Current Affairs

GK and Current Affairs Updates

Select Date
Tags:
Hindi

Important Current Affairs 27th December 2019

NATIONAL NEWS

Mumbai: CSMT gets ‘Eat Right’ station certificate From FSSAI

• Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) railway station in Mumbai has been conferred with ‘Eat Right Station’ certification with the five-star rating by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for food safety and hygiene.

• An official release said that the CSMT is the first station on the Central Railway to get this certification.

• It stated that the CSMT has been judged on the basis of compliance of food safety and hygiene, availability of healthy diet, food handling at preparation, food waste management, promotion of local and seasonal food and creating awareness on food safety and healthy diet.

• ‘Eat Right Station’ initiative is a part of the ‘Eat Right India’ movement launched by FSSAI and an FMCG major which is aimed at promoting food safety and hygiene at the static catering units at railway stations.

Second edition of Eat Right Mela inaugurated by Health Minister in New Delhi

• Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has said, the right kind of diet will help to reduce the disease burden in the country.

• Inaugurating the second edition of Eat Right Mela in New Delhi, the Minister said, healthy eating should become a people’s movement.

• He stressed upon the importance of having a people’s movement, encouraging people to have healthier diets which will help in reduction of the disease burden in the country.

• Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated that the Eat Right Mela is a commendable effort and outreach activity for citizens to nudge them towards eating right.

• He also highlighted that on one hand, India is suffering from under-nourishment and on the other side, there is obesity due to the result of junk food, wrong choices of food, overeating and lack of exercise.

First-ever university for transgenders to come up in UP

• The first university for the transgender community in India will be opened in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar district.

• The university, which will come up in Fazilnagar block of Kushinagar district, is being built by the Akhil Bhartiya Kinnar Siksha Seva Trust (All-India transgender education service trust).

• In the university, the transgender community will be able to study right from class one to PG and even do research and get PhD degree.

FM releases stamp on DRI

• Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman released a postage stamp to commemorate distinguished service and glorious contribution of  Directorate of  Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in protecting the nation. After releasing the stamp, Sitharaman stressed on the critical need for training officers of DRI in using technology and data analytics to be able to inspire confidence of citizens and deter smugglers, the finance ministry said.

• She remarked that DRI continues to play an immense role in countering smuggling as well as in preserving the cultural heritage and environment of the country.

• The challenges faced by the organisation continue to grow with the adoption of innovative modes of smuggling, she said and called for increasing the concerted efforts of DRI, the statement said.

About DRI:

DRI was formed on December 4, 1957 to function as an apex intelligence agency of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs to counter the menace of smuggling.

DRI has established itself as the premier intelligence agency commanding the trust of international and national agencies with its intelligence inputs on myriad subjects inter alia ranging from fake Indian currency note, narcotics, gold, arms & ammunitions, wildlife, cultural heritage and commercial fraud, it added.

IAF bid farewell to MiG-27 ML Bahadur as India retires the strike aircraft

• The MiG-27 fighter jets of the Indian Air Force, which were part of the Kargil war with Pakistan 20 years ago.

• The fleet has been decommissioned after around 35 years of service and it received ‘water salute’ at a ceremony in Jodhpur.

• The MiG-27 had earned the tag of ‘Bahadur’ from IAF pilots.

• All other variants, such as MiG-23 BN and MiG-23 MF and the pure MiG-27 have already retired from IAF.

PM Modi launches Atal Bhujal Scheme for efficient groundwater

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched Atal Bhujal Yojana (ATAL JAL) which aims to improve groundwater management.

• The scheme has been designed with the principal objective of strengthening the institutional framework for participatory groundwater management.

• It aims to bring behavioral changes at the community level for sustainable groundwater resource management in seven States. The 7 states includes Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

• The scheme will promote panchayat led ground water management and behavioural change with primary focus on demand side management.

• The Government has outlaid Rs. 6000 crore for the scheme.

BANKING AND ECONOMICS

Allahabad Bank, UCO Bank, IOB get Rs 8,655 cr fund infusion by GOI.

• Three loss making PSU Banks — Allahabad Bank, Indian Overseas Bank and UCO Bank – have got Rs 8,655 crore fresh capital infusion from the government.

• The Finance Ministry has approved infusing fresh capital amounting to Rs 2,153 crore in the Allahabad Bank, Rs 2,142 crore in the UCO Bank and Rs 4,360 crore in the Indian Overseas Bank via preferential allotment of shares.

• UCO Bank posted a loss of Rs 892 crore in Q2, Allahabad Bank a loss of Rs 2,103 crore and Indian Overseas Bank posted Rs 2,254 crore loss in July-September quarter.

• All these banks, except the Allahabad Bank, are currently under the Reserve Bank of India”s prompt corrective action (PCA) framework and they need to have net NPA below six per cent to get out of PCA which is a key criterion.

• These banks filed separate regulatory filings on their capital infusion.

RBI launches new PPI for small digital transactions

• The Reserve Bank of India has introduced a new semi-closed prepaid payment instrument (PPI) which can be used for the transaction of goods and services up to a limit of Rs 10,000.

• The loading facility of the instrument will be linked only from a bank account.

• This direction has made under Section 18 read with Section 10(2) of Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.

• PPIs are instruments that facilitate the purchase of goods and services, including financial services, remittance facilities, etc., against the value stored on such instruments.

• There are currently three kinds of PPIs allowed by RBI: closed system, semi-closed and open PPIs.

• The PPIs may be issued as cards, wallets, and any such form/instrument which can be used to access the PPI and to use the amount therein

About RBI:

RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikant Das;

Headquarters: Mumbai;

Founded: 1 April 1935, Kolkata.

Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' launched five documents developed by UGC

• The Union Human Resource Development Minister launched the 5 documents developed by UGC covering the 5 verticals of Quality Mandate in New Delhi.

• These 5 documents cover evaluation reforms, eco-friendly and sustainable university campuses, human values & professional ethics, faculty induction and academic research integrity.

• These 5 documents help to improve the quality in Higher Educational Institutions, University Grants Commission has adopted the Higher Education Quality Improvement Programme Mandate.

• The quality mandate aims at evolving higher education system to equip country’s next-generation with vital skills, knowledge and ethics for leading a rewarding life.

The 5th Round of India-Japan Maritime Affairs Dialogue was held in Tokyo

• The 5th Round of India-Japan Maritime Affairs Dialogue was held in Tokyo, Japan.

• The two sides exchanged views on various topics of mutual interest in the maritime domain and identified the means for further strengthening their maritime cooperation.

• Both sides reiterated the importance of the Dialogue as an important mechanism between the two countries for consultations on issues of mutual interest in maritime affairs and agreed to hold the next round of the Dialogue on a mutually convenient date in India.

• The first round of India-Japan Maritime dialogue was held in New Delhi in 2013.

