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Important Current Affairs 2nd December 2019

India becomes 1st country to make entire Haj process digital

• The Minister also informed that India has become the first country to make the entire Haj process completely digital for pilgrims going on Haj 2020.

• All the 2 lakh Indian Muslims going for Haj in 2020 will be provided with an online application, e-visa, Haj mobile app, ‘e-MASIHA’ health facility, and also the first ever “e-luggage pre-tagging” facility.

• They would also get information in India itself regarding accommodation and transportation in Mecca and Madina, like building and the room allotted to them.

RBI adds Debt ETFs as eligible securities for repo transactions

• The Reserve Bank of India has announced that the Units of Debt Exchange Traded Funds (Debt ETFs) shall henceforth be eligible securities for repo transactions.

• The securities eligible for repo under these Directions shall include:

1.         Government securities issued by the Central Government or a State Government.

2.         Listed corporate bonds and debentures, subject to the condition that no participant shall borrow against the collateral of its own securities, or securities issued by a related entity.

3.         Commercial Papers (CPs) and Certificate of Deposits (CDs).

4.         Units of Debt ETFs

5.         Any other security of a local authority as may be specified in this behalf by the Central Government.

Nationwide vaccination drive launched to prevent eight diseases under Mission Indradhanush 2.0

• Centre is launching nationwide vaccination drive to prevent eight diseases under Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0 across the country today.

• What is IMI 2.0: It is pan-India vaccination drive where children under the age of 2 years and pregnant women will be immunized against eight vaccine preventable diseases.

• Objective of IMI 2.0: Achieve targets of full immunization coverage in 272 districts in 27 States.

• Duration of the vaccination drive: December 2019 to March 2020.

Mandatory hallmarking for gold jewellery/artefacts from Jan 15, 2021

• The Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has announced that the Hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts in India will be made mandatory from January 15, 2021, to ensure purity of the precious metal.

• The government notification in this regard will be issued on 15 January 2020 and the decision will come into effect after a period of one year.

• It will be now compulsory for all the jewellers to register with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and sell only hallmarked gold jewellery and artefacts.

• They have been given a period of one year time for clearing their old or existing stock.

Masatsugu Asakawa elected 10th President of ADB

• The Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has unanimously elected Masatsugu Asakawa as its new President.

• The 61-year-old Mr. Asakawa will assume office as ADB’s 10th President on 17 January 2020.

• ADB headquarter – Metro Manila, Philippines.

Saudi Arabia assumes G20 presidency

• Saudi Arabia assumed the G20 presidency on December 01, 2019 and will hold the G20 leaders’ summit in Riyadh on November 21 and 22, 2020. The G20 summit in 2019 was hosted by Japan.

• The theme of the event will be “Realising Opportunities of the 21st Century for All”.

• Saudi Arabia will focus on three aims – empowering people, safeguarding the planet, and shaping new frontiers.

UN Climate Change Conference - December 2019

• The 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP25 officially began in Madrid, Spain on 2 December 2019. It will continue till December 13.

• The conference was earlier planned to take place Chile, but due to social unrest in the country, the location changed to Spain. However Chile will remain the overall in charge of the event.

• The conference will include the following events:

• 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),

• 15th meeting of the parties for the Kyoto Protocol (CMP15), and

• 2nd meeting of the parties for the Paris Agreement (CMA2)

• The main objective of the conference is to bring the world together to deal with several issues pertaining to the full operationalization of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.

• Ms. Carolina Schmidt, Minister of the Environment in Chile, is the President of COP 25.

‘Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat’ conference inaugurated in Jammu

• Union Minister of State (PP), Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurated a two day Conference on ‘Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat’ in Jammu on November 30, 2019. The conference focusses on ‘Jal Shakti’ and ‘Disaster Management’.

• The conference was organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) in association with Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and Governments of Tamil Nadu.

India-Japan Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue (2+2) held in New Delhi

• The India-Japan Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue (2+2) was held on 30th November 2019 in New Delhi. 2 participants participated from both the sides in the meet.

• The Indian side was represented by Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar while foreign Affairs Minister Mr. Toshimitsu Motegi and Minister of Defence Mr. Taro Kono represented Japan.

• The next 2+2 Ministerial Meeting will be held in Tokyo.

Armed Forces Flag Day-CSR Conclave 2019 Held in New Delhi

• The Armed Forces Flag Day (AFFD) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Conclave 2019 was held in New Delhi on December 2, 2019.

• Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh addressed the conclave and urged the people of the country to contribute generously to the Armed Forces Flag Day (AFFD) Fund for the welfare of the Ex-Servicemen who have selflessly served the nation.

Labour Ministry to celebrate Pension Week from 30th Nov, 2019 to 6th Dec 2019

• Labour Ministry has decided to celebrate Pension Week from November 30, 210 to December 06, 2019.

• The aims of the Pension Week is to increase enrollments under:

• Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan (PM-SYM) – aim to enroll one crore beneficiaries by March 2020 and

• National Pension Scheme for Traders and Self-Employed Persons (NPS-Traders) 50 lakhs beneficiaries for NPS-Traders by March 2020

• For this, Minister of State(I/C) for Labour and Employment Shri Santosh Gangwar inaugurated a function in New Delhi.

10th Indian Organ Donation Day Held in New Delhi

• The Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, presided over the 10th Indian Organ Donation Day in New Delhi on November 30, 2019.

• The event was organised by the National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO).

• The Minister also informed that India performs the second largest number of transplants in the world, next only to USA as per data available on the Global Observatory on Donation and Transplantation.

Nuclear Capable surface-to-surface Agni-III Missile Fails in Maiden Night Trial

• The maiden night trial of the nuclear capable Agni-III surface-to-surface ballistic missile was conducted from a mobile launcher at the Integrated Test Range at the APJ Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast on 30 November 2019.

• However, the test reportedly failed due to manufacturing defect.

• Agni III is designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)

13th South Asian Games Kicked Off in Nepal

• President of Nepal, Bidya Devi Bhandari declared the 2019 South Asian Games 2019 open. The inauguration ceremony was held at Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu, Nepal.

• The XIII South Asian Games will be held from December 1 to 10 in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Janakpur cities of Nepal and will see the participation of around 2700 athletes from seven countries. (Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives, Bhutan and Sri Lanka).

• Mascot of 2019 SAG: Krishnasar (the blackbuck antelope) is the official mascot.

• Tajinder Pal Singh Toor (shot putter) was the flag-bearer of India in the opening ceremony at South Asian Games.

National Pollution Control Day: December 2

The National Pollution Control Day is observed every year on December 2 in India to commemorate the life of people lost in the unfortunate incident of Bhopal Gas Tragedy that occurred in the year 1984 on the night of 2–3 December.