General - Current Affairs for December, 2015

General Current Affairs for December, 2015

Month wise coverage of General Current Affairs helps you improve your general knowledge and prepare for all competitive exams like IBPS, Bank PO, SBI PO, RRB, RBI, LIC, Specialist Officer, Clerk, SSC, UPSC, Railway etc. This section is updated daily with the most important events.

Preparing General Current Affairs December, 2015

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▼ AP government has signed MoU with Microsoft India   [12-29-15]

Seeking to improve use of ICT and drive digital inclusion to provide better citizen services, AP government has signed an MoU with Microsoft India during a meeting hosted between C. Naidu, the state CM and Microsoft India’s Satya Nadella. As per the MoU, Microsoft India will provide technical knowledge to the AP government supporting three PoC or proof of concept solutions by applying Microsoft Azure Machine learning and advanced visualisation in fields of education, eCitizen services and agriculture.

▼ WCD Ministry launches e-office   [12-29-15]

In keeping with the Good Governance initiative of the PM of India, Ministry of Women and Child Development has launched an e-office in the Ministry. This is the big step forward for paperless functioning and it brings transparency and accountability to step up delivery mechanisms. NCW will be brought under the ambit of the e-office soon.

▼ IFS officers to now get JS post in Defence Ministry   [12-28-15]

Indian Foreign Service is set to reacquire the post of Joint Secretary, Planning and International Cooperation of the Defence Ministry. Shambhu S. Kumaran, currently JS in charge of Russia MEA division will now be given this post which has been occupied by IAS officers since 2007. Joint Secretary PIC is involved in bilateral and multilateral international cooperation pertaining to defence and handling the think tank Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. Officers also look after an array of defence and diplomacy related interface.

▼ Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare announce 4 new IT based initiatives   [12-28-15]

To mark the birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Shri Madan Mohan Malviya and Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, 4 major IT initiatives were launched to provide ease of access to health care services including audio based mobile service for child care, Kilkari, Mobile Academy and M-Cessation.

▼ INS Godavari decommissioned on 23rd December 2015   [12-28-15]

India’s first indigenously designed and built warship INS Godavari was on 23rd December 2015 decommissioned in Naval Dockyard Mumbai. This was commissioned into the Navy during the 1980s. With the decommissioning, INS Godavari has completed its full life cycle. It was the leading warship of its time along with INS Ganga and INS Gomati.

▼ Russia presents PM Narendra Modi with Bapu’s handwritten notes and silver sword   [12-28-15]

A page from Gandhiji’s diary containing his handwritten notes and an 18th century Bengali sword have been presented by Russian President Vladimir Putin to PM Narendra Modi. The items were presented during a meeting between the two leaders in the Kremlin.

▼ Amit Majmudar named first Poet Laureate by US state of Ohio   [12-28-15]

Amit Majmudar, a 36 year old Indian American doctor has been named the first Poet Laureate by the US state of Ohio for showcasing numerous styles of poetry. He has been named for the 2 year honorary position by Governor John Kasich. He was recommended for the position by Ohio Poet Laureate Selection Committee and has published a total of 2 novels. His poems have been printed in numerous publications including the New Yorker, New York Review of Books and much more.

▼ NIMHANS dedicated as institute of national importance   [12-23-15]

President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee has dedicated the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences-NIMHANS Bengaluru has an institute of national importance on December 22nd 2015. The President also inaugurated the Magneto Encephalography Research Centre and NIMHANS Heritage Museum on this day. President also stressed that priority must be given to HRD in the field of mental healthcare and delivery.

▼ IIT Madras signed MoU with Indian Railways on 22nd December   [12-23-15]

IIT Madras has signed an MoU with Indian Railways on 22nd December to develop a long term framework for research and collaboration in the advancement of technology. The MoU will function for a period of 3 years. Centre for railway research will be set up at the IIT for this purpose for carrying out research relating to structural health monitoring of railway infrastructure.

▼ IIM-L ties up with HBS   [12-21-15]

Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow has partnered institutional alliance with Harvard Business School following the efforts by two IIM-L professors to attend a faculty workship. As part of this alliance, IIM-L will offer an elective course on Microeconomics of Competitiveness. This MOC course is currently being taught at SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai. IIM-L will also use Harvard expertise in cluster development at local government level.

