1. International Migrants Day: 18 December
International Migrants Day is observed every year on 18 December globally. The day was selected to mark the anniversary of the 1990 adoption by UNGA of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. The day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly on 4 December 2000.
2. India test-fires two Prithvi-2 missiles
India successfully test fires two Prithvi-2 ballistic missiles off the eastern coast of Odisha in Balasore. The Prithvi-2 missile is capable of carrying 500-1,000 kg of warheads and is powered by liquid propulsion twin engines. Earlier BrahMos supersonic cruise missile developed by DRDO with a strike range of 300 kilometers successfully hit its target shipping a test fire.
3. ISRO launches 42nd Communication Satellite
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched the country’s 42nd communication satellite named CMS-01. It lifted off from the Second Launch Pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. It is envisaged for providing services in Extended-C Band of the frequency spectrumn covering India, Andaman and Nicobar, and Lakshadweep islands.
4. Karnataka govt partners with British Council
Government of Karnataka and the British Council have signed an MOU to further Bilateral Cooperation in higher education. The two governments are signing a first-of-its-kind three years MoU involving collaboration on leadership development in higher education institutions. This MOU will strengthen India and the UK’s relationship spans several sectors of cooperation.
5. Australian Open 2021 to start on February 8
Tennis Australia and the ATP have announced a revised schedule for the initial months of 2021. A major feature on the ATP’s calendar as the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open 2021 has been locked in to start on February 8 a delay of three weeks from its usual start in the first week of January.
6. Maha govt approves merger of 23 areas in PMC
The Maharashtra government has approved the merger of 23 areas surrounding Pune in the Pune Municipal Corporation limits. With the addition of these new areas, the city’s boundary will now increase from 331 square km to 485 square km. The merger order was signed by the Minister for Urban Development Eknath Shinde.
7. Braille version of Constitution unveiled
Maharashtra Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde unveiled a Braille version of the Indian Constitution at an event in Mumbai. A valuable work of making available the Indian Constitution in Braille script for the visually impaired has been done. The Braille version of the Constitution has been prepared on behalf of Thane-based NGO Astitva Foundation.
8. Google wins EU antitrust nod for Fitbit deal
Alphabet’s Google won EU antitrust approval on December 17 for its $21 billion bid for Fitbit. Fitbit, once the leader in the wearable devices market, has lost market share to Apple, Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei. Google has agreed not to use Fitbit health data to target ads to EU users.
9. Yoga recognised as competitive sport in India
The Sports Ministry formally recognised yogasana as a competitive sport, which will enable the ancient practice to avail government funding. Sports Minister Kiren Riju and Minister of AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik formally promoted yogasana as a competitive sport during an event. An International Yogasana Sports Federation was formed under the presidentship of yoga guru Baba Ramdev.
10. Mega leather Park to come up in UP
A mega leather park will come up in Ramaipur village of Kanpur with an investment of Rs 5,850 crores. The park which is part of the mega leather cluster project is likely to create 50,000 jobs. The project has received approval from the Union Ministry recently and UP’s CM Yogi Adityanath is likely to lay the foundation stone of the project soon.
11. India contributes $1 million to WADA
India has pledged a sum of $1 million to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) towards its scientific research budget to ensure an atmosphere of Clean Sport global. This will allow the global agency to develop innovative anti-doping testing and detection methods. The money will a lso be used to further strengthen WADA’s independent investigations and intelligence department.
12. The SBI launched the BPCL SBI Card Octane
The State Bank of India launched the BPCL SBI Card Octane in association with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), This card will offer maximum savings to consumers who spend a significant amount on fuel. The card gives some amazing benefits which include incentives on fuel purchase, grocery and department store items, dining, and movies.
13. Odisha government launches PARESHRAM portal
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the PARESHRAM portal along with 22 online services of the Labour and Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) department. The portal and online services will be helpful in ease of doing business and contribute significantly to the industrial development of the State. It will provide around 52 services including registration certificate, license, etc.
