Daily Current Affairs: December 16, 2020

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National News

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute at National War Memorial on 49th Vijay Diwas:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute at the National War Memorial in New Delhi on the 50th anniversary of 1971 that made Bangladesh an independent country. The day is celebrated as ‘Vijay Diwas’ on December 16, 2020.
  • The entire year is celebrated as ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ to commemorate the 1971 India-Pakistan war’s golden jubilee.

Gujarat Becomes first Indian state to have Modernise Fire Safety Certification Process:

  • Gujarat to become the first Indian state that has approved a system to modernize the fire safety certification process. The system has been designed by the Gujarat Institute of Disaster Management (GIDM) under its director-general PK Taneja.
  • Fire Safety COP Portal is covering facilitation and empanelment of Fire Safety Officers (FSOs) and approval and renewal of Fire Safety Certificate (FSC) along with the provision of online payment.


  • Capital: Gandhinagar
  • Chief Minister: Vijay Rupani
  • Governor: Acharya Devvrat
  • National Park: Blackbuck NP, Vansda NP, Gir Forest NP, Marine NP, Gulf of Kutch.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to be the chief guest at Republic Day Parade 2021:

  • United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in January 2021. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced after he met with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. India will be observing 72nd Republic Day on January 26, 2021.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman virtually chaired the 23rd Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) in New Delhi:

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chaired the 23rd Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) meeting through video conferencing in New Delhi.
  • The meeting reviewed the major macroeconomic developments and Financial Stability issues (global and domestic) with special reference to vulnerability related issues. It noted that the policy measures taken by the Government of India.

Norway Research Institute signs an MoU with the Clean Ganga Mission for development of sludge management framework:

  • Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research has signed an MoU with cGanga, a think-tank of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), to develop a sludge management framework in India.
  • Norway intends to deepen its relationship with India, especially in preventing climate change and conservation of the environment stated by Norwegian Diplomat Karina Asbjørnsen.

Banking and Economy

S&P revises India’s GDP contraction forecast to 7.7% from 9% for FY21:

  • The US-based rating agency S&P raised India’s growth projection for the current fiscal to (-) 7.7 % from (-) 9 % estimated earlier on rising demand and falling COVID infection rates. S&P has projected India’s growth to rebound to 10 percent in FY22.

IFSCA notifies IFCA (Bullion Exchange) Regulations, 2020:

  • Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, had announced in the Union Budget 2020 for setting up an IBE (International Bullion Exchange) at the IFSC (International Financial Services Centre) in GIFT City, Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
  • India’s government had notified the bullion spot delivery contract and bullion depository receipt as Financial Products and Financial Services under the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) Act, 2019.

ICICI Bank partners with Aceware to launch ‘AceMoney Micro ATM service’ in Kerala:

  • ICICI Bank launched ‘AceMoney Micro ATM service’ in association with Aceware in Kochi, Kerala. The service will enable people to withdraw money from their bank account from home.
  • The money will be delivered at the doorstep within 30-40 minutes after the order is placed. The maximum withdrawal limit is Rs 10,000, which is the limit for other bank ATM withdrawals per transaction.

ICICI (Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India):

  • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • MD and CEO: Sandeep Bakhshi
  • Tagline: Hum Hai Na, Khyal Apka.

India Post Payments Bank launches new digital payment app ‘DakPay’:

  • Department of Posts (DoP) and India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) unveiled a new digital payment app called ‘DaKPay’ at a virtual event. The app is part of the department’s ongoing efforts to expand digital financial inclusion to all country corners.
  • Union Minister for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology, and Law & Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad launched the app. ‘DakPay’ will facilitate the customers of the DoP and IPPB in easy digital transactions and other banking and postal services.

SEBI forms a new department headed by Nagendraa Parakh to check promoter frauds-Business Journal:

  • Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has set up a specialised department, CFID (Corporation Finance Investigation Department), to tackle diversion of funds, bank loans, and company promoters’ resources.
  • SEBI’s executive director Nagendraa Parakh will head the new department. He is currently heading Market Intermediaries Regulation and Supervision Department (MIRSD).

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):

  • Headquarter: Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Chairman: Ajay Tyagi.

Edelweiss General Insurance launches India’s first Open API Gateway for Insurance products:

  • India’s first cloud-native insurer Edelweiss General Insurance (EGI), has launched the first of its kind, Open API (Application Programming Interface) Gateway, to facilitate complete digital collaboration with its business partners.
  • EGI’s authorized partners can easily integrate their systems with its robust technology platform, which will reinforce EGI’s linkages with both customers and partners.

Acquisitions and Mergers

Bharti AXA Life ties up with Primero Skills to support healthcare workers amid COVID19:

  • Bharti AXA Life Insurance partners with Primero skills launched the #GotYouCovered campaign, a unique initiative to appreciate frontline healthcare workers striving to protect people from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The company will promote the #GotYouCovered initiative and encourage people to acknowledge frontline healthcare workers’ efforts.

