Centre included Gangotri, Yamunotri in Uttarakhand, Amarkantak in MP and Parasnath in Jharkhand under PRASAD Scheme: Tourism Ministry

The central government announced inclusion of Gangotri and Yamunotri in Uttrarakhand, Amarkantak in Madhya Pradeshand Parasnath in Jharkhand under the scheme Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASAD).

It was launched by the Tourism Ministry in 2014-15.

The scheme aimed at the following:

  • Infrastructure development (road, rail and water transport),
  • last mile connectivity,
  • basic tourism facilities like Information/ Interpretation Centers, ATM/ money exchange, eco-friendly modes of transport among others.

Tourism Ministry:
♦ Minister of State (Independent Charge): MR. K J Alphons.


Two-day conference on the partnership between EU and India for Cultural Heritage Conservation held in New Delhi

A two-day “Conference on EU-India Partnership for Cultural Heritage Conservation” commenced at the National Museum Auditorium, Janpath, New Delhi.

It concluded in December 5, 2018.

To enhancing EU-India collaboration in the field of cultural heritage conservation.

It also marked the pinnacle of the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH), which will conclude on December 6-7, 2018.


2nd meeting of the NITI Forum for the North East held in Guwahati, Assam

The second meeting of the newly constituted ‘NITI Forum for North East’ commenced in Guwahati, Assam.

The meeting was co-chaired by:

  • Vice Chairman NITI AAYOG, Dr Rajiv Kumar and
  • Minister of State (IC) for DoNER, Dr Jitendra Singh.

The meeting mainly focused on issues pertaining to five critical sectors – Tourism, Bamboo, Dairy, Fisheries and Tea.

♦ Capital: Dispur.
♦ Chief Minister:  Sarbananda Sonowal.
♦ Governor: Jagdish Mukhi.
♦ National Parks: Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park (UNESCO Natural World Herigate Site), Orang National Park, Dibru-Saikhowa National Park.
♦ Airports: Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Dibrugarh Airport, Jorhat Airport, Tezpur Airport, Silchar Airport.


‘PEETHA’: programme to create awareness and promote transparency launched by Odisha government

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched a new programme for transparency and awareness on various government schemes, called- the Peoples Empowerment Enabling Transparency and Accountability or PEETHA.

To improve transparency in the distribution of individual and social benefits.

PEETHA is based on a 3-T (Technology, Transparency and Team work) model, and is a sub-scheme of the Odisha government’s flagship Ama Gaon Ama Bikas Yojana (AGAB).

Every month, the best panchayat in each Block will be given Rs. 5 lakh for organising PEETHA.

♦ Chief Minister: Naveen Patnaik.
♦ Governor: Prof. Ganeshi Lal.
♦ Lakes : Chilika Lake, Kanjia Lake, Anshupa Lake, Balimela Reservoir.
♦ Dams: Rengali Dam, Kala dam, Pitamahal Dam, Kansbahal Dam, Tikhali Dam, Deras Dam, Salia Dam, Ghodahada Dam, Kuanria Dam.
♦ Festivals: Kalinga Mahotsav, Chandan Yatra, Durga Puja, Konark Dance Festival, Rath Yatra, Deepabali, Kumar Purnima



UAE passport topped the Global Passport Power Rank 2018: Arton Capital

Arton Capital launched the passport index named – Global Passport Power Rank 2018, in which United Arab Emirates (UAE)topped the charts, among 197 nations, as the nation having the most powerful passport.

The index, compiled by Arton Capital, ranks national passports based on the number of countries a holder can enter without a visa or by obtaining one on arrival.

The bottom 5 countries in the list consist of: Afghanistan at 93rd position, Iraq at 92nd , Pakistan at 91st, Syria at 90th and Somalia at 89th position.

India stood at 66th position whereas the neighbours of India stood at the following ranks:
China at 58th, Bhutan 70th, Myanmar at 79, Bangladesh at 86, Nepal at 83rd position and Sri Lanka at 84th.

