Current Affairs 4th December 2020

Table of Contents

1. International Day of Banks: 4 December

On 19 December 2019, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 74/245, which designated 4 December as the International Day of Banks. It was designated in recognition of the significant potential of multilateral development banks and other international development banks in financing sustainable development and providing know-how.

2. 04 December: Indian Navy Day

Indian Navy Day is celebrated every year on December 4 to commemorate the attack on the Karachi harbour during the India-Pakistan war in 1971. On this day, the Indian Navy’s attack on Karachi harbour contributed to the ultimate victory of the Indian Armed Forces over Pakistan. The theme of Navy Day 2020 is “Indian Navy Combat Ready, Credible & Cohesive”.

3. IIT Ropar partners with IIT Alumni Council

IIT Ropar has partnered with IIT Alumni Council. It will arrange the primary International Centre of Excellence (GCE) within the area of agritech and water below the India Innovation Community (i2Net) initiative. IIT Alumni Council will facilitate the funding of Rs. 40 crores in GCE Punjab via PanlIT Institute and MegaFund.

4. Police station in Thoubal: Best in-country

Nongpok Sekmai police station in Manipur’s Thoubal district has been selected as the best police station in India. This was announced by the Ministry of Home Affairs in its fresh rankings for 2020. The govt selects best performing police stations out of 16,671 in the country every year to incentivize more effective functioning of police stations and bring healthy competition among them.

5. Germany bans far-right group Wolf Brigade 44

More than 180 police officers raided homes in three German states on 1 Dec 2020 after the German government banned a far-right group Wolfsbrigade 44. The far-right group, founded in 2016, is also known for its anti-Semitic and racist ideology. Earlier in 2020, the German govt had banned other far-right groups including the Combat 18 and the Nordadler.

6. Microsoft, NSDC join hands

Microsoft India and the National Skill Development Corporation are joining hands for the India edition of Microsoft Imagine Cup 2021. It is an annual innovation challenge for students and technology enthusiasts. Imagine Cup is a global competition designed to empower students to apply artificial intelligence and other technologies to solve some of the world’s most critical social issues.

7. India records the largest reduction in malaria

India made impressive gains in the global fight against malaria, recording the largest reduction in cases in South-East Asia from 20 million in 2000 to about 5.6 million in 2019, according to WHO. The World Malaria Report 2020, said that in 2019, malaria cases globally numbered about 229 million. In 2019, the disease claimed about 4,09,000 lives, compared to 4,11,000 in 2018.

8. NDA institutes new award

The National Defence Academy has instituted a new award for cadets. It has been named after Lt Ummer Fayaz who was killed by terrorists in 2017 in the Kashmir valley. The winner of the 1st Commandant’s Motivation Award – Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz, Rajputana Rifles Regiment Trophy, and Silver Medal for displaying overall improvement in performance has been awarded to Cadet Vijay Bahadur.

9. Stephanie: 1st woman to officiate men’s League

Stephanie Frappart became the first woman to referee a men’s Champions League game on 2 December 2020. Frappart has already made history as the first woman to referee in Ligue 1, and took charge of the 2019 Uefa Super Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea. She also made her Europa League debut in October 2020.

10. Dr. S Ramakrishnan passes away

ISRO scientist and Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre’s former director Dr. S Ramakrishnan passed away in Thiruvananthapuram in December 2020. A native of Chennai, Dr. Ramakrishnan joined VSSC in 1972. He is a recipient of several prestigious awards including the Padma Shri. He had also served as a member of the International Council of Aerospace Scientists.

11. Cristiano Ronaldo scores 750th goal

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 750th career goal during Juventus’ 3-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League game. He has so far scored 450 goals for Real Madrid, 118 for Manchester United, 102 for Portugal, 75 for Juventus, and five for Sporting. Ronaldo is among the candidates shortlisted for 2020’s Best FIFA Men’s Player Award.

12. Bol to acquire 49% stake in subsidiaries

Bank of India will acquire 49% stake each in BOI AXA Investment Managers Pvt Ltd and BOI AXA Trustee Services Pvt Ltd. After the acquisitions, both the entities will become Bank of India’s fully owned subsidiaries. The transaction, to be done on a cash basis, is proposed to be completed by end of December 2020, or another extended date mutually agreed between them.

13. India, US sign MoU

India and the US have signed an MoU on Intellectual Property (IP) cooperation between the two countries. This agreement will help in conducting programs and events to provide details of the practices, experiences, and more such information on IP to the public as well as the industry, universities, Research and Development (R&D), and small and medium-sized enterprises.

14. J Abraham named as PETA’s Person of the Year

John Abraham has been named the Person of the Year for 2020 by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). John Abraham had sent a letter urging an e-retailer to stop trading in live animals. He is pushing for a ban on the use of animals in circuses and is part of a campaign against keeping birds in cages.

