December 14, 2014

GK & Current Affair Updates: December 12- 2014


12  December 2014

National:

Tyeb Mehta Canvas sells for Rs 15 crore at Christie's auction
The second edition of Christie's Indian art auction was held in Mumbai. The highlight was the auction of an untitled canvas by renowned artist Tyeb Mehta which was sold for a whopping Rs 15 crore. The Mehta's canvas, depicting a falling bull, dates back to 1999. The bidding for the canvas started at Rs 5 crore and the price kept going up till it reached Rs 14 crore when calls with overseas buyers resulted in longish pauses. The art work was finally picked up through an online bid from New York. The Switzerland-based Christie's conducted its first India art auction on December 19, 2013 when it sold a work by the late Vasudeo Gaitonde for a record Rs 28 crore, the biggest price ever paid for an Indian painter's work. This year, Christie's auctioned 78 lots, including paintings, sculptures and diaries. Tyeb Mehta's oil on canvas "Girl in Love" for Rs 3.6 crore and Syed Haider Raza's"Les Toits de la rue St Jacques" painted in Paris for Rs 3.8 crore. Rabindranath Tagore's pocket book in Bengali having 270 leaves of manuscript notes, poems, songs, calculations, doodles and drawings fetched Rs 1.7 crore at the auction.

Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu launches Debt Redemption Scheme
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu formally launched the Debt Redemption Scheme for farmers which would provide succour to 33 lakh farmers in the State. The scale of finance rule was made applicable only to farmers whose debts had crossed over Rs 50,000, with period covering since 2007. In order to bail out the farmers under horticulture, a decision was taken to give Rs 10,000 an acre.

Govt bans plying of e-rickshaws on 263 roads in Delhi
Delhi government has banned the plying and parking of e-rickshaws on 236 roads in the national capital. The government issued a notification in this regard after getting the nod from Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung. In New Delhi, 77 roads have been put under restriction for plying of the battery-operated vehicles. The Central government had recently notified the Central Motor Vehicles (Sixteenth Amendment) Rules, 2014, which paves way for plying of special purpose battery operated vehicles. The new rules provide that e-rickshaws will be allowed to carry four passengers and 40 kg luggage while e-carts will transport goods up to 310 kilos. Other roads where the ban on battery-operated vehicles's operations have been imposed include 12 roads in North Delhi, 15 roads in North-West district, 11 roads in North-East Delhi,9 roads in East Delhi, 21 roads in South-West Delhi and 9 roads in West Delhi.


Gymnast Dipa Karmakar appointed to promote voting campaign in Tripura
In Tripura, the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer has appointed State’s renowned gymnast Dipa Karmakar, as its publicity icon for pro-voting and new voters’ enrollment publicity campaign. Dipa, as the first Indian woman and second person from the country had clinched a Commonwealth Games’ medal in artistic gymnastics, winning the women's vault bronze in Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014. She has been appointed following approval of the Election Commission of India.

UP CM Akhilesh Yadav lays foundation of Trans Ganga City Project in Unnao
In Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has laid the foundation of Trans Ganga City Project in the neighbouring Unnao district. The project, propped as a modern and clean-green city, would be developed by UP State Industrial Development Corporation UPSIDC. The Unnao project would span 1,156 acres near Ganga Barrage in Kanpur City. It would be 70 km from Lucknow international airport and had been conceptualized for spurring investment, job creation, education, health and industrial development in the region. Under the project, along with industrial and residential areas, commercial and institutional areas would be developed. A housing society comprising exhibition centre, multiplex, mega mall and multi-storied residential complexes are proposed.

Power generation in Kudankulam plant reaches full capacity of 1000 MW
In Tamil Nadu, the power generation in Kudankulam Nuclear Power plant reached its full capacity of 1000 Mega Watt, according to its Site Director R S Sundar. The power generation in the first unit of Kudankulam Nuclear power plant set up has attained its full capacity of 1000 Mega Watt. The whole power generated is being transferred to Central power grid in Abhishekapatti Tirunelveli. The Kudankulam nuclear power plant set up with Russian expertise had to face lot of obstacles because of protests against nuclear energy in Idinthakarai and other coastal fishermen villages. More than 2840 million units of electricity has been generated till now which has been entirely transferred to central power grid.

Indian Naval Academy's regatta begins in Kerala
In Kerala, the Admiral's Cup Sailing Regatta has began at the Indian Naval Academy at Ezhimala in Kannur district. 18 countries including India, Australia, Bangladesh, China, France, Germany, South Africa, USA and UK are participating, being held at the picturesque Ettikulam Bay. 36 competitors including three women are taking part in the regatta. The Admiral's Cup will be awarded to best team winning the championship on the basis of their combined performance. UAE won the Admiral's Cup Regatta in 2013.

