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Daily Current Affairs 15th to 17th of December 2019 - Daily GK Update

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Daily Current Affairs 15th to 17th of December 2019 – Daily GK Update

1. FASTags becomes mandatory for all vehicles from 15th December 2019

  • FASTags or prepaid rechargeable tags for toll collection have become mandatory for all vehicles from 15th December 2019.
  • The FASTags or prepaid rechargeable tags allows automatic payment of toll. The government launched the National Electronic Toll Collection System which provides for the collection of user fee through FASTag to save fuel and time, curb pollution and ensure seamless movement of traffic.
  • National Highways Authority of India has equipped all fee plazas with Electronic Toll Collection System.
  • With the help of a FASTag, drivers will not have to stop their vehicles at toll plazas to pay tax.
  • A FASTag uses radio frequency identification technology to enable direct toll payments from a moving vehicle.


2. Bureau of Energy Efficiency organises 29th National Energy Conservation Awards

  • Bureau of Energy Efficiency has organised the “29th National Energy Conservation Awards” under the guidance of Ministry of Power, Government of India.
  • India celebrates the National Energy Conservation Day every year on 14th December to recognise and celebrate the efforts towards energy conservation.
  • The day highlights the importance of energy conservation in Country’s sustainable development approach.
  • During the event, a Handbook for Implementation of Provisions of Energy Conservation Act 2001 was also released.


3. Nuad Thai massage included in UNESCO heritage list

  • Thailand’s famous 2000-year-old massage, Nuad Thai was added to UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) prestigious heritage list.
  • Nuad Thai is an intense form of massage in which the body is pulled and rotated well with the help of the thumb, elbow, knees and feet.
  • Thai massage originated in India and brought it to Thailand about 2,500 years ago by doctors and monks who carried its secrets for generations.

Important Daily GK Update For IBPS CLERK

  • UNESCO formation: 4 November 1946.
  • UNESCO headquarters: Paris, France.
  • UNESCO Director-General: Audrey Azoulay.


4. Former PM Abdelmadjid Tebboune elected as the President of Algeria

  • Abdelmadjid Tebboune, former Prime Minister (PM) of Algeria was elected as the President of Algeria succeeding Abdelkader Bensalah.
  • He served as the PM from May 2017 to August 2017, under the governance of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Static/Current Takeaways Important For RRB NTPC/SSC CGL:

  • Algeria Capital: Algiers
  • Algeria Prime Minister (PM): Noureddine Bedouia.
  • Algeria Currency: Dinar.


5. Ministry of Coal to establish “Sustainable Development Cell” to promote clean mining

  • The Coal Ministry will establish ‘Sustainable Development Cell’ (SDC) for promoting sustainable coal mining in the country.
  • It will address environmental concerns during the decommissioning or closure of mines.
  • The Cell will advise, mentor, plan and monitor the mitigation measures taken by the coal companies for maximizing the utilization of available resources in a sustainable way, minimizing the adverse impact of mining and mitigating it for further eco-system services.
  • Sustainable Development Cell will also formulate the future policy framework for the environmental mitigation measures including the Mine closure Fund.
  • The Sustainable Development Cell envisages to address the environmental mitigation measures in a systemic manner and to provide a better environment to people working and residing in the vicinity of Mines.

Important Daily GK Update For SBI PO Exam

  • Minister of Coal and Minister of Mines: Pralhad Joshi.


6. Toni-Ann Singh crowned Miss World 2019

  • Tony-Ann Singh of Jamaica was announced as the winner of the Miss World 2019 beauty pageant held at the ExCeL London.
  • She was crowned by her predecessor Miss World 2018 Vanessa Ponce from Mexico.
  • Ophelia Mezino of France and Suman Rao of India were the first and second runners up of the beauty pageant respectively.
  • Miss World 2019 was the 69th edition of the contest and contestants from 120 countries competed for the title.

7. Edelweiss AMC launches India’s 1st corporate bond ‘Bharat Bond ETF’

  • Edelweiss Asset Management Company (AMC), a subsidiary of Edelweiss Capital Limited (ECL) has launched India’s 1st Corporate Bond ETF (exchange trade fund) called the Bharat Bond ETF.
  • The ETF is a government initiative and Edelweiss AMC was given the mandate to design and manage the product.
  • Edelweiss aims to raise an initial amount of Rs 3,000 crore through this bond from institutional players with a greenshoe option of Rs 2,000 crore in the 3-year maturity period (2023) and Rs 4,000 crore with a greenshoe option of Rs 6,000 crore in the 10-year maturity bucket (2030).
  • Small retail investors will have to invest at least Rs 1,000 in this fund.
  • After this, there is a facility for multiple investments. Here they can invest up to 2 lakhs.
  • At the same time, the minimum amount for anchor investors has been fixed at Rs 10 crore.

