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Important Current Affairs 15th December 2018

National news

Tamil Nadu CM urges PM Modi to withdraw Dam Safety Bill
Chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to instruct the Union water resources ministry to withdraw the Dam Safety Bill, 2018, introduced in the Lok Sabha. 
Main Concerns are:
National Dam Safety Authority will act as the State Dam Safety Organisation for a dam that is owned by another state.
Industries extracting groundwater including mining-dewatering units and those that use groundwater for packaged drinking water would also need to apply for a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the government. 


Industries must pay for using groundwater
The Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) has notified a water conservation fee (WCF) that industries will need to pay on groundwater extraction starting from June.
Industries extracting groundwater including mining-dewatering units and those that use groundwater for packaged drinking water would also need to apply for a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the government. 
The government has a list of groundwater blocks, called assessment blocks. These are classified as ‘safe,’ ‘semi-critical,’ ‘critical’ and ‘over-exploited’ depending on the groundwater draft.


Kevadia Railway Station
The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, laid the foundation stone of the Kevadia Railway Station in district Narmada, Gujarat.
It would lead to an increased flow of tourists from across the country and beyond and make their travel to the ‘Statue of Unity’ faster as well as more convenient. He said that building the Kevadia Railway Station is a tribute by Indian Railways in honour of Sardar Patel.


Mahila Kisan Awards programme launched by DD Kisan
DD Kisan today launched a first-of-its-kind reality show 'Mahila Kisan Awards'. To be telecast from 17th December, the show will see participation of women farmers from across the length and breadth of India, including from Jammu & Kashmir, all the states of North Eastern Region.
The format of the show will include two woman farmers talking about their achievements in each episode. Judges will score these contestants based on their assessment. 


Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to dedicate Raebareli-Fatehpur-Banda section of NH-232 to the nation this week
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation the Raebareli-Fatehpur-Banda section of NH-232 at an event in Raebareli on Sunday, the 16th of December. The 133 km project has been completed at a cost of about Rs 558 crore. It is an important link between the mining areas of Bundelkhand, pilgrimagecentreChitrakoot, the state capital Lucknow  and the Purvanchal districts of the state. 
After renovation, the travel time between these two cities has come down to just 2.5 hours

National Medical Devices Promotion Council to be set up under DIPP
To give a fillip to the medical device sector, which is a sunrise sector, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, announced setting up of a National Medical Devices Promotion Council under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. 
Commerce Minister was speaking at a programme on the occasion of 4th WHO Global Forum on Medical Devices, at Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone, in Vishakhapatnam.

Appointments


Shri Ashok Kumar Singh assumes charge of secretary
Shri Ashok Kumar Singh, Lok Sabha Secretariat Service, Additional Secretary, Lok Sabha Secretariat has assumed charge as Secretary, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) .

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Important Current Affairs 14th December 2018

National news

Kamalnath  new CM of Madhya Pradesh
The Congress on Thursday announced that nine-term Member of Parliament from Chhindwara, 72-year-old Kamal Nath, will be the next Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. 
The announcement on who will lead the government in Rajasthan will be made in Jaipur on Friday.


Dhubri-Phulbari Bridge Over Brahmaputra
The DPR for construction of  Dhubri-Phulbari Bridge over river Brahmaputra has been finalized.
The project is being funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and loan agreement has been signed in October, 2018.

National Register of Citizens
The Supreme Court on December 12, 2018 extended the deadline for the submission of claims and objections by individuals excluded from the first draft of the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) to December 31, 2018.
The Assam government on July 30, 2018 released the second and final draft of the state’s National Register of Citizens (NRC). The draft includes the names of Indian citizens who have been residing in Assam before March 25, 1971.

Appointment

BP Singh to be the new President of FTII Society and Chairman of Governing Council
Shri BP Singh is an FTII alumnus (1970-73) who specialised in film cinematography andhas earned repute as Producer- Director of popular TV serial CID which recently completed a record 21 years unbroken run on SONY TV. 
In 2004 he made it to the Limca Book of Records for taking a single continuous shot of 111 minutes to mark the completion of six years of CID.

