Current Affairs Update – 22nd to 28th December, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs from 22nd of December to 28th December, 2015. These are important for the upcoming LIC AAO 2016, Syndicate Bank PO, SIDBI Assistant Manager Exams.

Finance/Banking/RBI
RBI extended deadline
to exchange pre-2005 notes to 30 June 2016

  • The Reserve Bank of India on 23 December 2015 extended the
    deadline for exchanging pre-2005 currency notes of various denominations by
    another six months to 30 June 2016.
  • The decision to extend the deadline was notified by the apex
    bank in a statement issued in Mumbai. 
  • RBI in an official statement said that the notes can be
    exchanged for their full value. It has also clarified that all such notes
    continue to remain legal tender.
  • Soliciting cooperation from members of public in withdrawing
    these banknotes, it also urged them to deposit the old design notes in their
    bank accounts or exchange them at a bank branch convenient to them.
  • Earlier on 25 June 2015, the Reserve Bank had set the last
    date for public to exchange pre-2005 banknotes notes as 31 December 2015.

Tech Mahindra
launched NFC-based wallet MoboMoney

  • Tech Mahindra Limited on 23 December 2015 launched India’s
    first contactless digital payment ecosystem, branded MoboMoney.
  • The company claims that MoboMoney is the country’s first
    commercial rollout of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which allows
    radio communication between two NFC enabled devices.

Highlights of
MoboMoney
  • MoboMoney is a prepaid wallet issued in the form of an NFC
    Contactless Tag.
  • It can be used to Tap n Pay on a network of NFC enabled
    Merchant point of sale, thus allowing customers without an NFC-enabled phone to
    enjoy the simple tap and pay experience to purchase goods.
  • It allows consumers to load their wallet by paying cash at
    its 1000+ retail network, helping convert cash into e-cash.
  • The money loaded into the customers’ digital wallets can
    then be used to Tap n Pay for over the counter payments, recharges, make bill
    payments, as well as pay online – converting what were earlier payments done in
    cash, into digital payments.

RBI created Dedicated
Helpline for guiding Start-ups in India on Forex Matters

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 22 December 2015 created
    a dedicated helpline (Email) for start-ups in India in order to offer
    assistance on Forex matters to them for undertaking cross-border transactions
    within the ambit of the regulatory framework.
  • While seeking guidance on the helpline, the enterprises will
    be asked to provide complete information to the Reserve Bank and mention the
    specific issues on which they need guidance from the Bank in relation to the
    Foreign Exchange Management regulations.
  • This will enable the personnel attending the helpline to
    offer timely and effective information. Generally, Start-up enterprises
    undertake a wide range of cross-border transactions including those related to
    investment.
  • Cross-border transactions of resident Indians are subject to
    the regulatory regime provided by the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.

CCEA approved
investment of 5000 crore rupees into ONGC Videsh
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 22
    December 2015 gave its approval for investment of 5000 crore rupees by Oil and
    Natural Gas Company Limited (ONGC) into the equity share capital of ONGC Videsh
    Limited (OVL) by conversion of existing loan of equivalent amount into equity.
  • The approved investment will strengthen the capital base of
    ONGC Videsh. It will enhance the ability of ONGC to undertake overseas
    Exploration and Production (E&P) business, thereby improving the energy
    security of the country.
  • With this investment, the equity base of OVL will rise to
    15000 crore rupees. All the loan ONGC had given to OVL was at zero interest.

Idea became third
mobile operator to launch 4G services in India
  • Idea Cellular on 23 December 2015 became the third mobile
    operator in India to launch 4G services in India. Earlier, Bharti Airtel and
    Vodafone India had launched 4G services in India.
  • Idea, the third largest mobile operator in terms of revenue
    and subscriber base, launched the 4G services across 75 towns in the 4 telecom
    circles of South India, namely Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, Karnataka,
    Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
  • Idea customers with 4G devices in these 75 towns can now
    start experiencing superfast speeds by simply upgrading their existing SIM
    cards to new 4G SIM cards.

