December 2015 Current Affairs List

Indian economy grew by 7.4 per cent in second quarter of FY16
The Indian economy grew at a faster rate of 7.4% during July-September quarter due to higher growth in the manufacturing sector. This economic growth is much higher compared to 7.1% growth in the previous quarter while slower compared to 8.4% growth seen in the same quarter last year. This higher growth is definitely a good news for Government which has identified economic growth as its top most agenda.
Manufacturing sector grew by 9.3% in the same quarter while Trade, hotel, transport and communication sector grew by 10.6% and financial services, real estate and professional services grew by 9.7% in the same quarter.

RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 6.75 percent during its monetary policy review today
RBI Governor Dr Raghuram Rajan has kept key policy rates unchanged during its fifth bi-monthly monetary policy review meeting for fiscal year 2015-16 today. Repo rate, the rate at which RBI lends money to banks for the short term, was kept unchanged at 6.75% while the Reverse Repo Rate, the rate at which RBI borrows money from banks, was kept unchanged at 5.75%. The cash reserve ratio for banks has been kept unchanged at 4%.
The RBI has also kept statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) of scheduled commercial banks unchanged at 21.5%. Statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) refers amount that the commercial banks require to maintain with the RBI in the form of gold or government approved securities (G-Secs or bonds) before lending. The RBI governor also said robust second quarter GDP numbers suggest that the economy is in early stages of recovery and retained its earlier projection of 7.4% GDP growth for the financial year.
Current Affairs International - 2 December 2015

  1. The world Aids day was observed across the world on 1stDecember to raise awareness about the deadly virus and disease. The theme of 2015 was -Getting to zero, End AIDS by 2030-. Federal theme for the World AIDS Day 2015 is -The time to act is now- which is aimed at averting 21 million Aids-related deaths, 28 million new HIV infections and 5.9 million new infections among children by 2030.

  2. The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery was observed today (2ndDecember) across the world to focus on the elimination of human trafficking, child labour and other forms of modern-day slavery. As per the International Labour Organization (ILO), there are currently an estimated 21 million forced labour victims worldwide, creating 150 billion US dollars in illegal profits in the private economy each year.

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery was first adopted by UN General Assembly on 2 December 1929.

  1. Leaders of G20 countries have launched Mission Innovation at United Nations Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) held in Paris-Le Bourget this weekend with the key objective is to double the clean energy research and development funding by 2020 of member countries. This mutual collaboration will cover areas such as data sharing, technology and analysis to promote the commercialization and to propagate clean energy technology around the world.

  2. International Monetary Fund (IMF) has included China's Yuan into its elite reserve currency basket this week which will be effective from 1stOctober 2016. Yuan was included in the basket after it met the existing criteria for its inclusion. With this inclusion, Yuan will be a freely usable currency and will be included in the SDR basket as a fifth currency, along with the US Dollar, Euro, Japanese Yen and British Pound.

  3. One of the most popular Russian film directors of the Soviet era Eldar Ryazanov passed away 30thNovember 2015 after the prolonged illness. He was 88.He directed some of the most popular Soviet Era comedies such as Irony of Fate, The Garage and Office Romance. He received one of the top Soviet artistry title People's Artist of the USSR in 1984 and received the USSR State Prize in 1977.

Current Affairs India - 2 December 2015

  1. Union Health minister & Family Welfare JP Nadda launched the injectable Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) as a part of its commitment to Global polio eradication objective. This launch was a part of India's inversion immunization programme to fight against polio in the country.

The first phase will be introduced in six states which are Assam, Gujarat, Punjab, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh & Uttar Pradesh. This injection will be given to children below one year age with the third dose of the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV). Both of these will provide double protection against polio virus.

  1. Hinduja Brothers were awarded with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Asian Business Leadership Forum (ABLF) Series held in Dubai recently. The prestigious award recognizes the most powerful and influential business leaders. The Asian Business Leadership Forum (ABLF) Series is Asia-s most prestigious annual business leadership event series.

  2. Famous violinist Lakshminarayana Subramaniam will be honoured with the Sangeet Samman at the ITC Sangeet Sammelan 2015 in December 2015 at the Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata. The ITC Sangeet Research Academy Executive Director Rabi Srinibasan has announced the name of the artist for the award yesterday. Subramaniam was trained in the classical Carnatic music tradition and Western classical music and is known for his virtuoso playing techniques and compositions in orchestral fusion.

