Daily Current Affairs: December 23, 2020

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Important Days

India observes National Farmer’s Day – December 23:

  • National Farmer’s Day or Kisan Diwas is observed every year on December 23 in India to remember the role of Indian farmers in the economy. The day is observed to mark the birth anniversary of former Indian Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh. The day was first celebrated in 2001.


National News

MPEDA launches India’s First Aquafarmers Call Centre in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh:

  • Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) has launched a first of its kind initiative multilingual (English and Hindi) call centre for aquafarmers at Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh.
  • MPEDA will address their (aquafarmers’) technical issues and impart knowledge about efficient farming methods by domain experts round the clock.

Andhra Pradesh:

  • Capital: Amaravati
  • Chief Minister: S. Jaganmohan Reddy
  • Governor: Biswa Bhushan Harichandan
  • Folk dances: Kuchipudi, Vilasini Natyam, Bhamakalpam, Veeranatyam.
  • National Park: Sri Venkateswara National Park, Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Papikonda National Park.

Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA):

  • Headquarters: Kochi, Kerala.

Gujarat signs MoU with Cerestra Group to establish Special Education Region at Dholera:

  • The Government of Gujarat and Cerestra Managers Private Limited has signed an MoU for establishing a global level Gujarat- Special Education Region (G-SER) at Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR). Dholera is the 1st Greenfield Industrial City which is being established to meet Industrial 4.0.
  • The MOU was signed by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani,the Chairman of Dholera Industrial City Development Limited K Das and the Managing Partner of Cerestra, Jasmit Chhabra.


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

Haryana Government signs MoU with India Accelerator to build a startup ecosystem:

  • India Accelerator has recently entered into an MoU with Startup Haryana and the Department of Information Technology, Electronics and Communication (DITECH). The association strategically creates an ecosystem in the state that stimulates innovation and growth of disruptive startups. It will help in bridging the gap between industries & startups.


  • Capital: Chandigarh
  • Chief Minister: Manohar Lal Khattar
  • Governor: Satyadev Narayan Arya
  • National Parks (NP): Sultanpur NP, Kalesar NP
  • Dance: Phag, Dhamal, Loor, Khoria.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually inaugurates 6th India International Science Festival (IISF) 2020 in New Delhi:

  • The 6th India International Science Festival 2020 (IISF 2020) is being organised by the Union Ministry of Science and Technology, the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences & Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA) from 22 to 25 December 2020 in New Delhi
  • The festival is being hosted by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS), New Delhi.

New Delhi:       

  • Chief Minister: Arvind Kejriwal
  • Governor: Anil Baijal.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan dedicates West ’Bengal’s first oil and gas reserve ‘Bengal Basin’ to the nation:

  • The Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan dedicated West ’Bengal’s first oil and gas reserve “Bengal Basin” to the nation.
  • It is the eighth oil and gas producing basin of India. The other seven basins are Krishna-Godavari (KG), Mumbai Offshore, Assam Shelf, Rajasthan, Cauvery, Assam-Arakan Fold Belt and Cambay.

West Bengal:   

  • Capital: Kolkata
  • Chief Minister: Mamata Banerjee
  • Governor: Jagdeep Dhankhar
  • National Park (NP): Buxa NP, Gorumara NP, Neora Valley NP, Jaldapara NP, Singalila NP, Sundarbans NP.

NWM, NYKS, and Union Ministry of Jal Shakti and Youth Affairs launched the “JSA II: Catch the Rain” Awareness Generation Campaign:

  • National Water Mission (NWM) and Union Ministry of Jal Shakti in collaboration with Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) and Union Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports has launched the “JSA II: Catch the Rain” Awareness Generation Campaign.
  • NWM has launched a campaign from December 2020 to March 2021 with the tag line “catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls” in order to nudge all stake-holders to create RWHS (Rainwater Harvesting Structures) suitable to the climatic conditions.

South ’India’s first rehabilitation centre for monkeys to be set up in Telangana:

  • South ’India’s first rehabilitation centre for monkeys has come up at an estimated cost of 2.25 crores at Gandi Ramanna Haritavanam near Chincholi village of Nirmal district, Telangana. A primate is any mammal, including lemurs, monkeys, apes, and humans.
  • The animals would be released into forests after being sterilised at the centre. According to the forest officials, a similar centre is functioning in Himachal Pradesh.


  • Capital: Hyderabad
  • Chief Minister: Chandrashekar Rao
  • Governor: Tamilisai Soundararajan
  • National Parks (NP): KasuBrahmananda Reddy NP, Mahaveer Harina NP, Mrugavani NP.

