Daily Current Affairs 31st December, 2020

Daily Current Affairs 31 December 2020 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

Multi-modal logistics park to be constructed in Silchar: Nitin Gadkari
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has announced that a multi-model logistics park will be constructed in Silchar and the Balacherra-Harengajao section of the Silchar-Saurashtra Highway will be completed in March 2022.

  • Gadkari made this announcement at a public meeting at Zero Point on the East-West Corridor at Madhurmukh at Rangpur.
  • The Union Minister unveiled a 13-foot tall bronze statue of former Prime Minister Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Indian Railways completes 180 Kmph Speed trail run of Vistadome Tourist Coach
Adding muscles to Atma Nirbhar Bharat Mission, Indian Railways completed successful speed trials of the new design Vistadome Tourist Coaches made by Integral Coach Factory (ICF).

  • The coach has successfully completed 180 kmph oscillation trial. Squeeze test of the above coach were already completed in ICF in the December.
  • The Vistadom tourist coach is provided with larger viewing area including roof top glasses with 44 seats for passengers with rotation up to180 degree to face the direction of train movement. The coach is also having Wi-Fi based passenger information system.

Cabinet approves sale of Akash missile system to foreign nations
In a major move to boost domestic defence manufacturing, the Union Cabinet approved the export of indigenously-developed Akash missile system and set up a panel to ensure faster approvals for export of India-made military equipment.

  • So far, Indian defence exports included parts or components. The export of big platforms was minimal. This initiative of the Cabinet will help the country improve its defence products and make them globally competitive. The export version of Akash will be different from the system currently deployed with the armed forces.
  • Besides Akash, there is interest coming in other major platforms like Coastal Surveillance System and Radars and Air platforms.

PM lays foundation stone of AIIMS at Rajkot in Gujarat; says govt working on mission mode to improve medical education in India
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Rajkot in Gujarat through video conferencing.

  • Addressing on the occasion, PM Modi said, if 2020 was an year of health challenges, 2021 will be an year of health solutions.
  • 201 acres of land has been allotted near Rajkot for the AIIMS project. It will be built at an estimated cost of one thousand one hundred 95 crore rupees and is expected to be completed by mid of 2022. The state-of-the-art 750-bed hospital will also have a 30-bed AAYUSH block. It will have 125 MBBS seats and 60 nursing seats.


BANKING & FINANCE

YES BANK joins hand with Salesforce to boost retail growth
YES BANK said it has entered into collaboration with Salesforce, a leader in customer relationship management, to build a next generation technology platform to power the retail lending business, in line with the bank’s strategy to further scale up its retails assets portfolio.

  • The private lender aims to deliver intelligent personalised customer experiences through the Salesforce platform.
  • The lender claimed that it is among the first banks in India to move to Salesforce for loan origination and processing.
  • The bank said the deployment of the Salesforce loan origination system for retail banking will enable it to provide personalised solutions and connected banking experiences for consumers across segments.

DBS Bank India introduces one-stop integrated travel marketplace ‘Travel Now’
DBS Bank India announced that it has introduced ‘Travel Now’, a one-stop travel marketplace within the digibank app.

  • The new feature enables customers to browse and book flights, bus tickets and hotels across hundreds of destinations within and outside of India.
  • Customers can also opt for travel insurance, offered by Bharti AXA General Insurance, with an automated claims process for flight cancellation, and flight departure and arrival delays of over 60 minutes.

UNDP and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation to co-create India’s first Social Impact Bond
Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) recently signed an MoU with UNDP India to co-create India’s first Social Impact Bond (SIB).

  • This SIB will support the PCMC in improving healthcare services for its citizens, especially with respect to the pandemic while incurring minimum investment risks.
  • This is the first time that a government body will act as the ‘Outcome Funder’ in a bond, whereas traditionally most government-funded public projects require large and early investments by the government with a substantial gestation period of outcomes and involve various kinds of risks.
  • The introduction of the SIB will attract more investors from public and private sectors to fund public welfare projects and thus help to meet the investment deficit.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Chhattisgarh signs MoU to set up India’s 1st ethanol plant under PPP model
Chhattisgarh government signed a contract execution (MoU) for the country’s first ethanol plant to be set up in the state under the public-private partnership (PPP) model.

  • The contract was signed by Bhoramdev Cooperative Sugar Factory Kawardha and Chhattisgarh Distillery Limited’s subsidiary NKJ Biofuel for a period of 30 years.
  • The establishment of the ethanol plant will generate direct and indirect employment opportunities and will form the basis for economic prosperity in the region.

CSC partners IIT Delhi to set up innovation lab in rural area
The Common Services Centers (CSCs), a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) under the Ministry of Electronics and IT, has partnered with the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi (IIT-D) to establish a Design and Innovation Lab for conducting research on design-led innovations related to leveraging livelihood and enhancing their all-round entrepreneurial outlook.

  • Called the ‘Design and Innovation in VLE’s Indigenous Network Ecosystem’ or ‘DIVINE’ Lab, it will promote design and innovation among the Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) managing around 3.75 lakh CSCs across the country which will help in leveraging livelihood and enhancing their all-round entrepreneurial outlook.


