Current Affairs, News & Facts of 11 Dec 2014

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  • Time magazine declares 'Ebola fighters' as the Time's 2014 Person of the Year.  
    • The recognition commends the work of medical relief teams, doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and burial teams working in western Africa, where an outbreak of the virus has killed thousands.
    • The casualty has clocked a death-toll of 6,331 people mainly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
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  • Union Cabinet clears various amendments to the Electricity Act, 2003 as per the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2014.   
    • The amendments will bring in reforms in the power sector to promote competition, efficiency in operations and to ensure improvement in quality of supply of electricity leading to capacity addition. 

    Centre also approves officials Amendments to the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008.

    • It will now be introduced in the Parliament (Rajya Sabha first) for consideration and passing. 
    • The Bill is aimed at removing redundant provisions and to improve its efficacy. 
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  • India to add further 20,000 MW of solar power by 2019. - read more cat
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  • Bhutan makes entry as the 181st member of Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).   
    • MIGA is the political risk insurance and credit enhancement arm of the World Bank Group.
    • Membership of World Bank is a prerequisite for this benefit.
    • The institution help investors protect their foreign direct investments against political and non-commercial risks in developing countries.
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  • United Nations declares June 21 as World Yoga Day.  
    • The diplomatic victory was scored with the support of 170 nations for this move.
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  • Six new Debt Recovery Tribunals (DRTs) to come up at Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Ernakulam, Dehradun, Siliguri and Hyderabad.  
    • 4 of the above (at Bangaluru, Chandigarh, Ernakulam & Hyderabad) will be additional DRTs.
    • A study conducted through Indian Banks Association (IBA) in consultation with all stake holders, had recommended rationalization of jurisdiction of some DRTs and setting up of six more DRTs. 
    • The number of cases pending with DRTs is over 50,000 and cases are increasing. 
    • The Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993 (RDDBFI Act) was enacted to provide for the establishment of Debt Recovery Tribunals (DRTs) and Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunals (DRATs) for expeditious adjudication and recovery of debts due to banks and financial institutions. 
    • After the enactment of the SARFAESI Act 2002, DRTs have the Appellate jurisdiction under the said Act.
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  • Centre constitutes a six-member expert panel, chaired by Justice Prabha Sridevan, to formulate intellectual property rights (IPR) policy.  
    • The panel will prepare a draft National IPR Policy seeking to stimulate innovation across sectors and to provide advice on related issues.
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  • Coast Guard Ship 'Barracuda': The first Indian warship to be exported  
    • Mauritius buys the off-shore patrol vessel for Rs. 350 crore to curb the menace of piracy, smuggling, illegal fishing and drug trafficking.
    • The ship, designed by the Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders, can accommodate 20-odd sailors.
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