Lok Sabha passed The
Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Bill, 2015
  • The Lok Sabha on 22 December 2015 passed The Payment of
    Bonus (Amendment) Bill, 2015. The Bill will allow doubling of wage ceiling for
    calculating bonus of factory workers.
  • The Bill seeks to amend the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965. The
    Bill 2015 was introduced in Lok Sabha on 7 December 2015.

Provisions of Bill
  • It seeks to raise the eligibility limit for payment of bonus
    from a salary of 10000 rupees to 21000 rupees a month.
  • It seeks to raise this calculation ceiling of bonus to 7000
    rupees per month or as per the minimum wage notified for the employment under
    the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 (whichever is higher).

Digital media company
Arre acquired Apalya Technologies
  • Arre, the digital media brand from UDigital, a venture
    founded by Ronnie Screwvala, B Saikumar and Ajay Chacko, on 21 December 2015
    announced the acquisition of Apalya Technologies.
  • As part of the deal, the cofounders of Apalya, Vamshi Reddy
    and Shiva Bayyapunedi, will get 2 percent sweat equity in UDigital.
  • Apalya will help Arre, which is developing content in
    various forms including edgy videos, serial-like podcasts, investigative
    documentaries and long-form narratives, to add platform capability to its digital
    content play.

On-demand grocery
service PepperTap acquired Jiffstore
  • Gurgaon-based on-demand grocery service PepperTap on 21
    December 2015 acquired Bengaluru-based hyperlocal grocery delivery startup
    Jiffstore in a cash-and-stock deal. However, the deal details were not
    disclosed.
  • As per the terms of deal, Jiffstore will completely merge
    its operations with PepperTap. Furthermore, its 40-member-team will join
    PepperTap’s Gurgaon and Bengaluru offices.

CCEA approved
3000-crore rupees scheme for integrated development and management of fisheries
 
  • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 22 December
    2015 gave its approval for implementation of an umbrella scheme for integrated
    development and management of fisheries. The scheme will be implemented at an
    outlay of 3000 crore rupees, for a period of five years.
  • It will cover development and management of inland
    fisheries, aquaculture, marine fisheries and all activities undertaken by the
    National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) towards realizing Blue Revolution.
    The scheme has the following six broad components, and they are

  • National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) and its
    activities
  • Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • Development of Marine Fisheries, Infrastructure and Post
    Harvest Operations
  • Strengthening of Database & Geographical Information
    System of the Fisheries Sector
  • Institutional Arrangement for Fisheries Sector
  • Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) and other
    need-based Interventions

India
AP Government signed
MoU with Microsoft India on technology initiatives
  • Government of Andhra Pradesh on 28 December 2015 signed a
    Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft India on a range of technology
    initiatives.
  • The MoU was signed after a meeting between the Chief
    Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella in Hyderabad.

Features of the
MoU
  • By applying Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and Advanced
    Visualization method, the company will provide technical knowledge to the AP Government
    and support building three proof-of-concept (PoC) solutions.
  • The three PoC solutions are related to the fields of
    education, agriculture and eCitizen services.

India, Russia signed
16 pacts to deepen bilateral cooperation

  • India and Russia on 24 December 2015 signed 16
    Agreements/Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) to deepen bilateral cooperation
    in the fields of energy, security, technology, etc.
  • The pacts were signed after the conclusion of the 16th
    India-Russia Annual Summit in Moscow.
  • After the summit, which was attended by Prime Minister
    Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, both the leaders issued a
    joint statement with the theme Shared Trust,New Horizons.

