• Current Affairs , 31st December 2019

     

     

     

    NATIONAL NEWS

     

    1. India likely to surpass Germany to become the fourth-largest economy in 2026

     

    • India will overtake Germany to become fourth-largest economy in the world by the year 2026. According to a report by the UK-based Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), India is all set to overtake Japan to become the third-largest economy by 2034.
    • The report titled ‘World Economic League Table 2020’ said that India is also set to become a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2026, 2 years later than the government’s target of 2024.
    • India has decisively overtaken both France and the UK to become the world’s fifth-largest economy in 2019. The report said that Japan, Germany and India will battle for third position over the next 15 years.
    • The World Economic League Table is an annual calculation by CEBR jointly published by CEBR and Global Construction Perspectives. The base data for 2019 is taken from the IMF World Economic Outlook.

     

     

    1. RBI criticises credit rating agencies for inaccurate rating of low performing companies affecting investors

     

     

     

    • Reserve Bank of India has criticised credit rating agencies (CRAs) for allowing low-rated companies to do “rating shopping”. In the 25th edition of the Financial Stability Report, RBI has warned of ‘rating shopping’ by companies for long-term bank loans based on indicative ratings given by CRAs which are not available to the banks or investors.
    • Rating agencies have been largely blamed for their lax policies and oversight for the 2008 global financial crisis.
    • Securities and Exchange Board of India last Friday penalised Icra, Care and India Ratings of 25 lakh rupees each for their “lapses in their duty to investors by not taking timely action” when they rated NCDs of IL&FS which owes close to one lakh crore rupees to the system.
    • SEBI also found the agencies guilty of excessively relying on assertions of the IL&FS management.

     

     

    1. Kerala to set up 28 new fast- track Special Courts for cases related to POCSO Act; first installment of funds released

     

     

    • The Kerala Government has decided to set up 28 new fast- track Special Courts for cases relating to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in the state very soon.
    • The Union Law Ministry has given sanction in this regard and released the first installment of funds. The Courts are being set up in all districts in the wake of increase in sexual crimes against children.
    • As per the latest statistics, there are as many as 2,497 POCSO cases under investigation stage and 9,457 cases under trial stage in the state. Thiruvananthapuram, Trissur, Palakkad, and Malappuram districts will get three courts each, while Kollam, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Kozhikode and Kannur will get two each. The remaining four districts will get one court each.
    • The POCSO Act, passed in 2012, stipulates special courts for dealing cases, the state was yet to set up any courts. The Supreme Court had given an ultimatum of sixty days to all states to start fast-track Special Courts in the districts where more than hundred cases were pending for trial.
    • The Courts will be set up using Central and State Nirbaya Funds. The Central Government will meet sixty per cent of the expenses for setting up of each court. The remaining forty per cent will be borne by the State Government. The estimated expense of setting up of one court is 75 lakh rupees. As a first instalment, the Central Government has already released funds worth 6.3 crore rupees to the state.

     

     

    • RBI buys Rs 10,000 cr worth long-term govt securities in 2nd special OMO

     

    • In the second special open market operation (OMO), the Reserve Bank of India on Monday day bought 10,000 crore rupees of long-term government securities and sold 8,501 crore rupees of three short-term bonds.
    • The RBI had announced to purchase and sell simultaneously government securities under Open Market Operations (OMO) for 10,000 crore rupees each, last week. Though RBI offered to sell four securities in the auction, it accepted bids for three bids only.

     

    1. Nagaland declared ‘disturbed area’ for six more months under AFSPA

    • The entire state of Nagaland has been declared a disturbed area for a period of six more months under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, AFSPA, which empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any prior notice.
    • In a gazette notification issued yesterday, Ministry of Home Affairs said, the Central Government is of the opinion that the area comprising the whole state of Nagaland is in such a disturbed and dangerous condition that the use of armed forces in aid of civil power is necessary. Nagaland has been under AFSPA for almost six decades now.

