Current Affairs 5th December 2020

Table of Contents

1. World Soil Day: 5 December

World Soil Day is held annually on 5 December as a means to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil. In Dec 2013, the UN General Assembly designated 5 Dec 2014 as the first official World Soil Day. This date was chosen because it corresponds with the birthday of the late H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand, who was one of the main proponents of this initiative.

2. Roshni tops the list of India’s richest women

Roshni Nadar Malhotra of HCL Technologies, followed by Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw of Biocon and Leena Gandhi Tewari of USV have topped the list of wealthiest women in India. This was shown in the second edition of the ‘Kotak Wealth Hurun-Leading Wealthy Women’ report, compiled by Kotak Wealth Management. The listing is based on the net worth of women as of September 30, 2020.

3. IFSCA gets membership of IAIS

The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has obtained membership of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS). With this, IFSCA would have access to IAIS’s global network and would be able to exchange ideas and information with other global regulators. IFSCA has been given the task of shaping the international financial services center in India.

4. Uday Shankar: President-Elect of FICCI

Uday Shankar is the President-elect of leading industry body FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry) for the year 2020-21. He will succeed Sangita Reddy during FICCI’s 93rd annual general meeting being held from 11-14 December 2020. He is the President of Walt Disney Company for the Asia Pacific, and Chairman of Star and Disney India.

5. Telangana ACB observes Anti-Corruption Week

The Anti-Corruption Bureau, Telangana, is observing Anti Corruption Week 2020, from 3-9 December 2020. On this occasion, K.Srikanth, DSP City Range II, ACB, Telangana released a poster, requesting the citizens to join hands to eradicate corruption. These posters with the details of the Anti-Corruption Bureau Office are being displayed at Public places and at Government Offices to create awareness.

6. Chitkara Univ. collaborates with SCL Mohali

The VLSI Centre of Excellence, Chitkara University, Punjab, India in collaboration with Semi-conductor Laboratory (SCL), Mohali, Punjab, India has designed and fabricated a low-voltage low-noise neural amplifier silicon chip in 0.18 um technology. It is useful for the diagnosis of various chronic diseases like Parkinson, Spinal cord injuries, Epilepsy and Paralysis, etc.

7. Odisha CM launches 15 online services

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik has launched 15 online services of the Dept of Fisheries and Livestock Development. Also, MoUs were signed with various entrepreneurs for Cage Culture in the Hirakud Reservoir. The online applications will provide many very useful services to fishers and farmers including registration of fishing boats, registration of brackish water farms, etc.

8. ‘Swarnim Sewa’ at Hyderabad Int. Airport

Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) in collaboration with GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. (GHIAL) has launched a unique passenger focusing service – “Swarnim Sewa” at Hyderabad International Airport. It will provide special service to the passengers in need of help at the airport. A team of CISF Swarnim Sewa personnel has been formed and deployed at the Airport.

9. CAB announces insurance

The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) on 3 Dec 2020 observed World Disability Day 2020. Around 30 differently-abled cricketers of all three categories — hearing impaired, visually challenged, and physically challenged visited Eden Gardens for the celebrations. The CAB also announced that it would be facilitating 30 differently-abled cricketers with insurance cover for a year.

10. New Deputy Chief of Strategy

The government has approved the creation of a new Deputy Chief of Strategy in the Army headquarters as per a plan first envisaged during the Doklam crisis with China back in 2017. The Centre has also cleared the creation of the post of Director General Information Warfare in the headquarters who would be dealing with media affairs too.

11. New campus of NIN to be called ‘Nisarg Gram’

The upcoming new campus of the National Institute of Naturopathy (NIN), Pune will be called ‘Nisarg Gram’. This decision has been taken to invoke recollections of Mahatma Gandhi’s famous nature cure campaign of 1946 at the ‘Nisarg Upchar’ Ashram in Uruli Kanchan village near Pune. The new institute’s curricula will be prepared in light of National Education Policy, 2020.

12. Dineshwar Sharma passes away

Dineshwar Sharma, Administrator of Lakshadweep and former Director of the Intelligence Bureau, passed away in December 2020. He was appointed as the Administrator of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep in October 2019. In 2017, he was appointed as the union government’s representative for peace talks with various groups in North-Eastern states on May 30, 2017

13. India-Mongolia Joint Committee on Cooperation

The seventh meeting of the India-Mongolia Joint Committee on Cooperation was held virtually between EAM Dr. S Jaishankar and Chief Cabinet Secretary of Mongolia L Oyun-Erdene in December 2020. The two sides agreed to establish AYUSH Information Cell in Ulaanbaatar at an early date. The two sides also agreed to hold the next meeting of the India-Mongolia Joint Committee on Cooperation in 2021.

