1. Rahane becomes 1st recipient of Mullagh Medal
Ajinkya Rahane became the first recipient of the prestigious Mullagh Medal after India beat Australia in the 2nd Test match in Melbourne on Dec 29, 2020. Johnny Mullagh Medal is a tribute to honour the captain of Australia’s first sporting team to tour internationally. Cricket Australia had earlier announced that the Player of the match of the Boxing Day Test will be awarded, Mullagh Medal.
2. JMC Projects bags building projects
JMC Projects has bagged orders worth Rs 698 crore in the domestic market. It has won orders for building projects in South India worth Rs 698 crore. JMC Projects (India) Limited is a subsidiary of Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd. Its order inflows for the year 2020 has crossed Rs 6,700 crores.
3. Zydus Cadila receives DCGI nod for NAFLD drug
Drug firm Zydus Cadila has received approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for Saroglitazar Mg. It is used for the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is a progressive disease of the liver, which starts with fat accumulation in the liver in patients who do not consume alcohol or take it in insignificant amounts.
4. Vedanta Resources to issue $400 million
A unit of Vedanta Resources will issue $400 mn in notes to an entity under Oaktree Capital Group. The notes will be partly secured by shares in Mumbai-listed unit Vedanta Ltd. The new deal with Oaktree comes after Vedanta Resources sold $1bn of securities earlier in December 2020, at one of the highest yields for a dollar bond in Asia in 2020.
5. Glenmark launches drug for diabetes
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has launched a fixed-dose combination drug for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. It has introduced a fixed-dose combination of Remogliflozin Etabonate and Vildagliptin in India for the management of Type 2 diabetes. The company has launched the product under two brand names — Remo V and Remozen V in the country.
6. Iran begins the first human trial of the vaccine
The first study of the safety and effectiveness of a coronavirus vaccine in Iran began on 29 Dec 2020. The vaccine, produced by Shifa Pharmed, part of a state-owned pharmaceutical conglomerate, is the first in the country to reach human trials. The study, a Phase 1 clinical trial, will enroll a total of 56 volunteers to receive two shots of Iran’s vaccine within two weeks.
7. Amazon invests Rs. 11,400 cr in India during FY20
Amazon has invested over Rs. 11,400cr during FY2019-20 across its marketplace, payments, and wholesale business units in India to bolster its position in the country’s burgeoning digital commerce market. In Jan 2020, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had announced $1bn investment in India to help bring small and medium businesses online. Previously, Amazon had committed $5.5 bn investments in India.
8. Govt collects Rs. 38,965 cr from coal mines
The government has collected Rs. 38,964.75 crores from the auctioned and allotted coal mines, till Nov 2020. Apart from 204 coal mines covered under the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, the remaining blocks are allocated under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act. Till date, 11 coal blocks under the MMDR Act have been allotted to various government companies.
9. Jio-Mediatek to launch gaming tournament
Reliance Jio along with chipset designer Mediatek are set to launch ‘Gaming Masters!’ It is an e-sports event targeted at new and existing online gaming enthusiasts in India. This 70-day e-sports tournament will be conducted between January 13 and March 7, 2021, and will be broadcast live on the JioTV HD Esports channel and YouTube. It will carry a cash prize of ₹ 12,50,000.
10. RIL completes acquisition of IMG’s stake
Reliance Industries Ltd has completed the acquisition of IMG Worldwide LLC’s stake in its sports management joint venture IMG Reliance Ltd (IMG-R). IMG-R has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company. IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events, and media, operating in more than 30 countries, and is a part of the Endeavor network.
11. JSPL gets “Regular Supplier” status
Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) has become India’s first private company to get “Regular Supplier” status from Indian Railways to supply 60kg 880 grade (90UTS) Rails. JSPL is also supplying 1080 grade Head Hardened rails to Rail Vikas Nigam Limited for the construction of Kolkata Metro rail tracks. It had also exported more than 2 Lakh tonnes of rails.
12. 1.83 crore Sukanya Samriddhi accounts opened
A total of 1 crore 83 lakh Sukanya Samriddhi accounts have been opened across the country with deposits amounting to over 58,222 crore rupees. PM Modi had launched the scheme, also known as girl child prosperity scheme in 2015 in Panipat, Haryana. The scheme ensures a bright future for girl children and has facilitated them in proper education, marriage expenses, and securing their future.
13. PM to lay the foundation stone of AIIMS at Rajkot
PM Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of AIIMS at Rajkot, Gujarat on 31 December 2020. For the project, 201 acres of land has been allotted. It is expected to be completed by mid-2022. The state-of-the-art 750-bed hospital will also have a 30-bed AAYUSH block. It will have 125 MBBS seats and 60 nursing seats.
14. 10 day Ice Hockey training concludes
In Kargil, the 1st-ever 10 day of Ice Hockey training for the children of village Kuksho, Dargo, and Pachari village concluded at Kuksho on 29 Dec’20. The coaching was given by the 1st women Ice Hockey international player from Kargil, Rigzin Yangdol. Councilor Chiktan Mohsin Ali was the chief guest of the closing ceremony who assured to build an ice hockey rink at Kuksho in the coming years.
