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Current Affairs - 15 December 2014

Which country won the 35th Champions Trophy Hockey (Men’s) by winning the final held on 14 December 2014?

  • Germany
    Germany defeated Pakistan in the final by 2-0 to win their tenth Champions Trophy title. This edition of Champions Trophy was held at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar (Odisha) and eight teams took part in it. Australia has won Men’s Champions Trophy for the highest 13 times followed by Germany (10 times). Champions Trophy is one of the most prestigious tournaments of men’s hockey as all the top teams take part in it. It was founded by Pakistan’s Air Marshal Nur Khan in 1978.

What was India’s position in 35th Champions Trophy Hockey (Men’s) that concluded on 14 December 2014?

  • Fourth
    Australia defeated India by 2-1 in the classification match held for third and fourth position. India thus once again finished at fourth position, the same position it achieved in 2012 Champions Trophy held in Melbourne (Australia). India’s best performance in Champions Trophy is third position it got in the 4thedition held at Amstelveen (Netherlands) in 1982.  The Netherlands finished at a disappointing fifth place followed by Argentina (sixth), England (seventh) and Belgium (eighth and last place).

Negotiators from over 190 countries, including India, on 14 December 2014 adopted a format for national pledges to cut global carbon emissions at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP20) held at Lima (Peru). This ended a deadlock between rich and poor countries to agree on a new ambitious and binding deal to be signed in Paris in 2015. The proposed climate control deal is to come into effect from which year?

  • 2020
    The deal, dubbed the Lima Call for Climate Action, paves the way for what is envisioned as the historic agreement in environmental history. The draft approved in the deal mentioned only that all pledges would be reviewed a month ahead of December 2015 Paris summit to assess their combined effect on climate change. Consistent with India and other developing countries push, a separate paragraph was added regarding differentiation – the principle of categorising countries based on their ability to pay for climate action measures. The last portion was lifted directly from the US-China climate agreement announced in November this year.

Which leading financial luminary of the country recently came to news for apparently rejecting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s highly ambitious ‘Make in India’ and suggesting ‘Make for India’ strategy instead?

  • Raghuram Rajan, RBI Governor
    Raghuram Rajan gave stress on ‘Make for India’ instead of ‘Make in India’ on the occasion of the Bharat Ram Memorial Seminar on ‘India’s Growth Trajectory in a Fractured World Economy: Opportunities and Challenges’, organised by FICCI in Delhi on 12 December 2014. He said that India should focus on domestic demand and create a unified market with a view to reducing transaction costs. His message was clear – what worked for China may not necessarily work for India too. He elaborated that when India pushes manufacturing exports, it will have to compete with China, and an export-led growth will not be as easy as it was for the East-Asian economies. We warned that the strategy of import substitution has been tried and it has not worked because it ended up reducing domestic competition, making producers inefficient, and increasing costs for consumers.

The Supreme Court-backed Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money lead by Justice M.B. Shah recently made what important recommendation pertaining to high value purchases?

  • Quoting of permanent account number (PAN) in addition to submitting an identity proof such as Aadhaar should me made compulsory for purchases over Rs. 1 lakh
    The SIT recommended that quoting of PAN and Aadhaar should be made mandatory for purchases over Rs. 1 lakh and should cover purchases made by cash as well as cheque. It further recommended that a central “Know Your Customer” (KYC) database be set up which captures details of PAN, passport number or driving licence number, which are often quoted for transactions. Other important SIT recommendation is that the amount of cash in possession should be capped at Rs 10 or 15 lakh and any amount beyond the threshold should be confiscated.

Russia has proposed to establish a manufacturing facility in India to produce as well as export which two helicopters during President Vladimir Putin’s state visit to India?

  • Mi-17 and KA-226
    Mi-17 is a medium lift helicopter (MLH) while KA-226 is light utility helicopter (LUH). The proposed manufacturing facility, to be put up in collaboration with an Indian partner, will also aim at exporting helicopters to other countries. The KA-226 had competed in the Indian military’s global LUH tender before the Indian Defence Ministry cancelled the process and decided to source the helicopters through the ‘Make in India’ project. India’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ campaign is expected to gain momentum with Russian decision to establish helicopter manufacturing unit in India.

The Union Home Ministry recently proposed to add a new category to the list of notified disasters eligible for assistance from national and state disaster relief funds. Which natural disaster is this?

  • Lightning
    The Union Home Ministry has moved a proposal to the 14th Finance Commission, suggesting inclusion of lightning in the list of notified disasters eligible for assistance from national and state disaster relief funds. India accounts for an average 400 deaths due to lightening every year. India has unusually high death toll due to lightning every year, mostly during monsoon season. On an average, three people die in Britain each year due to lightning strikes, while in the US, an average 30 people die following these strikes.