List of
Agreements/MoUs
  1. Protocol amending the agreement, which was signed on 21
    December 2010, between India and Russia on simplification of requirements for
    mutual travels of certain categories of citizens of the two countries.
  2. Protocol amending agreement between India and Russia on
    mutual travel regime for holders of Diplomatic & Official Passports of 3
    December 2004.
  3. Agreement between India and Russia on Cooperation in the
    field of Helicopter Engineering
  4. Plan for Cooperation between the Federal Customs Service of
    the Central Board of Excise and Customs, Department of Revenue, Ministry of
    Finance, India and the Russian Federation for combating Customs violations in
    2015 – 2017.
  5. Programme of Action Agreed Between the Department of Atomic
    Energy of India and the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation “Rosatom”
    for Localization of Manufacturing in India for Russian-Designed Nuclear Reactor
    Units.
  6. Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Railways
    of India and the Joint Stock company “Russian Railways” on technical
    cooperation in railway sector.
  7. MoU between Solar Energy Corporation of India and Russian
    Energy Agency regarding construction of solar energy plants in the Republic of
    India.
  8. MoU for cooperation between HEC & CNIITMASH for
    development of Centre of Excellence for heavy engineering design at HEC.
  9. MoU for cooperation between HEC & CNIITMASH for
    upgradation and modernization of HEC’s manufacturing facilities.
  10. Memorandum of Understanding between Prasar Bharati and
    Digital Television Russia on Cooperation in the field of Broadcasting.
  11. Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding between Centre for
    Development of Advance Computing (C-DAC), Indian Institute of Science Bangalore
    (IISc) and Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU).
  12. Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding between Centre for
    Development of Advance Computing (C-DAC), OJSC “GLONASS” and GLONASS
    Union.
  13. MoU in the field of investment cooperation in the Russian
    Far East between The Tata Power Company Limited and Ministry for Development of
    the Russian Far East.
  14. MoU for Cooperation for geologic survey, exploration and
    production of hydrocarbons onshore and on the continental shelf of the Russian
    Federation.
  15. Confirmation of successful completion of the first stage
    pre-completion actions in relation to the creation of a Joint Venture in JSC
    VankorNeft.
  16. MoU for Cooperation for geologic survey, exploration and
    production of hydrocarbons onshore the Russian Federation between Rosneft oil
    company, Oil India Limited and Indian Oil Corporation Limited.

Indigenously
developed Air-to-Air missile Astra successfully test fired
  • Indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air
    missile, Astra, was on 25 December 2015 successfully test fired. The test was
    conducted by the Indian Air Force off the coast of Odisha near the Integrated Test
    Range (ITR), Balasore.
  • In addition to this air trial, the missile underwent
    successful ground based trials in early December 2015 near Pune.
  • The tests were aimed at validating the ECCM (electronic
    counter-counter measure) features of the missile to overcome any jamming.
  • After carrying out some more trials, including air launch
    trial with a warhead, the missile is expected to be inducted into the Air Force
    in 2016.

Cochin Shipyard
Limited became first licensed Indian shipyard to make LNG Ships
  • Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) on 21 December 2015 received
    certification to build LNG-transporting ships for any client world-wide making
    it the first shipyard in India to get the nod.
  • The shipyard successfully completed a Mark-III Flex Mock-Up,
    which has been certified by Gaztransport et Technigaz (GTT), France, thereby
    completing all requirements to be licensed by GTT. After the certification, CSL
    can build LNG ships for any client world-wide using their patented membrane
    containment system known as the Mark-III Technology.
  • As part of the Make in India programme, the Government of
    India is keen that three of the nine ships should be built in India. CSL is
    keen to take part in the tender. Entering the LNG carrier technology area will
    set the yard on the technology growth path and will also lead to substantial
    improvements in areas like quality control, Health, Safety & Environment
    (HSE).

Odisha Government
launched Anwesha scheme to provide free education to SC/ST students

  • The Odisha Government on 21 December 2015 launched Anwesha
    scheme to provide free education to scheduled caste and scheduled tribe
    students. 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.
  • State Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced the scheme at
    Saragi Phul- a three day children’s festival for ST, SC children held at
    Adivasi Ground, Bhubaneswar.

Highlights of the
Anwesha scheme
  • The government will bear all expenses for education of the
    students under the scheme which will be implemented in 17 districts.
  • The expenses for fees, uniform, books, hostel accommodation
    as well transportation will be sponsored by the government.
  • The government aims to enrol a total of 50000 SC and ST
    students in phases.

