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Important Current Affairs 7th December 2018 English

(International News)

India inks pact with Iran to pay crude bill in rupee
To pay for crude oil it imports from the Persian Gulf nation in rupees.
Sources said Indian refiners will make rupee payments in a UCO Bank account of the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC).
Half of these funds would be earmarked for settling payments for exports of Indian goods to Iran.
Under U.S. sanctions, India can export foodgrains, medicines and medical devices to Iran. India, which is the second biggest purchaser of Iranian oil after China. Iranian oil is a lucrative buy for refiners as the Persian Gulf nation provides 60 days of credit for purchases, terms not available from suppliers of substitute crudes – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Nigeria and the U.S.

(National News)

OPEC agrees to cut oil production
Ready to reduce output by 1 million barrels per day if Russia contributes 1,50,000 bpd of that cut.
Oil prices have crashed as Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United Arab Emirates raised output since June after Mr. Trump called for higher production to offset lower exports from Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer.

Cabinet approves implementation of Shahpurkandi Dam (National Project) on river Ravi in Punjab
Implementation of this project would help minimising some of the water of the River Ravi which at present is going waste through the MadhopurHeadworks downstream to Pakistan. There is requirement for the same for use in Punjab and J&K.
Indus Waters Treaty was signed between India and Pakistan in 1960 for sharing of Indus waters. According to the Treaty, India got the full rights for utilization of waters of the three Eastern Rivers namely Ravi, Beas and Satluj.
Some of the water of the River Ravi at present is going waste through the MadhopurHeadworks downstream to Pakistan. Implementation of the project would minimise such wastage of water.
A Bilateral agreement was signed between Punjab and J&K in Jan, 1979. As per the agreement, construction of RanjitSagar Dam (Thein Dam) and Shahpurkandi Dam was to be taken up by Punjab Govt. RanjitSagar Dam was commissioned in Aug, 2000. The ShahpurKandi Dam project is proposed on River Ravi, 11 d/s of RanjitSagarDam and 8 km u/s of Madhopur Head Works.
Cabinet approves Agriculture Export Policy, 2018
In order to provide an impetus to agricultural exports, the Government has come out with a comprehensive “Agriculture Export Policy” aimed at doubling the agricultural exports.
The Agriculture Export Policy has the following vision: “Harness export potential of Indian agriculture, through suitable policy   instruments, to make India global power in agriculture and raise farmers income.”

(Space News)

GSAT-11
Indian Space Research and Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched India’s heaviest and most-advanced communication satellite GSAT-11 into space. It was launched on board of Ariane 5 VA-246 rocket from Kourou Launch Base, French Guiana.
Facts
GSAT-11 also called Big Bird has been indigenously developed by ISRO. It weigh 5854 kg making it heaviest Indian-made equipment that has been put into the orbit. It will provide high data rate connectivity to Indian mainland and islands users through 32 user beams in Ku-band and 8 hub beams in Ka-band.  It is three to six times more powerful than any other ISRO’s satellite.

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Important Current Affairs 6th December 2018 English

Awards

Sahitya Akademi awards announced
Seven books of poetry, six novels, six short stories, three of literary criticism and two of essays have won the Sahitya Akademi Awards, 2018.
Those who have won the award for their collection of poetry include Sananta Tanti in Assamese, Paresh Narendra Kamat in Konkani, S Ramesan Nair in Malayalam and Dr Rama Kant Shukla in Sanskrit.
Writers who won the awards for short stories include Sanjib Chattopadhyay in Bengali, Mushtaq Ahmed Mushtaq in Kashmiri and Prof Bina Thakur in Maithili.Inderjeet Kesar in Dogri, Anees Salim in English, Chitra Mudgal in Hindi are among the awardees in the novel category.
Akademi.An eminent short-story writer, Mushtaq Ahmad Mushtaq, bagged the Award for his collection of short stories “AAKH’’. 

National news


Mumbai startup first Indian private firm to have satellite in space
ExseedSAT 1 was launched into space by Space X along with 63 other satellites from 17 countries.
Exseed Space has become the first Indian privately-funded startup to successfully send a satellite into space.
About Exceed SAT 1
1.    Its an open radio transponder.
2.    Built by Santacruz based startup Exceed Space.
3.    People can receive signals at 145.90 Mhz with help of TV tuner .