  3. India-s Thakur Anoop Singh won gold medal in the 7th WBPF World Bodybuilding and Physique Championships last week held in Bangkok in the fitness physique category. Overall, India won 11 medals in the championships in which participation from 47 nations had participated. Arambam Boby from Manipur also won gold in the championship which was the 4th world title in his career.

  4. Indian IT services Company Wipro has acquired Cellent AG, a German IT consulting company, for 73.5 million euro in an all-cash deal. Cellent is a privately held company and part of Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, which is the parent of three commercial banks and the bank for some Federal States of Germany. It had revenues of 87 million euro at the end of 2014.

Current Affairs International - 4 December 2015

  1. International Day of Persons with Disabilities was observed on 3rd December across the world in order to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.The theme for year 2015 was -Inclusion matters: Access and Empowerment for people of all abilities-.

  2. Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan assumed Presidency of the Royal Society in London this week as he was elected to the office in March 2015 by the society-s council and will serve for up to five years. With this appointment, he became the 61st president of the society and joined the elite club that has included Christopher Wren, Samuel Pepys, Isaac Newton, Joseph Banks, Humphry Davy, and Ernest Rutherford.

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2009 with Tom Steitz and Ada Yonath. He was awarded a knighthood in 2012.

  1. Brazil-s economy contracted by 1.7% in July-September quarter of 2015 compared to previous quarter, as per announcement made by the Government. It was Brazil's third consecutive quarter of contraction in this year which is also the longest recession since 1930s.

  2. The European Central Bank (ECB) has cut its interest rate in order to boost economic growth of the eurozone region as a part of its stimulus programme. Theovernight deposit rate was cut from -0.2% to -0.3%, to push banks to lend instead of parking money at the ECB. The ECB also extended its monthly 60 billion euros stimulus programme by six months to March 2017, but left its main interest rate on hold at a record low of 0.05%.

Current Affairs India - 4 December 2015

  1. Justice Tirath Singh (TS) Thakur was sworn in as 43rd Chief Justice of India (CJI) by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 3rdDecember. He succeeded incumbent Justice H L Dattu who retired on 2ndDecember 2015 after attaining 65 years of age. He will have the tenure as CJI for over one year and will retire on 4th January 2017 when he will be 65 years old.

  2. The Union Cabinet has approved setting up of six new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in Andhra Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Goa, Jammu, Kerala and Karnataka this week. The Cabinet also approved the operationalisation of these IITs by forming Societies under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in order to give a legal status to them till the amendment for their incorporation in The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 is enacted.

  3. Himachal Pradesh became the first Indian state to launch Rotavirus vaccination project with the aim of controlling the child mortality rate (under five years of age) due to diarrhoea. Rotavirus vaccines are administered orally to infants in three dose course at ages of six, ten and fourteen weeks and are part of Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).

  4. Senior Janata Dal (United) leader Vijay Kumar Chaudhary was unanimously elected new Speaker of the Bihar Legislative Assembly. The pro-tem Speaker and Congress MLA Sadanand Singh announced the election of Chaudhary as the new Speaker.

  5. Pulin Kumar, Group Senior Legal and Compliance Director of Adidas India, was awarded with the Indian National Bar Association's (INBA) General Counsel of the year 2015 - Retail Award in New Delhi. Senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani presented the award to Kumar on the occasion of INBA's Annual International Conference-66th National Law Day.

  6. Online video portal YouTube has opened its first video production studio in India along with Subhash Ghai-owned film school Whistling Woods International, named as YouTube Spaces. YouTube has similar collaborations in Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, New York City, Sao Paulo, Paris and Berlin.

Through this collaboration, India-s popular up-and-coming YouTube creators will have free access to Whistling Woods- studios, high-end audio, visual and editing equipment, in addition to training programs, workshops and community events.

  1. Famous sarangi player Ustad Sabri Khan passed away on 30thNovember in New Delhi due to breathing problems.He was 88. He was initiated into Sarangi by his grandfather Ustad Haji Mohammed Khan. Later, Sabri Khan continued his training under his father Ustad Chajju Khan. He had received numerous awards including the Sahitya Kala Parishad Award, UP Sangeet Natak Academy Award, National Sangeet Natak Academy Award. The Government of India also honoured him with the prestigious Padma Shree Award in 1992 and Padma Bhushan Award in 2006.

Current Affairs International - 6 December 2015

  1. The International Volunteer Day (IVD) was observed on 5thDecember 2015 across the world to raise awareness about volunteering activity.The theme of 2015 was -The world is changing. Are you? Volunteer!-. Through volunteerism the person can impact the sustainable development agenda by mobilizing and engaging governments and communities.

