This Daily Current Affair Capsule for 6th December gives a concise brief of important and relevant news from national dailies and government releases on PIB. Aspirants for UPSC IAS, CDS, SSC CGL, NDA, etc. will find it highly useful.
National Important Current Affairs – 6 December 2017
■ The nation pays homage to Bharat Ratna Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, the Father of the Indian Constitution on his death anniversary. He died on this day in 1956, which is observed every year as Mahaparinirvan Diwas.
■ In Uttar Pradesh, an alert has been issued across the state in view of the anniversary of the demolition of the disputed structure at Ayodhya in Faizabad. Extra security forces have been deployed at Ayodhya. The Supreme Court has decided to continue the final hearing of the Ram janmabhumi Babri Masjid case on February 8th next year. The Supreme Court also rejected demand to put off proceedings until 2019 poll.
■ Kerala Electricity Minister MM Mani inaugurated India’s largest floating solar power plant at the Banasura Sagar dam in Wayanad district. The plant, worth approximately Rs 9.25 crore, floats on 6,000 square metres of water surface. The solar power plant has a capacity of 500 kilowatts (KW). The unique feature of this plant is the anchoring mechanism used which maintains the plant with the alteration of the water level.
■ Microblogging site Twitter said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emerged as the “most tweeted about world leader” after U.S. President Donald Trump in 2017. Mr Modi with 37.5 million followers is the second most tweeted about world leader for the year 2017 after Mr Trump with 44.1 million followers.
■ The Centre has passed a notification allowing the NGT chairperson to “constitute a single-member bench” in “exceptional circumstances”, by amending the National Green Tribunal (Practices and Procedure) Rules, 2011. However, the notification does not define the “exceptional circumstances”. According to the earlier rules, the bench consisted of “two or more members” with at least one judicial member and another expert.
About the National Green Tribunal (NGT):
NGT has been established under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources. The tribunal deals with matters relating to the enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 6 December 2017
■ The International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) connecting Mumbai with St Petersburg and beyond is set to be operationalised from January with the movement of first consignment from India to Russia. It has been in making for over 17 years.
India, Iran and Russia had signed the INSTC agreement in September 2000 to build a corridor to provide the shortest multi-model transportation route linking the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea via Iran and St Petersburg. The route primarily involves moving freight from India, Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia via ship, rail and road.
The objective of the corridor is to increase trade connectivity between major cities such as Mumbai, Moscow, Tehran, Baku, Bandar Abbas, Astrakhan, Bandar Anzali and etc.
It was conceived well before China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), to not only help cut down on costs and time taken for transfer of goods from India to Russia and Europe via Iran but also provide an alternative connectivity initiative to countries in the Eurasian region.
Note that: It will be India’s second corridor after the Chabahar Port to access resource rich Central Asia and its market.
■ Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma has been named the UN Environment’s ‘Patron for Clean Air’. He will help drive greater environmental action and awareness for the goals of UN Environment’s global BreatheLife campaign. The UN Environment’s global BreatheLife campaign works for promoting policy and citizen action for better air quality for people.
■ The United States has pulled out of UN Global Compact on Migration, saying it is a subversion of American sovereignty. The Trump administration has quit participating in talks on a proposed United Nations agreement to improve ways of handling global flows of migrants and refugees. The announcement of the US withdrawal from the pact came hours before the opening of a UN global conference on migration was scheduled to begin in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
■ The 38th Gulf Cooperation Council summit is being held in Kuwait. This is first GCC summit after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt all cut ties with Qatar in June, accusing Doha of backing extremism and fostering ties with Iran. Qatar vehemently denies these charges.
About GCC :
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a political and economic alliance of six countries in the Arabian Peninsula consisting of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It was established in 1981, to promote economic, security, cultural and social cooperation between the six states. GCC holds a summit every year to discuss cooperation and regional affairs.
■ Sentinel- 5P, a European satellite tracking the levels of air pollutants around the world has shown images of pollution drifting away from power plants in India. The worst of this pollution runs from north of Patna in Bihar to south of Raipur in Chhattisgarh.
The Sentinel-5P satellite is designed to make daily global maps of the gases and particles that pollute the air.
