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Important Current Affairs 4th December 2020

INTERNATIONAL

New Zealand declares climate emergency

• New Zealand has declared a “climate emergency” and promised to make its public sector carbon neutral by 2025. New Zealand now joins 32 other countries that have declared a climate emergency. They include Japan, Canada, France and the United Kingdom.

• Prime Minister of  New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern told legislators that the climate emergency declaration was “an acknowledgement of the next generation – an acknowledgement of the burden that they will carry if we do not get this right and do not take action now”.

India invites UK’s Johnson as 2021 Republic Day chief guest

• United Kingdom Prime Minister, Boris Johnson is expected to be the chief guest at 2021 Republic day with Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally inviting him. Johnson, on his part, has invited PM Modi to the G-7 summit in the United Kingdom next year.

• The last British prime minister at the Republic Day parade was John Major in 1993.

NATIONAL

Karnataka’s 1st 11.5 megawatt power plant being set up at Bidadi

• In Karnataka, Chief Minister, BS Yediyurappa laid the foundation stone for a 11.5 megawatt power plant based on municipal waste in Bidadi, Bengaluru. It is first of its kind power plant in the state being set up by the Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) and will help in converting 600 tonnes of municipal waste into 11.5-megawatt energy.

• This power plant will add 80.59 million units of power to the existing power grid. The power plant project is being constructed at a cost of Rs. 260 crore and is likely to be operational by 2022.

SPORTS

England’s Dawid Malan achieves highest-ever rating points in T20I

• Dawid Malan of England has attained the highest-ever rating points for batsmen in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings. The 33-year-old Malan has reached 915 points, and thus became the first player to cross the 900-point mark in the format.

• Before him, Australia’s Aaron Finch reached exactly 900 points in July 2018. Babar Azam (871) of Pakistan and Aaron Finch (835) of Australia is second and third in the list. India’s KL Rahul is at fourth position, while Virat Kolhi’s rank has dropped to 9th in the list.

Virat Kohli fastest to 12000 runs in ODI cricket

• Virat Kohli became the fastest to reach 12,000 runs in One-day International cricket. Kohli breached the mark in the third ODI against Australia in Canberra. He got to the milestone in his 242nd inning thus bettering the previous record set by Sachin Tendulkar, who got his 12000th run in his 300th inning.

• Kohli is the second-highest scorer for India in ODIs behind Tendulkar’s 18,426 from 463 ODIs. The India captain also holds the record for the fastest batsman (in terms of innings) to 10,000 and 11,000 runs in ODIs. Kohli reached 11,000 runs in 222 innings and became the fastest to breach the 10000-run mark by doing so in his 205th inning.

OBITUARY

World’s greatest athlete-turned actor Rafer Johnson passes away

• American decathlete and film actor, Rafer Johnson, who was 1960 Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon, has passed away.

• After he retired from athletics, Johnson turned to act and appeared in a number of films, including the James Bond film Licence to Kill in 1989.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Indian Navy Day: 04 December

• In India, December 4 is observed as the National Navy Day every year, to celebrate the achievements and role of the naval force to the country. The theme of Navy Day 2020 is “Indian Navy Combat Ready, Credible & Cohesive”.

• The day is marked in recognition of the launch of Operation Trident during the Indo-Pakistan war in 1971. During Operation Trident, on December 4 in 1971, the Indian Navy sank four Pakistani vessels and also killed over 500 Pakistani Navy personnel, meanwhile, the Indian side suffered no losses.

• The Indian Navy is the marine branch of the Indian Armed Forces and is led by the President of India as Commander-in-Chief. The Maratha Emperor, Chhatrapati Shivaji Bhosle of the 17th century is considered as “Father of the Indian Navy”.

International Day of Banks: 4 December

• International Day of Banks is observed globally on the 4th of December. On 19 December 2019, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 74/245, which designated 4 December as the International Day of Banks.

• The day is celebrated to the recognition of the significant potential of multilateral development banks and other international development banks in financing sustainable development and providing know-how, and also in recognition of the vital role of the banking systems in the Member States in contributing to the improvement of the standard of living.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI Monetary Policy: Policy Rate unchanged

• The six-member Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), headed by Governor Shaktikanta Das, has decided to maintain the status quo on policy rate amid sticky rate of inflation. At this point, the repo rate or the rate at which RBI lends to banks stands unchanged at 4 per cent. The reverse repo rate also stayed unchanged at 3.35 per cent. The MPC committee members voted unanimously in favour of the decision.

• The repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) has been kept unchanged at 4.00%.

• The reverse repo rate under the LAF has been kept unchanged at 3.35%.

• The marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate have been kept unchanged at 4.25%.

RBI Monetary Policy Highlights & Key Decisions:

• Governor Shaktikanta Das proposes to put in place criteria for NBFC dividend distribution, introduces risk-based audit in large NBFCs & co-op banks.

• RTGS will soon be made 24X7 in the next few days.

• The bus iness sentiment of manufacturing firms is gradually improving.

• CPI inflation is seen at 6.8% for Q3 and 5.8% for Q4.

• Real GDP growth for FY21 is projected at -7.5%. Q3 FY-21 GDP is seen at +0.1% while Q4 FY-21 GDP is seen at +0.7%.

• Corporate bond spreads have narrowed to pre-covid levels.

• RBI proposes to enhance limits for contactless card payments from ₹2000 to ₹5000 from Jan 2021.

• On-tap Targeted Long Term Repo Operations (TLTRO) will be expanded to cover other stressed sectors in tandem with Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) scheme.

RBI orders HDFC Bank to halt its digital launches

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued an order to HDFC Bank with regard to certain incidents of outages in the internet banking, mobile banking and payment utilities of the lender over the past 2 years, the private sector bank informed to the stock exchanges. The RBI also noted the recent outages in the HDFC Bank’s internet banking and payment system on November 21, 2020, owing to a power failure in the primary data centre.

The RBI vide Order has advised the Bank to temporarily stop:

i)  All launches of the Digital Business generating activities planned under its program ‐ Digital 2.0 (to be launched) and other proposed business generating IT applications.

(ii)  Sourcing of new credit card customers.

(iii)  In addition to this, the order also states that HDFC Bank’s board should examine the lapses and fix accountability.

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Important Current Affairs 3rd December 2020

NATIONAL

IOCL launches India’s first 100 Octane Premium Petrol

• Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan launched India’s first indigenously developed ‘100 Octane premium petrol’ through video conferencing. Octane ratings are measures of fuel stability that increases engine efficiency. The high octane premium grade petrol will be marketed under the brand ‘XP-100’. It has been developed by Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) at its Mathura refinery in Uttar Pradesh.