14. UP CM disburses loan to 3.54L MSME units

UP CM Yogi Adityanath disbursed a loan of Rs 10 thousand 390 crores to 3.54L MSME units during the MSME loan fair in Lucknow. Chief Minister disbursed the loan to the newly established units along with the new MSMEs under the self-sufficient India package. Chief Minister also distributed advanced tool kit related to their business to the trainees of the ‘One District One Product Scheme

15. IIT Kharagpur develops Al-based device

IIT Kharagpur researchers have developed a portable Artificial Intelligence-based device for automatic inspection of goods manufactured in MSMEs. The portable device will click pictures of products when set up on a batch of goods and send the feed to the Al-based software for quality control.

16. TMKOC co-writer Abhishek Makwana dies

Abhishek Makwana, one of the writers of the popular sitcom Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, died in December 2020. Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah is the longest-running sitcoms of Indian television. The series, produced by Asit Kumarr Modi, stars Dilip Joshi, Amit Bhatt, Shailesh Lodha, Munmun Dutta, and Mandar Chandwadkar, among others.

17. WB CM announces free tabs for students

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that her government will provide free tabs to 9.5 lakh students in government schools and madrasas to facilitate online education. In Bengal, there are 36,000 government and government-aided schools, 14,000 higher secondary schools, and 636 madrasas..

18. Veteran Rashid ‘Ram’ Salojee passes away

Dr. Rashid Ahmed Mahmood, a prominent Indian-origin South African activist who participated in the anti-apartheid movement, died in December 2020. Mahmood was fondly called Rashid ‘Ram’ Salojee. He lived and worked as a surgeon in Lenasia, a township that was created to resettle migrants from India.

19. Prayagraj Student becomes PETA’s ‘VOTY’

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has named O P Jindal Global University’s student Ayan Banerjee as its 2020 ‘volunteer of the year! Ayan, an 18-year-old student from Prayagraj, is a vegan and he joined PETA India’s volunteer ranks two years ago. During the pandemic, he encouraged students to join PETA Youth’s online webinar on vegan eating.

20. ‘Gaurav Stambh’ dedicated to the nation

Flag Officer Commanding in Chief of the Western Naval Command, Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar dedicated the ‘Gaurav Stambh’ to the nation on 4 Dec 2020. Set against the ramparts of Bombay Castle in the Naval Dockyard, the monument depicts a submariner, a surface warrior, and a naval aviator to represent all three dimensions of the Indian Navy and is inscribed with a Sanskrit shloka.

21. PASSEX conducted by Indian and Russian Navy

The Indian Navy (IN) is undertaking a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with the Russian Federation Navy (RuFN) in the Eastern Indian Ocean Region (IOR) from 4-5 Dec 2020. IN is being represented by indigenously constructed guided-missile frigate Shivalik and anti-submarine corvette Kadmatt along with integral helicopters. The exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability.

22. I&B Ministry issues an advisory

Information and Broadcasting Ministry has issued an advisory on advertisements on online gaming, fantasy sports, and others. It has issued guidelines which will be effective from 15 Dec 2020. As per the guidelines, no gaming advertisement may depict any person under the age of 18 years doing online gaming for real money winnings or suggest that such a person can play these games,

23. Bangladesh sends Rohingyas to Bhashan Char

The govt of Bangladesh sent a batch of 1642 Rohingyas to the newly developed facility at Bhashan Char on 4 Dec 2020. Another 3500 Rohingyas will be sent to the Bhashan char and the relocation will be completed within a few days. Currently, more than 1 mn Rohingyas are living in refugee camps in Bangladesh after fleeing the military crackdown in the Rakhine province of Myanmar in Aug’17.

24. HCs of 80 countries to visit Hyderabad

A group of Ambassadors and High Commissioners of around 80 countries will be visiting Hyderabad on 9 Dec 2020. They will visit some key research and development institutions. The External Affairs Ministry is organizing a high-profile visit to familiarize the foreign envoys about some key research and development activities being done in the country.

25. Vivek Murthy selected as Surgeon General

US President-elect Joe Biden has selected his key Covid-19 advisor, Dr. Vivek Murthy, as the next Surgeon General. The Indian-American doctor is one of the three co-chairs of the Biden’s coronavirus Advisory Board. The Surgeon General ser a four-year term ves and is the top government official on public health issues. Jerome Adams is the incumbent Surgeon General.

