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2012 - December 27 to 31 Current Affairs


International Issues 

Afghan government has signed an agreement with a Russian construction company to build 100,000 residential units in the country. Afghan Minister of Urban Development Affairs Dr. Hassan Abdullahi and the representative of the Russian construction company Dimitry Kommisarov signed the agreement in Kabul. 





Afghan Government has launched a programme to provide electronic identity cards to all its citizens. According to the Afghan Interior Ministry more than 400 registration teams will be deployed across the country to collect data and issue cards to all eligible citizens. 





Pakistan has received $688 million from the United States under the Coalition Support Fund. Under the CSF, Pakistan is reimbursed by the US for expenses incurred in the war of terror. According to the Minister of State for Finance Salim Mandviwalla , $688 million was received by Pakistan. In August 2012, Pakistan had received $1.12 billion from the US under the fund. 60 percent of the fund is allocated to the army while the remaining amount is used to meet the fiscal deficit. 





President Pranab Mukherjee on 27 December 2012 declared open the 4th World Telugu Conference in the presence of thousands of Telugu-speaking people from across the world in the temple town of Tirupati of Andhra Pradesh. Marking the occasion President released Teluguvari Charitra, a coffee table book brought out by EMESCO and another on gold coins of Srivari Hundi on Tirumala, while Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan released Teluguvani, another book. 

The event was also marked with the felicitation of 14 eminent Telugus. World Telugu Conference is held for promotion of Telugu language. Literary exemplary personalities attend and share their views on spreading and preserving the rich language. 

First World Telgu Conference was held in Hyderabad in year 1975





A survey conducted by China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) which is a government owned body, revealed that the capital of China, Beijing is less safer than other cities of the country. The safest place is the capital of Tibet, Lhasa, followed by Shanghai. 



National Issues 

Centre has approved 12 Foreign Direct Investment- FDI proposals amounting to around 802 crore rupees. These proposals were approved on the recommendations of Foreign Investment Promotion Board-FIPB. 

According to the Ministry of Finance, the government gave its nod to Ratnakar Bank's proposal to increase foreign equity from 43 per cent to 55 per cent which will bring in 300 crore rupees as FDI. Another approval pertained to the proposal of Taqa Jyoti Energy Ventures Private Limited to bring in 252 crore rupees as foreign investment. 





Country's apex policy making body National Development Council, NDC, approved the strategy to achieve average growth rate of 8 per cent during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17),generate 50 million new jobs and increase investments in infrastructure sector. 

The document, was approved at the full meeting of the NDC chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. It has pegged the aggregate Plan resources at 37.16 lakh crore rupees during the five year period. The day-long meeting of the Chief Ministers, which approved the 12th Plan Five Year Plan Document aimed at 8 per cent average annual growth, from 8.2 per cent in the draft,saw the Prime Minister issue a warning that failure to control subsidies would lead to cut in plan expenditure. 





An important milestone was achieved in connecting Kashmir with the North railway network of the country as trail run was conducted on newly completed section of Qazigund Banihal in the prestigious Udhampur Baramulla Rial Link Project. An 11 Kilometer tunnel in this section has been completed with a cost of 1800 crore paving way for the completion of the prestigious project in 2017. 





The National Water Resources Council has adopted National Water Policy-2012 at its meeting held in New Delhi. The policy emphasizes on the concept of basin management to promote integrated resources of water management. It also highlights the need for the conservation of water resources. 





Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan inaugurated a Central Computing Facility in New Delhi for effective administration of Wakf properties. The facility aims at preventing encroachment of Wakf land and properties by maintaining their digital records. It will also provide necessary guidance to state Wakf boards in handling disputes and maintenance of property data. 





Government has earned 83,938 crore rupees as foreign exchange from tourism as against 68,721 crore rupees last year. This amounts an increase of 22 per cent this year. The visa-on-arrival scheme drew 13,903 tourists as against 11,121 visitors in 2011, a rise of about 25 per cent this year.





India is set to produce over 133 million tonne milk in the current financial year registering an increase of five million tonne over the last fiscal. According to an official release, the production of various animal products has shown a steady increase over the years. 

Per capita availability of milk at national level has also increased to 290 gram per day. The availability of protein-rich meat and eggs has also increased due to the significant rise in their production. 

The total meat production is estimated to be nearly six million tonnes in current fiscal as against over five million tonne in 2011-12. The estimate of egg production in the current year is also likely to climb to over 72 billion.





Government has initiated the process of allocation of 17 Coal Blocks under the amended Mines and Mineral Development Regulation, MMDR Act and Rules to PSUs for specific end use (power) and Coal mining. It has been decided to offer 14 coal blocks for power and three coal blocks for mining. 



