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Current affairs – Current affairs 2019 – Current affairs today

TNPSC Coaching center in Salem

Govt approved projects worth Rs 7000 cr under Nirbhaya fund:

  • The NIRBHAYA Fund projects of Rs 7,000 crore, including setting up of 1,023 fast-track courts approved by the Modi government, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani.
  • The 23-year-old Delhi gangrape victim, then Congress-led government had announced setting up Nirbhaya Fund of Rs 1,000 crore for safety and empowerment of women in the Budget presented in February 2013.

Kerala sets 2024 deadline for Semi High-Speed Rail project:

  • Thiruvananthapuram–Kasargode Semi High-Speed Rail Corridor (SHSR) a high-speed rail corridor in India connects Thiruvananthapuram with Kasaragod in Kerala expected to be completed by 2024.
  • The central government in-principle approval to the Rs.56,000 crore Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod SHSR corridor project.

Chairman 15th Finance Commission holds meeting with the CM Andhra Pradesh:

  • Fifteenth Finance Commission Shri N K Singh met the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in Vijaywada on 19th December 2019.
  • To discuss various issues specific to state finances for the award period of the Commission from 2021 to 2026.
  • Shri Reddy highlighted the State’s fiscal challenges arising out of the bifurcation of the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh and stressed on the requirement of financial management by the new State Government.

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai awarded $242 million pay package:

  • Alphabet and Google chief executive officer (CEO) Sundar Pichai take home a stock package worth $240 million on top of a $2 million annual salary in 2020.
  • He named the CEO of Alphabet this month as the co-founders decided to relinquish their current positions in Alphabet, the parent company of the online search giant.
  • That made India-born Sundar Pichai the CEO of both Google and Alphabet. He received a substantial raise to $2 million a year starting January 1.

Justice Gulzar Ahmed sworn-in as 27th Pak Chief Justice:

  • Justice Gulzar Ahmed appointed as the 27th Chief Justice of Pakistan. He takes over from Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, whose tenure came to an end after serving the country’s top judge from January this year.
  • The new Chief Justice will remain in office till February 21, 2022. President Arif Alvi administered the oath to Justice Ahmed.

Abid Ali becomes first Pak batsman to score centuries in his first two Tests:

  • Abid Ali became the first Pakistan cricketer to score centuries in his first two Test matches.
  • The feat against Sri Lanka in the ongoing second Test of the two-match Test series at the National Stadium in Karachi. Ali is currently at the crease unbeaten on 147.
  • The opener made 109 in the first Test against Sri Lanka and as a result, become the first-ever batsman in the history of the sport to score a century in his ODI and Test debut.

December 23 – National Farmers Day:

  • National Farmers Day or Kisan Diwas observed every year in India on the 23rd of December.
  • 23rd December chosen to honor the birth anniversary. The birth anniversary of the fifth Prime Minister of India, Choudhary Charan Singh.
  • He played a pivotal role in the Agricultural Sector of India by drafting and enacting various bills for farmer’s reforms. He introduced many policies to improve the lives of Indian farmers.

ADB 490 million dollars loan to upgrade Indian state roads:

  • Asian Development Bank and the Government of India signed a 490 million dollar loan for public-private partnerships.
  • Around thousand six hundred kilometers of state highways and major district roads from single-lane to two-lane widths in Madhya Pradesh.
  • The 286 million dollars investment mobilized through private sector participation under the PPP modality.

Google searches for Operation Twist surge in India:

  • Google searches for Operation Twist surge in India.
  • The announcement came after the central bank announced its version of the U.S. Federal Reserve unconventional monetary policy. The searches for the term came from Delhi, Maharashtra.

India constructs Girls’ Hostel for Nepal Armed Police Force:

  • The Govt. of India has constructed Girls’ Hostel for Nepal Armed Police Force School, Kirtipur, Nepal.
  • Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India, Dr Ajay Kumar inaugurated hostel building.
  • Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) School is an academic institution created under the APF Welfare Service Centre of Nepal Armed Police Force.
  • The school was established in 2005 and it has over 21 per cent of girls students.
  • The new infrastructure constructed with the Government of India’s grant assistance of 40.42 million Nepali Rupees is a two-storied girls’ hostel.
  • It comprises 32 rooms including a dormitory, warden room, bathroom, sanitation facilities for girls on each floor and furniture.