▼ CM Mamta Banerjee announces inclusion of 6 more districts to West Bengal   [12-21-15]

Addressing the media after a cabinet meeting, CM Mamta Banerjee said Darjeeling in north Bengal will be bifurcated and a new district called Kalimpong carved out of it. Sidebands currently stretchs across North and South 24 Paraganas districts. Basirhat district will be formed out of North 24 Parganas district while existing Burdwan district will be bifurcated into two- rural and urban. Jhargram under the West Midnapore district will become a separate district while Minik block will be upgraded to subdivisions as will Jhalda and Manbazar in Purulia.

▼ ISB to set up think tank with PwC   [12-17-15]

Indian School of Business and Strategy&, a part of the PriceWaterhouseCooper network have entered into a contract to set up an industry think tank in the Indian defence sector. An agreement to this effect has been signed on 16th December 2015. This is against the backdrop of Make in India policy and thrust on local aerospace and defence production.

▼ In a first, parrots found using tools   [12-17-15]

A species of parrots in Madagascar and Comoros has been found using tools, which is a first mong parrots. This species of parrot used small pebbles and date pits to break/grind shells so that they can be consumed. Sea shells are a rich source of calcium. 10 captive parrots were studied by researchers to document their interactions with cockle shells on the aviary floor.

▼ Suffix "ism" picked as most powerful word of 2015 by Merriam Webster dictionary   [12-16-15]

Merriam Webster has picked the suffix ism as the most powerful word of the year.The isms which scored on the dictionary’s company website include racism, feminism and communism.

▼ Government set to formulate National Education policy   [12-16-15]

GoI has undertaken a collaborative and multi-pronged consultation process for formulating a NEP or New Education Policy that includes the following thematic deliberations: online, grassroots and national level. NEP consultation process has been initiated with CABE/Central Advisory Board of Education officials.

▼ HRD signs MoU for establishment of MoUs with IIIT   [12-14-15]

HRD Ministry has signed an MoU with private players for establishing three Indian institutes of IT in Ranchi, Nagpur and Pune on PPP basis. The three institutes will be set up in collaboration with private players such as TCS, TATA Motors and others.

▼ National Conference for educational aspirations & attainments launched    [12-14-15]

Dr. Najma Heptulla, Union Minister for Minority Affairs inaugurated the National Conference on “An Understanding of Educational Aspirations and Attainment of Minority Girls” indicating a lot needs to be done to attain equality in education for them. The two day conference commenced on December 12, 2015. Two day national conference has been organised by All India Confederation for Women Empowerment through Education in partnership with the Ministry of Minority Affairs.

▼ BHU signs MoU with Japan Foundation   [12-14-15]

The MoU has been signed on 10th December 2015 to promote Japan language in the city. It was signed by DG of Japan Foundation Kaoru Miyamoto and BHU registrar KP Upadhyay. Varsity has signed as many as 49 MoUs with various international universities from Japan.

▼ India health nutrition & global nutrition report released   [12-11-15]

- Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare along with Smt. Maneka Gandhi, Minister for Women and Child Development released the “India Health Report: Nutrition 2015” and “Global Nutrition Report” on 10th December 2015.
- The function Made in India: Good Nutrition for All: Implications of the Global Nutrition Report and the India Health Report for Nutrition Security in India is jointly organized by Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

▼ DTH Tata Sky partners with Madhuri Dixit for Dance Studio   [12-11-15]

DTH company TATA Sky has inked a partnership with Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit’s RnM Moving Picture to launch a dance studio which will offer lessons in racing to subscribers. Apart from Bollywood dance moves, subscribers can also acquire expertise in specialised dance forms such as salsa, kathak and tango.

▼ Bangladesh lifts ban on FB   [12-11-15]

Bangladesh has lifted the ban on FB 3 weeks after the popular social networking service was blocked after the SC upheld death penalty of 2 opposition leaders convicted for war crimes in independence war against Pakistan in the year 1971. The bans on WhatsApp and VIber will continue for security reasons, the authorities said.

▼ NRDC : Enters into agreement with CSIR-IICT   [12-9-15]

NRDC has entered into an agreement with Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad for marketing the inventions/innovations, patents, formulations, know-how/processes developed by CSIR-IICT and also collection of Premia and Royalties arising from these activities. CSIR-IICT is a 70 year old R and D organisation.

