Current Affairs, News & Facts of 24 Dec 2014

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  • Ukraine moves another step closer to NATO membership by voting out its non-aligned status in the parliament (called 'Rada').  
    • However, the actual membership is still a long way ahead especially with a civil war raging in the pro-Russia eastern part.
    • Ukraine had to adopt the non-aligned status in 2010 under Russian pressure which prevented it from joining military alliances.
    • The vote has certainly driven another wedge in the already strained relation between the two neighbours.
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  • RBI extends deadline for exchanging pre-2005 currency notes by another six months to June 30, 2015.   
    • It applies on the currency of various denominations - including '500' and '1000' - whose earlier version were vulnerable to forgery due to insufficient security features.
    • RBI has so far replaces such notes worth Rs 52,855 crore since the launch of the drive.
    - read more cat
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  • Pakistan and Russia inks energy deal worth $1.7 billion for laying a liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline from Karachi to Lahore.   
    • The supply of LNG is expected before March next year.
    • It is for the first time Islamabad and Moscow have signed an energy pact despite having established defence co-operation decades ago.
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  • UltraTech - India's largest cement maker - is going to buy 2 plants of JP cement for 54 billion rupees.  
    • The Mumbai-based Aditya Birla's company is also India’s largest exporter of cement clinker.
    • JP (Jaiprakash) will continue to be the country's third-largest cement producer after the sale of both the Madhya Pradesh-based units.
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  • Congress leader Radha Krishna Vikhe Patil is the new 'Leader of Opposition' in Maharashtra assembly.  
    • Congress has become the main opposition party after the Shiv Sena decision to join the BJP government in the state.
    • The post was earlier given to Eknath Shinde of Shiv Sena.
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  • Renowned Tamil films director K Balachander brathes his last at 84.  
    • He played mentor to the two southern mega-stars namely Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan by introducing them to the industry. 
    • In his prolific 45-year career, he received nine national film awards alongwith the Padma Shri and Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
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2nd Aug

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