December 06, 2014

GK & Current Affair Updates: December 6- 2014

6  December 2014
National:

Govt okays dedicated air support for ITBP at China border
Government has approved dedicated air support for ITBP to help the force take on superior infrastructure capabilities of China on the Sino-Indian border. Home ministry has approved and allocated funds for leasing of two choppers which will be under the exclusive command of ITBP for rescue- reconnaissance operations on the border. Until now, the border force was dependent on Indian Air Force for air support to maintain its outposts and rescue the sick or injured from the inhospitable heights of Himalayas where it is posted through the year. For various reasons, IAF choppers are not always available to ITBP.

Six-month extension for Ajit Seth
Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth has been given a further six-month extension in service. He was due to retire on December 13.The Narendra Modi-led Appointments Committee of Cabinet approved the extension in service to Mr. Seth. Mr. Seth, a 1974 batch IAS officer of the U.P. cadre and the senior-most serving bureaucrat in the country, was appointed the Cabinet Secretary by the UPA government in June 2011 for a two-year tenure. His term was extended for one year by the then Manmohan Singh government and the BJP-led Modi government, which came to power in May this year, also extended his tenure by six months.

Frontline bags brand award
Frontline magazine of The Hindu Group has been selected as the ‘Most Promising Brand of the Year’ in the Media & Entertainment (English Magazines, India) category by the World Brands Review Corporation, a Noida-based branding organisation. The award will be presented at the World Brands Summit 2014 to be held in Dubai. The top brands in various categories were selected on the basis of a study and reputation surveys conducted across various industry sectors in Asia, including media & entertainment, real estate, travel, hospitality, fashion & lifestyle, IT & telecom and healthcare & wellness. The brands were evaluated on parameters such as brand culture, identity, equity and performance.


New Delhi says ‘no’ to emission cap deadline
India refused to take a deadline for capping its emissions unlike China, saying the ongoing climate meet in Lima was not to discuss peaking year and hoped the world would reach a deal to cut down carbon emissions.“ Nations are discussing steps for a new deal in Paris to replace the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. Listing the steps taken by the government to give a boost to the renewable sector, which has domestic obligations of addressing the basic development needs of poverty eradication, food security and nutrition, cannot afford to cut down carbon emission at the expense of economic growth. The U.S. and China, which is part of the BASIC bloc comprising India, Brazil and South Africa that had been raising concerns of developing countries in the global climate negotiations. Under the deal, both countries agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by close to a third over the next two decades. China would peak its carbon emissions no later than 2030.At present, China’s carbon emissions are 9,000 million tonnes and this is expected to grow between 18,000-20,000 MT in 2030, which is about 12-13 tonnes per capita.

Keep kerosene subsidy: CPI
Terming the move to scrap the kerosene subsidy as “a shameless attack on the poor and downtrodden,” the CPI demanded that the subsidy on the fuel remain. The Finance Ministry was planning to take forward the previous government’s policy of phasing out subsidised kerosene by withdrawing it from the public distribution system. The government may write to the States to provide subsidised kerosene only to households without electricity.

International:

International Criminal Court prosecutors drop case against Kenya's president
The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor dropped a case against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta alleging crimes against humanity, saying there was insufficient evidence to take him to trial."The Prosecution withdraws the charges against Mr Kenyatta," "the evidence has not improved to such an extent that Kenyatta's alleged criminal responsibility can be proven beyond reasonable doubt. Kenyatta, faced five charges including murder, rape and deportation for allegedly masterminding post-election violence in the east African country in 2007-08 in which more than 1,200 people died and 600,000 were displaced.

As Maldives plant burns, India rushes drinking water in planes, ships
India lost no time in dispatching drinking water to Maldives after it received a distress call from Male requesting fresh water supplies as the capital's main water treatment plant was damaged in a fire. India sent 200 tonnes of drinking water through five IAF heavy-lift aircraft and also pressed into service naval warships to supply potable water to Male. Maldives conveyed to foreign minister Sushma Swaraj through her counterpart Dunya Maumoon, the daughter of former president Abdul Gayoom, that Male was in a state of emergency as its 100,000 residents were left without drinking water after the desalination plant there stopped working.

Modi named ‘Asian of the Year’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was named ‘Asian of the Year’ by Singapore Press Holdings Limited, publisher of The Straits Times for being focused on India’s development and getting the world “excited” about the prospects of the country again.

Business & Economy:

Sikorsky bags Rs. 6,000 cr deal for naval copters
Sikorsky of the United States has been selected for supply of 16 multirole helicopters for the Indian Navy in a contract worth Rs. 6,000 crore. Commercial bids were opened and as Sikorsky’s S-70B helicopter was the sole bid left in the fray after “partial ban” on the European company Finmeccanica. A “partial ban” was imposed on Finmeccanica, the parent company of Agusta Westland after the controversy over the Rs. 3,550-crore VVIP helicopter deal, in August this year. The partial ban meant the company would not be able to take part in any future defence deals. Indian Navy, in 2008, floated a global tender for 16 multirole helicopters to operate from its warships with an option for eight more. Finmecccanica with its NH-90 and Sikrosky with S-70B were left in the evaluation which saw many claims and counter claims of deviation in the process.

PSU bank ATMs will be able to print in Hindi
ATMs installed by state-owned banks will soon have the facility for issuing the transaction receipt in Hindi. "The government has instructed public sector banks (PSBs) to install those ATM machines which can produce receipts in both Hindi and English languages. PSBs have been advised to ensure that all ATM machines have facility of doing transactions/printing in Hindi as well as in English. However, no time frame has been prescribed for installation of such ATM machines,. Most ATMs have a bilingual option on their home screens. Some machines, like those installed by ICICI Bank, offer a regional language option as well in non-Hindi speaking states.

DoT panel suggests base price for CDMA band

A Department of Telecom panel has suggested a base price of Rs.3,646 crore per Mhz for the auction of CDMA spectrum, 17 per cent higher than what the regulator TRAI has recommended. Also, the price suggested by an internal panel of DoT is almost equivalent to that of premium 900 Mhz band, which is considered more efficient than other GSM frequency bands.

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