Current Affairs: 12 December 2016

Government to launch helpline number 14444 for e-payments

  • The government will launch a nationwide toll-free helpline 14444 within a week to provide support related to cashless transactions, reports said. 
  • The 'Cash Mukt Bharat Abhiyan Helpline' will help people find suitable options depending on whether they have a smartphone or not. 
  • Earlier this week, the government launched a new television channel and a website to promote digital payments.

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Govt launches TV channel 'DigiShala' for cashless lessons

  • The Centre has launched a 24-hour free-to-air TV channel named 'DigiShala' to educate people about digital payments in order to move towards a cashless economy.
  • The channel, available in Hindi and English on DTH service, will be airing shows targeted at the rural and suburban population to inform them about various aspects of going digital through talk shows and demonstrations.

Civil engineer becomes 1st Indian to win medal at Mr Olympia


  • Mumbai's Iqbal Sayed, who works as a civil engineer with Reliance Infrastructure and Mumbai Metro, became the first Indian to win a medal at the Mr Olympia event, after securing a silver medal in the event. 
  • Sayed beat participants from 20 countries to finish second in the Olympia Amateur Asia 2016's Classic Bodybuilding category.

UNICEF founded on Dec 11 in 1946

  • The UN General Assembly on December 11, 1946 voted to establish the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), to bring life-saving aid and protection to children in the aftermath of World War II. UNICEF grew into a vocal advocate of children's rights during the 1970s and is currently working across 190 countries for child rights.

World's longest tunnel opens for service in Switzerland

  • The world's longest tunnel was officially opened on Sunday for regular rail service in Switzerland. 
  • The 57-kilometre-long Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) will allow transporting passengers under the Swiss Alps from Zurich to Lugano, 30 minutes faster than earlier. 
  • The GBT took around 17 years and over ₹79,600 crore to build.

Paolo Gentiloni to be appointed new Italian PM

  • Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Saturday asked Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni to take over as the Prime Minister and form the new government. 
  • Gentiloni's new role will not be official until he chooses his cabinet and secures a vote of confidence in parliament. 
  • This comes after former PM Matteo Renzi resigned when his nationwide referendum on constitutional reforms was defeated.

President Mukherjee inaugurates vintage carpets museum

  • President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday inaugurated a museum for vintage tapestries and carpets in the Marble Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan. 
  • It will exhibit Zardozi canopies from the early 1900s, a collection of Buddhist art, and assorted gifts presented to different Presidents. 
  • The inauguration was organised to mark the 81st birthday of the President of India.

Prez launches campaign to end child labour on his 81st b'day

  • Pranab Mukherjee launched a campaign, on his 81st birthday, to end child labour, child slavery and violence against children. 
  • He launched the '100 Million for 100 Million Campaign' organised by The Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation. 
  • The effort to mobilise 100 million youth for shaping a better future of 100 million underprivileged children is the beginning of a change, he said. 

Tribal hockey tournament with 1,458 teams inaugurated

  • Biju Patnaik Rural Hockey Championship, a hockey tournament featuring 1,458 teams involving 25,000 tribal youth was flagged off by Vice President Hamid Ansari and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday in Rourkela. 
  • The three-month long tournament has been organised to encourage the tribal youth to take up sports and will be held across 32 venues in the Maoist-infested areas.

Narmada Sewa Yatra begins from Amarkantak

  • Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday kick-started five-month-long ‘Narmada Sewa Yatra’ from Amarkantak, from where the river originates 
  • Mr. Chouhan planted saplings near the bank of the Narmada River. 
  • The nearly 3500-km-long Yatra is aimed at making the Narmada, the life line of Madhya Pradesh, pollution free.

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