Daily Current Affairs 3rd December, 2020

Daily Current Affairs 3 December 2020 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

Five-star village postal scheme launched in Uttarakhand
The Union Minister of State for Communication Sanjay Dhotre launched five star village postal scheme to ensure the universal coverage of flagship postal schemes in Dehradun for rural areas of Uttarakhand.

  • He also distributed Sukanya Samridhi Yojana passbooks, checkbooks, ATM Cards and saving bank passbooks to the beneficiaries of senior citizens welfare fund schemes. 

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launches India’s first indigenously developed 100 Octane premium petrol
Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan launched India’s first indigenously developed 100 Octane premium petrol through video conferencing.

  •  The high octane premium grade petrol being marketed under the brand XP-100 will be made available in 10 cities across the country including the national capital in the first phase. 
  • The second phase will see the addition of 5 more cities like Kolkata and Chennai. With the rolling out of XP-100 developed by Indian Oil Corporation Limited with indigenous technical know-how, India joins a select league of nations having such super grade fuel.

Goa Govt launches One-Time Power Bill Settlement Scheme 2020
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant launched a one-time settlement scheme for power consumers and said that his government accords priority to the interests of the needy and common man.

  • It is the first of its kind scheme introduced in the state, wherein all the category of consumers – active consumers, temporarily disconnected/permanently disconnected – and are sent for revenue recovery cases consumers can avail benefits. There is also no limit on the outstanding dues pending for payments by the consumers to the Electricity Department for availing the scheme. 
  • The payment under OTSS 2020 can be made online at the Department’s website www.goaelectricity.gov.in through credit card, debit card, net banking, NEFT/RTGS. All the details to avail the scheme are available at the department’s website. 


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

India 8th Most Impacted By Terrorism: Global Terrorism Index
According to the Global Terrorism Index of 2020, India is the eighth-most impacted countries in the world by terrorism in the last decede. The index is prepared by the Institute of Economics and Peace, an Australia-based nonpartisan non-profit. 

  • Afghanistan tops the list followed by Iraq, Nigeria and Syria.
  • Further, the report marks South Asia as region worst affected by terrorism for the second year in a row.
  • India ranks better than Pakistan (ranked 7) but lower than the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Philippines, which rank 9th and 10 respectively. 

Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com choose same word of the year: pandemic
Two major dictionary publishers Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com have chosen pandemic as the 2020 word of the year.

  • Merriam-Webster said its decision was based on the “extremely high numbers” of people who had looked up pandemic in its online dictionary in 2020. The word showed a major year-over-year increase in internet traffic. 
  • Dictionary.com research editor John Kelly told the AP that searches for the word have remained high throughout the year. For about half of the year, the company said pandemic was in the top 10 percent of all search requests.


BANKING & FINANCE

ADB, India sign 50 million loan to boost West Bengal’s digital platforms for public finance reforms
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $50 million policy-based loan to improve financial management procedures and operational efficiencies aimed at achieving more fiscal savings, promote informed decision making, and improve service delivery in the state of West Bengal.

  • The loan builds up on past ADB policy-based programmes in 2012 and 2017, supporting the Government of West Bengal on sustainable public financial management reforms. 
  • The loan is proposed to be supplemented by a $350,000 technical assistance grant for capacity building, monitoring of IFMS reforms, and strengthening the integration of social and gender aspects in reform areas.

ADB approves $430 million financing facility to improve power supply in Uttar Pradesh
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a USD 430 million multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) to improve the quality and reliability of electricity supply in Uttar Pradesh in India. 

  • The Uttar Pradesh Power Distribution Network Rehabilitation Project will improve efficiency and sustainability of power supply in the state.
  • The project will finance the conversion of 65,000 km rural low-voltage distribution lines from bare conductors to aerial bundle conductors to benefit an estimated 70 million people in 46,000 rural villages.
  • It will also finance construction of a parallel network of 11 kV feeders with a total length of 17,000 km to separate distribution of electricity between residential consumers and agriculture consumers.

Punjab National Bank launches loan management solution to speed up delivery
 Punjab National Bank (PNB) launched a tech-based loan management solution called ‘LenS-The Lending Solution’, to speed up and maintain accuracy in online loan processing and sanctioning of credit proposals.

