Current Affairs 30th december 2015

  • Haryana Government sets educational qualification for municipal polls

Image result for Haryana Government sets educational qualification for municipal pollsHaryana Government has decided to fix a minimum educational qualification for aspirant of contesting urban local bodies (ULB) elections in the state on the lines of panchayat polls.
Decision in this regard was taken by state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Chandigarh.
Proposed qualification
  • Minimum educational qualification for male candidates would be matriculation while for females it would be middle pass.
  • Male belonging to scheduled caste should be middle pass and in case of women belonging to scheduled caste must be primary pass.
  • Candidates should have functional toilet at home and they should not be defaulter of cooperative bank loans and electricity department.
In this regard, state legislature is going to amend section 13 A of Haryana Municipal Act, 1973 and section 8 of Haryana Municipal Corporation Act, 1994.
Earlier government has amended the Panchayati Raj Act to set minimum educational qualification for candidates to contest panchayat polls. The decision was challenged in the Supreme Court, but the apex court had pronounced decision in favour of State government.

  • Russia inks $1 billion deal with HAL to manufacture 200 Kamov 226T helicopters

Image result for Russia inks $1 billion deal with HAL to manufacture 200 Kamov 226T helicoptersRussia’s Rostech State Corporation has signed one billion US dollar deal with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to manufacture 200 Kamov 226T light helicopters.
These helicopters will be manufactured under make in India initiative and shall replace the ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.
This is the first Russian-Indian high-tech project implemented by the Indian government within the framework of the ‘Make in India’ programme with the help of Russia.
Under this manufacturing deal Rostech State Corporation will organize in India the production of Russian Ka-226T and its modifications in around 200 units. It will also carry out maintenance, operation and repair of helicopters.
This deal comes after an agreement was signed between the two countries on cooperation in the field of helicopter manufacturing during recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Russia.
Kamov 226T light helicopters will be mainly used to move troops and equipment to high-altitude locations like Siachen. This work was earlier carried by outdated fleet of Cheetah and Chetak choppers which had claimed a number of lives in mishaps.

  • Giorgi Kvirikashvili elected as Prime Minister of Georgia

Image result for Giorgi Kvirikashvili elected as Prime Minister of GeorgiaGiorgi Kvirikashvili has been elected as the 12th Prime Minister of Georgia by the Parliament of the country.
He was elected by the Parliament after then Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili had resigned from the post on December 29, 2015 without explaining his decision.
The new government under the leadership of Giorgi Kvirikashvili was approved by Georgia’s Parliament by 86 votes to 28 against it. Now President Giorgi Margvelashvili will officially ratify this decision.
Prior to becoming Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili had served as Georgia’s Vice Prime Minister since July 2013 and Minister of Foreign Affairs since September 2015. He was also Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development from October 2012 till September 2015.
Kvirikashvili’s new government has pledged to push ahead the ruling Georgian Dream coalition’s policy of seeking closer ties with the West by endorsing its full membership in the European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and pursuing a pragmatic and peaceful policy towards Russia which was shattered by a brief 2008 war.

  • Gujarati litterateur Raghuveer Chaudhary selected for 2015 Jnanpith Award

Image result for Gujarati litterateur Raghuveer Chaudhary selected for 2015 Jnanpith Award
Eminent Gujarati litterateur Raghuveer Chaudhary has been selected for the 51st Jnanpith award.
Mr. Chaudhary is the fourth Gujarati litterateur to bag this prestigious award after Uma Shankar Joshi (1967), Pannalal Patel (1985) and Rajendra Shah (2001).

About Raghuveer Chaudhary

  • Born: 5 December 1938 in Bapupura near Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
  • He is novelist, poet, critic and a Gandhian and his talent has been influenced by works of Gowardhan Ram Tripathi , Kaka Kalelkar and Suresh Joshi.
  • His work: He has authored more than 80 books and some of his notable novels include Amrita, Venu Vatsala, Purvarang and Laagni Samjyaa Vinaa Chuuta Padvanu.
  • He also had worked as a columnist for numerous newspapers such as Sandesh, Janmabhumi, Nirikshaka and Divya Bhaskar. He was a teacher at the Gujarat University until his retirement in 1998.
  • Awards and Honours: He has received numerous accolades including Sahitya Acadmi Award for his novelTrilogy Uparvaas in 1977.

