Daily Current Affairs 24 December 2020 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Amit Shah to head panel to mark Netaji’s 125th birth anniversary
The government has decided to constitute a high-level committee, headed by Home Minister Amit Shah, to decide on activities for a year-long commemoration of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s 125th birth anniversary starting next year.
- The 125th birth anniversary of the noted freedom fighter and nationalist from West Bengal will fall on January 23, 2022.
- The commemoration is being held as a tribute and a mark of gratitude to the colossal contribution Netaji made to India’s freedom struggle.
Cabinet approves post matric scholarship scheme for more than four crore SC students
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has also approved Rs. 59,048 Crore post matric scholarship scheme for more than four Crore Scheduled Castes students in 5 years.
- Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawarchand Gehlot said, the Central Government will spend Rs. 35,534 Crore for it which is 60 per cent and the balance 40 per cent will be spent by the State Governments.
- The Cabinet also approved the merger of Films Division, Directorate of Film Festivals, National Film Archives of India, and Children’s Film Society, India with the National Film Development Corporation.
- The Cabinet has approved revision in guidelines for providing DTH services in India. He said, DTH licence will be issued for 20 years in place of present 10 years.
- the Cabinet also approved an ordinance for extending National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act for another 3 years, giving protection to unauthorised colonies from punitive action in Delhi.
- The Cabinet also gave its nod for signing the revised Air Services Agreement between India and Philippines.
- It also gave its approval for signing the revised Air Services Agreement between India and Afghanistan.
India looks at integrating 3 more countries into coastal radar network
As part of India’s efforts to further expand the coastal radar chain network meant to enable real-time monitoring of the high seas for threats, efforts are in advanced stages to set up coastal radar stations in the Indian Ocean littoral states of Maldives, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
- Mauritius, Seychelles and Sri Lanka have already been integrated into the country’s coastal radar chain network. Similar plans are in the pipeline with Maldives and Myanmar and discussions are ongoing with Bangladesh and Thailand.
- As part of information exchange regarding traffic on the high seas, the Navy has been authorised by the government to conclude white shipping agreements with 36 countries and three multilateral constructs. So far agreements have been concluded with 22 countries and one multilateral construct.
PM Modi releases postal stamp to mark centenary celebrations of AMU
Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a special postal stamp to mark the centenary celebrations of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
- This is the first time in five decades that a prime minister has attended an AMU event as the chief guest. Prime Minister Modi attended the event via video conferencing.
- The last time a prime minister attended an event at AMU was Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1964. Before him, prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had visited the AMU four times.
With Revised DTH Service Guidelines, Cabinet Gives Nod to 100% FDI in Sector
The Union Cabinet approved revision in guidelines for providing direct to home (DTH) services in the country under which licenses would be issued for 20 years.
- The change in guidelines would also allow 100 per cent FDI in the DTH sector. While the Commerce Ministry had spoken of 100 per cent FDI in the DTH sector, the guidelines of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry needed to be changed.
- Changes have been approved for 100 per cent foreign direct investment in the sector. Till now, the FDI was limited to 49 per cent.
Unicef launches Covid-19 vaccine market dashboard
UNICEF has launched an interactive tool to help track the developments in the “rapidly evolving” Covid-19 vaccine market as the designated procurement coordinator and procurement agent for COVAX.
- UNICEF’s Covid-19 Vaccine Market Dashboard is “an interactive tool for countries, partners and industry” which tracks Covid-19 vaccine market developments and “the efforts of the COVAX Facility to ensure fair and equitable access for every country in the world.”.
- The dashboard provides a regularly updated overview of the global research and development pipeline, the projected production capacity, publicly announced bilateral and multilateral supply agreements as well as reported price points.
BANKING & FINANCE
SBI, Axis, HDFC lead the pack in UPI transactions in November: NPCI
State Bank of India (SBI), Axis Bank Ltd, HDFC Bank Ltd. and Paytm Payments Bank Ltd. (PPBL) have led the pack in November among the top remitter banks, initiating close to half or 1.1 billion of the total Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions processed in November, according to latest data released by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
- Among the remitter banks, which hold the bank account of the sender of UPI transactions, SBI closed almost 608 million UPI transactions in November and saw the maximum technical decline rate of 3.12%, with overall approval rate of 90.52%. While PPBL saw the lowest technical decline rates among the top banks at 0.08%.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
UP launches P2P trading platform for rooftop solar power producers
Uttar Pradesh has become the first state to launch blockchain-enabled solar power trading in India and South Asia in a project led by India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF) with Australian technology company Power Ledger.
- Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) and the subsidiary Madhyanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (MVVNL) will host a pilot project involving peer-to-peer (P2P) trading of energy generated from solar rooftop systems installed on buildings in Lucknow.
- India Smart Grid Forum along with two other organisations will execute the project.
- The P2P trading platform’s first 12 participants would comprise nine customers with rooftop solar systems (prosumers) and three customers without rooftop solar systems (net buyers).
Mega leather park with Rs 5,850 cr investment to come up in UP’s Kanpur
A mega leather park will come up in Ramaipur village of Kanpur with an investment of Rs 5,850 crores. With the mega leather cluster at Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh will become the first state in the country to establish a leather park.
