Current Affairs 21st December 2020

Table of Contents

1. Amit Pagnis appointed Mumbai coach for 2020-21

Amit Pagnis, the former Mumbai and Railways batsman, has been appointed the coach of the Mumbai team for the 2020-21 domestic season. The season will start with the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament from January 10. Pagnis replaces former Mumbai wicketkeeper Vinayak Samant, who coached them in the last two seasons.

2. 20 December: International Human Solidarity Day

International Human Solidarity Day is observed annually on December 20 by the UN General Assembly. The General Assembly, on December 22, 2005, by resolution 60/209 recognized solidarity as one of the fundamental and universal values in the twenty-first century. Therefore, proclaimed December 20 of each year as International Human Solidarity Day.

3. IMS organizes TROPMET-2020

Indian Meteorological Society in collaboration with North Eastern Space Applications Centre, Shillong, organized a four-day Virtual Symposium on Tropical Meteorology (TROPMET-2020). It was organized under the theme “Weather and Climate Services over Mountainous Regions” at NESAC, Shillong from 14-17 December 2020.

4. Chhetri becomes 1st Indian to register 50 goal

Bengaluru FC forward Sunil Chhetri scripted history yet again when he became the first Indian to register 50 goal contributions (42 goals and 8 assists) in Indian Super League history in Dec 2020. Chhetri scored his team’s opener against Odisha FC to reach the mark in his 80th ISL appearance. Only former FC Goa star Ferran Corominas is ahead of him in the list with 48 goals and 16 assists.

5. PayU ties up with Google Pay

Online payments solutions provider PayU has collaborated with Google Pay to introduce tokenized payments flow for merchants in India. Following this collaboration, Google Pay users will now get an option to pay a PayU merchant with their debit cards, credit cards, or Google Pay UPI. Also, Google Pay users do not need to share their card details if they are making repeated payments.

6. e-Cruises to soon adorn Hyderabad’s lake

Telangana Tourism Minister V Srinivas Goud announced the launch of two state-of-the-art 80-seater electric cruises in Hussainsagar. He inspected the construction of the new cruise boats at the lake. Equipped with advanced technology, these cruises will be eco-friendly in terms of operations as they come with zero-emission and electric twin inboard motors propulsions.

7. Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) plans a ropeway system for local commute

The Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) has planned to develop an aerial “urban passenger ropeway” link. It will provide a better short-distance mode of commute and also serve as feeders for the metro system in the city. The ropeway system cost per kilometer is estimated to be about Rs 35-70 crore.

8. RK Sharma appointed as Delhi’s chief coach

The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) has announced the appointment of Raj Kumar Sharma as the chief coach of its senior side for 2020-21 season. Gursharam Singh has been named as the assistant coach. In 2016, Sharma was awarded the Dronacharya Award for the success his ward Kohli had achieved on the international stage.

9. 4 Indigenous games approved by Sports Ministry

The Sports Ministry has approved the inclusion of four indigenous sports, including Gatka and Kalaripayattu, in the Khelo India Youth Games 2021, scheduled to take place in Haryana. The other two games included are Thang-Ta and Mallakhamba. The four selected games represent different parts of the country.

10. Women boxers Simranjeet, Manisha Dag gold

Indian women boxers Simranjeet Kaur (60kg) and Manisha (57kg) notched up gold medals with contrasting final wins in the Cologne World Cup in Germany. Manisha defeated compatriot Sakshi 3-2, while Simranjeet got the better of German Maya Kleinhans 4-1 to finish on top in their respective categories. India came second overall after claiming three gold, two silver, and four bronze medals.

11. 18 December: Minorities Rights Day

The Minorities Rights Day is observed in India every year on December 18. This day is observed to protect the rights of minority communities, as a contribution to nation-building, to ensure the security of minorities in their particular language, caste, religion, culture, tradition, etc. The Minorities Rights Day in India was first observed on December 18, 2013.

12. Netaji Bose Museum to open soon in Kolkata

The Government of India announced to open a museum on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on January 23, 2022. Historical documents, photos, and other materials would be brought together at one place for display. A museum on Bose was proposed to be set up in Kolkata as a part of commemorations of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s 125th birth anniversary in 2022.

13. Dav Whatmore named as Nepal Head Coach

Dav Whatmore, who guided Sri Lanka to its World Cup title win in 1996, has been named the head coach of the Nepal cricket team. The Nepal Cricket Association confirmed that Whatmore will take charge of the season, with effect from January 1, 2021 He was the coach of the India U-19 team which clinched the World Cup in 2008 under the captaincy of Virat Kohli.