Union HRD Ministry
launched the 6th All India Survey on Higher Education
  • The Union Minister of Human Resource Development Zubin Irani
    on 21 December 2015 launched the 6th All India Survey on Higher Education
    (AISHE) in New Delhi.
  • The survey covers all the Higher Education (HE) institutions
    of the country including Universities, Colleges and Stand-Alone institutions
    from 2010-11 to 2014-15.
  • It brings out the correct and complete picture of the higher
    education system so that relevant statistics are available to the Central
    Government as well as State Governments in order to devise future educational
    policies.

The major findings
of the AISHE 2014-15 are –
  • Increase in overall enrolment from 27.5 million in 2010-11
    to 33.3 million in 2014-15.
  • Improvement in Gross Enrolment Ratio which is a ratio of
    enrolment in higher education to population in the eligible age group (18-23)
    years from 19.4 percent on 2010-11 to 23.6 percent in 2014-15.
  • Gender Parity Index (GPI), a ratio of proportional
    representation of female and male, has marginally improved from 0.86 to 0.93 to
    the corresponding period.
  • Number of institutions of higher education listed on AISHE
    portal has also increased significantly – universities from 621 to 757 and
    colleges from 32974 to 38056 during the period.

Union Cabinet
approved Lucknow Metro Rail Project Phase-1A

  • Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22
    December 2015 approved the Lucknow Metro Rail Project Phase-1 A. To be developed
    at an expenditure of 6928 crore rupees, the project will cover a length of
    22.878 km with 22 stations.
  • Out of the total route length of 22.878 km, elevated route
    will be 19.438 km while underground route length will be 3.440 km with total 19
    elevated and three underground metro stations. The metro train will ply between
    Chowdhary Charan Singh Airport and Munshi Pulia.
  • The project will cost 6928 crore rupees of which the Union
    Government will give 1300 crore rupees in form of equity and subordinate debt.

Pandorum Technologies
developed India’s first Artificial Liver Tissue using 3D printing
  • Pandorum Technologies Private Limited in the third week of
    December 2015 developed India’s first artificial liver tissue with the help of
    3-D printing technology.
  • The development is a major step forward in the on-demand
    manufacturing of 3D printed human organs.
  • The artificial liver tissue performs critical functions of a
    human liver including, metabolism, secretion of biochemicals such as
    cholesterol and albumin and detoxification.

Union Government
launched two Mobile Apps for Farmers
  • For the benefit of farmers, Union Agriculture & Farmers
    Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh on 23 December 2015 launched two mobile apps
    namely Crop Insurance and AgriMarket Mobile.
  • The apps were launched to celebrate the birth anniversary of
    former Prime Ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Choudhary Charan Singh. Their
    birthday will be celebrated by organising Kishan Jai Vigyan Week.

North India’s first
cable bridge inaugurated at Basohali town of J&K
  • The Basohali town which is located in Kathua district of
    Jammu and Kashmir was in news on 24 December 2015 as the Union Defence Minister
    Manohar Parrikar dedicated the first cable-stayed bridge of North India to the
    nation.

Key details
related to Basohli Cable-Bridge
  • The 592-metre bridge was constructed over river Ravi on
    Dunera- Basohli-Bhadharwah road.
  • It would provide close connectivity between three northern
    states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.
  • It is fourth of its kind in India and first in North India
    and Jammu and Kashmir.

India’s first
indigenously designed & built warship INS Godavari decommissioned
  • India’s first indigenously designed and built warship Indian
    Navy Service (INS) Godavari was on 23 December 2015 decommissioned in Naval
    Dockyard Mumbai. It was commissioned into the Navy on 10 December 1983.
  • With her decommissioning, INS Godavari (F-20) will complete
    its full life cycle, meeting all responsibilities and duties assigned, proving
    the success of Indian ship design and construction.
  • It was the lead ship of her class of three guided-missile
    frigates of the Indian Navy. The other two warships are INS Ganga and INS
    Gomati.

Reliance Defence
partnered with Russia’s AlmazAntey for Air Defence Missile Systems
  • Reliance Defence of Reliance Infrastructure Limited on 24
    December 2015 entered into a partnership with Russia’s AlmazAntey for producing
    Air Defence Missile Systems.
  • A corporate agreement in this regard was signed on the
    sidelines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day state visit to Russia.
  • Defence Acquisition Council’s approval for acquisition of
    S-400 air defence missile systems is expected to create business opportunity of
    about 40000 crore rupees.