     

    1. Stephen Marandi to take oath as Protem Speaker for Jharkhand assembly

     

     

    • In Jharkhand, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha senior leader Stephen Marandi representing Maheshpur constituency will take oath as Protem Speaker for the new Jharkhand Assembly today at Raj Bhavan.
    • Governor Draupadi Murmu will administer the oath of office and secrecy to Marandi. The first session of the State Legislative after installation of Hemant Soren-led coalition government is scheduled to be held from 6th to 8th of January in the new year.

     

    1. Rabung bridge in Upper Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh‘s(AR)

     

    • The state Health and Family Welfare minister Alo Libang of Arunachal Pradesh (AR) inaugurated the Rabung bridgeon the Migging-Tuting road in Arunachal Pradesh‘s(AR) Upper Siang district. The bridge was constructed by Project Brahmank of the Border Road Organisation(BRO).
    • The bridge will be strategically important for the Indian Army(IA) and ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police). This is due to the fact that Migging-Tuting road is the only line of communication to border areas and posts at Gelling and Bishing, ahead of Tuting in AR.
    • Constructed by the 1448 Bridge Construction Company (BCC) of 761 Border Road Task Force (BRTF) of Project Brahmank under BRO, the bridge has load capacity of 70 tonnes.
    • Project Brahmank Chief Engineer R K Dhiman announced that BRO will also complete another 6 bridges in Siang and Siyom Valley region of AR to enhance traffic movement. BRO is currently working on 4 projects for the development of road infrastructure in Arunachal Pradesh.

     

    1. Aadhaar crosses 125 crore mark, used 37000 crore times since inception

     

    • The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) announced that the Aadhaar projectcrossed 125 crore mark of registration. Thus as of now, over 1.25 billion residents of India hold Aadhar card.
    • This milestone was reached because of rapidly increasing use of Aadhaar as the primary identity document by the Aadhaar holders. The Aadhaar-based authentication services have been used close to 37,000 crore times since inception.
    • Currently UIDAI receives nearly 3 crore authentication requests per day.
    • UIDAI recorded nearly 331 crore successful Aadhaar updates (biometric and demographic) till date.Currently UIDAI receives about 3-4 lakh Aadhaar updates request every day.

     

     

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS

     

     

    1. UN envoy warns of ‘escalation’ in Libya conflict

     

     

    • The UN’s Libya envoy has said that military and maritime agreements signed between Turkey and the Tripoli government represent an escalation of the conflict in the North African country.
    • Ghassan Salame’s remarks came as Egypt called for an urgent meeting tomorrow of the Cairo-based Arab League to discuss developments in Libya and the possibility of an escalation there.
    • Libya has been mired in conflict since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, with rival administrations in the east and the west vying for power.
    • In April, military strongman Khalifa Haftar, who is based in the east, launched an assault to seize the capital Tripoli from the UN-recognised Government of National Accord.
    • In November Ankara signed a security and military cooperation deal with the GNA and also inked a maritime jurisdiction agreement with the Tripoli government.
    • In addition, Turkey is preparing to hold a vote in parliament on deploying troops in support of the GNA in its battle against Haftar, who is backed by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia.

     

    1. 4,000 trapped on Australia beach encircled by fire

     

    • In Australia, 4,000 people are trapped on the foreshore of the encircled seaside town of Mallacoota due to fire and smoke. Authorities said, fires are causing extreme thunderstorms and ember attacks.
    • The most dangerous fires were in the state of Victoria yesterday. About 30,000 residents and tourists were urged to flee East Gippsland including Mallacoota- a popular holiday region – but evacuations were later deemed too risky as fires encroached on major roads.
    • A volunteer firefighter died battling a blaze in the state of New South Wales. Authorities said the volunteer was killed and two others suffered burns after their truck rolled over in extreme winds while they were battling a blaze east of the city of Albury.In Australia, scores of fires are burning out of control across amid a heatwave that has seen temperatures exceed 40 degree Celsius in every state.
    • Meteorologists say a climate system in the Indian Ocean, known as the dipole, is the main driver behind the extreme heat in Australia.