EChO Network was launched in New Delhi:

  • Prof. Krishnasamy VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Govt of India launched a national program called “EChO Network” in New Delhi.
  • The EChO network provides a template for cross-disciplinary leadership in India.
  • The purpose of this programme is to bring citizens, govt etc to solve problems in the areas of research knowledge, and awareness of Indian ecology and the environment.

Integral Coach Factory produces 3000 Coaches in record 215 days:

  • Integral Coach Factory (ICF) of Indian Railways has produced its 3000 Coaches in record 215 days.
  • The 64-year-old production unit beat its own record by reducing the number of working days to achieve the target of making 3,000 coaches in 289 days in 2018-19 to 215 days this year and retained its position as the largest coach- maker in the world.

Sikkim CM laid the foundation stone two IPUs of Sikkim IFFCO:

  • Chief Minister, Sikkim laid the foundation stone of two Integrated Organic Food Processing units of Sikkim IFFCO Organics Ltd. in Rangpo, East Sikkim.
  • Sikkim IFFCO Organics Limited is a joint venture between the world’s biggest fertilizer Cooperative, IFFCO and Government of Sikkim.
  • Its aim is to promote and market the organic produce of the country and especially from Sikkim and other north-eastern states of India.
  • The major commercial crops in which Sikkim IFFCO will operate are ginger, turmeric, large cardamom and buckwheat.

Emergency protocols activated in the Galapagos Islands after fuel spill:

  • Ecuador has activated the emergency protocols in the Galapagos Islands.
  • The emergency protocol was activated to contain the environmental impact of a fuel spill in the Galapagos Islands.
  • The step was taken after a barge carrying 600 gallons of diesel fuel sank.
  • The accident occurred in a port on San Cristobal Island when a crane collapsed while loading a container onto the barge.
  • The falling container destabilized the ship, causing it to sink.
  • The Galapagos archipelago is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to one of the most fragile ecosystems on the planet.

Eight West African nations rename common currency to Eco:

  • Eight West African countries have agreed to change the name of their common currency to Eco and severed their earlier currency CFA Franc’s links to former colonial ruler France.
  • Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo currently use the currency.
  • All the countries are former French colonies with the exception of Guinea-Bissau.
  • The CFA franc, created in 1945, was seen by many as a sign of French interference in its former African colonies even after the countries became independent.

UAE and Oman sign MoU to enhance trade and economic cooperation:

  • UAE national export credit company, Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Export Credit Guarantee Agency of Oman (Credit Oman).
  • Aim To enhance trade and economic cooperation between the two countries. The sign took place during the 10th AMAN UNION General Assembly, held in Muscat.

Wipro partners Nasscom to train 10,000 students on emerging technologies:

  • Wipro has partnered with Nasscom to train students on emerging technologies.
  • The programme will train on technologies such as artificial intelligence, data science, internet of things, cybersecurity.
  • Wipro will train 10,000 students from engineering colleges in India as a part of Wipro’s corporate social responsibility programme “TalentNext“.
  • TalentNext aims to improve the quality of engineering education by preparing faculty and academic leaders to train students.
  • The programme will now be extended to students directly through Future Skills, a Nasscom platform.
  • “Future Skills” bridges the industry-academia skill gap and help students learn new-age technologies.

India-Iran 19th Joint Commission meeting held in Iran:

  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar co-chaired the 19th Joint Commission meeting with Foreign Minister of Iran. The Joint Commission meeting was held in Tehran, Iran.
  • The meeting reviewed the entire gamut of the cooperation and agreed to accelerate work on the strategic Chabahar project.
  • The Chabahar port is jointly being developed by India, Iran and Afghanistan.
  • It is located on the Indian Ocean in the Sistan and Baluchestan province of Iran.

