Current Affairs 16th December 2020

Table of Contents

1. 16 December: Vijay Diwas

Vijay Diwas is observed every year in India on December 16. On this day, Indians remember the victory of the Indian military over Pakistan as well as for the separation of Bangladesh from Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971. Vijay Diwas history dates back from 1971 when an India-Pakistan war took place and lasted for about 13 days.

2. JS. Muralidhar appointed as CJ of Orissa HC

The Supreme Court Collegium appointed Justice S. Muralidhar as the Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court. At present, Justice Muralidhar is a Judge of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana. He assumed the office of Judge at the High Court of Punjab and Haryana on March 6, 2020. He was initially appointed as a Judge to the High Court of Delhi in May 2006.

3. J Hima Kohli appointed as CJ of Telangana HC

Justice Hima Kohli has been appointed as the Chief Justice of Telangana High Court. She is currently serving as the Senior Judge in the Delhi HC. She was appointed as an Additional Judge of the High Court of Delhi in 2006 and took oath as a Permanent Judge in 2007. She became a Member of the General Council of the West Bengal National University of Judicial Sciences, Kolkata in 2017.

4. ‘Hind Kesari’ wrestler S Khanchnale dies

Shripati Khanchnale, India’s first Hind Kesari who shone nationally and internationally, passed away in December 2020. On May 3, 1959, defeating wrestler Rustam-e-Punjab Battasingh in Delhi, he became Hind Kesari. The Maharashtra gov had honoured him with the Shiv Chhatrapati award, while the Karnataka gov honoured him with the Karnataka Bhushan award.

5. Former Test cricketer S Mahmood passes away

Former Pakistan Test cricketer Shahid Mahmood passed away in December 2020. He had made history by becoming the first Pakistan player to have taken all ten wickets in a first-class inning. Shahid Mahmood, who was a left-handed opening batsman and a medium-pace bowler, had achieved the feat back in 1969 while playing for the Karachi Whites.

6. Norman Abramson passes away

Norman Abramson, one of the early pioneers behind wireless networks, passed away in December 2020. Abramson and his team developed ALOHAnet in 1971, the first system to transmit data between computers using radio waves. ALOHAnet pioneered the concept of wireless packet communication over a shared medium.

7. ISRO’s Sivan awarded Surya Bhushan intl award

President of the ISRO Dr K. Sivan was awarded the ‘Surya Bhushan International Award’ by Suryadatta Group of Institutes. A delegation headed by Chordia, founder president of Suryadatta, visited ISRO’s Bangalore HQ and honoured K Sivan. Chordia invited Sivan for the inauguration ceremony of Suryadatta Institute of Scientific Research on the occasion of the 23rd foundation day of ‘Suryadatta’.

8. TN govt to train IIT-JEE aspirants

The Tamil Nadu government signed a memorandum of understanding with a private player to provide online training to IIT-JEE aspirants from government and aided schools in the state. The government signed the MoU with Nextgen Vidhya Pvt. Ltd. The lIT-JEE aspirants from government and aided schools would be groomed through the online initiative for free.

9. Rajasthan CM sanctions Rs 108 cr for MGNREGA

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot has approved an additional provision of Rs 427 cr for various schemes of the state government, including Rs 108 cr under the MGNREGA. An additional provision of Rs 33.10 cr has been approved for Scooty distribution scheme. CM has approved an additional provision of Rs 16.13 cr for conducting various recruitment examinations to the Rajasthan Staff Selection Board.

10. AYUSH Min approves 200 Ayush HWC in UK

The Ministry of AYUSH has approved 200 AYUSH Health and WelIness Centres in Uttarakhand. For this, the ALVL Foundation, New Delhi is providing support to the department of AYUSH, Uttarakhand, in the operationalization of AYUSH HWCs in Almora district. The Central Government has decided to operationalise 12,500 AYUSH HWC in a phased manner by the year 2023-24 throughout the country.

11. upGrad acquires recruitment firm Rekrut India

upGrad, the online higher learning edtech startup, has acquired recruitment and staffing solutions company, Rekrut India. This 100 % acquisition is a first in India where an edtech company has acquireda recruitment firm. This allows upGrad to have complete involvement in the lifecycle of a learner- from
education to employment.

12. J&S to get Light Metro Rail networks soon

The cities of Jammu and Srinagar are set to get their very own Metro Rail networks soon. J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha chaired a meeting on Dec 14 at Civil Secretariat to steer Light Metro Rail Projects for Jammu and Srinagar. The Jammu Light Rail System will have a 23 KM length with 22 stations between Bantalab and Bari Brahmana whereas Srinagar Light Rail System will have a 25 KM length.

13. UK PM to be chief guest on Republic Day

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in January 2021. Johnson is the sixth from the UK to be
Republic Day chief guest. He will also be the first British PM since John Major in 1993 to be the chief guest at the celebrations. PM Boris Johnson has also invited PM Modi to join the UK-hosted G7 summit in 2021.

