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First ever Agriculture Export Policy 2018 launched by Commerce Ministry in its Year End report

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry released the Year End review of the policies to envision the creation of a ‘Vision of New India’ which would propel the India to become a USD 5 trillion economy by the end of 2025.

Out of the USD 5 trillion, the focused plans will be on boosting

  • Services sector contribution to USD 3 trillion,
  • Manufacturing to USD 1 trillion and
  • Agriculture to USD 1 trillion.

About India’s first ever Agriculture Export Policy:
As on December 6, 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi approved the creation of first Agriculture Export Policy.
The Department of Commerce in its aim to enable India to become a USD 5 trillion economy, released India’s 1st as Agriculture Export Policy 2018.

Highlights of the Agricultural Export Policy 2018:
As per the policy, a corpus of USD 1 billion has been created to boost 12 champion sectors in services.
It would boost India’s agricultural exports to USD 60 billion by 2022 and to achieve Agriculture Ministries’ target of USD 100 billion.

Ministry of Commerce:
♦ Union Minister: Shri. Suresh Prabhu.
♦ Minister of State:  Shri. C R Chaudhary.


MAHE awarded and inaugurated with country’s first Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence by EU

The Ambassador of the European Union to India, H.E. Mr. Tomasz ozlowski inaugurated India’s first Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the Department of European Studies (DES) at the Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Manipal.

On the commemoration of EU day, in Manipal, he awarded the first Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence to Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE).


“Uncrowned Glory – An exhibition of Ethnic Ornaments of Himachal Pradesh” inaugurated in New Delhi

Dr Dharmendra Singh Gangwar, Additional Secretary & Financial Advisor, Ministry of Culture inaugurated the third exhibition of the 2nd series of collection titled “Uncrowned Glory – An exhibition of Ethnic Ornaments of Himachal Pradesh” in National Museum, New Delhi.

This exhibition aims to showcase the silver and gold ornaments, from different communities and regions of Himachal Pradesh, through photographic prints.

This alo help in preserving and transmitting the intangible aspects of the communities through generations.

Two day Conference ‘AYUSHCHARYA’ on Dinacharya and Ritucharya for public health promotion organised at New Delhi

A two day National conference ‘AYUSHCHARYA’ on Dinacharya (Daily Regimen) and Ritucharya (Seasonal Regimen) for public health promotion was organized by All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) in New Delhi.

Introducing a new term AYUSHCHARYA and citing scientific noesis of Dinacharya, Ratricharya and Ritucharya, Director AIIA Prof Tanuja Nesari gave the inaugural address to the conference.

The present conference was the part of celebration of 3rd National Ayurveda Day which was celebrated this year on November 5, 2018 on the occasion of the Dhanawantari Jayanti or Dhanteras with the theme “Ayurveda for Public health”.

About Ministry of AYUSH:
♦ Minister: Shripad Yesso Naik (MoS independent charge)
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi


The heart of India- Madhya Pradesh was the host destination of 3-day 1st AdventureNext India 2018

The 3-day AdventureNext 2018 event, concluded in the host destination of Madhya Pradesh– the heart of India.

It was a first-of-its-kind in India & Asia, and the theme of the event was “Pulse of Tomorrow”.
The Major partner in the event was Jharkhand Tourism.



India signed the 30-member Trans Regional Maritime Network pact in Rome, Italy

India signed an ascension pact to the 30-member Trans Regional Maritime Network (T-RMN) at Italian Naval Headquarters in Rome, Italy.

This agreement was signed by CMDE KM Ramakrishnan.

This agreement will give India an access to the information on ships passing through the Indian Ocean Region, that will help in keeping tabs on the security forces.
♦ Capital: Rome.
♦ Currency: Euro.
♦ Chief of Naval staff: Admiral Sunil Lanba.