  • To standardise the system, process and appraisal formats for loan processing, speed up the process of credit sanctions, and auto-generate loan documents, among others are the main purpose behind the launch of it.
  • For all kinds of loans such as MSME, agriculture, retail and other credit, the system is expected to be implemented in a phased manner.

SBI along with NPCI, Japan’s JCB launch contactless debit card
State Bank of India has partnered with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Japan’s JCB International Co for unveiling new ‘SBI RuPay JCB Platinum Contactless Debit Card’ on the RuPay network. 

  • The newly launched card is loaded with unique dual interface feature that enables the customers to use it for both contact and contactless transaction. 
  • This card can be used in both domestic as well as for the transactions overseas market.

Yes Bank launches tailor-made premium banking services to customers
Yes Bank has re-energised YES Premia, unveiling a premium banking program that offers personalized solutions focused on the particular needs of key consumer segments – from small business owners to salaried professionals and senior citizens. 

  • Yes Bank will celebrate the launch of this enhanced program during ‘Truly Yours’ Week, from December 1 – 7, 2020 throughout the bank’s network of branches across India, with several customercentric programs and partnered activations through dealer, OEM and bancassurance partners.
  • YES Premia with its advanced technology and innovation capabilities as a basis to drive a significant role in the Retail Banking business, demonstrates the bank’s determination towards creating a truly differentiated bank. 

SIDBI launches asset restructuring web module, signs MoU with Indian Bank
The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has launched an asset restructuring web module, https://arm-msme.in, to help MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) get benefit from the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) MSME restructuring guideline.

  • With the help of this Do-It-Yourself (DIY) asset restructuring web module, MSMEs will be able to prepare restructuring proposals by keying in only the most essential data of their past financials, future projections and restructuring requirements. The proposal prepared can be submitted online to the banks and reports can also be generated for submission to banks through email or in hard copies.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to this effect was signed between SIDBI and Indian Bank in the presence of Padmaja Chunduru, MD & CEO, Indian Bank.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Amul world’s 8th largest milk processor 
Amul, a brand of dairy cooperative major Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF), is ranked 8th in the list of top 20 global dairy processors released by the International Farm Comparison Network (IFCN). The home-grown dairy giant has moved up one rank since last year’s ranking.

  • Amul has replaced United States’ Dean Foods in the global rankings after two years. The American dairy giant commanded a 1.1% market share in the world milk production in 2018. However, it has gone bankrupt and is out of the 2020 global ranking.
  • Meanwhile, other dairy biggies such as New Zealand’s Fonterra, Switzerland’s Nestle Dairy, Canada’s Saputo, US’ Dairy Farmers of America, France’ Groupe Lactalis, Netherlands’ FrieslandCampina, and Denmark’s Arla Foods have retained their rankings in 2020.


APPOINTMENTS

Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhary takes over as BRO Director-General
Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhary took charge as the director general of Border Roads Organisation (BRO).

  • Lt Gen Chaudhary succeeds Lt Gen Harpal Singh who has been appointed as the new Engineer-in-Chief of the Indian Army.
  • Chaudhary was commissioned into the Corps of Engineers in 1983. He has held various staff, instructional and command positions in his over three decade-long service in the military.


AWARDS

RIL Tops Fortune 500 List of Indian Companies, IOC at Second Spot
Oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd topped the Fortune 500 list of Indian companies, Fortune India announced. The list was published by Fortune India, which is part of the Kolkata-based RP Sanjiv Goenka Group.

  • Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC), the nation’s biggest oil firm, bagged the second spot, followed by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) at the third. 
  • The country’s largest lender State Bank of India was in the fourth position, while India’s second-biggest fuel retailer Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) took the fifth spot. 
  • Tata Motors was ranked sixth, followed by gold refiner Rajesh Exports at the seventh spot. India’s largest IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services took the eighth spot, while ICICI Bank was at ninth, and Larsen and Toubro at tenth. 

Manipur’s Nongpok Sekmai police station selected as best police station in country
Nongpok Sekmai police station in Manipur’s Thoubal district has been chosen as best performing Police Station in the country. 