What is the name of the warship manufactured in India that would soon become the first to be exported by the country?

  • Coast Guard Ship Barracuda (CGS Barracuda)
    CGS Barracuda has been designed and built by the Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders. It is currently on its way to be exported to Mauritius for Rs. 350 crore. It would thus become the first warship to be exported by India. The off-shore patrol vessel will be used to police Mauritian waters, spread over 1.9 million square km, against piracy, smuggling, illegal fishing and drug trafficking. It will also provide logistical support, including search and rescue operations. Unlike in the past, India no longer needs to look to foreign manufacturers for warships. All its boats are now being manufactured in Indian shipyards.

What is the name of the Indian-origin woman who is poised to become the first woman to head a major British bank, the Santander UK?

  • Shriti Vadera
    Shriti Vadera Vadera was a Labour minister in the Cabinet Office, Business Department and International Development Department from 2007 to 2009 and served in the House of Lords. She will join the board of Santander UK as joint deputy chairman in January 2014. She will also join a very exclusive club of just three FTSE 100 firms, listed on the London Stock Exchange with the highest market capitalisation, with women as their chair.

Who was chosen as the new Director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) on 13 December 2014?

  • Dineshwar Sharma
    Dineshwar Sharma is presently Special Director in the Intelligence Bureau. He will take charge on 1 January 2014 succeeding Syed Asif Ibrahim. He is a 1979 batch IPS officer from Kerala cadre and will have two-year tenure. Sharma has served at various desks in IB since he was posted in the organisation in 1991 which includes Kashmir, Northeast besides stints in Lucknow.

International Organizations - Headquarters and Current Chiefs

  • Important (51)

    Organization NameHeadquartersName of Current Chief
    United Nations
    UN General AssemblyNew YorkJohn Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda)
    UN Security CouncilGary Quinlan (USA)
    UN Economic and Social CouncilMartin Sajdik
    UN SecretariatBan Ki-moon (South Korea)
    International Court of JusticeTher Hague (Netherlands)Peter Tomka (Slovakia)
    Food and Agriculture OrganizationRome (Italy)Jose Graziano da Silva
    International Labour OrganizationGeneva (Switzerland)Guy Ryder
    International Maritime OrganizationLondon (UK)Koji Sekimizu
    United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)New York (USA)Anthony Lake
    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)Paris (France)Irina Bokova
    United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)Nairobi (Kenya)Achim Steiner
    World Health OrganizationGeneva (Switzerland)Margaret Chan
    World Intellectual Property OrganizationGeneva (Switzerland)Francis Gurry
    World Food ProgrammeRome (Italy)Ertharin Cousin
    World Tourism OrganizationMadrid (Spain)Taleb Rifai
    United Nations Development ProgrammeNew York (USA)Helen Clark
    United Nations Capital Development FundNew York (USA)Marc Bichler
    United Nations Industrial Development OrganizationVienna (Austria)Li Yong
    International Union for Conservation of NatureGland, SwitzerlandJulia Marton-Lefèvre (Director General), Zhang Xinsheng (President)
    Arms Control
    Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical WeaponsThe Hague, NetherlandsAhmet Uzumcu
    International Energy AgencyParis (France)Maria van der Hoeven
    International Renewable Energy AgencyMasdar City (United Arab Emirates)Adnan Amin
    Nuclear Energy AgencyParis (France)William D. Magwood, IV
    International Atomic Energy AgencyVienna (Austria)Yukiya Amano
    Economic Institutions
    International Monetary FundWashington, D.C.( United States)Christine Lagarde
    Asian Development BankManila (Philippines)Takehiko Nakao
    International Fund for Agricultural DevelopmentRome (Italy)Kanayo F. Nwanze
    African Development BankIvory CoastDonald Kaberuka
    Bank for International SettlementsBasel, SwitzerlandJaime Caruana
    Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)Paris (France)Jose Angel Gurria
    Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)Vienna (Austria)President - Diezani Alison-Madueke,Secretary General - Abdallah el-Badri
    World Bank Group
    International Bank for Reconstruction and DevelopmentWashington, D.C. (United States)Jim Yong Kim
    International Development AssociationJim Yong Kim
    International Finance CorporationJin-Yong Cai
    Multilateral Investment Guarantee AgencyKeiko Honda
    International Centre for Settlement of Investment DisputesMeg Kinnear
    World Customs OrganizationBrussels (Belgium)Kunio Mikuriya
    World Trade OrganizationGeneva (Switzerland)Roberto Azevêdo
    International Criminal CourtThe Hague (Netherlands)Song Sang-Hyun
    European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker
    European Parliament Martin Schulz
    European Council Herman Van Rompuy
    Council of EuropeStrasbourg (France)Thorbjorn Jagland
    European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)Meyrin (Switzerland)Rolf-Dieter Heuer
    European Space AgencyParis (France)Jean-Jacques Dordain
    Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)Jakarta (Indonesia)Le Luong Minh
    South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)Kathmandu (Nepal)Arjun Bahadur Thapa
    North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)Brussels (Belgium)Jens Stoltenberg
    Asia-Pacific Economic CooperationSingaporeAlan Bollard
    African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
    African Union Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz

    Semi-Important (34)

    Organization NameHeadquartersName of Current Chief
    United Nations
    United Nations Development Fund for WomenNew York (USA)Inés Alberdi
    United Nations High Commissioner for RefugeesGeneva ( Switzerland)António Guterres
    Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDSGeneva ( Switzerland)Michel Sidibé
    United Nations Population FundNew York (USA)Babatunde Osotimehin
    United Nations Human Settlements ProgrammeNairobi (Kenya)Joan Clos
    United Nations VolunteersBonn (Germany)Richard Dictus
    United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of WomenNew York (USA)Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
    United Nations UniversityJapanDavid M. Malone
    World Wide Fund For NatureGland, SwitzerlandYolanda Kakabadse (President) Marco Lambertini (Director General)
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Rajendra K. Pachauri
    Global Environment FacilityWashington (USA)Naoko Ishii
    International Organization for MigrationGeneva, SwitzerlandWilliam Lacy Swing
    International Hydrographic OrganizationMonaco 
    Arms Control
    Nuclear Suppliers GroupCzech Republic (Current Chair), Argentina will be next chair in 2014-2015 
    Organization for Security and Co-operation in EuropeVienna (Austria)Lamberto Zannier
    Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty OrganizationVienna, Austria 
    International Whaling CommissionImpington (England) 
    International Seabed AuthorityKingston (Jamaica) 
    Economic Institutions
    International Bureau of Weights and MeasuresSevres (France)M.J.T. Milton
    African Development BankIvory CoastDonald Kaberuka
    Bank for International SettlementsBasel, SwitzerlandJaime Caruana
    Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)Paris (France)Jose Angel Gurria
    Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)Vienna (Austria)President - Diezani Alison-Madueke,Secretary General - Abdallah el-Badri
    Nordic Investment BankHelsinki (Finland) 
    Islamic Development Bank and Organisation of Islamic CooperationJeddah(Saudi Arabia)Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani
    Energy CommunityVienna (Austria)Janez Kopac
    European Science FoundationStrasbourg, FranceMarja Makarow
    European Southern ObservatoryGarching (Germany)Tim de Zeeuw
    Collective Security Treaty OrganizationMoscow (Russia)Nikolai Bordyuzha
    Economic Cooperation OrganizationTehran (Iran)Shamil Aleskerov
    Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) President - Desi Bouterse, Secretary General - Ernesto Samper
    Central American ParliamentGuatemala 
    Commonwealth of NationsUKSG - Kamalesh Sharma, Chairperson-in-Office - Mahinda Rajapaksa
    Arab LeagueCairo (Egypt)Nabil Elaraby

    Regular (21)

    Organization NameHeadquartersName of Current Chief
    International Centre for Migration Policy DevelopmentVienna (Austria)Peter Widermann
    Antarctic Treaty SecretariatBuenos Aires, Argentina 
    International Council for the Exploration of the SeaCopenhagen, Denmark 
    Asia-Pacific Fishery CommissionThailand 
    Indian Ocean Tuna CommissionVictoria (Seychelles) 
    Inter-American Tropical Tuna CommissionCalifornia (USA) 
    Northwest Atlantic Fisheries OrganizationCanada 
    North Atlantic Salmon Conservation OrganizationUK 
    Pacific Salmon CommissionColumbiaSusan Farlinger
    Southeast Asian Fisheries Development CenterThailand 
    Western and Central Pacific Fisheries CommissionUSACharles Karnella
    Energy / Nuclear Energy
    International Institute for Applied Systems AnalysisVienna (Austria) 
    European Free Trade AssociationGeneva (Switzerland)Kristinn F. Arnason
    European Patent OrganisationMunich (Germany) 
    Council of the Baltic Sea StatesStockholm (Sweden)Jan Lundin
    Southern African Development CommunityGaborone (Botswana) 
    Economic Community of West African States John Dramani Mahama
    Organization of American StatesWashington, D.C.José Miguel Insulza
    Caribbean CommunityGeorgetown (Guyana)Secretary-General - Irwin LaRocque, Chairman Gaston Browne
    Association of Caribbean StatesPort-of-Spain (Trinidad)Alfonso Munera Cavadia
    Organisation of Eastern Caribbean StatesSaint LuciaChairman - Roosevelt Skerrit, Director General - Didacus Jules

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