• XP-100 will be made available in a phased manner across the country and in the first phase, it will be made available in 10 cities. The cities are Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Agra, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad.

• With this launch, India has joined a select league of nations globally that have such superior quality fuel.  Till date, such quality of fuel is available only in six countries including USA, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Malaysia and Israel.

West Bengal launches massive ‘Duare Sarkar’ outreach campaign

• West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee has launched a massive campaign titled ‘Duare Sarkar’ (government at doorsteps) to aware people about the 11 state-run welfare schemes and help them avail its benefits. The two-month-long outreach programme has been launched keeping in view the 2021 state assembly elections which are due in April-May.

• The campaign will continue from December 1, 2020, to January 30, 2020, in four phases, with slogan ‘jar jekhane darkar, asche apnar duare sarkar’ (government will be at your doorsteps whenever you need it). The 11 schemes will be made available to the beneficiaries through camps set up for the purpose.

Arjun Munda e-launches "Virtual Aadi Mahotsav-Madhya Pradesh"

• The Union Minister for Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda has launched the first-ever virtual edition of Aadi Mahotsav – Madhya Pradesh. The event will showcase the tribal traditions of the various tribal communities by having their crafts and natural products on display. Videos showcasing different aspects of their culture – music, dance etc, will also be shared. In essence, it will still be a celebration of the tribes and their diverse, varied lifestyle but on a different platform.

• The 10-day long festival will begin from December 1, 2020. It is being hosted on the Tribes India website – www.tribesindia.com. The highlights of the virtual launch included a virtual tour of the artisans’ workplace and glimpses of the tribal dance and music from Madhya Pradesh. The main focus of the first virtual Aadi Mahotsav is on the tribal craft and culture of Madhya Pradesh. The next focus state of the programme would be Gujarat ( from 11th December 2020), followed by West Bengal from the 21st December 2020.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Indian Army successfully testfires Anti-Ship version of BrahMos missile

• India successfully test-fired the anti-ship version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands territory. The test was conducted as part of the ongoing trials being conducted by the Indian Navy. The DRDO-developed BrahMos supersonic cruise missile with a strike range of 300 Km was launched from Indian Navy’s INS Ranvijay and it successfully hit its target ship near the Car Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal.

• Recently the land-attack version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was also successfully test-fired from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands territory. The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile is the world’s fastest operational system in its class.

OBITUARY

MDH owner ‘Mahashay’ Dharampal Gulati passes away

• The owner of MDH Masala, Dharampal Gulati passed away. He was born in 1923 in Sialkot, Pakistan. He was fondly called ‘dalaji’ and ‘Mahashayji’. A school dropout, Dharampal Gulati joined his father’s spice business in the early days. Back in 2019, the government honoured him with Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in the country.

• After partition in 1947, Dharampal Gulati moved to India and stayed at a refugee camp in Amritsar. He then moved to Delhi and opened a store in Delhi’s Karol Bagh. Gulati officially established the company in 1959. The business did not just flourish in India only but Gulati became a distributor and exporter as well. His company exports Indian spices to various parts of the world including the UK, Europe, UAE, Canda, etc.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhary becomes new Director General of BRO

• Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhary has been appointed as the 27th Director General of Border Roads Organisation (BRO). His appointment is effective from 1st December 2020.

• Lt Gen Chaudhary succeeds Lt Gen Harpal Singh who has been appointed as the new Engineer-in-Chief of the Indian Army. The BRO is responsible for construction and maintenance of all border roads including those along the frontiers with China and Pakistan.

AR Rahman roped in as ‘BAFTA Breakthrough’ India ambassador

• Oscar and Grammy-winning Indian composer, AR Rahman has been roped in as ambassador of the BAFTA Breakthrough initiative in India. In 2020, BAFTA will identify and support up to five exceptional talents working in film, games or television in India.

• The BAFTA Breakthrough initiative, is part of the Academy’s year-long programme to support new talent, coming up in the film, games and television industries in the UK, China, India and the US and gives them access to unique career development and mentoring opportunities. It is a unique opportunity for promising artists to be supported by a world-renowned organisation, including connections with other talented creatives across the world and being mentored by BAFTA-winners and nominees.

Bata names Sandeep Kataria as global CEO

• Footwear major Bata Shoe Organization has appointed Sandeep Kataria as the new global Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He is the first Indian to be appointed to the global role of Bata (Headquarter-Lausanne, Switzerland). He takes over from Alexis Nasard, who has stepped down after almost five years in the role.

• Before this, Kataria was the CEO of Bata India since 2017. Under Kataria, Bata India managed to transform into the largest footwear retailer in India within a relatively short span.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Persons with Disabilities: 03 December

• The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed annually on December 3. The IDPWD day was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly. The 2020 theme: ‘Not all Disabilities are Visible’.

• The day is celebrated to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

RANKING

India ranked 8th in Global Terrorism Index 2020

• In the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2020, India has been ranked at 8th spot globally in the list of countries most affected by terrorism in 2019. The GTI score of India is 7.353 out of 10. India recorded 277 Deaths, 439 Injuries & 558 Incidents due to Terrorism in 2019. Regionally, South Asia was the most impacted region by terrorism in 2019, recording more deaths than any other region. Also, globally the deaths caused due to terrorism fell by 15 per cent to 13,286 in 2019 over 2018.

• Jammu and Kashmir was the most affected Region due to terrorism, it reported 165 attacks and 103 deaths. The three most active groups in Kashmir was Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Hizbul Mujahideen & Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

• Chhattisgarh was the second most affected region in India with 85 attacks and 53 deaths all from Maoist Extremists.

Countries Most Affected by Terrorism:

• With a score of 9.592, Afghanistan has topped the index as the worst terror impacted nation among the 163 countries.

• It is followed by Iraq (8.682) and Nigeria (8.314) at second and third place respectively.

Countries Least Affected by Terrorism:

• Qatar (0.014) took the 133rd Rank followed by Uzbekistan (0.010) in the 134th Rank and around 29 Countries (score of 0.000) took the 135th Rank which means they are Least Affected Countries or Face No Impact due to Terrorism.

US Air Quality Index: Lahore is world’s most polluted city

• Lahore, the cultural capital Pakistan, has been ranked as the world’s most polluted city, according to air pollution data released by the US Air Quality Index (AQI). Lahore reported a particulate matter (PM) rating of 423. New Delhi stood second with a PM of 229, while Nepal’s capital Kathmandu ranked the third with a PM of 178.

• The Air Quality Index (AQI) is released by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to give people an idea of whether it’s safe to breathe the air.

