Current Affairs Pocket : 24th, 25th & 26th DEC. 2016

India’s first 2G Ethanol Bio-refinery to be set up in Punjab

  • The foundation stone of India’s first 2G (Second Generation) Ethanol Bio-refinery was laid at Tarkhanwala village in Bathinda, Punjab.
  • Central Government Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) is setting up this project at a cost of 600 crore Rupees.
  • HPCL’s bio-refinery will produce 100 kilolitres of ethanol per day i.e. 3.20 crore litres per annum from agricultural residues.
  • It will be sufficient to meet the 26% of the ethanol blending requirement of Punjab. It will also produce about 30,000 tonnes of bio-fertiliser per annum to enhance soil nutrients.
  • It will also produce more than 1 lakh kilograms of Bio-CNG per annum which can cater to transport and clean cooking requirements.
  • It will generate employment for about 1,200-1,300 persons in the biomass supply chain.
  • It will also generate an additional income of approximately 20 crore Rupees per annum for farmers through purchase of their agriculture residues.

DRDO successfully flight tests Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon

  • The Defence and Research Development Organization (DRDO) successfully flight tested Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) from Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft at integrated test range in Chandipur, Odisha.
  • During the test, the captive and release trials were tracked by Radar and Telemetry ground stations at Interim Test Range during the entire duration of the flight. Besides, the performances of all systems of SAAW were satisfactory meet and all the mission objectives were achieved.
  • It is capable of engaging ground targets with high precision up to a range of 100 kms. Thus, it gives IAF edge to hit adversary airfields with high precision from a safe distance.

Google India, Consumer Affairs Ministry join hands for online consumer protection

  •  Aiming to raise awareness about online safety, Google India in collaboration with Ministry of Consumer Affairs has announced a nationwide ‘Digitally Safe Consumer campaign, as part of a larger effort to help better protect consumer interest online.
  • As part of this collaboration, Google along with the Department of Consumer Affairs will undertake a year long campaign focused on building capacities of consumer organisations, personnel of consumer affairs department and counsellors of National Consumer Helpline on Internet safety and related issues.

ICICI Bank launches EazyPay app for Merchants

  • ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank has launched EazyPay mobile application for merchants that allows all-in-one acceptance payments platform.
  • This app consolidates all digital wallets, QR code, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), and credit & debit cards modes of payments. With this, ICICI Bank became first bank in the country to roll out all-in-one payments platform.

RBI opens banking ombudsman office in Dehradun

  • India’s central banking institution, Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has opened its 17th banking ombudsman office in Dehradun, Uttarakhand on December 23, 2016.It is the third such office in North India after Kanpur and Chandigarh.
  • RBI also announced that ombudsman office opens in Ranchi, Jharkhand on the same day.
  • With this, the total number of RBI ombudsman offices have increased to 18 in India.

Allahabad Bank Merges its subsidiary AllBank Finance with Itself

  • Public sector Allahabad Bank has merged its wholly owned subsidiary AllBank Finance (ABFL) with itself on December 23, 2016.
  • The merger was finalized at the Board of Directors meeting who gave the in-principle approval for merger of loss making AllBank Finance with the bank.
  • AllBank Finance is the merchant banking arm of Allahabad Bank and also holds license for debenture trusteeship.
  • ABFL offers various merchant banking services such as IPO management, debt/loan syndication, trusteeship services (debenture trustee/security trusty) structured finance, placement of equity shares to qualified institutional buyers (QIBs), investment advisory and portfolio management services.
  • Besides, it also provides mutual fund and other corporate services including valuation of security.

Jeje Lalpekhlua nominated 2016 AIFF Player of the Year

  • Mohun Bagan and Chennaiyin FC striker Jeje Lalpekhlua was nominated as the ‘2016 All India Football Federation (AIFF) Player of the Year.
  • The 25-year-old Indian professional footballer from Mizoram will be presented a prize of Rs. 2.5 lakh along with the glittering trophy.
  • Besides, Sasmita Malik was conferred the 2016 AIFF Woman Footballer of the Year. The Odisha-based footballer will get Rs. 2 lakh in cash and a trophy.
  • Rowllin Borges was declared the ‘2016 AIFF Emerging Player of the Year’.
  • Sanju, of the South Asian Games 2016, was honoured with the ‘2016 AIFF Emerging Woman Footballer of the Year’ award.
  • The Punjab Football Association was named for ‘2016 AIFF Award for Best Grassroots Programme’.
  • Pranjal Banerjee from IFA won ‘2016 AIFF Award for Best Referee’.
  • Joseph Tony was awarded the ‘2016 AIFF Award for Best Assistant Referee’.

India Defeats Sri Lanka to clinch Asia Cup under-19 title

  • India beat hosts Sri Lanka by 34 runs in the finals and cinched the Under-19s Asia Cup title on December 23, 2016 at the R Premadasa Stadium, Srilanka.
  • India under-19s team, coached by Rahul Dravid, opted to bat first after winning the toss and posted 273/8 in their 50 overs to which Sri Lanka could score 239 all out in 48.4 overs.
  • Himanshu Rana and Shubhman Gill were the leading run-scorers for India in the tournament while Chahar was the leading wicket-taker.
    ♦ Man of the Match: Captain Abhishek Sharma
    ♦ Man of the Series award: Opener Himanshu Rana.
  • The second edition was held in 2013/14 in UAE which was won by India by defeating Pakistan by 40 runs.

Pankaj Advani wins National title in 6-red Snooker

  • Sixteen-time world champion, Pankaj Advani bagged the National title in 6-red Snooker, the shorter format of the game.
  • Advani is the only player in the world to win all titles — National, Continental and World — in 6-red Snooker.
  • He is now the strongest player for qualifying for the Asian and World Championships in 6-red Snooker in 2017 to represent India.

Shiva Keshavan wins Gold at Asian Luge Championship in Japan

  • Shiva Keshavan, the only professional luger from India, won his third gold in Asian Luge Championship at Nagano, Japan.
  • The 35-year-old Shiva Keshavan finished the Asian Luge Championship race with a time of 99.962 seconds and top speed of 130.4 km/h to clinch the title.
  • First Indian to qualify for the Winter Olympic Games, Shiva, is a five-time Olympian and two-time Asian champion. Earlier he won gold in Asian Championship in 2011 and 2012.
  • Tanaka Shohei of Japan won the silver medal, taking time of 104.874 seconds with help of top speed of 124.6km/h.
  • Chinese luger Taipei’s Lien Te-An finished in 105.120 seconds with top speed of 126.3khpm to win the bronze medal.

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