♦ Capital: Abu Dhabi.
♦ Currency: UAE dirham.


Economy & Finance

5th Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy released by Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

RBI released its 5th Bi-monthly monetary policy produced by the Monetary Policy Committee chaired by RBI Governor Dr. Urjit Patel.

The Reserve Bank injected durable liquidity amounting to Rs.360 billion in October and Rs.500 billion in November through open market purchase operations, bringing total durable liquidity injection to Rs.1.36 trillion for 2018-19.

In order to bring about consumer confidence in the digital financial transaction channel, RBI issued ‘Statement on Developmental and Regulatory.


CASHe partners with Mswipe to offer instant loans

Digital lending company for young salaried millennials CASHe partnered with Mswipe, India’s leading mobile Point-of -Sale (POS) payment services provider, to launch the CASHe emi Mcards for its customers which will provide hassle-free loan experience at the point-of-sale.

The card will offer instant pre-approved credit of up to INR 10,000 with three equated monthly instalments (EMIs) repayment plan.
The customer can make multiple transactions in a day not exceeding INR 10,000. All transactions for the day will be converted into a single loan on which his/her EMI-based repayment plans will be set up by CASHe..

About CASHe and Mswipe
♦ CASHe CEO: Ketan Patel
♦ Mswipe CEO: Manish Patel launches India’s first chance of approval feature for lending products

India’s largest online marketplace for financial products, has launched a first of its kind feature Chance of Approval,  that will help loan applicants choose their most-suited lender on its platform in India.

 ‘Chance of Approval’, is an advanced predictive algorithm that has been created by using the last four years of lending data.

Globally a few leading players, like Credit Karma in the US, have developed similar features to improve the acceptance rate on their platforms but this is the first such initiative in India.

The ‘Chance of Approval’ feature will match a borrower’s profile, like income, credit score, age etc., with the various lending criteria of banks and NBFCs, to provide customers with the chances of getting their loan application approved – Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor – against each lender.

♦ CEO: Naveen Kukreja 


eATM: Instant fund credit feature to get cash within 30 minutes launched by ICICI Securities

ICICI Securities (ISec), a brokerage firm, launched the ‘eATM’ instant fund credit feature to enable real-time payments in bank accounts upon selling stocks in Bombay Stock  Exchange (BSE).

This feature is available to retail investors who can get payment against sell of stocks in BSE instantly compared to earlier waiting time of T+2 days.

The payment is made directly to the bank accounts to within 30 minutes and the limit is Rs. 50,000 per client per day.

ICICI Securities:
♦ MD & CEO: Shilpa Kumar.


India records 2nd highest Fintech adoption rate

According to EY FinTech Adoption Index, India has the second highest FinTech adoption rate among digitally active consumers at 52percent, only second to China at 69 percent.

Usage is significantly high in large cities with a 66 percent adoption rate followed by 51 percent usage and adoption in small and medium cities.

Rural India lags at 33 percent. Money transfers and payments services leading the charge in India with adoption standing at 72 percent.



Delhi Daredevils renamed as Delhi Capitals ahead of 2019 IPL season

Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Daredevils were renamed as Delhi Capitals and the announcement was made in a function in the capital held by owners GMR Group and JSW Sports.

Co-owners Parth Jindal, representing JSW Sport, and Kiran Kumar Grandhi of GMR, unveiled its new identity including a new name and a logo.

The logo has been inspired by the design of Parliament House‎ and the idea of three tigers inscribed in the logo is derived from the Ashok Chakra.



Ramakrishnan has won the Sahitya Akademi Award for his Novel “Sancharam”

52 years old veteran Tamil Writer S Ramakrishnan honoured with Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel “Sancharam” which deals with the lives of nadhaswaram artistes.

S Ramakrishnan has been writing since last 27 years and he had written short stories, novels, plays, children’s literature and translations.

Ramakrishnan has authored and published 5 novels , 4 books for children, 10 collections of short stories, 24 collections of articles and nine plays.