• AQI is based on the levels of five major pollutants regulated by the EPA: ground-level ozone, particulate matter (PM2.5), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.

• AQI measures air quality by placing it on a scale of 0-500, where air quality is regarded as satisfactory if the AQI is under 50.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

ADB and India sign $50 million loan agreement for West Bengal

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India have inked $50 million policy-based loan agreement to improve financial management procedures and operational efficiencies in West Bengal. Titled as the ‘West Bengal Public Finance Management Investment Programme’, the project will help to achieve more fiscal savings, promote informed decision making, and improve service delivery in the state.

• A centre for fiscal policy and public finance will be established to deepen the capacity of the state government officials on public finance management while developing a web-based grievance redress system for transport corporations and urban local bodies will provide a credible citizen-government interface.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd December 2020

NATIONAL

Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat inaugurates Suryadhar Lake

• Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has inaugurated the Suryadhar lake at Doiwala, Dehradun. The Suryadhar lake is 550 meters long, 28 meters wide and 10 meters deep with a capacity of 77,000 cubic meters.

• Besides fulfilling the drinking water and irrigational needs of 18-20 villages, the lake will recharge the water resources in the area and help build a healthy eco-system that will attract migratory birds. The state government’s plans to organize a water sports festival at the lake either by Makar Sankranti or Basant Panchami next year to showcase the beauty of its surrounding environs.

Piyush Goyal inaugurates Dhigawara-Bandikui section of NWR

• The Union Minister of Railways, Piyush Goyal has inaugurated newly electrified Dhigawara-Bandikui section of North Western Railway (NWR) in the state of Rajasthan. The Minister also flagged off the first train on this newly electrified route. The Dhigawara-Bandikui section is on Delhi-Ajmer route via Jaipur.

• The Railways has set the target to electrify the entire percentage of railway lines across the country in a phased manner. Once these electrified trains start running, the trains that run on diesel will be stopped.

Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar launches “Sahakar Pragya” initiative

• The Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar recently unveiled a new initiative called Sahakar Pragya. Sahakar Pragya is an initiative of National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC), to help in capacity development of the cooperative sector in India, through the training programme.

• Under this initiative, 45 new training modules have been developed for the farmers and would be imparted to primary cooperative societies in rural areas of the country by NCDC.

• The training modules aim to impart knowledge and organisational skills and attempt to prepare the primary cooperative societies across the country to be able to play a big role in the government’s AtmaNirbhar Bharat initiative.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

IAS officer Varsha Joshi named Chairperson of NDDB

• The Government of India has appointed IAS officer Varsha Joshi as the new Chairperson of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB). She is presently served as Joint Secretary (CDD), Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Government of India.

• With incumbent Dilip Rath’s tenure as Chairman of NDDB ends on November 30, 2020, Joshi’s appointment is made effective from December 1, 2020, until further orders.

Utpal Kumar Singh Appointed as Secretary-General of Lok Sabha

• Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has appointed senior IAS officer Utpal Kumar Singh as Secretary-General of the Lok Sabha and Lok Sabha Secretariat. His appointment will come into effect from December 1, 2020. He will succeed incumbent Snehlata Shrivastava.

• Mr Singh is a 1986 batch IAS officer of Uttrakhand Cadre and has been appointed as Secretary-General of the Lok Sabha in the rank and status of Cabinet Secretary.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Computer Literacy Day: 02 December

• The World Computer Literacy Day is observed annually on 2nd December to create awareness and drive digital literacy in underserved communities worldwide. The day promotes technological skills, especially in children and women. The World Computer Literacy Day controls the advanced gap that exists in the world today.

• The day was originally founded by the Indian computer company NIIT to mark its 20th anniversary in 2001. World Computer Literacy Day was first observed and held in the year 2001 on 2nd Dec.

National Pollution Control Day: 02 December

• In India, the National Pollution Control Day is observed every year on December 2 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.

• The year 2020 marks the 36th anniversary of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy. Through this day, awareness is created about the rising pollution of air, water, and soil, as well as shifts the attention of people with regards to the pollution control acts.

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

• International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is observed annually on 2nd December since 1986 by the United Nations General Assembly. The focus of this day is on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, the worst forms of child labour, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.

• The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, 2 December, marks the date of the adoption, by the General Assembly, of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (resolution 317(IV) of 2 December 1949).

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Ministry of I&B release booklet on birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

• A booklet titled ‘PM Modi and his Government’s special relationship with Sikhs’ was released, on the occasion of birth anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.It has been produced by Bureau of Outreach Communication under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and is released in three languages Hindi, Punjabi and English.

• The booklet was jointly inaugurated by the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shri Prakash Javadekar and Union Minister for Civil Aviation and Housing and Urban Affairs Shri Hardeep Singh Puri. The Minister credited the Prime Minister for personally supervising the smallest of arrangements and personally seeing off the first Jattha for Kartarpur Corridor.

• Mentioning other important decisions, the Minister highlighted the decision on no taxation on Langars, FCRA Registration to Sri Harmandir Sahib, allowing global Sangat participation, revision of ‘Blacklist’ as per the demand of Sikh community et al.

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Important Current Affairs 1st December 2020

INTERNATIONAL

Arab Gulf’s first coal-based power plant being developed in Dubai

• The first coal-based power plant of Arab Gulf country is being developed in Saih Shuaib, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The 2,400MW Hassyan clean coal power station will be built at an estimated cost of $ 3.4 billion.

• The project will comprise four units of 600MW each, which are expected to start operations in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 respectively. The power plant is expected to produce sufficient electricity to power approximately 250,000 households.

NATIONAL

Narendra Singh Tomar launches Honey FPO Programme in 5 states

• The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar virtually inaugurated Honey Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) Programme in five states, for producing honey. The Honey FPO Programme aims to address the issues faced by the beekeeping industry and also promote honey production in the country. This will also help in achieving the goal of increasing farmer’s income.

• These 5 FPOs will be set up by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED). They will be set up at

• East Champaran (Bihar)

• Morena (Madhya Pradesh)

• Bharatpur (Rajasthan)

• Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)

• Sunderbans (West Bengal)

• The Honey FPO Programme has been launched under the Central Sector Scheme for Formation & Promotion of new 10,000 FPOs.

• The Government has approved 2,200 FPOs for the current financial year 2020-21.

• The task of creating these FPOs has been given to Nabard (600 FPOs), Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (500), National Cooperative Development Corporation (500) and NAFED which will support 50 commodity-specific FPOs and some State-level organisations.