International news

India – Russia marked 18th IRIGC-MTC Meeting
The 18th meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) was held here today. The meeting was co-chaired by Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation General Sergei Shoigu.
In the framework of the bilateral Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership, the IRIGC-MTC meeting discussed a wide range of issues relating to defence equipment, industry and technological engagement between India and Russia as well as after sales support/upgradation of military equipment of Russian origin.
The inaugural meeting of the IRIGC-MTC is proposed to be held in Russia in 2019 on mutually convenient dates.


President Inaugrates ‘Enterprise India’ Exhibition in Yangon
President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated 'Enterprise India' exhibition, bringing in the best of Indian products, services, innovation and know-how to business partners, start-ups, incubators and customers in Myanmar.
This exhibition has been set up by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), including about 45-50 Indian companies ranging from very large companies to small enterprises, to showcase Indian manufacturing capabilities and industrial technology.


U.K. Backtracks on Suspension of ‘Golden Visas’
Days after saying that it was about to suspend a controversial visa program that gives wealthy investors a fast track to British residency, the government said on Wednesday that the program remained in force, without providing an explanation.
The visas, introduced in 2008, have been especially popular among wealthy people from Russia, China and the United Arab Emirates. They contributed to a flood of money that has buoyed British real estate and financial markets.
Under the program, a foreign national who invests 2 million pounds, about $2.5 million, in assets in Britain can apply for permanent residency after five years in the country. Investing £5 million allows a person to apply after three years, and £10 million permits application after two years.

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Important Current Affairs 13th December 2018

Economic news

RBI slaps 1 crore fine on Indian Bank for violating cyber security norms
The contravention is with regard to RBI’s directions on Frauds- Classification and Reporting by Commercial Banks.
This action is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers
About Indian Bank
Indian Bank is an Indian state-owned financial services company established in 1907 and headquartered in Chennai, India.

Defence news


Indian Navy inducts its first Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle
The Indian Navy on Wednesday inducted its first Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) System at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai.
DSRV is used to rescue crew members stranded in submarines that get disabled. The Indian Navy joins a select group of naval forces in the world that boasts of this niche capability.
The DSRV can be operated at a depth of 650 meters and can hold around 15 people. The Indian Navy in March 2016 had commissioned two DSRVs, the second will deployed at the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam.

Sports news


ITTF award for Manika
India’s star paddler Manika Batra was bestowed with the International Table Tennis Fedreation’s (ITTF) Breakthrough star award 2018. 
In 2018, Manika won 4 medals in commonwealth games. These are women’s singles gold,women’s doubles silver and mixed doubles bronze.
She also begged bronze in mixed doubles in the Asian Games 2018.

National news


Zoramthanga as the new CM of Mizoram
Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan on Wednesday afternoon invited Mizo National Front (MNF) president Zoramthanga to form the government.
Outgoing Congress Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla had submitted his resignation an hour before Mr Zoramthanga had staked the claim. The current term of the Assembly expires on Friday.


Shri Nitin Gadkari flags off first container mainline vessel at Tuticorin
Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Shipping and Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation flagged off the first container mainline vessel from VoC Port (Tuticorin Port).
At present containers from Tuticorin to Far East countries viz Malaysia, Singapore, China and Hong Kong are transited by the feeder vessels to Colombo where they are further connected to the mother vessel .
In the last four years, Tuticorin Port has made investments to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore towards improvement of infrastructure.

SWIFT India
SWIFT India has appointed ex-SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya as the new chairman of its board.
SWIFT India is a joint venture of top Indian public and private sector banks and SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication). 

International News


Vice-Chair of the UN Panel of Auditors
Comptroller and Auditor General Rajiv Mehrishi has become the Vice-Chair of the UN Panel of Auditors. The United Nations Panel of Auditors consists of External Auditors of the United Nations and its agencies.
The United Nations General Assembly in 1959 established the Panel of External Auditors. Presently, the panel consists of 11 countries.


Adoption of global compact on migration in Marrakech hailed a victory
UN members states adopted the Global Compact on Migration in Marrakech.
The adoption is a victory for a progressive new framework of how the world views migrants and agrees to protect their basic human rights.
The GCM creates a non-legally binding and co-operative framework that builds on the commitments agreed upon by member states in the New York Declaration for refugees and migrants of December 2016. 