14. Vice Admiral Srikant passes away

Vice Admiral Srikant, the Navy’s most senior submariner, passed away in December 2020. He was due to retire on December 31. He had held charges of Inspector General of Nuclear Safety and Commandant of the National Defence College. He had also served as Defence Advisor in the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

15. Rs 2,000 for education of children

The Supreme Court has directed all states to provide Rs 2,000 a month for the education of each child who was in a child care institution (CCI) and now been restored to his or her family during the COVID-19 pandemic. The apex court also said that state governments should provide necessary infrastructure, including books and stationery, to CCIs for the online classes of children.

16. Roddam Narasimha passes away

Eminent aerospace scientist and Padma Vibhushan awardee Roddam Narasimha passed away in Dec 2020. He had served at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). He also served as the director of the National Aerospace Laboratories from 1984 to 1993. Considering his contribution, the Central
government bestowed on him Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award of India, in 2013,

17. Coast Guard ship ‘Sujit”‘ commissioned in Goa

The Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Sujit’, the second in the series of 105 metres off-shore patrol vessels, was commissioned in Goa on 15 Dec’20. The vessel will enhance the Indian Coast Guard’s operational capability to discharge multifarious maritime tasks. It was commissioned at the Goa Shipyard
Limited (GSL). It is fitted with advanced technology, navigation and communication equipment, etc.

18. ‘DakPay’ launched by IPPB

The Dept of Posts (DoP) and India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) have unveiled a new digital payment app ‘DakPay’. It has been launched as part of its ongoing efforts to provide digital financial inclusion at the last mile across India. DakPay is a suite of digital financial and assisted banking services provided by IPPB to cater to the financial needs of various sections of the society.

19. Medical colleges in all 75 districts of UP

The UP govt plans to have a medical college in each of the 75 districts in the state, informed CM Yogi Adityanath. The state government is also constructing Bundelkhand, Purvanchal and Ganga expressways, which will accelerate the pace of development. He informed this while addressing an investment and tourism event organised under the banner of UP Association of North America on 13 Dec 2020.

20. Big Little Book Award for Rajiv & Sen-Gupta

Author Subhadra Sen Gupta and illustrator Rajiv Eipe have been named winners of the Big Little Book Award 2020 for their contribution to children’s literature. Instituted by the Parag initiative of Tata Trusts, the chosen language of the fifth edition of the Big Little Book Award was English. Previous winners (authors) are Madhuri Purandare (Marathi), Nabaneeta Dev Sen (Bengali), etc.

21. UP CM inaugurates Kailash Mansarovar Bhawan

UP CM Yogi Adityanath has inaugurated the Kailash Mansarovar Bhawan in Ghaziabad. It is located in the district’s Indirapuram area, has facilities to accommodate 280 pilgrims and will provide the information related to the
pilgrimage. It has been made for pilgrims who wish to travel to Kailash Mansarovar, Sindhu darshan, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamnotri darshan in Uttarakhand.

22. Astronomers discover an exoplanet

Astronomers and astronauts have identified a bizarre exoplanet that behaves a lot like the long hypothesised ‘Planet Nine’. Planet Nine is a planet hypothesised by astronomers to be the farthest planet in our solar system, even beyond Neptune. The exoplanet called HD106906 b occupies an unlikely orbit around a double star 336 light-years away.

23. Women self-help groups to get Rs 50,000

Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat has announced that women self- help groups engaged in making LED lights will be given a revolving fund of Rs 50,000. He made the announcement while addressing a function to mark National Energy Conservation Day. He asked the district administrations to give preference to buying things produced by SHGs for the decoration of Himalayan temples.

24. US imposes sanctions on Turkey

The Trump administration has imposedsanctions on Turkey over its purchase of a Russian air defence system. The move is the first time thata law, known as CAATSA, has been used to penalise a US ally. The US had also kicked Turkey out of its F-35 stealth fighter development and training program earlier over the S-400 purchase.

25. FCA to invest $150 million

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced an investment of $150 million (approx Rs 1100 crore) to set upa Global Digital Hub in Hyderabad, Telangana. FCA’s new innovation and technology development facility will be the company’s largest Digital Hub outside of North America. The digital hub will create nearly 1,000 new cutting-edge technology jobs by the end of 2021.

26. Kalpataru Power Transmission bags new orders

Kalpataru Power Iransmission Ltd has secured new orders worth 1,300 cr in the domestic and overseas market. The orders are in the T8&D (transmission and distribution) business. It has bagged the engineering, procurement, and construction orders for pipeline laying and associated works in India and order for railway electrification by Central Organisation for Railway Electrification (CORE).

27. Maharashtra govt slashes RT-PCR test rate

Maharashtra govt has reduced the RT-PCR test for Covid-19 to ₹700. The earlier test rate in the state was fixed at ₹980. The government’s statement comes just days after the Centre asked all states to increase the number of RT-PCR tests. Meanwhile, Maharashtra on 15 Dec 2020 reported 3,442 fresh COVID- cases, taking the count of infections to 18,86,807.

28. Odisha CM announces package for MSMEs

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik has approved a package of R289.42 cr for MSMEs that have been facing challenges amid the pandemic. The package includes assistance measures such as interest subvention, reimbursement of state GST and waiver of annual institutional maintenance charges. It will help entrepreneurs, mostly women and those from the weaker sections, to overcome unexpected challenges.