14. Telangana Fiber Grid Project gets permission

The Telangana government has accorded T-Fiber, the Telangana Fiber Grid Project that is establishing an optical fiber network in the State. It declared the T-Fiber project a Vital Public Purpose Project, which will save it from getting permission from a host of State government departments to lay the ambitious optical fiber project.

15. Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan passes away

Delhi Gharana exponent Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan passed away in December 2020. He was best known for his versatile renditions in various genres of Indian classical music, including Thumri, ‘Dadra, as well as ‘Bhajans’ and ‘Ghazals’ He had several accolades to his credit, including the Priyadarshini Award (2001), and the Rajiv Rattan Sadbhavna Samman (2003).

16. IIT Roorkee startup wins Award

Recogsquare, a start-up incubated and funded by the Indian Institute of Technology (IT) Roorkee, has won the ‘Most Innovative Digital Rollout Award’ at the Global Fintech Innovation Awards. Recogsquare is an Al SaaS-backed eKYC and Video KYC platform that streamlines and automates individual onboarding and ID verification.

17. Protesting farmers launch ‘IT cell’

Farmer organisations have designated an ‘IT cell’ which they say is to counter any misinformation online about the protests. Comprising over 25 online and 35 ‘offline’ volunteers, the cell works round the clock, monitoring online discussions and “fake news” about farmer protests. The cell has also created the handle “Kisan Ekta Morcha” across social media sites.

18. Singh inaugurates India’s HWT test facility

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has inaugurated the advanced Hypersonic Wind Tunnel (HWT) test facility. India is the third country after the US and Russia to have such a facility. The HWT test facility is ‘pressure vacuum-driven’ enclosed free jet facility having nozzle exit diameter of 1 metre and will simulate Mach No 5 to 12.

19. First Filmfare OTT awards 2020

The first-ever Filmfare Awards for OTT platforms were given out on 19 December 2020. ‘Paatal Lok’ won the Best Series Award while the Best Series (Critics) trophy went to team The Family Man’s kitty. Jaideep Ahlawat won the award for ‘Paatal Lok’ and Manoj Bajpayee took home the Best Actor in a Drama Series (Critics) award for ‘The Family Man’.

20. Rajgir in Bihar now has a 200-ft glass bridge

Bihar has built an interesting 200 ft glass bridge which will be inaugurated by March 2021 in Rajgir, Nalanda district. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar inspected the ‘nature safari” work at the tourists hotspot Rajgir. Kumar also inspected zip line, zip bike and main camp area of the nature safari during his visit.

21. 30 cr people prioritized for COVID vaccine

The government has prioritized 30 crore people for the COVID vaccine. It includes health workers, frontline workers like police, military, and sanitation staff. The vaccine will also be given to persons above 50 years and those who are below 50 years suffering from certain diseases. This was announced by Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan after consultation with experts.

22. India-Japan Samvad Conference held

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed India-Japan Samvad Conference on 21 December 2020. This Samvad Conference revolves around the need to build the future of Asia on the positive influence of traditions of non-violence and democracy in Asia. The first conference, Samvad-l, was held in Bodh Gaya in 2015.

23. PM Modi to address at lISF 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the inaugural address at the India International Science Festival (ISF) 2020 on 22 Dec 2020. To promote scientific temper in society, the Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences in association with Vijnana Bharati conceptualized this festival. Its objective is to encourage students to study and work in scientific fields.

24. PM to address at Aligarh Muslim University

PM Narendra Modi will address the centenary celebrations of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on 22 December 2020 via video conferencing. He will also release a postal stamp during the event. AMU became a University in 1920, through an Act of the Indian Legislative Council by elevating the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental (MAO) College to the status of a Central University.

25. 2 Tribes India showrooms inaugurated

Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Shri Arjun Munda inaugurated two Tribes India showrooms (Kolkata in person and Gwalior virtually) in a ceremony in Kolkata on 19 Dec 2020. With the inclusion of these two outlets, Tribes India now has 125 retail outlets across India. Both the Kolkata and the Gwalior outlets will showcase Van Dhan essentials and immunity boosters.

26. 22nd meeting of high-level Group of Ministers

Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan chaired the 22nd meeting of the high-level Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19 by a video-conference in New Delhi on 19 Dec 2020. He informed that India’s COVID 19 pandemic growth has dropped to 2% and case fatality rate is amongst the lowest in the world which is at 1.45 per cent. He also informed that India’s recovery rate has peaked to 95.46 per cent.

27. Bangladesh will procure fighter planes

The govt of Bangladesh will be buying ultra-modern and high-performance fighter planes. The Bangladesh Air Force is also soon going to acquire air defense system integration, unmanned aerial vehicle system, mobile gap-filler radar, and ultra-modern air defense radar. The govt has signed an agreement to buy 5 ultra-modern C-130J transport aircraft out of which 3 have already arrived.

