Daily Current Affairs: December 31, 2020
Daily Current Affairs (December 31, 2020) like many other sections is inevitable and this also helps to score in the Banking awareness, Static GK, and Financial Awareness sections. Remember, Banking Awareness, and Static Awareness Questions are asked from the General Awareness section. This will also help you to ride your preparations for the forthcoming exams.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan nominated to the board of vaccine alliance GAVI
- Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan was nominated by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) as a member of its board.
- Harsh Vardhan will be representing the South East Asia Regional Office (SEARO)/Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) constituency on the GAVI Board from January 2021 to December 2023. Myint Htwe of Myanmar is currently holding the seat.
BSSUK ties-up with NKJ Biofuel to set up an ethanol plant in Chhattisgarh
- Bhoramdeo Sahakari Sakhar Utpadak Karkhana Maryadit (BSSUK), a cooperative sugar mill, has signed a pact with NKJ Biofuel Ltd to set up an ethanol production unit on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis in the Kabirdham district of Chhattisgarh.
- As per the agreement, NKJ Biofuel Ltd. will carry out ethanol production using sugarcane juice and molasses, a byproduct of a sugar mill, for 30 years.
- Capital: Raipur.
- Chief Minister: Bhupesh Baghel.
- Governor: Anusuiya Uikey.
Businesses with a monthly turnover of over Rs. 50 lakhs to pay at least 1% GST liability in cash
- Businesses with a monthly turnover of over 50 lakhs will have to mandatorily pay at least 1% of their Goods and Services Tax liability in cash, the Finance Ministry stated as it moved to curb evasion by fake invoicing.
- The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has introduced Rule 86 B in the Goods and Services Tax Rules, restricting the use of input tax credit for discharging GST liability to 99 percent.
Harsh Vardhan releases the report Action Agenda for AtmaNirbhar Bharat (AAAN) prepared by TIFAC
- Union Minister of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan, released the Action Agenda for Atma Nirbhar Bharat (AAAN) that defines overarching policy recommendations with reference to technological inputs, focusing towards local to global thereby reviving the Indian economy.
- TIFAC highlighted five thrust sectors namely, healthcare, machinery, ICT, agriculture, manufacturing, and electronics, that would be critical for India’s economic growth post-COVID using technology stimulus and captured sector-specific strengths, market trends, and opportunities.
India’s first pollinator park to be set up in Haldwani, Uttarakhand
- The Uttarakhand forest department dedicated the newly built Pollinator Park to the public, claiming it to be the country’s first such park, spread over 4 acres in Haldwani, Nainital district.
- The park has more than 40 pollinator species with displays on the mechanism of pollination of plant species by various species of butterflies, honeybees, birds, insects, moths, beetles, wasps, and small mammals.
- Capital: Gairsain (summer capital), Dehradun (winter capital).
- Chief Minister: Trivendra Singh Rawat
- Governor: Baby Rani Maurya.
- National Parks- Corbett NP, Gangotri NP, Govind PashuVihar NP, Nanda Devi NP, Rajaji NP, Valley of Flowers NP.
INS Kiltan arrives at Sihanoukville Port in Cambodia under Mission Sagar-III
- Indian Naval Ship Kiltan arrived at Sihanoukville Port of Cambodia as part of the ongoing Mission Sagar-III. The ship will deliver 15 tons of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) for the flood-affected people of Cambodia, which will be handed over to Cambodia’s National Disaster Management Committee (NDMC).
Indian economy could be the most resilient in South, South-west Asia subregion; UNESCAP report
- India’s economy could prove to be the “most resilient” in the subregion of South and South-West Asia over the long term, according to a report by the UNESCAP. The report states a positive but lower economic growth post the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The report was titled ‘Foreign Direct Investment Trends and Outlook in Asia And the Pacific 2020/2021’. It was compiled by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).
India and Sri Lanka hold the 4th meeting of the Joint Working Group on Fisheries
- The fourth meeting of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group on Fisheries was held through virtual mode. The Indian delegation was led by Rajeev Ranjan, Secretary of the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
- The meeting covered crucial issues related to fishermen, the status of cooperation between the Navy & Coast Guard of both countries, initiatives were taken to diversify and reduce fishing pressure in the Palk Bay.
