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Daily Current Affairs (21st December - 2016)

National

In Chandigarh win, BJP sees ‘yes’ for note ban

  • An alliance of the Bharatiya Janta Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal has swept the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation elections, winning 21 of the 26 wards for which polls were conducted.
  • Terming the victory a trailer, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said this result would prove a trendsetter for ensuring back-to- back victory of the alliance for the third consecutive term in Punjab.
  • The Congress contested all 26 seats, while the Bahujan Samaj Party had fielded candidates in 17 wards. Polling was held on December 18.
  • The municipal corporation has 36 members, of which 26 are elected and nine are nominated. The Chandigarh MP is an ex-officio member.

Railway passengers should pay for services: Jaitley

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said rail passengers need to pay for services, outlining a vision for the Indian Railways, two months before he is set to present the Union Budget that will merge the rail budget for the first time in Indian history.
  • The first essential principle of running any establishment, particularly a commercial establishment, is that the consumer must pay for the services that they receive,” he said, while speaking at National Conference on Accounting Reforms in Indian Railways, organised jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and the Railway Ministry.

Ambedkar’s grandson leads pro-reservation march

  • A day after the dominant Maratha community held a silent protest march to the Maharashtra State legislature building during its ongoing winter session in Nagpur, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s grandson and Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh head, Prakash Ambedkar led a “Aarakshan Bachav Mahamorcha” (Save Reservation Rally) near the same building on 15-12- 2016.
  • The pro-reservation protesters did not submit any such memorandum. “Our main aim is to protect reservation and the Constitution of India.
  • We have no demand to make to this government because this government is known to be anti- reservation and anti-Constitution.
International

Gen. Raheel Sharif helped me exit Pakistan: Musharraf

  • Pakistan’s former President Gen. Pervez Musharraf (retired) has said ex-Army chief General Raheel Sharif’s intervention helped him exit Pakistan.
  • Well he [Raheel Sharif] did help me. I have been his boss and I have been the Army Chief before him. He helped out, because the cases are politicised, they put me on the Exit Control List (ECL), they turned it into a political issue,” he said.
  • Gen. Musharraf said: “Once he [Gen Sharif] got the government to relieve the pressure that they were exerting, the courts gave their judgement and allowed me to go abroad for treatment.”
  • Gen. Musharraf was able to fly out of Pakistan in March this year after the interior ministry issued a notification to remove his name from the Exit Control List, following Supreme Court’s order to lift the ban on his foreign travel.

29 killed, 70 injured in Mexico fireworks market blaze

  • The massive blaze in the Mexico City suburb of Tultepec, set off a quick-fire series of multicolored blasts and a sent a vast cloud of smoke billowing over the capital city.
  • From a few kilometres away, the multiple explosions that started at 2:50 p.m. (2050 GMT) almost looked festive, alight in blue, red and white.
  • We recovered 26 bodies at the scene of the incident. And three more have died in the hospital, for a total of 29 dead,” Mexico state's Governor Eruviel Avila said.
Economy

EU accuses Facebook of misleading it in WhatsApp takeover probe

  • The European Commission has charged Facebook with providing misleading information during its takeover of the online messaging service WhatsApp, opening the company to a possible fine of 1 per cent of its turnover.
  • Facebook becomes the latest Silicon Valley target of EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who has demanded Apple pay back $14 billion in taxes to Ireland and hit Google with two market abuse investigations.

Credit costs pose a hurdle to the dream of a less cash economy

  • On November 18, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a circular asking banks to waive off charges levied on transactions by merchant establishments using point of sale (PoS) terminals. “Customer charges, if any, being levied on all such transactions (are)waived till December 30, 2016, subject to review,” the banking regulator had said.
  • Customers charges, in this case, are known as the Merchant Discount Rate (MDR), in banking parlance. Despite the circular, many banks, particularly the private sector ones, had been reluctant to waive off the charge.
  • To promote greater use of debit cards, public sector banks and some of the private sector banks have decided to waive the MDR charges till 31.12.2016. Other private sector banks are expected to do likewise,” Mr Das told reported on November 23.
Sports

Jadeja does the star turn in India’s remarkable win

  • England’s batting capitulates in final two sessions as Kohli’s men make it 4-0.
  • A steady march and the free fall. That was the tale of the fifth and final Test which India seized from the jaws of a dreary draw.
  • Over four days, 1248 runs were scored and only 17 wickets fell. On the concluding day, 10 batsmen perished while cumulatively adding 195 with Ravindra Jadeja’s seven for 48 leaving England battered and bruised.
  • Jadeja’s best figures and a maiden match-haul of ten (10 for 154) ensured that the visitor was bowled out for 207 in its second innings. The game had rapidly changed and India won by an innings and 75 runs.