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National Current Affairs
National Current Affairs December 2nd Week 2017.
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National Current Affairs December 2nd Week 2017.

 1. Indian Navy Day is observed as 4 December.

December 4 is celebrated as Navy Day to celebrate Indian Navy’s achievement and as a tribute to the courage and determination made by the Indian Navy during the 1971 war. The Navy plays an important role in securing the marine borders as well as for the betterment of international relations via joint exercises, humanitarian missions, and calamity relief, among others. As the nation celebrates Navy Day, we narrate you the story behind the heroism that brought victory to India in the India-Pakistan war of 1971.

On December 4, 1971, the Indian Navy played a significant role in the Operation Trident, which was an attack on Pakistan Naval headquarters and sank Pakistan Naval Ship Ghazi. During the operation, the anti-ship missiles were used for the first time in the region. The attack killed over 500 Pakistani Navy personnel and destroyed four Pakistani vessels. Three Indian Navy missile boats – INS Nirghat, INS Veer and INS Nipat – played an important role in the operation.

The Operation

With an aim to attack the Karachi port, the Indian Navy sailed from Okha Port in Gujarat towards Pakistan at around 2 pm on December 4, 1971. At around 10:30 pm when they reached 70 miles South of Karachi, the lieutenants noticed an enemy vessel. The first missile was fired which hit the vessel PNS Khaibar but it was still floating. The second missile hit the ship destroyed the vessel. To defend the harbour, Pakistani vessel PNS Muhafiz too approached and then INS Veer fired its first missile. The attack resulted in sinking the vessel thus killing the entire crew in it.

2. PM Narendra Modi Inaugurated Unique World-Class Hospital in Ahmedabad.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a unique world-class hospital at the Swaminarayan Gurukul Vidyapeeth Pratisthanam in Ahmedabad on Sunday. The 200-bed hospital is an integration of Yoga, Ayurveda and Allopathy.

The hospital has world-class facilities in all the 3 streams offering the best possible care for any ailment.Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s association with the Swaminarayan Gurukul Vidyapeeth Pratisthanam goes back a long way. This world-class hospital aims at providing top of the line medical and health care on subsidised rates. What sets it apart is that it fuses the best of traditional and modern medicine. It offers holistic care using Ayurveda, Yoga and allopathy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the world was moving towards a back to basic approach to health and wellness.And the adoption of International Yoga day by the UN is testimony to this.

Swaminarayan Gurukul Vidyapeeth lives by the motto of service for all before service of self...and this spirit was visible in the colourful inaugural function.

3. India allows 1,300 Buddhists from Myanmar to enter Mizoram.

In a contradiction of its own policy, the Indian government has allowed over 1,300 tribal Buddhist refugees from Myanmar`s Rakhine region to enter Mizoram. The refugees left their homeland because of the ongoing war between the Myanmarese Army and the Arakan Army, made up of Buddhist insurgents.

This comes nearly a month after the Union Home Ministry had directed the northeastern states to take strict measures to prevent Rohingyas -- who are Muslims -- from entering Indian territory despite persecution by the Myanmar regime. 

The new group of refugees, belonging to the Chin and few other communities of Myanmar, have come to four villages in Lawngtlai district. 

According to sources in the Mizoram government, the administration is struggling hard to bring down the rising tensions among the refugees and the residents of Laitlang, Dumzautlang, Hmawngbuchhuah and Zochachhuah villages. 

According to the state administration, the refugees are being taken care of on humanitarian grounds as all of them came to escape clashes back home.

"It`s been some six days since these refugees have arrived on Mizoram territory. They currently are in four villages of the Lawngtlai district and are put up at shelter homes, Buddhist homes, temples and many other places," T. Arun, Deputy Commissioner of Lawngtlai, told IANS over the phone.

He emphasised that the security threat in such a situation cannot be denied.

"We basically have two rules -- one relating to national security and other related to humanitarian assistance. Under the humanitarian rules we are providing food as we do not want any starvation deaths. We also have to guard against the outbreak of diseases," said Arun.