Bilateral Issues 

Bangladesh Railway signed an agreement with Titagarh Wagons Limited, an Indian company, for purchasing 170 meter gauge Flat Wagons and 11 Bogie Brake Vans with Air Brake system for its container fleet under the line of Credit provided by India. 

Additional Director General of the state-run Railway RS Khalilur Rahman and Chief Technical Adviser of Titagarh Wagons Limited Ashok Kumar Das signed the agreement at Rail Bhavan in Dhaka in the presence of Bangladesh's Railway Minister M Mujibul Haq and Railway Adviser of the Indian High Commission in Dhaka Ms. Chandrima Roy. As per the agreement, Titagarh Wagons Limited will supply the wagons costing around Ten Million and seven hundred twenty eight thousand US Dollars. 



Persons 

Retired Army General Norman Schwarzkopf, who commanded the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Iraqi forces out of Kuwait in 1991, has died. He was 78. 





Veteran corporate leader Ratan Tata retired as Chairman of Tata Group after successfully heading the group for 50 years. Tata, who turned 75 has handed over the reins of the group to Cyrus Mistry, who was chosen his successor in 2011 and formally appointed Chairman. 





Former England captain and well known cricket commentator Tony Greig passed away in Sydney. 





Italian Nobel prize-winning neurologist Rita Levi-Montalcini has died at the age of 103. Miss Levi-Montalcini lived through anti-semitic discrimination under fascism to become one of Italy's top scientists and most respected figures. 

She won acclaim for her work on cells, which furthered understanding of a range of conditions, including cancer. In 1986, she shared the Nobel prize for medicine with biochemist Stanley Cohen for research carried out in the US. 





MS Sahoo, the former member of SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) on 27 December 2012 had been appointed secretary of the Institute of Company Secretaries. ICSI is the only recognized professional body in India to develop and regulate the profession of Company Secretaries in India. 

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India awards the certificate of bestowing the designation of Company Secretary(CS) to a candidate qualifying for the membership of the Institute. It was in 1960 that the Company Law Board started a course in Company Secretaryship leading to the award of Government Diploma in Company Secretaryship. 





Indian Market Regulator SEBI on 28 December 2012 appointed S. Raman as Whole-time Member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Prior to this appointment, Raman, had served as Chairman and Managing Director of Canara Bank from September 2010 to September 2012 and had also served as Executive Director of Union Bank of India from October 2008 to August 2010. 



Awards 

Leading Odia novelist and academician Pratibha Ray has been selected for Jnanpith Award for the year 2011. Ms. Ray has 20 novels, 24 short stories, 10 travelogues, two poetry collections and a number of essays to her credit. The award carries a cash prize of 7 lakh rupees, a citation and a public felicitation. 





Venkatesh Mannar a Chennai-born Scientist of Indian Origin and President, Micronutrient Initiative, Canada was awarded with Canada’s Highest Civilian Award – the Order of Canada. Mannar, a Graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and a post graduate in chemical engineering from Northwestern University, US, was honoured with the award for his forty years long contribution working towards reduction of debilitating micronutrient deficiencies among the worlds most vulnerable. 

The Order of Canada instituted by Queen Elizabeth II in the year 1967 is a Canadian National Order and is the second highest honour of merit in the Country. It is placed next to Order of Merit. The order is given to people with lifetime outstanding achievements and their dedication towards the community and service to the nation and people in Canadian Society in all the sectors. 





The Astronautical Society of India (ASI) announced names of former secretary of the Department of Ocean Development, Dr. A.E. Muthunayagam and Dr. V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister for prestigious Aryabhatta Award for the year 2010 and 2011 respectively. The two have been selected for the achievement in rocketry. 



Sports 

World Number 1 and the defending champion Novak Djokovick has retained Abu Dhabi World Tennis Championship title beating Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 6-7, 6-4,6-3. The Spaniard won the first set on a tie breaker but Djokovick came from behind in the second and third set to prove his class as the World Number one. 

Djokovick defeated David Ferrer while Nicolas Almagro beat Janko Tipsarevic. David Ferrer claimed third spot in the tournament when he beat Janko Tiparevic 7-6,6-2 in straight sets. This is the last tennis tournament of the calendar year 2012. 





Mahaveer Singh of Rajasthan and Tejaswini Sawant of Maharashtra won gold medals on 28 December 2012 in National Shooting Championship. 



Defence

Russian aircraft maker MiG has delivered four MiG-29K/KUB ship borne fighters to the Indian Navy under a contract concluded in 2010. In March 2010, Russia and India signed a $1.5-billion contract for the supply of 29 additional MiG-29K Fulcrum-D carrier-based fighter jets to New Delhi. 



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