Daily GK Update 1st December 2016, Important Current Affairs

1. Union Cabinet approves inclusion of 15 new castes in Central OBC list
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for inclusion of 15 new castes and modification in 13 other castes in the Central list of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in respect of 8 states. 
ii. These states are Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand. The Union Cabinet took this decision based on the recommendation of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).

2. World Aids Day: 1st December

i. i. World AIDS Day is observed across the world on 1st December annually. 
ii. The theme for 2016 World Aids Day is ‘Hands Up for HIV Prevention’.
iii. The day is observed to raise awareness to the Aids pandemic caused by the spread of the HIV infection.
iv. The day is celebrated by the government organizations, NGOs, civil society and other health officials by organizing the speeches or forums discussion related to the AIDS.

3. SC makes national anthem mandatory in cinema halls
i. The Supreme Court has ordered cinema halls to mandatorily play the national anthem before every screening and all those present in cinema halls have to “stand up to show respect.” According to SC such practice, will instil a feeling of committed patriotism and nationalism. 
ii. It should be seen as an opportunity for the public to express their “love for the motherland.” The SC order was given by bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy on a writ petition by Shyam Narayan Chouksey in October 2016.

4. Sachin Tendulkar's autobiography "Playing it my way" named Book of the Year
i. The autobiography of India’s batting legend Sachin Tendulkar “Playing it my way” has won the prestigious Crossword Book of the Year Award in the Autobiography category. 

ii. The book is penned by renowned cricket historian and Tendulkar’s close friend Boria Majumdar.
iii. Earlier, it also had entered the Limca Book of World Records for being the best selling adult hardback across both fiction and non-fiction. 

5. NITI Aayog constitutes Chandrababu Naidu Committee to promote cashless society, digital economy
i. The NITI Aayog has constituted a 13 member Committee on promotion of cashless society and digital economy. It will be headed by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.
ii.  Chief Ministers of Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim, Puducherry and Maharashtra representing different political parties are its members.

6. Naveen Patnaik inaugurates Tata Steel’s 55,000 TPA ferro-chrome plant in Gopalpur
i. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurates the 55,000-tonne per annum (TPA) Odisha ferro-chrome plant set up by Tata Steel at a cost of Rs 542 crore in its Gopalpur Industrial Park in Ganjam district.

ii. The plant is a unique environment-friendly unit with state-of-the-art pollution control equipment and technology such as ETP (Effluent Treatment Plant) and STP (Sewage Treatment Plant). 
iii. It is the first plant in India to use briquetting method of chrome ore fine agglomeration.

7. India inks Rs 5,000 crore defence deal with US to buy 145 M777 howitzers
i. India has signed government-to-government (G2G) deal with the United States (US) to buy 145 M-777 Ultra-Light Howitzers worth $750 million under the Foreign Military Sales programme. 
ii. The deal was signed at the two-day meeting of the 15th India-US Military Cooperation Group (MCG) held in New Delhi. This is the first defence deal signed by India for purchasing artillery guns since the Bofors scandal in 1980s.
iii.  It was recently cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

8. Himachal Pradesh Raj Bhawan adopts cashless system after PM’s appeal
Raj Bhawan of Himachal Pradesh has adopted the cashless system for all kind of payments. Governor Acharya Devvrat has directed Raj Bhawan’s official in Shimla to use a cashless system or cheque in all kinds of payments. 

ii. The direction was issued after the Prime Minister’s appeal in this regard.

9. Union Cabinet approves India’s negotiating position adopted at Kigali conference to Montreal Protocol
i. The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the negotiating position adopted by India at the recent 28th Meeting of Parties (MoP) to the Montreal Protocol in Kigali, Rwanda. The negotiations at Kigali meet held in October 2016 were aimed at including HFCs in the list of chemicals under the Montreal Protocol.
ii.  The Union Cabinet has approved baseline and freeze years proposal of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest (MoEFCC) over the issue of phasing down the climate-damaging refrigerants hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as negotiated in Kigali meet.

10. Union Cabinet approves simplification of Visa regime
i. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for liberalization, simplification and rationalization of the existing visa regime in India.
ii.  It has approved incremental changes in the visa policy as decided by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs with approval of Home Minister and in consultation with various stakeholders.

11. UK scientists allow three-parent babies mitochondrial gene therapy
i. An independent panel of British scientists and experts has formally given nod to introduce so-called three-parent baby fertility treatments or mitochondrial gene therapy (MGT) procedures. The panel tasked with reviewing the safety of MGT held that this practice should be cautiously adopted to prevent certain genetic diseases from being passed on to future generations. 
ii. Thus, it paves the way for the country to officially introduce the procedures. Earlier in February 2016, British Parliament voted to legalise three-parent baby fertility treatments or MGT procedures.
iii.  It was first country in the world to legalise creation of In-Vitro Fertilisation babies with DNA from three people. The world’s first three-parent baby boy was born in Mexico in April 2016 to a Jordanian couple with help of this new fertility technique which incorporates DNA from three people in embryo.

12. Cabinet approves Mumbai Urban Transport Project
i. The Union Cabinet has approved the Mumbai Urban Transport Project Phase-III estimated to cost Rs 10,947 crores on completion. 

ii. The Cabinet was chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

iii. The project is expected to be completed in the next five years during 13th Five Year Plan period.


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