Daily Current Affairs 18 December 2020 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Cabinet approves assistance of Rs 3,500 crore for sugarcane farmers
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved assistance of three thousand 500 crore rupees for sugarcane farmers.
- The Cabinet has taken the decision to help farmers directly by depositing money of subsidy into their accounts. It will benefit five crore farmers and five lakh workers.
- CCEA also approved revised cost estimate of North Eastern Region Power System Improvement Project for six States for strengthening of the Intra-State Transmission and Distribution Systems.
Govt provides tap water connections under Jal Jeevan Mission to 278 lakh households
Government said that 278 lakh households have been provided tap water connections under Jal Jeevan Mission.
- At present more than six crore rural households in the country are getting potable water in their households through taps.The mission was announced on 15 August last year.
- Jal Shakti Ministry said, 18 districts across the country have provided tap connections to all households and States are competing with each other to ensure tap water supply to every home.
UP govt to launch ‘Kisan Kalyan Mission’ to double the income of farmers
Uttar Pradesh government will launch a special program to double the income of farmers. The program named as Kisan Kalyan Mission will cover all assembly constituencies of the state.
- Under the Kisan Kalyan mission various programs will be organised across the state. Exhibitions of agriculture and Associate sectors will be organised which will include the products of MSME sector units and livelihood missions.
- Farmers will be given benefit under the various schemes of agriculture department during these events.
World’s tallest rail bridge on Chenab in J&K likely to be completed by 2021
Touted as the next man-made wonder, the world’s tallest rail bridge on the Chenab in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory is expected to be completed by 2021.
- The 1,315-metre-long bridge between Bakkal and Kauri villages of Reasi is coming up at a height of 359 metres.
- The arched structure will connect Baramulla to Jammu via Udhampur, Katra and Qazigund with a travel time of six and a half hours.
India and Bangladesh to reopen Chilahati-Haldibari rail link after nearly 55 years
India and Bangladesh will reopen the Chilahati-Haldibari rail link after nearly 55 years. It was cut off during the 1965 India-Pakistan war. The inauguration of the rail link take place during the Virtual Summit of the Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh.
- With an aim to enhance transport and connectivity between the two nations, the leadership on both sides has been committed to reviving and operationalizing the six pre-1965 rail links between the two countries.
- Haldibari-Chilahati route will enhance connectivity to Assam and West Bengal from Bangladesh. This link will enhance rail network accessibility and give a boost to bilateral trade and economic development of the region. Currently, the rail link will facilitate the movement of goods cargo. Passenger movement will also commence as soon as the necessary infrastructure on both sides is in place.
India Pledges USD 1 Million to WADA for Scientific Research
India has pledged USD one million to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s scientific research budget, the “highest among contributions made by other world governments.
- The proposed funding will allow WADA to develop innovative anti-doping testing and detection methods. The money will also be used to further strengthen WADA’s independent Investigations and Intelligence Department.
BANKING & FINANCE
GoI, World Bank sign 400 million dollar project to protect India’s poor from COVID-19
Government of India and World Bank have signed 400 million dollar project to protect India’s poor and vulnerable from the impact of COVID-19. This is the second operation in a programmatic series of two.
- The first operation of 750 million dollar was approved in May 2020. The programme will strengthen the capability of state and central governments to provide coordinated and adequate social protection to the poor and vulnerable from the shocks triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
India signs one billion dollar loan agreement with NDB for Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan
The Government of India and New Development Bank signed a loan agreement for one thousand million dollar to provide support to Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan through MGNREG Scheme.
- The programme will support Government in mitigating the adverse economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic and enable economic recovery in the rural areas through Natural Resource Management (NRM) works.
- This will facilitate economic activity and employment generation to stimulate rural demand, to combat the decline in economic activity due to outbreak of COVID-19.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
India’s GDP to Contract 7.8% in FY 2021: Icra
Domestic rating agency Icra Ratings expects the technical recession in the country’s economy to end in the fourth quarter of the current fiscal, limiting the contraction in the GDP to 7.8% in the financial year 2021.
- In the second quarter of financial year 2021, GDP contracted 7.5% as against a decline of 23.9% in the April-June quarter.
- With a steady performance of the agricultural sector and a lagged recovery in the contact-intensive parts of the services sector, the agency forecasts a small contraction of 1% in the Indian GDP in the third quarter of financial year 2021.
Defence Ministry Approves Acquisition of Military Hardware Worth Rs 28,000 Crore
The defence ministry approved procurement of weapons and military equipment worth Rs 28,000 crore for the three services. The procurement proposals were cleared at a time India and China are locked in a bitter border standoff in eastern Ladakh.
- Six of the seven proposals, that is, Rs 27,000 crore out of Rs 28,000 crore for which AoNs (Acceptance of Necessity) were granted will be sourced from the Indian industry to give a boost to the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiatives.