Cuba names Manuel Marrero Cruz to be first PM since 1976:

  • In Cuba, President has appointed Manuel Marrero Cruz as the country’s first prime minister in more than 40 years.
  • Marrero, who has served as tourism minister for 16 years and is an architect by trade, helped boost Cuba’s economy by making tourism one of the engines of growth.
  • The post of prime minister was scrapped in 1976 by the then-revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.

Monisha Ghosh named 1st woman CTO at FCC in US:

  • Indian-American Dr Monisha Ghosh has been appointed as the first woman Chief Technology Officer at the US government’s powerful Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
  • She will advise Indian-American Chairman of the FCC Ajit Pai and the agency on technology and engineering issues, and work closely with the Office of Engineering and Technology.
  • Dr Ghosh will take charge on January 13. She replaces Dr Eric Burger.

Shiv Das Meena appointed as Chairman of Patna Metro Rail Corporation:

  • Shiv Das Meena assumed the charge of Chairman of Patna Metro Rail Corporation Limited (PMRC).
  • He belongs to the 1989-Batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre and an additional secretary and CVO in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA). Meena took charge of Chairman, PMRC, on December 14, 2019.

Malayali boy Aditya bags top bravery award:

  • Aditya K. of Kozhikode, Kerala has become the first child from the State to bag the Bharat Award for bravery.
  • The most prestigious of the National Bravery Awards, given away by the Indian Council for Child Welfare.
  • The Bharat Award has gone to Aditya for rescued 20 people from a bus carrying members of the Calicut University Pensioners’ Forum and their families when it caught fire coming down a steep mountain road.
  • Two more children from the State are also recipients of the awards. Muhammed Mohsin has been given the award posthumously for saving the lives of three children.
  • Fatah gets the award for rescuing a woman and a girl from an approaching train. Both belong to Kozhikode.

Indian Archaeologist honoured in Bangladesh:

  • Noted archaeologist R. Nagaswamy was honoured at the Silver Jubilee International Conference of Art in Dhaka by Bangladesh.
  • He is an Indian historian, archaeologist and epigraphist.
  • He served as the founder-director of Tamilnadu Archaeology Department.
  • In 2018 he was awarded India’s third highest civilian award Padma Bhushan.

Nadal and Barty named 2019 ITF World Champions:

  • Ashleigh Barty and Rafael Nadal were named International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) World Champions in singles for 2019.
  • This awards will be given at the 2020 ITF world champions 2nd June, in Paris.
  • Men Singles – Rafael Nadal (Spain)
  • Women Singles – Ashleigh Barty (Australia)
  • Women Doubles – Timea Babos (Hungary) and Kristina Mladenovic (France)
  • Men Doubles – Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah (Colombia)
  • Men’s Wheelchair – Gustavo Fernandez (Argentina)
  • Women’s Wheelchair – Diede de Groot (Netherland)
  • Quad – Dylan Alcott (Australia)

Meiraba Luwang wins Bangladesh Junior Int’l Badminton Series:

  • India’s shuttler Maisnam Meiraba Luwang has won the Men’s singles Bangladesh Junior International Badminton Series 2019 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • Top-seeded Meiraba, who hails from Manipur, beat Ken Yong Ong 21, 14, 21-18 in the final.

Vice Prez released book ‘Turbulence and Triumph: The Modi Years’:

  • The Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu released a book titled ‘Turbulence and Triumph: The Modi Years’ in New Delhi.
  • The book is jointly authored by Rahul Agarwal and Bharathi S Pradhan and is published by Om Books International.
  • The book is about the life journey of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi from his days as a young boy rin Gujarat till becoming the Prime Minister of India.

December 22 – National Mathematics Day: 

  • National Mathematics Day is celebrated on 22nd December every year to mark the birth anniversary of legendary mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan and his contributions in the development of modern mathematics.
  • This year nation celebrates his 132nd Birth Anniversary.
  • Ramanujan had a wealth of ideas that have transformed and reshaped 20th-century mathematics.
  • These ideas continue to shape mathematics of the 21st century.
  • The main objective behind the celebration of National Mathematics Day is to make people aware of the development of mathematics and its importance in the growth of humanity.