  • AWPS-Suramangalam police station in Tamil Nadu’s Salem district and Kharsang in Arunachal Pradesh’s Changlang district have been adjudged as the second and third best performing police stations.
  • This year’s survey for best police stations was conducted under challenging circumstances by the Home Ministry. 
  • The ranking process commenced with shortlisting of the best performing Police Stations, in each state on the basis of addressing, property offence, crime against women, crime against weaker sections and missing persons.

National University of Singapore tops QS World University Rankings 2021
Quacquarelli Symonds, global higher education think-tank and compilers of the world’s most-consulted university rankings portfolio, have released the QS Asia University Rankings 2021 for the continent’s best higher education institutions. The National University of Singapore has come up as Asia’s best university for the third consecutive year.

  • Top 3 university are National University of Singapore (NUS),Tsinghua University and Nanyang Technological University (NTU). 
  • The top 8 countries with the most universities are:Mainland China (124), India (10, 7)Japan (105), South Korea (8, 8)Taiwan (43), Pakistan (40), Malaysia (35) and Indonesia (30) 
  • The top-10 list doesn’t feature any Indian university. The top three Indian universities to feature on the Asia Rankings are IIT Bombay (Rank 47), IIT Delhi (Rank 50), and IIT Madras (Rank 56). A total of 107 Indian institutes made it to the overall QS Asia Rankings. Of them, 7 bagged a spot in the top 100.
  • The top-10 list doesn’t feature any Indian university. The top three Indian universities to feature on the Asia Rankings are IIT Bombay (Rank 47), IIT Delhi (Rank 50), and IIT Madras (Rank 56). A total of 107 Indian institutes made it to the overall QS Asia Rankings. Of them, 7 bagged a spot in the top 100.


ENVIRONMENT

Lahore tops list of world’s most polluted cities
Pakistan’s cultural capital Lahore has once again topped the list of world’s most polluted cities, according to air pollution data released by the US Air Quality Index. 

  •  Lahore reported a particulate matter (PM) rating of 423. Pakistan’s financial capital Karachi ranked at 7 on the AQI. New Delhi came in second with a PM of 229, while Nepal’s capital Kathmandu ranked the third-worst city with a PM of 178.
  • The United States Environmental Protection Agency regards air quality satisfactory if the AQI is under 50. Lahore’s AQI fell in the range of 301 and higher, which has been classified as “hazardous”.


OBITUARIES

MDH Masala owner Mahashay Dharampal Gulati passes away
Dharampal Gulati, owner of MDH Spices and the face of the company’s advertisements, passed away. He was 97.

  • Popularly called ‘King of Spices,’ was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the country’s third-highest civilian award, in 2019.
  • MDH exports spices to countries across the world such as Switzerland, Japan, the US, and Canada. It is one of the biggest brands of spices, and manufactures almost 50 different types of spices.

Former Pak PM Zafarullah Jamali passes away 
Former Pakistan prime minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali passed away at a hospital in Rawalpindi at the age of 76. 

  • Jamali, the country’s first and only elected prime minister from Balochistan, had served during the military regime of Gen Pervez Musharraf. However, Gen Musharraf sought his resignation in 2004 and he was replaced by Shaukat Aziz.
  • He won the 2013 general elections as an independent, but later joined the PML-N and used to sit on the treasury benches in the previous assembly.


BOOKS & AUTHORS

New Kids Book “Vahana Masterclass” launched by Italian Writer Alfredo Covelli
Alfredo Covelli, an Italy based author launched his new book Vahana Masterclass for children and Young Audience in the Indian market. 

  • Targeted towards readers’ age (from 8 to 12 years) the books will be illustrated and published by Scholastic India.
  • The book narrates the story of the Ganesha looking for a new vahana to accompany him to all the great adventures around the cosmos.

Book “Indian Icon: A Cult Called Royal Enfield” authored by Amrit Raj
The book titled “Indian Icon: A Cult Called Royal Enfield”authored by journalist Amrit Raj has been released recently. 

  • This book maps the trail-blazing story of the brand, the company and most of all, the individuals who have made Royal Enfield what it is now — a premium homegrown consumer brand for the global markets.


IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Persons with Disabilities
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated every year on December 3  to acknowledge the issues faced by persons with disabilities (PwD) around the world. 

  • It is also celebrated as National Disability Day and the theme this year is ‘Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post Covid-19 World’.


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