Kandhamal Haldi likely to get GI tag
Famous for its healing properties, is a few steps away from receiving GI tag as the Geographical Indications Journal has advertised its application seeking objections.
About GI Tag
A GI is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.


Government notifies dual fuel usage for agriculture, construction vehicles
The Ministry Road Transport & Highways has notified dual-fuel usage for agricultural and construction equipment vehicles. "These include tractors, power tillers, construction equipment vehicles and combine harvesters which have originally been manufactured as dual- fuel with diesel as primary fuel and CNG, Bio CNG as secondary, or have been converted as such from in-use diesel vehicles.

Sports news

Luka Modric wins Ballon d’Or 2018
Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric won Ballon d’Or 2018 in Paris
The last player to win the award outside of Ronaldo and Messi was Brazilian great Kaka in 2007.
Real Madrid midfielder Modric overtook former teammate Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann to win the award for the first time.
The 33-year old Croatian was awarded the FIFA’s World Cup 2018 MVP, UEFA’s Player of the Year 2018, Best FIFA Footballer of the Year and the number one player by International Federation of Football History and Statistics.

Environment news


India third largest contributor to carbon emission.
India, the third-highest contributor, is projected to see emissions rise by 6.3% from 2017. The 2.7% projected global rise in 2018 has been driven by appreciable growth in coal use for the second year in a row, and sustained growth in oil and gas use, according to the study that was published simultaneously Wednesday in several leading scientific journals.
The 10 biggest emitters in 2018 are China, U.S., India, Russia, Japan, Germany, Iran, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Canada. The EU as a region of countries ranks third.

Economy news

Govt forms panel to look at selling of OIL, ONGC fields to private companies
The government has constituted a six-member committee to look at selling as many as 149 small and marginal oil and gas fields of state-owned ONGC and OIL to private and foreign companies to boost domestic output.
The panel is headed by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar.

International news


Patents granted by India up by 50% in 2017: UN
The number of patents granted by India shot up by 50 % in 2017.
Last year’s number was more than double the 6,022 patents granted in 2015, according to WIPO statistics. 
While India ranked 10th in the number of patents given last year, no Indian company or university figures in last year’s global list of the top 50 patent applicants.
About WIPO
The World Intellectual Property Organization is one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations.
Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
CEO: Francis Gurry

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Important Current Affairs 5th December 2018

National News

Union Environment Minister at inauguration of Indian Pavillion at COP-24.
Union Environment Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan at the inauguration of Indian Pavilion at the 24th meeting of Conference of Parties (COP-24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which is being held at Katowice, Poland.

This  year  the  theme  of  India  Pavilion  is  ‘One  World  One  Sun One  Grid’  as  highlighted  by  our  Hon’ble  Prime  Minister  Shri Narendra Modi during first assembly of the International Solar Alliance  on  October  2018.  The Hon’ble Prime Minister has set an   ambitious   target   that   40   per   cent   of   its   installed   power capacity will be from non-fossil fuels by 2030.

PM extends greetings on Navy Day
The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has greeted Indian Navy personnel and their families on Navy Day (4th Dec).
Navy Day in India is observed on 4 December every year to celebrate the achievements and role of the naval force to the country. The Indian Navy is the marine branch of the Indian Armed Forces and is led by the President of India as Commander-in-Chief. 
The official history book of the IN for the decade 2001-2010, titled, 'Blue Waters Ahoy!  The Indian Navy 2001- 2010' was launched by the Chief of the Naval Staff  in presence of the Hon'ble President of India at Navy House on 04 December 2018.

80th Session of Policy Commission of World Customs Organization

The 80th Session of the Policy Commission of the World Customs Organization (WCO) meeting is being organized by the WCO and hosted by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), India in Mumbai during December 3 - 5, 2018.
Some of the important topics to be discussed during the meeting include trade facilitation, controlling illicit financial flow, performance measurement, challenges of small island economies, etc.

