1. India ranks 2nd in global ransom payouts
Indian firms were the worst hit by cyber-attacks among Asia-Pacific nations and stood second globally in ransom payouts. While 74% of organizations in India suffered cyberattacks, 34% paid between $1 million-$2.5 million as a ransom to hackers. The survey added that Indian firms are threatened by cyberattacks originating from China and Pakistan due to rising geopolitical tensions.
2. NCRTC and NDB sign loan agreement
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, National Capital Region Transport Corporation Limited, and the New Development Bank have signed a loan agreement. It has been signed for lending 500 million dollars for the ‘Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System Project. It will provide a fast, reliable, safe, and comfortable public transport system in the National Capital Region.
3. High-level Central teams deputed to Haryana
The Centre has deputed high-level Central teams to Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Manipur to assist the states in strengthening containment, surveillance, and testing. The teams will visit the districts reporting high numbers of COVID cases and support the state efforts The Central teams shall also guide in effectively managing the challenges related to timely diagnosis and follow-up.
4. 763 international flights operated under VBM
Phase Eight of Vande Bharat Mission has operated 763 international flights from 24 countries, reaching 21 airports across India. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava informed that 1,40,000 people have returned in this phase. A total of 30.9 lakh Indians have been repatriated under the Vande Bharat Mission till 19 Nov 2020.
5. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh unveils 2 books
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has unveiled two books ‘The Republican Ethic Volume III’ and ‘Loktantra Ke Swar’. These are a collection of selected speeches of President Ram Nath Kovind during the third year of his presidency. Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar unveiled the e-book versions of the two books. The books comprise speeches on the country’s efforts to fight COVID.
6. RuPay Card phase-2 launched
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bhutanese counterpart Lotay Tshering launched RuPay Card phase-2 in Bhutan on 20 Nov 2020. The two Prime Ministers had jointly launched phase-1 of the project during Mr. Modi’s visit to Bhutan in August 2019. The phase-2 will now allow Bhutanese cardholders to access the RuPay network in India.
7. Home Ministry to convert 500 isolation beds
The Home Ministry has said that 500 isolation beds at the COVID care center at Chhattarpur will be converted to beds with an oxygen facility. About 150 ICU beds have been added in the last three days in Delhi and the current capacity of 3652 ICU beds will be further ramped up. The capacity of RT-PCR tests will be ramped up to 60,000 per day by the end of November 2020.
8. UK announces ban on the sale of petrol, diesel car
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on November 18 that Britain would ban petrol and diesel vehicle sales from 2030. The move is combined with $1.72 billion for new car charging infrastructure and $771 million in grants for buying electric cars. The ban is part of Johnson’s “green industrial revolution” to tackle climate change and generate more jobs.
9. Jitan Ram Manjhi sworn in as pro-tem Speaker
Former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi was sworn in as the pro-tem Speaker of the state assembly. Mr. Manjhi, a multiple-term MLA and founding president of the Hindustani Awam Morcha, was administered the oath of office by Governor Fagu Chauhan. He has been appointed for the period November 23-24, 2020, until a new Speaker is elected
10. Japan lawmakers declare a climate emergency
Japanese lawmakers declared a climate emergency in a vote to combat global warming. This comes after Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga last month announced that the country would become carbon neutral by 2050. Japan – the world’s fifth-biggest carbon emitter – joins fellow Group of Seven members Britain, Canada, and France in similar resolutions.
11. US appoints its first ambassador to Venezuela
The United States has its first ambassador for Venezuela in 10 years. James Story’s nomination as ambassador was confirmed by a US Senate voice vote. The story, 50, will likely play a key role in helping guide US policy on Venezuela during the transition of President-elect Joe Biden.
12. Delhi to get the high-tech business park
The Delhi government will set up a high-tech business park at Rani Khera on 150-acre land. Park will be just 15 minutes away from the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport. The first-of-its-kind business park will have various IT services and high-tech industry among others. The business park will be developed in seven phases and It would be completed by August 31, 2022.