  2. Australia-s Parliament has passed Australian Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2015 to strip citizenship of convicted persons on terrorism charges. This new bill will allow government to strip dual nationals of their citizenship if they are convicted of terrorism offences.

Current Affairs India - 6 December 2015

  1. The Delhi Assembly has unanimously passed the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015 for establishment of statutory anti-corruption ombudsman, known as Jan Lokpal. The Bill provides powers to Lokpal to act against any government functionary including those of the Centre and in the national capital territory (NCT) of Delhi through its own investigation wing. This was one of the most important election agenda made by AAP party before Delhi assembly election.

Janlokpal will be a three member body with Chairperson and two members. They would be appointed by on recommendation of selection committee consisting of Chief Minister, Leader of Opposition and Speaker of Delhi Legislative Assembly.

  1. The Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG or PAHAL scheme, has been acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World records as the largest cash transfer programme in terms of number of households. The scheme won the achievement on 30thJune this year when it crossed 12.57 crore households and now there are 14.62 crore households enrolled for the scheme as on 3rdDecember 2015.

  2. India-s forest and tree cover has been increased by 5081 Square kilometer, as per recently released India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2015 by the Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi. This has happened because of recent initiatives taken by Government to protect India-s forest cover or green zone.

  3. The 44th Navy Day was observed on 4thDecember 2015 which marked the success of Operation Trident of Indian Navy on Karachi Harbour during the 1971 Indo-Pak war every year. In one-night attack the Indian Navy sank three vessels near the largest Pakistani port of Karachi. Operation Trident resulted in the first use of anti-ship missiles in the region.

  4. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has published revised Priority Sector Lending (PSL) norms for Regional Rural Banks (RRBs). As per new notification, Priority Sector Lending target was increased to 75% of total outstanding from the existing 60% which will be effective from 1stJanuary 2016.

There were 56 RRBs operating in the country with a network of 20059 branches as of March 2015. Medium enterprises, social infrastructure and renewable energy were included under Priority Sector Lending category.

  1. Bengaluru has been ranked as the most attractive destination for investments besides attracting the most FDI among Indian cities followed by Mumbai and Delhi-NCR region, as per latest EY-s India Attractiveness Survey 2015 published this week.32% of the respondents said that India is the most attractive place for investments in the next three years.

Current Affairs International - 7 December 2015

  1. Global Crude Oil price dropped to its lowest level since 2009 as global production continues to remain high, especially by the OPEC countries.Brent Crude price dropped by 5.3% to USD 40.73 a barrel which is the lowest level since 2009. The drop came as OPEC, group of largest Oil Producing nations in the world, decided not to cut production.

  2. Australia won the 2014-2015 Men-s Hockey World League Final after defeating Belgium by 2-1 in the final match held at Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Stadium, Raipur on 6thDecember. Before that India defeated world number two and defending champions Netherlands by 3-2 in the penalty shoot-out to win the bronze medal in the tournament. The Semifinals of the competition also served as a qualifier for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Current Affairs India - 7 December 2015

  1. A panel headed by chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian, constituted by the government to decide on goods and services tax (GST) rates, has recommended a revenue-neutral rate of 15-15.5%,with a standard rate of 17-18%.

The panel has recommended a three-tier rate structure wherein some essential goods will be taxed at a lower rate of 12%; luxury or demerit goods, aerated beverages, pan masala and tobacco products at a higher rate of 40%; and all remaining goods at a standard rate of 17-18%. All services are proposed to be taxed at the standard rate of 17-18%, as per its recommendation.

  1. Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has flagged off the first Goa to Mumbai double-decker Shatabdi train through video conference from Panaji, Goa on 6thDecember. The train will run thrice a week between Madgao in Goa and the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) in Mumbai.

  2. General Motors has appointed Kaher Kazem as President and Managing Director of its India operations with effective from 1stJanuary next year. He is currently working as chief operating officer (COO) of GM India and he will replace Arvind Saxena who has decided to retire.

Current Affairs International - 9 December 2015

  1. Time Magazine has named German Chancellor Angela Merkel as its "Person of the Year" for her role in handling Europe's crises over migration and Greek debt.Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was ranked at second place while US Presidential candidate Donald Trump secured third rank.

  2. Chinese capital Beijing-s authority has issued its first-ever red alert on air pollution ordering schools to close due to poor air quality as the acrid smog enveloped the capital for the second time in December 2015.Red alert is considered to be the highest possible state of caution.