About Jnanpith Award

  • Jnanpith Award is one of the prestigious literary awards in country and its name has been taken from Sanskrit words Jnana and Pitha which means knowledge-seat.
  • It was instituted in 1961 and is presented annually by Bharatiya Jnanpith trust founded by the Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain family that owns the Times of India newspaper group.
  • It is bestowed upon any Indian citizen who writes in any 22 official languages of India mentioned in VIII Schedule of Constitution of India.
  • Prior to 1982, the award was only given for a single work by a writer. But after 1982, the award is given for lifetime contribution to Indian literature.
  • Award Carries: Includes cash prize of 11 lakh rupees, a citation plaque and a bronze replica of Saraswati.

  • Gujarat wins maiden Vijay Hazare title
Gujarat has won the 14th season of prestigious Vijay Hazare Cricket Trophy for season 2015–16 for first time in its history of championship.
In the final match played at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru (Karnataka) they defeated Delhi by 139 runs.

About Vijay Hazare Trophy

  • It is annual limited-overs cricket domestic competition started in 2002–03 and is played among state teams from the Ranji Trophy plates.
  • The trophy is also known as the Ranji One Day Trophy and is named after the famous Indian cricketer Vijay Hazare.
  • Tamil Nadu has won the trophy for record 4 times i.e. in seasons 2002–03, 2004–05, 2008–09 and 2009–10

Current Affairs 29th december 2015

  • Reliance Jio launches 4G telecom service
Reliance Jio has launched 4G (4th Generation) telecom service using LTE (Long Term Evolution) Technology.
Image result for Reliance Jio launches 4G telecom serviceThe service was launched by company’s Chairman Mukesh Ambani on the 83rd birth anniversary of Dhirubhai Ambani, founder of the Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) in Navy Mumbai, Maharashtra.
This initial phase of 4G service was launched for limited to 85000 employees and their families of the company. However the commercial services to begin by April 2016 throughout country.
The Jio 4G Service has three-pronged features focusing on broadband networks, affordable smart phones and the availability of rich content and applications. It seeks to provide unique combination of high speed data up to 1 gigabyte per second (Gbps), telecom, media, digital commerce and payment services.
India’s 4G profile
With this launch Reliance Jio became fourth telecom service provider in India to launch 4G service. Sunil Bharti Mittal led Airtel was first telecom service provider in the country to launch 4G service using LTE Technology in Kolkata in 2012. It was followed by Aircel in July 2014 (in 4 circles Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Odisha) and Vodafone India on 8th December 2015 in Kochi, Kerala.

  • About 4G

4G LTE is wireless communications standard developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).
Standards: 4G LTE is one of several competing 4G standards along withWiMax (IEEE 802.16) and Ultra Mobile Broadband (UMB). Presently two standards are commercially used world-wide viz. LTE and Mobile WiMax standard.
WiMax standard was first commercially in South Korea in 2007 and LTE standard was first used in Norway and Sweden in 2009.
Speed: Designed to provide up to 10x speeds of 3G networks for mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones, netbooks and wireless hotspots etc. It can provide internet speed of at least 100 Mbit per second (Mbps) to 1 Gbps.
Services: 4G technologies are designed to provide IP (Internet Protocol)-based voice, data and multimedia streaming at high speed.
  • Union Government links LPG subsidy to income
Image result for Union Government links LPG subsidy to incomeUnion Government has announced to link LPG subsidy to income of consumers in order to ensure that the subsidy benefits go to the targeted group.
Henceforth, the LPG subsidy will not be available to LPG consumers if the consumer or his/her spouse has taxable income of more than ten lakh rupees. This income would be as per the previous financial year computed under Income Tax Act, 1961.
This decision will be given effect to initially on self-declaration basis of LPG consumers while booking cylinders January 2016.
This move will affect at least 60 lakh LPG consumers of the total 16.5 crore LPG consumers in the country and Government will save upto Rs. 113 crore from this decision.
Earlier under the ‘Give it Up’ campaign many LPG consumers had given up their subsidy voluntarily but Government felt that consumers in the higher income bracket should get LPG cylinders at the market price. So far, 57.50 lakh LPG consumers have opted out of LPG subsidy voluntarily under the campaign that aims to ensure that the subsidy benefits go to the targeted group.

