Current Affairs 26th December 2020

1. Hyderabad starts ‘Wear a Mask’ campaign

Telangana organized the ‘Wear a Mask’ campaign in Hyderabad to distribute free masks to the public days after the new strain of coronavirus found in the UK. India has temporarily suspended its Vande
Bharat flights from the UK. 1,005 international flights have been operated under Phase 8 Plus of India’s Vande Bharat Mission, thus, repatriating more than 40 lakh people from 27 countries.

2. Hawaii’s 1st Tesla Supercharger

Tesla has planned to build its first Supercharger in Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison’s island of Lanai, Hawaii. The electric-vehicle maker recently applied for a permit in Maui county to construct a new Supercharger in Lanai City. Larry Ellison, a Tesla board member, bought most of the island of Lanai, a small island with around 3,200 residents, for $300 million in 2012.

3. CR runs an awareness campaign for women safety

The central railway carried an awareness campaign for women’s safety at Kalyan railway station. The female passengers were made aware of the smart saheli and requested to be a part of the WhatsApp group to curb crime against women while traveling in the train. The newly introduced program, named Smart Saheli, was launched on December 22 by the CR for women’s safety.

4. WHO launches new App Covid-19 updates

The World Health Organisation has launched WHO Covid-19 Updates’ app for disbursing official numbers, news, and information in terms of symptoms to users. It has been launched for people in Nigeria but can be downloaded anywhere in the world. It lists down symptoms ranging from common to serious, in a bid to help users assess their present health conditions and get tested accordingly.

5. 1st tiger reserve hot air balloon safari

India’s first hot air balloon wildlife safari in a tiger reserve was launched in the world-famous Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh. The State was planning to introduce this service in Pench, Kanha, and Panna tiger reserves as well. The service is being operated by Jaipur-based Sky Waltz and company.

6. Urdu poet Shamsur Rahman Faruqi passes away

Legendary Urdu poet and critic Shamsur Rahman Faruqi passed away in December 2020. Born on September 30, 1935, in Uttar Pradesh, Faruqi is credited to have revived “Dastangoi”, a 16th century Urdu oral storytelling art form. He also received Saraswati Samman in 1996 for his work ‘She’r-e Shor-Angez”, a four-volume study of the eighteenth-century poet Mir Taqi Mir.

7. CBI to exit the housing finance business

Central Bank of India will divest its entire equity stake of 64.40 percent in Cent Bank Home Finance Ltd (CBHFL) to Centrum Housing Finance for Rs 160 crore. CBHFL is a financing and mortgage company jointly promoted by four public sector institutions Central Bank of India, National Housing Bank, Specified Undertaking of Unit Trust of India, and Housing and Urban Development Corporation.

8. Malayalam actor Anil Nedumangad dies

South actor Anil Nedumangad, best known for his performances in ‘Ayyappanum Koshiyum, Kammatti Paadam, ‘Njan Steve Lopez’ and ‘Porinju Mariyam Jose’ passed away in December 2020. Nedumangad made his debut in ‘Thaskaraveeran’. His major role as an actor was in the 2014 film ‘Njan Steve Lopez’ directed by Rajeev Ravi.

9. Free mobile clinic named after AB Vajpayee

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a tree mobile primary healthcare center was launched by Nava Bengaluru Foundation. This mobile clinic is named after the former PM by Bangalore South MP Tejasvi Surya. This mobile clinic will provide free primary healthcare to more than 25,000 patients in slum areas every year. This project is initiated by Nava Bengaluru Foundation and managed by Wockhardt Foundation.

10. Arya set to become India’s youngest mayor

21-year-old Arya Rajendran hailing from Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram will become the country’s youngest mayor. A second-year BSc Mathematics student of the All Saints’ College, she was elected from the Thiruvananthapuram municipal corporation on a CPM ticket. She is a state committee member of the
Student Federation of India. She is also the state president of the Balasangham.