15. ‘Sher-e-Kashmir’ bodybuilding competition

The Indian Army organized “Sher-e-Kashmir”, a bodybuilding competition in Srinagar in which youth from across Kashmir participated. More than 50 young bodybuilders participated in the competition. The main aim to organise this competition was to channelize the energy of the youth of Kashmir so that they do not deviate and choose the wrong path.

16. K Harris names Flournoy as her Chief of Staff

US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris named Tina Flournoy to be her White House Chief of Staff. Flournoy has served as Chief of Staff to former US President Bill Clinton. Flournoy served as an assistant to Clinton for public policy at the American Federation of Teachers, a union representing 1.7 million members.

17. Binny Bansal to join PhonePe board

Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal to join PhonePe’s board of directors, as the digital payments firm separates from parent Walmart-owned Flipkart to become an independent entity. Bansal will join PhonePe co-founders Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari and Rohit Bhagat on the board. Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal had abruptly resigned from the e-commerce major in November 2018,

18. Indian teacher wins Global Teacher Prize

Indian teacher Ranjitsinh Disale was named as the winner of the Global Teacher Prize 2020. Disale teaches at the Zilla Parishad Primary School, Paritewadi, Solapur, in Maharashtra and has been credited for transforming the lives of young girls. His name was announced by English actor, comedian, and writer Stephen Fry at a virtual ceremony broadcast from the Natural History Museum in London.

19. Former French President dies

Former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing, who led his country into a new modern era and onto a firmly pro-European path, died in December 2020. Giscard became the youngest ever president at 48 in 1974, beating his Socialist rival Francois Mitterrand, to whom he then lost after his seven-year term in 1981 in a failed re-election bid.

20. Mad Max star Hugh Keays-Byrne dies

Veteran actor Hugh Keays-Byrne, who played villain Immortan Joe in George Miller’s cult hit “Mad Max: Fury Road”, has died in December 2020. Born in 1947 in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir to British parents, the actor was very young when his family moved to Britain. He started his acting career when he was cast in the TV series “Bellbird”, created by Barbara Vernon.

21. Rajinikanth to launch a political party

Tamil superstar Rajinikanth announced that he will be launching his political party. Rajinikanth said that the party will be launched in January 2021, following an official announcement on December 31, 2020. The party would participate in the 2021 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections.

22. Tata Digital invests in CSC Grameen e-Store

Tata Digital has invested about Rs 10 crore in the government’s rural e-commerce venture, Grameen e-Store. Tata Digital has purchased an undisclosed stake and will get a seat on the board of CSC Grameen e-Store Pvt Ltd. Grameen e-Store was launched in April 2020 and has posted Rs 120 crore in turnover so far.

23. PM Modi addresses at IIT-2020 Global Summit

PM Modi delivered a keynote address at the IIT-2020 Global Summit, organized by PandIT USA on 4 Dec 2020. The theme of 2020’s summit is ‘The Future is Now’. It focused on issues like the global economy, technology, innovation, health, habitat conservation, and universal education. Pan IT USA is an organization that is more than 20 years old. It is run by an all-volunteer team of IIT alumni.

24. DRI celebrates its 63rd Founding Day

Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) is celebrating its 63rd Founding Day on 4 Dec 2020. A panel discussion on Trade-Based Money Laundering was organized through video conferencing. For more than six decades, DRI with its presence across India and abroad has been carrying out its mandate of countering organized crime groups engaged in smuggling of contraband goods.

25. Hunar Haat to be organized in Rampur

The next “HunarHaat” will be organized at Numaish Ground, Rampur from 18th to 27th Dec 2020, and Shilp Gram, Lucknow from 23rd to 31st January 2021. The theme will be “Vocal for Local”. Artisans and craftsmen from 27 States and UTs including Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, etc. will bring their indigenous exquisite handmade products for display and sale at these HunarHaats.

26. Phase 8 of the Vande Bharat Mission extended

Phase 8 of the Vande Bharat Mission has been operational since 1st Nov 2020. It has now been extended until the 31st of December 2020. Under this extended phase called Phase 8 Plus, 897 international flights have been scheduled to operate from 15 countries with a capacity to repatriate an estimated 1.5 lakh people. Till now, 34.1 lakh Indians have been repatriated through different modes.

27. ‘No Dorai’ wins Bangladesh best film award

The Bangladesh Ministry of Information has announced the National Film Awards for 2019. Films ‘No Dorai’ and ‘Fagun Haway’ jointly won the best film award. Taneem Rahman Anghshu who directed the film ‘No Dorai’ got the Best Director award. The film ‘No Dorai’ dominated the awards in several categories including Best Cinematography, Best Sound Recording, and Best Screenplay.