  3. China-s Chen Long and Spanish Carolina Marin were awarded with the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Male and Female Player of the Year Awards respectively at a ceremony held in Dubai. Long retained the Male Player of the Year award that he won last year.

Another Chinese player and world junior champion in Mixed Doubles and Men-s Doubles Zheng Si Wei won the Eddy Choong Award for Most Promising Player of the Year.
Current Affairs India - 9 December 2015

  1. The Maharashtra has become the first Indian state to launch an online platform for its MLAs to send questions and move different motions in the House. The state government has launched a website as part of Digital MLAs initiative in the winter session of state legislature in Nagpur for the same purpose. The aim of the initiative is to move towards complete digitization of the legislative process to reduce paper work.

  2. Indian-American entrepreneur and philanthropist, Frank Islam has been chosen for the Uttar Pradesh Ratna Award and will be awarded on 4thJanuary 2016 at the inaugural UP Pravasi Diwas in Agra. The Uttar Pradesh Government will award him for his achievements and outstanding contributions in a foreign country.

  3. Singapore has replaced Mauritius as the top source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into India during the first half of financial year 2015-16.As per report published by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), India has attracted USD 6.69 billion FDI from Singapore compared to USD 3.66 billion from Mauritius during April-September period of FY2015-16.

  4. Pune and Rajkot have been named as the interim franchises in the Indian Premier League (IPL) till 2017 and they will replace the suspended teams of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) after the Supreme Court ruling on IPL spot fixing scam. CSK and RR team are suspended till 2017, Pune and Rajkot will fill their gap.

Kolkata-based business man Sanjiv Goenka's company New Rising bought the Pune franchise while Intex Mobiles bought the Rajkot team.
Current Affairs International - 11 December 2015

  1. Human Rights Day was observed on 10thDecember across the world to remember the day when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted in 1948.The theme of 2015 was "Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always."

  2. Mauricio Macri was sworn in as the President of Argentina after winning recent election. He succeeded former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchnerwho boycotted the oath taking ceremony, it is the first time since 1983 a predecessor missed a successor's oath taking ceremony.

  3. Former Sri Lanka Cricket team captain Mahela Jayawardene was awarded with an honorary life membership of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) this week in recognition of his great cricket career. With this, he became the 14th Sri Lankan to be awarded with MCC Honorary Life Membership and joined the list of other Sri Lankan players including Kumar Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas.

Current Affairs India - 11 December 2015
Current Affairs India - 11 December 2015

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modireleased -On My terms-, an Autobiographyof former Union Minister and NCP Party President Sharad Pawar on the occasion of his 75thbirthdayat a function held at the Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. Eminent politicians and President Pranab Mukherjee attended the same event.

  2. India's Kartik Sawhney and Neha Swain have been awarded with the 2016 Queen's Young Leaders Award in UK for their extraordinary contributions towards society.They will be presented with the award by Queen Elizabeth II in London.

Kartik, who himself is visually impaired, has been honoured for his work in highlighting access to education for all through his Project STEMAccess, which offers hands-on science workshops. Neha founded an NGO named as Rubaroo, which conducts interactive workshops to bring out the leadership qualities in young people from different socio-economic backgrounds.

  1. Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah was awarded with the lifetime achievement award at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) this weekalong with French actress Catherine Deneuve. The stars shared the podium with Egyptian actor Ezzat Al Alayli, award-winning French-Tunisian actor Sami Bouajila at the opening ceremony.

  2. ABB India has appointed Sanjeev Sharma as its new Managing Director with effect from 1stJanuary next year.Before this appointment, Sanjeev was the global Managing Director for ABB-s Low Voltage Systems business unit, where he was based in Malaysia.

  3. The Reserve Bank of India has announced a reduction in the share of government securities that banks have to mandatorily hold in their books, which is also known as statutory liquidity ratio (SLR), in four equal phases starting from next fiscal year to reduce the same to 20.5% by January 2017 from current 21.5%.

As per the new time table SLR would be reduced to by 25 basis points to 21.25% as on 2nd April 2016, 25 basis points on 9th July 2016, 25 basis points on 1st October 2016 and another 25 basis points on 1st January 2017 to reach to 20.5%.

  1. Tata has been ranked as the most valuable brand of India, as per a survey conducted by Interbrand India. Tata is followed by Reliance Industries, Airtel, Life Insurance Corp., State Bank of India and HDFC. 

Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal defeated world champion Carolina Marin at the BWF Badminton Super series finals held in Dubai today. Saina defeated Marina by 23-21, 9-21, 21-12 in a closely fought match.
Current Affairs International - 13 December 2015

  1. World leaders have welcomed the landmark climate accord to curb global warming which was passed in Paris yesterday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, the deliberations at COP 21 also demonstrate the collective wisdom of world leaders to address climate change issue.

The legally-binding pact, which ended a decades-long row between rich and poor nations over how to carry out a multi-trillion-dollar effort to cap global warming, aims at limiting global warming to well below 2 degree Celsius.
Current Affairs India - 13 December 2015

  1. India and Japan have inked a number of pacts in key areas of defence, nuclear energy and also for a project to build first bullet train network between Mumbai-Ahmedabad at a cost of about Rs 98,000 crore during 3-day India visit of Japan-s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The proposed bullet train network will connect India-s financial hub Mumbai with Ahmedabad which will reduce travel time on the 505 km route from 8 hours to around 3 hours. Japan has also proposed to give 80% of the total cost as a loan of less than 1 interest rate for 50 years.

  1. Mumbai Police Commissioner Ahmad Javed has been appointed as the new envoy to Saudi Arabia effective from 1stFebruary after his retirement. Also with this appointment, he has become the fourth IPS officer to be appointed as Indian Ambassador to a foreign country.

  2. State-run Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has got Prakash Kumar Singh as its new Chairman after the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) has approved his name. The post of permanent chairman in the company has been lying vacant since incumbent CS Verma was refused an extension by the government in June this year.

  3. India-born famous author Salman Rushdie has been awarded with the 2015 Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement. He was awarded by Laurie Andersonat a ceremony held at Pratt Institutein Brooklyn, New York City. The prestigious Mailer Prize honours writers who fully exercise their freedom of creativity and thrive on dialogue and debate.

  4. Veteran actor Dilip Kumar has been conferred with the Padma Vibhushan award today at a special function held at the veteran actor's residence in Mumbai. The award was given by Home Minister Rajnath Singh at his residence.

The announcement to honour him with Padma Vibhushan was made by the government on the eve of Republic Day on January 25, 2015, but he could not attend the special function held in Rashtrapati Bhavan in April when other Padma awardees were honoured by President Pranab Mukherjee.

  1. Indian IT Services Company Wipro won the 2015 Aegis Graham Bell Award for developing a solution for the Internet of Things (IoT).The Aegis School of Business established the Aegis Graham Bell Awards as a tribute to the father of the telephony, Sir Alexander Graham Bell.

  2. Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan has been ranked at No 1 the list of 2015 Forbes India Celebrity 100 list in terms of overall earning.Bollywood actors Salman Khan and Amitabh Bachchan were ranked at second and third respectively on the list followed by cricketer M S Dhoni and actor Aamir Khan who were ranked at 4th and 5threspectively.

  3. Indian female cyclist, Deborah Heroldhas been ranked at 4thposition in the World Elite Women Rankingfor the 500m time trial event which was published by the cycling world body International Cycling Union (UCI).With this, she has become the first Indian women to achieve this feat for the 500m time trial event.

Current Affairs India - 15 December 2015

  1. India with a score of 0.609 has been ranked 130 out of 188 countries in terms of Human Development Index (HDI), as per the United Nations Human Development Report 2015 published this week. India was ranked at 135 out of 187 countries in 2014 report. As per the report, nearly 2 billion people were lifted out of low human development across the world in last 25 years.

  2. The Union Government has appointed Justice L Narasimha Reddy, retired Chief Justice of Patna High Court, to head the Judicial Committee which was set up to look into the implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for the ex-servicemen. The Committee has been given a six-month time frame for submission of its recommendations.

  3. Indian-origin Tamil author Jamaludeen Mohamed Sali won the prestigious South East Asian Write Award for Singapore for literary excellence. He produced books on famous people including martial art icon Bruce Lee and legendary boxer Muhammad Ali.

  4. Tech Mahindra and Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd has acquired Italian car designer Pininfarina SpA for USD 165 million in an all-cash deal. Pininfarina is famous for designing cars for Ferrari, Maserati, Rolls-Royce and Cadillac. For the acquisition, Tech Mahindra and Mahindra and Mahindra have formed a 60:40 joint venture to complete the deal.

  5. Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri won the famous Order of Merit crown of Asian Tour for year 2015. In the 2015 season, he has earned USD 1,139,084 compared to second-placed Scott Hend of Australia who has earned USD 491,631.With this, he has also become the only fourth Indian golfer to win this award after Jeev Milkha Singh (2006, 2008), Arjun Atwal (2003) and Jyoti Randhawa (2002).