• About Japan:

Japan Capital: Tokyo,

Currency: Japanese yen,

PM: Shinzo Abe

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

American Academy of Ophthalmology bestows Life Achievement honour to Indian Ophthalmologist Dr Santosh G Honavar

• Dr Santosh G Honavar, India’s ophthalmologist is conferred with American Academy of Ophthalmology’s (AAO) highest award Life Achievement honour that is given to its members. He is the first Indian chosen for the honour.

• The award was formally presented to Dr Honavar recently at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology held in San Francisco.

• Dr Santosh G. Honavar, a Hyderabad-based Indian ophthalmologist was chosen for its highest award to recognize his contributions to the Academy, its scientific and educational programs, and to the advancement of ophthalmology.

About American Academy of Ophthalmology:

American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye specialists. The mission of the American Academy of Ophthalmology is to protect sight and empower lives by serving as an advocate for patients and the public, leading ophthalmic education, and advancing the profession of ophthalmology.

Founded in 1896 and headquartered in San Francisco, USA, American Academy of Ophthalmology has 32,000 professional members. 90 per cent of its members are practising ophthalmologists.

Unicef award to Kamareddy dist. for Swachh Bharat implementation

• Kamareddy district of Telangana has secured the United Nations International Children’s and Education Fund (Unicef)-2019 Award.

• The district has won the award for effective implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission in water sanitation and hygiene sectors.

• Kamareddy district was on top in the country among other districts in construction of individual sanitary lavatories, swachh darpan wall paintings, swachh survekshan, swachh sundar shouchalay and many other activities.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg steps down

• Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has stepped down as the company is facing tough period following two fatal crashes.

• He will be replaced by Chairman David Calhoun effective January 13, 2020.

• He became the CEO of the world’s largest aerospace company in July 2015.

• The company’s best selling commercial jet was grounded worldwide in March 2019 after two fatal crashes killed 346 people.

About Boeing:

Headquarters of Boeing: Chicago, United States.

OBITUARY

 ‘Friends’ theme songwriter Allee Willis passes away at 72

• Allee Willis, writer of ‘I’ll Be There For You’ which was used as the theme song in TV series ‘Friends’, died in Los Angeles from a cardiac arrest. She was 72.

• Willis entered the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018 for a catalog that also included hits such as Neutron Dance, What Have I Done To Deserve This?, Lead Me On and Boogie Wonderland and You’re The Best, which is the theme track of The Karate Kid.

• The songwriter was a two-time Grammy winner and was also nominated for a Tony and an Emmy.

Da Chen ,‘Colours of the Mountain’ author passes away

• China’s brilliant storyteller, Da Chen, who created the critically acclaimed memoir “Colours of the Mountain” passed away recently.

•  In “Colours of the Mountain” he recounted the abuses he and his family suffered during the latter years of the country’s Cultural Revolution.

• The book was published in seven languages. His last book which was published recently was “Girl Under a Red Moon”

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 26th December 2019

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

WHO global report on trends in prevalence of tobacco smoking 2000-2025.

• On December 19, 2019, The World Health Organisation (WHO) released its 3rd edition of global report on trends in the prevalence of tobacco use 2000-2025.

• As per the report despite decline in tobacco usage, India is off-track to achieve a 30% reduction in tobacco use by 2025 when compared to its 2010 levels.

• 163 nations besides India are also not on track in this regard.

• The consumption in India is going down by 21.6% points. In male, the consumption will go down to 35.8% from 57.3% by 2025. The consumption in female for the same period will decline to 8% from 29.8%.

• Based on current progress by India, a reduction in the tobacco usage by 23% by 2025 is expected in the country.

NATIONAL NEWS

Dharmendra Pradhan presents India’s first long distance CNG bus.

• Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan unveiled India’s first long distance Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) bus fitted with composite CNG cylinders, which can travel around 1,000 kilometre in a single fill.

• The project has been executed by Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) and has been achieved through design of Type IV Composite Cylinders in buses, replacing traditional very heavy Type-I Carbon Steel cylinders

• Mahindra & Mahindra along with Agility Fuel Solutions of USA have partnered with IGL for introducing the new concept of light weight Type IV composite cylinders in buses.

IGL has procured five Mahindra’s Type IV buses. The Buses would be given to Uttarakhand Transport Corporation (UTC) on lease basis after the launch. These will ply on Inter-city routes from Delhi to Dehradun and will be the first CNG Buses in Uttarakhand.

Telangana govt raises retirement age of RTC staff to 60 yrs

• Telangana government has decided to raise the retirement age of employees of the Road Transport Corporation, RTC to 60 from the current 58 years.

• The decision will be applicable to all cadres of employees of the state-owned RTC.

• Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao also asked RTC management to launch cargo and parcel services to all destinations wherever an RTC bus could reach in the state.

• About Telangana:

• Capital: Hyderabad

• Governor: Tamilisai Soundararajan

• Chief minister: K. Chandrashekar Rao

Centre releases Good Governance Index ranking States and UTs in 10 sectors

• Tamil Nadu topped the Good Governance Index launched by the Centre. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh followed among the ‘Big States’.

• Among the ‘Big States’, the poor performers are Odisha, Bihar, Goa, and Uttar Pradesh with Jharkhand coming last.

• The States and UTs are divided into three groups — Big States, North-East and Hill States, and Union Territories.

• Among the North-East and Hill States, Himachal Pradesh was ranked first, followed by Uttarakhand, Tripura, Mizoram and Sikkim. The worst performers in this group are Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, with Arunachal Pradesh coming last.

• Puducherry is the best governed Union Territory followed by Chandigarh and Delhi. Lakshwadeep is the worst performing UT.

• The rankings were launched by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, and the Centre for Good Governance.

• In the agriculture and allied ranking, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Daman and Diu are the best performing States in their groups. This rating took into account the growth rate of agriculture and allied sector, foodgrains production, horticulture produce, milk and meat production, and crop insurance.

• While assessing the performance of commerce and industries across States, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Delhi top the lists of their groups.

SPORTS

Leander Paes to retire from Tennis in 2020.

• India veteran tennis player Leander Paes announced that the coming year, 2020, will be his last year on the court.

• Paes has won eight doubles and ten mixed doubles Grand Slam titles. He received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, India’s highest sporting honor, in 1996-97; the Arjuna Award in 1990; the Padma Shri award in 2001; and India’s third- highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan prize in January 2014, for his outstanding contribution to tennis.

• He won a bronze medal for India in singles in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. He competed in consecutive Olympics from 1992 to 2016, making him the first Indian and only tennis player to compete at seven Olympic Games.

Virat Kohli named in Wisden cricketers of the decade list

• Indian skipper ViratKohli is one of the five players named in the Wisden Cricketers of the Decade.

