Current Affair Updates: 23rd December 2013


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International Affairs
Fourth and a new research station of China, Taishan was opened in Antarctica in the southern pole. The station focuses to provide a base for research on remote satellite sensing and bio-ecology. The Supreme Court Bar Association has been in the alliance of the movement for upholding, maintaining and consolidation of the constitutional values of independence of Judiciary, rule of law and democracy from its very beginning.
First telecommunications Satellite Tupak Katari of Bolivia was launched recently. Bolivia’s first telecommunication satellite has been named upon an indigenous national hero, who fought during the 18th century Spanish colonial rule. The telecommunications satellite blasted off from a base in China. In South America, Bolivia is one of the last countries to have its own satellite.
Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed is new Prime Minister of Somalia. Somalian Parliament approved Ahmed as Prime Minister. He succeeded outgoing Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon who was expelled in November 2013 over policy differences by the Parliament following a rift with the Somali President. Nicholas Kay, the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) welcomed Abdiweli

Awards & Honours
The prestigious India Pride Award for Excellence 2013 in Central PSUs was grabbed by IRCON International Limited in India Image Enhancement. Mohan Tiwari, the CMD of IRCON received the award from M.M. Pallam Raju, the Union Minister for Human Resources Development.

Usha Sangwan has been selected as first woman Managing Director (MD) of the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) by the central Government. She has got the honour to be the first woman director of LIC in six decades of LIC’s establishment. After almost two years, LIC is set to function at its full strength of four MDs with this appointment. Usha Sangwan, Sushobhan Sarkar, S B Mainak and V K Sharma are four MDs of LIC.
Senior advocate P.H. Parekh has been elected as the new President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) for 2013-14. This is Parekh’s 6th term as SCBA President. V. Shekar has been appointed as the new Vice-President of SCBA, Vikas Bansal as new treasurer, Sandeep Singh as new assistant secretary and Rajesh Pathak as the new assistant treasurer of the SCBA.
S. Jaishankar will be the new Indian envoy to US to take charge amidst a rampant diplomatic row over the arrest of senior diplomat Devyani Khobragade on alleged visa fraud charges. Till now Jaishankar was India’s Ambassador to China when bilateral ties threaten to hit a low in more than a decade now. Jaishankar is known as one of the brightest Foreign Service officials who played a key role in the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal. His first task would be to check the relationship from getting derailed any further.

Jayanthi Natrajan has resigned as Environment and Forests Minister from the Union Cabinet. Ahead of general elections-2014, she will play a bigger role in the Congress party. As advised by the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, President Pranab Mukherjee has accepted Natrajan’s resignation. M. Veerappa Moily, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas has been given additional charge of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Special Days
On 23 December, Kisan Diwas was observed across India to celebrate the birthday of Chaudhary Charan Singh. Farmer seminars were organised at the district, divisional and block levels on this occasion. Political leaders paid tributes to Chaudhary Charan Singh, the fifth Prime Minister of India on his 11th birth anniversary.

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