Important Daily GK Update For IBPS CLERK

  • Edelweiss Capital Limited Headquarters: Mumbai; Founder: Rashesh Shah.
  • Edelweiss Capital Limited founded: 1995.

8. Prime Minister chairs 1st meeting of National Ganga Council

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chaired the first meeting of the National Ganga Council.
  • The meeting was held in KanpurUttar Pradesh. The first meeting of the Council aimed at reinforcing the importance of a ‘Ganga-centric’ approach in all departments of the concerned states as well as relevant Central Ministries.
  • The Council has been given overall responsibility for superintendence of pollution prevention and rejuvenation of River Ganga Basin, including Ganga and its tributaries.
  • Prime Minister urged for a holistic thinking process where ‘Namami Gange’ evolves to ‘Arth Ganga’ or a sustainable development model with a focus on economic activities related to Ganga.
  • The income generated from encouraging eco-tourism and Ganga wildlife conservation and cruise tourism etc. would help to generate sustainable income streams for cleaning of Ganga.


9. WDO to launch World Design Protopolis in Bengaluru

  • The World Design Organization is all set to launch its new global programme World Design Protopolis in Bengaluru. It is aimed at implementing holistic progress in megacities across the world and thus making them sustainable.
  • The project also aims to measure the progress of the city, attract investments and solve problems so that the city becomes a better place for citizens.
  • The mega event, witnessed the convergence of policymakers and government officials, design professionals from India and abroad, architects, interior designers, heads of various companies, thought leaders, besides the general public.

Static/Current Takeaways Important For IBPS SO 2019:

  • The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design was founded in 1957 from a group of international organizations focused on industrial design. It was renamed the World Design Organization in January 2017.


10. Rashtrapati Bhavan hosted university heads’ conference

  • Rashtrapati Bhavan hosted a conference of 46 Heads of Central Universities and Institutes of Higher Learning in several fields including agriculture, pharmaceuticals, aviation, design, petroleum and energy.
  • Each of these institutes will be instrumental to the realization of the country’s socio-economic goals.
  • The Central Agricultural Universities can support the national goal of promoting sustainable agriculture, productivity and supporting farmers with useful research.
  • During the conference, different sub-groups comprising of heads of various institutes made presentations on issues such as the promotion of research, promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship among students and building industry-academia linkages.

11. Viswanathan Anand launches his autobiography ‘Mind Master’

  • Viswanathan Anand has launched his autobiography ‘Mind Master’. Anand’s autobiography is co-authored by sports journalist Susan Ninann.
  • It has been published by THG Publishing Private Limited. The book covers wonderful memories of Viswanathan Anand’s journey.

12. New Zealand three-times Olympic champion Peter Snell passes away

  • New Zealand’s 3-times Olympic middle-distance champion Peter Snell passed away.
  • He was the last male athlete to have completed the 800m and 1500m double at an Olympic Games, which he achieved in Tokyo in 1964.
  • He also won 2 gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in 1962 in the 880 yards and one mile run in Perth.

13. India celebrates Vijay Diwas: 16 December

  • The nation celebrates 16 December as Vijay Diwas to commemorate India’s victory over Pakistan in 1971 war.
  • The Indo-Pakistan war of 1971 which began on December 3 lasted for 13 days and officially ended on December 16, after which Pakistan surrendered to India.
  • It was on this day in 1971, the chief of the Pakistani forces, General AA Khan Niazi, along with 93 thousand troops, had surrendered unconditionally to the allied forces consisting of Indian Army and Mukti Bahini.
  • The end of the war also resulted in subsequent secession of East Pakistan into Bangladesh.

14. Google Earth covers 98 percent of the entire population

  • Search engine giant Google has revealed that it’s powerful mapping service, Google Earth now covers more than 98 per cent of the world, and has captured 10 million miles of Street View imagery, a distance that could circle the globe more than 400 times.
  • Google Earth, the software that lets you browse the globe with 3D representation, right from the comfort of your couch, offers 6 million square miles of high definition satellite images, covering more than 98 per cent of the entire population.

Important Daily GK Update For SBI PO Exam

  • Google CEO: Sundar Pichai; Founded: 4 September 1998.