SPORTS

Lewis Hamilton wins Bahrain Grand Prix 2020

• Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain) has won the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain. The race was the fifteenth round of the 2020 Formula One World Championship. This is the 11th victory for Hamilton of the season, and 95th F1 win of his career.

• Also, Hamilton now holds the records for the most wins (95), in Formula One history. Red Bull Racing teammates Max Verstappen (Netherlands) and Alexander Albon (Thailand) were second and third respectively.

Virat Kohli becomes fastest to reach 22,000 international runs

• Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli scripted another record in the game. He broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record and became the quickest batsman to complete 22,000 runs. He reached the milestone in his 462nd innings. Tendulkar batted 493 times to reach that mark. They are followed by Brian Lara (511 innings) and Ricky Ponting (514 innings) on the list. The only batsman with an average of over 50 across all formats, Kohli has 7240 runs in Tests, 12834 runs in ODIs and 2794 runs in T20Is.

• Kohli achieved this feat during the second ODI between Australia and India at the SCG. Notably, Kohli has become the eighth batsman overall and the third Indian to surpass 22,000 international runs.  Rahul Dravid, who scored 24208 runs, is another Indian on the list.

OBITUARY

Senegal World Cup footballer Papa Bouba Diop passes away

• Senegal’s professional footballer, Papa Bouba Diop, who helped the country win the FIFA World Cup match in 2002, has passed away. He was of the age of 42. His goal helped Senegal secure historic 1–0 win over the then-world champions France in the opening match of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and Senegal’s first-ever match at the FIFA World Cup. Diop has won 63 caps for Senegal.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World AIDS Day: 01 December

• Every year, on 1 December, the world commemorates World AIDS Day. The day provides an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. This year the theme of World AIDS Day is “Global solidarity, shared responsibility”.

• In 2020, the world’s attention has been focused by the C-19 pandemic on health and how pandemics affect lives and livelihoods. C-19 is showing once again how health is interlinked with other critical issues, such as reducing inequality, human rights, gender equality, social protection and economic growth.

BSF Celebrates its 56th Raising Day on December 1, 2020

• The Border Security Force (BSF), is observing its 56th Raising Day on 01 December 2020. BSF was formed on December 1, 1965, as a unified central agency, after the Indo-Pak and India-China wars, for ensuring the security of the borders of India and for matters connected therewith. It is one of the five Central Armed Police Forces of the Union of India and stands as the world’s largest border guarding force. BSF has been termed as the First Line of Defence of Indian Territories.

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

• The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is an UN-organized day held every year on November 29. It is observed to mark the anniversary of resolution 181, wherein the Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine on November 29, 1947.

• In 1977, the General Assembly called for the annual observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. On that day, in 1947, the Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine. This date, which was chosen because of its meaning and significance to the Palestinian people, is based on the call by the United Nations General Assembly for an annual observance of the resolution on the partition of Palestine.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

India and Finland sign MOU on environmental protection

• India and Finland signed an MoU for developing cooperation in the field of Environment protection and biodiversity conservation. The MoU was signed by Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar from the Indian side and his Finnish counterpart Krista Mikkonen through video-mode.

• Further, advance Indian and Finnish partnership and strengthen technological, scientific and management capabilities and develop bilateral cooperation in the field of environmental protection and biodiversity conservation

• Support, exchange best practices in areas like prevention of air and water pollution, waste management, and promotion of circular economy.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

A book titled ‘Future of Regional Cooperation in Asia and the Pacific’ by ADB

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has released a new book titled ‘Future of Regional Cooperation in Asia and the Pacific’.

• The book provides insight on how stronger regional cooperation strategies, including in health, trade, finance, and disaster risk, can help governments in Asia and the Pacific accelerate economic growth and robust recovery from the C-19 pandemic. It also explores opportunities for economies in the region to work together to recover and rebuild from the C-19 pandemic.

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Important Current Affairs 30th November 2020

INTERNATIONAL

Quarantine’ named Cambridge Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2020

• Cambridge Dictionary has named ‘quarantine’ as Word of the Year 2020. The word has been named the word of the year based on data that showed that it was one of the most highly searched words on the Cambridge Dictionary this year. Cambridge editors have noticed that people are using the word in a new way this year describing a “general period of time in which people are not allowed to leave their homes or travel freely so that they do not catch or spread a disease.” This new sense of quarantine has now been added to the Cambridge Dictionary.

• “Quarantine was the only word to rank in the top five for both search spikes and overall views (more than 183,000 by early November), with the largest spike in searches (28,545) seen in the week of March 18-24, when many countries around the world went into lockdown as a result of C-19,” as per an official release.

NATIONAL

PM Modi Chairs 33rd PRAGATI Meet

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chaired the 33rd PRAGATI meeting to review multiple projects, grievances and programmes. PRAGATI stands for “Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation”.

• The projects worth around Rs 1.41 lakh crore, related to ten states and union territories, were reviewed. They included Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

• These projects were related to the Ministry of Railways, MORTH, DPIIT and Power Ministry.

PM Modi visits 3 cities to review vaccine development

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has embarked on a three-city visit on 28 November 2020, to personally review the C-19 vaccine development and manufacturing process at facilities in these cities.

Facilities visited by PM Modi are:

Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad,

Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad

Serum Institute of India in Pune

• The scientists at these facilities expressed their joy that the Prime Minister met them face to face in order to boost their morale and help accelerate their efforts in the vaccine development journey.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare

• The United Nation recognised Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare on 30th November every year since 2005. The day marks a tribute to the victims of chemical warfare, as well as to reaffirm the commitment of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the elimination of the threat of chemical weapons, thereby promoting the goals of peace, security, and multilateralism.

• The history of the serious efforts to achieve chemical disarmament that culminated in the conclusion of the Chemical Weapons Convention began more than a century ago. Chemical weapons were used on a massive scale during World War I, resulting in more than 100,000 fatalities and a million casualties.

OBITUARY

British Actor David Prowse passes away

• British character actor David Prowse, best known for playing ‘Darth Vader’ in the original Star Wars trilogy, passed away. He was a weightlifter-turned-actor, was selected to portray Darth Vader for his imposing physique of 6-foot-7 inch. However, the role was voiced by James Earl Jones.

• Prowse wore the black suit and helmet to play Darth Vader.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

UBS Projects India’s GDP at -10.5% for FY21

• The UBS has projected India’s real GDP to contract 10.5% in FY21, in its Global Economics & Markets Outlook 2021-2022 report. For the fiscal 2021-22 (FY22) UBS expect India’s real GDP growth to rebound to +10%  in FY22. UBS also estimates India’s GDP to stabilise at 6.2 per cent YoY in FY23.

