1. Odisha launches “Career Portal” for students
The Odisha government in collaboration with UNICEF has launched a ‘Career Portal’ for secondary & higher secondary students. It will provide easy access to information on different careers & will give students an opportunity to interact with teachers. The official portal which was launched can be accessed through the website www.odishacareerportal.com with the student login ID and password.
2. Government to launch coal import monitoring system
The government plans to launch the coal import monitoring system from February, making it mandatory for importers to disclose future shipments. The coal import monitoring system (CIMS) shall require importers to submit advance information in an online system for the import of items and obtain an automatic registration number.
3. Vice-Admiral Rajat Datta is the new DG of AFMS
The central government appointed Vice-Admiral Rajat Datta as the next Director-General of the Armed Forces Medical Services (DGAFMS). DGAFMS is the senior-most medical officer in the three services who looks after all the hospitals of the force. He will succeed incumbent Lieutenant General Anup Bannerjee and assume the office on January 1, 2021.
4. New campaign to promote rainwater harvesting
The National Water Mission launched the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan ll: Catch the Rain’ awareness campaign to promote rainwater harvesting. The National Water Mission initiated the campaign in collaboration with Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) under the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports. The awareness generation phase of the campaign will run from mid-December 2020 to March 2021.
5. Faridabad Police launches a programme
Faridabad Police launched a programme called Police ki Pathshala, which aims to change the perception of the youth about the police. It is a structured programme to build a productive rapport with the youth, save them from self-destructive behaviour, and help them in realising their potential. It is for students to help them find their strength through online tests and plan their careers.
6. Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay-NIF book prize
Jairam Ramesh and Amit Ahuja were jointly awarded the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay-New India Foundation (NIF) Book Prize for 2020 out of a shortlist of six writers. The 2020 winners will share the prize money of 15 lakhs for their respective books and will each receive the trophy. The award was established in 2018, the first winner of the prize was the political scientist Milan Vaishnav.
7. Selena posthumously honoured with Grammy’s LAA
Selena Quintanilla Perez will be posthumously honoured with the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The beloved Tejana singer was selected as a recipient of the Recording Academy’s award to recognize her outstanding accomplishments in the music industry. The posthumous award will be presented at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards on Jan. 31, 2021.
8. PM Modi releases book on Atal Bihari Vajpayee
PM Narendra Modi released a book ‘Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Parliament: A Commemorative Volume’ to mark the 96th birth anniversary of the former prime minister. The book was released at a function in the Central Hall of Parliament. The book, published by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, highlights the life and works of the former PM and contains his notable speeches delivered in Parliament.
9. S Mohapatra to be new Odisha Chief Secretary
The Odisha government appointed senior IAS officer Suresh Chandra Mohapatra as the new chief secretary. Mohapatra, a 1986 batch Indian Administrative Service officer is at present the Development Commissioner of the state. He will succeed Asit Kumar Tripathy, who will retire from government service on December 31. He will also hold the post of Chief Development Commissioner.
10. IKF moves headquarters from Zeist to Utrecht
The International Korfball Federation (IKF) has moved headquarters from Zeist to Utrecht in The Netherlands. The IKF was previously housed at the Royal Dutch Korfball Association (KNKV). It has now moved to the “The World of Sport” in Utrecht, an office space which accommodates a number of sports federations and organisations.
11. Former England batsman John Edrich dies
The former England and Surrey batsman John Edrich passed away in December 2020. He scored 103 centuries in a career that saw him captain Surrey for five seasons in the 1970s before retiring from the game in 1978. He was awarded Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1977.
12. 4th International Folklore Festival
The fourth International Folklore Festival commenced at Chandigarh University (CU) Virtually. It was inaugurated by Mr. Alimbayev Yerlan Kazakhstan’s Ambassador, Noted Punjabi Singer & Actor Dr. Satinder Sartaj, and Dr. Baljit Singh Sekhon. More than 1,000 participants from 40 countries presented their traditional and folk dances during the three-day cultural extravaganza.
13. Former Assam DGP SV
Subramanian passes away Former Assam Director General of Police (DGP) SV Subramanian passed away in December 2020. Subramanian served as the State Director General of Police (DGP) from July 1991 to April 1994. He was an IPS officer of the 1960 batch.
14. NCDC Signs MoU With S-VYASA
National Cooperative Development Corporation and Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana have signed an MoU to set up Yoga wellness centres and naturopathy facilities throughout the country with the help of local cooperatives. The MoU also aims to promote the skilling of students or alumni of S-VYASA through internship opportunities offered by NCDC under its scheme Sahakar Mitra.
15. Neetal Narang becomes president of SFI
Neetal Narang becomes the first female president of the Softball Federation of India(SFI). Narang, in her previous role as vice president of the Softball Federation of India, had made a valuable contribution towards the upliftment of the sport. She will succeed Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, who was elected as the life-time president.
16. Former footballer Mir Sajad Ali passes away
Former India football international Mir Sajad Ali passed away in December 2020. He played for BDL in the local league. He was selected to play for India in 1977. The left-winger, later on, played for East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting.
17. Classplus: Sourav Ganguly as brand ambassador
Classplus announced former Indian cricket captain, Sourav Ganguly as its brand ambassador and nationwide celebrity endorser. In addition to his role as a brand ambassador, Ganguly has also invested in Classplus in his personal capacity. It has launched a nationwide cross-platform campaign, the centrepiece of which is an ad film featuring Ganguly.
18. Sputnik approved for people above 60 years
Russia’s Health Ministry has approved Sputnik V, it’s primary COVID-19 vaccine for use by people over the age of 60. The shot was tested on this age group separately. Russia has announced several international deals for the supply of Sputnik V. So far, regulators in Argentina and Belarus have approved the use of the vaccine.
19. NGT extends the term of oversight Committee
The National Green Tribunal has extended the term of an oversight committee to monitor the pollution of the Ganga river and oversee compliance of environmental norms in Uttar Pradesh. Accordingly, the term of the oversight committee, for the time being, will be extended for six months. The oversight committee is headed by former high court judge Justice SVS Rathore.
20. ISRO developing ‘green propulsion’
Indian Space Research Organisation is developing ‘green propulsion’ for its ambitious human space flight mission, ‘Gaganyaan’. ISRO Chairman K Sivan announced this while addressing the 16th convocation of SRM Institute of Science and Technology on 26 Dec 2020. ISRO had planned to launch ‘Gaganyaan’ by December 2021 but now is likely to be delayed by one year due to the impact of COVID.
21. Vodafone Idea deploys 3G spectrum
Vodafone ldea has started using 3G spectrum for 4G services in Mumbai and claimed that customers in the metro city will get higher data speed with the refarming of spectrum. Vodafone ldea has 5 megahertz of spectrum in 2100 Mhz band which was being used for 3G services. Vi customers in Mumbai will get to enjoy higher download and upload speeds apart from better indoor coverage.
22. CronJ completes a security project
A global tech firm ‘CronJ’ has completed an Al-based digitization project for Saudi Arabia Coast Guard. CronJ offers products related to security, surveillance, and safety using the latest digitization and machine vision technologies. Coast guard was looking for advanced automatic cognitive decision-making solutions for any kind of threat or intrusion in the sea 24×7 through multiple media.
23. Bihar Cabinet approves a proposal
The Bihar Cabinet has approved the creation of 103 new Nagar Panchayats and eight new Nagar Parishads. The aim was to boost urbanisation and increase the states share in central resources. The five municipal councils which have been upgraded to municipal corporations are Sasaram (Rohtas), Motihari (East Champaran), Bettiah (West Champaran), Madhubani, and Samastipur.