PROTON

December - 2019 - 17th to 21st

INTERNATIONAL

1. Sri Lanka formally releases "Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor" 

  • Sri Lankan government has formally released its new National policy Framework titled 'Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor'.
  • The framework is meant to guide the government ministries and departments in implementing their policies.
  • It is aimed at achieving fourfold outcome of being a productive citizen, a contented family, a virtuous, disciplined and just society and a prosperous nation.
  • Maintaining GDP growth rate of 6.5% or higher under the macroeconomic programme, achieving a per capita income exceeding 6,500 US dollar during 2020 to 2025 are one of the key objectives of the framework.
  • Sri Lanka Capitals: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte; Currency: Sri Lankan rupee.
    Prime minister: Mahinda Rajapaksa.

2. Donald Trump becomes 3rd US President to be impeached

  • Donald Trump has become the third US President in history to be impeached by the House of Representatives. The impeachment will led to setting up a trial in the Senate that will decide whether Trump will remain in office or not.
  • The House of Representatives formally charged Donald Trump with abuse of power.
  • The Democratic-led House passed the abuse of power article of impeachment on a largely party-line 230-197 vote. Although, no President in the 243-year history of the United States has been removed from office by impeachment.
  • Only two previous presidents have been impeached in the US history. The House in 1998 impeached President Bill Clinton while President Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868.


3. Ethiopia launched its first space satellite

  • Ethiopia launched its first satellite, a landmark achievement for the country's space program that caps a banner year for the African space industry.
  • The launch of the Ethiopian Remote Sensing Satellite (ETRSS) took place at a space station in China.
  • The launch makes Ethiopia the 11th African country to put a satellite into space. Egypt was the first in 1998.
  • Data provided by Ethiopia's satellite is expected to paint a fuller picture of the country's agriculture, forestry and mining resources and improve responses to flooding and other disasters.
  • Ethiopia Capital: Addis Ababa; Currency: Birr.


4. Indian-American computer scientist to lead National Science Foundation in USA

  • US President Donald Trump has picked Indian-American computer scientist Sethuraman Panchanathan to lead the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) in USA.
  • The NSF is a US government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Panchanathan would succeed France Cordova when her six-year term as the NSF Director ends in 2020.
  • Panchanathan is currently the Executive Vice President and the Chief Research and Innovation Officer at Arizona State University.
  • He is also the Founding Director of the Centre for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing at the ASU.


5. International Astronomical Union names new star 'Sharjah'

  • The International Astronomical Union (IAU) announced the names of the newly discovered stars and planets, where the name "Sharjah" was chosen for a star with "Barjeel" being the name of one of its planets.
  • International Astronomical Union Headquarters: Paris, France.
  • International Astronomical Union Founded: 28 July 1919.

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NATIONAL

1. Union government launches National Broadband Mission 

  • The Union government has launched National Broadband Mission to provide Broadband access to all villages by 2022.
  • The mission aims to connect 600,000 villages across India with an investment of Rs 7 lakh crore in the next 4 years from both government and private sector.
  • The mission is a part of the National Digital Communications Policy, 2018.
  • The mission will secure universal broadband access for implementation of broadband initiatives and aims to offer Internet speed upto 50 Mbps in a phased manner.
  • According to the government, 10% of the funds will come from Universal Service Obligation (USO) Fund and the remaining will come from industry in the form of towers and other assets.

2. GEM launches national outreach programme 'GeM Samvaad'

  • Government e-commerce portal GeM has launched a national outreach programme, "GeM Samvaad", to bring on-board more local sellers.
  • The outreach programme will take place with stakeholders across the country and with local sellers to facilitate on-boarding of local sellers on the marketplace.
    GeM has more than 15 lakh products and around 20,000 services, more than 3 lakh registered sellers and service providers and more than 40 thousand government buyer organizations.
  • Commerce Secretary of India: Anup Wadhawan.


3. Union government launches National Broadband Mission

  • The Union government has launched National Broadband Mission to provide Broadband access to all villages by 2022.
  • The mission aims to connect 600,000 villages across India with an investment of Rs 7 lakh crore in the next 4 years from both government and private sector.
  • The mission is a part of the National Digital Communications Policy, 2018.
  • The mission will secure universal broadband access for implementation of broadband initiatives and aims to offer Internet speed upto 50 Mbps in a phased manner.
  • According to the government, 10% of the funds will come from Universal Service Obligation (USO) Fund and the remaining will come from industry in the form of towers and other assets.