• Kohli joins Australian batsman Steve Smith, and South Africans, Dale Steyn, and AB de Villiers.

• Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry is the only female cricketer in the list.

James Anderson first specialist bowler in history to play 150 Test matches.

• England’s 37-year-old fast bowler James Anderson has become the first specialist bowler in history to play 150 Test matches.

• Anderson achieved the feat after taking the field in the Boxing Day Test against South Africa in Centurion.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Kumar Sanjay Krishna new chief secretary of Assam.

• The Assam government appointed senior IAS officer Kumar Sanjay Krishna as the new chief secretary.

• A state government order said that Krishna, a 1985 batch IAS officer at present the additional chief secretary Home, Political and Disaster Management will take over as the chief secretary after the incumbent Alok Kumar retires on December 31.

• The Assam government also transferred nine senior IAS officers.

• Jishnu Barua will be the Additional Chief Secretary Home and Political and Revenue and Disaster Management Departments in addition to his present duties of Secretariat Administration (Archives) Department, the order said.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile System (QRSAM) is successfully flight tested by DRDO from Chandipur in Odisha.

• On December 23, 2019, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has flight-tested its Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) from Chandipur district of Odisha.

• This missile was tested with the full configuration in deployment mode intercepting the target in mid-air and meeting mission objectives.

• With this mission, developmental trials of the weapon system are completed and weapon system is expected to be ready for induction by 2021.

• This missile is developed by DRDO in association with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) for the Indian Army.

• Range of this missile is 30 kms.

• This missile is an all-weather, all-terrain surface-to-air missile.

About DRDO:

Chairman- Dr G Satheesh Reddy

Headquarters- New Delhi

Founded- 1958

OBITUARY

Renowned Hindi author Ganga Prasad Vimal passes away.

• Renowned Hindi author Ganga Prasad Vimal and his two family members were killed in a road accident in southern Sri Lanka.

• Born in 1939 in Uttarkashi, a Himalayan town in Uttarakhand, Vimal held key responsibilities in Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University and Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, Agra.

• He wrote more than one dozen poetry collections, short story collections and novels. His last novel, Manushkhor, was published in 2013. He received several Hindi literary awards.

World Cup winner Martin Peters MBE passes away, aged 76.

• England World Cup winner Martin Peters has died, aged 76, his former club West Ham United said

• Peters was part of the 1966 World Cup-winning side and scored in the final against West Germany.

• Peters joined West Ham in 1959 as a 15-year-old, made his debut in 1962 and was a key player in the side who won the 1965 Cup Winners Cup final at Wembley.

• Peters won the UEFA Cup and two League Cups with Tottenham.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 24th December 2019

NATIONAL NEWS

Urban India, except Bengal, declared open defecation-free, says Ministry

• Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban has achieved its target of creating Urban India Open Defecation Free.

•  Urban areas of 35 states and Union Territories have become ODF.

• In all, 4,320 cities out of 4,372 have declared themselves ODF, of which 4,167 cities have been certified through third-party verification.

• This has been achieved by the construction of nearly 65.81 lakh individual household toilets against Mission target of 59 lakhs and 5.89 lakh seats of public toilets against Mission target of 5.08 lakh seats.

Important:

• Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs: Hardeep Singh Puri.

Mobile app of Red Cross Society of India released by President

• President Ram Nath Kovind released the mobile app of the Red Cross Society of India in Hyderabad.

• This app is developed by the Telangana Centre for Good Governance in less than three months, the mobile app is accessible in all languages.

• The developers informed that the access to blood bank and Red Cross membership will become easy with the launching of the mobile app.

Important:

• CM of Telangana: K Chandrashekhar Rao.

• Capital of Telangana: Hyderabad.

• Governor of Telangana: Tamilisai Soundararajan.

CFSL gets advanced DNA analysis centre at Chandigarh

• The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai, inaugurated a state-of-the-art DNA Analysis Centre at Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), Chandigarh

• The new advanced forensic DNA Analysis Lab has been set up under the Nirbhaya Fund scheme, with an allocation of Rs 99.76 crores and has a capacity of examining 2000 cases per year.

• This Centre will provide State-of-the-art facility for sexual assault and homicide unit, paternity unit, human identification unit and mitochondrial DNA unit.

BANKING AND ECONOMICS

USD 210 million loan for irrigation & solar energy projects in India approved by AIIB

• The Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has announced loan worth USD 210 million for irrigation and solar energy projects in India.

• Of the $210 million, $145 million will be used to improve irrigation services and strengthen flood risk management in West Bengal, while $65 million has been earmarked for a 250-megawatt (MW) solar project in Rajasthan.

• India is the second-largest shareholder of the multilateral institution and the largest recipient of its loan and equity commitments.

• The total commitments to the country stand at $3 billion out of total commitment of $10 billion.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Harsh Vardhan Shringla is now 33rd Foreign Secretary of India

• Indian diplomat and the current Indian Ambassador to the United States, Harsh Vardhan Shringla has been appointed as the next Foreign Secretary of India.

• He will assume charge on 29 January 2020, replacing Vijay Gokhale, whose two-year term will end on January 28, 2020.

• Harsh Vardhan Shringla will be the 33rd foreign secretary of India.

P R Ravi Mohan has been appointed as the new chairman of ESAF

• P R Ravi Mohan has been appointed as the new chairman of ESAF Small Finance Bank.

• He succeeds R. Prabha.

• Earlier, he headed the Banking Supervision Department of Reserve Bank of India.

• ESAF Small Finance Bank was incorporated on May 5, 2016, with its registered office in Thrissur, Kerala.

Niranjan Hiranandani appointed as new Assocham President

• Hiranandani Group Co-founder and Managing Director, Niranjan Hiranandani has taken over as the new President of industry body Assocham.

• He succeeds Welspun Group Chairman Balkrishan Goenka.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Earth Observation Satellite, CBERS-4A, Launched into Orbit, Co-developed by Brazil and China

• China and Brazil have jointly developed an Earth Observation (EO) satellite, China-Brazil Earth Resource Satellite (CBERS) 4A.

• The CBERS 4A satellite was launched into space on December 20 via a Long March 4B rocket from the northern Chinese province of Shanxi.

• This satellite was the sixth developed under the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite (CBERS) program that began in 1988.

• It will support the Brazilian government’s monitoring of the Amazon rainforest and changes in the country’s environment.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Fisheries dept, NABARD & TN govt sign first tripartite MoA for fisheries development fund

• The first tripartite Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was signed for the implementation of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Fund (FIDF) to address the infrastructure requirement for fisheries sector.

• A dedicated fund has been created namely the Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF) with a total of Rs. 7522.48 crore.

• Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying: Shri Giriraj Singh

• FIDF provides concessional finance to the eligible entities, cooperatives, individuals and entrepreneurs for development of identified fisheries infrastructure.

