Current Affairs of 16th December 2019

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Lt General Manoj Mukund Naravane has been appointed as the Chief of Army Staff

Description: Lt Gen Major Mukund Naravane appointed as new Chief of Army Staff

Lt General Manoj Mukund Naravane has been appointed as the Chief of Army Staff. He will succeed Army chief General Bipin Rawat, who is due to retire on December 31 after a three-year-long stint. Lt Gen Naravane is currently serving as Vice Chief of Army Staff.

Before taking charge as Vice Chief of Army Staff in September, Lt Gen Naravane was heading the Eastern Command of the Army which takes care of India’s nearly 4,000-km border with China.

Lt Gen Naravane is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA) and the Indian Military Academy (IMA). He was commissioned into the 7th Battalion, the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment in June 1980. Lt Gen Naravane is a decorated officer who has been awarded the ‘Sena Medal’ (Distinguished) for commanding his battalion in Jammu and Kashmir.

He is also a recipient of the ‘Vishisht Seva Medal’ for his services as the Inspector General Assam Rifles (North) in Nagaland and the ‘Ati Vishisht Seva Medal’ for commanding a prestigious strike corps. He was also honored with ‘Param Vishisht Seva Medal’ for his distinguished services as the GOC-in-C of the Army Training Command.

International Conference to Commemorate International Migrants Day will be held in Bangkok, Thailand

The International Conference to Commemorate International Migrants Day will be held on 17-18 December 2019 at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.

The conference is hosted by the Asian Research Center for Migration (ARCM) at the Institute of Asian Studies, Chula Global Network (CGN), Chulalongkorn University, in collaboration with the Representative of Thailand to ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children, the International Labour Organization (ILO) through the TRIANGLE in ASEAN and Safe and Fair programs, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Organization for Migration (IOM), UN Women, and the Thai Union Group (TUF).

The theme of the conference is “Migration and SDGs: ASEAN and Beyond-A pathway to 2030 agenda: Episode II”. During the two days, invited practitioners and experts from the region will present, discuss, and share knowledge and perspectives related to a range of migration-related topics including climate change, displaced persons, labour migration, fishing, and youth.

Sridhar Patra appointed NALCO Chiefe and Managing Director

Description: Image result for Sridhar Patra appointed CMD of NALCO

Sridhar Patra was on Monday appointed as the chairman-cum-managing director of NALCO. Patra is at present Director (Finance) in the National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO). He has been appointed as the CMD of NALCO till the date of his superannuation, i.e. October 31, 2024.

Government Instant Messaging System (GIMS)

The launch of the new app comes amid the recent controversy over the WhatsApp breach. Some Indian users’ mobile devices were targeted through spyware called Pegasus recently.

Government Instant Messaging System (GIMS) is a prototype of an Indian equivalent of popular messaging platforms, such as WhatsApp and Telegram for secure internal use.

GIMS is being touted as a safer bet as the platform has been developed in India, the server hosting it is installed within the country and the information stored would be in the government-based cloud — NIC-operated data centers that are only meant for captive use by the government and its departments.

About Government Instant Messaging System (GIMS):

It is designed and developed by the Kerala unit National Informatics Centre (NIC).

It is being packaged for employees of Central and state government departments and organisations for Intra and Inter organisation communications.

It is an Indian equivalent of popular messaging platforms, such as WhatsApp and Telegram, for secure internal use.

It is being developed as a secure Indian alternative without the security concerns attached to apps hosted abroad or those owned by foreign entities.

The server hosting GIMS is installed within the country and the information stored would be in the government-based cloud — NIC-operated data centers that are only meant for use by the government and its departments. It is like WhatsApp, GIMS employs end-to-end encryption for one-to-one messaging.

Air Marshal D Choudhury is the new Commandant of National Defence College

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Air Marshal D Choudhury took charge as Commandant of National Defence College from Vice Admiral Srikant today. Prior to this appointment, Air Marshal Choudhury was senior Air Staff Officer at the Headquarters of Western Air Command, New Delhi.

Air Marshal Choudhury is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and was commissioned into the fighter stream of the India Air Force on 22nd December 1983. The Air Marshal also an alumnus of the Royal College of Defence Studies, UK, Post Graduate in Strategy and International Security from King’s College London and also holds an M.Phil degree in Defence and Strategic Studies.