Appointments
Delhi Government
appointed Gopal Subramanium Commission on DDCA scam
  • Delhi Government on 21 December 2015 appointed a one-member
    commission of inquiry on Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) scam. A
    decision in this regard was taken in  a
    cabinet committee meeting headed by the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
  • The commission will be headed by former Solicitor General
    Gopal Subramanium. It will probe the alleged financial irregularities by the
    administrators of the DDCA.
  • The commission was appointed on the basis of recommendation
    of the three-member committee headed by Chetan Sanghi. The committee was
    constituted to probe alleged financial irregularities in DDCA after the Chief
    Minister’s office received serious complaints about its functioning.

Jet Airways appointed
Amit Agarwal as Chief Financial Officer

  • Jet Airways on 22 December 2015 appointed Amit Agarwal as
    its Chief Financial Officer (CFO). He will be responsible for all financial and
    fiscal management aspects of the airlines business.
  • Agarwal will join the operating committee that has been
    tasked by the airline’s board of directors to lead the airline’s growth
    strategy.
  • Prior to joining Jet Airways, he worked as the CFO of Suzlon
    Energy where he used to manage company’s finances and drive its turnaround
    initiatives.

Pawan Kumar Agarwal
appointed as CEO of FSSAI
  • Senior IAS officer Pawan Kumar Agarwal was on 22 December
    2015 appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of food regulator Food Safety
    and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
  • He succeeded Yudhvir Singh Malik, who was shifted as
    Additional Secretary in Niti Aayog in September 2015. Malik is believed to be
    the man behind the ban on global giant Nestles popular noodle brand Maggi,
    which has now been removed.
  • Prior to Pawan Kumar Agarwal’s appointment, FSSAI Chairman
    Ashish Bahuguna was holding the additional charge of FSSAI CEO.

Gautam H Bambawale
appointed as India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan

  • Gautam H Bambawale was on 23 December 2015 appointed as the
    High Commissioner of India to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. He is presently
    serving as the Indian ambassador to Bhutan.
  • Bambawale will succeed TCA Raghavan, who will retire at the
    end of December 2015.

Days
National Mathematics
Day observed to commemorate birth anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan

  • India on 22 December 2015 celebrated National Mathematics Day.
    The day was observed to commemorate the birth anniversary of great Indian
    Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan.
  • On this occasion, India and UNESCO agreed to work jointly in
    spreading the joy of mathematics and knowledge to students and learners across
    the world.
  • To this end, Conferences on the “Zero” at UNESCO
    Headquarters in Paris, as well as at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
    were held in recognition of Aryabhata’s role in the invention of zero.

UN adopted resolution
to observe 5 November as World Tsunami Awareness Day

  • The United Nations General Assembly on 22 December 2015
    adopted a resolution to observe 5 November every year as World Tsunami
    Awareness Day.
  • The creation of the day is aimed at raising awareness among
    people in the world of the dangers of tsunami and stressing the importance of
    early warning systems in order to mitigate damage.
  • The proposal was first suggested by the Japanese Government
    after the Third UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan
    in March 2015.

30th National
Consumers Right Day observed

  • 30th National Consumers Right Day was observed across India
    on 24 December 2015. The day provides an opportunity to highlight the
    importance of the consumer movement and the need to make every consumer more
    aware of their rights and responsibilities.
  • The Consumer Protection and Action Committee (CPAC)
    celebrated the day by distributing complaints forms, information brochures and
    other consumer rights literature freely to the public.

Good Governance Day
observed on 25 December

  • Good Governance Day was observed on 25 December 2015 across
    the country. The day was observed to mark the birth anniversary of former-Prime
    Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
  • To mark the occasion, Union Minister for Health & Family
    Welfare J P Nadda announced four new IT-based initiatives for providing
    citizen-centric health services.
  • The initiatives include three applications namely Kilkari,
    Mobile Academy and M-Cessation and a dedicated toll free number 1800-11–6666 to
    provide round the clock support for counselling and treatment support services
    for TB patients.