13. China all set to change its development model
China is set to change its development model from 2021. China is relying more on domestic consumption than export-reliant growth which propelled it to become the world’s second-largest economy next only to the United States. The strategic decision was made after taking conditions in China and the world into consideration.
14. Ashok Chaudhary appointed Bihar Education Min
Bihar Building Construction Minister Ashok Chaudhary was given additional charge of the education department after the resignation of Mewalal Choudhary over corruption allegations. Ashok Choudhary won the Sakra assembly seat. Mewalal Choudhary was among the 14 ministers who were sworn in on November 16 as part of Nitish Kumar’s new term as Bihar chief minister.
15. Pune District Chess Association chairman dies
Joseph D’souza, chairman of, Pune District Chess Association, passed away. D’souza has been coaching players for the past 31 years, not only from Pune but also online sessions to players from overseas. A winner of Maharashtra’s Shiv Chhatrapati Award, Joseph in his playing days was a “candidate master”. Joseph has conducted 300 tournaments since 1984.
16. James Dyson’s sustainability award
A material created from rotting fruits and vegetables that generates renewable energy by absorbing UV light from the sun has received the first James Dyson’s sustainability award. The “AUREUS” system uses scientific principles behind the northern lights. The “Blue Box”, a low-cost biomedical device that can be used to detect breast cancer at home, has been declared the International Winner.
17. India, Luxembourg sign 3 bilateral agreements
India and Luxembourg have signed three new bilateral agreements after the leaders of the two countries held their first formal interaction in over two decades. All three agreements are in the financial space to promote trade ties between India and Luxembourg. Luxembourg is the third-largest foreign investor in India.
18. Clean Yamuna by March 2023
The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has planned four interventions to clean the Yamuna by March 2023. This includes treating polluted water from Haryana and UP and generating power and gas from septic tank waste. The Delhi government will set up a modern technology to treat around 150 MGD of polluted water coming from the states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh by natural wetlands and aeration method.
19. Vivad Se Vishwas scheme garners Rs 72,480 cr
The government has received Rs 72,480 crore in taxes under the dispute resolution scheme “Vivad se Vishwas’ from 45,855 cases. The scheme provides for the withdrawal of all appeals both by the taxpayer and the income-tax department on a resolution of cases. Vivad se Vishwas was launched for the settlement of disputed tax, interest, penalty, and fees in relation to an assessment or reassessment.
20. Oaktree, Varde propose investment in Vodafone
A consortium led by US-based Oaktree Capital, including a few other private equity firms such as Varde Partners, has proposed investing up to $2.5 billion into cash-strapped Vodafone Idea Ltd through hybrid debt papers. The consortium is said to have offered $2.0-2.5 billion of capital to the Birla group company that is facing tens of billions of rupees in government debt.
21. India ranks 77 in global bribery risk matrix
India is at 77th position with a score of 45 in a global list that measures business bribery risks of 2020. The list by TRACE measures business bribery risk in 194 countries, territories, and autonomous and semi-autonomous regions. According to 2020’s data, North Korea, Turkmenistan, South Sudan, Venezuela, and Eritrea present the highest commercial bribery risk.
22. Mastercard, USAID join hands
Mastercard has joined hands with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the Project Kirana. It will help increase revenue streams, expand financial inclusion and digital payments adoption of Kirana shops that are owned or operated by women. As many as 3,000 such women are targeted to be enrolled under this project in certain places in Uttar Pradesh.
23. Microsoft partners with Social Alpha
Microsoft has partnered with startup incubator Social Alpha. It has launched a programme for health-tech startups to help them scale with advanced technology and joint go-to-market support. Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare enables startups to access a portfolio of released and new healthcare capabilities tailored to the unique requirements of health data in the cloud.
24. Govt announces quota in MBBS, BDS seats
The Health Ministry has approved a new category for selection and nomination of candidates from ‘Wards of COVID Warriors’ under Central pool MBBS and BDS seats for the academic year 2020-2021. Five Central Pool MBBS seats have been reserved for this category. The selection of candidates will be made by the Medical Council Committee (MCC) on the basis of rank obtained candidates in the NEET.