     

     

    1. Al-Shabaab terrorists claim responsibility for car bombing in Somalia capital Mogadishu

     

     

    • Al-Shabaab Islamist terrorists have claimed responsibility for Saturday’s massive car bombing in the Somalia capital Mogadishu that killed 81 people, including two Turkish citizens.
    • The attack hit a busy checkpoint in the southwest of the city, killing 81 people, including a dozen university students, in the country’s deadliest assault in two years. Mogadishu is regularly hit by attacks by Al-Shabaab, which has fought for more than a decade to topple the Somali government. In 2010, Al-Shabaab declared its allegiance to Al-Qaeda.

     

    1. Year 2019 was hottest ever registered in Russia

     

    • Year 2019 was the hottest ever registered in Russia, as climate change pushes global temperatures to record highs. Moscow’s average temperature for 2019 had hit 7.6 to 7.7 degrees Celsius, beating the previous record by 0.3 degrees.

     

    • Weather records have been kept since 1879 in Moscow and since 1891 in Russia as a whole. Global warming has sent temperatures rising around the world with the United Nations saying earlier this month that 2019 was on course to be one of the three hottest years on record.

     

    • Known for its notoriously harsh winters, Moscow has seen its warmest December in a century this year. The Russian capital, normally covered with a blanket of snow by mid-December, saw a largely snow-less and cloudy last month of the year. The city’s ski resorts were closed and spring buds were beginning to show on trees three or more months too early.

     

     

    1. Lankan President calls for need to bring all personal information under one data collection centre

     

    • Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has called for the need to bring a gathering of all personal information under one data collection centre.
    • During a discussion with the officials of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in Colombo today, he said, this will be instrumental in reducing time, effort and money spent on services such as National Identity Cards, driving licenses, immigration and emigration documents, registration of births and deaths.
    • The President pointed out that the existing practice is to gather some information by several entities but if this can be brought under one umbrella organization, it will greatly reduce delays and ensure efficiency.
    • Rajapaksa also said, this will prevent the circulation of erroneous and duplicitous information. He said, the inter-connectivity among ministries, departments and semi-governmental organizations is vital in the development process and a high level of productivity can be achieved by networking relevant organizations.
    • The previous government had also planned for a unique identity programme on the lines of Aadhar implemented in India.

     

     

     

     

     

    SPORTS NEWS

     

     

    1. U-19 Youth ODI

     

    • In Cricket, South Africa beat India by five wickets in the third and final Under-19 Youth ODI at the Buffalo Park in East London last night. Chasing 193 runs, South Africa achieved the target in 48.2 overs.
    • Earlier put into bat, India made 192 for the loss of eight wickets in the stipulated 50 overs.
    • India clinched the series 2-1.

     

    1. 6500 athletes from 37 teams to take part in 3rd Khelo India youth games

     

    • 6500 athletes from 37 teams will take part in the 3rd Khelo India youth games in Guwahati beginning from 10th of January. Participating in an AIR talk show last night, Chief Executive Officer of the event Avinash Joshi said that lawn ball and cycling will be included in the Khelo India for the first time. He said that total of 20 competitions will be held at 11 venues in and around Guwahati.
    • The host Assam will have a strong contingent of 650 players in the event. Mr Joshi said, the Assam government will give 1 lakh rupees for Gold, 75 thousand for silver and 50 thousand rupees for bronze medalist Assam players.
    • The CEO added that cultural events from Assam, North East and rest of the country along with exhibition of indigenous games will be held from 13th to 15th January.
    • Mr Joshi said that a mega inaugural ceremony is being planned at Sarusajai on 10th of January. He mentioned that all the games and inaugural ceremony can be enjoyed free of cost.

     

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