India Water Impact Summit-2018 to be held from 5th December

Jointly organized by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and the Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (cGanga) from 5-7 December 2018 in New Delhi.
To discuss, debate and develop model solutions for some of the biggest water related problems in the country. The discussions this year will be on rejuvenation of the Ganga River Basin.
The Summit will focus on three key aspects:
Spotlight on 5 states: Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi and Bihar. The objective is to showcase the efforts and works going on within the respective states.
Ganga Financing Forum: The 2018 Summit also introduces the inaugural Ganga Financing Forum that will bring a number of institutions to a common knowledge, information and partnership platform. The Hybrid Annuity Model has redefined the economic landscape of water and waste-water treatment in India. 

Space News

5.8 –tonne GSAT- 11 Ready for launch. 
A team of top officials and engineers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (IISRO), now stationed in the Guiana Space Centre, South America, is going over the last steps before it sees off the heaviest Indian communication satellite, GSAT-11, to its space orbit. The liftoff is slated for the wee hours of Wednesday, December 5, India time
GSAT-11 is part of ISRO’s new family of high-throughput communication satellite (HTS) fleet that will drive the country's Internet broadband from space to untouched areas; the broadband domain is now ruled by underground fibre and covers partial and convenient locations.

Appointment

Shri A. N. Jha appointed as Finance Secretary 
The  Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved designating Shri A. N. Jha, IAS , Secretary, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance as Finance Secretary.

(International News)

Qatar to quit OPEC
Qatar's Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi said the country would withdraw from OPEC on January 1, 2019, ending a membership which has stood for more than half-a-century.
It is one of the world's largest producers of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Since June 2017, OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia — along with three other Arab states — has cut trade and transport ties with Qatar, accusing the country of supporting terrorism and their regional rival, Iran. Qatar denies the claims, saying the boycott hampers its national sovereignty.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC,) is an intergovernmental organisation of 15 nations, founded in 1960 in Baghdad by the first five members (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela), and headquartered since 1965 in Vienna, Austria.

(Sports News)


Gautam Gambhir Retires From All Forms of Cricket
Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir has announced his retirement from cricket on Tuesday.
The Ranji Trophy game between Delhi and Andhra starting Thursday at the Feroz Shah Kotla will be his last game.
He made his debut in 2003 and last played for India in a Test against England in Rajkot in 2016. He retires with nine Test centuries and 11 ODI centuries to his name.
He is the fourth highest run-scorer in IPL with 4217 runs from 154 matches, and also led Kolkata Knight Riders to the title twice.

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Important Current Affairs 4th December 2018 English

(National news)

Train 18 Crosses 180 kmph Speed Limit 
India’s first locomotive-less train, known as Train 18, breached the 180 kmph speed limit during a test run in the Kota-Sawai Madhopur section.
When this 100-crore indigenously designed train is made operational, it will become the country’s fastest train.
On October 29, the high-tech, energy-efficient, self-propelled (engine-less) train was flagged off here by Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani.With 16 coaches, the train will have the same passenger carrying capacity as that of the Shatabdi Express.

(International news)

Soyuz 
A Soyuz rocket carrying Russian, American and Canadian astronauts took off from Kazakhstan and reached orbit on Monday, in the first manned mission since a failed launch in October.
Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, Anne McClain of NASA and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency blasted off for a six-and-a-half month mission on the International Space Station at 1131 GMT.
The Soyuz is the only means of reaching the ISS since the U.S. retired the space shuttle in 2011.
About ISS    
The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Earth orbit. Its first component launched into orbit in 1998, with the first long-term residents arriving in November 2000. It has been inhabited continuously since that date.

(Science news)

NASA’s Osiris-Rex Spacecraft
After a two-year chase, a NASA spacecraft arrived on December 3 at the ancient asteroid Bennu, its first visitor in billions of years.
It is the first U.S. attempt to gather asteroid samples for return to Earth, something only Japan has accomplished so far.
Japan managed to return some tiny particles in 2010 from its first asteroid mission , also named Hayabusa.
Japan managed to return some tiny particles in 2010 from its first asteroid mission , also named Hayabusa.


