Current Affairs 10th December 2020

Table of Contents

1. Parthiv Patel announces retirement

Wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. Parthiv featured in 25 Tests, 38 ODIs, and a couple of T20ls for India. In domestic cricket, he featured in 194 first-class matches for Gujarat. He broke into the Indian team in 2002, becoming the youngest wicketkeeper in Tests, after making his debut at 17 years and 153 days.

2. UP govt’s scheme for Tharu tribe

UP govt has recently embarked upon a homestay scheme to take the unique culture of its ethnic Tharu tribe across the world. The UP Forest Corp will train the Tharu people to communicate effectively with visitors and encourage villagers to acquaint them with aspects of safety and cleanliness. Tharu community belongs to the Terai lowlands, amid the Shivaliks of lower Himalayas.

3. Report on Havana syndrome

American scientists have published a report on the possible causes of a number of neurological symptoms in American diplomats, including dizziness, nausea, headaches, and hearing problems, which they called Havana syndrome. MRI of the brain revealed a loss of white and grey matter, as well as impaired functional connections between the sensory regions, and without any traumatic brain injury.

4. COVID-19 testing center detection app

UP CM Yogi Adityanath has launched a COVID-19 testing center detection app named the Mera Covid Kendra app. It will help people in accessing public and private COVID testing labs available within 5 km of their location. All the data like map, center timing, test type and other details of the testing labs are present on the map. This mobile app can be downloaded from Google Play Store.

5. Human Rights Day: 10 December

Human Rights Day 2020 falls on December 10 every year. The day is being observed ever since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948. UDHR is a document that states all the rights that humans are entitled to which is regardless of any race, color, etc. The theme for the year 2020 is “Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights”.

6. Bajrang Punia bags top honor at FICCI Awards

Wrestler Bajrang Punia and shooter Elavenil Valarivan — bagged the top honors at the FICCI India Sports Awards 2020. The two athletes, who have had an impressive 2019-20 season, won the Sportsperson of the Year awards in their respective categories. Cricket legend Anil Kumble received the ‘Best Company Promoting Sports (Private Sector) award on behalf of his enterprise – Tenvic Sports.

7. RBL Bank, ICICI Prudential in a partnership

RBL Bank and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance have announced a bancassurance partnership to offer life insurance products to bank customers. It will enable customers of RBL Bank to access and seamlessly purchase customer-centric protection and long-term savings products of the company. RBL Bank will distribute ICICIS products through its network of 398 branches spread across 28 states,

8. ADB approves two loans for India

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $500 million loan to construct new metro rail lines in Bengaluru, Karnataka. ADB also approved another $300 million loan to strengthen primary health care in urban areas across the country. This will enhance the economy, improve the urban environment and make the city more livable.

9. Govt to set up PM-WANI

In a bid to provide public Wi-Fi service, the Union Cabinet has decided to launch a PM Wi-Fi Access Network Interface to unleash a massive WIFI network in India. With this, public data centers will be opened across the country. There will be no license, fee or registration for it. The Public Wi-Fi Access Network Interface will be known as PM-WANI.

10. Rajesh Bindal: Chief Justice J&K, Ladakh HC

Justice Rajesh Bindal has been appointed as the Chief Justice of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Bindal is the senior-most judge of common High Court for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. He was appointed as Permanent Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on March 22, 2006. He was transferred to Jammu and Kashmir High Court on November 19, 2018.

11. B Medical Systems to set up a facility

Luxembourg-based B Medical System will start a specialized refrigerated vaccine transportation plant in Gujarat to ensure last mile drug delivery to villages across the country. Its target is to start a manufacturing unit by March 2021. This is the first time in the companys history that they are establishing a plant outside their native land Luxembourg.

12. MoS Muraleedharan inaugurates a website

V Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs inaugurated the website for the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2021, on 8 Dec 2020, marking the commencement of online registration for participation in the convention. The day is observed on 9 January every year. It was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa and led India’s freedom struggle.

13. Anindya Banerjee: Ambassador to Korea

Anindya Banerjee has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. Anindya is presently the Assistant High Commissioner in the Assistant High Commission of India, Chittagong. He is expected to take up the assignment shortly.

14. 8th December: 36th SARRC Charter day

On December 8, 2020, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) celebrated its 36th Charter Day anniversary. SAARC Charter day marks the signing of the SAARC Charter in 1985 by the Leaders of SAARC Countries, Heads of State or Government of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka at the First SAARC Summit held in Dhaka.

15. Maharashtra Police acquires Crawler

The cyber wing of the Maharashtra Police recently acquired a software “Crawler” from Interpol that would help them track down child pornography uploaded online.12 officers of Maharashtra cyber were trained by the Interpol officers in the use of this software. Kerala top was to undergo training by Interpol in 2019.

