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December 2015 Current Affairs

01 December 2015 Current Affairs
RBI keeps key rates unchanged
In its fifth bi-monthly monetary policy statement, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 1
December, 2015 kept key rates-repo and CRR unchanged. RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan
left the benchmark interest rate, the repo rate unchanged at 6.75 per cent and the CRR at 4 per
cent. RBI set to achieve its target of getting inflation down at 6 per cent by January and is
aiming to reduce the number further to 5 per cent by March 2017.

Chinas Yuan approved as Elite Reserve Currency

International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 30 November, 2015 included Chinas Yuan into its
elite reserve currency. The entry of Yuan as reserve currency takes effect from 1 October,
2016. Yuan will be a freely usable currency and will be included as a fifth currency, along
with the US Dollar, Euro, Japanese Yen amd British Pound.

Modi in eighth place in Times Person of the Year Poll

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is currently among the top 10 people in the Time magazines
Person of the Year readers choice poll. Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders
(10.5 %) continues to lead the poll, Modi with a vote share of 2.7 % was in eighth place.
While Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai (5.9 %) was in second place and Pope Francis (3.9
%) in third place.

India ranks 131 in ICT Development Index

India has been ranked 131 out of 167 nations on ICT Development Index (IDI) that measures
the level of information and communication technology access. The International
Telecommunication Union (ITU) on 30 November, 2015 released the Measuring the
Information Society Report 2015. The report captures the level of ICT developments in 167
economies worldwide and compare progress made since the year 2010. South Korea topped
the list followed by Denmark (2) and Iceland (3) respectively. India was placed at 131
position in the overall ranking. In 2010 India is at 125th rank.

02 December 2015 Current Affairs

E-India Award for Delhi Development Authority
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) was on 1 December 2015 awarded with the EIndia award for adopting technology to serve the public and using resources efficiently
through mobile applications. The award was given under the category of Digital India IT
Initiatives for extraordinary IT initiatives in the field of land protection and engineering

MoU between India and Germany for Solar Energy

The Union Cabinet on 2 November 2015 approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
with Germany to expand bilateral development cooperation in the field of Solar Energy. This
approval will help in increasing use of solar energy in India through technical as well as
financial cooperation. The MoU between the two countries was signed in October 2015.
Germany would provide concessional loans in the range of one billion Euros over the next
five years.

Goa launched National Food Security Act, 2013

Goa Government has launched the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 in the state to
benefit more than one third of the population. Around 5 lakh 11 thousand persons in the
targeted Public Distribution System (PDS) in Goa will receive 5 kgs subsidised rice or wheat
per person per month. Rice will be given at the subsidised rate of 3 rupees per kg and wheat
at the rate of 3 rupees per kg to target persons.

Chettinad Group founder MAM Ramaswamy passed away

Veteran industrialist, former parliamentarian and the founder of Chettinad Group, MAM
Ramaswamy died on 2 December, 2015 in Chennai. The Chettinad Group has diverse
interests in cement, granite, engineering among others. He was the first to enter the Guinness
Book of World Records for having won 100 Classics in Horse racing. He was the Member of
Parliament representing Karnataka in the Rajya Sabha.

03 December 2015 Current Affairs

Paris pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation
A broad coalition of nations, river basin organisations, business and civil societies from
across the globe on 3 December, 2015 announced the Paris Pact on Water and Climater
Change Adaptation. It aims to make water systems which are very foundation of sustainable
human development more resilient to climate change impacts. It also seeks at promoting
financial sustainability and new investment in water system management. The announcement
was made as part of the Water Resilience Focus event under the Lima to Paris Action
Agenda (LPAA) on climate change.

Brazil entered longest recession since 1930s

Brazils economy decreased by 1.7 % during July-September 2015. Since the 1930s it is the
countrys longest recession as Brazils third consecutive quarter of contraction started from
January 2015. In Brazil unemployment rate was freezed at 8.9 %.

Lok Sabha passed bill to establish BIS as National Standards Body

The Lok Sabha on 3 December 2015 passed the Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, 2015 to
establish the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) as a National Standards Body. The bill seeks
to establish harmonious development of standardization and assessment and quality assurance
of goods, processes and services.

Double taxation avoidance pact with Japan

In order to facilitate tax related exchange of information, the Union Cabinet approved
protocol between India and Japan for amending the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention
(DTAC). DTAC was signed between the two nations in 1989 for avoidance of double
taxation. Double taxation is a levying of tax by two or more countries on the same declared
income, asset or financial transaction. The protocol facilitates both the countries to assist each
other in revenue collection and exempting interest income from taxes in the source country.

RBI pact with UK Financial body

The Reserve Bank of India signed an agreement with UKs Prudential Regulation Authority
(PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for supervisory cooperation and exchange of
information. Two seperate memoranda of understanding were signed by RBI with PRA and
FCA. The transfer of functions from Financial Services Authority (FSA) of the UK to PRA

and FCA necessitated signing of seperate MoUs for supervising co-operation between the
Reserve Bank and the PRA and FCA.