Banking and Economy
DBS Bank India introduces one-stop integrated travel marketplace ‘Travel Now’
- DBS Bank India introduced “Travel Now” a one-stop travel marketplace within the Digibank app. The platform enables customers to browse and book flights, bus tickets and hotels across hundreds of destinations both within and outside India.
- Customers can also opt for travel insurance, offered by Bharti AXA General Insurance, with an automated claims process for flight cancellation and flight departure and arrival delays of over 60 minutes.
DBS Bank India:
- Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
- MD and CEO: Surojit Shome.
Science and Technology
BARC develops India’s first Ruthenium 106 plaque for effective eye cancer treatment
- The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai has developed an eye cancer therapy in the form of the first indigenous Ruthenium 106 Plaque for the treatment of ocular tumours.
- It is very convenient for the surgeon to handle the plaque under this therapy, which is at par with the international standards.
YES Bank appoints Niranjan Banodkar as its new CFO; Anurag Adlakha to be its Chief HR Officer
- The private sector lender YES Bank has appointed Niranjan Banodkar as the group’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO). He will take over from Anurag Adlakha, who has been designated as the new Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO).
- CEO: Prashant Kumar
- Founder: Rana Kapoor
- Headquarters: Mumbai
- Tagline: “Experience our Expertise”.
Suneet Sharma appointed as the new Chairman and CEO of the Railway Board
- Suneet Sharma has been appointed as the new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Railway Board (Ministry of Railways) and ex-officio Principal Secretary to the Government of India.
- He succeeds V K Yadav, who was the first CEO of the Railway Board. Suneet Sharma was a former Eastern Railway General Manager and is a Special Class Railway Apprentice Officer of the 1978-batch.
Centre constitutes a committee headed by Santanu Chaudhury for the conservation of Indian heritage by using futuristic technologies
- The Department of Science and Technology (DST) under its Frontier and Futuristic Technologies Division has constituted an advisory committee chaired by Santanu Chaudhury to use futuristic and new age technologies for heritage conservation, documentation, and digital restoration.
- Chief Operating Officer and Director of Sapio Analytics and lead of its Heritage Restoration Division, Hardik Somani is nominated as one of the committee members.
Umesh Sinha named as the deputy election commissioner after the Cabinet extends his tenure
- Senior IAS officer Umesh Sinha has been named as the deputy election commissioner in the Election Commission of India. He is a 1986-batch IAS officer (retired), who at present is serving as the Secretary-General in the commission.
- The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet cleared the extension in the term of re-employment of Sinha as the deputy election commissioner on a contract basis for a period of six months beyond December 31, 2020. His term will end on June 30, 2021.
Acquisitions and Mergers
Cashaa And United Multistate Cooperative Society launches World’s First Physical Cryptocurrency Bank in Jaipur, India
- Unicas, a joint venture between the financial services companies Cahsaa and United Multistate Credit Cooperative Society, announced the launch of the world’s first physical branch of a cryptocurrency bank in the Indian city of Jaipur.
- This partnership will enable Cashaa to access United’s regulatory licenses, physical branches & overall banking infrastructure. Users can transact in cryptocurrency & fiat from one account. Unicas is initially opening its services online and through its 14 branches.
Tata Sons to acquire 32.67% additional stake in AirAsia India for $37.66 million
- Tata Sons will increase its stake in budget carrier AirAsia India (AAI) to 67 percent by acquiring an additional 32.67 percent for $37.66 million from AirAsia Investment Ltd (AAIL).
- Currently, AAIL, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia-based AirAsia, holds 49 percent stake in the Bengaluru-based AirAsia India.
UNDP and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation join hands for ‘first social impact bond’
- Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has signed an MoU with United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) India to co-create India’s first ‘Social Impact Bond (SIB)’. As part of the unique investment tool, the PCMC administration will bear the cost of a public welfare project associated with the bond, if the pre-defined project targets are fulfilled.
- The Palladium Group has been appointed to design and structure the expertise of the impact bond.
Veteran broadcaster Indira Joseph Venniyoor passed away at 94
- Renowned broadcaster, All India Radio veteran, and the first English news announcer of Travancore Radio, Indira Joseph Venniyoor had passed away. She was the wife of well-known literary scholar and art critic, M.J. Venniyoor.
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