About Sahitya Academy
♦ Headquarters: Delhi
♦ President: Chandrashekhara Kambara
♦ Parent Organization: Ministry of Culture, Government of India


Eliud Kipchoge and Caterine Ibarguen named IAAF athletes of the year

Kenya’s Marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge and Colombian jumper Caterine Ibarguen was awarded with Male and Female World athlete of the year for the first time at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Athletics Awards 2018 held at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.

Olympic Champion Kipchoge shattered the world marathon record by 78 seconds whereas Ibarguen was Diamond leage champion in both long jumps and triple jump.

Eliud Kipchoge also won the London Marathon 2018.

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)
♦ Headquarters: Monaco
♦ President: Sebastian Coe


Axis Capital CEO Dharmesh Mehta stepped down; Salil Pitale and Chirag Negandhi appointed as joint MD and co-CEO

MD & CEO of Axis Capital, Mr. Dharmesh Mehta stepped down.

The bank had also elevated Salil Pitale and Chirag Negandhi as Joint Managing Directors and Co-Chief Executive Officer.

Both are currently Co-Head of Investment Banking at Axis Capital since 2016.



India’s heaviest communication satellite GSAT-11 launched successfully from French Guiana

Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) heaviest and most-advanced high throughput communication satellite GSAT-11 was successfully launched from the Spaceport in French Guiana.

The launch vehicle Ariane 5 VA-246 lifted off from Kourou Launch Base, French Guiana carrying India’s GSAT-11 and South Korea’s GEO-KOMPSAT-2A satellites.

Ariane 5 is one of three launch vehicles operated by Arianespace along with Soyuz and Vega.

About ISRO
♦ Headquarter: Bengaluru
♦ Director: K Sivan
About French Guiana
♦ Capital: Cayenne
♦ Currency: Euro
♦ President: Rodolphe Alexandre


World’s 1st 3D-printed functional e-bike made in Germany by BigRep and NOWlab

German firm BigRep and NOWlab produced the world’s first fully functioning e-motorbike NERA using a 3D printer.

The bike was conceptualised and developed in 12 weeks and includes 15 parts excluding the electrical components.

1st synthetic material that gets thicker on stretching found

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds, England, discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent “auxetic” stretching properties. The material becomes thicker at the molecular level as it is stretched.

The findings are published in a scientific journal named Nature Communications.

Auxetics are great at energy absorption and resisting fracture and there may be many potential applications for materials with these properties including body armour, architecture and medical equipment.



Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lamba, released a book titled ‘Blue Waters Ahoy!’- chronicling the Indian Navy’s history from 2001-2010.

The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral Sunil Lamba released ‘Blue Waters Ahoy!’ a book chronicling the Indian Navy’s history from 2001-10 in New Delhi.

In the event,the Indian Navy was celebrating Navy Day, which is organized every year on 04th December to commemorate its offensive actions during the 1971 war.

The book has been authored by Vice Admiral Anup Singh, who retired as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Naval Command in 2011..


World Soil Day: 5 December

World Soil Day is celebrated annually on 5th of December every year. It is celebrated at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the regional offices and through national and local events. World Soil Day 2018 aims to raise awareness and call people to Stop Soil Pollution.

The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS), in 2002, adopted a resolution proposing the 5th of December as World Soil Day to celebrate the importance of soil as a critical component of the natural system and as a vital contributor to human well-being.

About Food and Agriculture Organization
♦ Headquarter: Rome, Italy
♦ Head: Jose Graziano da Silva


Annual International Volunteer Day celebrated on December 5

December 5 is annually seen as International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development. It is also called as International Volunteer Day.

This day celebrates the sacrifice and contributions of the volunteers and organizations and promotes their work among their communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations agencies, government authorities and the private sector.

The theme of the International Volunteer Day 2018 is: “Volunteers build Resilient Communities”.

It is mandated by the UN General Assembly.
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA):
♦ Headquarters: New York City, USA.
♦ President: María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés.

Thought of the Day

“Forget what hurt you but never forget what it taught you.

Quiz based on Daily Current Affairs 5th December 2018

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