28. US imposes visa curbs on members of CCP

US President Donald Trump’s administration has issued new rules to restrict travel to the United States by members of China’s ruling Communist Party (CCP) and their families. The new policy, which took immediate effect, limits the maximum duration of travel visas for party members and their families to one month from 10 years.

29. Odisha crosses a milestone

Odisha has crossed another milestone in conducting over 6 million tests for COVID-19. The state, which has been conducting over 40 thousand tests per day, completed a total of 60,19,855 sample tests till 2 Dec 2020. The active caseload has collapsed to 4186. It is for the first time in over four and a half months that the active cases in the state have gone down below 5,000.

30. 15 National Highway projects inaugurated

Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari along with CM of Nagaland Neiphiu Rio inaugurated and laid the foundation stones of 15 National Highway projects of Nagaland through video conference on 4 Dec 2020. The projects have a total length of 270 km. They will connect Kohima to Phek District and Myanmar border and provide alternate access to Imphal to Dimapur.

31. Gitanjali Rao named as Kid of the Year

Indian-American teenager Gitanjali Rao has been named as TIME magazine’s first-ever “Kid of the Year”. She has been recognized for her works using ‘technology to tackle issues ranging from contaminated drinking water to opioid addiction and cyberbullying! The 15-year-old from Colorado, US was selected from 5,000 nominees and was interviewed by Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie.

32. Limit for contactless card transaction hiked

Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das has informed that RBI has enhanced limits for contactless card payments from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 5,000. This will be effective from 1 January 2021 and will be at the discretion of the user. The transfer of funds through Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) will be made available round-the-clock in the next few days.

33. RBI keeps repo rate unchanged

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in its bi-monthly monetary meet on 4 Dec 2020, has decided to keep the repo rate unchanged. This is the third time in a row the central bank has kept the key rates unchanged. After the announcement, the repo rate and reverse rate remain at 4% and 3.35%, respectively. RBI had slashed the repo rate by 115 basis points since late March 2020 to support growth.

34. RBI upgrades GDP forecast

The Reserve Bank expects GDP to contract 7.5% this fiscal. This was announced by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das while announcing monetary policy committee decision to keep interest rate unchanged. This is an upgrade from the central bank’s earlier forecast of 9.5% contraction in its October 2020 review. The RBI projected inflation at 6.8% for Q3 of this fiscal.

35. BAM among front runners for Fortum’s projects

Actis Llp and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. have emerged among the front runners for acquiring a majority stake in Finland’s power utility Fortum Oyj’s 500 MW Indian solar projects. The stake sale deal potentially valued at about Euro 500 million, is set to rank among the largest in India’s green energy space. Kotak Investment Banking will run the sale process.

36. US approves sale of military hardware to India

The US has approved India’s request to purchase USD 90 million worth of military hardware and services in support of its fleet of C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States. This sale of spares and services will enable the IAF to sustain a mission-ready status with respect to the C-130J transport.

37. Dawid Malan achieves the highest rating points

England’s Dawid Malan has attained the highest-ever rating points for batsmen in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s T201 Player Rankings. With this, he has reached 915 points to become the first to cross the 900-point mark after Australian Aaron Finch’s 900-point achievement in July 2018. Malan has a 44-point lead over Pakistan’s Babar Azam, whom he overtook in September 2020.

38. Rafer Johnson passes away

American legend Rafer Johnson, who won the gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics for the decathlon event, died in Dec 2020. He was considered by many as the ‘World’s Greatest Athlete. He was the first Black captain of a United States Olympic team in 1960. He also played a crucial role in bringing the 1984 Olympics to Los Angeles, by being the founding member of LA84 Foundation.

39. New Zealand declares climate emergency

New Zealand has declared a “climate emergency” and promised to make its public sector carbon neutral by 2025. New Zealand joins 32 other countries including Japan, Canada, France, and Britain that have declared a climate emergency. Nearly half of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, mainly methane.

40. HDFC Bank to halt Its digital launches

The RBI has directed HDFC Bank, to stop issuing new credit cards and halt the launch of new digital businesses. The order has come after a notable rise in the number of outages of its online services over the last 2 years, the most recent being on Nov 21, 2020. It will suspend all launches of digital business generating activities planned under its program – Digital 2.0 (to be launched).

41. DRDO merges 2 labs to create new one

The govt has merged 2 DRDO labs to create a new one to do focused research on terrain and avalanches along the borders with China and Pakistan. The new laboratory named Defence Geo-Informatics Research Establishment has been made by merging two exiting labs. The two new labs merged are the Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment and the Delhi-based Defence Terrain Research Establishment.

 

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