25. MP government reconstitutes tourism cabinet
Madhya Pradesh government has reconstituted its tourism cabinet, which will be headed by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The principal secretary of the tourism department will be the secretary in-charge. The panel will focus on promoting tourism in the state by developing infrastructure to generate employment in the sector.
26. SN Rajeswari appointed member of IRDAI
SN Rajeswari has been appointed a whole-time member (distribution) of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, according to a Personnel Ministry order. She is the Chairman and Managing Director of Oriental Insurance Company Limited. Her appointment to the post is for a period of three years or till attaining the age of 62 years.
27. Chhattisgarh launches mobile clinics
Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel has launched special mobile clinics for women. The clinics will provide them with free medical treatment at their doorsteps in three civic limits of the state. Baghel flagged off the three ‘Dai-Didi’ (mother- sister) mobile clinic vans at his official residence to mark the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
28. Team Halo to counter misinformation on vaccine
Over 100 scientists from different countries have joined hands to tackle the issue of misinformation surrounding Covid-19 vaccines. These scientists have come together under Team Halo, an initiative undertaken by the UN in collaboration with The Vaccine Confidence Project at the University of London. They will share information on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines via social media.
29. Chitra Banerjee’s new book ‘The Last Queen’
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s new book, ‘The Last Queen’ is a historical fiction on Rani Jindan Kaur. Jindan Kaur was the daughter of the royal kennel keeper and went on to be Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s last queen. Her son Dalip inherited the throne at the young ago of 6 and she became the queen regent. The book is being published by HarperCollins India and will be released on 22 January 2021.
30. Child rights week observed in Rajasthan
Skill development activities, awareness programmes, and new welfare schemes have marked the child rights week being observed in Rajasthan from Nov 14-20, 2020. Vaatsalya Yojana and Samarth Yojana have been launched for orphan and destitute children during the week. CM Ashok Gehlot also inaugurated a skill development and counseling center for children in Jodhpur.
31. Netflix to host StreamFest in India
Netflix will host ‘StreamFest’ in India on December 5-6, 2020 that will allow non-subscribers to experience the service for free. The move is aimed at bringing new users to the platform that competes against players like Amazon Prime Video, Disney Hotstar. Non-users of Netflix can sign up with their name, email or phone number, and password – and start streaming without any payment.
32. Madhya Pradesh conducts a campaign
In Madhya Pradesh, a community-based nutrition management programme of very severely malnourished children is being conducted in all districts. It is titled ‘Poshit Parivar-Suposhit Madhya Pradesh. Under this campaign, very serious malnourished children are identified and after 12 weeks or 3 months of continuous effort after their registration, they are brought to normal nutrition level.
33. “Unlock Learning’ initiative implemented
In Maharashtra’s Wardha, an ‘Unlock Learning’ initiative is being implemented for the Ashram Schools for the academic session 2020-21. There are six Ashram schools in the state of which four are aided while two are unaided. The initiative aims at imparting educational activities to the tribal students amidst the closure of regular school learning activities due to Corona pandemic.
34. Kohima police station receives a certification
In a major feat and a first of its kind in the state, North Police Station Kohima in Nagaland has been awarded an ISO certification. It the first established police station under Naga Hills district by the British Regime in the year 1933. Presently, the North Police station is headed by an Inspector rank officer-in-charge and 88 other ranks.
35. Foundation stone laid for LNG fueling stations
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has laid the foundation stone for the first 50 LNG fueling stations, across the golden quadrilateral and major National Highways. These stations will be set up in partnership with the country’s Oil & Gas majors such as IOCL, BPCL, HPCL, GAIL, PLL, Gujarat Gas, and their Joint Venture Companies and subsidiaries. Out of these, IOCL will set up 20 LNG stations.
36. Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge launched
Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge was launched in New Delhi on 19 November 2020. It aims to ensure that no life of any sewer or septic tank cleaner is ever lost again owing to the issue of ‘hazardous cleaning’. It will focus extensively on creating citizen awareness on this critical issue along with infrastructure creation for mechanized cleaning and capacity building of the workforce,
37. World Bank approves 120-mn for Meghalaya
The Govt of India, the Meghalaya govt and the World Bank have signed a 120 million dollar project to improve and modernize the transport sector of Meghalaya. This will help the state to harness its vast growth potential for high-value agriculture and tourism. The project will improve about 300 km of strategic road segments and stand-alone bridges by using innovative solutions.
38. Hospital for exclusive healthcare of doctors
In Odisha, the state govt has designated a hospital in Bhubaneswar for the exclusive healthcare of doctors and covid Warriors infected with the virus. The dedicated hospital will have all measures of health care that include special, critical and intensive care. In Odisha, COVID-19 recovery has gone up to 3,02,796.
39. UN adopts a resolution
The United Nations has adopted a resolution calling for an urgent solution of the Rohingya crisis. The resolution tabled by the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) and the European Union (EU) was adopted on 18 Nov 2020. The resolution has taken some new developments into account such as the provisional order of the International Criminal Court of Justice.
40. 5th G-20 Leaders Summit
PM Modi will be attending the 15th G-20 Leaders Summit at the invitation of the King of Saudi Arabia. The summit is being chaired by Saudi Arabia on 21-22 Nov’20 in a virtual format under the theme – Realising the Opportunities of the 21st Century for All. This will be the second G20 leaders meeting in 2020. Its focus will be on an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable recovery from COVID.
41. USD 256 million for Bangladesh
The Green Climate Fund has approved dollar 256 million for Bangladesh in grants and loans to meet its Green House Gas (GHG) emission reduction targets under the Paris agreement. The financing is provided as an integrated package for textile. By 2030, Bangladesh is committed to reducing its GHG emission by 15 percent compared to a business-as-usual scenario.
42. BSF organizes Para-Cycling expedition
Border Security Force (BSF) is organizing a Para-Cycling expedition “Infinity Ride 2020”, in association with Aditya Mehta Foundation. The expedition commenced from Srinagar on 19 Nov 2020 and will culminate at the Southern tip of India at Kanyakumari Tamil Nadu on 31st Dec 2020. This venture is being conducted under the aegis of BSF’s Divyang Skill Development Centre (DSDC), New Delhi.
43. 20 districts get Swachhata Awards 2020
Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat conferred the Swachhata Awards 2020 on the 20 best performing districts. They were awarded for contributing towards ODF (Open Defecation Free) Sustainability and ODF Plus goals on World Toilet Day on 19 Nov 2020. Phase 2 of the Swachh Bharat Mission – Gramin has been launched early in 2020 and it focuses on ODF sustainability,
44. My Stamp on Chhath Puja’ released
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad released a “My Stamp on Chhath Puja” on 19 Nov 2020. My Stamp is an innovative concept initiated by the Department of Posts. Any common person or corporate organization can now book order and get a personalized photograph or an image of a Postage Stamp. A special cover on the theme ‘Chhath-A symbol of Simplicity and Cleanliness ‘was also released.
45. PM Modi to inaugurate RE-INVEST 2020
PM Narendra Modi will inaugurate the virtual 3rd Global Renewable Energy Investment Meeting and Expo (RE-INVEST 2020), on 26 Nov 2020. It will provide an international forum for investment promotion in renewable energy. RE-INVEST 2020 will include a two-day virtual conference on renewables and future energy choices and an exhibition of manufacturers, developers, investors, and innovators.
46. GST Bhawan inaugurated in Panchkula
Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, CBIC Chairman M. Ajit Kumar, along with members of the Board inaugurated the GST Bhawan, Panchkula on 19 Nov 2020. The state-of-the-art building will house the offices of Central GST at Panchkula. It has been built at a cost of about 31 crores rupees. This is the first major infrastructure project of CBIC completed in these times of COVID.