International News

ADB extends $40-million loan to Northern Arc Capital to support microfinance borrowers and MSMEs in India:

  • Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) has extended a $40 million loan to Northern Arc Capital Limited (NACL) to support the livelihoods of microfinance borrowers and MSMEs in India.
  • The loan is being disbursed to NACL as part of ADB’s ongoing COVID-19 response. NACL will on-lend the loan proceeds and provide guarantees to financial institutions and individual borrowers. NACL will also on-lend to affordable housing finance

Asian Development Bank (ADB):

  • Founded: 19 December 1966
  • Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Philippines.
  • President: Masatsugu Asakawa.
  • Chief Economist: Yasuyuki Sawada
  • Membership: 68 countries.

The World Bank signs $500 million project to develop green, resilient, and safe highways in India:

  • The Government of India and the World Bank signed a $500 million project to build safe and green national highway corridors in the states of Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh.
  • The project will also enhance the capacity of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in mainstreaming safety and green technologies.
  • The Green National Highways Corridors Project will support the MoRTH’s construction of 783 km of highways in various geographies by integrating safe and green technology designs.
  • The project will help reduce GHG emissions in the construction and maintenance of highways.

World Bank:

  • Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
  • President: David Malpass.

Banking and Economy

Bank of Baroda signs MoU with Defence Forces for its newly launched ‘Baroda Military Salary Package’:

  • Bank of Baroda signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard and renewed its existing MoU with the Indian Army, to offer specially scustomised banking services through ‘Baroda Military Salary Package’.
  • ‘Baroda Military Salary Package’ will be offered to serving and retired personnel of the Indian Armed Forces. It covers personal accidental insurance, permanent total disability, air accident insurance, etc.

Bank of Baroda (BOB):

  • Headquarters: Baroda (Vadodara), Gujarat
  • MD & CEO: Sanjiv Chadha.
  • Chairman:  Hasmukh Adhia
  • Tagline: “India’s International Bank”.

ICICI floats ‘Infinite India’ platform to help MNCs set shop in the country:

  • Private sector lender ICICI Bank has set up an on-line platform “Infinite India” to provide banking and other valued services to foreign companies for setting up or expanding business in the country.
  • As an ‘Authorised Dealer Category 1’, the bank can authorise the setting up of liaison offices (LO) and branch offices (BO).

NCAER projects GDP contraction of 7.3% in FY21:

  • The National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) has estimated that ’India’s GDP is likely to contract from 6% to 7.3% in the current financial year (FY21).
  • In the June-September quarter, India’s GDP on a year-on-year basis contracted by (-) 7.5 percent from (-) 23.9 percent in the preceding quarter. This is an upward revision from the earlier estimate of (-) 9.5 percent.

Acquisitions and Mergers

Western Coalfields partners with Orissa Mineral Development Corporation to increase production capacity:

  • Coal India Limited (CIL) subsidiary Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL) will enter into a joint venture with Orissa Mineral Development Corporation (OMDC) for a peak production capacity of 75 million tonnes of coal.
  • Twenty more mines will be opened by 2023-24, which shall sustain the production level of over 75 million tonnes.

Reliance and BP start gas production from ’Asia’s deepest project off Kakinada coast:

  • Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and BP (British Petroleum Company) announced the start of production from the ‘R Cluster’, an ultra-deep-water gas field in block KG D6 off the Kakinada coast.
  • The gas reserve ‘R Cluster’ is situated in the Krishna-Godavari basin of the Bay of Bengal at a depth of greater than 2, 000 metres, making it the deepest offshore gas field in Asia.

Awards and Recognitions

President Trump presents the Legion of Merit honour to Prime Minister Narendra Modi:

  • President Donald Trump has conferred the Legion of Merit, one of the highest military honours of the US, on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his leadership in elevating bilateral strategic partnership and accelerating the emergence of India as a global power.
  • The award was accepted by India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu on behalf of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Books and Authors

Former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis released a book titled ‘Ayodhya’ authored by Madhav Bhandari:

  • Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis released the book ‘Ayodhya’ authored by ’Madhav Bhandari in Mumbai.

Obituary News

Eminent Malayalam poet and activist Sugathakumari passed away at 86:

  • Eminent Malayalam poet, conservationist, and ’women’s activist Sugathakumari died in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. She was one of the most active campaigners of the Save Silent Valley Movement. Raathrimazha, Ambalamani (temple bell), and Manalezhuthu are some of her famous works.

Pakistani human rights activist, Karima Baloch passed away at 37:

  • Pakistani human rights activist Karima Baloch who was living in exile in Canada had passed away in Toronto. She was listed by the BBC in its 100 most inspirational and influential women of 2016 for her work in human rights.

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