11. PM to launch freight corridor section in UP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually inaugurate the largest section of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor on December 29 in Uttar Pradesh. The 351-km Khurja-Bhaupur section is ready and necessary trials and testing have already been concluded. Modi will dedicate to the nation the new rail freight corridor along with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

12. Batik artist Yasala Balaiah passes away

Renowned Batik artist Yasala Balaiah passed away in December 2020. He was born in lbrahimpur of Siddipet district in 1939. He won a number of laurels for his contribution to the art field which included the honour by the AIFACs (All India Fine Arts & Crafts Society) in 2003 and the National Award for Teachers by the President of India in 1994.

13. Former cricketer Robin Jackman passes away

Former England cricketer and commentator Robin Jackman passed away in December 2020. He was born in Shimla his father was a Major with Second Gurkha Rifles Jackman had a first-class career in England that spanned between 1966 and 1982. A fast bowler, Jackman’s Test debut came at the age of 35. Following his retirement, he became a successful commentator in South Africa.

14. Amit Shah launched development projects

Union Home Minister Amit Shah attended a program at Amingaon in Guwahati to start several development projects, on 26 Dec 2020. He took part as the Chief Guest in the program for the establishment of Guwahati’s 2nd medical college. He also distributed financial assistance to namghars under the Asom Darshan scheme and also laid the foundation stone for the development and beautification of Batadrava.

15. Foundation stone of 20 NH projects laid

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone of 20 National Highway projects in Assam and dedicated 7 completed projects to the nation. These projects have a length of nearly 439 kilometers and cost approximately Rs 2,366 crore. He also announced that two new bridges and a multi-model logistic park (MMLP) will be constructed on the Barak river.

16. E-Sampada web portal and a mobile app launched

Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on 25 Dec 2020, launched E-Sampada, a new web portal and mobile app on Good Governance Day. The new app provides a single-window for all the services including the allotment for over 1 lakh govt residential accommodations. The portal provides an online facility to users across India to lodge complaints, submit documents, etc.

17. Progress report of e-HRMS launched

Home Secretary and Secretary DoPT, A K Bhalla released the progress report of e-HRMS (Electronic-Human Resource Management System) on 25 Dec 2020. This system has various advantages such as providing a dashboard for employees and management, e-governance in-office procedures, reduced file movement, faster service delivery, assistance in decision making, etc.

18. Jal Jeevan Mission launches a challenge

The National Jal Jeevan Mission launched an innovation challenge on 25 Dec 2020. It has been launched for developing portable devices to test drinking water quality. The main objective is to bring an innovative, modular, and cost-effective solution to develop portable devices that can be used at the household level to test the drinking water quality instantly, easily, and accurately.

19. JD(U) convenes two-day meeting in Patna

The 2-day national executive meeting of Janta Dal(United) has been convened in Patna on 26 Dec 2020. This is the first meeting after the Bihar Assembly elections. Party President Nitish Kumar will chair the
meeting. The party will analyze its performance in the Bihar assembly elections. It will also discuss the prevailing political situation of the Arunachal Party as six MLA of the party have joined BJP.

20. Umba village in Ladakh electrified

5 mohallas in Umba village received an electricity connection on 25 Dec 2020. The village is situated in the toughest terrain at 13,000 thousand feet height and remains cut off for 5 months during winters. The Global Himalayan Expedition in partnership with the CSR project of Royal Enfield has installed a 17.5 kW solar electric system in Umba.

21. DCCDL to buy the stake of Hines

DLF’s rental arm DCCDL will acquire the stake of US-based Hines in a premium commercial project in Gurugram for Rs 780 crore. DLF Cyber City Developers Ltd (DCCDL) is the joint venture firm of DLF and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC. It has entered into a securities purchase agreement with funds managed by Hines for the acquisition of their stake in Fairleaf Real Estate.

22. SBI General Insurance conducts awareness drive

SBI General Insurance conducted insurance awareness programs for farmers across 50 villages across the country including Rajasthan, Gujrat, Odisha on 23 Dec 20. It was aimed at educating the farmers about the importance of several crop insurance and non-crop insurance solutions, thereby helping them to be prepared for natural catastrophes. It was organized on the occasion of Kisan Diwas.

