Daily Current Affairs 21st December, 2019

Daily Current Affairs 21 December 2019 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

PM Modi addresses ASSOCHAM Annual Conference in Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the annual general meeting of Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India in New Delhi.

  • The theme of the event was ‘New India Aspiring for a USD 5 trillion economy’. The event was organised on the completion of 100 years of ASSOCHAM.

SC forms 2-judge committee to expedite disposal of rape cases

The Supreme Court has set up a two-judge committee to expedite disposal of rape cases across the country. The panel will exclusively monitor the cases and ensure trials are swift and efficient.

  • The panel, announced by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, comprises Justice Subhash Reddy and Justice MR Shah.

Govt proposes to invest 50 lakh crore rupees for modernisation of Railways

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has informed that Railways is looking at a 50 lakh crore rupees investment over the next 12 years.

  • It is coming out of joint ventures so that it can modernize the railways, bring down the logistics cost and improve the share of freight in railway network and make the journey world-class.

Mission on Urban renewal extended by 2yrs to 2022

Unable to meet set targets for urban renewal in 500 cities, the Centre has decided to extend the mission period of its flagship initiative Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) by two more years to 2022 from 2020.

  • The initiative aimed to provide 139 lakh water connections by March 2020, 145 lakh sewer connections, stormwater drainage projects, parks, and green spaces and LED streetlights.

Skill Development Ministry to set up 500 skill hubs and labs in govt schools

Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Ministry has finalized a plan for setting up 500 skill hubs and labs in government schools. It has taken several initiatives to in order to achieve its vision of a Skilled India.

India is world’s third largest producer of scientific articles, China leads

According to a latest US National Science Foundation (NSF) report, India has emerged as the world’s third largest publisher of science and engineering articles after China followed by USA.

  • India published 48,998 science and engineering articles. This increased to 1,35,788 articles in 2018 and the country now accounts for 5.31 per cent of the total world publications in science and engineering.

Bengaluru retains its crown as the highest paying city

According to Randstad Insights Salary Trends Report 2019, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai are the highest paying cities in India.

  • Professionals from IT industry command the highest salaries, while Bengaluru has retained the tag as the highest paying city in the country followed by Hyderabad and Mumbai
  • Digital Marketers emerged as the highest paid functional role for senior professionals, with an average annual CTC of Rs35.65 lakh.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Ethiopia launches its first satellite with help of China

Ethiopia launched the African country’s first satellite with help of China, in order to help the nation’s research into climate change.

  • The wide-range multispectral remote-sensing microsatellite donated to Ethiopia by China was sent into space together with eight other satellites by a Long March-4B carrier rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China’s Shanxi Province.

A star and its planet get Indian names after a global contest

A white yellow star in Sextans constellation and its Jupiter-like exoplanets, named HD 86081 and 86081b, will now have Indian names.

  • The International Astronomical Union (IAU) announced that while the star would be called ‘Bibhā’, the planet would be known as ‘Santamasa’. The star has been named in honour of a pioneering Indian woman scientist Bibha Choudhury, who discovered subatomic particle, pi-meson. The planet has been named S’antamasa’ to reflect the cloudy nature of its atmosphere. ‘Santamasa’ is the Sanskrit term for ‘clouded’.
  • The IAU chose the name at the end of a global contest called ‘NameExoWorlds’, which was organised as part of its centenary celebrations.

International Astronomical Union names new star ‘Sharjah’

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) announced the names of the newly discovered stars and planets, where the name “Sharjah” was chosen for a star with “Barjeel” being the name of one of its planets.

Afghanistan becomes 1st country to recognize Indian Pharmacopoeia

The Indian Pharmacopoeia has been recognised formally by the National Department of Regulation of Medicines and Health Products of the Ministry of Public Health of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

  • It will also be used based on the requirement as reputable pharmacopoeia in the laboratory of medicines and health products quality.


BANKING & FINANCE

India Signs $490 Million Loan Agreement With ADB To Upgrade Madhya Pradesh Roads

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $490 million loan for public-private partnership (PPP) project to upgrade about 1,600 km of state highways and major district roads (MDRs) from single-lane to two-lane widths in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

  • An additional $286 million investment will be mobilised through private sector participation under the PPP modality.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Fitch cuts India GDP growth forecast to 4.6% in FY20

Fitch Ratings on Friday cut its growth forecast for India to 4.6 per cent for the 2019-20 fiscal from the previous estimation of 5.6 per cent.