YES Bank launches ‘SMS Pay’ on POS Terminals

• Private lender YES Bank has launched an ‘SMS Pay’ functionality on POS terminals, which would allow merchants to accept contactless and remote payments from their customers. YES Bank has collaborated with French payment services company Worldline to launch the new facility.

• SMS Pay will facilitate merchants to accept remote payments on their POS machines and enable their customers to transact safely without leaving the comfort of their homes.

• Through SMS Pay, local merchants & department stores could request payments from their customers by entering their contact details in the POS terminal following which an SMS would be triggered to the customer’s mobile number instantly, with a payment URL link.

• Customers can complete the payment through their domestic debit and credit cards.

IRDAI approves ICICI Lombard acquisition of Bharti Axa General

• The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has given its in-principle approval for the merger of Bharti AXA General Insurance with ICICI Lombard. The merged entity will have a market share of around 8.7 per cent on a proforma basis in the general insurance business.

• Based on the share exchange ratio recommended by independent valuers, shareholders of Bharti AXA will receive two shares of ICICI Lombard for every 115 shares of Bharti AXA. At present, promoter ICICI Bank Ltd holds is 51.89% stake in ICICI Lombard, while the rest is with the public. After the proposed deal, the promoter stake will come down to 48.11%.

• The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has already approved the acquisition of the two entities while approvals request from other concerned regulators for the transaction has been applied. The policyholders should benefit from an enhanced product suite and deeper customer connects touchpoints.

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Important Current Affairs 29th November 2020

INTERNATIONAL

Russia test-fired Tsirkon hypersonic missile in the Arctic

• Russia successfully test-fired a Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile in the Arctic. the frigate Admiral Gorshkov in the White Sea fired a Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile, hitting a naval target 450 km away in the Barents Sea at a speed of over Mach 8.

• In early January, the same frigate test-fired a Tsirkon missile for the first time, striking a ground target over 500 km away. Last month, the warship deployed in the White Sea destroyed a naval target in the Barents Sea with a Tsirkon missile.

NATIONAL

Bengaluru’s Bowring Medical College named after Atal Bihari Vajpayee

• The Bowring and Lady Curzon Medical College and Research Institute in Bengaluru have been named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The institute was set up in 2018-19 on the campus of Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital in Shivajinagar in the heart of Bengaluru.

• Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the first leader from the Bharatiya Janata Party to become the Prime Minister. He served as Prime Minister thrice — briefly in 1996, from 1998 to 1999, and then for a full five-year term between 1999 and 2004. Among his several portfolios, Vajpayee had also served as External Affairs Minister during PM Morarji Desai’s tenure during 1977 and 1979.

Indian Army launches cycling expedition in Gujarat & Rajasthan

• Konark Corps of Indian Army has launched a 1971 kilometres cycling expedition in Gujarat and Rajasthan to commemorate the commencement of the Golden Jubilee Victory Celebrations of Indian Armed Forces in the Indo-Pak War of 1971. 1971 Kilometers ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh Cyclothon’ across Gujarat & Rajasthan has been joined by the relay teams of 20 participants each of the various Army Formations across the two states.

• The cycle expedition was flagged off from an outpost near Lakhpat in Kutch by Honorary Captain Gumansinh Jhala, an 87-year-old War Veteran who had participated in both Indo-Pak wars of 1965 & 1971 then serving with 7 Grenadiers.

Prakash Javadeker launches India Climate Change Knowledge Portal

• Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar has launched the “India Climate Change Knowledge Portal”.  According to Prakash Javadekar, India has practically achieved its pre-2020 climate action targets. He said, though India is not responsible for climate change it is taking responsible action to mitigate the challenge.

• The portal will have all the major steps the Government is taking at both national and international levels to address the climate change issues.

• Portal will be a single-point information resource that provides information on the different climate initiatives taken by various Line Ministries enabling users to access d status on these initiatives.

SPORTS

India rise four spots to 104th in latest FIFA rankings

• The Indian national team have moved up a spot to 104 in the latest FIFA Rankings. The Indian team were ranked 108th in the October 2020 rankings. In two months, India has climbed 5 spots after being 109th in September.

• Meanwhile, on the global scene, the top six remain unchanged. Belgium continues to lead the rankings followed by France, Brazil, England, Portugal and Spain. Argentina is seventh, having interchanged spots with eighth-placed Uruguay. Mexico and Italy complete the top 10.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

L&T bags Rs 7,000-cr order to construct part of Bullet Train project

• Infrastructure major Larsen and Toubro (L&T) has bagged an order worth over Rs 7,000 crore to construct a part of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR), also known as the Bullet Train Project. The scope of the order includes the construction of viaducts, one station, major river bridges, maintenance depots, and other auxiliary works.

• The approximately 508 km Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail project will cover Maharashtra, Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Gujarat, with 12 stations along the route. Upon completion, the high-speed rail will operate at a speed of 320 kmph, covering the entire distance in approximately 2 hours with limited stops and in 3 hours with all stops.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

India’s GDP Contracts 7.5% in September Quarter

• The National Statistical Office (NSO) has released the estimates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the second quarter (July-September) Q2 of 2020-21.

• The GDP at Constant (2011-12) Prices in Q2 of 2020-21 is estimated at Rs 33.14 lakh crore, as against Rs 35.84 lakh crore in Q2 of 2019-20, showing a contraction of 7.5% as compared to 4.4% growth in Q2 2019-20.

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Important Current Affairs 28th November 2020

NATIONAL

SpiceJet launches dedicated freighter services to Leh in Ladakh

• SpiceJet has launched dedicated freighter services connecting Leh with the rest of the country. This is the first time a civil airliner has started freighter services to Leh. Accordingly, the airline operated its first freighter flight from Delhi to Leh carrying 13 tonnes of cargo supplies. SpiceXpress, the dedicated cargo arm of SpiceJet, will deploy its Boeing 737 freighter on this route.

• The dedicated cargo flights will help transport fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, perishables, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and other general cargo. Besides improving logistics and connectivity, the new freighter service will ensure transportation of these essential commodities remains unaffected due to dipping temperatures and adverse weather conditions during these winter months.

• The new flights launched are seasonal and will operate during the winter months when surface transportation is disrupted owing to harsh weather conditions. In line with its commitment to ensuring seamless transportation of essential commodities, SpiceJet aims to address the geographical challenges while offering seamless connectivity through its cargo service.

Nitin Gadkari inaugurates Highway projects in Uttar Pradesh

• Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has inaugurated and laid the foundation stones of 16 National Highway projects in Uttar Pradesh. The construction cost of these infra projects is estimated to be around Rs 7477 crore.