14. NETRA Inaugurated by ISRO SSA control center
Indian Space Research Organization has recently set up a control center for Space Situational Awareness (SSA) activities in the country, called NETRA. NETRA is Network for space object Tracking and Analysis set up within the ISTRAC campus at Peenya, Bangalore. The control center is envisaged to function as a hub of all SSA activities within India.
15. The 35th edition of IND-INDO CORPAT
The 35th edition of India-Indonesia coordinated Patrol between the Indian navy and Indonesia begin. Indian Naval Ship Kulish, an indigenously built missile corvette along with P8I Maritime Patrol Aircraft will undertake coordinated patrol with Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Cut Nyak Dien. The 35th IND-INDO CORPAT will contribute towards the Indian Navy’s efforts to consolidate inter-operability.
16. Nitin Gadkari inaugurates “Hunar Haat”
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the 23rd edition of Minority Affairs Ministry’s ‘Hunar Haat’ at Rampur in Uttar Pradesh. It is being organized from December 18 to 27 at Numaish Ground, Panvadiya, Rampur. It would be an effective platform to provide large scale employment opportunities to master artisans and craftsmen from every corner of the country.
17. Kerala women startup inks pact with UN agency
For the first time, a Kerala-based women startup Vydyuthi Energy Services (VES) has signed an agreement with United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles. The startup helps in identifying energy-efficient drivers and adopting viable action plans. VES is the 65th company from India and the first from Kerala to enter into such a pact with the UN.
18. Doha to host 2030 Asian Games
The 2030 Asian Games will be hosted by Doha and the 2034 event by Riyadh. Qatar will also host the 2022 World Cup. The Qatari capital of Doha beat Saudi Arabian counterpart Riyadh for the 2030 Games in the vote at the Olympic Council of Asia’s general assembly. The voting took place on 16 December 2020.
19. Nehru Zoological Park gets ISO certification
Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad, with its standard working procedures, has acquired ISO 9001:201 Quality Management Standards Certification from ASCB, UK. The Hyderabad Zoo has become the first zoo in the country to receive ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Standards Certificate. This has been presented to Telangana Forests Minister A. Indra Karan Reddy.
20. Ewire Softtech ties up with YES Bank
Ewire Softtech, under Kerala Startup Mission, has launched a prepaid card in association with YES Bank. The co-branded digital banking mobile application will help the public and corporate houses with loans, insurance and CASA account through its channel partners. Ewire, which has four offices in India, provides solutions focussed in the areas of credit, debit, ATM and commercial cards.
21. Salil Ankola named as Mumbai Chief Selector
Former India pacer Salil Ankola has been appointed Chairman of the senior selection committee by the Mumbai Cricket Association. In domestic cricket, Ankola played 54 matches and took 181 wickets with best figures of 6/47. The other members of the selection committee are Sanjay Patil, Ravindra Thaker, Zulfiqar Parkar and Ravi Kulkarni.
22. Hybrid supercapacitors developed
Scientists at the International Advanced Research Center for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI), in collaboration with IIT Hyderabad have developed a facile, scalable, and cost-effective electrochemical route to synthesize electrodes made of Nickel cobaltite (NiCo2O4) containing nanosheet structures. These electrodes have been found to have excellent electrochemical performance.
23. India and Bangladesh sign 7 MoUs
India and Bangladesh signed 7 MoUs and agreements after the virtual summit between PMs Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina that took place on 17 Dec 2020. The agreements include a framework of understanding in Hydrocarbon sector, framework agreement on High Impact Community Development Project (HICDP), protocol on transborder elephant conservation, an MoU on the supply of equipment, etc.
24. Bridgestone India invests in Fleeca
Bridgestone has invested in fleet management startup Fleeca India, which will strengthen its position in the digital-based mobility solutions. This investment will further strengthen Bridgestone India’s existing service Infrastructure, to provide quality and comprehensive tyre services across national highways by leveraging Fleeca’s service infrastructure.
25. Google acquires Neverware
Google has acquired Neverware, a company that turns old PCs into Chromebooks. The New York-based firm announced this on its website, saying Neverware and CloudReady are now officially part of Google and the Chrome OS team. Neverware owns the software application called Cloud Ready that allows users to convert a PC into a system that runs Chrome OS.
