Daily Current Affairs: December 30, 2020

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National News


Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan Mohan reddy Launches Navaratnalu-Pedalandariki Illu Housing Scheme

  • Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy launched the flagship programme of Navaratnalu ‘Pedalandariki Illu,’ (housing for the poor) at Komaragiri layout of Pithapuram Assembly constituency in East Godavari district.
  • Around 75 lakh beneficiaries have been identified across the State, of which 28.30 lakh houses will be given under 17,000 YSR Jagananna layouts and another 2.62 lakh are of Township and Infrastructure Development Corporation (TIDCO) flats.

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.

Thaawarchand Gehlot launches mobile app “Swachhata Abhiyan” to identify and geotag the data of Insanitary Latrines and Manual Scavengers

  • Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot launched a mobile app “Swachhata Abhiyan” in the presence of the Ministers of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ram Das Athawale and Krishan Pal Gurjar in New Delhi.
  • Swachhata Abhiyan app has been developed to seek the help of NGOs, social organisations, and the public for the collection and compilation of data.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the new Bhaupur – New Khurja section of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 351 km ‘New Bhaupur- New Khurja section’ in Uttar Pradesh of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) via video-conferencing. During the event, he also inaugurated the EDFC’s Operation Control Centre (OCC) at Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh.
  • The section has been built by TATA Projects Limited.
  • It will reduce the congestion level at the existing Kanpur – Delhi mainline and will enable Indian Railways to run faster trains.

Union Minister Harsh Vardhan launches ‘Digital Ocean’ digital platform for Ocean Data Management developed by INCOIS

  • Union Minister of Earth Sciences, Science & Technology, and Health & Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan inaugurated a web-based application, “Digital Ocean (www.do.incois.gov.in)” developed by INCOIS of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, during a virtual meeting held in New Delhi.
  • The application will help to share knowledge about the ocean with a wide range of users including research institutions, operational agencies, strategic users, the academic community, maritime industry, and policymakers, as well as the general public and the common man, that too at free of cost.

Indian Railways launches integrated Hospital Management Information System and mobile app for UMID

  • Indian Railways has launched the recently integrated Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) and a mobile application for downloading Unique Medical Identity Card (UMID).
  • The aim is to provide a single-window clearance for hospital administration activities like clinical, diagnostics, pharmacy, examinations & industrial health.

Union Minister Harsh Vardhan inaugurates India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) centre at Leh, Ladakh

  • Union Minister of Earth Sciences, Science & Technology and Health & Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan virtually inaugurated the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) centre at Leh, Ladakh.
  • The meteorological centre of Leh is located at a height of 3500 metres and would be the highest meteorological centre in India. It will cater to the various kinds of weather & climate needs of people & the administration of Ladakh.

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar virtually hoists International Blue Flag at 8 beaches across India

  • Union Minister for Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar virtually hoisted the international blue flags in 8 beaches across the country.
  • Blue Flag certification is a globally acclaimed and recognised eco-label accorded by the “Foundation for Environment Education in Denmark” based on 33 stringent criteria.
  • The beaches where international blue flags were hoisted are Kappad (Kerala), Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu), Kasarkod, and Padubidri (Karnataka), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Golden Beach (Odisha), and Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands).

Union Minister of Education laid the foundation stone of India’s first Testbed for Autonomous Navigation Systems ‘TiHAN-IIT in Hyderabad’

  • Union Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, virtually laid the foundation stone of ‘TiHAN-IIT Hyderabad’, India’s first testbed for Autonomous Navigation Systems (Terrestrial and Aerial).
  • The Department of Science and Technology (DST) of the Government of India, has sanctioned 135 crores to IIT Hyderabad under the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) to set up a Technology Innovation Hub on Autonomous Navigation and Data Acquisition Systems.

Telangana:                      

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

India adds Tso Kar wetland complex in Ladakh as its 42nd Ramsar site

  • India has added Tso Kar Wetland Complex in Ladakh as its 42nd Ramsar site. Tso Kar is situated 4500 meters above sea level and is also the second wetland in the Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh to be added to the Ramsar list.
  • India has the highest number of sites in South Asia under the Ramsar Convention, an accord for preserving wetlands signed at the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971.

Ladakh:

  • Capital: Leh, Kargil.
  • Lieutenant Governor: Radha Krishna Mathur.

Kerala’s Gender Park to host the 2nd edition of the International Conference on Gender Equality at Kozhikode in February 2021

  • The Gender Park in partnership with UN Women is organising the second edition of the International Conference on Gender Equality (ICGE-II) at Kozhikode, Kerala in February 2021.
  • The three-day conference is held under the focal theme of ‘Gender in Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Social Business: The Mediating Role of Empowerment.’

Kerala:

  • Capital: Thiruvananthapuram
  • Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan
  • Governor: Arif Mohammed Khan.

Madhya Pradesh Government approves the Dharma Swatantrya (Religious Freedom) Bill 2020

  • Madhya Pradesh cabinet has approved the Dharma Swatantrya (Religious Freedom) Bill 2020. The controversial ordinance outlaws marriages with an aim of religious conversions. Under the new bill, forcing religious conversion on someone will attract 1-5 years of imprisonment and a minimum 25,000 fine.
  • Blood relatives, including parents of victims of such religious conversion, can file complaints under the proposed Act.

