Daily Current Affairs: December 20, 2016

India’s economy surpasses that of United Kingdom become world’s fifth biggest economy

Owing to Britain’s recent Brexit-related problems and thanks to India’s rapid economic growth, India has managed to overtake its erstwhile colonial master United Kingdom in terms of the size of the economy – the first time after nearly 150 years.


‘India gets most FDI from Singapore’

India has received the maximum FDI inflows from Singapore in 2015-16 followed by Mauritius, the US, the Netherlands and Japan, according to a report by industry chamber PHDCCI and KPMG


Government to launch toll free number 1955 for call drops soon

Government is planning to start soon a toll free number 1955 for taking feedback of telecom subscribers on call drops.


Government to start Digital Village program soon

Government will soon launch a new program, Digital Village, to provide services like health and education in villages with the help of technology. The program would be rolled out in 100 villages initially and will be expanded later


India to host 5th Global Conference on Cyber Space next year

India will host the fifth edition of the Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCSS) in 2017 in which over 100 countries are expected to participate.

  • The UK had hosted the first GCCS in 2011 followed by Budapest in 2012. South Korea hosted the event 2013 and the Netherlands in 2015.

India pulls out of regional conference in Pakistan: Report

India along with Bangladesh and Iran have pulled out of a key regional conference on sustainable development which is being held in Pakistan, according to a media report.

  • The three-day session of the Governing Council of the Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT) started in Islamabad on December 19, 2016.
  • India had earlier in November boycotted the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) that was to be held in Islamabad.

India among deadliest countries for journalists last year: Report

A report by New York-based non-profit organisation Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) ranked India 10th, with two confirmed killings of journalists for doing their jobs in 2016.


Modified norms to lower taxes of small traders by 30%

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government’s decision to tweak the presumptive income norms would reduce the tax liability by up to 30 per cent for those small traders opting for digital transactions.


Healthy Ministry wins gold in the Web Ratna Category

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare won gold in the Web Ratna category in the recently concluded Digital India awards, 2016, conferred by the Ministry of Electronics & IT to promote more innovative e-governance initiatives by the government entities.


Nasscom to join NITI Aayog in creating awareness about digital payments

Industry body Nasscom has said it will work on creating awareness and provide training to people in under-served sections of key towns and cities to help them move towards cashless payment methods.


India ‘to be self-reliant in silk by 2020’

India plans to attain self-reliance in raw silk and plans to bring imports to zero level by 2020.

  • “With consistent supply of raw silk of high quality in adequate quantities and the country seeing increased production of bivoltine silk, we will be able to attain self-sufficiency,” KM Hanumantharayappa, Chairman, Central Silk Board (CSB) said.

NHDC develops mobile app ‘E Dhaga’ for handloom weavers

National Handloom Development Corporation Ltd (NHDC) said that the app is useful for handloom weavers to transact business anytime, anywhere and they can send their indents and payments online through this app.


Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Launches Trilingual Website on Haj Pilgrimage

Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the Minister of State(I/C), Ministry of Minority Affairs, launched the  trilingual website www.haj.gov.in relating to Haj Matters. The website is in Hindi, Urdu and English languages.


Ninth World Confluence of Humanity, Power and Spirituality held in New Delhi


Jodhpur listed in top 10 preferred tourist places for 2017

Jodhpur has been listed among the top ten preferred destinations for travellers in 2017, according to ‘TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards for Destinations on the Rise’.

  • The list was topped by San Jose del Cabo in Mexico, followed by Kihei in Hawaii and Baku in Azerbaijan.

Yak dance from Arunachal Pradesh to be in Republic Day parade next year

The famous yak dance from Arunachal Pradesh has been selected for the tableaux to be presented during the Republic Day parade next year.

  • Fifteen states and union territories have been selected this year.
  • Arunachal Pradesh finds a place in it with only two other states from the Northeast – Manipur and Tripura

Solar-powered boat service to begin in Kerala on January 12

Kerala will script a new chapter in its transport sector when a solar-powered boat will start its first service from Vaikom in Kottayam district, about 180 kms from Thiruvananthapuram, on January 12.


Andhra Pradesh govt to start helpline for people to report graft cases

Andhra Pradesh government will soon launch a toll-free telephone line to enable people report corruption in its departments.


Assam announces slew of incentives for digital payment

The Assam government announced a slew of 18 incentives ranging from 10 per cent discount in property tax to an award of Rs 5 lakh to gaon panchayats going 100 per cent digital in order to attain the No 1 rank among all states in the prime minister’s scheme of turning the country’s economy cashless.


Madras High Court bans ‘Sharia courts’ in Tamil Nadu

The Madras High Court on Monday banned unauthorised ‘Sharia’ courts functioning on premises of mosques in Tamil Nadu while hearing a petition from a husband who was allegedly forced to pronounce talaq by one such court in the city.

  • The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sundar ordered the ban of all such unauthorised courts in the state and asked for a status report from the police within four weeks.

Flock unveils FlockOS, world’s first chat operating system

Flock, a team messenger for businesses, launched world’s first chat operating system “FlockOS” which allows developers to build customized apps, bots and integrations on Flock. The developers can either use the customized apps within their organisations or publish it on Flock’s App Store, making them available for all Flock users.


FreeCharge launches e-wallet protection plan

Domestic digital payments platform FreeCharge has launched an e-wallet protection plan for all its users. The facility, in partnership with Reliance General Insurance Company Limited, will be offered free of cost to all FreeCharge users


Micromax, Uber join hands to offer integrated experience

Mobile phone brand Micromax Informatics, and taxi-hailing service Uber announced a partnership that will help Micromax customers book an Uber ride on their phones without having to download application.


India beat England by innings and 75 runs, win series 4-0 in ICC

India have ended the year 2016 as the No.1 ranked Test side after posting a 4-0 win over England in the five-match series, which culminated with an innings and 75 runs victory for the home side in Chennai.


AIBA grants full membership to Boxing Federation of India

AIBA unanimously granted full membership to the recently-formed Boxing Federation of India, BFI at a meeting on the sidelines of its 70th anniversary gala in Montreux, Switzerland.


Queen Elizabeth II steps down as patron of Wimbledon

Queen Elizabeth II is stepping down as patron of Wimbledon.

  • The 90-year-old queen has been patron of the All England Club since 1952, and last made an appearance at the Wimbledon tournament in 2010.
  • Prince William’s wife, Kate, will replace the queen.

Hong Kong decides to withdraw visa-free entry facility for Indians

In a setback to Indian travellers, the Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, has withdrawn the visa-free facility for Indians and they will now have to complete a pre-arrival registration from next month.


World’s oldest water sample found to be 2 billion years old

University of Toronto scientists have discovered the oldest water sample dating back to about two billion years, more than 500 million years more ancient than the previous oldest samples.


Demonetisation in Pakistan: Senate passes resolution to withdraw Rs 5000 note

Pakistan’s Senate passed a resolution seeking withdrawal of high denomination Rs 5,000 currency notes “in a phased manner” to curb the flow of black money, weeks after India demonetised its high value currencies.

  • Senator Usman Saif Ullah Khan of Pakistan Muslim League tabled the resolution that was endorsed by the majority of lawmakers in the Upper House.

Veteran Malayalam actor K N Jagannatha Varma passes away 


World war II veteran Mehar Singh passes away 

World War II veteran Mehar Singh, who had served with Royal Corps of Signals, passed away.

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