4. GEM launches national outreach programme 'GeM Samvaad'

  • Government e-commerce portal GeM has launched a national outreach programme, "GeM Samvaad", to bring on-board more local sellers.
  • The outreach programme will take place with stakeholders across the country and with local sellers to facilitate on-boarding of local sellers on the marketplace.
  • GeM has more than 15 lakh products and around 20,000 services, more than 3 lakh registered sellers and service providers and more than 40 thousand government buyer organizations.
  • Commerce Secretary of India: Anup Wadhawan.


5. Afghanistan becomes 1st country to recognize Indian Pharmacopoeia

  • The Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP) has been recognised formally by the National Department of Regulation of Medicines and Health Products of the Ministry of Public Health of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
  • With this Afghanistan has become the 1st country to recognize IP pursuant to the efforts of Department of Commerce and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • IP is an officially recognized book of standards as per the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules 1945 thereunder. It specifies the standards of drugs manufactured and marketed in India in terms of their identity, purity and strength.
  • To ensure the quality of medicinal products, the legal and scientific standards are provided by Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) in the form of Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP).


6. Portugal announces Gandhi Citizenship Education Prize

  • Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced the setting up of a Gandhi Citizenship Education Prize. Portugal will be launching a Gandhi Citizenship Education Prize, each year inspired by his different thoughts and quotes.
  • The first edition of this prize will be dedicated to animal welfare as Mahatma Gandhi said that the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
    Portugal Capital: Lisbon; Portugal Currency: Euro.


Proton Training Solution

STATES

1. Madhya Pradesh CM to inaugurate International Film Festival in Khajuraho 

  • The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Kamal Nath will inaugurate the International Film Festival in Shilpkala village of Khajuraho.
  • Films from the country and abroad including Bundelkhandi will be screened at the Tapra Talkies made for the festival.
  • The International Khajuraho Film Festival is being organized by the Prayas Sanstha in collaboration with the State Government.
  • Events like interaction with film stars, film making workshop, mobile film making workshop, plays, programmes for promoting local art and culture, herbal forest fair, animal fair etc. are also organized during the Film Festival.
  • Governor of Madhya Pradesh: Lal Ji Tandon.

2. Haryana Police became the first to introduce 'Trakea' software in FSL

  • Haryana police have introduced a unique barcoding software "Trakea" to enable foolproof security of the samples collected in Forensic reports.
  • Haryana became the first state in the country to introduce this unique barcoding system.
    Manohar Lal Khattar, Chief Minister (CM) of Haryana inaugurated the TRAKEA barcoding system of Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) at Madhuban, Haryana.
  • According to the police, Trakea ensures foolproof security of the samples collected from the scene of the crime, and the forensic analysis reports, and is different from traditional methods that the state police force has been following for decades.
  • The software was developed by a software engineer Amit Mishra.
    Governor of Haryana: Satyadeo Narayan Arya.


3. Music festival 'Tansen Samaroh' begins in Gwalior

  • In Madhya Pradesh, popular classical music festival 'Tansen Samaroh' began with traditional style in Gwalior with the recitations of Harikatha and Milad.
  • The 5-day festival is celebrated every year in the memory of one of the most eminent singers of Indian history, 'Mian Tansen'.
  • Tansen Samaroh, the oldest and esteemed classical music festival in India is organised by Ustad Alauddin Khan Kala Evam Sangeet Academy, under the Madhya Pradesh culture department attracts thousands of musicians and aspiring singers from all over the country.
  • It is the 95th year of the festival. Artistes from Greece, USA, Iran and Belgium will perform in different sessions of Tansen festival.
  • Noted vocalist Pandit Vidyadhar Vyas will be presented the National Tansen Award for 2019 today on the first day of Tansen Festival.
  • Instituted by the Madhya Pradesh government, Tansen award carries a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh and is given to outstanding exponents of Hindustani classical music.
  • Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh: Kamal Nath.
  • Governor of Madhya Pradesh: Lal Ji Tandon.