Awards
& Honors –
Cow named Yahoo’s
Personality of the Year

  • Search engine giant Yahoo on 21 December 2015 named Cow as
    the Personality of the Year 2015. The animal managed to top the list over other
    high-profile contenders for the spot in Yahoo’s list of 2015 Year in Review
    (YIR) for India.
  • As per Yahoo India, it all started after the announcement of
    beef ban in Maharashtra, which led to massive debates and arguments. The Beef
    Controversy was fuelled further by Dadri lynching and Award Wapsi campaign, and
    the cow soon became the icon of discussions on intolerance.
  • Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Delhi CM Arvind
    Kejriwal were among the top newsmakers of 2015.
  • The rise of ISIS, 2015 World Cup, APJ Abdul Kalam’s demise,
    the Sheena Bora Murder investigation and the Vyapam Scandal featured on the
    list of Most searched news / events in 2015.

Andy Murray won 2015
BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award

  • Andy Murray of the UK on 20 December 2015 received the 2015
    BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in London. The Scottish tennis-player
    was presented the award by Irish boxing legend Barry McGuigan.
  • Murray was chosen for the award after a public vote in which
    he received 361446 of the 1,009,498 votes cast. The voting was based on
    performance of sports personalities in 2015.
  • For Murray, it was the second award in three years. He
    received the previous award in 2013.

Indian American
Rakesh K Jain selected for US National Medal of Science 2015
  • Indian American professor Rakesh K Jain was on 22 December
    2015 selected for the National Medal of Science 2015 of United States (US).
    Jain is a professor at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Tumour
    Biology Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital.
  • He will receive the honour along with 16 other winners of
    the National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation
    at a White House ceremony in 2016.

Former Wicket-Keeper
Syed Kirmani nominated for 2015 Col. CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Former Indian Wicket-Keeper was on 24 December 2015
    nominated for the 2015 Col. CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the Col.
    CK Nayudu Awards Committee. The meeting was held at the BCCI’s headquarters in
    Mumbai.
  • The committee consists of the Board of Control for Cricket
    in India (BCCI) President Shashank Manohar, Hon. Secretary Anurag Thakur and N
    Ram (Chairman of Kasturi & Sons Limited and Publisher of The Hindu).

Sports
New Zealand cricket
captain Brendon McCullum announced retirement

  • New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum on 22 December
    2015 announced retirement from all forms of international cricket. He will
    retire after the two home test series against Australia, which will begin in
    February 2016.
  • At present, the batsman and wicket-keeper, is New Zealand’s
    captain in all three forms of the international game viz., tests, ODIs and
    twenty20.

Winners for the 2015
ICC Awards announced

  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) on 23 December 2015
    announced the winners for the 2015 ICC Awards in Dubai, the UAE.
  • The awards were based on performance of individuals and
    teams, both men and women, between 18 September 2014 and 13 September 2015.
  • Among the 10 awards announced, the Sir Garfield Sobers
    Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year and Test Cricketer of the Year were
    conferred on Australian captain Steve Smith.
  • AB De Villiers was conferred with ICC ODI Cricketer of Year
    award.
  • Josh Hazzlewood of Australia was conferred with ICC Emerging
    Cricketer of the year award.
  • Brendon McCullam was conferred with ICC Spirit of Cricket
    Award.

FIFA’s Independent
Ethics Committee banned Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini from football for 8 years
  • The adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee on 21 December
    2015 banned FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Vice-President and member of the
    Executive Committee of FIFA and President of UEFA Michel Platini.
  • They were banned for eight years from all football-related
    activities (administrative, sports or any other) on a national and
    international level.
  • The ban came into force immediately. Blatter and Platini
    have also been fined 40000 US dollar and 80000 US dollar respectively.

