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Daily Current Affairs, 10th December 2018

1. EAM Sushma Swaraj holds talks with Iceland foreign minister
The External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on day held talks with visiting Iceland Foreign Minister in New Delhi.
  • The leaders discussed enhancing cooperation in trade & investment, renewable energy, especially geothermal energy, blue economy with a focus on fisheries, tourism and culture at the delegation-level talks.
  • Sushma Swaraj said that Iceland is a world leader in geothermal energy and cooperation in this sector could benefit our transition to greener energy mix and help in achieving our ambitious renewable energy targets.
2. Kerala becomes first state to have 4 international airports
Kerala has become first state in the country to have four international airports with the inauguration of Kannur airport.
  • The first commercial flight from this airport Air India Express flight IX 715 with 180 passengers on board to Abu Dhabi was flagged off recently.
  • The other three international airports are Trivandrum International Airport, Cochin International Airport and Calicut International Airport.
  • Kannur international airport is built on a public-private partnership (PPP) model. It is spread across 2,000 acres of area It will help non-resident Keralites (NRKs).
3. Indian Coast Guard (ICG) conducted Clean Sea- 2018 exercise
It is a Regional Level Marine Oil Pollution Response Exercise conducted by Indian Coast Guard (ICG) recently at sea off Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar (A&B) Islands.
  • The objective of exercise was to ascertain preparedness of IGC, resource agencies and other stakeholders in responding to major oil spill in line with provisions of National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOS-DCP).
  • Indian Coast Guard (ICG) under Ministry of Defense is responsible for marine environment protection in maritime zones of India and is coordinating authority for response to oil spills in Indian waters.
  • It has drawn up National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOS-DCP) and has established three pollution response centres at Mumbai, Chennai and Port Blair.
4. Upendra Kushwaha resigns from Union Council of ministers
Upendra Kushwaha, leader of the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), announced his resignation from the Union Council of ministers and his party’s exit from the NDA. He was Minister of State for Human Resource Development.
  • The Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief is likely to quit the BJP-led NDA alliance as he is not happy with the BJP over its seat sharing formula in Bihar for the 2019 elections.
  • Kushwaha has been critical of the BJP since it announced that the saffron party and the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) would contest 17 seats each in Bihar.
  • Since the seat sharing announcement, Kushwaha has been critical of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
5. CCEA approves strategic sale of Rural Electrification Corporation
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its in principle approval for strategic sale of Central Government’s existing 52.63% of total paid up equity shareholding in Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) to Power Finance Corporation (PFC) along with transfer of management control. Both REC and PFC are Central Public Sector Enterprises under the Ministry of Power.
  • Power Finance Corporation is public Infrastructure finance company in India’s power sector. It finances and promotes rural electrification projects across India.
  • It provides loans to Central/ State Sector Power Utilities, State Electricity Boards, Rural Electric Cooperatives, NGOs and Private Power Developers.
  • It was founded in July 1969 and is headquartered in New Delhi.
6. PM Modi’s PRO Jagdish Thakkar dies
Jagdish Thakkar, a public relations officer in the Prime Minister’s Office, died.
  • Thakkar worked with Prime Minister Narendra Modi since his days as the chief minister of Gujarat and later joined him in the PMO. He also served nearly a dozen other chief ministers in Gujarat for over three decades.
  • Thakkar began his career as a journalist at a local daily in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar.
  • He later joined the information office of the Gujarat government in the late 1970s and was posted in the chief minister’s office under Congress’ Amarsinh Chaudhari in 1985.

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