Bank of Baroda partners with Gujarat govt to provide MSME loans:

  • Bank of Baroda signed an MoU with the Gujarat government to facilitate the flow of credit in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector.
  • As per the agreement, the credit will be provided to the MSME for greenfield projects, startups, women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs from backward areas under the Gujarat Single Window Clearance Act 2017 & Ordinance Number 1 of 2019 dated October 24, 2019.

Indian Coast Guard conducts ‘Swachchh Samundra NW-2019’:

  • The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) conducted a two-day regional level pollution response exercise named ‘Swachchh Samundra NW-2019’ at sea off Vadinar in Gulf of Kutch.
  • The exercise was conducted to validate and reinforce the response mechanism for oil pollution incidents and enable the Indian Coast Guard to fine-tune the actions required in such eventualities.
  • The exercise was conducted in two phases.
  • The Gulf of Kutch (GoK) region handles 70 per cent of the oil imported by India and 11 Single Point Moorings (SPMs) out of total 27 SPM.

India test fires QRSAM System:

  • Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) system developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was successfully flight-tested from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the Odisha coast.
  • The missile was flight-tested with the full configuration in deployment mode intercepting the target mid-air, meeting the mission objectives.
  • With this mission, the developmental trials of the weapon system are successfully completed and the weapon system is expected to be ready for induction by 2021.
  • The QRSAM weapon system, which operates on the move, comprises of fully automated Command and Control System, Active Array Battery Surveillance Radar, Active Array Battery Multifunction Radar and Launcher.

Prez Kovind releases mobile app of Red Cross Society of India:

  • President Ram Nath Kovind released the mobile app of the Red Cross Society of India in Hyderabad.
  • This app is developed by the Telangana Centre for Good Governance in less than three months, the mobile app is accessible in all languages.
  • The developers informed that the access to blood bank and Red Cross membership will become easy with the launching of the mobile app.

Urban India declared Open defecation free:

  • Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban has achieved its target of creating Urban India Open Defecation Free.
  • Urban areas of 35 states and Union Territories have become ODF.
  • In all, 4,320 cities out of 4,372 have declared themselves ODF, of which 4,167 cities have been certified through third-party verification.
  • This has been achieved by the construction of nearly 65.81 lakh individual household toilets against Mission target of 59 lakhs and 5.89 lakh seats of public toilets against Mission target of 5.08 lakh seats.

‘Oxygen Parlour’ at Nashik Railway Station to combat air pollution:

  • In a unique initiative to battle rising air pollution in cities, an ‘Oxygen Parlour’ has been opened at Nashik railway station to provide an experience of breathing clean air to the commuters.
  • The initiative comes with the efforts of Airo Guard in collaboration with the Indian Railways.
  • The concept of Oxygen Parlour is based on the recommendation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
  • There are around 1500 plants here, so, these plants can directly and effectively bring down the pollution in the air at the railway station and allow the people to breathe cleaner air.

Nityanand Rai inaugurates DNA Analysis Centre at CFSL Chandigarh:

  • Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Nityanand Rai inaugurated a State-of-the-Art DNA Analysis Centre at CFSL, Chandigarh.
  • This new Advanced Forensic DNA Analysis Lab set up under the Nirbhaya Fund scheme with an allocation of Rs.99.76 crores.
  • The State-of-the-art facility for Sexual Assault and Homicide Unit Paternity Unit Human Identification Unit and Mitochondrial DNA Unit.

Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani adds $18 billion to his fortune in 2019:

  • According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, The Indian tycoon added almost $17 billion to his wealth about $61 billion n comparison, Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma’s net worth grew $11.3 billion, while Jeff Bezos lost $13.2 billion.
  • Mukesh Ambani’s fortune fueled by a 40% jump in the shares of his Reliance Industries Ltd.

