Current Affairs of 16 & 17 December 2018 are as follows:-
1. Ashley Giles appointed England cricket director:-
- The England and Wales Cricket Board announced that Former international spinner Ashley Giles has been appointed as the new managing director of England men's cricket.
- He replaces Andrew Strauss who stepped down in October. Giles was a part of England's 2005 Ashes-winning team.
- The 45-year-old Giles who previously served as England's limited-overs coach played 54 Tests for England and later worked as a national team selector from 2008 to 2014.
2. PV Sindhu 1st Indian to win gold at BWF World Tour Finals:-
- PV Sindhu defeated world number five Nozomi Okuhara of Japan to record her 300th career match victory across categories and clinch the BWF World Tour Finals women's singles title.
- Sindhu, who is ranked sixth worldwide, won the final with a scoreline of 21-19, 21-17. It was the 23-year-old shuttler's first title victory in 2018, after having lost five finals this year.
3. Jammu & Kashmir becomes the first state to criminalize ‘sextortion’ of women:-
- The State Administrative Council of Jammu & Kashmir approved an amendment to the state’s Ranbir Penal Code, which will now criminalize the sexual exploitation of women by those in positions of authority, having a fiduciary relationship with the victim or are public servants.
- With this, J&K has becomes the first state to bring such a law on the statute books.
- The State Administrative Council met under the chairmanship of Governor Satya Pal Malik and approved the “Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018” and the “Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018”.
4. PM Narendra Modi to inaugurate new campus of IIT Bhubaneswar on December 24:-
- Besides dedicating the new IIT Bhubaneswar campus, Modi will lay the foundation stone for IISER, Berhampur.
- On the occasion of bicentenary celebration of the historic Paika Rebellion, PM Modi will also release commemorative coin, postage stamp and inaugurate the Chair at Utkal University in memory of country’s first independence movement.
- The Paika Rebellion, also called the Paika Bidroha, was an armed rebellion against the British East India Company's rule in Odisha in 1817. The Paikas were the traditional militia of Odisha who served as warriors.
5. Mahinda Rajapaksa resigns as Sri Lankan PM:-
- Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned from his post of Prime minister in Sri Lanka.
- He was controversially appointed as the Prime minister by President Maithirpala Sirisena on October 26, 2018, suddenly replacing Ranil Wickremesinghe.
- However, he failed to garner a majority in Parliament and President attempt to dissolve parliament was nullified by Supreme court in a decision.
- Rajapaksa also suffered a setback at the hands of a lower court which restrained him from functioning on a quo warranto petition filed by Wickremesinghe and his MPs.
- Wickremesinghe will now be sworn in again to the post of Prime minister along with his cabinet.
6. IHCL signed for construction of a second Taj hotel in Lucknow:-
- Indian Hotels Company Ltd. (IHCL), Tata group's hospitality arm, has signed an agreement for construction of a second Taj branded hotel in Lucknow.
- The new hotel is to come up in partnership with Luxus Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. The Taj branded hotel will be located at Vibhuti Khand, New Gomti Nagar Centre, with close proximity to key corporate parks, institutions, and recreational facilities.
- IHCL at present has two hotels in the city Taj Mahal Lucknow and Ginger Gomti Nagar. This signing is aligned to Aspiration 2022 with its focus on aggressive domestic growth.
7. Philippines' Catriona Gray crowned Miss Universe 2018:-
- Catriona Elisa Gray became the fourth woman from the country to win the title.
- Tamaryn Green from South Africa was named the first runner-up while Miss Venezuela Sthefany Gutiérrez stood third at the pageant which was held in Bangkok, Thailand.
- India was represented by 22-year-old Nehal Chudasama, who couldn't qualify for top 20.
8. Kamal Nath takes oath as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh:-
- Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath was sworn in as the 18th Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh on December 17, 2018. The swearing-in ceremony took place at the Lal Parade Ground in Bhopal, the capital city of Madhya Pradesh.
- The Congress named veteran leader Kamal Nath as Madhya Pradesh’s next Chief Minister after hours of hectic discussions held by party chief Rahul Gandhi with other senior leaders amid a debate on the old versus the new guard.
- The other potential Chief Ministerial candidate was from the younger lot, Jyotiraditya Scindia.
- Nath is one of the longest-serving and senior-most members of the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India's bicameral Parliament.
9. Renowned classical singer Pandit Arun Bhaduri passes away:-
- Renowned classical singer Pandit Arun Bhaduri passed away in Kolkata after a prolonged illness. He was 75 and survived by wife and son.
- Pandit Bhaduri, considered to be one of the masters of Bengali songs and Bhajans, was suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
- West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed grief over the demise of Pandit Bhaduri.
10. Indian Navy to inaugurate IFC IOR:-
- The Indian Navy will be formally inaugurating theInformation Fusion Centre (IFC) for the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) this week.
- The IFC-IOR is established with the vision of strengthening maritime security in the region and beyond, by building a common coherent maritime situation picture.
- This Centre will pave for the exchange of information on white shipping or commercial shipping with countries in the region to improve maritime domain awareness in the Indian Ocean.
- The Indian Navy is mandated to conclude white shipping information exchange agreements with 36 countries and three multi-national constructs