4. Indian-American Senator Harris Tops Global Thinkers List.

Indian-American California senator Kamala Harris has topped the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine’s 2017 list of ’50 Leading Global Thinkers’ which also features US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. Besides Harris and Haley, Indian-origin stand-up comedian Hasan Minhaj has also made it to the list which recognises a remarkable range of individuals who have found ways to exert enormous influence, often in unexpected ways, on a wide range of issues.

“They are the doers who defined 2017,” said Foreign Policy while releasing its annual list of global thinkers, which this year number 50 instead of 100 as was mostly the case in previous years. Topping the list is Harris, 53, for giving the Democratic Party hope in the era of President Donald Trump, the magazine said.

Harris, the daughter of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, is the first-ever Indian-American to be elected to the US Senate. Seen as a potential Democratic presidential candidate, Harris is the only black woman in the Senate.

“Her professional bona fides and two decades as a prosecutor, her commitment to social justice (she has made immigrants’ rights and bail reform the focus of her first year in office), and her personal ‘firsts’ make her appealing to voters still smarting from (Hillary) Clinton’s loss and hungry for a charismatic non-white, non-male presidential candidate,” the magazine said. South Korean President Moon Jae-in is ranked second in the list for trying to rebuild decent democratic leadership in South Korea.

5. Amitabh Bachchan Launches Book on Indian Cinema.

The book, titled `Bollywood: The Films! The Songs! The Stars!`, is a coffee table book, which provides historical insights, lesser-known facts and behind-the-scene exclusives of the most iconic movies made in the history of the Indian film industry.

Amitabh Bachchan said, "there are very few amongst us unfortunately that have never taken up the idea of the thought of documenting the Indian film industry, researching it, keeping old memorabilia and I really want to appreciate your work, `Ausija (the author)` and for having taken the trouble of pursuing your passion in a way, but also creating something for posterity for the generations to come."

Co-authored by S.M.M. Ausaja, Karan Bali, Rajesh Devraj and Tanul Thakur, the book on India`s tinsel town is published by British multinational publishing company Dorling Kindersley (DK). Bachchan, who`s given the foreword to the book, thanked Ausaja for passionately documenting the Indian film industry in the book at a time when people refuse to take such initiatives.

The book details the most popular of Bollywood films and actors in a chronological order and gives the reader a tour of the highlights of Indian cinema.

6. Indias Largest Floating Solar Power Plant Opens in Kerala.

What you are seeing is the country`s largest floating solar power plant and it`s set up on the Banasura Sagar reservoir in Wayanad, Kerala.

The 500 kWp (kilowatt peak) solar plant of the Kerala state electricity board (KSEB) floats on 1.25 acres of water surface of the reservoir. The solar plant has 1,938 solar panels which have been installed on 18 ferro cement floaters with hollow insides.

The plant has been set up by KSEB at a cost of Rs 9.25 crore. The project has used high- efficiency solar panels and a floating substation have been set up on the reservoir itself to convert the output into 11kV, considering economic and safety aspects.

A 500 KVA (Kilo volt ampere) transformer, 17 inverters, a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system to control and monitor power generation and an anchoring system are part of the floating solar project.

7. Uttar Pradesh Shamli District Included in NCR.

Shamli district of Uttar Pradesh was included in the national capital region (NCR) on Monday, thus taking the total number of districts in the NCR to 23. The decision was taken at the 37th meeting of the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB).

“The Board considered the proposal of the Uttar Pradesh government for inclusion of Shamli district in the NCR and stated that with addition to the NCR, the provisions of the NCRPB Act will be applicable,” News agency PTI quoted an official statement.

The meeting also decided that the Aravallis are to be delineated in the entire NCR(according to the earlier decisions of the Board) and the work on natural conservation zone (NCZ) delineation needed to be expeditiously finalised by the NCR participating states.

“The forests should be identified as per the order of the Supreme Court and the ‘Aravallis’ are to be delineated in the entire NCR, as per the earlier decisions of the Board,” the statement read.

 8. Madhya Pradesh Assembly Passes Bill On Death For Rape Of Girls 12 And Below.

The Madhya Pradesh assembly on Monday unanimously passed a bill that will see rapists of girls 12 years or below being hanged till death. The move comes after the Shivraj Singh Chouhan Cabinet approved the bill last week. Called Dand Vidhi (Madhya Pradesh Sanshodhan) Vidheyak, 2017, the bill will be sent to the Centre and will need the assent of the President to become a law.

