Current Affairs – December 8, 2018

/Current Affairs – December 8, 2018
Current Affairs – December 8, 2018 2018-12-08T16:52:02+00:00

Current Affairs for NDA, CDS, AFCAT, Airforce X&Y Groups
News Analysis from THE HINDU (December 8, 2018)


1. JNU defers its first computer-based entrance exam to May

Jawaharlal Nehru University on Friday said it has decided to hold its computer-based entrance examination for 2019-2020 in May next year, keeping in view the difficulties faced by students in writing the examination in December.

The decision was taken at the 148th Academic Council of the university.

JNU Vice-Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar informed the members of the Council that the National Testing Agency has agreed to conduct the first-ever computer-based JNU entrance examination. “JNU is the first Central university to be collaborating with NTA to conduct its national-level entrance examination across the country,” said the V-C. He also told the Council that JNU was going to offer 1,080 MPhil and PhD seats in 2019-20 admissions.


2. Rajan’s student is new CEA

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has cleared the appointment of Krishnamurthy Subramanian as the Chief Economic Adviser for three years, according to an official notification issued on Friday.

Mr. Subramanian, who did his Ph.D at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 2005 under Luigi Zingales and former CEA and RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, is also an alumnus of the IIT-Kanpur and the IIM-Calcutta.

He is an associate professor at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.


3. DGCA draws flak for its 737 Max fix

The solution suggested by India’s aviation regulator to avoid a situation similar to the one that likely led to the fatal crash of a Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft is unimplementable as of now, veteran aviators said.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) wants airlines to train pilots operating the 737 Max 8 model plane on a simulator by replicating the circumstances that are suspected to have led to the crash off Jakarta in October, which killed all 189 people on board.

Jet Airways and SpiceJet currently operate five 737 Max planes each.

The DGCA has developed a set of protocols to be followed in case of a problem with the aircraft’s Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). These include diverting the plane to the nearest airport in case of an issue with the device, reporting any problem with it to the DGCA and carrying out a verification flight if the device is repaired following a glitch. The MCAS is an addition to the 737 Max 8 planes to prevent the plane’s nose from getting too high and causing a stall or drop in speed. In the Lion Air crash, the MCAS is suspected of having forced the nose down because of incorrect information it received from sensors on the fuselage.


4. Aero India, aviation expo to be merged

For the first time, the country’s civil aviation exhibition will be subsumed into the upcoming edition of Aero India to be held from February 20 to 24, 2019, a defence official said on Friday.

So far, Aero India has been defence-oriented while a separate civil aviation exhibition is held in Hyderabad.

“The 12th edition of the Aero India at Bengaluru next year will feature theme-based activities. On Day 2, there will be a drone competition for start-ups and Day 4 will be women’s day. Indian origin U.S. astronaut Sunita Williams is scheduled to attend the show on Day 4. Other women achievers will also be present,” the official said about the event highlights.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to inaugurate the show and a vintage aircraft rally will be held on one of the days.

The tag line of Aero India 2019 is “Runway for a billion opportunities.” The logo is inspired by the indigenous light combat aircraft Tejas.


5. The U.S. action against a top Huawei executive threatens the tariff thaw with China

The 90-day trade truce between China and the United States reached over the weekend on the sidelines of the G20 meet in Argentina is already proving to be fragile. Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested recently by Canadian authorities, acting on an extradition request from the U.S. Ms. Wanzhou is the daughter of the company’s founder Ren Zhengfei, a former member of the Chinese military. The arrest happened around the time U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Buenos Aires to defuse trade tensions between their countries, but news of the arrest broke only on Wednesday. Huawei at this moment has been accused of breaching American sanctions against Iran, but U.S. lawmakers have also been concerned about the Chinese government using the company to carry out spying operations on foreign soil. Last year, it is worth noting, Chinese telecom giant ZTE reached a settlement with the U.S. government over charges of exporting banned items to Iran. Markets across the world were negatively affected on Thursday as trade tensions looked to flare up once again between the world’s two largest economies.

It is hard to determine whether the present U.S. action against the Huawei official is based on legitimate concerns about national security or if the U.S. has simply attacked China on yet another front in the ongoing trade war. To be sure, other countries, including Australia and the United Kingdom, have also been quite wary about doing business with Huawei due to the alleged gathering of intelligence by the company. In particular, they fear that Huawei’s involvement in building their 5G network could lead to problems linked to cyber-espionage. At the same time, radical anti-Chinese politicians in the U.S. have every reason to exaggerate national security concerns simply in order to justify protectionist sanctions against Chinese companies. Huawei has clearly been seen by many as a serious threat to the global domination exerted by American technology companies. Either way, recent actions are bound to have a negative impact on U.S.-China trade ties as the Chinese will not be too happy about the continuing assault on multinational companies which have their roots in China. U.S. concerns about national security are also closely related to accusations against Huawei of violating intellectual property rights with the tacit approval of the Chinese government. The arrest might thus suggest that the U.S. may not go soft on its demand for the protection of intellectual property rights during its talks with the Chinese authorities in the next few months. With the rapid escalation in trade tensions over the year, it will take serious efforts to bring a lasting solution that is acceptable to both American and Chinese politicians.


