Current Affairs – December 2012
1) Former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral passes away:
Former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral, who headed a rickety coalition government in the late 1990s, died after a brief illness. He became Minister of External Affairs in the V P Singh-led National Front government in 1989.
2) Obama appoints blind Indian-American to key post:
The Obama administration has appointed a blind Indian-American to a key administrative post in an independent US agency devoted for people with disabilities. Sachin Dev Pavithran has been appointed as Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board.
3) NASA spacecraft discovers ‘ice’ on Mercury:
A NASA spacecraft has confirmed the presence of abundant ‘icy’ water along with other frozen volatile materials within ‘burning hot’ Mercury’s permanently shadowed polar craters. NASA’s Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft has been studying Mercury, the nearest planet to the Sun, in unprecedented detail since its historic arrival there in March 2011. Given its proximity to the Sun, Mercury would seem to be an unlikely place to find ice. However, the tilt of Mercury’s rotational axis is less than 1 degree, and as a result, there are pockets at the
planet’s poles that never see sunlight.
4) Lok Sabha Passed the banking bill Clearing way for New Corporate Licenses:
The Lok Sabha on passed the Banking (Amendment) Bill, which majorily focuses on attracting more foreign investment into the banking industry and cleared a major obstacle and paved the way for the Reserve Bank of India to issue new bank licenses.
5) China’s Ministry of Commerce had named Infosys in its list of the 100 key liaison service outsourcing companies. Infosys became the only company headquartered in India that has received this recognition. It was included in the list due to strong growth in China.
6) US President Barack Obama named Person of the year 2012 by TIME Magazine:
US President Barack Obama was named TIME’s Person of the Year for 2012, because of his historic win over the re-election in November 2012 which is being considered as symbol of the nation’s changing demographics amid the backdrop of high unemployment and other challenges. His name was announced by TIME editor Rick Stengel. It is the second time Barack Obama is being accorded with this honour. He had also received the honour in 2008, when he was first elected as president.
7) P. Chidambaram awarded with the Best Administrator in India Award. The award was presented to him by Vice President of India, M. Hamid Ansari. The award is given to him for his role in evolving indian economy as Finance Minister in the late 1990s when he presented what was widely called a dream budget which gave a road map for economic reforms in India and lowered income and corporate tax rates.
8) Ranjit Sinha, Senior IPS officer took over as CBI director. He had served in CBI agency initially as the DIG and joint director as well.
9) General Motors India appointed Rajesh Singh as the new Vice President-Sales, Marketing and Aftersales.
He will take the office from 1 January 2013 and will be responsible for the complete vehicle sales, servicing and marketing (VSSM) function of GM India. Rajesh Singh is replacing Ashwani Muppasani who had assumed the VSSM leadership role on an interim basis in August 2012. On the other hand Ashwani Muppasani will move on to a new role in General Motors.
10) India won the 3rd World Cup Kabaddi Tournament for the third consecutive time in the Men’s category and second consecutive time in the Women’s category. Indian men defeated arch rival Pakistan and Indian Women thrashed Malaysia. Both the finals were played at the Guru Nanak Dev Stadium in Ludhiana.
11) Mumbai, the commercial capital of India was named one among the dirtiest cities of the world in the Trip Advisor’s Cities Survey. Tokyo streets are ranked no. 1 in cleanest,safety, best public transportation as well as best taxi services.
12) Naina Lal Kidwai took over as President of FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry), becoming the first woman to head the leading industry body.
13) Pandit Ravi Shankar, the sitar maestro would be honoured with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously. He would become first Indian to receive the prestigious award. The award would be presented at 55th Grammy Awards ceremony on 10 February 2013 in Los Angeles. He is a three-time Grammy Award winner.
14) Scientists from NASA spotted the longest extra-terrestrial river system ever on Saturn’s moon Titan which appears to be a miniature version of Earth’s Nile River.
15) United Nations gave Vinod Rai, the current comptroller and auditor general (CAG) of India a second term as the designation of chairman of UN Panel of External Auditors for 2013.
16) Narendra Modi wins record third time term as the chief minister of Gujarat. He is firming up his chances of being nominated by the BJP for running for prime minister in 2014.
17) Bihar’s public grievance redressal website received the Silver Icon Web Ratna Award 2012. The website has been developed by the state government as an e-governance initiative and has various features for quick and transparent disposal of complaints.
18) The Nobel Peace Prize 2012 was awarded to the European Union (EU) leaders. The award was given to the European Union leaders for the efforts in promotion of peace as well as human rights.
19) The Union government of India appointed Parthasarathi Shome, the tax expert, as the adviser to finance minister P Chidambaram. Shome was appointed with a rank of minister of state. For past few months, he was also associated with acquiring back the investor confidence. He was the head of committee on General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) as well as retrospective amendments.
20) Congress chief Sonia Gandhi ranked at number 12 and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ranked number 19 in the list of top 20 most powerful people in the world by the Forbes Magazine in annual power rankings. Enjoying the first position for the second year consecutively is the US President Barrack Obama.
21) PVR, the multiplex chain operator in India acquired 69.3 percent stake in Cinemax India for an amount of 395 crore Rupees in order to enhance its presence in India. Cinemax owned by Kanakia Group has its ventures in hospitality, education as well as real estate sectors.
22) The biggest ever black hole discovered in the small galaxy called NGC 1277 which is situated around 250 million light years away from our planet. This galaxy constitutes the mass equal to 17 billion suns. This gigantic black hole forms around 14 percent of the mass of host galaxy. When compared with the 0.1 per cent of the usual black hole.