16. Tamil television actress Chitra passes away

Renowned Tamil television actress VJ Chitra passed away in December 2020. Chitra started her career in 2013 as an anchor for Makkal TV and also worked for Jaya TV and Zee Tamil. She became popular with Pandian Stores, a serial which started in 2018, playing a character named Mullai.

17. Gomez: First transgender woman to play soccer

Villa San Carlos striker Mara Gomez became the first transgender woman to play football in Argentina on Dec 8, 2020. The Argentina Football Association cleared Gomez to play in the contest, in which Villa San Carlos won 7-1 against Lanus. Gomez had been playing in the Platense Football League for Las Malvinas before the AFA were satisfied she had acceptable testosterone levels in her blood.

18. BoB launches Atmanirbhar Women Gold Scheme

Bank of Baroda has launched the Atmanirbhar Women Scheme as part of its Baroda Gold Loan. Under the scheme, the bank is offering loans at 0.50% concession for women. The bank under the gold loan scheme is also offering an agri-gold loan at 0.25% concession and for a retail loan at 0.50% concession. The scheme was launched at BOB’s Ramamurthy Nagar branch in Bengaluru.

19. KMB offers fitness allowance for employees

Kotak Mahindra Bank announced the introduction of fitness allowance and remote working benefits. Under Kotak’s ‘Health to the Power Infinity’ programme, the bank’s employees will be eligible for the monthly fitness allowance. The employees will have to share their fitness goals with the bank to ensure they are actually benefitting from the allowance.

20. WhatsApp rolls out ‘carts’ for in-app shopping

WhatsApp is rolling out a new feature carts to make online buying and selling easier. Users will be able to browse a catalog, select multiple products, and send the order as one message to a WhatsApp business with the new feature. WhatsApp has also rolled out a bunch of sticker packs created by WhatsApp designers and local artists to help people and businesses stay connected.

21. Heritage Foods sells entire holding

Heritage Foods sold its holding of about 3% in Future Retail for around Rs 132 crores. In November 2016, Future Group had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Hyderabad-based dairy and retails enterprise, Heritage Foods, in an all-stock deal. Heritage Foods is promoted by the family members of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

22. UC approves Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana. With this scheme, the govt aims to incentivize the creation of new employment opportunities. Cabinet has approved an expenditure of Rs 1,584 crore for the current financial year and Rs 22,810 crore for the entire Scheme period i.e. 2020-2023.

23. Punjab renames five Government Schools

The Punjab Government has decided to rename five educational institutions of the state after those who sacrificed their lives for the country. It was decided under its policy of “honoring the martyrs and prominent departed personalities” Government High School, Chuslewar of district Tarn Taran has been renamed as Shaheed Naik Karamjit Singh Sena Medal Government High School.

24. Chuck Yeager passes away

Chuck Yeager, the first person to travel at a speed faster than the speed of sound, passed away in December 2020. He was born in 1923, in Myra, West Virginia. He made history on October 14, 1947, when he became the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound during his nine-year assignment as the nations leading test pilot.

25. China removes 105 apps from the app store

China has removed 105 apps including that of U.S. travel firm TripAdvisor Inc from app stores in the country. China removed these apps under a new campaign to cleanse stores of apps it deems spread content related to pornography, prostitution, gambling, and violence.

26. International Bharati Festival 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the International Bharati Festival, 2020 on 11 December 2020 via video conferencing. The festival for 2020 is being organized in virtual mode and will see the participation of several national and international poets and artists. It is being organized by Vanavil Cultural Centre to celebrate the 138th birth anniversary of Mahakavi Subramanya Bharati.

27. Dept of Integrative Medicine to be set up

Ministry of AYUSH and AIIMS have decided to set up a Dept of Integrative Medicine at AIIMS. This was decided in a joint visit and review by Secretary, AYUSH Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, and Director, AIIMS, New Delhi Dr. Randeep Guleria. The Centre for Integrative Medicine and Research, AIIMS may develop an integrated protocol with Ayurveda and Yoga for study on post COVID treatment.

28. 6th installment of Rs 6,000 crore released

The Finance Ministry has released the 6th installment of Rs 6,000 cr to the states to meet the GST compensation shortfall. Rs 5,516 crore has been released to 23 States and Rs 483.40 crore has been released to 3 UTs who are members of the GST Council. The remaining 5 states, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Sikkim do not have a gap in revenue on account of GST implementation.

29. Bilateral MoU between India and Luxembourg

The union cabinet has approved the proposal of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to sign a bilateral MoU between India and Luxembourg. The MoU is likely to strengthen cross border cooperation in the area of securities regulations and facilitate mutual assistance. The cabinet also approved an MoU between India and Suriname on cooperation in the field of health and medicine.

30. Nine states complete implementation of ONORC

A total of nine states have completed the implementation process of One Nation One Ration Card System. These states are Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana, Tripura, and Uttar Pradesh. Additional borrowing permission of 23,523 crore rupees has been issued to these states on completion of reforms.