India win 6 golds at Int'l Junior Science Olympiad in Argentina
A team of six Indian students have won 6 gold medals at the 11th International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO) held in Mendoza, Argentina. There were more than 150 students under the age of 15 from 32 participant and 1 observer countries. The competition consisted of two theoretical and one experimental tests. While two students secured the top two positions for their individual performance; the two Indian groups secured the top two prizes in the Experimental Competition. Team India also bagged the Country Winner medal. The syllabus for the examination includes not only the conventional subjects of science, but also subjects like environmental and forensic science. The purpose of the programme is to get students to understand and appreciate science and also to meet like minded students from other countries.

International:

United Nations declares June 21 as International Day of Yoga
Twenty First June will be observed as the International Day of Yoga by the United Nations every year. The UN General Assembly last night adopted a resolution in this regard with a record number of 175 country as co-sponsors. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well being. He had indicated that 21st June, one of the two solstices, which is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere, has special significance in many parts of the world, and could be considered for adoption as the International Day of Yoga by the United Nations. It is for the first time that such an initiative has been proposed and implemented by any country in the UN General Assembly in less than 90 days.

Australian PM Tony Abbott vows to sweat blood for indigenous referendum
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has vowed to sweat blood to secure constitutional recognition for indigenous people, saying he wants a referendum in 2017. The constitution currently does not recognize Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the nation's first people.

EU bars Libyan airlines from Europe's skies
The European Union, EU, today barred all Libyan airlines from its airspace fearing violent clashes between warring factions in the strife-torn country. EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc said, recent events in Libya have led to a situation whereby its Civil Aviation Authority is no longer able to fulfil international obligations regarding passenger safety. The decision followed a regular review of the EU's air safety list, currently covering 21 countries and more than 300 airlines to ensure all meet EU standards. Bulc said the review also showed that several countries including Philippines, Sudan, Mozambique and Zambia had made progress in safety standards but not enough to take any of their airlines off the banned list.

Brazilian firms executives charged in Petrobras scandal
Brazilian prosecutors have formally charged executives from six of the largest engineering firms in the country, following further investigations into a corruption scandal at the state-run oil company Petrobras. They were also indicted on charges of corruption and money laundering in a landmark case that has shaken President Dilma Rousseff's government and may further weaken a stagnant economy. The corruption scandal, in which billions of dollars were allegedly paid by the companies in bribes to win Petrobras contracts, threatens to paralyze infrastructure projects because implicated firms could be banned from government contract bids.

Business & Economy:

Indirect tax collections rise 7.1% in April-November 2014
Indirect tax collections has registered an increase of 7.1 percent during April-November 2014 over the corresponding period in the previous year. Indirect Tax Revenue (Provisional) collections have increased to Rs 3,28,662 crore from Rs 3,06,814 crore in April-November 2013. This is mainly on account of increase in revenue from service tax and customs. Service Tax collections have also increased from Rs 91,982 crore to Rs 1,02,592 crore during April-November 2014, registering an increase of 11.5 percent. However, excise collection declined by 0.2 percent during the eight months period to Rs 1,02,762 crore.

SEBI cautions against ponzi operators; Names 51 banned firms
The Securities and Exchange Board of India or SEBI has cautioned investors and general public against investing in illegal schemes of ponzi operators. Making public a list of 51 banned companies, it asked the investors not be lured by promises of high returns by such entities. The SEBI also asked investors to report unauthorized money pooling activities to the market regulator and state authorities including police immediately, along with appropriate details and documents. The list of entities banned includes names like Saradha Realty India, Rose Valley Real Estate and Constructions and Sai Prasad Properties.

India likely to improve economic growth to 6.3% in 2016: UN
A United Nations report has said that India's economic growth is expected to improve to 6.3 per cent in the next two years, with the country leading the economic recovery in the South Asian region. The UN World Economic Situation and Prospects, WESP, 2015 report, released today says India is likely to make progress in implementing economic policy reforms and help in providing support to business and consumer confidence. This economic growth is despite the continuing financial crisis and the emergence of new challenges, including geopolitical conflicts such as in Ukraine, and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The report also says that India is estimated to record a 5.4 percent economic growth this year and its GDP will improve to 5.9 per cent next year and to 6.3 per cent in 2016.


Current Affair -1st January-2018

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