• These highway projects include a road length of 505 kilometres and will provide better connectivity, convenience to the public as well as lead to economic growth in the state. National Highways works worth two lakh crore rupees are being undertaken in UP.

Uttar Pradesh Cabinet has cleared the proposal to rename the Ayodhya airport as Maryada

• Purushottam Sri Ram Airport, Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. The proposal for the same will be sent to the Ministry of Civil Aviation after it is passed by the state Assembly.

• Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath had announced on the occasion of Deepotsav on Diwali eve in November 2018 that Ayodhya will have both international and domestic terminals and could potentially be one of the largest airports of UP.

Ladakh gets largest solar project at Leh Indian Air Force station

• The Union Territory of Ladakh has got the largest solar power project set up under the Centre’s ‘Make In India’ initiative at Leh IAF station to provide sustainable energy alternative to fossil fuel and traditional methods of energy generation. The project namely ‘Provision of Solar Photo Voltaic Powerplant 1.5 MW’ has been completed within 12 months well before the completion deadline of March 31, 2021.

• The largest solar project at a high altitude in the entire Leh in the Union Territory of Ladakh has been established at IAF Station Leh.

• The project was conceptualised under Make In India, and executed to provide sustainable energy alternative to fossil fuel and traditional methods.

• It is the largest installed solar project till date out of the target of 300 MW in three phases for defence sectors and 14 MW for Leh region as set by the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

• The project worth Rs 122 crore was recently inaugurated by Air Marshal V R Chaudhari, Commander-in-chief, Western Air Command.

OBITUARY

Former World Bank President James Wolfensohn passes away

• Australian-American lawyer, investment banker, and economist James Wolfensohn, who served as the President of the World Bank for 10 years, passed away. He had served as the ninth president of the World Bank Group from 1995 to 2005.

• Together with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Wolfensohn launched the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative in 1996, a program that eventually provided more than $53 billion in debt relief to 27 of the world’s poorest countries.

Father of Indian IT industry FC Kohli passes away

• Founder of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Faqir Chand Kohli, better known as the Father of the Indian IT industry, passed away. Besides being the founder, he was also the first CEO of TCS.

• Kohli also worked as the deputy general manager of Tata Power Company and was the Chairman of the Board of Governors of College of Engineering, Pune.  As the first CEO of TCS, he pioneered India’s IT revolution and helped the country build the $190-billion IT industry.  A visionary and pioneer by nature, he was a recipient of Padma Bhushan from the Government of India.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Mercedes-Benz joins hands with SBI to target HNI customers

• Mercedes-Benz has joined hands with State Bank of India (SBI) to offer financial benefits to the lender’s High Net Worth Individual (HNI) customers. This collaboration will give the luxury automobile manufacturer access to State Bank of India’s High Net Worth Individual (HNI) customer base, while the bank’s customers will enjoy exclusive benefits at the time of booking a Mercedes-Benz car. The collaboration with SBI gives an exciting opportunity to expand our customer base and reach out to the potential HNI customers of the bank with products and services.

• This collaboration includes financial benefits like ‘attractive’ rate of interest on loans with tenure up to five years and offers on the processing fee.

• There is also an additional benefit of Rs 25,000 for customers booking a Mercedes-Benz vehicle via SBI Yono platform.

• They can even get a car loan sanctioned through SBI Yono after fulfilling the eligibility criteria.

• The customers need to produce online booking confirmation and SBI loan sanction letter at the Mercedes-Benz dealership to avail the benefits.

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Important Current Affairs 27th November 2020

NATIONAL

PM Modi Inaugurates 3rd global renewable energy event “RE-INVEST” 2020

• Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has inaugurated the 3rd Global Renewable Energy Investment Meeting and Expo (RE-Invest 2020) through video conferencing. The summit is organised by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. The theme for RE-Invest 2020 is ‘Innovations for Sustainable Energy Transition’. The first two editions of RE-Invest were held in 2015 and 2018.

• The two day virtual programme will provide an international forum for investment promotion in renewable energy sector and an opportunity to various countries, states, business houses & organizations to showcase their strategies, achievements and expectations. It must be noted that India has set an ambitious target of having 175GW of renewable energy by 2022 and 450GW by 2030.

Thaawarchand Gehlot e-launches National Portal for Transgender Persons

• Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment, Thaawarchand Gehlot has e-launched a ‘National Portal for Transgender Persons’ and e-inaugurated a ‘Garima Greh: A Shelter Home for Transgender Persons’ in Vadodara, Gujarat.

• This National Portal for Transgender Persons has been developed within 2 months of Notification of Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020 on 29 September 2020.

• This highly useful Portal would help a transgender person in applying for a Certificate and Identity card digitally from anywhere in the country.

• The most important benefit is that it helps the transgender person to get the I-Card without any physical interface and without having to visit any office.

• Through the Portal, they can monitor the status of their application that ensures transparency in the process. The issuing authorities are also under strict timelines to process the applications and issue certificates and identity cards without any necessary delays.

• Once the Certificate and I-card are issued, the applicant can download them from the Portal itself. In case of delay or rejection, the applicant has the options to submit grievances through the Portal which are forwarded to the concerned person and will be resolved at the earliest.

• This portal will help a lot of people from the community to come forward and get Transgender Certificate and Identity Cards as per their self-perceived identity which is an important provision of The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.

‘Garima Greh: A Shelter Home for Transgender Persons’

• ‘Garima Greh: A Shelter Home for Transgender Persons’ will be run in association with Lakshya Trust, a Community based organisation entirely run by the Transgenders.

• The purpose of the Shelter Home is to provide shelter to Transgender persons, with basic amenities like shelter, food, medical care and recreational facilities.

• Besides, it will provide support for the capacity-building/skill development of persons in the Community, which will enable them to lead a life of dignity and respect.

• The Scheme of ‘Shelter Home for Transgender Persons’ includes shelter facility, food, clothing, recreational facilities, skill development opportunities, yoga, meditation/prayers, physical fitness, library facilities, legal support, technical advice for gender transition and surgeries, capacity building of trans-friendly organizations, employment and skill-building support, etc.

• The Nodal Ministry has taken the first step in improving the conditions of Transgender persons and has identified 10 cities to set up the 13 Shelter Homes and extend the facilities to Transgender persons, in association with selected 13 CBOs in the country on a pilot basis.

• The cities include Vadodara, New Delhi, Patna, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Kolkata, Manipur, Chennai, Raipur, Mumbai, etc. The scheme will rehabilitate a minimum of 25 transgender persons in each home identified by the Ministry.

• This is a pilot project, and on its successful completion, similar schemes will be extended to other parts of the country.