23. Income Tax Dept launches ‘Jhatpat Processing’

The Income Tax Department has introduced a new initiative called, ‘Jhatpat Processing’ to smoothen the ITR filing experience for taxpayers. The ‘Jhatpat Processing’ feature will help individuals in filing tax returns quickly in a seamless manner. The Income Tax Department has shared tutorial videos of the complete procedure to file ITR1 and ITR4 under the new initiative, on Youtube.

24. Japan adopts green growth plan

Japan aims to eliminate gasoline-powered vehicles in about 15 years. Japan govt has announced a plan to go carbon-free by 2050 and generate nearly USD 2 trillion growth in green business and investment. The “green growth strategy” urges utilities to bolster renewables and hydrogen while calling for auto industries to go carbon-free by the mid-2030s.

25. Turkey to buy 50mn Chinese Covid jab

A trial of China’s Sinovac Biotech’s Covid vaccine conducted in Turkey shows that its efficacy rate is 91.25%, which is far higher than the Brazilian study. On 24 Dec 2020, a Brazilian study portrayed the efficacy rate of the Chinese vaccine to be 50%. Turkey has agreed to purchase 50 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine, with the first shipments expected to begin from 27 Dec 2020.

26. MP Freedom of Religion Bill, 2020 approved

The Madhya Pradesh Cabinet has approved the MP Freedom of Religion Bill, 2020. After the approval by the cabinet, the bill will now be presented in the state Assembly. Under the new MP Freedom of Religion Bill 2020, forced conversion of a minor, woman, or a person from Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe, would draw a minimum jail term of 2 to 10 years with a minimum penalty of Rs 50,00.

27. Myanmar buys military aircraft from Jordan

Myanmar’s Air Force is buying two Airbus CASA C295 aircraft worth $38.6 million from the Royal Jordanian Air Force to reduce dependence on Chinese armoury. The new aircraft from Jordan will replace the military’s aging fleet of Chinese-made Y-8s. They have been manufactured and assembled on the Airbus Protection and House facility in Seville, Spain.

28. US body to invest 54 million USD in India

The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) will invest $54 mn in India to support the development of critical infrastructure projects in the country in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The DFC will invest in equity for the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) in India. The financing is part of NIIF’s final round of fund-raising for the fund.

29. RBI cancels license of Subhadra Bank

The RBI has cancelled the licence of Maharashtra-based Subhadra Local Area Bank. It has cancelled the lender’s licence with effect from close of business on December 24, 2020, citing that banking affairs were “conducted in a manner detrimental to the interests of its present and future depositors” It was cancelled under Section 22 (4) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

30. Rajasthan: 6th to complete EoD business reform

Rajasthan has become the 6th state in the country to successfully undertake the “Ease of Doing Business” reform stipulated by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance. Thus, it has become eligible to mobilise additional financial resources of Rs. 2,731 crore through Open Market Borrowings. The other 5 states are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, MP, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana.

31. ISF 2020 concludes

The India International Science Festival-2020 (IISF-2020) concluded on 25 Dec 2020 with the valedictory address by Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu. For the year 2020, there were a total of 41 events held under 9 broad Verticals. In IISF 2020, five Guinness World Records were also attempted which included light, shadow, and time device making by 5,000 students.

32. 1st batch of Indian Institute of Skills

The first batch of training at the Tata-Indian Institute of Skills, Mumbai was launched at a virtual event on 25 Dec’20 by Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Union Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. The institute is a joint initiative between the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), the Government of India, and the Tata Indian Institute of Skills.

33. 89th Annual General Meeting of BCCI

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) held its 89th Annual General Meeting on 24 Dec 2020 at Ahmedabad. Mr. Pragyan Ojha who was nominated by the Indian Cricketers Association (ICA) as a player representative, was inducted to the IPL Governing Council at the AGM. The retirement age of the BCCI affiliated umpires and scorers has been increased to 60 years,

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