Daily Current Affairs 17th December, 2020

Daily Current Affairs 17 December 2020 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

Gujarat gets new online fire safety approval system, first state to do so
A new mechanism for approval and renewal of fire safety certifications for buildings has been put in place in Gujarat by bringing the entire process online through a portal called Fire Safety COP, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said.Gujarat will be the first State to do this.

  • The system, which will be implemented from January 26 next year, comes after recent incidents of fire in COVID-19 facilities in which several patients died, including in Rajkot on November 27.
  • As part of the new system, the government has approved the process of training and empaneling private ”fire safety officers (FSOs)” to carry out periodic inspection, testing and maintenance of fire safety systems in buildings and renewal of certificates.

PM Modi lays foundation stone for World’s Largest Renewable Energy Park in Kutch
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the world’s largest renewable energy park in Gujarat’s Kutch.

  • This 30,000 megawatt capacity hybrid renewable energy park will be built along the Indo-Pak border at Khavda using both wind and solar energy.
  • Spread over 72,600 hectares of waste land, the first of its kind energy project is expected to play a major role in fulfilling India’s vision of generating 450 gw (4,50,000 mw) of power by 2030.
  • This park will be bigger than India’s biggest metro cities. It will produce power using the energy of the Sun and the wind. There are two zones of this park. The first zone will be a hybrid park on 49,600 hectares of land, which means it will use sunlight and wind to generate electricity. The second zone will be spread over 23,000 hectares of land and will be wind power based only.

Andhra CM Jaganmohan launches ‘YSR Free Crop Insurance scheme’ for farmers
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy has launched the ‘YSR Free Crop Insurance’ scheme for the benefit of farmers in the state.

  • Simultaneous with the launch, Rs 1,252 crore was credited into the bank accounts of 9.48 lakh farmers who have lost their crops during 2019.Crop loss compensation for 2020 will be paid in April 2021, after the Planning Department submits its report.
  •  Chief Minister Reddy said that 10,641 Rythu Bharosa Kendrams are set up, integrated with village secretariats to support the farmers. The government has initiated e-cropping, where details of all crops are uploaded in a database, including the crop loss numbers. All this information, crop loss compensations would be displayed at the RBKs for social audit.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

India slips two spots to rank 131 in global Human Development Index
India dropped one spot to 131 among 189 countries in the 2020 human development index, according to a report released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).Norway topped the index, followed by Ireland, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Iceland.

  • India’s HDI value for 2019 is 0.645 which put it in the medium human development category. India has been positioned at 131 out of 189 countries and territories, according to the report. India had ranked 130 in 2018 in the index.
  • Life expectancy of Indians at birth in 2019 was 69.7 years while Bangladesh has a life expectancy of 72.6 years and Pakistan 67.3 years, the 2020 Human Development Report said. India, Bhutan (129), Bangladesh (133), Nepal (142), and Pakistan (154) were ranked among countries with medium human development.


BANKING & FINANCE

Ewire Softtech ties up with YES Bank for prepaid card
Ewire Softtech, under Kerala Startup Mission, has launched a prepaid card in association with YES Bank, enabling the next-generation payment platform provider chart an all-India presence.

  • The co-branded digital banking mobile application will help the public and corporate houses with loans, insurance and CASA account through its channel partners. This can be done via its dedicated RuPay prepaid cards platform.
  • The card will be offered through YES Bank’s branches across 28 States and 8 UTs.

Edelweiss General Insurance launches India’s first Open API Gateway for Insurance products
Edelweiss General Insurance (EGI), India’s first cloud-native insurer, has launched a first of its kind, Open API (Application Programming Interface) Gateway, to facilitate complete digital collaboration with its business partners.

  • With this Gateway, EGI’s authorized partners can easily integrate their systems with the company’s robust technology platform, which will help further reinforce EGI’s linkages with both customers and partners.
  • The Open API Gateway is also aimed to bring in a seamless and delightful experience to the end consumer.

Canara Bank launches “FX 4 U” for forex remittance via Internet Banking
Canara  Bank,  a premier public sector Bank announced the launch of its new tech product “ FX 4 U”.

  • This product enables its entire internet banking users to handle forex transactions seamlessly.  Presently, the outward remittances module is activated and the remaining modules will be activated soon.
  • Transactions submitted through IB will flow seamlessly to CPCFT ( Centralized Process Centre – Forex Transactions), wherein Compliance and accounting will be done and transmitted through SWIFT.

SBI Card, BPCL jointly launch credit card offering benefits to high fuel spending customers
SBI Card announced launch of ‘BPCL SBI Card Octane‘ in association with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), offering maximum savings to consumers who spend a significant amount on fuel.