UAE's Federal National Council to be 50 per cent women
President Sheikh Khalifa has called for Emirati women to occupy 50 per cent of the country's Federal National Council after next year's elections.
 Currently, there are eight women members — representing 20 per cent of the 40 available seats. Dr Al Qubaisi was also the first woman elected to the FNC in 2006.

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Important Current Affairs 12th December 2018

(National News)

@CyberDost: Home Ministry launches Twitter account to spread awareness about cybercrimes

Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has launched Twitter account @CyberDost to spread awareness about cybercrimes and normal precautions to be taken. It is aimed at enhancing people’s basic knowledge about cybercrimes and precautions to be taken for prevention.

@CyberDost

This twitter handle will educate people about various channels through which complaints about cyber-crimes can be filed and makes people aware of their duties regarding misuse of cyber space by some people in the country.

CAG Rajiv Mehrishi appointed as Vice-Chair of UN Panel of Auditors     

Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Rajiv Mehrishi was elected as Vice-Chair of United Nations (UN) Panel of Auditors at its annual meeting held in New York. In this meeting CAG of UK was also appointed as Chair of Panel for another term (2019). The meeting discussed various issues concerning audit of United Nations and the agencies under the United Nations System. The next meeting  will be held in in Bonn, Germany in November-December 2019.

Economist Surjit Bhalla resigns from Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council

Eminent economist and columnist Surjit Bhalla has resigned as part-time member of Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister(EAC-PM). His resignation comes day after Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Urjit Patel, quit abruptly after months-long tussle over policy with government.

Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC)

PMEAC is non-constitutional and non-statutory, non-permanent and independent body, constituted with the prime and sole aim to analyse all critical issues, economic or otherwise, referred to it by the prime minister and advising him thereon.

EU opens India’s first Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in New Delhi

European Union (EU) has established India’s first Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence (CoE) at Department of European Studies (DES) at Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) in New Delhi. It comes with grant of €1,00,000 to pursue India-EU interdisciplinary studies in culture, literature, education and society.

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Important Current Affairs 10th December 2018 English

(Obituary)

Mushirul Hasan passes away

  • Historian Mushirul Hasan, passed away .
  • Mr. Hasan was the Vice-Chancellor of the Jamia Millia Islamia University. He has also served as the Director-General of the National Archives of India, and the President of the Indian History Congress.
  • Contribution :
  1. extensively written on India's Partition(India Partition: The Other Face of Freedom)
  2. documented Islam and Muslims of South Asia.
  3. He documents how Jawaharlal Nehru decided to guide India on to the world stage as a modern nation, contrary to Mahatma Gandhi's imagination of Hind Swaraj.

(National news)

Swaraj India launches iCan19
Swaraj India, has launched a new platform to encourage ordinary citizens to intervene in electoral politics, set an agenda and select independent candidates who will speak on behalf of farmers and youth.

Centre Amends Rules For 3 Nations Minorities
•    Union Home Ministry has notified amendments to the Citizenship Rules, 2009.
•    Amendment:  to include a separate column in the citizenship form for applicants belonging to six minority communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
•    Citizenship to six persecuted minorities who came to India before 2014.

Shi Yomi becomes 23rd district of Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh got its 23rd district with the formal inauguration of Shi Yomi, carved out of the West Siang district.
The Arunachal Pradesh Assembly had on August 29 passed a bill for the creation of three new districts -- Pakke-Kesang, Lepa Rada and Shi Yomi.
 

(Economy news)

Urjit Patel steps down as RBI Governor
Dr. Urjit Patel announced that he was stepping down from his position as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor.
He was appointed the Governor of the RBI in 2016. He was previously the Deputy Governor of the central bank.
 

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Important Current Affairs 9th December 2018

National News

Kerala becomes first Indian state to have four international airports

Kerala has become the first state in the country to have four international airports with the inauguration of the Kannur airport. 

Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode being the other three.

The Kannur airport, built on a public-private partnership (PPP) model, will become a new benchmark of how airports will be constructed in the country. 

Economy news

India in top position in remittances : World Bank 

India is followed by China (USD 67 billion), Mexico and the Philippines (USD 34 billion each) and Egypt (USD 26 billion), according to the global lender.

Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, are projected to grow by 10.3 per cent to USD 689 billion.