15. Rajiv Bhatnagar chairs high level meeting
In J&K, Advisor to Lt Governor, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar chaired a high-level meeting of the Task Force Committee constituted for the implementation of National Education Policy-2020 in Higher Education Department (HED) on 29 Dec’20. He directed Commissioner Secretary HED to create the NEP-2020 vision core group for working out on the specific contour of the Policy as per the need of the UT.
16. New building of Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa inaugurated the new building of Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre in Bengaluru on 29 Dec 2020. The 13-story tall building will house 13 departments of medicine and a research center for medical college students. CM informed that a new health and medical education policy will also be introduced in the state.
17. Karnataka signs three agreements
Karnataka has signed three agreements with different firms to impart skill training to the youths of the state for fetching them jobs abroad. The agreements will equip youth with advanced skill sets to help them get lucrative jobs abroad. In one of the three agreements, the ITI trained youth will be further trained by Peenya Industrial Association member industries.
18. Dr Harsh Vardhan nominated for GAVI Board
Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has been nominated to be a board member at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI). He will be representing the South East Area Regional Office (SEARO)/ Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) constituency on the GAVI Board from January 1, 2021, until December 31, 2023. At present, the seat is held by Myint Htwe of Myanmar.
19. President presents Digital India Awards 2020
President Ram Nath Kovind virtually conferred the Digital India Awards 2020 through video conferencing on 30 Dec 2020. Digital India Awards have been institutionalized under the ambit of the National Portal of India to honor exemplary initiatives/ practices in Digital-Governance. The Awards were initially known as Web Ratna Awards until 2014 and were re-named Digital India Awards from 2016.
20. Dr Harsh Vardhan releases a report
Science and Technology Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has released the report – Action Agenda for an Atma Nirbhar Bharat. It has been prepared by Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council, TIFAC in New Delhi. The comprehensive report is a consequential follow-up of the TIFAC’s White Paper on Focused Interventions for Make in India: post-COVID -19 which was released in July 2020.
21. Govt sanctions land for ITBP headquarters
3.83 acres of land in south Delhi has been sanctioned by the government for building the new headquarters of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force that guards the LAC with China. An adjacent 4.85 acre land has also been sanctioned on a temporary basis in south Delhi which will be used for plantation and keeping the area green.
22. New species of Indian Muraingrass discovered
Researchers from the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), in collaboration with their counterparts from the University of Goa, have discovered a species of Indian Muraingrass along the Western Ghats. Besides being of economic significance as it is commonly used as fodder, this species, named Ischaemum janarthanamii, has fought harsh conditions to survive in this ecologically-sensitive region.
23. Tata Sons to buy more stake in AirAsia India
Tata Sons will buy 32.67 per cent more stake in Air Asia India, bringing its total share to 83.67 per cent in the airline. At present, Tata Sons holds 51 per cent stake in Air Asia India, with 49 per cent shares held by the Air Asia Group. Air Asia India has planned to sell its stake to focus on its recovery in the Southeast Asian markets amid the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel.
24. Mumbai airport introduces COVID test facility
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) has introduced a new 24X7 COVID-19 testing facility, which gives test results in flat 13 minutes at a cost of Rs 4,500. In compliance with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) standards, CSMIA is the first airport to adopt the express test method by Abbott ‘ID Now.
25. Tesla signs 5 year deal with Chinese company
China’s Sichuan Yahua Industrial Group Co Ltd has signed a deal to supply battery-grade lithium hydroxide to U.S. electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Tesla Inc for the next five years. Yahua, which is based in southwest China’s Sichuan province, put the total value of the contract, signed by its wholly-owned subsidiary Yaan Lithium, at $630-$880 million over 2021-25.
26. Fashion designer Pierre Cardin passes away
French fashion designer Pierre Cardin passed away in December 2020. He was known for his Space-Age designs and visionary creations. The French fashion designer is credited for helping revolutionise fashion styles in the 1960s and 1970s. He implemented futuristic looks and designs for doing the same. Apart from designing, Cardin was also a business mogul.
27. Adani ports crosses Rs. 1 trillion in market cap
Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd went beyond the Rs.1 trillion in market capitalisation. This is the second Adani group company after Adani Green Energy Ltd, to have achieved the milestone in the group. Adani Ports also recently acquired Krishnapatnam Port for an enterprise value of Rs. 12,000 crores.
28. Anen Dawa passes away
Anen Dawa, the last surviving personal bodyguard of the Dalai Lama who escorted him during the 1959 escape to India, passed away in December 2020. Born in 1939, Anen Dawa was only 15 when he joined the personal army of the Dalai Lama in Norbulingka, Tibet. Dawa was one of the guards who accompanied the Dalai Lama.
29. Hussain Sagar to get market and cycling track
Hyderabad’s Hussain Sagar is soon going to get a lake view Night Bazaar, two 80-seater boats and one cycling track. The night bazaar would run 1,300 metres along the lake. All stalls coming up in the market will be made out of pre-fabricated fibre reinforced plastic. A cycling track is being built on Necklace Road. The cycling track is 7km long with a width of around 1.5mt on either side.