31. Odisha launches its Eco-Retreat program

Odisha Tourism launched its flagship Eco-Retreat program at 5 locations in the State on 9 Dec 2020. It aims at boosting tourism in the state. The 5 locations, namely Konark, Satakosia, Bhitarkanika, Daringibadi, and Hirakud under the scheme are open to the tourists till Feb 2021. Accommodation facilities and services will be provided to tourists in luxury cottages in these locations.

32. UP govt to set up 35,000 COVID vaccine centers

UP govt will prepare 35,000 COVID vaccine centers under 24 hours CCTV surveillance in the state. All vehicles carrying vaccines will also have GPS (global positioning system) trackers. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked the officials concerned to put in place safe storage facilities by December 15, 2020.

33. Karnataka legislative assembly passes a bill

Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2020, was passed in the state Legislative Assembly on 9 Dec 2020. The Bill will now go to the Legislative Council, the upper house, for approval. Once passed, the slaughter of cattle, smuggling, illegal transportation, and atrocities on cows will be a cognizable offense and will attract 3-7 years of imprisonment and a fine.

34. PBD Convention to be inaugurated in January

PM Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention on 9 Jan 21. The Convention will be held in a virtual format. President Ram Nath Kovind will deliver the valedictory address to the diaspora. The winners of the ‘Bharat ko Janiye’ Quiz will be announced in the inaugural Session. The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards will also be announced to honor eminent overseas Indians.

35. Canada approves vaccine for people over age 16

Canada has approved Pfizer’s corona vaccine for people over the age of 16. The first doses of the Pfizer vaccine will arrive at 14 Canadian distribution centers by the third week of Dec 2020. The first shipment of 2.49 lakh doses to Canada will come from plants in the United States and Belgium.

36. Amitabh Bachchan in Forbes list

Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, and Hrithik Roshan feature in the Forbes list of Most Influential Celebrities on Social Media in the Asia-Pacific region. In the inaugural 100 Digital Stars list, Forbes Asia highlights celebrities who managed to remain active using social media to raise awareness and even helped causes like COVID-19 relief.

37. Cabinet okays Rs. 22,810 crore for a scheme

The Cabinet has approved an expenditure of Rs. 22,810 crores to bear the cost of pensions of low-paid workers in the formal sector. The two-year scheme to subsidize wages through the Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) is part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana announced in Nov 2020 by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

38. Paolo Rossi passes away

Paolo Rossi, the footballer who helped Italy win the 1982 world cup, passed away in December 2020. Rossi led Italy to the 1982 FIFA World Cup title, scoring six goals to win the Golden Boot as top goalscorer. He was awarded Ballon d Or in 1982. During his time with Juventus, he won two Italian Serie A titles, a European Cup and a Coppa Italia.

39. ‘Emerging Markets Equity Fund’ launched

PGIM India Mutual Fund has introduced the PGIM India Emerging Markets Equity Fund. It is an open-ended equity fund of fund scheme investing in PGIM Jennison Emerging Markets Equity Fund. PGIM India Mutual Fund is a wholly-owned business of PGIM, the global investment management business of Prudential Financial, Inc. The fund is benchmarked with MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

40. Successful demonstration of QKD communication

The Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology developed by the DRDO underwent trials between two laboratories in Hyderabad on 9 Dec 2020. The quantum technology-based security was validated for a range of 12 km over a fibre optic channel. QKD is primarily a mechanism to undertake secure communication which utilises a cryptographic protocol involving various components of quantum mechanics.

41. Fitch revises India’s GDP forecast to -9.4%

Fitch Ratings has raised Indias GDP forecast to -9.4 per cent in the current fiscal year to March 2021 from a previously projected contraction of 10.5 per cent. The projections compare to a GDP growth of 4.2 per cent in 2019-20 (April 2019 to March 2020) fiscal and 6.7 per cent annual expansion between 2015 and 2019.

42. Astad Deboo passes away

Contemporary Indian dancer Astad Deboo, known for amalgamating Indian and western dance techniques, passed away in December 2020. Deboo employed his training in Indian classical dance forms of Kathak as well as Kathakali to create a unique fusion dance form. In 2002, he founded the Astad Deboo Dance Foundation which provided creative training to the marginalised sections.

43. Indian govt to start an air bubble with Nepal

The Indian govt has decided to start an air bubble with Nepal. The Indian Foreign Ministry has agreed to a proposal from Nepal to restart flight operations between the two countries in a phased manner to ensure people are not inconvenienced due to COVID related embargos. There will be two flights a day between Kathmandu and New Delhi initially, one each by Nepal Airlines and Air India.

44. Pakistan and China begin joint air exercise

The air forces of Pakistan and China commenced a joint exercise designed to deepen practical cooperation and improve the actual-combat training level of the two sides, on 9 Dec 2020. The joint air force exercise called “Shaheen (Eagle)-IX started at an operational airbase of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in Sindh province. The first such drill was held in Pakistan in March 2011.

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