29. raises ₹185 crore has raised ₹185 crores as a part of its Series B funding round led by a European investment firm, Verlinvest. The round also saw participation from existing investor, Sequoia Capital India. With the new fundraise, the company will look at accelerating its growth as it looks to expand its product portfolio in home furnishings, and achieve revenue worth ₹1000 crores by 2023-fiscal.

30. RBI fines on Urban Co-operative Bank in Kerala

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a monetary penalty of ₹50.00 lakh on The Urban Co-operative Bank Ltd. No. 1758, Perinthalmanna, Kerala. It has been fined for non-compliance with directions issued on Income Recognition and Asset Classification (IRAC) norms and on Management of Advances-UCBs. The penalty has been imposed through an order dated December 11, 2020.

31. Vedanta to raise $8 bn for BPCL bid

Vedanta group plans to raise as much as $8 billion through a mix of debt and equity to secure funds for the acquisition of state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd (BPCL). Buying a 75% stake in BPCL (53% from the government and 22% through an open offer) would cost Vedanta ₹64,200-97,600 crore depending on the price (₹395 to ₹600 per share).

32. Assam govt cancels Maruti Suzuki’s licence

The Assam Transport Department canceled the trade license issued to a dealer of Maruti Suzuki India, for allegedly selling old vehicles by repainting them. A person had filed complaints against the dealer at his office and at the Commissionerate of Transport for cheating customers. The Maruti Suzuki showroom has been barred from selling any vehicle till the investigation is complete.

33. SBI Gen Insurance, IntrCity RailYatri partner

SBI General Insurance has partnered with IntrCity RailYatri to provide complimentary travel insurance of 75 lakh to bus commuters opting to travel through IntrCity RailYatri. The travel cover is offered on buying the ticket. Under this partnership, SBI General insurance will provide a wide variety of coverage including accidental death, permanent total disability, and medical evacuation.

34. Adani group sells stake in Snowman Logistics

Adani Logistics Ltd has sold almost a fourth of its stake in Snowman Logistics Ltd. It had acquired the stake through an open offer it had initiated in Mar 20 at 44 apiece in a failed attempt to take promoter stake in Snowman. Adani Logistics shall not be involved in the day-to-day management and shall not have a right to nominate or appoint any director on the board of Snowman.

35. ICICI Securities launches zero brokerage plan

ICICI Securities, one of India’s largest brokerage house, has launched ‘ICICldirect Neo’ – a zero brokerage plan. This plan is targeted at traders, offering unlimited trading with zero brokerage on all Futures trades and a flat ₹20 per order for Margin and Options trades. It will offer instant liquidity, where customers get cash within 30 mins of selling stocks as per their chosen plan.

36. Indonesia to vaccinate young people first

Indonesia plans to vaccinate its young working-age population against the coronavirus before the elderly. This is in contrast to much of the world that’s planning on putting its vulnerable older people first in line. Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s first country to receive delivery of Covid-19 vaccines, will focus on inoculating those between 18 to 59 years of age.

37. Vice President virtually opens Chennai fest

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, on 16 December 2020, virtually inaugurated the ‘Yours Truly Margazhi’ festival in Chennai. ‘Yours Truly Margazhi’ is an initiative to keep alive Chennai’s famed tradition of December music and dance festival through the online medium. The event saw the participation of 500 artists from across 100 events.

38. People in Bihar to get free Covid vaccine

In Bihar, free covid vaccination will be given to people of the state. This decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The cabinet also took the decision to provide employment to 20 lakh unemployed youth in the next five years. Youth keen on starting a business will be given Rs 5 lakh in loan at one per cent interest.

39. Kazakhstan’s Independence Day: 16 December

Kazakhstan’s Independence Day is celebrated annually on December 16. December 16, 1991, was a prominent day in Kazakh history, as the country’s Supreme Council passed the Constitutional Independence Law, together with the Declaration of Sovereignty established that is now considered Central Asia’s wealthiest country.

40. 23rd Meeting of FSDC held

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chaired the 23rd Meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council, FSDC through a video conference in New Delhi, on 15 Dec 2020. The meeting reviewed the major macro-economic developments and Financial Stability issues with special reference to vulnerability related issues. The Counil also discussed the budget proposals submitted by RBI.

41. India’s case fatality rate lowest in world

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has informed that India’s Case Fatality Rate, CFR is amongst the lowest in the world. At present India’s CFR is 1.45 percent, whereas globally it is 2.26 percent. India’s recovery rate has also crossed 95 percent. A Multi-Level Governance Mechanism has been set up in the nation to monitor the work related to cOVID19 vaccination.

42. PM Modi lights up Swarnim Vijay Mashaal

PM Narendra Modi lit up Swarnim Vijay Mashaal on 16 Dec 2020 and began the 50th-anniversary celebrations of the Indo-Pak War. Four Victory Mashaals were lit from the Eternal Flame of National War Memorial. These Mashaals will be carried to various parts of the country including to villages of Param Vir Chakra and Mahavir Chakra Awardees of the 1971 War.

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