30. Japan developing wooden satellites
A Japanese company and Kyoto University have joined forces to develop the world’s first satellites made out of wood by 2023. The two partners will start researching wood materials in space and experimenting with different types of woods in extreme environments on Earth. Sumitomo Forestry, part of the Sumitomo Group, has started research on tree growth and the use of wood materials in space.
31. IIT Kharagpur to train learners in HPC and AI
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur will impart training to Indian engineers and scientists in High-Performance Computing (HPC) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). This training comes under a new project ‘NSM Nodal Center for training in HPC and Al’ from the Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India. IIT Kharagpur hosts a 1.3 Petaflop supercomputer named Paramshakti.
32. ICICI Bank joins hands with Google Pay
ICICI Bank has joined hands with Google Pay for the issuance of FASTag. FASTag is a reloadable tag that enables automatic deduction of toll charges and lets users pass through the toll plaza without stopping for cash transactions. This collaboration enables Google Pay users to order, track, and even recharge ICICI Bank FASTag digitally on the payments platform itself.
33. Manikchand Award reinstated by MP govt
MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced that the national award in journalism given by the state government in the name of Manikchand Vajpayee Mamaji will be restarted. He announced this while releasing a postal stamp on the birth centenary of Manikchand Vajpayee Mamaji. Manikchand Vajpayee was a nationalist and distinguished journalist of India.
34. Sunil Kumar takes charge as IG of BSF
Sunil Kumar, an IPS officer of 1996 batch, took charge as Inspector General of North Bengal Frontier of the Border Security Force (BSF) on 28 Dec’20. He joined it from FTR HQ BSF Mizoram and Cachar upon his permanent posting. He joined BSF on August 2, 2018, on central deputation. He has already served one tenure at Siliguri as Inspector General of subsidiary training centre Baikunthpur.
35. Gender Park to host 3-day global meet
The Gender Park, in partnership with UN Women, is organising the second edition of International Conference on Gender Equality. It will enable stakeholders to engage with different aspects of sustainable entrepreneurship and social businesses. The three-day conference, beginning on February 11, 2021, will be held at The Gender Parks Kozhikode campus in a partially- digital (hybrid) format.
36. AU Finance Bank ties up with ICICI Prudential
AU Small Finance Bank (AU Bank) on December 28, 2020, announced its partnership with ICICI Prudential Life Insurance to offer need and goal-based life insurance solutions. Over 18 lakh customers of AU Bank across over 700 banking touchpoints, will have easy access to the entire suite of customer-centric protection and long-term savings products of ICICI Prudential Life.
37. Gujarat announces new solar policy
A new solar policy was announced by the Gujarat government on 29 Dec 2020. It offers a slew of incentives such as allowing consumers to lease their roofs and premises for setting up plants. In addition, residential and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) consumers can sell the surplus power generated after meeting their consumption needs at a tariff of Rs. 2.25 per unit.
38. First pollinator park of India inaugurated
Sprawling across 4 acres, India’s first pollinator park was inaugurated on 29 Dec’20 at Haldwani in Nainital district of Uttarakhand. It has around 50 different pollinator species, which include various species of butterflies, honeybees, and birds. The objective is to conserve various pollinator species and to create awareness among the public about the importance of pollination.
39. Odisha government approves a proposal
Odisha Cabinet has approved a proposal related to the reservation for students of government high schools for admission to engineering and medical colleges. This will be applicable from the next academic year onwards. A high powered committee will be constituted under the chairmanship of a retired High Court judge to finalize the modalities of implementation of the decision.
40. Uttarakhand police to get weekly-offs from Jan 1
In a first, the Uttarakhand police has announced weekly-offs for police personnel in the Himalayan state from January 1, 2021. Under the initiative, the weekly-offs would be provided to the head-constables and constables posted in the nine hill districts of Pauri Garhwal, Tehri Garhwal, Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Champawat, Pithoragarh, Uttarkashi, Almora and Bageshwar.
41. Delhi govt to provide dry rations to students
The Delhi government will provide students of schools dry rations under the mid-day meal scheme for six months. The move comes in view of the continued closure of schools since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was announced by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on 29 December 2020.
42. ICICI Bank buys 9.09% stake in Myclassboard
ICICI Bank has acquired a 9.09% stake in ed-tech platform Myclassboard Educational Solutions for Rs. 4.5 crores. Post-investment, ICICI Bank will hold 9.09 per cent stake in MESPL through the acquisition of 100 equity shares and 1,04,890 cumulative compulsorily convertible preference shares on a fully diluted basis. The transaction is expected to be completed by end of February 2021.
43. Bajaj Allianz General partners with J&K govt
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance has in association with Jammu & Kashmir Govt launched the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) SEHAT. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on 26 Dec 2020 launched the PMJAY SEHAT scheme for all J&K residents. A total of 2.1 mn families will be covered under the SEHAT scheme. SEHAT stands for social, endeavour for health, and telemedicine.