APPOINTMENTS

Sivan K Gets One-year Extension Till January 2022 as Secretary of Department of Space
The government extended the tenure of K Sivan, secretary of Department of Space and chairman of Space Commission, by a year.

  • The appointments committee of the Cabinet extended the tenure of K Sivan, who was due superannuation on January 14, 2021, by a year to January 2022. 
  • Sivan joined Isro in 1982 and was inducted into the PSLV Project. He took over as Isro chairman in January 2018.


AWARDS

Dabholkar memorial award conferred on K. Veeramani
The Dr. Narendra Dabholkar Memorial Award for this year has been conferred upon Dravidar Kazhagam president K. Veeramani.

  • The award was instituted in the memory of the Maharashtra-based rationalist Dabholkar, who was killed some years ago.The U.S.-based Maharashtra Foundation had instituted the award in his memory.
  • The award includes ₹1 lakh and a citation.

V.K. Yadav, chairman of railway board conferred with Eminent Engineer Award
Shri V.K. Yadav, Chairman & CEO, Railway Board, Ministry of Railways has been conferred with the prestigious “Eminent Engineer Award for the Year 2020’ by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) for his outstanding contribution towards modernization and reforms over Indian Railways.

  • Every year Institution of Engineering and Technology, Delhi Local Network celebrates Engineers’ Day on the 15th September to commemorate the birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Sir M Visvesvaraya. On this occasion, besides technical activities the Institution also presents Eminent Engineer’s Award to distinguished Engineering personalities for their outstanding services in the field of Engineering and technology.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Govt launches Global Pravasi Rishta portal & mobile App to connect with Indian Diaspora across the world
Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan launched the Global Pravasi Rishta portal and mobile App, to connect with Indian Diaspora across the world.

  • The portal will act as a dynamic communication platform between our pravasis, the Ministry of External Affairs and missions abroad and will help in engaging Indian diaspora more intensively.

DRDO, Indian Navy conduct successful maiden test trial of SAHAYAK-NG
Defence Research and Development Organisation, DRDO along with Indian Navy conducted the successful maiden test trial of SAHAYAK-NG India’s first indigenously designed and developed Air Dropped Container from IL 38SD aircraft of Indian Navy off the coast of Goa.

  • The trial was conducted by Indian Navy to enhance its operational logistics capabilities and provide critical engineering stores to ships which are deployed more than 2000 kilometres from the coast.
  • It reduces the requirement of ships to come close to the coast to collect spares and stores.
  • SAHAYAK-NG is an advanced version of SAHAYAK Mk I. The newly developed GPS aided air dropped container is having the capability to carry a payload that weighs upto 50 kg and can be dropped from heavy aircraft.

DRDO facility develops Quantum Random Number Generator
Days after successfully testing the Quantum Key Distribution technology, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has achieved another milestone in quantum technology by successfully developing a Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG), the Ministry of Defence said.

  • The DRDO Young Scientist Laboratory for Quantum Technologies (DYSL-QT), a DRDO facility based in Mumbai, has developed a QRNG which has the ability to detect random quantum events and convert those into a stream of binary digits.
  • The facility has developed a fiber-optic branch path based QRNG.

India launches first remote monitoring system for oil refineries
Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the country’s largest fuel retailer, announced it has launched the country’s first remote monitoring system for oil refineries’ turbines. The project, located in Hyderabad, was inaugurated by oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

  • The Remote Monitoring & Operation Centre for Tracking of IndianOil’s Refinery Gas Turbines was implemented by BHEL-GE Gas Turbine Services (BGGTS), a joint venture of BHEL and General Electric.
  • The technology — called Proactive Predictive Analytics-based Automated Anomaly Detection, will allow Gas Turbune Operational Data flowing in digitally from 27 turbines of the eight IndianOil refineries to be analysed round-the-clock in Hyderabad.

BARC Develops India’s First Ruthenium 106 Plaque For Effective Eye Cancer Treatment
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC)-developed eye cancer therapy has been successfully used for the first time for the treatment of patients with ocular tumours in AIIMS-Delhi and the results of using Ruthenium 106 plaque for treatment of a patient with choroidal hemangioma (benign tumour in blood vessels) have been found to be satisfactory.

  • Ruthenium plaque therapy involves placing a radioactive source like Ruthenium-106 (a radioisotope) in contact with the surface of the eyeball for cancer therapy.
  • Ru-106 is recovered from radioactive waste and has a simple and slim design. One plaque can treat about 50 patients and its usable life is one year.


ENVIRONMENT

India’s first pollinator park opens in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani 
The Uttarakhand forest department dedicated the newly built Pollinator Park to the public, claiming it to be the country’s first such park, spread over 4 acres in Haldwani in Nainital district.

  • The park has more than 40 pollinator species with displays on the mechanism of pollination of plant species by various species of butterflies, honeybees, birds, insects, moths, beetles, wasps, and small mammals.
  • The park also has small water bodies for mud puddling of butterflies through which they take certain nutrients like salt and arrangement of ultraviolet light to attract night pollinators like moths.


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