GSAT-11 Ready For The Launch
A team of top officials and engineers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (IISRO), now stationed in the Guiana Space Centre, South America, is going over the last steps before it sees off the heaviest Indian communication satellite, GSAT-11, to its space orbit. The liftoff is slated for the wee hours of Wednesday, December 5, India time.
GSAT-11 is part of ISRO’s new family of high-throughput communication satellite (HTS) fleet that will drive the country's Internet broadband from space to untouched areas.
Already up in space are two HTSs — GSAT-29 (November 14) and GSAT-19 (June 2017) — while one more is due to join them in the near future. They are all to provide high-speed Internet data services at the rate of 100 Gbps (Gigabits per second) to Indian users.
Its co-passenger is South Korea’s GEO-KOMPSAT-2A, a meteorology satellite.
 


 

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Important Current Affairs 3rd December 2018 English

(International News)

India, US Air Forces exercise Ex Cope India-2018
Air Forces of India and US began their 12-day joint exercise “Ex Cope India-2018” in West Bengal. It is fourth edition in series of bilateral joint exercise held by Air Forces of two nations conducted in India. 
Important
This edition of exercise is aimed at providing operational exposure to air force personnel of both countries and undertake mutual exchange of best practices for enhancing operational capability. It will be focused on enhancing US-Indian mutual cooperation and building on existing capabilities, aircrew tactics and force employment.

China, U.S. declare 90-day halt to new tariffs 
China and the United States have agreed to halt new tariffs as both nations engage in trade talks with the goal of reaching an agreement within 90 days, the White House announced after US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping held high-stakes talks in Argentina G20 summit. Mr Trump agreed not to boost tariffs on US$200 billion (S$274 billion) of Chinese goods to 25 per cent on Jan 1 as previously announced.

Former US President George HW Bush passed away 
George HW Bush became 41st president of the United States in 1989 after serving as vice-president under Ronald Reagan. His son, George W. Bush was also elected president and served two terms between 2001 and 2009. George HW Bush presided over the end of the Cold War and routed Saddam Hussein's Iraqi army but lost a chance for a second term after breaking a no-new-taxes pledge. 

(National News)

Sunil Arora takes over as new Chief Election Commissioner of India 
Sunil Arora assumed charge as 23rd Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India. He succeeded OP Rawat who retired on 1 December 2018.
Sunil Arora
Sunil Arora is retired IAS officer of1980-batch from Rajasthan cadre. He had retired in April 2016 as Information and Broadcasting secretary. Prior to this, he was skill development secretary. He has also worked in ministries and departments such as Finance, Textiles and Planning Commission and also has served as CMD of Indian Airlines for five years.


Bank of Maharashtra appoints A.S. Rajeev as MD and CEO
The 54-year-old previously served as the Executive Director of Indian Bank and had also been the CFO of Vijaya Bank. He will hold the position for a period of three years or till further orders, whichever is earlier.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd December 2018 English

(International News)

First global conference on Blue Economy held in Nairobi  
Kenya, Japan and Canada co-hosted the first global conference on the sustainable blue economy in Nairobi from 26 to 28 November 2018, in an event which brought together over 4,000 participants from around the world. It builds on the momentum of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris and the UN Ocean Conference 2017 “Call to Action”.

(National News)

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery 
The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is observed on December 2 every year with an objective to raise awareness about slavery and its impact on the society. This day marks adaptation of resolution ‘Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Prostitution of Others’ by United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 2 December 1949.


Telangana State signed pact with British Council
The Telangana government and British Council have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen educational and cultural cooperation and support the knowledge ambitions and economic growth of Telangana. The signatories, Alan Gemmell, Director, British Council India, and Mr. Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Information Technology, signed the MoU in the presence of Chief Secretary S.K. Joshi. The British Council has aimed at inspiring youngsters from across Telangana and India to build a relationship with the UK for the next 70 years. Mr. Joshi hoped that the MoU will expand the scope of the Council’s engagements in developing the skill of young people.

First India-ASEAN InnoTech Summit held in New Delhi
The first India-ASEAN InnoTech Summit was held in New Delhi. It was organized by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) in association with Department of Science & Technology (DST) and Ministry of External Affairs.
Objectives of this summit were
Explore avenues of cross country partnerships with Indian R&D-based enterprises.
Capture global trends in technology management and strategy
Advance progressive ideas for policy reforms and regulatory environment
Create avenues for industry-academia-government partnerships
 

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