SPORTS

Sports Minister launches 2nd edition of Fit India School Week

• Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has launched the 2nd edition of the “Fit India School Week” program in the presence of Fit India Mission. Sports Minister encourages school children to participate in the Fit India movement.

• To participate in the program the schools have to register themselves on www.fitindia.gov.in/fit-india-school-week. The Fit India School week program was launched in November last year and saw participation from over 15 thousand schools across the country.

OBITUARY

AIMPLB vice president Maulana Kalbe Sadiq passes away

• Vice president of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), Maulana Kalbe Sadiq passed away. He was born in Lucknow and was known for his lectures, mostly during Muharram. He was an educationist, Islamic scholar and ambassador of communal amity.

• Sadiq was the first to organise a Shia-Sunni namaz in the history of Lucknow. He received his early education from madrasa Sultan ul Madaris. He then moved to Aligarh Muslim University where he obtained a bachelor of arts degree. He later went on to pursue his master’s degree in Arabic literature from the same University. He then secured a doctoral degree from Lucknow University.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Lt Gen Harpal Singh appointed new Engineer-in-Chief of Indian Army

• Lt Gen Harpal Singh has appointed new Engineer-in-Chief of Indian Army.  He is presently the Director-General of Border Roads Organisation and would take over his new appointment on 1 December.

• Lt Gen Harpal Singh, an alumnus of National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, was commissioned into the Corps of Engineers on 24 December 1982. He later commanded a Border Roads, Task Force, in Jammu and Kashmir valley. He has also been the Chief Engineer of Project Dantak (BRO) at Bhutan, Chief Engineer (Navy), Mumbai and Chief Engineer HQ Eastern Command. Lt Gen Harpal Singh is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, the Higher Command and National Defence College courses.

• Major Gen Rajeev Chaudhary has been appointed as the new Director-General of the Border Roads Organisation. The BRO is responsible for the construction and maintenance of roads along the borders with China and Pakistan.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

UNDP and Invest India tie-up to launch the SDG Investor Map for India

• The National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency, Invest India has partnered with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India to develop the first-ever ‘SDG Investor Map for India’. The map lays out 18 Investment Opportunities Areas (IOAs) in six critical SDG enabling sectors, that can help India to move forward on Sustainable Development path. This initiative is an instrumental stride in India’s development trajectory.

• The Map comes at a critical time for India. With the emergence of the C-19 pandemic, the financing gap for the SDGs in India has only widened further and decades of development progress is nearly on the verge of a reversal. Investing in the SDGs at this point is crucial to ‘Building Back Better’ and making the economy and our societies more resilient and sustainable. Enhanced productivity, technology adoption and increased inclusion are all critical factors that this map uses to identify the most attractive sectors for investors.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

PM Modi releases book on the Life of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has released a book on the life and ideals of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism and first of its ten gurus.

• The book has been penned by Kirpal Singh Ji. Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was also present during the book release.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

HDFC Bank signs MoU with ICCI to support SMEs and Start-ups

• HDFC Bank has signed an MoU with Inventivepreneur Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ICCI) to support SMEs and Start-ups. Through this association, ICCI will engage, enrol and support various Startups /SMEs /MSMEs to facilitate inter-alia financial and other facilities to/from HDFC Bank.

• ICCI and HDFC Bank jointly conduct diverse networking activities, awareness camps and interactive sessions, Business Events.

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Important Current Affairs 26th November 2020

National

Centre, States can't have indefinite right over citizens' acquired properties: Supreme Court

• The Supreme Court on November 24, 2020 ruled that the central and state governments cannot be have an indefinite or overriding right over the acquired properties of citizens.

• The court ruled that though the right to properties is not a fundamental right, the governments cannot occupy citizens' properties.

• The ruling was made by a bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and S Ravindra Bhat.

Tenth edition of National Science Film Festival kicks off virtually

• The tenth edition of prestigious National science film festival kicked off on 24th November 2020 in a virtual mode.

• The four-day long film festival has been jointly organized by Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous agency under the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India and the Tripura State Council of Science and Technology, Govt. of Tripura from 24 to 27 November 2020.

• A total of 372 films in different languages were received for participation, of which 115 films have been shortlisted by the ten-member jury to be screened during the festival.

Himachal Pradesh govt launches ‘Him Suraksha Abhiyan’

• Himachal Pradesh government has launched ‘Him Suraksha Abhiyan’ to sensitize the people regarding C-19 pandemic and also to collect information regarding symptoms of diseases like TB, Leprosy, sugar and blood pressure by the door to door campaign throughout the State.

• Under this Abhiyan about 8000 teams comprising of Health, Ayurveda, Women and Child Development, Panchayati Raj Departments, District Administration and NGOs would be involved in this campaign. It would ensure door to door data collection of health parameters of the people.

Narendra Singh Tomar virtually inaugurates Phagwara mega food park

• Union Food Processing Industries Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has virtually inaugurated the Rs 107.83 crore mega food park at Phagwara in Kapurthala district of Punjab.

• So far, 37 mega food parks have been sanctioned across the country, of which 20 have started functioning.

• The mega food park, spread over 55 acres of land and that will benefit 25,000 farmers, is equipped with warehouses in 3,944 square meters, silos with 20,000-tonne capacity, cold storage with 3,000-tonne capacity as well as individually quick-frozen and deep freezer units and other facilities.

Banking and Economy

Merger of Lakshmi Vilas Bank & DBS Bank approved by Union Cabinet

• The Union Cabinet on November 25, 2020 approved the merger of Lakshmi Vilas Bank Limited (LVB) with Singapore-based DBS Bank India Limited. With this development, there will be no restrictions on the depositors for withdrawing money from their deposits from Lakshmi Vilas Bank.

• Under the ‘Scheme of Amalgamation of Lakshmi Vilas Bank with DBS Bank India Limited’, DBS would invest Rs 2,500 crore in the equity of the bank, to improve the capital position of the merged entity.

• DBIL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore based DBS Bank Ltd.The merger will increase the branches of DBIL to around 600 from the current 27 branches.

India Post Payments Bank launches PM Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana

• India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has launched a low-cost insurance scheme ‘Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY)’ for its customers to bring large sections of the underserved and unserved population into the financial mainstream.

• IPPB has collaborated with PNB MetLife India Insurance Company for this product.

Awards

Malayalam film Jallikattu is India’s official Oscar entry

• Malayalam film Jallikattu has been selected as India's official entry for Oscars in the foreign-language film category. The film was unanimously chosen among 27 entries across Hindi, Marathi and other languages.

• Directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery, Jallikattu revolves around a bull that escapes from a slaughterhouse in a hilly remote village on the eve of its scheduled slaughter and an entire tribe of men coming together to stop the bull.

Obituary

Football legend Diego Maradona passed away

• Football legend from Argentina, Diego Maradona passed away on November 25, 2020, after suffering a heart attack. He was 60-years old.

• The Footballer suffered cardiac arrest and paramedics failed to revive him.

• The star footballer had begun his professional career at the age of 16 with Argentinos Juniors and later he went on to become of the greatest players ever to play football.

• Maradona represented Boca Juniors, Napoli, Barcelona, Newell’s Old Boys as a player. He was also considered the main player in taking Argentina to the country’s second World Cup title in 1986.

Appointments and Resignations

Greg Barclay of New Zealand elected as ICC Chairman

• Greg Barclay of New Zealand was appointed as the Chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Barclay, an Auckland-based commercial lawyer, will succeed Shashank Manohar, who resigned from the post earlier in 2020.

• Barclay is currently the representative of New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on the board of the ICC.

Days

Indian Constitution Day

• Constitution Day (National Law Day), also known as Samvidhan Divas, is celebrated in India on 26 November every year to commemorate the adoption of Constitution of India. Previously this day was celebrated as Law Day

• The Government of India under Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi declared 26 November as Constitution Day on 19 November 2015.

• On 26 November 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India adopted the Constitution of India, and it came into effect on 26 January 1950.

National Milk Day

• In India, November 26 is celebrated as National Milk Day, since 2014, to commemorate the birthday of the father of India’s White Revolution, Dr. Verghese Kurien (also nicknamed as Milkman of India).

• The day was fixed by all the dairy majors of the country including the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), the Indian Dairy Association (IDA), along with 22 state level milk federations.

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Important Current Affairs 25th November 2020

                                                                                                         National

43 mobile apps banned by Indian Government for users

• The Union Electronics and Information Technology Ministry has banned 43 more mobile apps for the users. The Ministry issued an order on November 24, 2020, blocking access to 43 apps under section 69A of Information Technology Act.

• Earlier in September 2020, the Government had banned 118 mobile apps and banned 59 apps in June 2020.

IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad launches International version of UMANG to mark 3 years of App

• On November 23, 2020, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, Communications and Law & Justice launched the international version of the UMANG app, to mark the occasion of 3 years of UMANG and also celebrate over 2000 services milestone.

• The international app has been launched for select countries that include USA, UK, Canada, Australia, UAE, Netherlands, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

• The UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) was launched on 23 November 2017 by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the fifth edition of the Global Conference on Cyberspace in New Delhi.

First cow hospital of Northeast inaugurated in Assam’s Dibrugarh

• A cow shelter in Assam’s Dibrugarh inaugurated Northeast’s first-ever cow hospital, on the occasion of Gopashtami.

• The hospital, Surbhi Aarogyashala, is set up by Shree Gopal Gaushala at a cost of Rs 17 lakh.

• There are 368 cows in the shelter.The hospital will provide services in 30 km radius.

                                                                                         Banking and Economy

RBI imposes six-month ban on Manta Urban Cooperative Bank

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has banned the Manta Urban Cooperative Bank in Jalna district of Maharashtra for six months for payment of money and loan transactions.

• The central bank has given some instructions to this bank, which will be effective for six months since the bank closed on 17 November 2020.

                                                                                          Summits and Mou’s

SBI Signs Pact With Luxembourg Stock Exchange

• State Bank of India (SBI) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSe).

• The MoU will help SBI and LuxSE set up a long-term cooperation mechanism, and promote ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) and green finance.

• Through this MoU, the Luxembourg Stock Exchange would work towards creating a sustainable environment for issuers, asset managers, and investors in terms of ESG focused funds and bonds.

                                                                                                          Awards

Delhi Crime bags Best Drama Series at the International Emmy Awards

• The Netflix show, Delhi Crime has won the Best Drama Series award at the 48th International Emmy Awards 2020. Delhi Crime is the first web-series from India to win an International Emmy Award.

• The show is written and directed by Richie Mehta and features actress Shefali Shah as the main character.

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve gets global award ‘TX2’ for doubling tiger population

• The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR), situated in the Pilibhit district and Shahjahanpur District of Uttar Pradesh has won the first-ever international award, TX2, along with the state Forest department, for doubling the number of tigers.

• *TX2 stands for ‘Tigers times two’, signalling the goal to double wild tigers.

ISRO Chairman K Sivan Conferred with Doctor of Science honorary doctorate by Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala

• The Visvesvaraya Technological University, of the Government of Karnataka, has conferred the Doctor of Science honorary doctorate upon ISRO Chairman K Sivan.

• The doctorate was presented to the ISRO Chief by Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala on 21 November 2020.

                                                                                 Science and Technology

India test-fires land-attack version of BrahMos missile

• India successfully test-fired a land-attack version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands territory at 10 am on November 24, 2020.

• The supersonic cruise missile successfully hit its target, which was on another island. The test-firing was conducted by the Indian Army.

• The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile is the world's fastest operational system in its class and recently DRDO has extended the range of the missile system from the existing 298 km to around 450 km.

                                                                                                    Obituary

Congress veteran Ahmed Patel passes away

• Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP, Ahmed Patel passed away. He was Lok Sabha MP for three terms from 1977 to 1989 and Rajya Sabha MP since 1993 representing Gujarat.

•  He also served as the political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and was one of the party’s top negotiators during the UPA regime.

Veteran TV actor Ashiesh Roy passes away

• Television actor Ashiesh Roy has passed away, suffering from kidney ailment during the C-19. He was 55.

• Some of his famous television shows includes Movers & Shakers, Yes Boss, Remix, Baa Bahoo Aur Baby, Chaldi Da Naam Gaddi, Burey Bhi Hum Bhale Bhi Hum, Sasural Simar Ka, Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi, Mere Angne Mein, Aarambh.

                                                                                                         Sports

Virat Kohli, R Ashwin nominated for ICC Player of the Decade Award

• India skipper Virat Kohli and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin have been nominated for the ICC Player of the Decade Award.

• Other cricketers nominated for the award include England’s Joe Root, New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, Australia’s Steve Smith, South Africa’s AB de Villiers and Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara.

• For the ODI Player of the Decade award, India’s MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga & Kumar Sangakkara, Australia’s Mitchell Starc and South Africa’s AB de Villiers have been nominated.

                                                                                                           Days

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

• The United Nations designated International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is celebrated worldwide on November 25.

• Purpose: to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to various forms of violence and true nature of the issue is often hidden.

• 2020 Theme “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”.

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