The National Defence College, established on 27th April 1960, is a premier institution under the Ministry of Defence and is the highest seat of Strategic Education of the Nation. It’s prestigious annual Course of 47 weeks duration on “National Security and Strategic Studies” is therefore in great demand both nationally and internationally. 

Its present Alumni strength is nearly 4000 includes Four Heads of State, numerous Chiefs of Armed Forces in India and abroad, a substantial number of high ranking military and civilian officers, statesmen and public servants. 

Amitabha Bagchi’s ‘Half The Night Is Gone’ wins South Asian Literature Prize 2019

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Amitabha Bagchi’s novel “Half The Night Is Gone” has won the $25,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2019, topping a shortlist of six works of fiction.

The winner was announced at the IME Nepal Literature Festival in Pokhara, Nepal, where Pradeep Gyawali, minister for foreign affairs of Nepal, presented the winner’s trophy to Bagchi.

About the Novel

This novel, written in English, feels like a book written in an Indian language, and has the authenticity and the interiority of a work in translation without in fact being a translation. All sub-continental novelists in English since Raja Rao have striven ‘to express in a language that is not one’s own a sensibility that is one’s own’, and this novel evokes the sensibility of not one but three Indian languages: Hindi, Urdu, and Sanskrit. It weaves together three parallel stories, interrogating the relationships between men and women, fathers and sons, masters and servants, and the nation and the individual.

The other shortlisted books were:

  • The Empty Room, Sadia Abbas, Zubaan
  • There’s Gunpowder in the Air, Manoranjan Byapari, translated from the Bengali by Arunava Sinha, Eka
  • The City and the Sea, Raj Kamal Jha, Penguin Books
  • 99 Nights in Logar, Jamil Jan Kochai, Bloomsbury
  • The Far Field, Madhuri Vijay, Har

CII organizes “Steeling India-2019”

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organized a meeting on Steeling India-2019: Driving metal intensity in key sectors on 16 December in New Delhi. The Union Minister for Steel and Petroleum & Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan participated in the meeting. 

The aim of the meeting is to increase metal intensity in key sectors. It aimed to enhance the steel intensity in key user sectors, especially in rural India. 

  • Discussion on strategies for augmenting steel consumption and promoting steel intensive structures was held.
  • The meeting focused on Infrastructure and Housing, Automobile and Railways, Water and Irrigation.
  • It included deliberation on Innovative Growth Strategies that focused to add value and niche products.
  • Brain-storming sessions included newer applications of steel amongst the user segments and many challenges that are faced by the supply chain in the steel industry and propose.

India, Germany ink pact for Rs 1,958 cr finance to develop energy-efficient housing program

India has secured a USD 277 million (about Rs 1,900 crore) loan from Germany to establish an energy-efficient housing program in the country.

A loan agreement has been signed between State Bank of India (SBI) and the German Development Bank KfW for USD 277 million to establish an energy-efficient housing programme in India.

The financial cooperation pact has been signed in October between the Government of India and the Government of Germany.

The programme shall be part of the Indo-German Development Co-operation, guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Under the programme, both builders and homebuyers shall be financed for developing/ purchasing energy-efficient residential projects that achieve at least 25 percent energy savings in comparison to standard reference buildings.

Geneva to host first Global Refugee Forum

The first-ever Global Refugee Forum is being held in Geneva, Switzerland from 16-18 December 2019. It is being jointly hosted by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) along with the Government of Switzerland.

The aim of the forum is to give impetus to efforts to achieve the compact’s objectives and translate international solidarity into concrete action.

Four objectives of GCR:

  • Share responsibilities more equitably
  • Enhance refugee self-reliance
  • Expand access to third-country solutions (i.e., permanent resettlement or other opportunities such as scholarships or work permits)
  • Support conditions in countries of origin for safe, voluntary, dignified repatriation.

Vijay Diwas celebrated across India on 16th December 2019

Vijay Diwas is celebrated on December 16 every year to commemorate India’s victory over Pakistan in 1971. India had defeated Pakistan in this war. Indian army brought Pakistani soldiers to their knees. Another fact is that Bangladesh was born on this day. Hence, Bangladesh celebrates its independence day on December 16 every year.

On this day in 1971, the chief of the Pakistani forces, General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, along with 93 thousand troops, had surrendered unconditionally to the allied forces consisting of Indian Army and Mukti Bahini led by Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora in Dhaka after their defeat in the Liberation war. After the end of the 14-day war resulted in subsequent secession of East Pakistan into Bangladesh.

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