26. Maharashtra gets 10 new conservation reserves

The Maharashtra Wildlife Board has accepted suggestions to declare 10 areas of the state as conservation reserves. It has also agreed to upgrade Kanhalgaon in Chandrapur to the level of a sanctuary. The new conservation reserves are Amboli – Dodamarg, Chandgad, Aajra- Bhudargad, Gaganbawda, Panhalgad, Vishalgad, Jor Jambhli, Maini in western Maharashtra, and Mahendri and Munia in Vidarbha.

27. Doctor’s prescription not required for RT-PCR

In Gujarat, the doctor’s prescription will not be required henceforth for the RT-PCR test. This was announced by the State Health Department on 4 Dec 2020. Now the public can directly approach any government or private laboratory for getting their RT-PCR test. The state government is already providing Rapid Antigen Test facility free of cost throughout the state.

28. ‘Smuggling in India Report 2019-20’ released

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman released the Smuggling in India Report 2019-20 on 4 Dec 2020. The report analyses organized smuggling trends on gold and foreign currency, narcotic drugs, security, environment, and commercial frauds. She released the report on the 63rd Founding Day celebrations of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).

29. Bahrain: 2nd to grant authorization of vaccine

Bahrain has become the second nation in the world to grant an emergency-use authorization for the coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech. The immediate challenge for Bahrain would be the conditions in which the vaccine must be kept. They must be stored and shipped at ultra-cold temperatures of around minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit).

30. ‘Global Consumer Trends Fund of Fund’ launched

Invesco Mutual Fund has launched its new fund Invesco India – Invesco Global Consumer Trends Fund of Fund. The fund will invest 95% – 100% of its assets in shares of Invesco Global Consumer Trends Fund. The New Fund Offer (NFO) is open for subscription and will close on December 18, 2020. The fund covers a wide range of investment themes including e-commerce, entertainment, etc.

31. Tata Power Co. Ltd receives Letter of Intent

Tata Power Co. Ltd has received the Letter of Intent (LOI) for supplying electricity to the consumers of two electricity distribution companies (discoms) in Odisha. These are Western Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Ltd (WESCO) and the Southern Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha Ltd (SOUTCO). Tata Power will hold 51 percent equity with management control.

32. Ajay Banga named by Fortune in its list

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen and Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga have been named by Fortune among the Businessperson of the Year 2020. The list has been topped by Tesla CEO Elon Musk for the second time. Narayen was ranked 8th in the list, while Banga was ranked 9th. Banga, who had been Mastercard’s CEO for 10 years, will step down from his role and Michael Miebach will be the new CEO.

33. India: The largest buyer of COVID-19 vaccines

India is the largest buyer of COVID-19 vaccines in the world with 1.6 billion doses. The doses could cover 800 million people, or 60 percent of its population, and will be enough to develop ‘herd immunity! India has purchased 500 mn doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, 1bn from the US company Novavax and 100 million doses of the Sputnik V candidate from Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute.

34. Tata Sons buys shares in Tata Chemicals

Tata Sons Pvt Ltd has bought more than 25 lakh shares of Tata Chemicals via open market transaction. According to the bulk deal data available on NSE (National Stock Exchange), Tata Sons bought 25,71,651 shares of the company at an average price of Rs. 471.88. This took the total deal value to Rs. 121.35 crores.

35. International Volunteer Day: 5 December

International Volunteer Day is observed on December 5 every year. The day was designated by the United Nations in 1985 as an international observance day to celebrate the power and potential of volunteerism. The theme for International Volunteers Day 2020 is ‘Together We Can Through Volunteering.’

36. Former Pakistan PM Zafarullah Jamali dies

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali passed away in December 2020. He had served from November 2002 until June 2004. Jamali, Pakistan’s first and only elected Prime Minister from Balochistan, had served during the military regime of Gen Pervez Musharraf. However, Gen Musharraf sought his resignation in 2004, and he was replaced by Shaukat Aziz.

37. Kuldeep: Fit India Movement Ambassador

First Dronacharya awardee from J&K, Kuldeep Handoo has been appointed ‘Fit India’ Ambassador. Handoo, who is Wushu Coach of Team India is serving as Inspector in Jammu and Kashmir Police Department. The ‘Fit India Movement’ was started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the year 2019. Its purpose is to make every section of the country health conscious.

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