  • Andhra Pradesh Government ink MoU with Microsoft India on technology initiatives
Image result for Andhra Pradesh Government ink MoU with Microsoft India on technology initiatives
Andhra Pradesh Government has signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with tech giant Microsoft India on various technology initiatives for governance.
The MoU was signed after a meeting between the Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella in Hyderabad, Telangana.
The technology provided by the Microsoft would be utilized by state government to check school dropouts, improve agricultural productivity and providing better citizen services.

Key features of MoU
The MoU seeks to improve use of Information and communications technology (ICT) drive for digital inclusion and provide better IT-based services to citizens.
For digital inclusion Microsoft India will provide technical knowledge to Andhra Pradesh Government and support building three proof-of-concept (PoC) solutions.
PoC solutions would be supported by applying Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and Advanced Visualization method in the fields of agriculture, eCitizen services and education.
These solutions would use the lab method for data gathering, analysis, predictive analysis and policy planning which would be built and deployed to address specific problems within each of the fields to achieve better outcomes for the State.
The company will set up a Centre for Excellence (CoE) in Visakhapatnam to train state Government’s key IT executives.

  • Legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler passes away
Legendary American cinematographer Haskell Wexler passed away on 27th December 2015 in California, US. He was 93.
Image result for Legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler passes awayHe was best known for his work in films like “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “American Graffiti” and was one of the film history’s most influential cinematographers.

About Haskell Wexler

Haskell Wexler was born on February 6, 1922 in Chicago, US. He was known for his work on films like Coming Home and In the Heat of the Night.
He had worked as director of photography on films including The Best Man and Mulholland Falls. He also produced and directed 1969’s Medium Cool.
He was also recognised for his documentary work on the Emmy-winning Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang and Interviews with My Lai Veterans for which he won Academy Award.
Awards and Honours: He has won Oscar awards for films Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? (1966) and Bound for Glory (1976). In addition was nominated for Oscars for his contributions to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Matewan and Blaze. He was first cinematographer to receive star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1996.

  • Ministry of Women and Child Development launches e-office
Image result for Ministry of Women and Child Development launches e-office
Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) has introduced e-office, an initiative which will help provide efficient services to the people by digitizing more than 12,000 files.
It was formally launched by WCD Minister Maneka Sanjay Gandhi in New Delhi on the lines with the spirit of Good Governance initiative of Union Government.
Key facts
The e-office project of the Ministry was initiated in July, 2015 and more than 12,000 files of the Ministry have been digitized.
Various modules of this e-office are Knowledge Management System, File Management System, Leave Management System and Tour Management System.
Personnel Information Management System module of this e-office is likely to start from the 1 January, 2016. All the attached offices of the ministry are also going to come under the e-office platform.
The e-office will result in substantial decrease of processing time which will directly affect the delivery mechanism of the WCD Ministry. It would also result in better accountability and transparency and will ultimately result in higher manpower efficiency.

  • Amitabh Kant appointed CEO of NITI Aayog
Amitabh Kant
Senior IAS officer Amitabh Kant has been given additional charge as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog.
Decision in this regard was taken by Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
Mr. Kant’s appointment comes after incumbent NITI Aayog CEO Sindhushree Khullar’s extended tenure is coming on 31st December 2015.
Amitabh Kant is IAS officer of 1980 Batch of Kerala Cadre. Presently, he is serving as Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and is expected to retire in March 2016.

About NITI Aayog

Union Government had replaced erstwhile six decade old Planning Commission with a new institution named National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) on 1 January 2015. This new institution aims to serve as Think Tank of the Government. Noted Economist Arvind Panagariya was appointed Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog. Economist Bibek Debroy and former DRDO chief V K Saraswat were appointed as full-time members.