6. SAI appoints 14 players as coaches

Indian women’s hockey team goalkeeper Savita Punia, London Paralympics gold medalist Thangavelu Mariyappan and Asian Games winning quartermiler Ashwini Akkunji are among 14 sportspersons appointed by the Sports Authority of India as coaches and assistant coaches on a permanent basis.

The list: Thangavelu Mariyappan, Ashwini Akkunji, O.P. Jaisha, Debashri Mazumdar, Muhammed Anas Yahya, T. Gopi, Ram Singh Yadav, Jincy Philip, Surendra Singh (all athletics), Inderpal Singh (rowing), Majhi Sawaiyan (archery), Savita Punia (hockey), Sharad Kumar and Ankur Dhama (both para-athletics).


7. Luxembourg offers free mass transit for all

Luxembourg is a small country with big traffic jams. So when Prime Minister Xavier Bettel was sworn in for a second term earlier this week, his governing coalition promised free mass transit for all, which would make the country the first to offer such a benefit.

Luxembourg is barely larger than a city-state, with a population of about 5,60,000. But more than 1,80,000 workers commute across the border from Belgium, France and Germany.


8. Kendrick Lamar leads Grammy nominations

Rappers Kendrick Lamar and Drake led Grammy Award nominations on Friday, with eight and seven nods, respectively.

Canadian artist Drake, the most-streamed artist of 2018, was nominated in the top category — album of the year — along with rappers Cardi B. and Post Malone, R&B singer Janelle Monae, folk singer Brandi Carlile, country star Kacey Musgraves, newcomer H.E.R. and the Black Panther movie soundtrack, which Lamar produced.

Lamar, who won a Pulitzer Prize for music, Drake, and Carlile also got nominations for record and song of the year. Cardi B., Lady Gaga, Childish Gambino, and country star Maren Morris each had five nominations.


9. Punk band Buzzcocks singer Pete Shelley dies

Pete Shelley, the singer-songwriter and co-founder of the punk band Buzzcocks, has died aged 63. On Thursday, the band confirmed “with great sadness” his death and called him “one of the U.K.’s most influential and prolific songwriters.” Shelley is believed to have suffered a heart attack at his home in Estonia. The Buzzcocks were part of the punk revolution which began in England in the mid-1970s and also featured such groups as the Sex Pistols and the Clash.


10. Guidelines issued for homestays

With the aim of standardising facilities across homestays and bread & breakfasts in the country, the Tourism Ministry has issued new guidelines to such establishments.

Properties where their owners or promoters physically reside will be designated as homestay establishments, while those where only an agent or operator resides will be designated as bed & breakfast.

These guidelines will constitute the Common National Standards. Each State and Union Territory will be free to build upon them to suit their requirements, while keeping the core tenets intact. The properties will be categorised as silver and gold on the basis of the facilities they offer.

The Central government said that a property would be classified in a two-stage procedure, under which the presence of facilities and services would be evaluated against a checklist. “Due preference will be accorded to the homes which are able to provide Indian experience by way of Indian decor, authentic and exotic Indian cuisine, etc,” according to the guidelines.


11. Abbreviations:

Chief Economic Adviser (CEA)
Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)
National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)


12. Things to Remember:

Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) – Krishnamurthy Subramanian


13. Improve your Vocabulary:


Meaning 1 – (of a feeling or atmosphere) so intense as to seem almost tangible.
Example – ‘a palpable sense of loss’
Synonyms – perceptible, perceivable, visible, noticeable, appreciable, discernible, detectable, observable, tangible, recognizable, notable, unmistakable, transparent, indisputable, self-evident, incontrovertible, incontestable, undeniable

Meaning 1.1 – Plain to see or comprehend.
Example – ‘to talk of dawn raids in the circumstances is palpable nonsense’
Synonyms – undisguised, plain, unadorned, unvarnished, unveiled, unqualified, stark, bald, unexaggerated, simple

Meaning 2 – Able to be touched or felt.
Example – ‘the palpable bump at the bridge of the nose’
Synonyms – tangible, touchable, noticeable, detectable, solid, concrete, material, substantial, real


Current Affairs is an important GK topic for UPSC, NDA, CDS, AFCAT, Air force X & Y Groups, SSC, and other competitive exams. Every year in UPSC, SSC and Bank there are few questions from Current Affairs.

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