss Alps
    from Zurich to Lugano.

Key details
  • With a length of 57 kilometres
    and a depth of over 2300 metres, GBT is the world’s longest and deepest tunnel.
  • It is the first flat low-level
    route through the Alps Mountain and is a part of Swiss government’s New Railway
    Link through the Alps (NRLA) programme.
  • It has not only outdone the 50.5
    kilometre long Channel Tunnel connecting Britain and France but has also beaten
    Japan’s 53.9 kilometre long Seikan tunnel.
  • It took 17 years to reach
    completion and its total cost amounts to around US $11.8 billion.

Awards & Honors –
John Kerry conferred with highest French civilian distinction Legion of
Honour
  • US Secretary of State John Kerry
    was on 11 December 2016 honoured as the Officer of the Legion of Honour, the
    highest French civilian distinction for his contribution in peace effort.
  • Kerry received the award from the
    French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault following the high level talks on
    Syria’s war by both the sides.
  • Kerry has visited France
    countless times as Secretary of State for high-level diplomatic meetings on
    Syria, Ukraine and other hotspots.

Days –
International Mountain Day 2016 observed across the world

  • The International Mountain Day
    2016 was observed across the world on 11 December 2016 with the theme Mountain
    Cultures: Celebrating diversity and strengthening identity.
  • This year celebrations are aimed
    at highlighting the Mountain Cultures. Mountains encompass communities with
    ancient cultures and traditions and are places of importance for religious
    worship and pilgrimage all over the world.
  • The concept of traditional
    heritage and culture is inherently linked with livelihoods of people in the
    mountains.

Sports –
Virat Kohli is the fifth cricketer to score three double test centuries
in a calendar year
  • Virat Kohli, India’s captain for
    Test Cricket, on 11 December 2016 became the fifth batsman in the world to
    score three double-hundreds in a calendar year. He scored his third
    double-century in the first innings of the third test match against England.
  • With this, Kohli, who fell on his
    personal score of 235runs to Chris Woakes, has joined the elite group of
    cricketers like Michael Clarke (4 centuries) in 2012, Don Bradman (3 centuries)
    in 1930, Ricky Ponting (3 centuries) in 2003 and Brendon McCullum (3 centuries)
    in 2014, who had scored three or more double hundreds in a calendar year.
  • His first double-ton was scored
    against West Indies, while the second came in Indore against New Zealand. His
    third double test-century also made him the first batsman to score a
    double-century in three successive series in a year. He is also first Indian to
    score three double-tons in a year.
  • His score of 235 also became the
    highest score for an Indian captain in Test cricket. The previous best score
    was 224, which was scored by Mahendra Singh Dhoni against Australia in Chennai
    in 2013.

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