4. Orange festival begins in Manipur 

  • Chief Minister N. Biren Singh inaugurated the State-level Orange festival at district Tamenglong in Manipur.
  • Tamenglong district is largest producer of orange fruit in Manipur. The state government under the sponsorship of North Eastern Council organise the festival annually to promote the fruit and encourage its growers.
  • 'On day one, orange growers' competition was held and prizes were distributed to top position holders.
  • As part of the festival, cultural show, traditional games, orange queen completion, seminar for growers will be held.
  • Governor of Manipur: Najma Heptulla.


5. Music festival 'Tansen Samaroh' begins in Gwalior 

  • In Madhya Pradesh, popular classical music festival 'Tansen Samaroh' began with traditional style in Gwalior with the recitations of Harikatha and Milad.
  • The 5-day festival is celebrated every year in the memory of one of the most eminent singers of Indian history, 'Mian Tansen'.
  • Tansen Samaroh, the oldest and esteemed classical music festival in India is organised by Ustad Alauddin Khan Kala Evam Sangeet Academy, under the Madhya Pradesh culture department attracts thousands of musicians and aspiring singers from all over the country.
  • It is the 95th year of the festival. Artistes from Greece, USA, Iran and Belgium will perform in different sessions of Tansen festival.
  • Noted vocalist Pandit Vidyadhar Vyas will be presented the National Tansen Award for 2019 today on the first day of Tansen Festival.
  • Instituted by the Madhya Pradesh government, Tansen award carries a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh and is given to outstanding exponents of Hindustani classical music.
  • Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh: Kamal Nath.
  • Governor of Madhya Pradesh: Lal Ji Tandon.


6. Orange festival begins in Manipur 

  • Chief Minister N. Biren Singh inaugurated the State-level Orange festival at district Tamenglong in Manipur.
  • Tamenglong district is largest producer of orange fruit in Manipur. The state government under the sponsorship of North Eastern Council organise the festival annually to promote the fruit and encourage its growers.
  • 'On day one, orange growers' competition was held and prizes were distributed to top position holders.
  • As part of the festival, cultural show, traditional games, orange queen completion, seminar for growers will be held.
  • Governor of Manipur: Najma Heptulla.


7. Meghalaya Assembly to pass resolution to bring state under ILP 

  • The Meghalaya Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution urging the Government of India to implement Inner Line Permit in the state under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.
  • The one-day special session was conducted with the sole intention to pass the resolution in view of the demand by the indigenous residents of the state for implementation of the ILP.
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) is an official travel document issued by the Government of India to allow inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period.
  • It is obligatory for Indian citizens from outside those states to obtain a permit for entering into the protected state. The document is an effort by the government to regulate movement to certain areas located near the international border of India.
  • Meghalaya Capital: Shillong; Chief Minister: Conrad Sangma; Governor: Tathagata Roy.

Proton Training Solution

AGREEMENTS

1. ICAR & NABARD signed MoU to promote agriculture & farming systems research 

  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote sustainable agriculture and climate-resilient farming systems.
  • The research will be of active participation in climate-resilient practices, models and integrated and hi-tech farming practices in a participatory model.
  • The aim of this MoU was to promote sustainable agriculture and climate-resilient farming systems.
  • NABARD founded: 12 July 1982
  • NABARD Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • NABARD Chairperson: Harsh Kumar Bhanwala.

2. SBI inks $277 million pact with Germany based KfW bank

  • State Bank of India (SBI) has signed a loan agreement worth of $277 million (about Rs 1,958 crore) with Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) German development bank for establishing an energy-efficient housing programme in India.
  • The programme shall be part of the Indo-German Development Co-operation, guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • Under the programme, both builders and homebuyers shall be financed for developing/purchasing energy-efficient residential projects that achieve at least 25 per cent energy savings in comparison to standard reference buildings.
  • The arrangement of the loan and the grant facilities was facilitated by SBI's investment banking subsidiary SBI Capital Markets Ltd.
  • SBI Chairperson: Rajnish Kumar; Headquarters: Mumbai; Founded: 1 July 1955.