04 December 2015 Current Affairs

Arvind Subramanian Committee suggests GST rate of 17-18 per cent
Chief Economic Advisor Dr Arvind Subramanian led Committee has recommended standard
rate for Goods and Services Tax (GST) at 17 to 18 per cent. The Committee has submitted its
report to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi. The committee recommended
standard Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates at 17-18 % and a revenue neutral rate of 1515.5 % and dropping of 1% additional tax on inter-state trade. The panel was set up by the
government to suggest a road map of rates for GST but the final decession on the precise
number would be taken by the proposed GST council.

Delhi Assembly passes Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015

The Delhi Assembly has unanimously passed the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015 for
establishment of statutory anti-corruption ombudsman. 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. anlokpal will be a three
member body with Chairperson and two members.

China announces $60 billion package to Africa

Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced a 60 billion dollars package to African nations
during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in Johannesburg, South
Africa. The package will benefit Africa in 10 major areas (sectors) such as industry,
infrastructure, agriculture, financial services, trade and investment facilitation, green
development, poverty reduction and public welfare, public health, peace and security and
people-to-people exchanges. With this package, China is seeking to expand its investments in
resource-rich Africa.

Australia passes Anti-Terrorism law

Australias Federal Parliament has passed Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to
Australia) Bill, 2015 to strip citizenship of convicted persons on terrorism charges. The new
legislation allows government to strip dual nationals of their citizenship if they are convicted
of terrorism offences. Those who are found to have fought for banned terrorist group
overseas, their citizenship will be automatically terminated. The dual nationals would lose

their citizenship if the person is convicted of a terrorism offence and sentenced to at least 6
years of imprisonment.

05 December 2015 Current Affairs

South Western Railways Zone introduces Biodiesel
The South Western Railways (SWR) Zone with headquarters in Hubli, Karnataka has
introduced biodiesel for trains, operating under its zone. SWRs first train HubballiBengaluru Janshatabdi Express powered by five per cent biodiesel blended with High Speed
Diesel was flagged off from Hubli. The main aim of the initiative is to reduce greenhouse
gases (GHGs) emission and carbon footprint and also to make fuel consumption more
efficient. SWR zone has set up Biodiesel filling centres at Hubli, Bengaluru and Hospet.

Guinness world record for Pahal

The Guinness Book of World Records certificate recognising Indias direct LPG subsidy
transfer as the worlds largest cash transfer programme was on Saturday handed over to
Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Union Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. The government
launched the `PAHAL scheme in 54 districts of the country on November 15, 2014, and in
remaining districts of the country on January, 2015. LPG consumers who join the PAHAL
scheme get LPG cylinders at market price and receive LPG subsidy directly into their bank

World Bank launches Transformative Carbon Asset Facility

The World Bank has launched a $500 million dollars Transformative Carbon Asset Facility
(TCAF) to help developing countries pay for emission reductions and combat climate change.
The scheme will reward countries for reducing emissions by paying a fee for each tonne of
carbon dioxide (CO2) reduced. Of the total 500 million dollars, Germany, Norway, Sweden
and Switzerland have jointly pledged an initial 250 million dollars investment.

06 December 2015 Current Affairs

Hockey World League Final winner Australia
Australia has won the 2014-15 Mens Hockey World League Final by defeating Belgium. In
the final match played at Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Stadium, Raipur Australian team defeated
Belgium by 2-1 goals. India was placed at third place in this league after defeating
Netherlands by 3-2 goals in the penalty shoot-out.

Indian Railways flags off first double decker

Indian Railways has flagged off the first inaugural service of the Goa to Mumbai doubledecker air-conditioned Shatabdi train. The fully air-conditioned double-decker train was the
first of its kind in the country and was flagged off from Panaji by Union Railway Minister
Suresh Prabhu. The train will run thrice a week between Margao Railway Station and the
Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) in Mumbai. It has total eight compartments with a seating
capacity of 120 in each compartment.

Singapore as top source of FDI into India

Singapore has replaced Mauritius as the top source of foreign direct investment (FDI) into
India during the first half of the current fiscal year 2015-16. India has attracted 6.69 billion
dollars FDI from Singapore while it received 3.66 billion dollars from Mauritius. Overall,
Singapore accounts for 15 per cent of the total inbound FDI received by India during April
2000 and September 2015. However, Mauritius accounted for 34 per cent of FDI during the
same period.

07 December 2015 Current Affairs

First red alert in Beijing
Chinas capital Beijing on 7th December issued the first ever red alert as the city of over 22
million people faced the worst ever smog, due to hazardous air quality caused by severe air
pollution. Beijing has upgraded its alert for air pollution from orange to red, the most serious
the most serious (highest) warning on a four-tier system of emergency air-pollution response
system was adopted in 2013. Most of the pollution is caused by the coal-fired power plants
along with vehicle emissions, heating systems and construction and factory work.

Centre-right wins Parliamentary election of Venezuela

Opposition Centre-right Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) coalition has won the 2015
Parliamentary elections of Venezuela. The MUD coalition won at least 99 seats in the 167seat legislature of the National Assembly by defeating ruling United Socialist Party of
Venezuela (PSUV) led by President Nicols Maduro. With this, the 17 years of socialist
ruling regime came to an end which was founded by former President Hugo Chavez in 1999.

India-Russia joint naval exercise INDRA NAVY-15

The eighth edition of India-Russia joint naval exercise-INDRA NAVY-15 has begun in
Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. INDRA NAVY-15 is a bilateral maritime joint naval
exercise between the Indian and Russian navies for epitomising the strategic relationship
between the two countries. The primary aim is to increase interoperability between the navies

of two countries and develop common understanding of procedures for maritime security
operations. The eight edition of exercise will be another milestone in strengthening maritime
security cooperation between the two navies.

ISIS Chief Baghdadi in Times Person of the Year list

The chief of ISIS terror group Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and Republicans US presidential
candidate Donald Trump are among the eight candidates shortlisted by the Time Magazine
for its annual Person of the Year title. In the run for the Person of the Year, Prime
Minister Narendra Modi, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and Googles Indiaborn CEO Sundar Pichai were among the initial 58 contenders but did not make it to the final
eight. The global leaders on the list include German chancellor Angela Merkel, Iran president
Hassan Rouhani and Russian president Vladimir Putin.

08 December 2015 Current Affairs

Rajya Sabha passed Negotiable Instruments Bill
Rajya Sabha on 7 December, 2015 passed the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill,
2015. The Bill provides for filing of cheque bounce cases at the place where a cheque is
presented for clearance and not the place of issue. The Bill seeks to amend the Negotiable
Instruments Act, 1881. If a complaint against a person issuing a cheque has been filed in the
court with the appropriate jurisdiction, then all subsequent complaints against that person will
be filed in the same court.

New IPL teams Pune, Rajkot

Teams from Pune and Rajkot will compete in the Indian Premier League (IPL) replacing the
suspended Chennai Superkings and Rajasthan Royals for a period of two years. The Pune
franchise was bought by New Rising, Kolkata based Sanjeev Goenka Group while the Rajkot
franchise was won by Intex Mobiles. A meeting of the IPL Governing Council finalised the
IPL-9 dates between April 9 to May 29, 2016.

Sushma Swaraj visit to Pakistan

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Pakistan on 8-9 December, 2015. She went
to Islamabad to attend the Heart of Asia 5th Ministerial Meeting on Afghanisthan held in
Islamabad on 9 December. During her visit to Pakistan, she met with Pakisthan Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif and External Affairs Minister Sartz Aziz and held bilateral talks to
improve the bilateral ties between the two nations.

Heart of Asia meet in Islamabad

Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process meeting started on 8 December to finalise the agenda for a
ministerial conference to be held on 9 December. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will jointly inaugurate the Fifth Heart of Asia-Istanbul
Process meeting on 9 December. The conference aims to cement regional ties through a set of
confidence building measures. Foreign ministers of 10 countries, including India, China,
Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Iran will attended the meeting. Indian External Affairs Minister
Sushma Swaraj reached Islamabad on 8th December to attend the meeting. Sushma Swaraj
will also meet Sharif and Aziz at the sidelines of the Heart of Asia meeting. The main
objective of the process is to foster efforts for regional cooperation and connectivity with a
view to promoting long-term peace and stability as well as progress and development in
Afghanistan and the region.

09 December 2015 Current Affairs

MoU between Ministry of MSME & Textiles
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed among Ministry of Textiles,
Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) & National Textile Corporation
(NTC) in order to set up a Technology Centre (Tool Room) at Kanpur. Under the MoU,
Ministry of MSME will fund the project, while NTC would provide the land in a closed,
unviable mill. The Management of Technology Centre will be through a Governing Council
where Development Commissioner, MSME will be Chairman and Ministry of Textiles
representative, co-chair. The Technology Centre would provide support in manufacturing of
quality tools that would improve productivity of MSMEs and also provide trained manpower
and consultancy in related areas.

NSE agreement with London Stock Exchange

Indias National Stock Exchange (NSE) has done an agreement with London Stock Exchange
Group (LSEG) to ensure close collaboration between the two bourses for setting up a
research centre. The joint research centre, is expected to launch products and services on a
range of capital market matters. It also aims to explore further collaboration between the
group companies, including indexes and debt market development, within the prevailing
regulatory frame work.

India ranks 4th in black money outflows

India has been placed at fourth position in black money outflows among the developing and
emerging economies. It was revealed by Global Financial Integritys (GFIs) Illicit Financial
Flows from Developing Countries: 2004-2013 Report. China tops the list with 139 billion

dollars average outflow of black money per annum. It was around 258.64 billion dollars in
year 2013. China was followed by Russia (104 billion dollars per annum) and Mexico (52.8
billion dollars per annum). In case of India, 51 billion dollars black money outflowed per
annum between the decade long period from 2004 to 2013.

Angela Merkel 2015 Times Person of the Year

Time magazine has named German Chancellor Angela Merkel as Person of the Year 2015.
She was named for her role in Europes crises over migration and Greek debt as she had
provided steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply. With this, Merkel
became only the 4th woman since 1927 to be named winner and the first women to feature in
29 years. Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was named runner-up and US
Presidential hopeful Donald Trump was placed.

Carolina Marin as Female Player of the Year

World number one women shuttler Carolina Marin from Spain has won the 2015 Female
Badminton Player of the Year award. She was presented with the award by the Badminton
World Federation (BWF) President Poul-Erik Hoyer in Dubai. Indias Saina Nehwal along
with Zhao Yunlei of China (2014 winner) and another Chinese Bao Yixin were in race for
this annual award in Female category. Carolina Marn is currently ranked No. 1 in the world
by Badminton World Federation Womens Singles 2015 rankings. She has won in World
Championships in womens single category two times in 2014 and 2015 respectively. She
also has won five World Superseries titles. Male Player of the Year award has won by Chen
Long (China).

10 December 2015 Current Affairs

India, Pakistan announced 10-point Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue
India and Pakistan have agreed to resume structured dialogue between them through new 10point Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue (CBD). The 10-point CBD replaces earlier 8-point
Composite Dialogue Process (CDP) structured dialogue which was also known as Resumed
Dialogue. 10-point Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue (CBD) includes Peace and security,
confidence building measures (CBMs), Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek Boundary
Dispute, Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Project, Economic and Commercial cooperation,
Counter-terrorism, Narcotics control, People-to-people exchanges, Humanitarian issues,
Religious tourism.

Worlds first dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia, approved for use in Mexico

The Mexican authorities on 9 December 2015 approved the use of the first-ever vaccine
against dengue fever, Dengvaxia which will be publicly available for the first time. The
Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) approved
Dengvaxia for the prevention of disease caused by all four dengue virus serotypes in
preadolescents, adolescents and adults, 9 to 45 years of age living in endemicareas.
According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report published in late 2014, the vaccine
had an average rate of effectiveness of about 60.8 percent in protecting against the four
strains of dengue now circulating.

NGT bans plastic along the stretch of Ganga

National Green Tribunal (NGT) put a complete ban on procurement, storage and use of
plastics along the stretch of Ganga from Uttarakhands Gomukh to Haridwar. The ban would
be in force from February 2016. The government had allocated Rs. 20,000 crores for its
Clean Ganga Mission over five years. The ban means restriction on use of plastic bottles,
including beverage bottles and plastic wrappings.

Myanmar inaugurated Yangon Stock Exchange

Myanmar on 9 December 2015 inaugurated a new stock exchange, named Yangon Stock
Exchange (YSX), with plans for six companies to start trading in March 2016. Initially, the
Yangon Stock Exchange will be open only to Myanmar companies and investors and will
eventually allow foreigners to invest in Myanmar shares. The exchange was set up by local
companies in a joint venture with Daiwa Institute of Research Japan and Japan Exchange
Group, which operates the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

11 December 2015 Current Affairs

India, Japan sign protocol to amend double taxation avoidance pact
India and Japan have signed an agreement to amend the convention for double taxation
avoidance and prevention of evasion of income tax for effective exchange of information in
tax matters including bank accounts. The existing convention was signed way back in 1989.
The protocol provides for internationally accepted standards for effective exchange of
information on tax matters including bank information and information without domestic tax

Pakistans Shaheen-III Ballistic Missile test fired successfully

Pakistan has successfully test-fired nuclear-capable medium-range Shaheen-III surface-tosurface ballistic missile which can carry nuclear warheads up to 2,750 kms bringing many
Indian cities within its range. The test flight of the missile was aimed at validating various

design and technical parameters of the weapon system. The impact point of the missile test
was in the Arabian Sea, it successfully validated all desired parameters. It is a land-based
surface-to-surface medium range ballistic missile. Shaheen-III was successfully test fired for
the first time by military service on 9 March 2015.

India slaps import duty on stainless steel

The Government of India on December 11 imposed anti-dumping duty of up to 57.39 per
cent on import of certain stainless steel products form China, Korea, the US and EU for five
years to save the domestic industry from cheap shipments. The duty in the range of 5.39 to
57.39 per cent of the landed value of cold-rolled Flat products of stainless steel has imposed
on the recommendation of Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD).
The anti-dumping duty will be 57.39 per cent on the imports from China, 5.39 to 13.44 per
cent from South Korea, 15.93 per cent from Chinese Taipei, 9.47 per cent from the US, 29.47
to 52.56 per cent from the European Union, 4.58 -5.39 per cent from Thailand and 12.34 to
36.91 per cent from South Africa.

Naseeruddin Shah awarded lifetime achievement at 12th DIFF

Veteran Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah was honoured with the lifetime achievement
award at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF). Along with Naseeruddin Shah French
actress Catherine Deneuve, Egyptian actor Ezzat Al Alayli and French-Tunisian actor Sami
Bouajila also won the lifetime achievement award. The Dubai International Film Festival
(DIFF) is an annual film festival held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The film festival was
started in year 2004.

Indian cyclist became World No. 4 Cyclist

Indian cyclist Deborah Herold on 11 December 2015 became the first Indian female cyclist to
be ranked fourth in the World Elite Women Ranking for the 500m time trial event. The
ranking was issued by cycling world body International Cycling Union (UCI). India is the
highest ranking Asian country in 500m time trial. China fetched the 15th spot in the ranking.
Deborah is a tribal girl from Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In October 2015, Deborah
became the first ever Indian to win five medals at the Taiwan Cup Track International
Classic, including a gold, three silver and a bronze. In November 2014, the Indian cyclist had
won four gold medals at the Track Asia Cup Cycling Championship 2014.

12 December 2015 Current Affairs

India, Japan sign MoUs on civil nuclear energy, high speed rail

India and Japan have signed an MoU on cooperation and assistance in the Mumbai
Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project, Bullet Train project. The two countries have also
entered into two comprehensive technological cooperation agreements for modernization and
upgradation of Indian Railways.The MoU was signed in presence of Prime Minister Narendra
Modi and visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in New Delhi. Japan has offered an
assistance of over Rs.79,000 crore for the project. The loan is for a period of 50 years with a
moratorium of 15 years, at an interest rate of 0.1 per cent. The project is a 508 Kilometer
railway line costing a total of Rs. 97,636 crore, to be implemented in a period of seven years.
India and Japan also signed a pact on civilian nuclear cooperation after five years of
negotiations. Under the pact both sides have confirmed cooperation in the peaceful uses of
nuclear energy.

Dilip Kumar conferred with Padma Vibhushan

Legendary actor Dilip Kumar (93) has been conferred with the prestigious Padma Vibhushan,
countrys second highest civilian award. It was bestowed upon him by Union Home Minister
Rajnath Singh and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at his residence in
Mumbai, Maharashtra. Union Government had selected veteran actor for the Padma
Vibhushan on the eve of 66th Republic Day. He is famously known as Tragedy King. He also
won the Padma Bhushan (1991), Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1994), Pakistans highest civilian
award Nishan-e-Imtiaz (1998) and Guinness World Record for winning the maximum
number of awards by an Indian actor.

Ahmad Javed appointed as Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Mumbai Police commissioner Ahmad Javed has been appointed Ambassador to Saudi
Arabia, which has a 2.8 million-strong Indian community. He is expected to take up his
assignment shortly as Javed is scheduled to retire on January 31, 2016. Ahmad Javed is the
IPS officer of 1980 batch from Maharashtra Cadre. He had recently replaced Rakesh Maria as
the Mumbai Police commissioner.

UNFCCC adopted Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Conference of the Parties 21 (COP 21) under the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC) on 12 December 2015 adopted the Paris Agreement on Climate
Change which was attended by 192 parties. India was represented by Union Minister for
Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar. The primary objective of the
protocol is to limit the global average temperature to well below 2 C above pre-industrial
levels. Efforts will be made to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 C above pre-industrial
levels so that it will be possible to reduce the risks and impacts of climate change. Developed
countries will raise finances to the tune of 100 billion US dollars per year as the floor by
2020, to help developing nations in both mitigation and adaptation activities. And, other
nations are encouraged to provide funding voluntarily. The Conference of the Parties serving

as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement shall undertake its first global stock take
in 2023 and every five years thereafter.

13 December 2015 Current Affairs

Construction work TAPI gas pipeline project begins
1800-kilometre-long Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project
was held at the ancient city of Mary of Turkmenistan. The function was attended by
Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani,
Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif and Indian Vice President Mohd Hamid Ansari. TAPI
gas pipeline project is a proposed trans-country natural gas pipeline from Caspian Sea,
Turkmenistan to India through Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Prakash Kumar Singh is new SAIL chairman

Prakash Kumar Singh has been appointed as the new chairman of the Steel Authority of India
(SAIL). P K Singh was chosen to become the chairman of the countrys largest steelmaker in
the public sector by government head-hunter Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB). 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.

Varanasi and Jaipur designated as members of UNESCOs Creative Cities Network

Two Indian cities for first time have been designated as members of UNESCOs Creative
Cities Network (UCCN). Two cities are Varanasi City (Uttar Pradesh) has been added in the
City of Music category of network and Jaipur City (Rajasthan) has been added in the City of
Crafts and Folk Art category of network. They are among the 47 cities from 33 countries that
have been designated as new members of UNESCO Creative Cities Network. UNESCO
Creative Cities Network covers seven creative fields including Crafts and Folk Arts, Film,
Media Arts, Gastronomy, Design, Literature and Music.

Losar, Tibetan Buddhist Festival, began in Ladakh region

Losar, the biggest Tibetan Buddhist Festival began on 12 December 2015 in Ladakh region
of Jammu and Kashmir. The festival marks the beginning of New Year for Buddhists. The
annual festival is celebrated by people of the area with traditional and religion fervor. The
festival begins with illumination of religious and residential places. Buddhists of Ladakh
celebrate Losar as their new year. During this, people of Ladakh specially remember
ancestors of their family. On this day, people visit graveyards of their family members and
pray for peace of the departed soul.

14 December 2015 Current Affairs

Lok Sabha passed Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill, 2015
The Lok Sabha on 14 December 2015 passed the landmark Atomic Energy (Amendment)
Bill, 2015. The bill seeks to overcome difficulties encountered in the setting up of new
nuclear projects and enhancement of nuclear power generation. The Bill seeks to amend the
Atomic Energy Act, 1962. The Act empowers the central government to produce, develop,
control, and use atomic energy. Under this act license will only be granted to entities such as
a government company or a department of union government.

United Nations Human Development Report 2015

The United Nations Human Development Report 2015 was released on 14 December 2015
with the title Work for Human Development in Ethiopia. As per the report, 2 billion people
lifted out of low human development in last 25 years. In the 2015 report, India with a score of
0.609 has been ranked 130 out of 188 countries in terms of Human Development Index
(HDI). In the 2014 report, India was ranked 135 out of 187 countries. With better health and
education outcomes and reductions in extreme poverty, 2 billion people have moved out of
low human development levels in the last 25 years. 830 million people are classified as
working poor who live on under 2 US dollars a day. The report stresses the key roles that
work can play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). It estimates that
around 45 million additional health workers will be needed to meet SDG.

L Narasimha Reddy Judicial Committee on OROP

The Union Government on 14 December 2015 appointed Justice L Narasimha Reddy, retired
Chief Justice of Patna High Court, to head the Judicial Committee which will look into the
implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for the ex-servicemen. The
Committee will submit its recommendations in six months. It may give interim reports to the
Government on any of the matters related to its terms of reference. The committee will look
on measures for the removal of anomalies that may arise in the implementation of the OROP
as notified by the Government on 7 November 2015, any other matter referred by the Union
Government on implementation of the OROP or related issues. In making its
recommendations, the Committee shall take into account the financial impact of its

Gambia declares itself an Islamic republic

Republic of the Gambia a West African country has been declared as the Islamic republic by
its President Yahya Jammeh. The decision was taken as Islam is the religion of the majority
of its citizens and to break the impac of nations colonial past. About 90 percent of Gambias
1.8 million people are Muslim. It is the smallest country on mainland Africa. Banjul is the

capital of Gambia. On 18 February 1965, the Gambia gained independence from the United
Kingdom. The Gambias economy is dominated by farming, fishing, and especially tourism.
About a third of the population lives below the international poverty line of USD 1.25 a day.

15 December 2015 Current Affairs

Combined Commanders Conference on INS Vikramaditya
Combined Commanders Conference, an annual tri-services event chaired by Prime Minister
Narendra Modi was held on board INS Vikramaditya about 50 kms off Kochi coast. This is
the first time when the conference was held outside New Delhi. It was attended by Union
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, all three
services chiefs and other senior officers of three armed services. The Conference is also
known as the Unified Commanders Conference (UCC). During this conference Indias
defence policy, doctrine and operational challenges are discussed in detail. Prime minister
also reviewed exercise like firing of surface-to-surface missile by INS Nirghat during this
conference. Prior to conference PM revived the tri-services guard of honour at Southern
Naval Command.

34-nation Islamic Military Coalition to counter terrorism

Saudi Arabia on 15 December 2015 announced the launch of Islamic Military Coalition to
counter terrorism. The coalition will be led by Saudi Arabia and see the participation of 34
nations. It will have a joint operations center based in Saudi Arabias capital, Riyadh. The
coalition includes nations with large and established armies such as Pakistan, Turkey and
Egypt as well as war-torn countries such as Libya and Yemen. More than ten other Islamic
countries have expressed their support for this alliance and will take the necessary measures
in this regard, including Indonesia.

Apurvi Chandela won Gold at 59th National Shooting Championship

Rajasthans Apurvi Chandela on 15 December 2015 won a Gold medal in the 10-metre Air
Rifle event on the final day of the 59th National Shooting Championship in Delhi. While
Geetakshi claimed the silver, Anjum had to settle for a Bronze. Army man Chain Singh won
the Gold in the 50-metre Rifle 3 Positions event at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range.

Arun Kumar Jain appointed Central Board of Direct Taxes Chairman

Senior revenue service officer Arun Kumar Jain on 15 December 2015 was appointed
Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). Jain will have short tenure of two
months, till January 2016. Arun Kumar Jain is a 1978 batch Indian Revenue Services officer.

He was made acting Chairman of the board following superannuation of Anita Kapur on 30
November 2015.

16 December 2015 Current Affairs

ISRO successfully launched PSLV-C29
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully placed six commercial satellites
from Singapore in their dedicated orbits. These satellites were launched using Polar Satellite
Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C29) from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre in
Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. This successful launch coincides with the 50th anniversary of
the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Singapore in year 2015. The
major payload was TeLEOS-One remote sensing satellite weighing 400 kg. It would be used
for urban planning and disaster monitoring of Singapore. The other five satellites included
two micro satellites and one nano satellite. These satellites are VELOX-CI (123 kg),
VELOX-II (13 kg) 6U-Cubesat technology demonstrator, Athenoxat-1, Kent Ridge-1 (78 kg)
and Galassia (3.4 kg) 2U-Cubesat.

Pakistan successfully tests Shaheen-IA ballistic missile

Pakistan has successfully tested its nuclear-capable Shaheen-IA ballistic missile with a range
of 900 km. This was Pakistans second test of a nuclear-capable missile in December 2015.
On December 11, Pakistan tested the Shaheen-III surface-to-surface ballistic missile with a
range of 2,750 km. The test of the Shaheen-IA was aimed at re-validating several design and
technical parameters of the weapon system . Shaheen-IA ballistic missile (In English means
Falcon) is a land-based supersonic and short-to-intermediate range surface-to-surface guided
ballistic missile. It is an improved version of the Shaheen 1 with better accuracy and double
the range of its predecessor. The missille has been designed and developed by the joint
venture of NESCOM and the National Defence Complex (NDC).

World bank loan for swach bharat abhiyan

The World Bank has approved a loan of 1.5 billion dollars to support the Central
governments flagship cleanliness drive Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). The loan disbursed
over a five year period will be used for the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Support Operation
Project. Funds will also be used to develop the capacity of MDWS in programme
management, advocacy, monitoring and evaluation. The World Bank will also provide a
parallel 25 million dollars technical assistance to build the capacity of select state
governments in implementing community led behavioural change programmes targeting
social norms to help ensure wide spread usage of toilets by rural households.

Justice Virendra Singh as UP Lokayukta

Supreme Court has appointed Justice (Retd) Virendra Singh as new Lokayukta of Uttar
Pradesh. This appointment is rare display of Supreme Courts extraordinary powers under
Article 142 of the Constitution to enforce its own orders in order to do complete justice, the
Supreme Court for the first time in its history has appointed a Lokayukta after state
machinery failed to appoint it.

17 December 2015 Current Affairs

India ranks 97th in Forbes list of best countries for business
India has been ranked a low 97th out of 144 nations, on Forbes annual list of the best
countries for doing business in 2015. Denmark topped the list. The US has dropped four spots
to number 22, United Kingdom on number 10 and Japan on number 23 positions. Other
countries in the list include Germany (18), China (94), Russia (81), Sri Lanka (91), Pakistan
(103) and Bangladesh (121).

US Federal Reserve increased interest rates

The Federal Reserve System, the Central Banking System of the USA, on 16 December,
2015 increased interest rate by 0.25 percent. With this, the interest rates in the US are now in
the range of 0.25-0.50 per cent as compared to zero to 0.25 per cent rage earlier. This is the
first rate increase since 2006. The present hike in interest rate might affect the capital flows
into developing economies like China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea etc.

2015 Sahitya Akademi Awards

Sahitya Academy has announced the names of 23 poets and authors who will be conferred
the prestigious 2015 Sahitya Akademi Award. This award has recognised premier works in
23 Indian languages that includes 6 books of short stories, 6 of poetry, 4 novels, 2 books each
of essays, criticism and plays and 1 memoir. The famous feminist writer Olga won the 2015
Sahitya Academy Award for her book on short stories, Vimukta in Telugu. Playwright and
novelist Cyrus Mistrys English novel Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer and KR Meeras
Aarachar in Malayalam are among the works that have won the prestigious Sahitya Academi
Award for 2015. The award in Bengali is to be announced later. Bhasha Samman award is
announced to writer and scholar Shrikant Bahulkar in recognition of his contribution to
classical and medieval literature.

The Bose Brothers and Indian Independence book released

Book titled The Bose Brothers and Indian Independence An Insiders Account was
released in month of November. Author of this book is Madhuri bose who is grand niece of
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. This book is based on role of the Bose Brothers in the Indian
freedom struggle ie. Sarat and Subash Chandra Bose. It reveals their interactions with
contemporary leaders like Chittaranjan Das, Jinnah, Motilal and Jawaharlal Nehru,
Vallabhbhai Patel and Mahatma Gandhi.

18 December 2015 Current Affairs

Sainthood to Mother Theresa
Mother Theresa, the Nobel Laureate of Kolkata, to be made a saint of a Roman Catholic
Church. Pope Francis has recognized her second miracle and the mother will be given
sainthood. Canonization will be held in the first week of September, 2016 as a part of the
Popes Jubilee year of mercy. Mother Theresa was the founder of The Missionaries of
Charity dedicated her life to serve the poor, the orphaned and the sick on the streets of
Kolkata around 45 years. In 1979 she received the Nobel Peace Prize for her humanitarian
work. She also received Bharat Ratnam Order of the Smilem Padmashree, Ramon Magsaysay
award etc. In 2003, Mother was beatified which is the first step towards sainthood.

Government lowers Economic Growth Projection

The Government of India has lowered its economic growth forecast for 2015-16 to 7-7.5 per
cent from 8.1-8.5 per cent. The finance ministry said it will be able to stick to fiscal deficit
target of 3.9 per cent for the current year. The government, in its Economic Survey in
February, had projected a growth rate of 8.1-8.5 per cent for 2015-16, but has now lowered it
to 7-7.5 per cent, mainly on account of deficit rainfall and slowdown in exports because of
global factors.

Uttar Pradesh bans use of polythene bags

Uttar Pradesh government has decided to enforce the ban on the use of polythene across the
state to protect the environment and public health. The ban prohibits manufacturing,
importing, purchasing and storage of all kinds of plastic carry bags in state. However, the ban
will not be applicable on carry bags used for packaging purposes. State Government is also
looking at alternative material that can be distributed to the people.

R K Mathur appointed as CIC

Former Defence Secretary Radha Krishna Mathur has been appointed as Chief Information
Commissioner (CIC). He will have tenure of about three years (2017) till he attain the age of
65. He succeeds Vijai Sharma as he has retired after completion of his tenure. R K Mathur is
a retired IAS officer of Tripura cadre. He had served as Defence Secretary for two years. He

also had served as Secretary Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
(MSME) and Defence Production and Supplies.

19 December 2015 Current Affairs

Indias biggest wildlife rescue centre in Nagpur
Indias biggest Wildlife Rescue Centre named as Gorewada Zoo and Wildlife Rescue Centre
has been commissioned at Gorewada near Nagpur, Maharashtra. The centre was inaugurated
by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in presence of State Forest Minister
Sudhir Mungantiwa. Gorewada Zoo and Wildlife Rescue Center is managed by the Forest
Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM).Nagpur based Maharashtra Animal and
Fisheries (MAF) University is also part of this centre. It has cages for herbivorous animals
and would house Deer, Sambars and Nilgais. It also has two enclosures to house 10 Tigers at
a time and also separate enclosure for Panthers. It also has separated enclosure for housing
Pythons including Cobra, Rat Snakes and vipers. The centre also has enclosures for housing
10 small mammals like Wolf, wild Dogs, Jackal.

Bengal to get six new districts

West Bengal Government has approved proposal for formation of five new districts in the
state. With this the total number of districts of Bengal will increase to 25.Decision in this
regard was taken by state Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in
Kolkata. Five new districts are Kalimpong district, Sundarbans district, Basirhat district,
Burdwan (Industrial) district and Jhargram district. These new districts will take six months
to one years time to come into existence after State administration gets formal permission
from court and create the basic infrastructure.

20 December 2015 Current Affairs

The United States lifted ban on export of crude oil
US administration lifted the ban on the export of US crude oil after 40 years. This ban was
made in 1970s. The ban was lifted as President Barack Obama signed into law the 1.8 trillion
dollars spending package and tax bill for the current fiscal ending on 30 September 2016.
Crude exports will result in job creation, economic growth, new revenues and prosperity. In
the 1970s America banned crude-oil exports in an effort to stabilize domestic prices.

2015 Indian Super League (ISL) won by Chennaiyin FC

Chennaiyin FC has won the second edition of Indian Super League (ISL) Football
tournament. In the final played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa, they defeated hosts
Goa FC by 3-2 goals score. The ISL football league was launched in 2013 to promote
football in India on the lines of Indian Premier League and Twenty20 formats of Cricket.

Barcelona FC wins FIFA Club World Cup

Barcelona FC has won the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup for a record third time. In the final
match played at International Stadium Yokoham in Japan the winning team defeated River
Plate FC by 3-0 goals. The FIFA Club World Cup is an international mens association
football competition organised by the Fdration Internationale de Football Association
(FIFA). It was established in 2000 and formerly was known as the FIFA Club World

Miss World 2015 from Spain

Miss World 2015 title was lifted by Mireia Lalaguna Royo from Spain. Mireia Lalaguna
Royo is model from Barcelona and is 23 years old. This event was organised in Sanya, China.
Second place was secured by Miss Russia Sofia Nikitchuk while third place was secured by
Miss Indonesia Maria Harfanti.

21 December 2015 Current Affairs

Parliament passes SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2015
Parliament has passed The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities)
Amendment Bill, 2015. The bill was first passed in Lok Sabha in August 2015 and later in
Rajya Sabha in December 2015. Now it will go for presidential assent. It aims to prohibit the
commission of offences against members of the SCs and STs and adds provisions for
establishing special courts for the trial cases of such offences and the rehabilitation of

Parthasarathi as MD of Lakshmi Vilas Bank

Lakshmi Vilas Bank has appointed Parthasarathi Mukherjee as the new Managing Director
(MD) and CEO. He will serve for three years as MD and CEO. The post was lying vacant
after Rakesh Sharma stepped down as MD to Canara Bank. Mukherjee was earlier worked
for the State Bank of India for nearly 12 years. Mukherjee was earlier with Axis Bank as
group executive. He was with the bank for nearly 21 years.

Miss Philippines crowned Miss Universe-2015

Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach was on 20 December, 2015 crowned Miss Universe
2015 at the final of 64th edition of Miss Universe held in Las Vegas, the USA. She was
crowned by Miss Universe 2014 winner Paulina Vega of Columbia. Urvashi Rautela who
represented India in the contest couldnt make it top 15 semi-finals round.

Andy Murray won 2015 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award
Andy Murray of the UK on 20 December 2015 received the 2015 BBC Sports Personality of
the Year award in London. The Scottish tennis-player was presented the award by Irish
boxing legend Barry McGuigan. In November, he led Great Britains tennis team to a first
Davis Cup victory after a gap of 79 years. He reached the final of the Australian Open and
the semi-finals of both Wimbledon and the French Open.