- The park which is part of the mega leather cluster project is likely to create 50,000 jobs.
- The mega leather cluster project will attract an investment of about Rs 13,000 crores.
- The leather park will be equipped with an effluent treatment plant to keep a check on pollution.
Indian men to finish 2020 in 4th position, women in 9th in FIH rankings
The Indian men and women hockey teams will finish 2020 in fourth and ninth positions, respectively, after a major part of the year was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The International Hockey Federation (FIH) confirmed that the Belgium men’s team and the Netherlands’ women will finish the year at the top of the world rankings.
- In the men’s FIH world rankings, reigning world and European champions Belgium (2496.88 points) sit at the top ahead of 2019 FIH Hockey Pro League winners Australia (2nd place – 2385.70), Netherlands (3rd place 2257.96) and India (4th place 2063.78).
- Among women, the Netherlands (2631.99 points) are at the top followed by Argentina (2174.61). Germany (2054.28) occupy the third position, climbing one place following their FIH Hockey Pro League results against Belgium in September.
Vineet Agarwal takes over as new Assocham President
Managing Director of logistics major Transport Corporation of India Limited Vineet Agarwal has taken over as the new President of The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), the industry body said.
- He replaces Niranjan Hiranandani, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Hiranandani Group of Companies.
- Sumant Sinha, Chairman and Managing Director of ReNew Power, is the new Senior Vice-President of Assocham.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Karnataka unveils portal for farmers – FRUITS
The Karnataka government has unveiled the Farmer Registration and Unified beneficiary Information System (FRUITS), an e-governance portal, to create a repository of farmland information and farm loan details on a single platform.
- All farmers will be registered and given an identification number on the portal.
- Using this number, banks and other lending institutions can access the land details of farmers as well as details of their existing borrowings and take a quick decision on lending. Canara Bank has agreed to run FRUITS on a pilot basis.
DRDO conducts successful trial of Medium Range Surface to Air MR-SAM missile from Chandipur off Odisha coast
DRDO conducted the successful trial of the Medium Range Surface to Air MR-SAM missile from Chandipur off the Odisha coast.
- This was the army version of the MR-SAM missile which has been designed jointly by India and Israel.
- The Army variant of the MRSAM system comprises a command post, a multi-function radar and mobile launcher system.
China’s new space carrier rocket successfully launches five satellites on its maiden flight
China’s new medium-lift carrier rocket Long March-8 made its maiden flight sending five satellites successfully into planned orbit from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Hainan.
- The five experimental satellites will carry out the in-orbit verification of microwave imaging and other technologies. They will conduct experiments in space science, remote sensing and communication technologies.
- The Long March-8 rocket which has a total length of 50.3 meters, and a take-off mass of 356 tonnes can carry a payload of at least 4.5 tonnes to a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 700 km.
Congress Leader Madan Lal Sharma Passes Away at 68
Veteran Congress leader and former minister Madan Lal Sharma passed away at a private hospital in Katra. He was 68.
- He was first elected as MLA in1983 and again in 1987 from Chhamb consitituency on Congress mandat. He became minister in the NC-Congress coalition government in 1988. He was again elected from Akhnoor in 2002 and became a minister in the PDP-Congress government.
- Sharma was twice elected to the Lok Sabha from Jammu- Poonch seat in 2004 and 2009. However, he lost the 2014 Lok Sabha elections
Renowned Malayalam poet Sugathakumari passes away
Acclaimed Malayalam poet and environmental activist Sugathakumari passed away following Covid-19 complications at the Medical College Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. She was 86.
- Sugathakumari was an influential voice in the field of Malayalam literature with her works garnering all the major accolades on offer in the country.
- She was a recipient of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award, Kendra Sahitya Akademi award, Odakkuzhal award, Ezhuthachan award among others.
- She published her first poem in 1957. Some of her notable works were ‘Rathrimazha’, ‘Ambalamani’, Paavam Manavahridayam, Swapnabhoomi and ‘Pathirapookal’.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Devendra Fadnavis releases book ‘Ayodhya’ written by Madhav Bhandari
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Devendra Fadnavis released the book ‘Ayodhya’ written by BJP’s State Vice President Madhav Bhandari in Mumbai.
- Fadnavis said that the fight to build a Ram temple is a fight to awaken the Hindu community and the book will be used as a reference book.
Jairam Ramesh’s new book to uncover story of ‘The Light of Asia’ poem
Former Union minister Jairam Ramesh’s new book will uncover and narrate the story of phenomenal poem The Light of Asia that has shaped people’s thinking of the Buddha and his teachings, announced publishing house Penguin.
- The book, titled “The Light of Asia: The Poem that Defined the Buddha”, will be published under Penguin’s ‘Viking’ imprint in May next year.
National Consumer Rights Day
National Consumer Rights Day is observed on 24 December every year in India. On this day in the year 1986, the Consumer Protection Act 1986 came into force after receiving the presidential assent.
- The day aims to highlight the importance of the consumer movement as well as the need to make them aware and informed of their rights and responsibilities.