Current Affairs in Short: 5 December 2018

The United States re-established a "permanent diplomatic presence" in Somalia for the first time in 27 years. The department spokeswoman Heather Nauert called the new move another step forward in formalising US diplomatic engagement in Mogadishu.

Dec 5, 2018 18:20 IST
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US re-establishes Permanent Diplomatic Mission in Somalia for first time in 27 years

• The United States re-established a "permanent diplomatic presence" in Somalia for the first time in 27 years.
• The department spokeswoman Heather Nauert called the new move another step forward in formalising US diplomatic engagement in Mogadishu.
• The United States has been handling its diplomatic mission to Somalia from the capital of neighbouring Kenya since 2013.
• The US diplomatic staff used to travel to Somalia to conduct official business.

Agusta-Westland VVIP chopper scam: Middleman Christian Michel extradited to India from UAE

• Absconding Britishman Christian Michel, alleged in the 3600 crore rupee Agusta-Westland VVIP chopper scam, was extradited to India from the UAE.
• He was arrested by the CBI at the Indira Gandhi International airport in Delhi and is being questioned by the probe agency and will be produced before a Delhi court.
• Michel's extradition took place under the guidance of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
• The AgustaWestland case involves the deal to purchase 12 luxury helicopters for use by the President, Prime Minister, former prime ministers and other VIPs, when Dr Manmohan Singh's Congress-led coalition was in power.
• In 2014, the government scrapped the contract amid allegations that AgustaWestland, whose parent company Finmeccanica faced charges of bribery in Italy, had paid bribe in India.

Delhi court sentences 3 year imprisonment to former coal secretary HC Gupta in coal scam case

• Delhi Court sentenced former coal secretary HC Gupta to 3 years imprisonment in a coal scam case.
• Two other bureaucrats, S Kropha and K C Samria were also awarded 3 years imprisonment by the court.
• Vikas Patni, MD of Vikash Metals and Power Limited; and its authorised signatory Anand Mallick were given 4-year jail term.
• Vikash Metals and Power Limited was fined Rs 1 lakh by the court.

Bihar government sets Rs 100 fee for family property split

• Bihar government fixed Rs 100 as the charge for people to get their property registered after division of family’s immovable assets.
• This decision was taken at cabinet meeting which was chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
• Previously the charges for registration of property after its division among the family members attracted 5 percent of the value of property as total charges, of which 2 percent used to be registration fee and 3 percent was stamp duty on the value of the property.
• The registration fee of Rs 100 and stamp duty of Rs 50 each will be applicable uniformly, irrespective of the size and value of property.
• This is a decision related to public welfare and will reduce tension, disputes, violence and cases in society.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurates India Water Impact Summit 2018 in New Delhi

• Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Nitin Gadkari inaugurated India Water Impact Summit 2018 in New Delhi.
• The three days summit is jointly organised by the Ministry, National Mission for Clean Ganga and the Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies.
• The Minister expressed his satisfaction over the positive feedback being received for Clean Ganga Mission.
• The government has freed Kanpur from the ill effects of Sisamau drain after 128 years, which was infamous for the pollution it was causing to River Ganga, 140 MLD of waste water has been stopped from flowing into River Ganga.
• The announcement was made during the India Water Impact Summit 2018 being organised at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
• Green Ganga App, developed by Remote Sensing Centre of ISRO, was also launched during the occasion. Green Ganga App is used for geo-tagging of saplings and delineation of plantation boundaries under ongoing afforestation activities of Namami Gange programme.
• The touch-enabled information kiosk about Namami Gange programme, developed jointly by NMCG and ISRO, was also launched.

Statue of Unity among top tourist destinations

• The 182-metre tall ‘Statue of Unity’ dedicated to Sardar Patel in Gujarat's Narmada district is becoming one of the country's top tourist spots.
• The statue is now attracting about 30000 people every day.
• The world's tallest statue is located on Sadhu Bet islet on the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Kevadiya.
• It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31, 2018.
• The United States Consul-General Edgard Kagan has also visited the memorial.
• The statue is a tribute to Sardar Patel's role in getting 562 princely states to accede to the Indian Union after Independence.

Conference on partnership between EU and India for Cultural Heritage Conservation begins

• The two-day conference on partnership between the European Union and India commenced in New Delhi for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
• Over 30 leading experts are deliberating on issues being faced in cultural heritage conservation and exploring innovative solutions to tackle challenges of climate change and urbanisation.
• The Joint Secretary of Ministry of Culture, Nirupama Kotru said, there is an urgent need to re-look at the current state of preservation, practices and expertise in heritage conservation.
• Kotru further said that the government is making all the efforts to promote and propagate the heritage conservation and is focusing on creating jobs in the sector.

United States gives 60 days to Russia to comply with nuclear treaty

• United States warned Russia that it will withdraw from a major Cold War treaty limiting mid-range nuclear arms, if Moscow does not dismantle missiles within 60 days.
• US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the US will no longer be bound by the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, unless Moscow withdraws a new system that has threatened to trigger an arms race.
• The US and NATO say Russia's 9M729 system, also known by the designation SSC-8, violates the INF treaty, which banned ground-launched missiles with a range of 500 to 5500 kilometres.
• In October 2018, President Donald Trump declared that the United States would pull out of the treaty and build up America's nuclear stockpile "until people come to their senses".

No proposal to alter DBT mechanism to transfer subsidy to domestic LPG consumers: Government

• The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas clarified that there is no proposal to alter the DBT mechanism to transfer subsidy to domestic LPG consumers.
• The Ministry has denied reports that government may revert to the earlier system of supplying subsidised refills to domestic LPG consumers in place of the current scheme.
• Currently cash subsidy is transferred into the bank account of LPG consumers under the PAHAL Scheme.

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