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APPOINTMENTS

1. Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane to be next Army Chief 

  • Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane will be the next Chief of Army Staff of India.
  • He is currently serving as Vice Chief of the Army. Lt Gen Naravane will succeed Gen Bipin Rawat, who will retire on the 31st December.
  • He has served in numerous command and staff appointments in peace, field and highly active counter-insurgency environments in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast.
  • In a distinguished military career spanning almost four decades, Lt Gen Naravane has the distinction of tenanting key appointments in active Counter Insurgency environments, both in the North East and in Jammu and Kashmir and was a part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka during Operation PAWAN.
  • He has been awarded the Sena Medal (Distinguished) for effectively commanding his battalion in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • He is also a recipient of the Vishisht Seva Medal for his services as the Inspector General Assam Rifles (North) in Nagaland and the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal for commanding of a prestigious strike corps.
  • He was honoured with Param Vishisht Seva Medal for his distinguished services as the General Officer Commanding in Chief of the Army Training Command.
  • The motto of Indian Army: "Service Before Self"
  • Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • Commander-in-Chief: President Ram Nath Kovind.

2. IAS Ravi Mittal takes charge as new I&B Secy

  • IAS officer Ravi Mittal took charge as the new Secretary, Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
  • Mr Mittal took charge from Amit Khare who has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Higher Education.
  • Before this, Mr Mittal, a 1986 batch IAS officer of Bihar Cadre, was working as the Special Secretary in the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance.


3. R N Ravi to hold additional charge as governor of Meghalaya

  • Nagaland Governor R N Ravi has been given additional charge of Meghalaya.
  • The decision has been taken by the President of India in the wake of the œabsence of leave of Tathagata Roy, Governor of Meghalaya.


4. British PM Boris Jhonson re-elected as Prime Minister of UK

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has won the historic UK General Election as his Conservative Party crossed the magic number of 326 required for a majority in the Parliament.
  • He is re-elected as a Prime Minister of UK.
  • Johnson won the historic election as his Conservative Party crossed the 326-mark required for a majority in Parliament.
  • The latest projections put the Johnson-led Conservatives at around 365, but the party can safely celebrate its victory as it comfortably crossed over the half-way finish line for the 650-member House of Commons.
  • The Opposition Labour party is projected to get 203 seats, a disastrous performance for the party which resulted in leader Jeremy Corbyn announced that he would be stepping down.
  • United Kingdom Capital: London.
  • United Kingdom Currency: Pound sterling.


5. Sridhar Patra appointed NALCO CMD

  • Sridhar Patra was appointed as the chairman-cum-managing director of National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO).
  • He is at present Director (Finance) in NALCO.
  • He has been appointed as the CMD of NALCO till the date on October 31, 2024. Sridhar Patra replaced Tapan Kumar Chand from the post.
  • NALCO is a Navratna Public Sector Enterprise under ministry of mines.
  • NALCO Established: 7 January 1981.
  • NALCO Headquarters: Bhubaneswar, Odisha.


6. England Cricketer Laura Marsh announces retirement

  • The Laura Alexandra Marsh, England cricketer announced her retirement.
  • Laura has won three World Cups in her 13-year career, she made her debut in 2006 as a seamer, later on, she switched to spin.
  • She has represented England in 103 ODI's (One Day International), 67 T20's and 9 Tests and has taken 217 wickets in her career.
  • She is also England's 3rd highest wicket-taker in ODI cricket.
  • Laura Marsh was awarded a full central contract by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in February 2019.
  • She played in her 100th women's One Day International (WODI) match against West Indies in June 2019.
  • England Capital: London; Currency: Pound sterling.


7. British PM Boris Jhonson re-elected as Prime Minister of UK

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has won the historic UK General Election as his Conservative Party crossed the magic number of 326 required for a majority in the Parliament.
  • He is re-elected as a Prime Minister of UK.
  • Johnson won the historic election as his Conservative Party crossed the 326-mark required for a majority in Parliament.
  • The latest projections put the Johnson-led Conservatives at around 365, but the party can safely celebrate its victory as it comfortably crossed over the half-way finish line for the 650-member House of Commons.
  • The Opposition Labour party is projected to get 203 seats, a disastrous performance for the party which resulted in leader Jeremy Corbyn announced that he would be stepping down.
  • United Kingdom Capital: London.
  • United Kingdom Currency: Pound sterling.


8. Sridhar Patra appointed NALCO CMD

  • Sridhar Patra was appointed as the chairman-cum-managing director of National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO).
  • He is at present Director (Finance) in NALCO.
  • He has been appointed as the CMD of NALCO till the date on October 31, 2024. Sridhar Patra replaced Tapan Kumar Chand from the post.
  • NALCO is a Navratna Public Sector Enterprise under ministry of mines.
  • NALCO Established: 7 January 1981.
  • NALCO Headquarters: Bhubaneswar, Odisha.