• The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NARBARD), National Cooperatives Development Corporation (NCDC) and all scheduled banks are Nodal Loaning entities (NLEs) to provide concessional finance under the (FIDF).

Sebi signs pact with Kazakhstan-based AFSA for mutual co-operation

• The MoU was signed by Chairman of Sebi Ajay Tyagi and the acting chief executive officer of AFSA Mukhtar Bubeyev.

• Markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has signed a pact with Kazakhstan’s Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) for mutual co-operation and technical assistance.

• The memorandum of understanding (MoU) will strengthen cross border co-operation in the area of securities regulation, facilitate mutual assistance, contribute towards efficient performance of the supervisory functions, and enable effective enforcement of laws and regulations governing the securities markets.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 23rd December 2019

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

India constructs Girls’ Hostel for Nepal Armed Police Force

• On December 22, 2019, The Government of India (GoI) has granted Rs 2.2 crore (40.42 million Nepali Rupees) for construction of Girls’ Hostel for Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) School in Kirtipur, Kathmandu.

• The construction project was implemented by Nepal APF.

• The inaugural ceremony was attended by Dr Ajay Kumar, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India, Ramsharan Paudel, Assistant Inspector General, Armed Police Force, Nepal, and others.

• About Nepal:

Nepal Prime Minister: K P Sharma Oli;

Capital: Kathmandu.

President of Nepal: Bidhya Devi Bhandari;

Currency of Nepal: Nepalese rupee.

Govt approved projects worth Rs 7000 cr under Nirbhaya fund

• On December 20, 2019, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoW&CD) has announced the approval of projects worth Rs 7,000 crore including setting up of 1023 fast-track courts under Nirbhaya fund.

• These courts were decided to be set up in order to provide speedy trials of over 1.66 lakh pending cases of crime against women and children in India.

• About Nirbhaya Fund:

• The Nirbhaya fund was set up in 2013 with Rs.1000 crores corpus by the Congress party-led govt. as a tribute to a 23-year-old Delhi gang-rape victim. Nirbhaya (fearless) was the pseudonym given to the victim to hide the original identity.

• To support initiatives by the government and NGOs (Non-Government Organizations) working towards protecting the dignity and ensuring the safety of women in India.

•The MoW&CD under Nirbhaya fund, has also funded women help desks across all police stations in the country. Anti-trafficking units to protect women and children have also been funded.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Nadal and Barty named 2019 ITF World Champions

• Ashleigh Barty and Rafael Nadal were named International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) World Champions in singles for 2019. This awards will be given at the 2020 ITF world champions 2nd June, in Paris.

Indian Archaeologist honoured in Bangladesh

• Noted archaeologist R. Nagaswamy was honoured at the Silver Jubilee International Conference of Art in Dhaka by Bangladesh. He is an Indian historian, archaeologist and epigraphist. He served as the founder-director of Tamilnadu Archaeology Department. In 2018 he was awarded India’s third highest civilian award Padma Bhushan.

National Bravery Award: Malayali boy bags top bravery award

• Aditya K. of Kozhikode, Kerala has become the first child from the State to bag the Bharat Award for bravery.

• The Bharat Award has gone to Aditya for rescued 20 people from a bus carrying members of the Calicut University Pensioners’ Forum and their families when it caught fire coming down a steep mountain road.

• Two more children from the State are also recipients of the awards. Muhammed Mohsin has been given the award posthumously for saving the lives of three children.

•  Fatah gets the award for rescuing a woman and a girl from an approaching train. Both belong to Kozhikode.

SPORTS

ICC T20I rankings: Radha retains 2nd position in bowlers' list.

• The International Cricket Council (ICC) T20I (Twenty-twenty International) rankings for Women players were released.

• Spinner Radha Yadav remained in the second position in the Bowler rankings which is the highest of all category rankings by an Indian Women’s cricketer in the recently released T20I women’s rankings.

Meiraba Luwang clinches Bangladesh Junior Int'l Series title.

• India's shuttler Maisnam Meiraba Luwang has won the Men's singles Bangladesh Junior International Badminton Series 2019 in Dhaka.

• Top-seeded Meiraba, who hails from Manipur, beat Ken Yong Ong 21, 14, 21-18 in the final lasting 38 minutes on Sunday.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Dr Sangita Reddy takes over as President FICCI

• Dr Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals Group was appointed as the President of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

• On 23rd December 2019, she is appointed for the year 2019-20, during FICCI’s 92nd Annual Convention in New Delhi.

• She succeeds Mr Sandip Somany, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, HSIL Limited.

President of the Walt Disney Company APAC & Chairman of Star & Disney India, Mr Uday Shankar has been elevated as Senior Vice President of FICCI.

Similarly, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), Mr Sanjiv Mehta was appointed as the Vice President of FICCI.

About FICCI:

Established- 1927

Headquarters- New Delhi

Monisha Ghosh named as first woman CTO at FCC in US

• Indian-American Dr. Monisha Ghosh has been appointed as the first woman Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at the US government’s powerful Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

• She will take charge on January 13, 2020. She replaces Dr Eric Burger.

• Dr Ghosh will advise Indian-American Chairman of the FCC Ajit Pai and the agency on technology and engineering issues. She will also work with the Office of Engineering and Technology.

• Ghosh received her PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California in 1991 and B.tech from IIT Kharagpur in 1986.

About FCC:

Founder- Franklin D. Roosevelt

Founded- 19 June 1934

Headquarters- Washington, D.C, US.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

WHO prequalifies first biosimilar medicine to increase worldwide access to life-saving breast cancer treatment

• On December 18, 2019 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that for the 1st time it had approved a “biosimilar” medicine of Trastuzumab named “Ontruzant” to make cheaper breast cancer treatment at an affordable rate to women globally.

• The medicine is derived from living sources rather than chemicals.

• The biosimilar medicine of the Trastuzumab drug was supplied by Samsung Bioepis co Ltd.

• It will be used for the treatment of HER2 (Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2)-positive breast cancer and HER2 over expressing gastric cancer.

About World Health Organisation (WHO):

Founded- 7 April 1948.

Headquarters- Geneva, Switzerland.

Director General(DG)- Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Parent Organization- United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN-ECOSOC)

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Wipro partners with Nasscom to skill 10,000 students

• Wipro has partnered with Nasscom to train students on emerging technologies. The programme will train on technologies such as artificial intelligence, data science, internet of things, cybersecurity.

• Wipro will train 10,000 students from engineering colleges in India as a part of Wipro’s corporate social responsibility programme “TalentNext“.

• TalentNext aims to improve the quality of engineering education by preparing faculty and academic leaders to train students.

• The programme will now be extended to students directly through Future Skills, a Nasscom platform.

•  “Future Skills” bridges the industry-academia skill gap and help students learn new-age technologies.