  • It reaffirmed India’s rating at ‘BBB-‘ with a Stable Outlook saying the rating balances a still strong medium-term growth outlook compared with similar category peers and relative external resilience stemming from solid foreign-reserve buffers against high public debt, a weak financial sector and some lagging structural factors, including governance indicators and GDP per capita.

GeM partners with UCO Bank, BoM for payment-related services

The government e-marketplace GeM has signed two agreements with Bank of Maharashtra and UCO Bank to offer services like transfer of funds through GeM pool accounts and earnest money deposit (EMD) to the registered users on the portal.

  • The pact also include advising of performance bank guarantees (e-PBG).


SPORTS

ICC continues partnership with UNICEF for Women’s T20 World Cup 2020

The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that it has extended its partnership with UNICEF through to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 with the focus on empowering women and girls through cricket.

  • ICC and UNICEF partnership commenced in 2015, as part of the ICC’s global community outreach program ‘Cricket 4 Good’.

U17 Women’s Football Tournament: Sweden lift title by defeating India 4-0

Sweden trounced India 4-0 in the final of the U17 Women’s Football Tournament 2019 at the Mumbai Football Arena, Maharashtra.

The award-winners at the end of the tournament are as follows:

  • Most Valuable Player: Evelina Duljan (Sweden)
  • Most Promising Player: Shilky Devi (India)
  • Highest Scorer: Monika Bah (Sweden)
  • Best Goalkeeper: Elin Svahn (Sweden).

All India Police Lawn Tennis Championship inaugurated in Visakhapatnam

Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan inaugurated the 20th All India Police Lawn Tennis Championship at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

  • About 18 states, including various organisations of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) are participating in the four-day event.

Zeena Khitta wins gold at National Shooting Championship

Himachal’s Zeena Khitta won gold in the new national champion in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle at the ongoing 63rd National Shooting Championship Competitions (63rd NSCC) Rifle/Pistol in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

  • In another event, Rajasthan shooter teamed up with Shriyanka Sadagi and Gayatri Pawaskar to win gold.
  • On the same day, West Bengal shooter clinched two gold medals in individual and team junior titles in the Air Rifle category.

Belgium crowned FIFA Team of the Year

Belgium has been crowned FIFA’s Team of the Year for finishing top of the world rankings for the second December in a row. World champions France conclude the year in second place, with Brazil third, England fourth and Uruguay fifth.



APPOINTMENTS

Anand Mahindra to step down as Mahindra Group chairman

Industrialist Anand Mahindra announced his decision to step down as executive chairman of the group from April 1, 2020. With effect from April 1, Mr Mahindra will be non-executive chairman of the Mahindra & Mahindra board,.

  • Pawan Goenka will be re-designated as managing director and CEO

Acharya Balkrishna Appointed Ruchi Soya CMD, Swami Ramdev to be Director on New Board

Acharya Balkrishna has been appointed as the chairman and managing director of Ruchi Soya and Swami Ramdev as non-executive director on its newly constituted board.

  • Besides, Acharya Balkrishna would also be chairman and Swami Ramdev a member of the corporate social responsibility committee of the board of Ruchi Soya.

Devesh Srivastava takes charge as CMD of GIC Re

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

  • Srivastava, a direct recruit officer of 1987 batch, began his career with Oriental Insurance Company Ltd. Subsequently, his services were transferred to GIC in 1999.

US Prez Trump picks Indian-American computer scientist Sethuraman Panchanathan to lead National Science Foundation

NSFUS President Donald Trump has picked Indian-American computer scientist Sethuraman Panchanathan to lead the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF).

  • Panchanathan is currently the Executive Vice President and the Chief Research and Innovation Officer at the Arizona State University. He is also the Founding Director of the Centre for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing at the ASU.


OBITUARIES

Writer and critic LS Sheshagiri Rao passes away

Kannada writer and critic L.S. Sheshagiri Rao, referred to as LSS in literary circles, passed away in Bengaluru. He was 94.

  • He is best known for his critical works and an English-Kannada dictionary that he compiled.
  • He had won the Kendra Sahitya Akademy award for his work English Sahitya Charitre, a history of English literature in Kannada. He had won multiple awards including Rajyotsava Award and Karnataka Sahitya

Former Kerala Minister Thomas Chandy passes away

Former minister and Kuttanad MLA Thomas Chandy passed away in Kochi. He was 72

  • He was the state chief of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Chandy was forced to quit as Transport Minister from the Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government in November 2017 after facing encroachment allegations.


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