Defence news

INDRA NAVY 2018

Russian Federation Navy (RuFN) Ships Varyag,  Admiral Panteleyev and Boris Butoma arrived Visakhapatnam to participate in INDRA NAVY, the bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Russian Federation Navy exercise. 

Initiated in 2003, INDRA NAVY exercise has matured over the years with increase in scope, complexity and level of participation.

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Important Current Affairs 8th December 2018

National News

State of Maharashtra’s Agribusiness and Rural Transformation (SMART) Project
Over 49 companies including the Tata Group, Amazon, ITC, and Patanjali, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government’s ‘State of Maharashtra’s Agribusiness and Rural Transformation (SMART)’ project, assisted by World Bank, to revamp the agricultural value chain and improve the price realisation for the farmer.
Project SMART entails an investment of Rs. 2,000 crore, of which World Bank contributed Rs. 1,500 crore while the State government contributed Rs. 430 crore. The balance Rs. 70 crore was raised by Village Social Transformation Foundation (VSTF) through its partners.
Significance
•    The project is giant step towards transformation of rural economy and empowerment of farmers and also sustainable agriculture through public-private partnership (PPP) model. 
•    It seeks to ensure higher production of crops and create robust market mechanism to enable farmers to reap higher remunerations for the yield. 

Appointments


It unites agriculture-oriented corporates and farmers by providing them common platform.
Ex-Diplomat Elected To UN's Socio-Economic, Cultural Panel 
Former senior Indian diplomat Preeti Saran has been elected unopposed to an Asia Pacific seat on the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) of the UN. Ms Saran will begin her four-year term on January 1, after another former Indian diplomat, Chandrashekhar Dasgupta, completes his third term on the CESCR at the end of this year.
About Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR):
•    The CESCR was set up in 1985 by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.
•    It was constituted with an aim to monitor on its behalf the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESR), which has been ratified by 169 countries.
•    The countries that are parties to the covenant are required to submit reports to the CESCR every five years on how they protect the economic, social and cultural rights.

Science and Technology


China Launches 1st Mission to Land on the Far Side of the Moon
China has launched the first mission to land a robotic craft on the far side of the Moon. The Chang'e-4 mission will see a static lander and rover touch down in Von Kármán crater, located on the side of the Moon which never faces Earth. The payload blasted off atop a Long March 3B rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The mission will pave the way for the country to deliver samples of Moon rock and soil to Earth.
Von Kármán crater is of interest to scientists because it is located within the oldest and largest impact feature on the Moon - the South Pole-Aitken Basin. This was probably formed by a giant asteroid impact billions of years ago.The landers will characterise the region's geology and the composition of rock and soil.
The mission is part of a larger Chinese programme of lunar exploration. The first and second Chang'e missions were designed to gather data from orbit, while the third and fourth were built for surface operations.

International News

UN launches new framework to strengthen fight against terrorism
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has launched a new framework to combat the scourge of international terrorism and coordinate efforts across the peace and security, humanitarian, human rights and sustainable development sectors. 
Termed the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact, the framework is an agreement between the UN chief, 36 organizational entities, the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) and the World Customs Organisation, to better serve the needs of Member States when it comes to tackling the scourge of international terrorism.

2023 is international year of millets: FAO 
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has decided to observe 2023 as the International Year of Millets, upon the request from the Indian government. 
This decision was taken at the 160th session of FAO Council, currently underway in Rome, which also approved India’s membership to the Executive Board of the World Food Program (WFP) for 2020 and 2021, it said.

Awards

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy conferred Skoch Award for National Significance

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India has been conferred the Skoch Award for National Significance at an event held recently in New Delhi. The award was received by Secretary, Ministry of New Renewable Energy Shri Anand Kumar.
The award has been conferred on the Ministry considering its purpose and critical role played in installing about 73 GW renewable energy capacity in the country. With 21 per cent of total installed capacity, within the year renewable energy grossed a magic figure of providing one billion units of electricity in the country.
Today, India ranks 4 in the world in wind energy capacity and 5th in solar & total renewable energy capacity installed in the world. India has played a critical role in setting up of international solar alliance. Further, India moved a resolution during the first meeting for making it a global initiative.



 

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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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