Bank of Baroda inks MoU with Gujarat govt to provide MSME loans

• In order to facilitate the flow of credit in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector, Bank of Baroda (BoB), an Indian multinational, public sector Bank, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Gujarat government.

• As per the agreement, the credit will be provided to the MSME for greenfield projects, startups, women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs from backward areas under the Gujarat Single Window Clearance Act 2017 & Ordinance Number 1 of 2019 dated October 24, 2019.

• About BoB:

Founded– 20 July 1908

Headquarters– Vadodara, Gujarat

MD & CEO– PS Jayakumar

Tagline– India’s International Bank

• About Gujarat:

Capital– Gandhinagar.

Governor– Acharya Devvrat.

Chief Minister– Vijay Rupani.

Folk dances– Garba, Dandiya Ras, Tippani Juriun, Bhavai.

State Flower– Marigold

19th Joint Commission meeting of India-Iran, held in Iran.

• External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar co-chaired the 19th Joint Commission meeting with Foreign Minister of Iran.

• The Joint Commission meeting was held in Tehran, Iran.

• The meeting reviewed the entire gamut of the cooperation and agreed to accelerate work on the strategic Chabahar project.

• The Chabahar port is jointly being developed by India, Iran and Afghanistan.

•  It is located on the Indian Ocean in the Sistan and Baluchestan province of Iran.

About Iran :

• Iran Capital: Tehran;

• Currency: Rial;

• President: Hassan Rouhani.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 22nd December 2019

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Manuel Marrero Cruz appointed as The First Prime Minister of Cuba Since 1976

• Manuel Marrero Cruz has been appointed as the Prime Minister of Cuba. The announcement was made by President of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel.

• The post of Prime Minister in Cuba was vacant since December 1976 with Fidel Castro as the last PM.

•  Manuel Marrero Cruz has served as the tourism minister of Cuba for 16 years.

• President of Cuba: Miguel Díaz-Canel;

• Capital of Cuba: Havana.

• Currency of Cuba: Cuban peso.

Eco: A renamed common currency Eight West African nations

• Eight West African countries have agreed to change the name of their common currency to Eco and severed their earlier currency CFA Franc's links to former colonial ruler France.

• Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo currently use the currency

• The CFA Franc was initially pegged to the French franc and has been linked to the euro for about two decades.

• All the countries are former French colonies with the exception of Guinea-Bissau.

• The CFA franc, created in 1945, was seen by many as a sign of French interference in its former African colonies even after the countries became independent.

US “space force” officially launched by Donald Trump

• Donald Trump has launched space force, the first new US military service in more than 70 years.

• Trump signed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act that includes the space force. It is part of a $1.4tn (£1.1tn) government spending package – including the Pentagon’s budget – that provides a steady stream of financing for Trump’s US-Mexico border fence and reverses unpopular and unworkable automatic spending cuts to defence and domestic programmes.

• It is not intended to put troops into orbit, but will protect US assets – such as the hundreds of satellites used for communication and surveillance.

• Space Force will build on the work of the existing US Space Command (SpaceCom), which was created in August to handle the US military’s space operations.

NATIONAL NEWS

YSR Neetanna Nestham scheme launched in Andhra Pradesh’s in Krishna district's Pedana town for weavers

• Andhra Pradesh Panchayati Raj Minister P Ramachandra Reddy launched the YSR Neetanna Nestham scheme in Krishna district’s Pedana town under which weavers would be given Rs 24,000 annually.

• Around 75,000 weavers would be benefitted from the scheme.

SPORTS

Liverpool won FIFA Club World Cup champions

• Liverpool has won the FIFA Club World Cup for the first time. Roberto Firmino scored the decisive goal in the 9th minute of extra time.

• The finals was held in Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar’s capital city of Doha.

• Liverpool defeated Flamengo in the finals.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

'Meghdoot': Secunderabad Railway Station Gets India’s First ‘Water From Air’ System

• The Indian Railways has announced that it has installed a first-of-its-kind ‘atmospheric water generator’ (AWG) system named ‘Meghdoot,’ which converts humid air into potable drinking water, at Secunderabad railway station in Telangana.

• The price of the potable drinking water ranges from INR 2 to INR 8. It costs less if the passengers carry their own bottles and containers.

• The minister of railways and commerce, Piyush Goyal informed about the installation of ‘Meghdoot’, which will produce water that complies with the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.

Vaccine on wheels: IIT Hyderabad launches India’s first mobile vaccination clinic in Pune.

• A vaccine on wheels clinic, a first-of-its-kind service in India called ‘VaccineOnWheels.com’ 

• The clinic is the brainchild of Jignesh Patel, the Center for Healthcare Entrepreneurship (CfHe) IIT Hyderabad fellow, and has been set up together with the Gates Foundation.

• There are many features which makes it a unique vaccination service, including providing low-cost vaccination service to the low-income group of the population, creating awareness for government’s immunisation programme and selling only those vaccines which are not provided through the government agencies and compliance with cold chain maintenance as per WHO guidelines with state-of-the-art equipment.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

R.N Kao: Gentleman Spymaster by Nitin A. Gokhale

• Book titled ”R N Kao: Gentleman Spymaster” authored by former journalist Nitin Gokhale was released by Army chief-designate Lieutenant General Manoj Naravane.

• Kao had served as the first chief of India’s external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW).

OBITUARY

Veteran cinematographer Ramachandra Babu passes away at 72.

Renowned Hindustani classical vocalist Vidushi Savita Devi passes away at 80

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 21st December 2019

National

5th Edition of ARTECH to be held in New Delhi

• The 5th edition of ARTECH is being organised by Indian Army on ‘Technologies for Non-Contact Warfare’ which will be organised on 23 December 2019 at Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantonment.

• The seminar is the flagship event of the Indian Army which sets the agenda for focus areas of harvesting indigenous capabilities in the Defence sector.

• ARTECH Seminar was launched in 2016 as part of the overall vision of ‘Make in India’ of Hon’ble Prime Minister and is conducted every year as part of events leading to Army Day celebrations.

• ARTECH platform provides an opportunity to practitioners of military operations, policymakers in Ministry of Defence, industry and academia to put forth their contemporary Defence-related capabilities.

• Chief of the Army Staff: General Bipin Rawat.

• The motto of Indian Army: “Service Before Self”.

• Headquarters: New Delhi.

• Commander-in-Chief: President Ram Nath Kovind.

Uddhav announces Mahatma Jyotirao Phule loan waiver scheme of up to Rs 2 lakh for Maharashtra farmers

• The Maharashtra government has announced a loan waiver scheme named “Mahatma Jyotirao Phule loan waiver scheme” under which farmers in Maharashtra will get a loan waiver of upto Rs two lakh.

• The cut-off date for the scheme is September 30, 2019.