26. A Malik grabs silver at Wrestling World Cup
India’s Anshu Malik won a silver medal in the 57kg category of women’s wrestling at the Individual World Cup in Belgrade, Serbia. Anshu, who is coming up from the junior ranks, clinched her third medal at the senior level from as many tournaments. She had won a bronze at the Asian Championship 2020 in New Delhi and silver at Mattio Pellicone event in Rome in January 2020.
27. 2 Indian films selected for Sundance Film Fest
Filmmaker Ajitpal Singh’s “Fire in the Mountains” and director duo Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh’s “Writing with Fire” are the two Indian films to have been selected for the Sundance Film Festival 2021. The 2021 Sundance Film Festival will be held from 28 January to 3 February. The festival is presented by Sundance Organisation.
28. Businessman and philanthropist RN Shetty Dies
RN Shetty, an eminent businessman and philanthropist, passed away in December 2020. Born on August 15, 1928, at Murudeshwar in the coastal district of Uttara Kannada. Rama Nagappa Shetty founded the RN Shetty and Company in 1961 and ventured into the construction industry with a focus on infrastructure building.
29. Ro Khanna named Democratic vice chair of CIC
Ro Khanna, who was elected for a third consecutive term from the congressional district representing Silicon Valley, has been named as the Democratic Vice Chair of the Congressional India Caucus. The seat has been created for the first time since its formation in 1994. He has served in the Obama administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Department of Commerce.
30. SEBI allows fintech startups for mutual funds
SEBI has relaxed the norms to allow fintech startups and other entities to enter the mutual fund business. Until now, the regulator required entrants to have five years of experience in the financial services business among other criteria for mutal funds.
31. IBM CEO A Krishna to take over as chairman
International Business Machines Corp Chief Executive Officer Arvind Krishna would take over as chairman from January 1, 2021. He will replace Ginni Rometty, who stepped down as its long-time CEO. Before assuming the role of CEO in April, Krishna was head of IBM’s cloud business and has been with the company since 1990.
32. Modi to be 1st PM at AMU event since 1964
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the chief guest at the centenary celebration of AligarhnMuslim University on December 22 via video link. PM Modi will be accompanied by Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. The last time a sitting prime minister visited the varsity to attend an event was in 1964 when the then PM Lal Bahadur Shastri delivered the convocation address there.
33. Boat Ambulance service to start at Dal Lake
Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir has started its first floating ambulance to provide healthcare benefits to people living in the area. The floating boats which serve as ambulances are equipped with all the necessary health care facilities and will start their operations on Dal Lake soon. The idea was conceived by a man named Tariq Ahmad Patloo.
34. KTR inaugurates 2BHK houses in Vanasthalipuram
Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister of Telangana KT Rama Rao inaugurated 2BHK houses near Rythu Bazar at Jai Bhavani Nagar of Vanasthalipuram. It is spread across two acres, the 2BHK houses were built in three blocks, each block with nine floors comprising of 324 double bedroom houses. The houses were constructed for Rs 28 crore.
35. Wellversed acquires SportFit
Cricketer Yuvraj Singh-backed nutrition company Wellversed has acquired Sportfit, a fitness coaching company that enables health outcomes through physical activities and diet counselling. Wellversed will continue to scale and strengthen its health transformation programme by incorporating Sportfit’s proprietary coaching methodology and technology for diet and fitness coaching.
36. Indian entrepreneur wins an award
An Indian entrepreneur Vidyut Mohan is among the seven winners of the “Young Champions of the Earth” 2020 prize. The prize is given by the UN environment agency to global change-makers using innovative ideas and ambitious actions. Vidyut Mohan is the co-founder of “Takachar” a social enterprise enabling farmers to prevent open burning of their waste farm residues.
37. Andhra Pradesh rolls out a scheme
Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has launched ‘YSR Free Crop Insurance’ scheme. He credited 1,252 crores into the bank accounts of 9.48 lakh farmers in insurance claims for the agricultural season 2019. The government will help farmers and process the claims in a fast-track mode, besides paying the entire premium on behalf of farmers.