Madhya Pradesh:             

  • Capital: Bhopal
  • Chief Minister: Shivraj Singh Chauhan
  • Governor: Anandiben Patel (Additional Charge).

Odisha Government has launched a career portal for students in collaboration with UNICEF

  • The Department of School and Mass Education of the Government of Odisha in collaboration with UNICEF has launched a career portal. The portal can be accessed through the website odishacareerportal.com with a student login ID and a password.
  • The motive of the career portal is to help secondary and higher secondary students with expert advice on their future careers. Odisha School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash launched the Odisha Career Portal.

Odisha:                    

  • Capital: Bhubaneswar
  • Chief Minister: Naveen Patnaik
  • Governor: Ganeshi Lal
  • Festivals: Dhanu Yatra, Budi Thakurani Yatra, Magha Saptami, Chhau, Dola Purnima.
  • Folk Dances: Chhau, Gotipua, Ghumura, Ranappa, Chaiti Ghoda, Sambalpuri.

Acquisition and Merger


ICICI Bank acquires 9.09% stake in Ed-Tech platform Myclassboard Educational Solutions

  • Private sector lender, ICICI Bank will acquire a 09 percent stake in educational technology platform Myclassboard Educational Solutions Pvt Ltd for cash consideration of Rs 4.5 crores.
  • MESPL offers an online school management platform and reported a turnover of 12 crores in FY 2020. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of February 2021.

ICICI (Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India):

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

Google Pay join hands with ICICI Bank to offer FASTag through a mobile app

  • ICICI Bank has become the first bank to join hands with Google Pay for the issuance of FASTag. Google Pay users can buy FASTag from the platform from ICICI Bank FASTag under businesses.
  • ICICI Bank customers can also avail FASTag using the bank’s digital channels of banking including internet banking, iMobile app, InstaBIZ app, and the Pockets app.

Science and Technology


Serum Institute of India in collaboration with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation launched India’s first indigenous pneumococcal vaccine “Pneumosil”

  • Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan launched the country’s first pneumococcal conjugate vaccine ‘Pneumosil’ developed by Serum Institute of India (SII) in collaboration with partners like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • The Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) would be used to treat pneumonia in children. It has been developed during the Covid-19 pandemic time and is also in line with the Aatmanirbhar Bharat program (self-reliant India) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

DRDO Young Scientists Laboratory develops Quantum based technology for random number generation

  • The DRDO Young Scientist Laboratory for Quantum Technologies (DYSL-QT), a DRDO facility based in Mumbai, has developed a QRNG that can detect random quantum events and convert those into a stream of binary digits. This comes days after successful testing of the Quantum Key Distribution technology by DRDO.
  • Quantum Mechanics has the inherent potential of providing true random numbers and thus has become the preferred option for the scientific applications requiring randomness.

Awards and Recognitions


Santoor maestro Pandit Satish Vyas was conferred the National Tansen Samman for 2020

  • Renowned Indian Santoor player, Pandit Satish Vyas was conferred with the National Tansen Samman for 2020 by Madhya Pradesh Government during the 96th Tansen Music Festival held in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh.
  • Bhopal-based institution Abhinav Kala Parishad was honoured with the Raja Mansingh Tomar

Harmony Foundation announces awardees of Mother Teresa Memorial Awards for Social Justice for 2020

  • The Harmony Foundation hosted the Mother Teresa Memorial Awards for Social Justice 2020. The Awards in its 16th year is the only award endorsed by Sister Prema, the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, the organization that was started by Mother Teresa.
  • The theme for this year’s awards was, ‘Celebrating Compassion in Times of Covid’.

Books and Authors


Prof. Dr. Stuti Sharma’s book “Elements of Quantitative Genetics: A Conceptual Approach” was released by Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan

  • A book titled “Elements of Quantitative Genetics: A Conceptual Approach” authored by Stuti Sharma, professor at Jawaharlal Nehru Agricultural University and was released by the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Obituary News


Former Union Minister Kadambur R Janarthanan passes away at 89

  • Former Union Minister Kadambur R Janarthanan passed away due to age-related problems. Janarthanan was the Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions with the additional charge of Finance in the AB Vajpayee cabinet from 1998 to 1999. He was elected to the Lok Sabha four times in 1984, 1989, 1991, and 1998.

French fashion designer Pierre Cardin passed away at 98

  • Iconic French designer Pierre Cardin, who was hailed for his avant-garde styles in the 1960s and 70s, has died at the age of 98. He created the legendary bubble dress & his “Space Age” collection remains a landmark in fashion history.

Sports News


BCCI approves 10-team IPL from 2022

  • Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) 89th Annual General Body Meeting in Ahmedabad approved a 10-team IPL tournament starting from the 2022 edition.
  • Two new teams will be introduced in the 2022 IPL. According to the reports, BCCI will also back ICC’s bid for inclusion in the 2028 Los Angels Olympics.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI):

  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • President Sourav Ganguly
  • Secretary- Jay Shah.
  • CEO(Interim): Hemang Amin.

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