Ewire Softtech ties up with YES Bank to launch ‘EWIRE – YES BANK Prepaid Card’:

  • Ewire Softtech, under Kerala Startup Mission, has launched ‘EWIRE – YES BANK Prepaid Card’ in association with YES Bank, enabling the next-generation payment platform provider to chart an all-India presence.
  • The prepaid card was launched on a PAN-India basis through its RuPay prepaid cards platform and Ewire app. It provided Loans, Insurance, and Current Account Savings Account (CASA) account through its channel partners.

Science and Technology

Indigenously built interceptor boat of Indian Coast Guard commissioned at Hazira, Gujarat:

  • An indigenously built interceptor boat joined the Indian Coast Guard at a function in Hazira of Surat district, Gujarat. The interceptor boat C-454, built by Larsen and Toubro at its Hazira plant of Gujarat under the control of the Commander Coast Guard Region (North-West) of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG).
  • It will also further augment patrolling and prevent illicit activities such as infiltration, smuggling, and illegal fishing activities along the International Maritime Borders.

Indian coast guard Offshore Patrol Vessel ‘Sujeet’ commissioned in Goa:

  • Indian Coast Guard (ICG) ship ‘Sujeet,’ the second in the series of five Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) built by Goa Shipyard Limited, was commissioned in Goa. The vessel was designed and built indigenously by Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL). The ship is 105 metres long and weighs 2400 tonnes.
  • The ship will be based at Goa and will be deployed extensively for EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) surveillance and other duties.

Awards and Recognitions

UNEP announces Champions of the Earth Award 2020 to six Recipients:

  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) virtually announced 6 Individuals as recipients of the 2020 Champions of the Earth Award, UN’s highest environmental honor.
  • The Earth Award’s Champions is presented in 5 categories: Lifetime Achievement, Inspiration and Action, Policy Leadership, Entrepreneur Vision, Science, and Innovation.

The Champions of the Earth 2020 are:

  • Prime Minister of Fiji, Frank Bainimarama, honoured in the Policy Leadership category for his global climate action work and his commitment to climate-responsive national development
  • Fabian Leendertz (Germany), honoured in the Science and Innovation category for his discoveries in zoonotics and his work in One Health
  • Mindy Lubber (USA), recognized in the Entrepreneurial Vision category for her commitment to turning capital markets green by mobilizing top investors and companies and making the business case for climate action and sustainability
  • Nemonte Nenquimo (Ecuador), awarded in the Inspiration and Action category for her leadership and unifying work with indigenous communities that halted drilling in Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest
  • Yacouba Sawadogo (Burkina Faso), also honoured in the Inspiration and Action category for teaching farmers his traditional nature-based solution to regenerate their soil and turn barren land into arable land and forest across Africa
  • This year’s champions are joined by Professor Robert D. Bullard (USA), who was awarded the Champion of the Earth Lifetime Achievement award for his commitment and service to environmental justice.

Books and Authors

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla released a book titled ‘The Shaurya Unbound-Tales of Valour of the Central Reserve Police Force’:

  • A book titled ‘The Shaurya Unbound-Tales of Valour of the Central Reserve Police Force’ was released by Lok sabha speaker om Birla at the parliament house in New Delhi.
  • Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Nitu is co-authors of the book, Dhinakaran, and their team Mr. Amit, Assistant Commandant CRPF, and Inspector Deepak Saxena.

Obituary News

Deputy governor of Kabul Mahboobullah Mohebi died at Bomb blast:

  • The deputy governor of Kabul Mahboobullah Mohibi and his secretary were killed, and two of his bodyguards were wounded in a blast in Kabul’s 9th police district.

Former Australia Test all-rounder Eric Freeman passed away at 76:

  • Former Australia Test cricket all-rounder Eric Freeman has passed away. Eric made his Test debut against India in He became the first player to opening a scoring shot with a six. He received the Order of Australia in 2002 for his services to sport.

Aerospace scientist and Padma Vibhushan awardee Roddam Narasimha died at 87:

  • Eminent aerospace scientist Roddam Narasimha died at a hospital in Bengaluru. Roddam had served at the prestigious Indian Institute of Science (IISc), where he taught Aerospace Engineering from 1962 to 1999. He also served as the director of the National Aerospace Laboratories from 1984 to 1993.

Sports News

Indian shooter Yash Vardhan wins Gold in Air Rifle at 6th International Online Shooting Championship:

  • Junior Asian champion Yash Vardhan clinched the 10m air rifle event at the 6th International Online Shooting Championship (IOSC). The 17-year-old shot a score of 9 to lift the title with a margin of 1.2 points.
  • Martin Strempfl (Austria) won the silver medal, and Oleksandr Halkin (Ukraine) won the bronze medal.

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