■ President Donald Trump will recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital despite intense Arab, Muslim and European opposition to a move that would upend decades of U.S. policy and also risk potentially violent protests. The United States has never endorsed Israel’s claim of sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem and has insisted its status be resolved through Israeli-Palestinian negotiation.
Trump will instruct the State Department to begin the multi-year process of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city of Jerusalem. Trump administration notes that almost all of Israel’s government agencies and parliament are in Jerusalem, rather than Tel Aviv, where the U.S. and other countries maintain embassies.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 6 December 2017
■ The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will announce its 5th bi-monthly monetary policy review for the year 2017-18. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), headed by RBI Governor Urjit Patel, has began its two-day deliberations.
Note that: In its October review, the MPC had kept the benchmark interest rate unchanged on fears of rising inflation while lowering country’s growth forecast to 6.7 per cent for the current fiscal.
■ Google India has announced a number of India-first products and features which have been built especially for the growing base of Indian internet users at the third edition of its annual “Google for India” event. Customized for Indian conditions and needs, these include:
- Two-wheeler navigation in Google Maps, because India is the world’s largest two-wheeler market and the navigation needs of these millions of riders are different from automobile drivers. Two-wheeler mode in Maps gives routes that use shortcuts not accessible to cars.
- Bill pay in payments app Tez,
- Android Oreo (Go edition) to improve the experience on low-RAM phones,
- New apps like Google Go and Files Go that are built from scratch,
- Google Assistant for the Reliance Jio Phone that brings the benefits of the Assistant to first-time internet users.
Sports Current Affairs – 6 December 2017
■ Russia has been banned from the 2018 Winter Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over its state-orchestrated doping programme. The IOC has made provision for clean Russian athletes to be allowed to compete under an Olympic flag. This sanction is the toughest ever levelled by the IOC for drug cheating and came just 65 days ahead of the Games to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Note that: An explosive report by the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) and two subsequent IOC investigations have confirmed that Russian athletes took part in an elaborate drug cheating programme which became rampant during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
■ India has won the first-ever South Asian Regional Badminton Team Championship in the title clash played in Guwahati. India defeated Nepal, 3-0. with Aryaman Tandon drawing first blood in the boys’ singles competition.
■ Indian professional boxer Vijender Singh will defend his WBO Oriental and Asia Pacific Super Middleweight titles against Ghana’s Ernest Amuzu in Jaipur on December 23. The Olympic medallist Vijender turned pro, has remained unbeaten in all his nine matches so far. He will face Amuzu, who has 23 wins including 21 knockouts in 25 bouts.
■ Veteran Bollywood actor and recipient of Padma Bhushan award in 2011, Shashi Kapoor has passed away at age of 79 years. He was known for his films like ‘Deewaar’. He had been honoured with Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2014.
■ Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed by Houthi rebel fighter on the streets of capital Sanaa. This comes a day after the former President formally renounced his alliance with the Iran-backed Houthi rebel group and re-aligned his forces with Saudi Arabia.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 6 December 2017”
Q1. What is the theme of the 2017 World Soil Day (WSD)?
- [A] Soil day for future life
- [B] Soils & Pulses: Symbiosis for life
- [C] Healthy soils for a healthy life
- [D] Caring for the Planet starts from the Ground
Q2. Which city is hosting the 22nd conference of Asian Harmonization Working Party (AHWP)?
- [A] New Delhi
- [B] Lucknow
- [C] Kochi
- [D] Nagpur
Q3. Which country has launched new virtual currency “Petro”?
- [A] South Africa
- [B] Japan
- [C] Venezuela
- [D] Indonesia
Q4. Which district of Uttar Pradesh has been included in the National Capital Region (NCR)?
- [A] Shamli district
- [B] Saharanpur district
- [C] Jaunpur district
- [D] Bijnor district
Q5. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved how many funds for Reliance Bangladesh Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)?
- [A] $693 million
- [B] $483 million
- [C] $583 million
- [D] $983 million
Answer these questions in the comments below. We encourage you to discuss your thoughts on the news and issues mentioned in today’s current affairs post. The idea is to promote healthy discussions on interesting issues to make preparation fun. Have a good day!
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