9. England Cricketer Laura Marsh announces retirement

  • The Laura Alexandra Marsh, England cricketer announced her retirement.
  • Laura has won three World Cups in her 13-year career, she made her debut in 2006 as a seamer, later on, she switched to spin.
  • She has represented England in 103 ODI's (One Day International), 67 T20's and 9 Tests and has taken 217 wickets in her career.
  • She is also England's 3rd highest wicket-taker in ODI cricket.
  • Laura Marsh was awarded a full central contract by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in February 2019.
  • She played in her 100th women's One Day International (WODI) match against West Indies in June 2019.
  • England Capital: London; Currency: Pound sterling.


10. Former HC Judge CV Ramulu appointed as Telangana Lokayukta

  • Former High Court Judge Justice CV Ramulu has been appointed as the Lokayukta of Telangana.
  • Former Law Secretary V Niranjan Rao has been appointed as Upa Lokayukta.
  • The governor also appointed another former judge Justice G Chandraiah as Chairman of the State Human Rights Commission.
  • This is the first time that the state government has constituted the Lokayukta and Human Rights Commission since the state was formed in 2014.
  • CM of Telangana: K Chandrashekhar Rao.
  • Capital of Telangana: Hyderabad.
  • Governor of Telangana: Tamilisai Soundararajan.


11. Devesh Srivastava appointed GIC chief

  • Devesh Srivastava has been raised to the position of Chairman and Managing Director (MD) at the General Insurance Corporation India (GIC Re).
  • Previously he was managing the departments of human resource and training, ReInsurance Worldwide (RIWW), corporate communications, CMD's Secretariat and innovation centre, he was transferred to GIC in 1999.
  • General Insurance Corporation India founded: 22 November 1972.
  • General Insurance Corporation India Headquarters: Mumbai, India.


12. IPS officer Atul Karwal appointed as Director of National Police Academy

  • The Union Government appointed a senior Gujarat Cadre IPS officer Atul Karwal, as Director of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy in Hyderabad.
  • He is a 1988 batch IPS officer, is currently posted as Additional Director General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

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AWARDS

1. UN Medal awarded to Indian peacekeepers to support the people of South Sudan 

  • Indian peacekeepers have been recognized for their strong contribution to building peace in conflict-affected South Sudan as well as for going above and beyond their duties to support local communities.
  • Almost 850 Indian troops received the United Nations Medal for their dedication and sacrifice serving so far away from home to protect civilians and build durable peace in South Sudan.
  • Currently, 2,342 Indian troops and 25 police personnel are deployed with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
  • The Indian troops were particularly praised for their efforts to support peace talks between Government and Opposition forces in the Upper Nile region and establishing the first-ever UNMISS base on the west bank of the Nile at Kodok.
  • United Nations Headquarters: New York, USA.
  • It was founded on 24 October 1945.
  • Secretary-General of the United Nations: Mr Antonio Guterres.

2. Union Rural Development Ministry selected UT of J&K for National award

  • Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has been selected for the national award by Union Rural Development Ministry for best performance in the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
  • Union Rural Development Ministry has sanctioned 147 Road and Bridge projects under PMGSY-II covering a length of 783.88 kilometres at an estimated cost of 878.53 crore rupees for Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
  • The entire road length has been sanctioned for up-gradation of existing road infrastructure with 10-year maintenance.
  • Lt. Governor of Jammu and Kashmir: Girish Chandra Murmu.


3. Gujarat police became 7th state police to get 'President's Colours' 

  • The state police of Gujarat were honoured with 'President's colours'. The Gujarat police were presented with the President's colours by Vice President of India Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
  • They were presented the president's colours for their outstanding services.
  • It is the highest honour given to a police force in India.
  • The previously awarded states were Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Tripura and Assam.
  • The president's colours is also known as 'Nishaan' which is an emblem that will be worn by all police officers on the left-hand sleeve of their uniform.
  • Gujarat CM: Vijay Rupani; Governor: Acharya Dev Vrat.