28. No Land Possession Certificate in Bihar

In Bihar, neither Land Possession Certificate (LPC) nor receipt is required for paddy procurement in the state. Farmers have to put only particulars of land on website and they will be automatically registered to sell paddy. Those who are not owners of the land do not need to submit an affidavit. The paddy procurement target for the current season has been fixed to 45 lakh metric tonnes.

29. Interest-free loans for vendors in MP

MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan distributed an interest-free loan of Rs 10,000 each under the CM Rural Street Vendor Scheme to about 20,000 street vendors, on 21 Dec 2020. The scheme has been implemented on the line of PM Swanidhi in the rural areas of the state. Under this, small vendors including fruits-vegetables sellers are given an interest-free loan of Rs 10,000 each for their Work.

30. Pipe manufacturing unit inaugurated in MP

MP CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan has inaugurated a pipe manufacturing unit at village Jamunia and Khejra in Raisen district. It has been set up by the Welspun Group at a cost of about 300 crores. He also informed that out of the total employment opportunities generated by the industry in the region, 50 percent will be reserved for women.

31. UP Govt launches ‘Varasat’ campaign

The UP govt has launched a special campaign ‘Varasat’ to curb property & land-related disputes in rural areas. This is a first of its kind campaign to end the nagging land-related issues in the rural areas. It is aimed at eradicating the exploitation of the villagers in the name of ‘Varasat’ of land and property. This special campaign will continue till 15th February 2021.

32. Western Railway creates a record

In Gujarat, the Ahmedabad division of Western Railway has created a record by loading 10.06 crore liters of milk and running the highest milk special trains in Indian Railways during the current year. A record 132 milk special trains were run from Palanpur to Hind Terminal at Palwal even during the Covid19 pandemic.

33. SK Singhal appointed DGP of Bihar

Senior IPS officer S K Singhal has been made new Director General of Police (DGP) of Bihar, Mr. Singhal is a 1988 batch Bihar cadre IPS officer. He will superannuate on August 31, 2021. Singhal was holding the additional charge of the post after the then DGP, Gupteshwar Pandey, took voluntary retirement on September 22, 2020.

34. 5 states complete reforms in the EoD Business

Five states have so far completed the stipulated reforms in the Ease of Doing Business. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana have been granted permission to mobilize additional financial resources to the tune of 16,728 crore rupees through open market borrowings. Improvement in the ease of doing business will enable faster future growth of the state economy.

35. Indigo partners with Urban Drive

IndiGo has partnered with the car rental company Urban Drive. Through this collaboration, IndiGo customers will be able to book a chauffeur-driven cab service across 60 cities which are serving 42 airports on the IndiGo domestic network with options of hourly, intercity, and airport transfer packages. The passengers will not have to pay any waiting or cancellation charges for the service.

36. Pine Labs raises $100 mn from Lone Capital

Pine Labs has raised close to $100 million from Lone Pine Capital as part of the secondary and primary share sale. This investment round has taken the company’s valuation from $1.6 billion to $2 billion within a year. With this, Pine Labs becomes the third most-valued fintech in the Indian startup ecosystem after Paytm-parent One97 Communications Ltd and PhonePe.

37. Prince Harry announces partnership with WCK

Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced that their new charity has partnered with the World Central Kitchen and its celebrity chef. They will feed people in disaster-stricken areas around the world. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s non-profit group, the Archewell Foundation, is teaming up with celebrity chef Jose Andres to build a series of Community Relief Centers.

38. Hyundai India flags off ‘Great India Drive’

Hyundai Motor India Ltd flagged-off the 2020 chapter of the ‘Great India Drive’ on 20 Dec 2020. The new campaign is centered around Hyundai’s global vision of ‘Progress for Humanity’. This 4th Edition of ‘Great India Drive’ will focus on the importance of social values in the new world and new normal. It will encapsulate humanity’s progress in the face of adversities.

39. Integration of Dena, Vijaya banks completed

Bank of Baroda has completed the integration of 3,898 branches of erstwhile Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with itself. The bank completed the integration of 1,770 erstwhile Dena Bank branches in December 2020. It had earlier completed the integration of 2,128 erstwhile Vijaya Bank branches in September 2020. The merger process had begun from April 2019.

40. Nand Kishore appointed Director of IL&FS

Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) informed that the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has approved the appointment of Nand Kishore as the group’s Executive Director. Till now, Kishore was serving on the IL&FS board as a Non-Executive Director. In Oct 2018, the government had seized control of the IL&FS group and superseded its board with one led by veteran banker Uday Kotak.

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