15. Sri Lanka formally releases ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor’

  • Sri Lankan government has formally released its new National policy Framework titled ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor’.
  • The framework is meant to guide the government ministries and departments in implementing their policies.
  • It is aimed at achieving fourfold outcome of being a productive citizen, a contented family, a virtuous, disciplined and just society and a prosperous nation.
  • Maintaining GDP growth rate of 6.5% or higher under the macroeconomic programme, achieving a per capita income exceeding 6,500 US dollar during 2020 to 2025 are one of the key objectives of the framework.

Static/Current Takeaways Important For IBPS SO 2019:

  • Sri Lanka Capitals: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte; Currency: Sri Lankan rupee.
  • Prime minister: Mahinda Rajapaksa.

16. Madhya Pradesh CM to inaugurate International Film Festival in Khajuraho

  • The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Kamal Nath will inaugurate the International Film Festival in Shilpkala village of Khajuraho.
  • Films from the country and abroad including Bundelkhandi will be screened at the Tapra Talkies made for the festival.
  • The International Khajuraho Film Festival is being organized by the Prayas Sanstha in collaboration with the State Government.
  • Events like interaction with film stars, film making workshop, mobile film making workshop, plays, programmes for promoting local art and culture, herbal forest fair, animal fair etc. are also organized during the Film Festival.

Static/Current Takeaways Important For RRB NTPC/SSC CGL:

  • Governor of Madhya Pradesh: Lal Ji Tandon.


17. Haryana Police became the first to introduce ‘Trakea’ software in FSL

  • Haryana police have introduced a unique barcoding software “Trakea” to enable foolproof security of the samples collected in Forensic reports.
  • Haryana became the first state in the country to introduce this unique barcoding system.
  • Manohar Lal Khattar, Chief Minister (CM) of Haryana inaugurated the TRAKEA barcoding system of Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) at Madhuban, Haryana.
  • According to the police, Trakea ensures foolproof security of the samples collected from the scene of the crime, and the forensic analysis reports, and is different from traditional methods that the state police force has been following for decades.
  • The software was developed by a software engineer Amit Mishra.

Important Daily GK Update For  Online SSC Classes

  • Governor of Haryana: Satyadeo Narayan Arya.

18. UN Medal awarded to Indian peacekeepers to support the people of South Sudan

  • Indian peacekeepers have been recognized for their strong contribution to building peace in conflict-affected South Sudan as well as for going above and beyond their duties to support local communities.
  • Almost 850 Indian troops received the United Nations Medal for their dedication and sacrifice serving so far away from home to protect civilians and build durable peace in South Sudan.
  • Currently, 2,342 Indian troops and 25 police personnel are deployed with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
  • The Indian troops were particularly praised for their efforts to support peace talks between Government and Opposition forces in the Upper Nile region and establishing the first-ever UNMISS base on the west bank of the Nile at Kodok.

Static/Current Takeaways Important For RRB NTPC/SSC CGL:

  • United Nations Headquarters: New York, USA.
  • It was founded on 24 October 1945.
  • Secretary-General of the United Nations: Mr Antonio Guterres.


19. Union Rural Development Ministry selected UT of J&K for National award

  • Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has been selected for the national award by Union Rural Development Ministry for best performance in the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
  • Union Rural Development Ministry has sanctioned 147 Road and Bridge projects under PMGSY-II covering a length of 783.88 kilometres at an estimated cost of 878.53 crore rupees for Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
  • The entire road length has been sanctioned for up-gradation of existing road infrastructure with 10-year maintenance.

Static/Current Takeaways Important For IBPS SO 2019:

  • Lt. Governor of Jammu and Kashmir: Girish Chandra Murmu.

20. Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane to be next Army Chief

  • Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane will be the next Chief of Army Staff of India.
  • He is currently serving as Vice Chief of the Army. Lt Gen Naravane will succeed Gen Bipin Rawat, who will retire on the 31st December.
  • He has served in numerous command and staff appointments in peace, field and highly active counter-insurgency environments in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast.
  • In a distinguished military career spanning almost four decades, Lt Gen Naravane has the distinction of tenanting key appointments in active Counter Insurgency environments, both in the North East and in Jammu and Kashmir and was a part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka during Operation PAWAN.
  • He has been awarded the Sena Medal (Distinguished) for effectively commanding his battalion in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • He is also a recipient of the Vishisht Seva Medal for his services as the Inspector General Assam Rifles (North) in Nagaland and the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal for commanding of a prestigious strike corps.
  • He was honoured with Param Vishisht Seva Medal for his distinguished services as the General Officer Commanding in Chief of the Army Training Command.

