24-31 December 2016 Current Affairs

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31 Dec, 2016

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1) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 30 December 2016 launched a new mobile app for enabling simpler payments without cash. What is the name of this app that supports USSD payments and works even on basic phones? – Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM)

Explanation: Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) is the name of the newest mobile app of the Union Government on 30 December 2016 that is expected to make digital payments simpler. The app, launched by PM Narendra Modi, has been positioned to play a big role in the government’s push for digital transactions.

The BHIM app is named after Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

BHIM allows customers to transact electronically without having to use a credit or debit card, or by creating and storing a mobile wallet. All UPI (United Payments Interface)-connected banks accept BHIM. Even banks not connected to UPI can receive money through BHIM through IFSC, an 11-digit code assigned to every bank branch by the Reserve Bank of India.

Even without a smartphone, anyone can use BHIM to make payments by dialing *99# from any kind of mobile phone (number registered with the bank).

BHIM is now available as an Android version download now, and iOS is coming soon. There is a Rs. 10,000 per transaction limit, and Rs. 20,000 per day for BHIM.

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2) What is the name of India’s longest range nuclear capable missile that was successfully tested by the DRDO on 26 December 2016? – Agni-5

Explanation: Agni-5, India’s longest range nuclear capable intercontinental surface-to-surface ballistic missile, was successfully test fired from the Kalam Island off Odisha coast on 26 December 2016 by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It was the first test of the Agni-5 missile after India became a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

Agni-5 has a range of over 5,000 km and can carry about a 1,000-kg warhead. It gives India the strategic depth it needs to contain its enemies. It can target almost all of Asia including Pakistan and China and Europe.

The 17-metre long Agni-5 Missile weighs about 50 tonnes and is a very agile and modern weapon system.

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3) Who was chosen for the Jnanpith Award for 2016 – India’s highest literary award, as announced on 23 December 2016? – Shankha Ghosh (Bangla)

Explanation: Veteran Bengali poet Shankha Ghosh was chosen for year 2016’s Jnanpith Award. This announcement was made by the Jnanpith Board in New Delhi on 23 December 2016.

84-year-old Shankha Ghosh is considered to be a stalwart in modern Bengali literature and a leading authority on Rabindranath Tagore.

He was conferred the Padma Bhushan in 2011 and the Sahitya Academi award in 1999. His award will be the 52nd edition of Jnanpith Award.

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4) Who was appointed as the new Lt. Governor of Delhi by the Union Government on 29 December 2016? – Anil Baijal

Explanation: Anil Baijal, a 1969 batch IAS officer of UT cadre, was on 29 December 2016 appointed as the new Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.

He was the Union Home Secretary in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government. He is currently associated with the Vivekananda International Foundation. He replaced Najeeb Jung, who resigned from the post a few days ago.

Baijal’s appointment came against the backdrop of a tumultous working relationship between his predecessor Najeeb Jung and the Arvind Kejriwal government.

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5) Who was appointed as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 28 December 2016 to take the vacant post created due to Urjit Patel’s elevation to Governor’s post? – Viral V. Acharya

Explanation: Viral V. Acharya was appointed as one of the four deputy governors of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 28 December 2016. The RBI had a vacancy for Deputy Governor after Urjit Patel was promoted to Governor during September 2016.

RBI currently has three other deputy governors – SS Mundra, NS Vishwanathan and R Gandhi.

42-year old Acharya is a 1995 graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai and then went on to earn a PhD in finance from NYU-Stern in 2001. He presently teaches Economics at the Stern School of Business in New York University.

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6) During December 2016 which private sector bank launched ‘Eazypay’- mobile app for merchants? – ICICI Bank

Explanation: On 27 December 2016 ICICI Bank launched ‘Eazypay’ – a new mobile app for merchants to receive payments. This app is designed to help merchants and businesses collect payments using UPI, credit or debit cards, Internet banking.

Eazypay is designed to facilitate merchants and businesses like e-commerce companies, telesales companies, to collect payments where the buyer and the seller are not physically present at the same location.

Any merchant who has a current account with ICICI Bank can use the app to receive payments in store, or during home delivery of goods, through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), credit or debit card, internet banking, and the banks digital wallet Pockets.

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7) Which state will host the National Games of 2022 as declared by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on 27 December 2016? – Meghalaya

Explanation: Meghalaya will host the 2022 National Games. This was announced in the annual general body meeting of the Indian Olympic Association held in Chennai on 27 December 2016. The games will feature 32 Olympic and 8 non-Olympic games.

Till date, only two states in the North East have hosted the National Games – Manipur in 1999 and Assam in 2007.

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8) Sunder Lal Patwa, who passed away on 28 December 2016, was a former Chief Minister of which state? – Madhya Pradesh

Explanation: Sunder Lal Patwa, the two-time Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, passed away on 28 December 2016. He was 92.

He was chief minister twice from 20 January 1980 to 17 February 1980 when he was in the Janata Party and then from 5 March 1990 to 15 December 1992 when he led the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP).

He started his political career in 1951 with Jana Sangh, which later merged with the Janata Party. He was imprisoned for seven months for participating in RSS movement in 1948. During emergency he was detained under MISA from June 1975 to January 1977.

In 1999, he won Hoshangabad Lok Sabha and became a minister in Vajpayee Government from 1999 to 2001.

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9) During December 2016 China operationalized world’s longest bullet train network that is 2,252 kilometers in length. This ambitious high speed train network connects which two cities? – Shanghai and Kunming

Explanation: The 2,252 km-long Shanghai-Kunming high-speed train line links China’s prosperous eastern coast to the less-developed southwestern part of the country. It is the world’s longest high-speed railway network.

This network traverses the five provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guizhou and Yunnan and cuts travel time from Shanghai to Kunming from 34 to 11 hours. The highest speed on this network will be 330 km per hour.

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10) The newly-constructed Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) at Tuting was inaugurated on 27 December 2016. This ALG is situated in which state? – Arunachal Pradesh

Explanation: Tuting Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) is situated in Upper Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. It is hardly 30 kms from the international boundary with China. It was inaugurated on 27 December by Arunachal’s then Chief Minister Pema Khandu.

The ALG at Tuting, located at an elevation of 1240 metres on the Eastern Himalayas, is under the control of Air Force Station, Jorhat.

Tuting is the sixth ALG in Arunachal Pradesh that was inaugurated in the past one year after they were reconstructed and expanded. Apart from defence purposes, this ALG will also be used for civilian use in the interest of people living in the far-flung regions of the state.

It is worth mentioning that Mechuka, Aalo, Pasighat, Ziro and Vijoynagar are other ALGs in Arunachal Pradesh.

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