  • The credit card has been designed to offer maximum savings to the well-heeled consumer segment which spends a significant amount on fuel.
  • The card offers 7.25 per cent value back (including 1 per cent surcharge waiver) on fuel and lubricant spends at BPCL fuel stations and 6.25 per cent value back on Bharat Gas spends.
  • It also bundles in accelerated savings on other regular spend categories, including departmental store and grocery, dining and movies.

SBI General Insurance partners with IntrCity RailYatri to provide domestic travel insurance to bus travelers
SBI General Insurance has partnered with IntrCity RailYatri, a multi-modal intercity mobility platform, to offer domestic travel insurance.

  • The insurance would be offered to bus travelers opting to commute through IntrCity RailYatri, it would be a complimentary travel cover worth Rs 5 lakh which will come along with the travel ticket.
  • Under the travel insurance, SBI General Insurance would provide a wide variety of coverage including accidental death, permanent total disability, and medical evacuation.

BSE EBIX Beta Launches Term Insurance for ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company 
BSE Ebix Insurance Broking, a joint venture of BSE and Ebix Fincorp Exchange, announced the beta launch of term insurance products on its platform.For this, BSE Ebix Insurance Broking has tied up with ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co.

  • With this launch, BSE Ebix now has the ability to handle insurance sales across both term and endowment policy in the life insurance segment using its omni-channel digital presence supplemented by the physical presence of BSE Ebix’s thousands of Point of sale Persons (POSPs).

Citibank and NCPA partner to offer Hindustani music scholarships to young musicians
To support young and emerging talent in Hindustani music, National Centre for the Performing Arts, in partnership with Citi India, is back with their scholarship program for advanced training in vocal and instrumental fields.

  • The CITI–NCPA Scholarship for Young Musicians 2021-22 will be offered for training in khayal and dhrupad under vocals and for tabla or pakhawaj in percussion.
  • Applicants aged 18 to 35 years need to send in their application by January 15, 2021. Auditions will be held in February either online or at NCPA, depending on BMC norms at that time.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

IBM, Telangana govt join hands for skilling 30,000 students in emerging technologies
Tech major IBM and the Telangana government have entered into a collaboration to provide curated online courses for the states students that will enhance their technical and professional skills.

  • IBM will work with Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge (TASK) to offer Open P-TECH, a free digital education platform focused on emerging technologies and professional development skil. ls
  • A total of 30,000 students of engineering, degree and polytechnic courses would benefit from the initiative over a period of one year.


SPORTS

Zimbabwe to Host Qualifiers of ICC World Cup 2023 to Be Held in India
Zimbabwe will host the qualifiers of the 2023 ODI World Cup between June 18 and July 9, according to a revised scheduled announced by the ICC due to the postponements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • India, the hosts of the rescheduled 2023 ODI World Cup, along with seven other top Super League teams will qualify directly for the tournament to be held in October-November. The bottom five teams from the Super League will compete in the 2023 World Cup qualifier, joining the best three teams from League 2.


APPOINTMENTS

Nana Akufo-Addo re-elected as president of Ghana
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has been re-elected after a tightly contested election.

  • Mr Akufo-Addo obtained 51.6% of the vote, compared with 47.4% won by his main rival, ex-President John Mahama, official results showed.
  • Mr Mahama has not yet conceded defeat. His party has rejected the results, citing alleged irregularities.It was the third time the two politicians had faced each other in a presidential election.

Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati elected vice president of Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union
Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati has been elected as the Vice President of Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), one of the largest broadcasting associations in the world.

  • Shri Vempati has been elected to the office of the Vice President, ABU for three years with immediate effect.


AWARDS

Kylie Jenner tops Forbes’ list of world’s highest-paid celebrities 2020
American media personality and reality TV star Kylie Jenner has been crowned the highest-paid celebrity of 2020 by Forbes. The top-earning stars in the world earned a combined of $6.1 billion in 2020 with Kylie Jenner and Kanye West at the top of the list.

  • In addition to Tyler Perry, Howard Stern, and Dwayne Johnson, A-lister athletes like Roger Federer, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar and LeBron James helped round out the top 10.
  • Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the entertainment industry, this year’s combined total of $6.1 billion was $200 million less than that of 2019.


SCIENCES & TECHNOLOGY 

Russia successfully test-launches Angara-5 space rocket
Russia successfully test-launched its heavy lift Angara A5 space rocket for the second time, from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northwest Russia.

