Current Affairs, News & Facts of 12 Dec 2014

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  • Mauritius parliamentary polls 2014: Anerood Jugnauth-led opposition alliance sweeps to victory.  
    • Incumbent PM Navinchandra Ramgoolam could not even save his own seat.
    • The winning coalition 'Lepep' is a rightwing alliance, much like BJP here, in contrast to the left-leaning ruling party.
    • The election was majorly fought on the issue of proposed constitutional reform to strengthen presidential powers, which 'Lepep' opposed.
    • Anerood Jugnauth has already served the nation in the past both as the PM and President.
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  • Indo-Russia diamond deal: ALROSA, the largest rough diamond supplying company of Russia, inks agreements for direct sale of rough diamonds with 12 Indian companies.   
    • Under these agreements, $2.1 billion worth of rough diamonds would be supplied to India over the next three years.
    • Though India gets most of its roughs from Russia, less than 20% come directly while the rest come though trade hubs in Antwerp, Dubai, Tel Aviv, London, New York and Hong Kong, significantly adding to the cost for manufacturers and end consumers. 
    • Both nations are looking to set this right by framing relevant policies.
    • India wants Russia to allow its jewellery makers to send rough diamonds to India and re-import polished diamonds without paying duty. 
    • Russia is the world's largest producer of diamond while India is the world’s largest manufacturing centre of cut and polished diamonds.
    • India contributes 70% of the world’s diamond supply in terms of value, 85% in terms of volume and 92% in terms of pieces. 
    • Surat along with Navsari, Bhavnagar, Amreli are known as the diamond anufacturing/processing hub whereas Mumbai is the diamond trading hub.
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  • AADHAR enabled bio-metric attendance system (AEBAS) to be used in all offices of the central government, including attached/sub-ordinate offices.   
    • The system will be installed in the offices located in Delhi by 31st December, while for other places the deadline is 26th January 2015. 
    • The manual system of marking of attendance will be phased out accordingly. 
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  • Centre decides to decriminalize 'attempt to suicide': Section 309 of the IPC to be scrapped    
    • Suicide attempts in India are punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine, or both. 
    • 18 states and 4 UTs have supported the abolition of the law governing the act (Sec 309).
    • According to government data, 134,799 people committed suicide in 2013.
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  • New scholarship program "Pragati" for 'Girl Child' launched.  - read more cat
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  • Sixteen international navies to participate in Admiral’s Cup Regatta 2014.  
    • The ‘Admiral’s Cup’ is awarded to the best team winning the championship on the basis of their combined performance. In addition, individual medals will also be awarded in the men’s and women’s category. The Admiral’s Cup Regatta 2013 was won by United Arab Emirates.
    • Participating Nation: Australia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, China, Egypt, France, Fiji, Germany, Mauritius, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, UAE, US, United Kingdom, and host India.
    • The competition is conducted annually since its inception in 2010.
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  • More than 5 million Indian nationals work in Gulf countries.  
    • Majority of them are blue-collared workers in labour oriented sectors including construction, industrial sector, transport, supply and service sectors. 
    • 18 countries of this region are called ECR (Emigration Clearance Required) countries by Indian authority as one requires emigration clearance to settle there - unlike rest of the world.
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