Wipro, NASSCOM jointly launch ‘Future Skills’ to boost engineering teaching

• Wipro has partnered with the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) to launch the ‘Future Skills’ platform to enhance the quality of engineering education.

• ‘Future Skills’ platform is a part of Wipro’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme, TalentNext and aims to target 10,000 students from over 20 engineering colleges in India.

Banking and Economy

RBI Announces special Open Market Operation (OMO) Purchase and Sale of Government of India Dated Securities

• The Reserve Bank has decided to conduct simultaneous purchase and sale of government securities under Open Market Operations (OMO) for ₹10,000 crores each.

• This has been done after a review of the current liquidity and market situation and an assessment of the evolving financial conditions.

• The RBI will buy ₹10,000 crore of 6.45% government bonds maturing in 2029 and simultaneously sell ₹10,000 crore of short-term bonds maturing in 2020.

Science & Technology

Ethiopia launched its first space satellite

• Ethiopia has launched its first satellite named Ethiopian Remote Sensing Satellite (ETRSS)-1 which took place at a space station in China.

• The Chinese Long March 4B rocket (CZ-4B) carried the ETRSS-1 from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in China.

Sports

Rafael Nadal, Ashleigh Barty named ITF World Champions for 2019

• Ashleigh Barty (Australia) and Rafael Nadal (Spain) have been named as the ITF’s world champions for 2019 women’s and men’s respectively.

• They have been named the champions as they finished at the top in their respective category rankings.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 20th December 2019

National

Andhra Pradesh tops in organising ‘Fit India school week’

• Andhra Pradesh has topped the charts among states in India in organising the Fit India week. 13,839 schools of Andhra Pradesh took part in the state.

• Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh are ranked at second and third place respectively.

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid a foundation to the Fit India movement which was launched on August 29 this year.

Indian Coast Guard conducts ‘Swachchh Samundra NW-2019’

• The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) conducted a regional level pollution response exercise named ‘Swachchh Samundra NW-2019’. It was held at sea off Vadinar in Gulf of Kutch.

• The exercise was held from December 17 to December 18, 2019 with an aim to validate and reinforce the response mechanism for oil pollution incidents and enable the Indian Coast Guard to fine-tune the actions required in such eventualities.

Anand Mahindra to step down as Mahindra Group Executive Chairman from April 2020

• Mahindra Group has annouced that Anand Mahindra will step down as Executive Chairman from April 1, 2020.

• Pawan Goenka will be re-designated as Managing Director and Chief Executive from April 1.

• This is in accordance with the Sebi guidelines. However, Anand Mahindra will continue to serve as Non-Executive Chairman of the company.

Banking and Economy

Fitch reduces India’s GDP growth forecast to 4.6% in FY20

• Fitch Ratings has cut its GDP growth forecast for India to 4.6% for the 2019-20 fiscal from its earlier prediction of 5.6%.

• Fitch has reaffirmed India’s rating at ‘BBB-‘ with a Stable Outlook.

• In FY2020-21 the growth rate is predicted at 5.6 per cent and 6.5 per cent in FY2021-22 as per Fitch.

Awards

Virat Kohli tops Forbes India’s 2019 Celebrity list

• Indian Cricketer Virat Kohli has topped the Forbes India’s 2019 Celebrity list.

• The celebrity ranks are based on an aggregate of the estimated earnings and their calculated fame quotient, via print and social media reach.

• Actor Akshay Kumar is ranked second, followed by Salman Khan on third. Alia  Bhatt is the top ranked female in the list and is ranked 8th.

Sahitya Akademi award 2019 released

The complete list of winners in a different language and genre categories is given in the table below.

S.No

Language

Title and Genre

Name of the Author

 1

Assamese

Chanakya (Novel)

Joysree Goswami
Mahanta

 2

Bengali

Ghumer
Darja Thele (Essays)

Chinmoy
Guha

 3
  

Bodo

Akhai
Athumniphrai (Poetry)

Phukan
Ch. Basumatary

 4

Dogri

Bandralta
Darpan (Essays)

Om
Sharma Jandriari

 5

 English
  

  An
  Era of Darkness (Non-Fiction)
  

  Shashi
  Tharoor

  6

Gujarati

Mojma
Revu Re (Essays)

Ratilal
Borisagar

 7

  Hindi

Chheelate
  Hue Apne Ko (Poetry)

  Nand
  Kishore Acharya

 8

Kannada

Kudi
Esaru (Autobiography)

Vijaya

 9

Kashmiri

Akh
Yaad Akh Qayamat (Short Stories)

Abdul
AhadHajini

10
  

Konkani

The
Words (Poetry)

Nilba
A Khandekar

11

Maithili

Jingik
Oriaon Kariat (Poetry)

Kumar
Manish Arvind

12

Malayalam

Achan
Piranna Veedu (Poetry)

V
Madhusoodanan Nair

13

Manipuri

EiAmadi
Adungeigi Eethat (Novel)

L
Birmangol Singh (Beryl Thanga)

14

Marathi

Kadachit
Ajoonahi(Poetry)

Anuradha Patil

15

Odia

Bhaswati
(Short Stories)

Tarun
Kanti Mishra

16

Punjabi

Antheen
(Short Stories)

Kirpal
Kazak

17
  

Rajasthani

BareekBaat
(Short Stories)

Ramswaroop
Kisan

18

Sanskrit
  

  Prajnachakshusham
  (Poetry)
 

  Penna
  Madhusudan

 19

Santali

Sisirkali
(Short Stories)

Kali
Charan Hembram

 20

Sindhi

Jeejal
(Short Stories)

Ishwar
Moorjani

 21

Tamil

Sool
(Novel)

Cho
Dharman

22

Telugu

Septabhoomi
(Novel)

Bandi
Narayana Swamy

 23

Urdu
  

  Sawaneh-E-Sir
  Syed: Ek Bazadeed (Biography)
  

  Shafey
  Kidwai

Appointment

Devesh Srivastava appointed GIC chief

• Devesh Srivastava took charge as the Chairman and Managing director of General Insurance Corporation of India on December 18.

• His name was recommended by Banks Board Bureau in August 2019.

• General Insurance Corporation India founded: 22 November 1972.

• General Insurance Corporation India Headquarters: Mumbai, India.

Retired HC judge CV Ramulu named Telangana Lokayukta

Former High Court Judge Justice CV Ramulu has been appointed as the Lokayukta of Telangana. Former Law Secretary V Niranjan Rao has been appointed as Upa Lokayukta.

• CM of Telangana: K Chandrashekhar Rao.

• Capital of Telangana: Hyderabad.

• Governor of Telangana: Tamilisai Soundararajan.

IPS officer Atul Karwal appointed as Director of National Police Academy

The Union Government appointed a senior Gujarat Cadre IPS officer Atul Karwal, as Director of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy in Hyderabad. He is a 1988 batch IPS officer, is currently posted as Additional Director General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 19th December 2019

National

GST Council fixes 28% uniform tax rate for lottery effective from March 2020

• The 38th meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was held in New Delhi on December 18, 2019.

