Daily Current Affairs 29th December, 2020

Daily Current Affairs 29 December 2020 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

TN Chief Minister Palaniswami Inaugurates Mayiladuthurai District
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami inaugurated the newly-formed Mayiladuthurai district through video conferencing from the Secretariat in Chennai. The 38th district in the state has been carved out of Nagapattinam district.

  • The new district comprises four taluks – Mayiladuthurai, Sirkazhi, Tarangambadi, and Kuthalam. It has a total population of 9.01 lakh.
  • R Lalitha, who served as the special officer for district formation has taken charge as the district collector. IPS officer Srinatha has been appointed as the superintendent of police.


BANKING & FINANCE

Bank of Baroda launches digital lending platform
Bank of Baroda (BoB) has launched its Digital Lending Platform (DLP), which will allow prospective retail loan seekers to get loans digitally through a paperless process. 

  • The Platform provides ‘in-principle approval’ for home, car and personal loans in 30 minutes without human intervention. The bank will also offer ‘Online Loan against Fixed Deposits’ via DLP.
  • Prospective loan seekers can avail the DLP facility through multiple channels — website, mobile banking, internet banking and social media as well.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Gross NPAs of Banks May Rise to 10.1-10.6% by March 2021: Icra
Banks’ gross non-performing assets (NPAs) and net NPAs are expected to rise to 10.1-10.6 per cent and 3.1-3.2 per cent, respectively from 7.9 per cent and 2.2 per cent, respectively by March 2021, Icra said. The agency also expects net NPA to decline to 2.4-2.6 per cent by March 2022.

  • It, however, said net NPAs and credit provisions will subsequently trend lower in 2021-22 as banks have reported strong collections on their loan portfolio with most of them reporting collections of over 90 per cent.
  • The report further said the loan restructuring requests are much lower than previously estimated, supported by sharper than expected improvement in economic activities as well liquidity support through the government’s emergency credit line guarantee scheme.

Maintaining 4% Inflation Appropriate for India, Says RBI Paper
Maintaining 4 per cent inflation is appropriate for India as targeting a lower rate could impart deflationary bias to the monetary policy, said a Reserve Bank paper. Under the current dispensation, the RBI has been mandated by the government to maintain retail inflation at 4 per cent with a margin of 2 per cent on either side.

  • The paper, authored by RBI Deputy Governor Michael Debabrata Patra and another official Harendra Kumar Behera, has found a steady decline in trend inflation to 4.1-4.3 per cent since 2014.
  • A target set too below the trend imparts a deflationary bias to monetary policy because it will go into overkill relative to what the economy can intrinsically bear in order to achieve the target.

Govt to launch Centralized National Investment Clearing Cell by 15 April next year
In a major fillip to the call for greater ease of doing business in the nation, the government is set to launch the proposed Centralised “Investment Clearance Cell” by 15 April next year. 

  • This facility would serve as a a single window system which would aim to facilitate the businesses through a one-stop digital platform.
  • The platform is being developed by bringing together several ministries and departments of the governments at the Centre and select states.


SPORTS

Russian badminton player Khakimov banned for five years over betting, fixing offences
Russian doubles badminton player Nikita Khakimov has received a five-year ban after being found guilty of offences relating to “betting, wagering and irregular match results.

  • The BWF opened an investigation against Khakimov after obtaining a statement from a whistleblower, who claimed the shuttler had approached him to manipulate match results at the European Teams Championships held in February 2018.
  • Khakimov, 32, was part of the Russian men’s team that won the bronze medal at the 2020 European Team Championships.


AWARDS

The ICC Awards of the Decade winners announced
The winners of the prestigious ICC Awards of the Decade including the Rachel Heyhoe-Flint for Best Female Player and Sir Garfield Sobers for Best Male Player, were announced.

  • Virat Kohli wins the Sir Garfield Sobers Award for ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade
  • Ellyse Perry wins the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for ICC Female Cricketer of the Decade
  • Steve Smith is ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Decade
  • Virat Kohli is ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade
  • Ellyse Perry is ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade
  • Rashid Khan is ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Decade
  • Ellyse Perry is ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Decade
  • Kyle Coetzer is ICC Men’s Associate Cricketer of the Decade
  • Kathryn Bryce is ICC Women’s Associate Cricketer of the Decade
  • MS Dhoni wins ICC Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade.

”Lukoskin” developer Hemant Kumar Pandey gets DRDO”s ”Scientist of the Year” award
Senior scientist Hemant Kumar Pandey has been honoured with DRDO’s ‘Scientist of the Year Award’ for his contribution in developing several herbal medicines, including the popular drug Lukoskin meant for treatment of leucoderma.

