Current Affairs 2019 | Daily GK Updates : 12 & 13 December 2019 Daily Current Affairs 2019:
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National (Current Affairs)
♦Mumbai-Nagpur expressway to be named after Bal Thackeray
- The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government on 11th December decided to name the upcoming Nagpur-Mumbai Super Communication Expressway (NMSCE) after the Shiv Sena founder-patriarch late Balasaheb Thackeray.
- The decision was taken at the cabinet meeting, presided over by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, on a proposal by Minister Eknath Shinde for the christening of the ₹55,335-crore mega project, also known as Nagpur-Mumbai Samruddhi Mahamarg.
♦MP govt to host Orchha festival in March, 2020
- “Namaste Orchha” festival marking the cultural landscape of Madhya Pradesh will be held in the ancient town in March next year.
- The three-day festival will be organised by the state government from March 6 to March 8 in Orchha, which won the award for the best heritage city for 2017-18.
- Orchha, a town in Bundelkhand region, is famous for its Ram Raja temple besides numerous monuments and royal palaces.
Note: About Madhya Pradesh
- Governor: Lalji Tandon
- Capital: Bhopal
- Chief minister: Kamal Nath
♦Angela Merkel tops Forbes most-powerful women list, again; FM Nirmala Sitharaman stands at 34th spot
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel has topped Forbes’ list of world’s most-powerful women for the ninth year running. The publication, which annually compiles a list of influential women leaders from around the world in politics, business and entertainment.
- Merkel was Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank. Lagarde, who earlier served as MD of the International Monetary Fund, rose to the second spot in the list after standing at number 22 last year on the same list.
- Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, too, found a spot on Forbes’ list. She stood at number 34, ranking ahead of Queen Elizabeth II, who is at number 40, and Ivanka Trump, who stood at number 42.
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International (Current Affairs)
♦Bougainville To Become World’s Newest Nation
- The South Pacific archipelago of Bougainville on 11th December overwhelmingly voted to become independent of Papua New Guinea, becoming the world’s latest territory to seek secession.
- Buka town on Buka island is the capital of the region, and houses the government headquarters.
- Around 300,000 people live in the territory, mostly in villages outside Buka and the two other main towns of Arawa and Buin, both on Bougainville island. A 2011 census recorded the population as 249,358.
♦Greta Thunberg named Time Person of the Year for 2019
- Greta Thunberg, the Swedish schoolgirl who inspired a global movement to fight climate change, has been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019.
- The 16-year-old is the youngest person to be chosen by the magazine in a tradition that started in 1927.
Banking and Financial
♦Moody’s cuts India’s GDP growth forecast to 5.6% for 2019
- Moody’s Investors Service on 13th December said it has lowered its 2019 GDP growth forecast for India to 5.6 per cent as slow employment growth weighs on consumption.
- It expects economic growth to pick up in 2020 and 2021 to 6.6 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively, but sees the pace of growth remaining lower than past.
- “We have lowered our 2019 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for India to 5.6 per cent, which is lower than 7.4 per cent growth in 2018.
♦T.V. Somanathan appointed Expenditure Secretary, Ravi Mittal is Information and Broadcasting Secretary
- Senior IAS officer T V Somanathan was on 13th December appointed Expenditure Secretary, the post lying vacant since October, as part of a top-level bureaucratic reshuffle effected by the Centre.
- Ravi Mittal has been named Information and Broadcasting Secretary in place of Amit Khare.
♦Sushil Modi replaces Sitharaman as head of GoM on IGST settlement
- Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi will be the convener of a Group of Ministers on Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) replacing Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
- Sitharaman was inadvertently mentioned as the convenor of the panel set up to discuss issues relating to IGST after she had a meeting with Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan finance ministers and deputy chief ministers of Delhi and Puducherry on December 4.
♦Shrikant Madhav Vaidya to be next Indian Oil Corporation Chief
- The Public Enterprise Selection Board has shortlisted Shrikant Madhav Vaidya to be the next Chairman of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd.
- Vaidya is presently the Director (Finance) at Indian Oil. He is slated to take over from Sanjiv Singh, who retires in June 2020.
- Also in the fray for this post were Sandeep Kumar Gupta, presently Director (Finance), Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra, the current Director for Human Resources and SSV Ramakumar, the Director for Research Development at Indian Oil. Executive Director Rahul Bhardwaj was also interviewed for this post.
♦Rani Rampal, Saurabh Chaudhary Win Top Honours at FICCI India Sports Awards
- Indian women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal and ace pistol shooter Saurabh Chaudhary won the Sports Person of the Year awards at the FICCI India Sports Awards 2019 on 11th December.
- Rani played a crucial role in India’s qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, scoring the winning goal in the two-legged qualifier against the US in November.
- Saurabh, on the other hand, is touted as India’s biggest hope for a medal in shooting in Tokyo. He won gold at the 2018 Asian Games and has since won a number of individual and team honours at shooting World Cups.
Note: About FICCI
- Headquarters location: New Delhi
- Founded: 1927
♦Gurgaon-based Space startup with AI solution to stubble burning wins ‘Space Oscar’
- A Gurgaon-based startup working in utilizing satellite data to solve environmental problems has won an international prize for its AI (artificial intelligence)- based tool to measure and monitor farm fires and stubble burning across India.
- The application developed by Gurgaon-based startup, Blue Sky Analytics, is an AI-enabled platform that uses satellite data for improved monitoring, supply chain and pricing analysis as well as allocation of crop waste for use in other industries as raw material.
♦Priyanka Chopra honoured at Marrakech Film Festival for 20 years in cinema
- A day after receiving the Danny Kaye Humanitarian Award at the UNICEF Snowflake Ball, Priyanka Chopra Jonas was awarded at Festival International Du Film De Marrakech in Morocco. The actress and producer took to social media to express her gratitude after receiving the award.
- Hollywood actor Robert Redford was also honoured at the event. Moroccan actress Mouna Fettou and Let Joy Reign Supreme’s filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier were among other people who were honoured at the festival. Hollywood actress Tilda Swinton and The Mentalist’s Simon Baker marked their presence at the festival.
♦12 December: International Universal Health Coverage 2019
- Every year, December 12 is celebrated as the International Universal Health Coverage Day. It is a United Nations’ recognized international day, which is observed with an aim to provide access to quality and affordable health care to every person across the globe.
Theme 2019: ‘Keep The Promise’.
♦12 December: International Day of Neutrality
- International Day of Neutrality is observed on 12 December. The day aimed to promote the use of preventive diplomacy, which is the core objective of the UN. The UN conducts aimed to enhance public awareness of the value of neutrality in international relations.
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