Daily GK Updates 11th & 12th December 2016, Important Current Affairs

1. PM inaugurates India’s largest cheese plant in Banaskantha district
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was inaugurated a cheese plant of Banaskantha Cooperative Milk Producers Union (Banas Dairy) at Deesa in Gujarat.

2. Government to give 90% subsidy for starting community radio stations in northeast
i. The Union government is planning to provide 90% subsidy for starting community radio stations in the northeastern states and 75% in other states. 
ii. As per the present rules, Government gives a subsidy of 50% up to a limit of Rs 7.5 lakh for starting community radio stations. 
iii. Besides, Government is also planning to start new dedicated Doordarshan channel for the northeastern states from January 2017.

3. MP organises India’s biggest and first ever crop insurance claim distribution programme
i. Madhya Pradesh had organised country’s biggest and first ever crop insurance claim distribution programme under Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme in Ujjain district. 
ii. In this programme, insurance claims worth Rs 4,416 crore were distributed to 20.4 lakh farmers of the state. Farmers who had lost kharif crop in 2015 due to natural calamities are benefited under PM Crop Insurance Scheme.

4. India, Indonesia sign three agreements to enhance strategic partnership
i. India and Indonesia have signed three agreements in various areas including fishing, standardization and youth affairs and sports to enhance strategic partnership. 
ii. These agreements were signed after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting President of Indonesia Joko Widodo in New Delhi.

5. EU, Mali sign agreement to return migrants
i. The European Union signed agreement with the Mali to return of migrants who have reached Europe’s shores, and whose asylum requests have been refused.
ii.  It seeks to address root causes of illegal migration and to enable the return from Europe of Malian migrants. The agreement came after EU agreed to set up a 1.8-billion-euro fund to help address the root causes of migration.

6. Pakistan appoints Naveed Mukhtar as new ISI chief
i. Lt Gen. Naveed Mukhtar was appointed as new chief of Pakistan’s powerful spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). He will replace Lt Gen. Rizwan Akhtar. Lt Gen. Naveed Mukhtar possesses a vast experience in the field of intelligence and has headed the counter-terrorism wing of ISI. 

7. China provides Rs 15.80 billion to Nepal for reconstruction
i.  China has provided 15.80 billion Rupees to Nepal for post-quake reconstruction activities. The Nepali Cabinet has decided to accept the grants provided by China.

8. Paolo Gentiloni named as Italy’s new Prime Minister
i. Paolo Gentiloni has been named as Italy’s new Prime Minister. His appointment comes after reformist leader and former PM Matteo Renzi resigned in wake of the referendum defeat. Earlier, Gentiloni had served as the Foreign Minister under Renzi.
ii.  His new government will guide Italy to elections due by February 2018.

9. Bill English sworn in as New Zealand Prime Minister
i. Governing National Party’s Bill English sworn in as new Prime Minister of New Zeland. He succeeded John Key who had resigned citing personal reasons. Prior to this, he is Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. Besides, Social housing Minister Paula Bennett sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister.

10. Akshaykumar Kale elected President of 90th Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan
i. Writer and scholar Akshaykumar M Kale was been elected as the President of the 90th Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan. He is a critic of modern Marathi poetry. He was professor and head of Marathi Department at RTM Nagpur University. 

11. Viola Desmond becomes first Canadian woman to appear on banknote
Civil rights activist Viola Desmond created history by becoming the first Canadian woman to appear on the face of a banknote. She will replace Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A Macdonald from the $10 bill which will go into circulation in 2018. 
ii. Desmond is a well-known black civil rights leader and successful businesswoman. She had fought against racism in Canada in the 1940s. She died in 1965.

12. Pulkit Trivedi Facebook India’s new Industry Director
i.  Pulkit Trivedi was appointed as industry director of Facebook’s-commerce, retail, travel and financial services verticals. Previously, he was working for Google India as Head of Industry, eCommerce since April 2012. He has rich experience of 18 years and has worked with Microsoft, IBM and HCL in past.

13. Cyrus Mistry removed as Tata Industries director
i. Cyrus Mistry was removed as director of Tata Industries following shareholders’ vote. Tata Industries is a subsidiary of Tata Sons. Mistry had joined the Board of Tata Sons, India’s largest conglomerate in 2006 and was appointed Chairman of its Board in December 2012. In October 2016, he was sacked as Chairman of Tata Group and was replaced by his predecessor Ratan Tata in the interim.

14. ISRO signs deal for first privately built satellite
i. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has signed a contract with consortium of six private companies to deliver India’s first industry-built satellite by late 2017. This is the first time that ISRO has outsourced an entire satellite to industry. The contract signed includes assembly, integration and testing (AIT) of two spare navigation satellites consecutively in around 18 months.

15. China launches Fengyun-4 satellite
i. China has successfully launched Fengyun-4 satellite, first of its new generation advance weather forecasting satellites into geostationary orbit. It was launched onboard of Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province.

16. Motera’s Sardar Patel Cricket Stadium set to become largest in the world
i. The Sardar Patel Cricket Stadium (popularly known as Motera Stadium) in Ahmedabad is set to become the world’s largest seating capacity cricket stadium. 
ii. For increasing capacity the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) has handed the stadium’s renovation project to Larsen and Turbo (L&T).
iii.  The renovated stadium will have seating capacity of about 1,10,000 people from current 54,000 people. It will surpass the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which has a capacity of 1,00,024 people.

17. Gotthard Base Tunnel, world’s longest rail tunnel starts regular service
i. The famed Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) has started regular commercial rail service in Switzerland. The first regular train to use GBT ferried passenger from Zurich to Lugano. 
ii. The twin-bore GBT is world’s longest and deepest railway tunnel with length of 57-kilometer. It had overtaken Japan’s Seikan tunnel (53.9 kilometers) as the longest rail tunnel in world after it was opened in June 2016 for its maiden ride.

18. President Pranab Mukherjee launches 100 Million for 100 Million Campaign  
i. President Pranab Mukherjee launched a ‘100 Million for 100 Million’ Campaign at Rashtrapati Bhavan. 
ii. The campaign was conceptualized by Nobel peace prize winner Kailash Satyarthi and was organized by the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation.

19. Madhya Pradesh Government launches Narmada Seva Yatra
i. Madhya Pradesh Government has launched five months long Narmada Seva Yatra to turn the Narmada river pollution free.
ii.  It was launched by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan at Amarkantak. The Narmada Sewa Yatra aims to create awareness about the conservation of the river.
iii.  It is one of the biggest public campaign of the world to conserve river and environment.

20. Virat Kohli becomes first Indian captain to hit three double centuries
i. Virat Kohli became the first Indian captain to score three double centuries in Tests. Kohli amassed his third double ton in the fourth Test against England in Mumbai.

21. 3 Indian origin teenagers bag $1 lakh US scholarship
i. Three Indian-origin teenagers have won scholarship worth $ 1 lakh for their innovative research in 17th annual Siemens Math, Science and Technology Competition. 
ii. Identical twin sisters Shriya and Adhya won the competition for their project on Novel Approach to Schizophrenia Diagnosis. Vineet Edupuganti, won the top individual award for developing an ingestible battery.

22. John Kerry conferred with Highest French civilian award
i. US Secretary of State John Kerry has been has been awarded Officer of the Legion of Honour, the highest French civilian distinction for his contribution in peace effort.

23. Centre to launch helpline number 14444 to promote digital payments
i. Union Government will soon launch nationwide toll-free helpline number ‘14444’ to promote digital payments. The helpline will educate people and provide support related to cashless mode of transactions.

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