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National Appointment 

1. Krishnamurthy Subramanian Appointed Chief Economic Adviser

  • The Union government has appointed Dr Krishnamurthy Subramanian as the Chief Economic Adviser for three years.
  • He is currently working as an Associate Professor at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.
  • Mr Subramanian has a PhD from Chicago-Booth and IIT-IIM alumnus, is one of the world’s leading experts in banking, corporate governance and economic policy.
  • In June 2018, Arvind Subramanian (Chief Economic Advisor of India) had resigned from the post.
  • The office of CEA has been vacant since then.

Note:

  • The Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) is the economic advisor to the Government of India and ex-officio cadre controlling authority of the Indian Economic Service.
  • The CEA is under the direct charge of the Minister of Finance.

National Affairs 

2. Ministry of Shipping approves the development of freight village in Varanasi

  • Ministry of Shipping has approved the development of a freight village in Varanasi adjoining the Inland Waterways Terminal on River Ganga.
  • It will be developed at a cost 156 crore rupees, serve as a cargo hub and a centre for aggregation.
  • It will also provide support to stimulate the development of a professional logistics industry in Varanasi.

Note:

  • A freight village is a designated area where facilities for various modes of transportation, distribution of goods and other logistics are available in a synchronized manner on a large scale.
  • The freight village is proposed to be developed over a land area of about 100 acres.

3. FAO Council approves 2023 as International Year of Millets

  • According to Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Council have approved India’s proposal to observe an International Year of Millets in 2023.
  • The 160th session of the FAO Council, currently underway in Rome approved the proposal.
  • This will enhance global awareness to bring back these nutri-cereals to the plate.
  • Millets consist of Jowar, Bajra, Ragi and minor millets together termed as nutri-cereals.
  • FAO Council has also approved India’s membership to the Executive Board of the United Nations World Food Program for 2020 and 2021.

4. Kolkata-Patna becomes India’s 2nd container cargo sector on inland waterways

  • India’s new Inland Water Transport (IWT) Kolkata-Patna, an origin-destination pair for containerised cargo movement on the National Waterway-1.
  • Patna will be witness to a new landmark in India’s IWT sector.
  • The Ministry of Shipping is developing NW-1 (River Ganga) under Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) from Haldia to Varanasi (1390 Km) with the technical and financial assistance of the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs 5369 crore.

International Affairs

5. UN launches new framework to combat terrorism

  • Antonio Guterres (UN Secretary-General) has launched a new framework to combat the scourge of international terrorism and coordinate efforts across the peace and security, humanitarian, human rights and sustainable development sectors.
  • The framework is an agreement between the UN chief, 36 organizational entities, INTERPOL and the World Customs Organisation.
  • The UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact Task Force will replace the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (established in 2005) to strengthen UN system-wide coordination and coherence of counter-terrorism efforts.

6. Japan govt enacts a new law to accept foreign workers

  • Japanese government passed a new law to bring more blue-collar foreign workers into the country to address chronic labour shortages (from April 2019).
  • The government plans to start the new scheme from April next year.
  • Under the law, Japan plans to bring in 3 lakh 45 thousand foreign workers in construction, food services, nursing and other sectors for five years.
  • The law allows foreign nationals with skills in sectors facing severe shortages to obtain five-year visas, which will not allow them to bring their families.

Science & Defense

7. China launches the 1st mission to land on the far side of the moon

  • A Long March 3B rocket launches China’s first-ever spacecraft Chang’e 4 lunar probe from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
  • The probe is expected to make the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon in early January 2019.
  • The Chang’e-4 mission will see a static lander and rover touch down in Von Kármán crater, located on the side of the Moon which never faces Earth.
  • The mission will perform a variety of science work and plant a flag for humanity in a region that remains largely unexplored to date.

8. NASA’s InSight lander ‘hears’ Martian winds

  • NASA’s InSight lander has provided the first-ever ‘sounds’ of Martian wind on the Red Planet.
  • According to NASA, InSight sensors captured a haunting low rumble caused by vibrations from the wind, estimated to be blowing between 10 to 15 miles per hour on 1st December.
  • Two very sensitive sensors on the spacecraft detected these wind vibrations.
  •  The seismometer recorded lander vibrations caused by the wind moving over the spacecraft’s solar panels.
  • The air pressure sensor, which will collect meteorological data, recorded these air vibrations directly.
  • InSight landed safely at Elysium Planitia on Mars on 26th November 2018.

Sports

9. Italy wins Admiral’s cup Sailing Regatta 2018

  • Italy won the Admiral’s Cup Sailing Regatta 2018 (ninth edition) at Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala.
  • Team Singapore was the Runners-Up and Team USA came third.
  • The host country team (Indian Naval Academy) finished fourth in the overall position of Admiral’s Cup 2018.

Note:

  • The Admiral’s Cup witnessed competitive sailing races in Laser Radials boats during race days scheduled from 3 -6 December 2018.

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Thoughts of the day’

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”

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