Current Affairs 2nd December 2020

Table of Contents

1. 02 Dec: National Pollution Control Day 2020

Every year, National Pollution Control Day is observed on December 2nd, ever since the disastrous accident of Bhopal Gas Tragedy happened in 1984. December 2nd, 2020, would mark the 36th anniversary of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy. Apart from raising awareness about the rising pollution of air, water, and soil, this day also shifts the attention of people with regards to the pollution control act.

2. Day for the Abolition of Slavery: 2 December

Every year on Dec 2, the world celebrates International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. It was commissioned by the United Nations General Assembly on 2 December 1949. It intends to eliminate the modern-day forms of slavery that exist in society. According to the UN, 24.9 million people are in forced labor, 15.4 million people are in forced marriage.

3. Newly discovered frog species

A group of researchers documenting “Amphibians in the Deccan Plateau parts of Karnataka” encountered a new species of frog and published the findings in a journal. This new species – Sphaerotheca Bengaluru is being named after the city to highlight the lacunae in the documentation of amphibians from non-forested areas and to restore frog habitats in Bengaluru.

4. Child-friendly police station launched in Pune

A child-friendly police station set up in accordance with guidelines laid down by the National Commissioner for Protection of Child Rights was launched in Pune on 30 Nov 2020. It has come up in the premises of the Lashkar police station and is aimed at giving children in conflict with the law a friendly environment. Pune police have worked with Hope for Children Foundation to set up this.

5. One-time power bill settlement scheme launched

A one-time settlement scheme for power consumers was launched in Goa on 30 November 2020 by CM Pramod Sawant. A similar scheme would be launched by the public works department (PWD) for water bills. Delayed payment fee would be dropped, fully or partially, under this power settlement scheme, for which applications can be made all through December 2020.

6. Utpal Kumar Singh: Lok Sabha Secretary-General

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has appointed senior IAS officer Utpal Kumar Singh as Secretary-General of the Lok Sabha. He will succeed incumbent Snehlata Shrivastava. Singh has held several important positions at the Centre, as Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. At present, he is posted as Secretary in the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

7. Amitabh Jain: Chhattisgarh’s Chief Secretary

Amitabh Jain, an IAS officer of the 1989 batch, has been appointed as the new Chief Secretary of Chhattisgarh. He succeeds Rajendra Prasad Mandal, an IAS officer of the 1987 batch, who retired from his service on 30 Nov 2020. Before being elevated to the post of Chief Secretary, he was posted as the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Finance with an additional charge of the water resources department.

8. Sandeep Kataria: 1st Indian global CEO of Bata

Bata Shoe Organization has announced the elevation of its India CEO Sandeep Kataria to the post of global CEO Bata Brands with immediate effect. Kataria thus becomes the first Indian to be elevated to the global role of Bata. He takes over from Alexis Nasard, who is stepping down after almost five years in the role.

9. SBI launches RuPay JCB contactless debit card

SBI has joined hands with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Japan’s JCB International Co to launch a new ‘SBI RuPay JCB Platinum Contactless Debit Card. The unique dual interface feature of this card enables the customers to use it for both contact and contactless transaction. Customers can use this new card in the domestic market as well as for transactions overseas.

10.Honeywell partners IISc’s SID

Honeywell International Inc. has partnered with the Society for Innovation and Development (SID) at the Indian Institute of Science (ISC). It will fund and support deep science startups with societal impact. Deep science and deep technology (DS-DT) startups refer to those that work on novel game-changing technologies that offer significant advances over those currently in use.

11. Lewis Hamilton wins Bahrain Grand Prix

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton took his 11th win of the 2020 season at the Bahrain Grand Prix on 29 November 2020. He came ahead of the Red Bull pair of Max Verstappen and Alex Albon. Romain Grosjean suffered a crash and his car plunged into the barriers at Turn 3 on Lap 1. Sergio Perez came fourth.

12. Knight Riders expands in the US through investment

American Cricket Enterprises has announced that the Knight Riders Group, owners of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR), have become stakeholders in Major League Cricket. Kolkata Knight Riders are two-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions (2012, 2014). They became owners of the Trinidad & Tobago T20 franchise in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in 2015.

13. Divi’s Lab to set up a facility in Andhra

Divi’s Laboratories has earmarked Rs. 1,500 crores to set up a new manufacturing facility in Andhra Pradesh. The work on the manufacturing plant would commence from December 7, 2020. The Unit-III facility will come up in the East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh. It will be investing about Rs. 1,500 crores out of its internal accruals in a phased manner for the implementation of the plant.