  • First test-launched in 2014, it is being developed to replace the Proton M as Russia’s heavy lift rocket, capable of carrying payloads bigger than 20 tonnes into orbit. A launch pad for the new rocket is due to open in 2021.

Coast Guard ship ‘Sujeet’ commissioned in Goa
The Indian Coast Guard ship ”Sujit”, the second in the series of 105 metres off-shore patrol vessels, was commissioned in Goa. 

  • The vessel will enhance the Indian Coast Guard”s operational capability to discharge multifarious maritime tasks.
  • The 105 metres OPV (off-shore patrol vessel) has been designed and built indigenously by the GSL, and is fitted with advanced technology, navigation and communication equipment, sensors and machinery.

Interceptor boat C-454 inducted to the Indian Coast Guard
An indigenously built interceptor boat C-454 was handed over to the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) at an event at Hazira in Surat district. The vessel will operate from Gujarat under the control of the Commander Coast Guard Region (North-West) of the ICG.

  • Built by Larsen and Toubro at its Hazira plant, the interceptor boat C-454 was commissioned by Surat Police Commissioner Ajay Tomar in presence of Commander Coast Guard Region (NW) Inspector General Rakesh Pal, and other officials.
  • After getting an intelligence input, the boat can swiftly and immediately reach to the location. The alloy used in this ship is 2.5 times lighter, as a result of which the speed increases with short time and it can run deep into the sea. Its capacity is it can run 24 hours without outsider logistic support.

GSL Launches Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessel ‘Saksham’
Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) launched the fifth and final Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) out of an order of five such vessels it is constructing for the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). The vessel has been named ICGS Saksham.  

  • The vessel christened ‘Saksham’ is a part of the indigenous project launched by the Prime Minister in November 2016. Since then two vessels have been commissioned and all five have been launched. The vessel is in an advanced stage of outfitting and will be ready for delivery by October 2021, as per the contractual schedule.
  • These vessels will be fitted with the most modern and technologically advanced machinery and computerized control systems, making them the most advanced Patrol Vessels in service with the Indian Coast Guard, on delivery. These 2400 ton vessels will be equipped with features like Quick Response Boats for rescue and anti-piracy, Gunnery simulators and many more advanced features.


OBITUARIES

Renowned Malayalam writer UA Khader passes away
Well-known writer UA Khader, whose novels and stories over the last five decades in Malayalam are considered among the finest published works in the language, passed away at a private hospital in Kozhikode at the age of 85.

  • A recipient of various honours, including the Sahitya Akademi award, Khader had authored hundreds of books, including novels, novellas, short stories, travelogues and non-fiction and his works had been translated into various languages, including English, Hindi and Kannada.
  • He was the president of Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sangham, an organization of artists, writers and art and literature enthusiasts based in Kerala. UA Khader had also held the post as the chairman of Kerala Sahitya Akademi and was also the member of ‘Kerala Bhasha Institute.’

Former-Australia Test all-rounder Eric Freeman passes away
Former Australia Test all-rounder Eric Freeman has passed away at the age of 76.

  • Freeman became Australia’s 244th men’s Test cricketer when he made his debut against India at the Gabba in 1968, removing both openers in the tourist’s first innings with his right-arm fast-mediums.
  • Freeman received the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2002 for his services to sport. After retiring from cricket in the 1973-74 season he took up the career as administrator, coach and broadcaster. Freeman was also an elite football player, representing Port Adelaide and he topped the club’s goalkicking list in all five of his complete seasons.


BOOKS & AUTHORS

Braille Version of Constitution Unveiled in Mumbai
Maharashtra Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde unveiled a Braille version of the Indian Constitution at an event in Mumbai.

  • A valuable work of making available the Indian Constitution in Braille script for the visually impaired has been done.
  • The Braille version of the Constitution has been prepared on behalf of Thane-based NGO Astitva Foundation.


IMPORTANT DAYS

International Tea Day
International Tea Day is celebrated on December 15 every year to explain the importance of tea in everyone’s day to day life.

  • International Tea Day focuses on promoting better trade practices and working conditions as well as ethical and sustainable production of tea. The day also aims towards raising awareness on the importance of tea in fighting poverty and hunger.

Ladakh celebrates New Year ‘Losar’
People in Ladakh region are celebrating Ladakhi New Year, Losar. Due to considerable Covid19 cases in Leh and strict SOPs in place, this year Losar is observed in a low key

  • Losar’ is celebrated to mark the beginning of the new year of the Buddhist community.
  • The ‘Losar’ Ladakh started as a tradition during the supremacy of the ninth king of Tibet in early 17th century, when King Jamyang Namgyal decided to lead a war in winter and ended up celebrating the festival in advance.


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