4. Ben Stokes awarded with Sports Personality of the Year 2019 award 

  • England cricketer Ben Stokes has been voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2019.
  • He has become the first cricketer since Andrew Flintoff in 2005 to win the prize.
  • Ben Stokes was Man of the Match as England won the 2019 World Cup for the first time with a dramatic super over victory against New Zealand at Lord's.
  • He was presented with his award by the Princess Royal and former Manchester United and Scotland footballer Denis Law.


5. Gujarat police became 7th state police to get 'President's Colours' 

  • The state police of Gujarat were honoured with 'President's colours'. The Gujarat police were presented with the President's colours by Vice President of India Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
    They were presented the president's colours for their outstanding services.
    It is the highest honour given to a police force in India.
    The previously awarded states were Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Tripura and Assam.
    The president's colours is also known as 'Nishaan' which is an emblem that will be worn by all police officers on the left-hand sleeve of their uniform.
    Gujarat CM: Vijay Rupani; Governor: Acharya Dev Vrat.


6. Ben Stokes awarded with Sports Personality of the Year 2019 award 

  • England cricketer Ben Stokes has been voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2019.
  • He has become the first cricketer since Andrew Flintoff in 2005 to win the prize.
  • Ben Stokes was Man of the Match as England won the 2019 World Cup for the first time with a dramatic super over victory against New Zealand at Lord's.
  • He was presented with his award by the Princess Royal and former Manchester United and Scotland footballer Denis Law.

Proton Training Solution

BANKING

1. RBI waives NEFT, RTGS transfer charges for savings account holders 

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has waived NEFT, RTGS transfer charges for savings account holders.
  • In an order, RBI instructed banks to make all online payments done through RTGS and NEFT free of cost for savings account holders.
  • The new rule will be effective from January 1, 2020.
  • RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikant Das, Headquarters: Mumbai, Founded: 1 April 1935, Kolkata.

2. Google searches for 'Operation Twist' surge in India

  • Google searches for 'Operation Twist' surged in India after the central bank announced its version of the U.S. Federal Reserve's unconventional monetary policy.
  • Most searches for the term came from Delhi followed by Maharashtra.
  • The central bank will buy long-term bonds, while simultaneously selling short-term government securities in an effort to cheapen long-term borrowing and boost bank lending.
  • The Reserve Bank of India will buy longer-tenor bonds while selling shorter debt.
  • The concept is similar to Operation Twist used by the Fed in 2011-2012 in an effort to cheapen long-term borrowing and spur bank lending.
  • RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikant Das; Headquarters: Mumbai; Founded: 1 April 1935, Kolkata.


3. RBI to buy and sell govt bonds worth Rs 10,000 crore

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will simultaneously purchase and sell government securities worth Rs 10,000 crore under a special Open Market Operation (OMO).
  • On a review of the current liquidity and market situation and an assessment of the evolving financial conditions, the Reserve Bank has decided to conduct simultaneous purchase and sale of government securities on December 23, 2019.
  • The purchase will be for government securities worth Rs 10,000 crore for the instrument '6.45 per cent GS 2029'.
  • The Reserve Bank reserves the right to decide on the quantum of purchase/sale of individual securities and to accept bids/offers for less than the aggregate amount.


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ECONOMY

1. GoI signs $250 Mn loan with ADB to expand energy efficiency investments 

  • The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a $250 million loan for Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL).
  • The loan aims to expand energy efficiency investments in India that will benefit agricultural, residential and institutional consumers. Additionally, $46 million financing will be provided from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), to be administered by ADB.
  • The project is expected to contribute to the mission of Government of India to promote energy efficiency and meet Government's commitments to reduce energy intensity of the economy.
  • Introduction of energy-efficient technologies in eligible states including smart meters, distributed solar photovoltaic systems and electric vehicles will help reduce electricity network losses and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

2. ADB & India signs $490 Million loan to upgrade roads of Madhya Pradesh

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India has signed a $490 million loan.
  • The loan is signed for public-private partnership (PPP) project through the hybrid-annuity model (HAM) to upgrade about 1,600 km of state highways and major district roads in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
  • An additional $286 million investment will be mobilised through private sector participation under the PPP modality.
  • The upgradation of these roads under the project will improve rural and peri-urban connectivity in the state and improve access to markets and better services.
  • The HAM is a mix of engineering, procurement, construction, and build-operate-transfer. This passes the responsibility of design, implementation, and operation and maintenance obligations to the private sector, while attracting some private sector financing.
  • Asian Development Bank Headquarters: Manila, Philippines, President: Takehiko Nakao.