14. First eco-bridge for small animals in Uttarakhand

The Ramnagar Forest Division of Uttarakhand has constructed the state’s first eco-bridge across the Kaladhungi-Nainital highway. It is an attempt to save reptiles and small animals from vehicular accidents while crossing the road. No cement or iron was used in the construction of the bridge. It’s made of eco-friendly items like bamboo, rope, and grass.

15. ‘Koushalya Karnataka’ magazine released

Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa has released the first edition of ‘Koushalya Karnataka’, a monthly magazine, to provide a link between job aspirants and employers. The magazine will have information about employment opportunities. It is being brought out by the Skill Development, Entrepreneurship, and Livelihood Department.

16. Four sites in India get a tag of WHIS

Four sites in India have received the World Heritage Irrigation Structure (WHIS) tag in Dec 2020. The sites are Cumbum Tank, Kurnool-Cuddapah Canal, Porumamilla Tank (Anantharaja Sagaram) in Andhra Pradesh, and 490-year-old Dhamapur Lake in Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg district. The International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) recognizes these structures.

17. Prof S Srivastava appointed first woman VC

Professor Sangita Srivastava has been appointed as the new regular Vice-Chancellor of Allahabad University (AU). She is the first woman chosen for this post at AU. Prof Srivastava is a former head of Allahabad University’s home science department,

18. WB govt launches ‘Duare Sarkar campaign’

West Bengal launched its massive outreach campaign “Duare Sarkar” (government at doorsteps). This campaign was launched to ensure that people avail the benefits of 11 state-run welfare schemes and also to hear out their grievances related to the programmes. The programme will be conducted with the slogan “jar jekhane darkar, asche apnar duare sarkar”.

19. Green Charcoal Hackathon launched

Union Power Minister RK Singh launched Green Charcoal Hackathon, which would focus on innovative ways to convert farm residue into green charcoal. NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN), a wholly-owned subsidiary company of NTPC Ltd, in partnership with Energy Efficiency Service Ltd (EESL), organized the technology challenge named as Green Charcoal Hackathon.

20. Facebook buys Kustomer for $1B

Facebook has decided to buy Kustomer for $1B to expand into customer service tools. Kustomer, a startup, was founded to disrupt the customer services industry with a new approach to providing agents with better data and a more unified picture of users by bringing together the many social media. Kustomer was co-founded by CEO Brad Birnbaum and Jeremy Suriel.

21. India mulls foreign lithium-asset investment

India is looking to acquire stakes in lithium assets overseas to secure supplies of the metal used in making power-storage batteries. The government plans to expand renewable energy capacity by about two-fold to 175 GW by 2022, and boost it further to 450 GW by 2030. India is seeking cheaper power-storage solutions to meet its climate commitments and reduce air pollution in its cities.

22. RTGS service now available 24X7

RBI announced that Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) will be made available round-the-clock from December 2020. Currently, RTGS is available for customers from 7.00 am to 6.00 pm on all working days of a week, except the second and fourth Saturdays of every month. India will be among very few countries globally with a 24x7x365 large value real-time payment system.

23. Giant Arecibo radio telescope collapses

A huge radio telescope in Puerto Rico that has played a key role in astronomical discoveries for more than half a century collapsed on December 1, 2020. The telescope’s 900-ton receiver platform fell onto the reflector dish more than 400 feet below. The telescope was built in the 1960s with money from the US defense department amid a push to develop anti-ballistic missile defenses.

24. Ferguson develops fast bowling analytics app

New Zealand pacer Lockie Ferguson and his brother Mitch have developed an app that helps to measure bowling speed. The Ferguson brothers have developed an application called Machineroad with which bowlers can measure their speeds on their smartphones. The app allows bowlers to record their training sessions while providing real-time feedback on lengths and bounce points.

25. Storm ‘Burevi’ over the southwest Bay of Bengal

The deep depression over the southeast and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal has intensified into a cyclonic storm. It is named as ‘Burevi’ and the name has been contributed by the Maldives. It is set to cross the shores between Pamban and Kanyakumari in southern Tamil Nadu early in the morning on 4 December 2020.

26. BrahMos missile successfully test-fired

BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile in Anti-Ship mode was successfully test-fired on 1 Dec 2020 against a decommissioned Ship. The test-firing was carried out by the Indian Navy. BrahMos is the supersonic cruise missile jointly developed by DRDO and NPOM of Russia as a Brahmos Aerospace joint venture, which became Brahmos Aerospace Private Limited.

27. Abhay Bhardwaj passes away due to COVID

Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament from Gujarat Abhay Bhardwaj passed away due to COVID-19 in December 2020. Abhay Bharadwaj was a prominent lawyer and was elected to Rajya Sabha in June 2020. He had tested coronavirus positive in August 2020 after attending party meetings and a roadshow in Rajkot.

