Daily Current Affairs 19 December 2020 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
UK PM Boris Johnson invites PM Modi to UK-led G-7 Summit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi accepted the invitation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to be part of the G7 meeting chaired by the UK in 2021, seeking to build a wider alliance against China’s growing power.
- British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab handed over a letter from Johnson, inviting the Prime Minister to the G7 meeting.
- Modi also conveyed his keenness to receive Johnson in New Delhi next month, on the occasion of India’s 72nd Republic Day celebrations. During his visit, Johnson will be just the second British leader since Indian independence to attend India’s Republic Day parade in New Delhi as a guest of honour, after John Major in 1993.
India ranks 111 out of 162 countries on personal freedom index
A global ranking of personal, civil and economic freedom released placed India at 111 out of 162 The index put China at 129 rank, Bangladesh at 139 and Pakistan at 140.
- India was ranked 110 in terms of personal freedom and 105 on economic freedom, with an overall score of 6.43 out of 10.
- New Zealand was ranked one in the index, followed by Switzerland and Hong Kong. The three least-free countries in descending order are Venezuela, Sudan, and Syria.
- The Human Freedom Index 2020, which uses data from 2008 to 2018, by the Cato Institute in the United States and Fraser Institute in Canada, noted a decrease in personal freedoms since 2008 globally. The index covered 76 indicators of personal, civic and economic freedom.
India, Indonesia navies undertake 35th coordinated patrol
The 35th edition of India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (IND-INDO CORPAT) between the Indian Navy and the Indonesian Navy held.
- Indian Naval Ship (INS) Kulish, an indigenously built missile corvette along with P8I Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) will undertake coordinated patrol with Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Cut Nyak Dien, a Kapitan Pattimura (Parchim I) class corvette and an MPA of the Indonesian Navy.
- The CORPAT being conducted between the two navies along the line since 2002 to ensure safety and security of shipping and international trade in the region.
- It facilitates measures to prevent and suppress illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing as well as drug trafficking, maritime terrorism, armed robbery and piracy.
BANKING & FINANCE
ADB, India sign $300 million loan to upgrade power distribution network in Uttar Pradesh
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Indian government signed a $300 million loan to upgrade rural power distribution networks to provide reliable electricity supply to consumers in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
- This is the first tranche of the loan for the Uttar Pradesh Power Distribution Network Rehabilitation Project.
- Overall, the $430 million multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) has been approved for the project constituting two tranches.
- The project envisages conversion of 65,000 kilometres (km) of rural low-voltage distribution lines from bare conductors to aerial bundled conductors (ABC) to create a robust distribution network that will benefit an estimated 70 million people in 46,000 villages.
India, ADB sign 4.21 million dollar PRF facility for preparation of infrastructure development projects
The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a 4.21 million dollar project readiness financing (PRF) facility for the preparation of infrastructure development projects to improve urban amenities and develop tourism infrastructure in Tripura.
- This is ADB’s first PRF facility for a state in the northeastern region of India.
- The facility will support Tripura Government’s priorities of improving urban services and tourism infrastructure that will help boost economic development.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
World Bank Comes Out with Corrected Doing Business Rankings, Lowers China Place by 7 Notches
Coming out with corrected Doing Business rankings following review of data irregularities, the World Bank said that China’s ranking would have been lower by seven notches in the index for 2018. Besides China, the World Bank has corrected the Doing Business rankings of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Azerbaijan.
- Regarding China, it said in Doing Business 2018, the published score including irregularities affecting the Starting a Business, Getting Credit, and Paying Taxes indicators was 65.3 with a global ranking of 78, identical to its rank in the Doing Business 2017 report.
- The review kept the ranking of UAE unchanged at 16 in Doing Business 2020, while it marginally lowered the ranking of Saudi Arabia to 63 from 62. The ranking of Azerbaijan has been improved to 28 from 34.
Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir announces retirement from international cricket
Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir has announced his retirement from international cricket at the age of 28, the country’s cricket board (PCB) said.
- The Pakistan pacer played 36 Tests, 61 ODIs, and 50 ODIs. Amir went on to take 259 wickets across three formats of the game.
- Amir had played his first international match during the 2009 T20 World Cup and he was a part of the T20 World Cup-winning Pakistan squad. Later in the same year, he went on to make his debut in ODI and Test cricket.
NHAI chairman Sukhbir Singh Sandhu gets second extension of six months
Sukhbir Singh Sandhu has been given six months extension as the chairman of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), a Personnel Ministry order issued.
- He was due to end his second extension term on January 21 next year.
- Sandhu, a 1988-batch IAS officer from Uttarakhand cadre took over as NHAI chief in 2019 replacing senior IAS officer Nagendra Nath Sinha who was elevated as the Secretary, Department of Border Management
Musician Shankar Mahadevan, Designer Raghavendra Rathore Winners Of UK’s Icon Awards
Musician Shankar Mahadevan and fashion designer Raghavendra Rathore have been named among 15 winners of the annual 21st Century Icon Awards, unveiled virtually from London.
- Mahadevan, awarded the 2020 Magnificent Performing Arts Award and Rathore, the recipient of the Exquisite Art & Fashion Award.
- Among some of the other 2020 winners included the Dedicated Stalwart Award for Mohit Burman, Vice-Chairman of Dabur India Ltd, and Competitive Sports Awards for Jamaican cricketer Chris Gayle and Argentinian polo player Adolfo Cambiaso.
Indian entrepreneur named among ‘Young Champions of the Earth’ winners by UN environment agency
A 29-year-old Indian entrepreneur Vidyut Mohan is among the seven winners of the prestigious “Young Champions of the Earth” 2020 prize given by the UN environment agency to global change-makers using innovative ideas and ambitious action to help solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.
- Vidyut Mohan, an engineer, is the co-founder of “Takachar”, a social enterprise enabling farmers to prevent open burning of their waste farm residues and earn extra income by converting them into value-added chemicals like activated carbon on-site.
Nehru Zoological Park Hyderabad Gets ISO Certifications
Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad, with its standard working procedures, has acquired ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Standards Certification from ASCB, UK.
- The Hyderabad Zoo has become the first zoo in the country to receive ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Standards Certificate.
- HYM International Certifications Pvt Ltd, an agency accredited by the ASCB, recently conducted an assessment of the zoo in a phased manner. The assessment committee expressed their satisfaction in the standards being followed by the zoo, particularly in sanitisation, food processing, animal breeding, animal care, etc.
Robert Lewandowski and Lucy Bronze win FIFA player of the year awards
Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and Manchester City’s Lucy Bronze pipped a competitive field in their respective categories to win the Best Player of the Year awards at FIFA’s annual football awards.
- It is the first occassion for both Lewandowski and Bronze to win the award, with the Pole only the second player after Luka Modric in 2018 to break a 13-year Messi-Ronaldo hegemony.
- Jurgen Klopp earned a surprise second consecutive Men’s coach of the Year honour for his Premier League success with Liverpool while Sarina Wiegman won the Women’s honour for her work with the Dutch national team.
- The Puskas Award for best goal went to Tottenham’s South Korean striker Son Heung-min for a mazy, individual goal he scored against Burnley in the Premier League in December 2019.