Static/Current Takeaways Important For IBPS SO 2019:

  • The motto of Indian Army: “Service Before Self”.
  • Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • Commander-in-Chief: President Ram Nath Kovind.

21. IAS Ravi Mittal takes charge as new I&B Secy

  • IAS officer Ravi Mittal took charge as the new Secretary, Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
  • Mr Mittal took charge from Amit Khare who has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Higher Education.
  • Before this, Mr Mittal, a 1986 batch IAS officer of Bihar Cadre, was working as the Special Secretary in the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance.

22. R N Ravi to hold additional charge as governor of Meghalaya

  • Nagaland Governor R N Ravi has been given additional charge of Meghalaya.
  • The decision has been taken by the President of India in the wake of the “absence of leave” of Tathagata Roy, Governor of Meghalaya.

23. ICAR & NABARD signed MoU to promote agriculture & farming systems research

  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the National Bank or Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote sustainable agriculture and climate-resilient farming systems.
  • The research will be of active participation in climate-resilient practices, models and integrated and hi-tech farming practices in a participatory model.
  • The aim of this MoU was to promote sustainable agriculture and climate-resilient farming systems.

Static/Current Takeaways Important For IBPS SO 2019:

  • NABARD founded: 12 July 1982
  • NABARD Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • NABARD Chairperson: Harsh Kumar Bhanwala.

24. Exercise Surya Kiran-XIV held in Nepal

  • A joint military training exercise “SURYA KIRAN-XIV” was held in Salijhandi, Rupendehi district of Nepal.
  • The exercise was conducted between the armies of India and Nepal.
  • Joint training exercise was based on counter insurgency operations in jungle and mountainous terrain and also practised response mechanism in the eventualities of natural and man made disasters.

25. 5th EAC meeting of 15th Finance Commission held in New Delhi

  • The 5th meeting of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) of the 15th Finance Commission was held in New Delhi.
  • In the meeting, possible macro assumptions related to real growth, inflation, ongoing structural reforms, tax revenue including GST, adherence to Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act and fiscal transparency were discussed.
  • Further, the Advisory Council was informed about the submission of the 2020-21 report and Commission’s next course of actions pertaining to the preparation of the report for 2021-26 period.

Static/Current Takeaways Important For IBPS SO 2019:

  • Chairman 15th Finance Commission: NK Singh.

26. India slips to 112th place on WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report

  • India has slipped four places to rank 112th globally as per the Global Gender Gap Report 2020.
  • The report was released by World Economic Forum (WEF) headquartered at Geneva.
  • Iceland has topped the report and remains the world’s most gender-neutral country while Yemen was ranked the worst (153rd) in the report.
  • As per report, the most improved countries were Albania, Ethiopia, Mali, Mexico and Spain. Among regionsWestern Europe has made the most progress on gender parity (standing at 76.7%).
  • As per WEF, the time it will take to close the gender gap has narrowed to 99.5 years in 2019 while the number was 108 years in 2018.
  • WEF stated that this year’s improvement can largely be ascribed to a significant increase in the number of women in politics.


27. Veteran film actor Danny Aiello passes away

  • Veteran film actor Danny Aiello, known for his roles in the movies Do The Right Thing and The Godfather Part II passed away.
  • A veteran of stage and film, Aiello was best known for playing the pizza parlour owner Sal in Spike Lee’s 1989 Do the Right Thing.

28. Unesco removes ‘racist’ Belgian carnival from heritage list

  • UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), has removed the ‘Carnival of Aalst’ of Belgium from its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List.
  • The 2019 carnival featured a parade float that included racist and anti-Semitic representations which mocked the Orthodox Jews.
  • The carnival was added to the Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2010.

Static/Current Takeaways Important For IBPS SO 2019:

  • UNESCO formation: 4 November 1946.
  • UNESCO Headquarters: Paris, France.
  • UNESCO Director-General: Audrey Azoulay.


29. ITBP launches matrimonial site to help staff find ‘suitable matches’

  • In a unique approach, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has started a dedicated matrimonial site for its staff. The website started will be managed by ITBP and only the staff will be able to access it.
  • This is the first-ever dedicated and well-managed matrimony portal among the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).
  • There are more than 25,000 unmarried men in the Force while more than 1000 women personnel are also unmarried.
  • Keeping in view their duties and engagements after joining the service, finding suitable matches becomes an uphill task for the serving personnel.

Static/Current Takeaways Important For RRB NTPC/SSC CGL:

  • The ITBP was raised on October 24, 1962.
  •  DG of ITBP: Surjeet Singh Deswal.