Current Affairs For Bank, IBPS Exams - 26 December, 2015

Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams

26 December 2015


In a surprise visit PM meets Nawaz Sharif in Lahore

  • With two unannounced stops, in Kabul and Lahore on Christmas day, Prime Minister Narendra Mo- di rewrote the recent history of geopolitics in the region.
  • While his travel to Kabul on the way back from Moscow was widely anticipated, his stopover in Pakistan, the first by an Indian Prime Minister in 11 years, caught everyone, including senior officials, by surprise.
  • It is learnt that officials were taken by surprise by Mr. Modi’s decision, including India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan T.C.A. Raghavan.
  • At the beginning of their talks, the Foreign Secretaries briefed the leaders on the talks between the NSAs in Bangkok, which gave a full view of the discourse on terror, as they agreed that the Foreign Secretaries should meet at the earliest.

Tamil Nadu Parties wants to keep jallikattu running

  • With the Assembly polls just months away, parties are seeing the revival of jallikattu as an opportunity to tap into a vote bank as the sport is imbibed in the culture of the farming community, especially the intermediate castes in southern districts.
  • While the DMK first announced a fasting at Alanganallur (since deferred) to seek the lifting of ban on jallikattu, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa sent her party MPs to meet Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on the issue and later sought the Prime Minister’s intervention.
  • The popular notion is that the sport enjoys a huge support among the Thevars, a community with over 20 per cent of vote share in many constituencies in southern districts.
  • For hundreds of bull rearers, the event is their last hope to protect the native breeds, and for thousands of youths who enthusiastically participate, the sport is an opportunity to test and exhibit their valour.

President says Vedic text gave message for world peace

  • Vedas are sources of Indian heritage and culture and UNESCO has recognised Vedas as oral heritage.
  • Vedic seers had codified 14 vidyas into 4 Vedas, 6 vedangas, puranas, nanya, mimamsa and Dharmashastra.
  • These Vedic texts enshrine the message of world peace, prosperity and sustainable development.
  • Veda Patasalas acquire great importance in dissemi- nation of Vedic education, knowledge and culture.


PM talks tough on terrorism in Pakistan

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Friday that Afghanis- tan would succeed only when terrorism no longer flowed across the border and when nurseries and sanctuaries of terrorism were shut.
  • Declaring that India was in Afghanistan to contribute and not to compete and to lay the foundations of the future and not light the flame of conflict.
  • He was addressing the Afghan Parliament after inaugurating its building built by India at a cost of $90 million in the presence of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
  • PM also said efforts were under way to improve Afghanistan’s connectivity by land and sea, including through Chahbahar in Iran.


Pope wants united front against terror

  • The Francis urged the world in his Christmas message to unite to end atrocities by Islamist militants that he said were causing immense suffering in many countries.
  • Security was tight at the Vatican as Pope Francis, marking the third Christmas since his election in 2013, read his traditional Christmas Day “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) address from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.
  • Tens of thousands of people had to have their bags checked as they entered the Vatican area and then go through airport-style screen- ing if they wanted to enter St. Peter's Square.
  • After calling for an end to the civil wars in Syria and Libya, the Pope said: “May the attention of the international community be unanimously directed to ending the atrocities which in those countries, as well as in Iraq, Libya, Yemen and subSaharan Africa”

Asian Infrastructure Investment bank is formally established

  • The China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), viewed by some as a rival to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, was formally established on Friday, according to a statement issued by Beijing.
  • It will be operational once its board of directors and executive council have met for the first time at an opening ceremony scheduled for January 16-18, the ministry of fi- nance said in a statement on its official website.
  • Beijing will be by far the largest AIIB shareholder at about 30 percent, according to the legal framework signed by 50 founding member countries in late June.
  • With authorised capital of $100 billion, it expects to ofer its first batch of project loans by mid-2016, ac- cording to the official Xinhua news agency.


Jobless data is lowest in more than three years

  • The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, nearing a 42-year low as labor market conditions continued to tighten in a boost to the economy.
  • Initial claims for State un- employment benefits dropped 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 2,67,000 for the week ended December 19, not far from levels last seen in late 1973.
  • Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims dipping to 2,70,000 in the latest week. Claims have been be- low 300,000, a threshold associated with a buoyant labour market, for 42 consecutive weeks.
  • That is the longest stretch since the early 1970s.
  • The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid declined 47,000 to 2.20 million in the week ended December 12. The four-week moving average of the so-called continuing claims rose 10,000 to 2.21 million.

Gold prices on declining for three years consecutively

  • Set for the third straight year of downtrend, gold has lost further sheen in 2015 with a fall of over Rs.1,000 per ten grams in its prices as investors looked for other asset classes and the government sought to monetise the holdings lying idle with the households and institutions.
  • The silver has been no better with a dip of about 8 per cent in its prices.
  • The gold prices have dipped by about 5 per cent this year. Extreme volatility in the rupee value and the uncertainty around the long-pending rate hike in the U.S. added to the roller-coaster ride for gold throughout 2015, while the headwinds from a slowdown in China added to the worries.
  • Subdued domestic demand along with fears over slow- down in global consumption further dampened the sentiments, while improving outlook for equity markets led to the investors looking for asset classes with better return prospects.
  • Measures to curb gold imports for most part of the year and the government’s ambitious gold monetisation scheme to encourage households and institutions including temples also had their own impacts.
  • After beginning the year at around Rs.26,700 per ten gram, the gold prices have fallen to Rs.25,500-level so far in 2015 with just four more days of trading to go.

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