Globe Soccer Awards
2015 conferred

  • The Globe Soccer on 27 December 2015 presented the sixth
    edition of Globe Soccer Awards 2015 to the winners at a ceremony held in Dubai,
    UAE.
  • Best Player of the Year – Lionel Messi
  • Best Club of the Year – F.C. Barcelona

Shiva Keshavan
clinched silver at Asian Luge Championship
  • Shiva Keshavan on 27 December 2015 grabbed a silver medal in
    the 18th edition of the Asian Luge Championship held in Nagano, Japan.
  • The first place was claimed by defending champion Hidenari
    Kanayama of Japan. On the other hand, South Korea’s Kim Dong-hyeon grabbed the
    third place.

World
PM Narendra Modi
inaugurated Afghan Parliament House in Kabul

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 December 2015 inaugurated
    Afghanistan’s newly-built Parliament House in Kabul.
  • The house was entirely built by India’s government-owned
    construction agency Central Public Works Department (CPWD) at an estimated cost
    of 90 million US dollars.

Key features of
Afghan Parliament House
  • Its foundation stone was laid by the then Prime Minister of
    India Manmohan Singh in August 2005.
  • It is spread across 86 acres. With a plinth area of around
    30000 square meters, it is the largest structure in Afghanistan.
  • It has elements of Mughal and modern architecture with
    marbles used from Chesht-e-Sharif district of western Herat province.
  • A block in the Parliament House was named after former Prime
    Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

China launched DAMPE
satellite to shed light on mysterious dark matter

  • China on 17 December 2015 launched the Dark Matter Particle
    Explorer (DAMPE) Satellite to shed light on mysterious dark matter.
  • It was the country’s first space telescope and launched on a
    Long March 2-D rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.
  • The purpose of the satellite is to search for smoking-gun
    signals of dark matter, invisible material that scientists say makes up most of
    the universe’s mass.
  • The satellite will be place in a sun-synchronous orbit at a
    height of 500 kilometers to observe the direction, energy and electric charge
    of high-energy particles in space.

Philippines became
first Asian country to approve world’s first-ever dengue vaccine
  • The Philippines on 22 December 2015 became the first Asian
    country to approve the sale of the world’s first-ever dengue vaccine,
    Dengvaxia.
  • The Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration approved the
    dengue vaccine for the prevention of disease caused by all four dengue types in
    individuals from 9 to 45 years old living in endemic areas.
  • Earlier on 9 December 2015, Dengvaxia, manufactured by
    French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, secured its first regulatory approval in
    Mexico.

Zimbabwe announced to
adopt Chinese currency Yuan
  • Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa on 21 December
    2015 announced that the country has planned to adopt the Chinese Yuan as legal
    tender. It will be done in return for debt cancellation worth 40 million
    dollars in the second week of December 2015.
  • As per the decision, Yuan will be a function of trade
    between China and Zimbabwe and acceptability with customers in Zimbabwe.
  • China has become the largest investor in Zimbabwe, which has
    been shunned by the West over its human rights record and is struggling to
    emerge from a deep 1999-2008 recession that forced the government to ditch its
    own currency in 2009.

Obituaries
Veteran actor Sadhana
Shivdasani passed away

  • Veteran Indian actress Sadhana Shivdasani died on 25
    December 2015 in Mumbai, Maharashtra after a brief illness. She was 74.
  • One of the top actors of the 1960s and 1970s, Sadhana is
    remembered for her powerful performances in hits like Hum Dono, Love in Simla,
    Mera Saaya and Waqt.
  • Born on 2 September 1941 in a Sindhi family, the legendary
    actress first appeared on silver screen as a chorus  girl in the song Mur mur ke na dekh mur mur
    ke in Raj Kapoor’s Shree 420.

Former CJ of
Karnataka & Kerala High Courts Justice VS Malimath died
  • Former Chief Justice of Karnataka and Kerala High Courts
    Justice V S Malimath died on 22 December 2015 at Manipal hospital in Bengaluru.
  • He was 86-years old and survived by wife Prema Devi V
    Malimath, a son and four daughters.
  • He was appointed as a Judge in the Karnataka High Court in
    March 1970. Subsequently, he was appointed as Chief Justice of Karnataka High
    Court in 1984.



Regards

Team ExamPundit

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