• Some of the important decisions taken during the meeting are as follows:

• Uniform GST tax rate of 28 percent on both state and private lottery. Currently, lotteries run by state-government attract 12% GST and those authorized by them and sold outside the state are taxed at 28%.

• GST rate on woven and non-woven bags rationalized to 18 percent, compared to 12% at present.

• The new rates will be effective from March 2020.

Odisha Govt. launches ‘Jalsathi’ programme

• Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched the ‘Jalsathi’ programme, involving women volunteers, to ensure supply of safe drinking water to all households in the state.

• Under the ‘Jalsathi’ programme, about 5,000 women, known as Jalsathi, will be engaged for supplying safe drinking water. They have been provided with water quality testing kits and POS (point of sale) machines.

•  ‘Jalasathis’ will be responsible for water quality testing, facilitating new water connections, regularising connections, reassessment of demands, meter reading, bill generation, bill delivery, collection of water charges and facilitating complaints redressal.

50% concession for ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ participants

Indian Railways has decided to grant 50% concession for the youth participating in the “Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat” programme. The concession will be given in basic fares of Second and Sleeper Class to youths with emoluments of not more than 5000 rupees per month for travelling from one State to another State to take part in the programme.

Braille Edition of Exam Warriors: Book written by PM Modi released

• Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot released the Braille Edition of the book “Exam Warriors” authored by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

• The Braille Edition of the book has been published in Hindi and English.

• It has been prepared in the Braille Press of Rajasthan Netraheen Kalyan Sangh.

International

Apple, Amazon & Google partner to make smart home devices more compatible

• Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc. are all set to form an alliance to make smart-home devices more secure, reliable, and seamless to use.

• These three biggest providers of smart-home and voice-assistant technology are teaming up for the project, titled “Connected Home over IP”.

• They will work with the Zigbee Alliance (a foundation that promotes standards for the “internet of things), and its members including Samsung Electronics Co., Somfy SA and IKEA, on a new standard that will ensure their products work with one another.

Portuguese PM, Antonio Costa, on two-day visit to India

• Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa is on a two-day visit to India from December 19-20, 2019.

• This is Mr Costa’s first bilateral visit outside Europe after being re-elected as Prime Minister on 6 October, 2019.

• Portugal Capital: Lisbon; Currency: Euro

Donald Trump becomes third US president in history to be impeached

• Donald Trump has become the third US President in history to be impeached by the House of Representatives, bringing him a step closer to being removed from office.

• The House voted the President on two charges: one that he abused his power and other that he had obstructed Congress.

Banking and Economy

HDFC Bank crosses $100 billion market capitalisation

• HDFC Bank has become the 3rd Indian firm to cross $100 billion mark in market capitalisation. HDFC Bank has joined the league of Reliance Industries Ltd, which has a market cap of $140.74 billion, and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) that has a market cap of $114.60 billion.

• Managing Director of HDFC Bank: Aditya Puri; Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.

• Reliance Industries Ltd (market cap of $140.74 billion), and Tata Consultancy Services (market cap of $114.60 billion) are the only top companies in the country in the list.

• Globally, HDFC Bank now ranks 110th as most valued companies in the worlds which have market cap of over $100 billion.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Reliance Industries Surpasses state-owned Indian Oil Corporation to top 2019 Fortune India 500 list

• Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has displaced state-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) as India’s largest company in the Fortune India 500 list 2019.

• RIL is the first privately-held company to become the largest corporation in India and has ended IOC’s 10-year reign as India’s largest company. IOC is second on the list.

• RIL’s 2018-19 revenue stood at Rs 5.81 lakh crore, which was 41.5 percent more than previous year.

• IOC’s revenue stood at Rs 5.36 lakh crore, with a growth of 26.6 percent.

Sports

S. Mandhana in ICC’s ODI and T20 team of the year

• India opener Smriti Mandhana was named in both the International Cricket Council’s ODI and T20 teams of the year. She has Jhulan Goswami, Poonam Yadav and Shikha Pandey for the company in the ODI team of the year and all-rounder Deepti Sharma in the T20 side.

• Mandhana has played 51 ODIs and 66 T20Is for India, besides a couple of Test matches. She has combined tally of 3476 runs in T20Is and ODIs.

• ICC CEO: Manu Sahney; Headquarters: Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Ranking

India Emerges as World’s 3rd Largest Producer Of Scientific Articles

Based on the statistics compiled by the US-based National Science Foundation (NSF), India has emerged as the world’s third largest publisher of science and engineering articles.

• As per the report, in 2008, India published 48,998 science and engineering articles which increased to 1,35,788 articles in 2018. Now India accounts for 5.31 percent of the total world publications in science and engineering.

• China is on top of the list with the number of global scientific publications increased from 2,49,049 in 2008 to 5,28,263 in 2018 (growth rate of 7.81 percent per annum).

• United States stands second with the total global publications in science and engineering articles grew at a rate of 0.71 percent from 3,93,979 in 2008 to 4,22,808 in 2018.

Read More
Read Less
View All Comments

Important Current Affairs 18th December 2019

National

Govt launches National Broadband Mission; to invest 7 trillion in 4 years

• The Government of India has launched the National Broadband Mission (NBM) to fast track growth of digital communications infrastructure, bridge the digital divide and provide affordable and universal access of broadband for all.

• The main objective of the NBM is to provide broadband access to all villages by 2022.

• The mission is part of the National Digital Communications Policy, 2018.

• The mission envisages

• Rs 7 lakh crore investment in next 3 to 4 years.

• Taking optical fibre connectivity to 50 lakh kilometres from the current 22 lakh kilometres.

• Deploy 10 lakh mobile towers from the present 5.65 lakh sites in next 3-4 years

• 10% of the funds would come from the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) and the balance will come from industry in the form of towers and other assets

GEM launches national outreach programme ‘GeMSamvaad’

• Government e-commerce portal GeM has launched a national outreach programme, GeMSamvaad, to bring on-board more local sellers.

• The outreach programme will take place with stakeholders across the country and with local sellers to facilitate on- boarding of local sellers on the marketplace.

• The programme was launched by Commerce Secretary AnupWadhawan in New Delhi.

• The programme will take place from 17th February next year and will cover all the States and Union Territories of the country.

Banking and Economy

Moody’s Further Lowers India’s FY20 growth forecast to 4.9%

• Moody’s Investors Service has lowered its GDP growth projection for India for the fiscal year 2019-20 to 4.9 percent from 5.8 percent.

• The major factors responsible for weakening economic growth are rural financial stress, low job creation and liquidity constraints.