Proton Training Solution

DEFENCE

1. Exercise Surya Kiran-XIV held in Nepal 

  • A joint military training exercise œSURYA KIRAN-XIV was held in Salijhandi, Rupendehi district of Nepal.
  • The exercise was conducted between the armies of India and Nepal.
  • Joint training exercise was based on counter insurgency operations in jungle and mountainous terrain and also practised response mechanism in the eventualities of natural and man made disasters.

2. Land-attack version of BrahMos missile successfully test-fired from Odisha's Chandipur

  • India successfully conducted a developmental trial of the land-attack version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from Chandipur Integrated Test Range, off Odisha coast.
  • The 9-meter long missile can travel at thrice the speed of sound and carry a conventional warhead weighing up to 300 kg.
  • The BrahMos missile is a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile capable of being launched from submarines, ships, fighter jets or land.
  • DRDO Chairman:G Satheesh Reddy, in: 1958, Headquarters in: New Delhi.



3. Land-attack version of BrahMos missile successfully test-fired from Odisha's Chandipur 

  • India successfully conducted a developmental trial of the land-attack version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from Chandipur Integrated Test Range, off Odisha coast.
  • The 9-meter long missile can travel at thrice the speed of sound and carry a conventional warhead weighing up to 300 kg.
  • The BrahMos missile is a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile capable of being launched from submarines, ships, fighter jets or land.
  • DRDO Chairman:G Satheesh Reddy, in: 1958, Headquarters in: New Delhi.



4. Upgraded version of Pinaka Rocket successfully test-fired off Odisha coast 

  • An upgraded version of the indigenously developed Pinaka-guided rocket system with enhanced strike range and guidance system was successfully test-fired from the DRDO's Proof and Experimental Establishment firing test range off Odisha coast.
  • The system has a maximum range of 40 km for Mark-I and 75 km for Mark-II and can fire a salvo of 12 HE rockets in 44 seconds. It is mounted on a Tatra truck for mobility.
  • Pinaka is an indigenous multi-barrel rocket launch (MBRL) system, which has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the Indian Army.
  • The weapon system is equipped with state-of-the-art guidance kit comprising of an advanced navigation and control system.
  • While the all-weather tracked-chassis Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QR-SAM) also tested from a mobile launcher at a launch complex of the Integrated Test Range.
  • DRDO Chairman: G Satheesh Reddy, Established: 1958, Headquarters: New Delhi.


5. 5th Edition of ARTECH to be held in New Delhi 

  • The 5th edition of ARTECH is being organised by Indian Army on 'Technologies for Non-Contact Warfare' which will be organised on 23 December 2019 at Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantonment.
    The seminar is the flagship event of the Indian Army which sets the agenda for focus areas of harvesting indigenous capabilities in the Defence sector.
    ARTECH Seminar was launched in 2016 as part of the overall vision of 'Make in India' of Hon'ble Prime Minister and is conducted every year as part of events leading to Army Day celebrations.
    ARTECH platform provides an opportunity to practitioners of military operations, policymakers in Ministry of Defence, industry and academia to put forth their contemporary Defence-related capabilities.
    It is also a forum for innovators in uniform to showcase their products and offer these to industry to refine & productions.
    Chief of the Army Staff: General Bipin Rawat.
    The motto of Indian Army: "Service Before Self".
    Headquarters: New Delhi.
    Commander-in-Chief: President Ram Nath Kovind.

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RANKS & REPORTS

1. India slips to 112th place on WEF's Global Gender Gap Report 

  • India has slipped four places to rank 112th globally as per the Global Gender Gap Report 2020.
  • The report was released by World Economic Forum (WEF) headquartered at Geneva.
  • Iceland has topped the report and remains the world's most gender-neutral country while Yemen was ranked the worst (153rd) in the report.
  • As per report, the most improved countries were Albania, Ethiopia, Mali, Mexico and Spain.
  • Among regions, Western Europe has made the most progress on gender parity (standing at 76.7%).
  • As per WEF, the time it will take to close the gender gap has narrowed to 99.5 years in 2019 while the number was 108 years in 2018.
  • WEF stated that this year's improvement can largely be ascribed to a significant increase in the number of women in politics. To Read More: Click Here

 

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SPORTS

1. Indian men's football team ranked 108th in latest FIFA rankings 

  • The Indian men's football team remained static at 108th spot in the year-ending FIFA rankings.
  • India lost 11 places throughout the year. With 1187 total points, India is placed at 19th spot among Asian countries headed by Japan 28th.
  • President of FIFA: Gianni Infantino; Founded: 21 May 1904.
  • Headquarters: Zürich, Switzerland.