28. Five-star village postal scheme launched

The Union Minister of State for Communication Sanjay Dhotre launched a five-star village postal scheme in Dehradun on 1 Dec 2020 for rural areas of Uttarakhand. It will ensure the universal coverage of flagship postal schemes. He also distributed Sukanya Samridhi Yojana passbooks, chequebooks, ATM Cards, and saving bank passbooks to the beneficiaries of senior citizen’s welfare fund schemes.

29. Maharashtra Government starts a new campaign

The Maharashtra Government has started a new campaign to detect patients suffering from leprosy and tuberculosis. The month-long campaign that began on 1 Dec 2020 will cover over 8.66 crore people, including over 6 crore people in rural areas. The door-to-door campaign will ensure that patients suffering from leprosy or tuberculosis are not deprived of the required medical attention.

30. MP aims to eliminate AIDS by 2030

In MP, the number of AIDS patients is growing rapidly. 69,400 people have been infected in the state so far. The highest number of patients was reported in Indore, which was 12,773. Bhopal is at number two with more than 7,000 patients. More than 60 projects for HIV control are underway in collaboration with voluntary organizations. The govt aims to eliminate AIDS by 2030.

31. Urmila Matondkar joins Shiv Sena

Actress Urmila Matondkar joined the Shiv Sena in the presence of party President and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, on 1 Dec 2020. The MahaVikas Aghadi government led by Shiv Sena has suggested Matondkar’s name to the governor for nomination to the state legislative council. She quit the Congress party in Sept 2019 after she unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

32. ADB, India sign a $132.8 million loan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India have signed a $132.8 million loan. It will help strengthen and modernize the distribution network and improve the quality of power supplied in Meghalaya. The project will construct 23 substations; renovate and modernize 45 substations, install and upgrade 2,214 kilometers of distribution lines, etc.

33. Board of Trade meeting held on 2 December

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal chaired a meeting of the Board of Trade (BOT) on 2 December 2020. The discussions focused on the new Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) (2021-26) and the strategies and measures to be taken in order to take forward domestic manufacturing and exports. BOT provides a platform to state goverments and UTs to articulate their perspective on trade policy.

34. Salesforce to buy Slack for $27.7 billion

Salesforce.com Inc. has agreed to buy Slack Technologies Inc. for $27.7 billion in cash and stock. The transaction, Salesforce’s largest-ever acquisition, is expected to close by the end of July 2021. Stewart Butterfield, Slack’s co-founder, and CEO will continue to run the business as a Salesforce unit when the deal is completed.

35. World’s first lab-grown meat

Singapore has given U.S. start-up Eat Just the green light to sell its lab-grown chicken meat. It is the world’s first regulatory approval for clean meat that does not come from slaughtered animals. Demand for alternatives to regular meat is surging due to consumer concerns about health, animal welfare, and the environment.

36. Hyundai Motor to launch dedicated EV platform

Hyundai Motor Group has announced that it will introduce an electric vehicle-only platform early in 2021. Its dedicated Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) will allow it to use its own battery module technology across various EV models and cut the number of components by 60%. An electric vehicle based on E-GMP will offer a driving range of 500 km (310 miles) or more on a single charge.

37. Virat: Fastest cricketer to score 12,000 runs

India captain Virat Kohli, on 2 Dec 2020, became the fastest cricketer to score 12,000 ODI runs, breaking a record held by Sachin Tendulkar. Kohli reached the milestone during the third and final match against Australia, Kohli got to the milestone in his 242nd inning (251 matches) thus bettering the previous record set by Sachin Tendulkar, who got his 12,000th run in his 300th inning.

38. UTI MF launches small-cap fund

UTI Small Cap Fund has been launched on 2 December 2020. The fund will be managed by Ankit Agarwal, the fund manager of UTI Midcap Fund. The fund will maintain a roughly 65-80% allocation to small caps, with the rest in mid-caps. It will aim to hold a portfolio of 60-70 stocks so that it can be scaled up without having to change the portfolio.

39. Nifty Midcap 100 index crosses 20,000

Nifty Midcap 100 index rose 0.5% cross the level of 20,000 for the first time in over two years, on 2 December 2020. The Nifty Midcap 100 Index is designed to capture the movement of the midcap segment of the market. The Index comprises 100 tradable stocks listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE).

40. PNB launches loan management solution

Punjab National Bank (PNB) has launched a tech-based loan management solution called ‘LenS-The Lending Solution’. It will speed up and maintain accuracy in online loan processing and sanctioning of credit proposals. This system is envisaged to be implemented in a phased manner for all kinds of loans MSME, agriculture, retail, and other credit.

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