Economy and Finance

Indian Ports Association Launches ‘PCS 1x’ to Increase Ease of Doing Business

The Port Community System ‘PCS1x’, a cloud based new generation technology, with user-friendly interface to increase ease of doing business was launched by Indian Ports Association (IPA), under the mentorship of Ministry of Shipping in Mumbai.

The web-based platform has been developed indigenously and is a part of the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ initiative of the Hon’ble Prime Minister and is being made mandatory by Ministry of Shipping.


ADB retains India FY19 growth forecast at 7.3% despite downside risks

Asian Development Bank (ADB) in its supplement report “Asian Development Outlook (2018)” has retained India’s FY19 growth forecast at 7.3% and 7.6% in FY20 despite downside risks posed by stress in the non-banking sector, limited fiscal space as well as escalating trade tensions.

The country’s GDP growth moderated to 7.1 per cent in second quarter of 2018-19 from 8.2 percent in the first quarter, averaging 7.6 per cent growth in the first half.

The slowdown came mainly from weak food prices, dampening rural consumption, higher oil prices delivering a negative shock in the terms of trade, and rising costs for raw materials.

About Asian Development Bank (ADB)
♦ Headquarter: Mandaluyong, Philippines
♦ President: Takehiko Nakao



SAIL Hockey Academy wins Aga Khan Gold Cup tournament

Steel Authority of India’s Hockey Academy wins 115th Aga Khan Gold Cup tournament by beating Army XI Danapur by 2-1 at Major Dhyan Chand hockey stadium in New Delhi.

Jay Prakash Patel scored the match-winning goal for the SAIL Hockey Academy (SHA) in the final match of Aga Khan Gold Cup which is one of the oldest hockey tournament in the country.

The SHA team defeated Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy by 4-2 in the semifinals.

SAIL Hockey Academy is run by SAIL’s Rourkela Steel Plant.

About Hockey India
♦ Headquarter: New Delhi
♦ President: Mohammad Mushtaq Ahmed




Jamal Khashoggi named Time magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’

Time magazine had named “the Guardians” a group of killed, imprisoned, or targeted journalists including Jamal Khashoggi as its 2018 Person of the Year honouring their dedicated pursuit of the truth despite a war on facts and tremendous obstacles, including violence and imprisonment.

The publication has chosen the following journalists for the title this year—

  • Slain Saudi journalist and the Washington Post contributor who was killed at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul in October- Jamal Khashoggi,
  • Filipina journalist facing tax evasion charges- Maria Ressa,
  • The wives of Reuters journalists- Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were imprisoned after investigating the massacre of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar,
  • The staff of the Capital Gazette who were killed in the mass shooting at the office of Capital Gazette, the US newspaper from Annapolis, Maryland.

The magazine calls the series of four black-and-white covers highlights as “the War on Truth.”

This is the first time that a Person of the Year is a deceased person.

The United States President Donald Trump was the runner-up for this year’s Person of the Year title while his Special counsel Robert Mueller was ranked No. 3.


Mary Kom honoured with Meethoileima title

MC Mary Kom , six times World Women Boxing Champion and Olympic Bronze medalist honoured with Meethoileima title by Manipur government.

She was honoured by Chief minister N.Biren Singh who also handed over a cheque of Ten lakh rupees.

The Chief Minister also declared that the Imphal West DC Road towards Game Village will be named as MC Mary Kom Road.


Shaktikanta Das takes charge as 25th Governor of the RBI

Shaktikanta Das, former Economics Affairs Secretary appointed as 25th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).He succeeded Urjit Patel after he resigned from the post on 10th December 2018.

Das is former Economic Affairs Secretary from 2015 to 2017, worked closely with the central bank. He is currently a member of the Finance Commission of India, and the government’s representative at the Group of 20 summits.

Appointment of Governor of the RBI by government comes under section 8 of the RBI act 1934.
Osborne Smith was inaugural holder of the RBI while C.D. Deshmukh was first Indian Governor.

About Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
♦ Headquarter: Mumbai
♦ Established: 1st April 1935


CAG Rajiv Mehrishi appointed as Vice-Chair of UN Panel of Auditors till 2020

Comptroller and Auditor General Rajiv Mehrishi became the Vice-Chair of the UN Panel of Auditors for a term of 2 years ending on June 30, 2020.

The decision was taken in the panel’s annual meeting in New York which was held from 3 to 4 December 2018.

The panel is currently chaired by the Comptroller and Auditor General of the UK and consists of External Auditors of the United Nations and its agencies.

The panel also elected the Comptroller and Auditor General of the UK as Chair of the Panel for another term (2019).


HAL developed Light Utility Helicopter achieves important milestone of flying at 6 km altitude

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) indigenously developed Light Utility Helicopter achieved important milestone of flying at 6 Km altitude in Bengaluru.

It is 3-ton class new generation helicopter designed and developed by indigenously Rotary Wing Research and Design Center (RWR&DC) of HAL.

It will replace ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters used by Indian Armed Forces.

It is capable of flying at 220 kmph, with service ceiling of 6.5 km and range of 350 km with 400 kg payload.


Deep Sea Submarine Rescue System inducted in to Indian Navy in Mumbai

Indian Navy’s first flyaway Deep Sea Submarine Rescue System was inducted by Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Naval Staff, at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai.

The new system is a third generation, advanced Submarine Rescue System having a Non-tethered Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV).

It is capable of undertaking rescue from a disabled Submarine upto 650 m depth.

The Indian Navy currently operates submarines of the Sindhughosh, Shishumar, Kalvari Classes as well as nuclear powered submarines.
Chief of Naval staff: Admiral Sunil Lanba.
Vice Chief of Naval Staff: Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar.



Climate Change Performance Index: Sweden tops in the Ranking, India at 11th position

The Climate Change Performance Index was released on the sidelines of COP24 Un Summit in Katowice, Poland.

The index was produced by the New Climate InstituteClimate Action Network and Germanwatch.

No countries were in the top three ranks because none did well in all categories assessed.

But among the league of nations, Sweden topped as the 4th country (for the second time as on 2017) followed by Morocco in the 5th position.

The European Union as a whole rose from 21st to 16th place.

India ranked 11th and other neighbouring countries of India ranked the following: China (33).

Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar were not assessed.

United Nations:
♦ Headquarters: New York, USA.
♦ Secretary-General: Antonio Guterres.
♦ Member states: 193.

Dracula ants declared the fastest animal on earth: Study

In a study, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, scientists found that the Dracula ant possesses the fastest animal movement on record.

With speeds of up to 90 metres per second or 200 miles per hour, the ants can snap-jaws and power up their mandibles by pressing the tips together



International Universal Health Coverage Day – 12th December

On 12th December 2018, International Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day) was observed throughout the world. It aims to mobilize diverse stakeholders to call for stronger, more equitable health systems to achieve universal health coverage, leaving no one behind.

The theme for the 2018 UHC Day is: “Unite for Universal Health Coverage: Now is the Time for Collective Action.”

This year 5 pillars to achieve Universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030 were released and they include- Ensuring Political Commitment & Multi-Stakeholder Action, Leaving No One Behind, Engaging Community Voices, Investing More & Smarter and Holding Leaders Accountable.

About United Nations Organisation (UNO):
♦ Secretary General: António Guterres
♦ Headquarters: New York, United States


2nd International Day of Neutrality

December 12 is seen as International Day of Neutrality after its adoption by United Nations General Assembly in the 69th plenary meeting.

It is celebrated by United Nations to ensure neutrality among nations and abstention of a state from all participation in a war.

It is aimed at promoting the use of preventive diplomacy, and enhancing public awareness of the value of neutrality in international relations.

The resolutions of neutrality was reaffirmed in resolution 71/275 and the United Nations General Assembly declared the Day of December 12 to be seen as International Day of Neutrality on February 2, 2017.

Thought of the Day

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.

Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.

Quiz based on Daily Current Affairs 12th December 2018

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