• The US ratings multinational has also lowered the growth forecast for FY 2020-21 to 6.3 percent from an earlier prediction of 6.6 percent.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

ADB & India Signs USD 250 million loan to expand energy efficiency investments

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India has signed a $250 million loan to Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) on 16 December 2019 to expand energy efficiency investments in India.

• In addition to the above, USD 46 million financing will be provided from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), to be administered by ADB.

• ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.

Obituary

MohunBagan president GitanathGanguly passes away

• MohunBagan president and retired justice GitanathGanguly died following a cardiac arrest.

• Ganguly took over as the club president after the SwapanSadhan Bose-led panel swept the elections in November last year.

Veteran actor ShreeramLagoo passes away aged 92

• Veteran actor and theatre personality ShreeramLagoo passed away on Tuesday aged 92 in a private hospital in Pune.

• Lagoo had worked in over 100 Hindi and Marathi films, over 40 Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati plays and also directed over 20 plays in Marathi.

• He won the 1978 Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for the Hindi film Gharaonda.

Sports

Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry named ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year

• Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry has been named ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year for the second time in three years.

• Perry also won the ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year award. Perry has scored 441 ODI runs and taken 21 wickets this year.

• Australia wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy won T20I Women’s Cricketer of the Year award the second straight year.

Appointment

Cyrus Mistry restored as Executive Chairman of Tata Sons

• The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has restored Cyrus Mistry as Executive Chairman of Tata Sons and ruled that his ouster in 2016 was illegal.

• Mistry had taken over as Tata Sons’ sixth chairman in 2012 after Ratan Tata announced his retirement.

• The Mistry family is the single largest shareholder in Tata Sons, with an 18.4% stake.

Sridhar Patra appointed NALCO CMD

• Sridhar Patra was appointed as the chairman-cum-managing director of NALCO, a Personnel Ministry order said.

• Patra is at present Director (Finance) in the National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO).

• He has been appointed as the CMD of NALCO till the date of his superannuation, i.e. October 31, 2024, the order said.

Ranking

India slips 4 ranks to 112th on WEF’s gender gap report

• World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2020 has ranked India at 112th out of 153 countries.

• India has moved down from its 108th position last year.

• The report also stated that India has “abnormally low sex ratios at birth” with 91 girls for every 100 boys.

• Iceland (87.7%) remains the world’s most gender-equal country, India ranked lower than many of its international peers, and some of its neighbours like China (106th), Sri Lanka (102nd), Nepal (101st), Brazil (92nd), Indonesia (85th) and Bangladesh (50th)

• Yemen is ranked the worst (153rd), while Iraq is 152nd and Pakistan 151st.

• The first WEF Gender Gap Index was published in 2006 when India was ranked at 98th position.

Read More
Read Less

Important Current Affairs 17th December 2019

NATIONAL NEWS

Reliance Industries Overtakes Indian Oil As Highest Ranked Indian Company On Fortune 500 List

• Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) ended Indian Oil Corporation Limited’s 10-year reign as India’s largest company on Fortune India 500 list.

• With revenue of 5.81 lakh crore in 2018-19, the Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate also became the first privately-held company to become India’s largest corporation, Fortune India said.

• ONGC was ranked third, the same as in 2018.

TOP 10 COMPANIES (with revenue):

1.         Reliance Industries: 580,553.00

2.         Indian Oil Corporation: 535,793.18

3.         Oil & Natural Gas Corporation: 436,057.04

4.         State Bank of India: 330,687.36

5.         Tata Motors: 303,227.41

6.         Bharat Petroleum Corporation: 302,806.71

7.         Rajesh Exports: 175,830.66

8.         Tata Steel: 159,835.46

9.         Coal India: 152,271.30

10.       Tata Consultancy Services: 150,774.00

India’s Suman Rao crowned Miss World Asia 2019

• Jamaica-based and Indian origin, Toni Ann Singh was crowned Miss World 2019 on December 11, 2019.

• Vanessa Ponce of Mexico crowned her successor Toni-Ann Singh in the event.

• Earlier, on December 8, South Africa’s 26-year-old Zozibini Tunzi was crowned as Miss Universe 2019.

• India’s Suman Rao was crowned as 2nd runner-up and as Miss World Asia.

• Miss France Opélie Mezzino was the first runner-up. Before this event, Suman Rao was also crowned Miss India 2019

WEF Gender Gap Index: India slips to 112th rank, in bottom 5 on health, economic fronts

• The first WEF Gender Gap Index was published in 2006 when India was ranked at 98th position.

•  WEF uses four metrics to give overall ranking that worsened India’s ranking from very next year.

• Now, India has slipped to 150th place on health and survival, 112th on educational attainment and 149th in economic participation.

• It was said in the report that there are very few economic opportunities for women in India. It is 34.5 per cent in India, 32.7 per cent in Pakistan, 27.3 per cent in Yemen and 22.7 in Iraq.

• The Report also highlights that India has a very low (13.8 percent) women representation on company boards.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane appointed as next Army chief

• Lieutenant General Manoj Mukund Naravane, who is currently Vice Chief of Army Staff, has been named as next Indian Army Chief.

• An alumnus of National Defence Academy, the Lieutenant General was part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka.

• In his 39-year military career, he has commanded a Rashtriya Rifles battalion, raised an infantry brigade and headed the Army Training Command.

• Naravane will replace General Bipin Rawat, who became Army Chief on December 31, 2016.

COO Sanjiv Kapoor quits Vistara, succeeded by Vinod Kannan.

• Vistara’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Sanjiv Kapoor has resigned from his position over ‘personal reasons’, the Tata Group airline said in a statement.

• The last working day for Kapoor, who joined Vistara in 2016, will be December 31, the statement added.

• The airline’s Chief Strategy Officer, Vinod Kannan, will take over as the new CCO.

About Vistara:

• Founded: 2013

• Company slogan: Fly the new feeling

• Parent company: Tata Sons

• Headquarters: Gurgaon

IAS Ravi Mittal replaces Amit Khare as new I&B secretary

• IAS officer Ravi Mittal took charge as the new Secretary, Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

• Mr Mittal took charge from Amit Khare who has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Higher Education.

• Before this, Mr Mittal, a 1986 batch IAS officer of Bihar Cadre, was working as the Special Secretary in the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance.

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (India):

• Headquarters: New Delhi

• Minister of Information and Broadcasting: Prakash Javadekar

OBITUARY

Anna Karina, an icon of French New Wave cinema, has died at the age of 79.

• Danish-French veteran actress-singer Anna Karina, who became a symbol of French New Wave film movement, passed away in Paris at the age of 79.

• Condoling Anna’s death, her agent Laurent Balandras tweeted, “A legend, an icon…died yesterday (Saturday) of cancer.”

• The actress-director, who also wrote four novels, passed away in company of American director and her fourth ex-husband Dennis Berry.

Read More
Read Less