  • The prestigious award that comprises a certificate and cash prize of Rs 2 lakh.
  • A recipient of several prestigious awards for his contribution in the field of herbal medicine, Pandey has been undertaking research at the Defence Research and Development Organisation”s (DRDO) lab Defence Institute of Bio-Energy Research (DIBER) at Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand for the past 25 years.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 

Myanmar Myanmar Navy Commissions UMS Minye Theinkhathu, The Erstwhile INS Sindhuvir
The officially inducted submarine handed over by India in the month of October. INS Sindhuvir was commissioned as UMS Minye Theinkhathu and inducted on the 73rd anniversary of the Myanmar Navy. 

  • The kilo class submarine has a displacement of 3000 tonnes, a diving depth of 300 meters and top speed at 20 knots.
  • UMS Minye Theinkhathu is named after an ancient warrior and can operate for 45 days. It is equipped with 40 km range wire-guided torpedoes and 3M-54 Klub anti-ship cruise missiles.

US’ Plans For A “Nuclear Power Plant” On Moon 
In a significant development, US President Donald Trump has issued a new Space Policy Directive (SPD) which will allow NASA to set up a nuclear reactor on the surface of the moon by 2026 in collaboration with US Department of Energy.

  • In early 2021, the US Department of Energy in collaboration with NASA intends to solicit industry design proposals. It also got an impetus with a recent White House directive.
  • The objective of NASA behind this was to establish a flight hardware system that is ready for integrating with the lunar lander by 2026 end.

Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurates India’s first pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated India’s first pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, PCV.

  • The vaccine named Pneumosil has been developed by the Serum Institute of India Private Limited, SIIPL in collaboration with partners like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • It will be available at an affordable price in a single dose and multidose presentation.The vaccine has been evaluated in 5 randomized clinical trials.
  • It also demonstrated comparable immunogenicity and safety against the licensed pneumococcal vaccines across the populations of Africa and India. There Pneumosil was administered to the toddlers, adults, and infants under different vaccination schedules.


ENVIRONMENT

India’s 1st tiger reserve hot air balloon safari launched in MP
The country’s first hot air balloon wildlife safari in a tiger reserve was launched in the world famous Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve by Madhya Pradesh Forest Minister Vijay Shah. It is the first in any tiger reserve in the country.

  • The activity would be restricted to the buffer area and people could watch tigers, leopards, Indian sloth bear and other wild animals from a height.
  • The service is being operated by Jaipur-based Sky Waltz and company official Jai Thakur said it was hoping for a good response from tourists.


OBITUARIES

Eminent dance scholar and critic Sunil Kothari passes away
Eminent dance scholar and critic Sunil Kothari, 87, passed away in a private hospital in Delhi because of COVID-19 related complications.

  • A Sangeet Natak Akademi fellow, Kothari blazed a new trail in documenting Indian classical dance forms.
  • Kothari received numerous titles and awards for his contribution to Indian dance forms including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1995); the Gaurav Puraskar conferred by the Gujarat Sangeet Natak Akademi (2000); the Padma Shri bestowed by the Government of India (2001); and the Life Time Achievement Award of the Dance Critics Association, New York, USA (2011).He was also an elected Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi for his contribution to Indian dance as a scholar.
  • Kothari authored more than 20 books on the subject of Indian dance forms including “Sattriya Dances of Assam”, “New Directions in Indian Dance”, and also on Bharatanatayam, Odissi, Chhau, Kathak, Kuchipudi, and Photo Biographies of Uday Shankar and Rukmini Devi Arundale.

Former Union min Kadambur R Janarthanan passes away
Former Tirunelveli MP and senior AIADMK leader MR Kadambur Janarthanan, died of age-related issues. He was 91.

  • Janarthanan was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1984 from Tirunelveli and then again to the 9th, 10th and 12th Lok Sabha.
  • He was union Minister of State, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions with additional Charge of minister of State for Finance (Revenue, Banking and Insurance). He held these portfolios in Second Vajpayee Ministry from 1998 to 1999.


BOOKS & AUTHORS

Union Minister Shripad Naik Releases book “Sutranivednachi sutra- ek anbav” by Dr Roopa Chari
 Union Minister of state (I/C) for AYUSH and Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik released a Konkani book “Sutranivednachi sutra- ek anbav”, by Dr Roopa Chari, which is published by Sanjana Publications.

  • Dr. Roopa Chari is a well-known personality in the field of Compering in Goa.
  • This book will help aspiring youngsters, who wish to make a career in this field. This is the spontaneous art; you don’t nurture it by having any classes.

Manav Kaul Presents Debut Novel ‘Antima’ To Ruskin Bond
Manav Kaul presented his first novel Antima to Ruskin Bond and the iconic author said he hopes the book earns the actor “lots of royalties and readers”.

  • He has previously written books such as Tumhare Baare Mein and Bahut Door, Kitna Door Hota Hai.


IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Epidemic Preparedness
The first ever International Day of Epidemic Preparedness, observed on 27 December 2020 to advocate the importance of the prevention of, preparedness for and partnership against epidemics.

  • The International Day of Epidemic Preparedness aims to promote international awareness and action on the prevention of, preparedness for and partnership against epidemics.


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