2. Mirabai Chanu wins Gold in 6th Qatar International Cup

  • Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu won the women's 49kg category gold medal to open India's account at the 6th Qatar International Cup in Doha.
  • She bagged gold with an effort of 194kg in the Olympic qualifying event, with the points which will come in handy when the final rankings for Tokyo 2020 cut are done.
  • She lifted 83kg in snatch and 111kg in clean and jerk to finish on top of the podium.
  • Qatar Capital: Doha; Currency: Qatari riyal.


3. Belgium crowned FIFA Team of the Year

  • Belgium has been crowned FIFA 'Team of the Year' for the second successive time after a record-breaking year for the global ladder.
  • World champions France remains in the second place ahead of Brazil in third.
  • Besides accumulating the biggest points haul, Qatar has also jumped a year-high 38 places, followed closely by fellow climbers Algeria (up 32 ranks) and Japan (up 22 places).
  • President of FIFA: Gianni Infantino; Founded: 21 May 1904.
  • Headquarters: Zürich, Switzerland.


4. ICC continues partnership with UNICEF for Women's World T20

  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced that it has extended its partnership with UNICEF through to the Women's T20 World Cup 2020 with the focus on empowering women and girls through cricket.
  • The partnership and public donations continue to bring positive change to children through the programs in cricket playing nations focused on empowering women and girls in cricket.
  • The money raised during the Women's World T20 will go to similar projects in cricket playing nations, including an innovative program to promote girls' participation in cricket in Sri Lanka and build peace in communities.
  • The ICC and UNICEF partnership commenced in 2015, as part of the ICC's global community outreach program "Cricket 4 Good".
  • During the Men's 50-over World Cup held in England and Wales earlier this summer, UNICEF raised $180,000 as part of 'One Day 4 Children' and this money will go directly to fund a girls' cricket project in Afghanistan.
  • ICC CEO: Manu Sawhney; ICC chairman: Shashank Manohar.
  • ICC Headquarters: Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


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MISC.

1. Unesco removes 'racist' Belgian carnival from heritage list 

  • UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), has removed the 'Carnival of Aalst' of Belgium from its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List.
  • The 2019 carnival featured a parade float that included racist and anti-Semitic representations which mocked the Orthodox Jews.
  • The carnival was added to the Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2010.
  • UNESCO formation: 4 November 1946.
  • UNESCO Headquarters: Paris, France.
  • UNESCO Director-General: Audrey Azoulay.

2. ITBP launches matrimonial site to help staff find 'suitable matches'

  • In a unique approach, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has started a dedicated matrimonial site for its staff. The website started will be managed by ITBP and only the staff will be able to access it.
  • This is the first-ever dedicated and well-managed matrimony portal among the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).
  • There are more than 25,000 unmarried men in the Force while more than 1000 women personnel are also unmarried.
  • Keeping in view their duties and engagements after joining the service, finding suitable matches becomes an uphill task for the serving personnel.
  • The ITBP was raised on October 24, 1962.
  • DG of ITBP: Surjeet Singh Deswal.


3. International Migrants Day: 18 December 

  • The International Migrants Day is organized across the world on 18th December to protect the rights of migrant workers and members of their families.
  • In Dec 2000, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 18 Dec as International Migrants Day after considering the large and increasing number of migrants in the world.
  • The International Organization for Migration salutes migrants and the communities they join, the communities they remake through their mutual effort.
  • We salute them and we support them, and pledge to make the future we believe is arriving for all of us. #WeTogether.

4.  Turkey historic mosque moved before dam waters rise 

  • In Turkey, the main body of the 610-year-old Er-Rızk mosque was removed from the town of Hasankeyf ahead of its submergence as part of a Ilisu dam project.
  • The Ilisu Dam will generate 1,200 megawatts of electricity, making it Turkey's fourth-largest dam in terms of energy production.
  • Capital of Turkey: Ankara; Currency of Turkey: The Turkish lira.

 

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