▼ APSSDC joins hands with NASSCOM to skill youth in cybersecurity, data analytics   [12-8-15]

Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC) and National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) have joined hands to skill youth in areas like cybersecurity and data analytics. Around 36 institutions across AP will be partnering the initiative and have nominated faculty members for the program. IT security market is pegged at USD 77 billion worldwide in 2015 and growing at a rate of 8% each year. Demand for security workforce is to rise globally to 6 million by 2019, up from 4 million currently, with projected shortfall of 1.5 million.

▼ Khan Academy partners TATA Trusts   [12-7-15]

Leading open access online educators, Khan Academy have announced a 5 year, not for profit partnership with TATA Trust to provide free online education for the Indian market. US based Salman Khan is the founder of this initiative. This partnership will provide guidance to students on Indian languages and subject matter in NCERT textbooks in regional languages.

▼ Defence Ministry to allow women fighter pilots on experimental basis   [12-7-15]

The Defence Ministry has taken the decision to allow women fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force on a temporary basis for a period of 5 years. In October, the Defence Ministry had made the announcement that women would be allowed into combat roles for the first time, commencing with the Air Force.

▼ NCRB : 89423 cases of crime against children 2014   [12-4-15]

National Crime Records Bureau has reported that during 2012, 2013 and 2014 around 38,172 cases, 58,224 cases and 89,423 cases were registered under crime against children. Major steps taken to curb atrocities against children include the implementation of POSCO Act 2012 and RTE 2009, along with a dedicated online complaint system called ebaalnidaan. National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has also reviewed numerous laws and policies pertaining to children.

▼ NCRB : UP has highest number of dowry deaths   [12-4-15]

Highest number of dowry deaths for the last 3 consecutive years have been reported from UP followed by Bihar as per NCRB data which shows that the former state reported 2244 dowry deaths in 2012, 2335 in 2013 and 2469 in 2014. Bihar was second highest while highest cases of cruelty by husband or relatives was reported in the following state: Rajasthan, Odisha, AP and WB.

As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, a total number of 9038, 10709 and 10050 cases have been registered under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 during 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively. 8233, 8083 and 8455 cases were registered under section 304 B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) dowry death in the country during 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively. Dowry Prohibition Act seeks to ensure protection against ill-treatment of women for dowry.

▼ 16 Indian educational institutions in top 200 : Times Higher Education rankings    [12-4-15]

At 16th place, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore is the only Indian institute to feature in the top 20. China, on the other hand, has 5 institutes among top 10 followed by two from South Africa, and one each from Taiwan, Brazil and Russia. Taiwan has done better than India with 24 universities in top 200.

▼ NIT signs MoU with IIT-B   [12-3-15]

IIT-Bombay and NIT have signed an MoU which will enable the former to initiate new degree programmes in NIT Goa and students of the latter institute to visit the former for research purposes. The MoU was signed by NIT Goa director G R C Reddy and IIT Bombay director Devang Khakhar for R&D activities.

▼ 6 new IITs to be set up as per Union Cabinet decision    [12-3-15]

6 more Indian Institutes of Technology will be established in Chhattisgarh, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka and AP as per a Union Cabinet decision taken on 3rd December 2015. A cabinet meeting also accorded approval for operationalisation of these IITs initially by forming of Societies under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in order to give them legal status till the amendment for their incorporation in The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 is enacted. At present, there are 16 IITs in the country. Every new IIT will have an intake of 180 students within the first year which will increase to 450 in the second and 928 in the third year of operation.

▼ India’s GDP for Q2 in 2015-2016 stood at 7.4%    [12-1-15]

India’s second quarter GDP grew at 7.4 percent as against 7% in the previous quarter boosted by a nominal increase in agriculture sector growth, which stood at 2.2 percent, compared to 1.9 percent QoQ. Mining sector grew at 3.2 percent versus 4 percent while manufacturing growth stood at 9.3 percent, compared to 7.9 percent QoQ.Growth in output of India's eight "core" sectors for the month of October was flat at 3.2 percent due to drop in crude oil and steel production. The growth remain unchanged when compared to the month of August. The eight core sector industries include coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity.