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Current Affairs: December 2019

  1. Particles, directed by Blaise Harrison won the Golden Peacock Award at the 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa.
  2. ‘Surya Kiran XIV’ between the Indian Army and Nepal Army held.
  3. 13th South Asian Games have formally begun in Kathmandu.
  4. NASA satellite orbiting the Moon has found India’s Chandrayaan-2 Vikram lander which crashed on the lunar surface in September.
  5. The NATO 2019 summit took place in Watford, UK.
  6. The Joint tri service exercise between India and Russia, INDRA 2019 held.
  7. Santhali language made its debut in Rajya Sabha when Sarojni Hembram of the Biju Janata Dal used it to raise a matter of urgent public importance during the Zero Hour.
  8. Indian Government introduced the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Parliament. The Bill proposes to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955. The Bill seeks to grant citizenship to undocumented non-Muslims (Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Parsi, Jain and Sikh) from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who came to India on or before December 31, 2014. Purpose of the Bill is to enable acquisition of Indian citizenship by persons who were forced to seek shelter in India due to persecution on grounds of religion. The Bill shall not apply to: Tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura as included in the sixth schedule of the Constitution.
  9. Malaysia has reported the first case of Polio in 27 years.
  10. Sanna Marin has been elected as the Prime Minister of Finland. She became the world’s youngest Prime Minister ever.
  11. India climbed one spot to 129 among 189 countries in the 2019 Human Development Index (HDI), according to a report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  12. India has ranked 9th in the high category of 2019 Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) presented on 10 December at the COP25 climate summit in Madrid, Spain.
  13. George Laurer, the US engineer who helped develop the barcode, has passed away at the age of 94.
  14. Poland left 2050 Climate Neutrality Agreement of European Union as the Union demanded for more funds to support nuclear power and for economic transition.
  15. The news magazine Time has named the teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg in 2019 Person of the Year.
  16. Pakistan opener Abid Ali has become the only male player in cricket history to score a hundred on both his ODI and Test debuts.
  17. Thailand’s famous 2000-year-old massage, Nuad Thai was added to UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) prestigious heritage list.
  18. Apple, Microsoft and Google’s parent Alphabet are among the tech giants who were named in a case that is currently looking into the death of child labourers in cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Democratic Republic of Congo is the largest producer of Cobalt, a rare metal and a vital raw material for batteries used in mobile phones and electric vehicles.
  19. Pakistan was recently criticised for providing special permits for the royal family of Qatar to hunt vulnerable species Houbara Bustards.
  20. The judiciary of Pakistan recently handed the death sentence to Pervez Musharraf.
  21. India, Japan and the US are part of the trilateral naval exercise Malabar.
  22. The state government of Andhra Pradesh is in talks to develop 3 decentralised capitals instead of one. The state is in talks to develop Amaravati as the legislative capital, Visakhapatnam as the executive capital and Kurnool as the judicial capital.
  23. The Kuril Islands is a disputed territory between Japan and Russia.
  24. The applicability of ‘pontifical secrecy’ to sexual abuse of minors was abolished by the current pope, Pope Francis.
  25. The highest court of Netherlands had recently held that the government must cut greenhouse gas emission by 25% by the end of next year.
  26. The Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKA) was passed recently by USA.
  27. Manuel Marrero Cruz is appointed as the Prime Minister of Cuba. The country had appointed its first Prime Minister after more than 4 decades. The last PM of the country was Fidel Castro after whom the office was abolished in 1976.
  28. DNA Analysis Centre in Chandigarh, which was recently inaugurated, was set up under the Nirbhaya Fund Scheme.
  29. In Iran, schools were closed for a week due to severe air pollution. Tehran was engulfed in thick toxic smog and the situation was worsened due to the thermal inversion, a phenomenon that occurs when a layer of warm air settles over a layer of cooler air that lies near the ground. The warm air holds down the cool air and prevents the pollutants from dispersing.
  30. Iran has recently unveiled the redevelopment of part of its Arak Heavy Water Reactor. Iran, as per the 2015 nuclear deal, had agreed to shut down the reactor at Arak, southwest of Tehran.
  31. The Government is going to name the strategic tunnel under the Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh after the former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The decision to construct this tunnel was taken during Vajpayee’s tenure. The 8.8 km tunnel will be world’s longest above an altitude of 3,000 meters and it reduces the distance between Leh and Manali.
  32. India’s first university for transgender community will be established in Fazilnagar block of Kushinagar district in Uttar Pradesh.
  33. Northern parts of Gujarat is currently being invaded by swarms of locust leading to a significant damage to the crops.
  34. Amazon is set to launch over 3,000 satellites into space as part of the Project Kuiper.
  35. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is the longest serving president in the world. He is the president of Equatorial Guinea. He came to power in 1979. The IMF had recently asked Mbasogo to provide information about his assets to avail financial aid as the country’s economy has shrunk by almost a third.
  36. Russia had drafted the recent UNGA-approved draft for international treaty to combat cyber-crime.
  37. Him Darshan Express that was recently launched connects Kalka – Shimla.
  38. Amitabh Bachchan to be honoured with Dada Saheb Phalke Award 2019.
  39. The state government of Jharkhand recently decided to withdraw all cases registered during the Pathalgadi Movement.
  40. Supreme Court has appointed a 3-member inquiry commission to be headed by former apex court judge V S Sirpurkar to inquire into the encounter killing of the four accused involved in the Hyderabad (Telangana) gang-rape and murder case of a veterinarian, Priyanka Reddy.
  41. The Andhra Pradesh state Cabinet has approved the A.P. Disha Bill, 2019 that makes it mandatory to settle cases of atrocities against women in 21 days and punishment including a death penalty for the offences of rape and gang-rape.
  42. Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi expressway to be named after late Bal Thackeray.
  43. ‘Oxygen Parlour’ has been opened at Nashik Railway Station.
  44. The Ministry of Railways has gave its approval of Rs 56,443 crore for 532 km Thiruvananthapuram – Kasaragod, Kerala semi-high speed rail (SHSR) corridor project, named ‘Silver Line’ which is to be completed by 2024.
  45. The Ministry of Railway has accorded Organised Group ‘A’ status (OGAS) to Railway Protection Force (RPF) and also renamed RPF as Indian Railway Protection Service (IRPS).
  46. Prime Minister launched Rs 6000 crores Atal Bhujal Yojana (ATAL JAL), a central sector scheme in New Delhi which will be implemented for a 5-year period (2020-21 till 2024-2025).
  47. Saudi Arabia became the first country in the Arab world to head G20 (Group of 20)
  48. Bougainville: World’s newest nation after voted for independence from Papua New Guinea.
  49. Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson won the United Kingdom (UK) general election after his Conservative Party crossed the required majority.
  50. Afghanistan becomes the 1st nation to recognize Indian Pharmacopoeia.
  51. The United States (US) President Donald Trump has officially launched ‘US space force (USSF)’, the 1st new US military service in more than 70 years focusing on warfare in space.
  52. 8 West African Nations agreed to rename their common currency known as ‘CFA Franc’ to ‘Eco’ to severe the CFA franc’s links to former colonial ruler France.
  53. Russia, the only nation in the world owns hypersonic weapon Zircon missiles: Prez Putin
  54. Netherlands has officially announced to drop the nickname ‘Holland’ from January 2020.
  55. RBI has decided to conduct simultaneous sale and purchase of government bonds under the Open Market Operations (OMO) mechanism, a concept similar to ‘Operation Twist’ that was last adopted by the US (United States) Federal Reserve in 2013.
  56. RBI has appointed Jammu & Kashmir Bank (J&K Bank) as the UTLBC (Union Territory Lead Bank Convenor) of the newly formed Union Territory (UT) of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). Similarly, the State Bank of India (SBI) will be the lead banking convenor of the UT Ladakh.
  57. Indian foreign exchange (forex) reserve for the first time crossed $450-billion mark.
  58. FASTags which are based on RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) technology has been made mandatory on national highways (NH) across the country from December 15, 2019, onwards.
  59. SBI to bring new OTP-based cash withdrawal system for above Rs 10,000 from January 1, 2020.
  60. Edelweiss Asset Management Company launches India’s 1st corporate bond called ‘Bharat Bond ETF’.
  61. Arnab Goswami appointed as president of governing board of News Broadcasters Federation (NBF).
  62. Indian ambassador to the United States, Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla has been appointed as the next Foreign Secretary.
  63. Hemant Soren became the 11th Chief Minister of Jharkhand.
  64. Bipin Rawat became India’s 1st Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
  65. Sundar Pichai, Current CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Google has been made the CEO of Alphabet, the parent organization of Google, followed by the resignation of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, CEO and President of Alphabet and the founders of Google.
  66. Suniel Shetty, Bollywood actor, appointed as Brand Ambassador of National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).
  67. Shashi Tharoor won the Sahitya Akademi Awards 2019 for his book ‘An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India’.
  68. Amitabha Bagchi won 9th Edition of DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2019 For his book ‘Half The Night Is Gone’.
  69. CK Nayudu Lifetime Award for the year 2019: Krishnamachari Srikkanth
  70. UN declares Malala yousafzai as the most famous teenager of the decade.
  71. India is the guest of honour for the 33rd International Book Fair 2019 held in Guadalajara, Mexico.
  72. 8th edition of the joint training exercise between India and China ‘Hand in Hand’ held.
  73. The last of the iconic MiG-27 (Mikoyan MiG-27) fighter jet aircraft was decommissioned from the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Jodhpur base in Rajasthan, after serving for over 3 decades (30 years). Known as ‘Bahadur’, the aircraft served during the 1999 Kargil War.
  74. A white yellow dwarf star in Sextans constellation has been named as Bibha by International Astronomical Union (IAU), named after Indian woman scientist Bibha Choudhury who has discovered subatomic particles (pi-meson).
  75. Ballon d’Or award 2019: Leonel Messi wins 6th Ballon d’Or, Megan Rapinoe wins in women’s category.
  76. G S Lakshmi (51) becomes first woman Referee in Men’s ODI match.
  77. Padma Bhushan awardee Leander Paes to retire from Professional Tennis in 2020.
  78. Cricket captain Virat Kohli only Indian named in Wisden’s Five cricketers of the decade list.
  79. Book ‘The Renaissance Man-The Many Facets of Arun Jaitley’ by Vice President Mr. Venkaiah Naidu.
  80. The biennial ‘India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2019’ was released. The total forest cover of the country is 21.67% of the geographical area of the country. The tree cover of the country is 2.89% of the geographical area.
  81. 66th National Film Awards: Best Feature Film: Hellaro (Gujarati), Best Actor: Ayushman Khurrana for Andhadhun and Vicky Kaushal for Uri: The Surgical Strike, Best Actress: Keerthy Suresh for Mahanati (Telugu). Best Feature Film in Bengali: Ek Je Chhilo Raja.

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January 29, 2020

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