The development comes after the latest NCRB report revealed that Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of rape cases in the country. The bill proposes death penalty or a minimum term of 14-year rigorous imprisonment or life imprisonment till death for raping girls aged 12 or less. The minimum punishment increases to 20 years rigorous imprisonment for gang rape of girls aged 12 or less.

The bill also proposes punishment for disrobing, stalking or sex on the pretext of marriage. The jail term increases for second or subsequent offences.

Speaking to ANI on the bill, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said those who rape minor girls were not humans but devils and they didn’t have the right to live. “Jo log 12 saal ki masoom bachhi ka balatkaar karte hain wo manushya nahi pishach hain unhe jeene ka adhikaar nahi (The people who rape 12-year-old girls are not humans but devils. They don’t have the right to live),” Chouhan said.

Giving details about the bill, the chief minister also said repeated stalking would be a non-bailable offence and offenders would be punished. The government had mooted the bill after a 19-year-old woman was allegedly abducted and raped by four men near railway tracks in the vicinity of Bhopal’s Habibganj train station on October 31 when she was returning home after attending her coaching classes, leading to widespread protests across the state. The police too came in the line of fire after it was found that they had delayed in registering the FIR.

Chaired by Housing and Urban Affairs Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, the 37th meeting of the National Capital Region Planning Board  was attended by attended by Haryana Chief Minister Manoharlal Khattar, Uttar Pradesh Urban Development Minister Suresh Kumar Khanna and Delhi Public Works Department Minister Satyendra Jain, among others.

9. Supreme Court Allows Trump`s Travel Ban to go into Full Effect.

The US Supreme Court handed a legal victory to Donald Trump, ruling that his travel ban can be fully enforced pending an appeal.

Mr Trump`s ban, now in its third iteration, bars travel to the US by residents of six predominantly Muslim countries - Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

Seven of the court`s nine justices agreed to lift two injunctions imposed by lower appeal courts two months ago that had partially blocked the ban while legal challenges to it continue.

The ruling meant the open-ended policy could take full effect while those legal challenges are resolved. It was not a final ruling.

A White House spokesman said: "We are not surprised by today`s Supreme Court decision permitting immediate enforcement of the president`s proclamation limiting travel from countries presenting heightened risks of terrorism.

"The proclamation is lawful and essential to protecting our homeland. We look forward to presenting a fuller defence of the proclamation as the pending cases work their way through the courts."

In a statement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the Supreme Court`s action "a substantial victory for the safety and security of the American people."

Mr Sessions said the Trump administration was heartened that a clear majority of the justices "allowed the president`s lawful proclamation protecting our country`s national security to go into full effect."

 10. Union Government Unveils Mid-Term Review of Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20.

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday unveiled Mid-Term Review of Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 by announcing a slew of incentives to boost country`s exports. Prabhu said that mid-term review of FTP will leverage the long term advantages of GST in terms of reduced compliance and logistics costs.

Mid-term review of Foreign Trade Policy will focus on finding new markets and new products as well as increasing India`s share in the traditional markets and products, the minister said. To achieve Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s vision of doubling farmers` incomes, FTP will have a focused policy for agricultural exports.

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"Mid-term review aims to promote exports by simplification of processes, enhancing support to high employment sectors, leveraging benefits of GST, promoting services exports,monitoring exports performance through state-of-the-art analytics," Suresh Prabhu added.

The minister said the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) incentive rate will be raised by 2 per cent across the board for labour intensive/MSME sectors. Services exports from India Scheme (SEIS) incentives for sectors such as education, health, hospitality, business, legal, accounting, architectural, engineering to be increased by 2 per cent.

The increase in annual incentive by 34 per cent to Rs 8,450 crore will benefit leather, handicraft, carpets, sports goods, agriculture, marine, electronic components and project exports, the minister said in a tweet.

The FTP will provide "additional annual incentive of Rs 749 crore for the leather sector, Rs 921 crore for hand-made carpets of silk, handloom, coir, jute products, Rs 1,354 crore for agri products, Rs 759 crore for marine products, Rs 369 crore for telecom, electronic components, Rs 193 crore for medical equipment," the ministry said in a tweet.



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