- Acquisition proposals approved include procurement of the DRDO-designed and developed airborne early warning and control systems for the Indian Air Force, next generation offshore patrol vessels for the Indian Navy and modular bridges for the Indian Army.
Sports Ministry Formally Recognises Yogasana as Competitive Sport
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and Minister of AYUSH (Ayurveda Yoga and Naturopathy Unani Sidda Homoeopathy) Shripad Yesso Naik formally promoted yogasana as a competitive sport, which will enable the ancient practice to avail government funding.
- The move was made to encourage yoga, spread awareness about its benefits and to help improve peoples physical and mental wellbeing.
Anshu Malik Settles for Silver at Wrestling World Cup, India’s Lone Medal Winner
Young Anshu Malik was the lone Indian woman wrestler to win a medal at the individual World Cup, grabbing a silver in the 57kg category.
- Anshu, who is coming up from the junior ranks, clinched her third medal at the senior level from as many tournaments. She lost the gold medal bout 1-5 to Moldova’s Anastasia Nichita.
Qatar To Host 2030 Asian Games, 2034 Edition In Saudi Arabia
Qatar’s capital city Doha will host the 2030 Asian Games and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital, has been awarded the 2034 edition. The decisions were made following a vote at the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) general assembly in Muscat, Oman.
- The double award also draws parallels with the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to award the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games simultaneously to Paris and Los Angeles.
Nasa selects Indian-American Raja Chari as commander of SpaceX Crew-3 mission
Indian-American US Air Force Colonel Raja Chari has been selected as the Commander of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) by NASA and the European Space Agency.
- Chari, 43, will serve as the commander while NASA’s Tom Marshburn will be pilot and ESA’s Matthias Maurer will serve as a mission specialist for the SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the ISS, which is expected to launched next year.
- When Chari, Marshburn, and Maurer arrive at the orbiting laboratory, they will become expedition crew members for the duration of their six-month stay. The crew will have a slight overlap with the Crew-2 astronauts, who are expected to launch in the spring of 2021.
SAIL gets Golden Peacock Environment Management Award
Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has been awarded with the prestigious Golden Peacock Environment Management Award for the year 2020 in the Steel Sector by the Institute of Directors.
- The company has been the winner of this award for successive two years and this bears testimony to the efforts made by it for sustainable and environmentally responsible steel making.
- This award is one of the most coveted awards in the category.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
ISRO launches communication satellite CMS-01 from Sriharikota
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched its 42nd communication satellite CMS-01 from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) of Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.
- The CMS-01 satellite will be the first in a new series of communication satellites that India will be launching after the GSAT and INSAT series.
- This will be the 77th launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR. It will be replacing the ageing GSAT-12 satellite that was launched 15 July 2011 and was supposed to serve for seven years.
- The CMS-01 will provide telecom services in the Extended-C Band of the frequency spectrum whose coverage will include the Indian mainland, Andaman-Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands.
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik launches Pareshram portal
Odisha’s Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched PAReSHRAM portal along with 22 online services of Labour and Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) department.
- The portal and online services will be helpful in ease of doing business and contribute significantly to industrial development of the State.
- The Portal will provide 52 types of services in the coming days. This technology is the foundation of 5-T initiative and this will help in transformation, hoped that information regarding different Labour Laws will be available and industries, commercial organisations, small entrepreneurs and public will be benefited through this Portal.
Pakistani Actress Firdous Begum passes away
Firdous Begum, the famous Pakistani veteran actress who shot to fame for her iconic role in 1970’s movie ‘Heer Ranjah’, passed away. She was 73.
- A leading lady of Pakistani films from 1970s to 1980s, Firdous started her film career in 1963 with a movie ‘Fanoos’ in which she had a supporting role.
- She got a break from movie ‘Malangi’ in 1965 and thereafter there was no looking back. Her iconic role in ‘Heer Ranjah’ made her the most sought-after actress in 1970s.
- Firdous performed in over 150 Punjabi, Urdu and Pashto films.
Delhi Gharana Maestro Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan Passes Away
Delhi Gharana exponent Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan passed away following a cardiac arrest, a family member said. He was 66.
- Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan was best known for his versatile renditions in various genres of Indian classical music, including ‘thumri’, dadra’, as well as bhajans’ and ghazals.
- Iqbal Ahmed Khan had several accolades to his credit, including the Priyadarshini Award (2001), and the Rajiv Rattan Sadbhavna Samman (2003).
International Migrants Day
International Migrants Day is a global event observed on December 18. The day recognises the importance of protecting the rights and dignity of migrants around the world.
- This year, the theme of the International Organization for Migration is “Reimagining Human Mobility”. The theme assumes special significance owing to the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of migrants around the world.