Rajasthan government starts its first Janta Clinic:

  • Rajasthan Chief Minister inaugurated its first “Janta clinic” at in the Malviya Nagar area of Jaipur.
  • This clinic open to provide free primary health care to people living in slums. In its first phase, 12 Janta Clinics will be opened in Jaipur where people would get free medicines and free medical examination in some cases.
  • Later, in the second and third phases of this scheme, Janta Clinics will be opened in other areas.

Andhra Pradesh CM launched ‘Netanna Nestham’ welfare scheme for weavers:

  • Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy launched the ‘YSR Nethanna Nestham’ scheme at Dharmavaram in Anantapur district.
  • Under the scheme, the state government of Andhra Pradesh will provide financial assistance of Rs 24,000 annually to handloom weavers across the state.

India world’s 3rd largest producer of Scientific Articles:

  • India has emerged as the world’s third-largest publisher of science and engineering articles, according to a latest US report.
  • In 2008, India published 48,998 science and engineering articles.
  • This increased to 1,35,788 articles in 2018 and the country now accounts for 5.31 per cent of the total world publications in science and engineering.
  • China, which accounts for 20.67 per cent of all global publications in scientific articles, is at the top position, followed by the US at 16.54 per cent, as per the statistics compiled by the US National Science Foundation (NSF).

WHO 1st time approved Biosimilar of “Trastuzumab” for breast cancer treatment:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that for the 1st time it had approved a “biosimilar” medicine of Trastuzumab named “Ontruzant” to make cheaper breast cancer treatment at an affordable rate to women globally.
  • The medicine is derived from living sources rather than chemicals. The biosimilar medicine of the Trastuzumab drug was supplied by Samsung Bioepis co Ltd.

First Tripartite Agreement on Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Fund:

  • First tripartite Memorandum of Agreement signed between the department of Fisheries Government of IndiaNARBARD for the implementation of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Fund (FIDF).
  • Shri Giriraj Singh, Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry dedicated fund created, namely the Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund, a total of Rs. 7522.48 crore to address the infrastructure requirement for the fisheries sector.

Nagpur Resolution adopted at regional conference organized by DARPG:

  • Nagpur Resolution adopted during a Valedictory session of a regional conference organized by DARPG (Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances).
  • The meeting was on Improving Public Service Delivery and attended by officials from the Ministries of MSME, Road transport, northeast development, and officials from the prime minister office.The Conference resolved to empower citizens.

Sangita Reddy appointed as the President of FICCI for 2019-20:

  • Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group, has taken over as the President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) for 2019-20.
  • She succeeds Sandip Somany, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, HSIL.
  • President of The Walt Disney Company APAC & Chairman of Star & Disney India, Uday Shankar has been elevated as Senior Vice President of FICCI.
  • Similarly, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), Sanjiv Mehta was appointed as the Vice President of FICCI.

Harsh Vardhan Shringla appointed new Foreign Secretary:

  • Senior diplomat Harsh Vardhan Shringla, India’s Ambassador to the US, has been appointed as the new Foreign Secretary.
  • He is a 1984-batch officer of the Indian Foreign Service. He will take over the charge of the foreign secretary on January 29 from incumbent Vijay Gokhale.
  • The appointment has been cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Renowned Hindustani classical vocalist Vidushi Savita Devi passes away:

  • Renowned Hindustani classical vocalist Vidushi Savita Devi has passed away.
  • She was known for her thumirs. She was the author of the book ‘Maa…Siddheshwari’ which was the biography of her mother Siddeshwari Devi.
  • She was also the head of the music department at Daulat Ram College under Delhi University for many years.

December 25 – Good Governance Day: 

  • Good Governance Day is observed in India annually on the 25th of December.
  • In this day nation celebrates the birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna and former-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
  • Good Governance Day was established in 2014 to honour Prime Minister Vajpayee by fostering awareness among the Indian people of accountability in government.
  • In keeping with this principle, the Good Governance Day has been declared to be a working day for the government.
  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee served as the Prime Minister of India for three times.
  • His first term was for only 13 days in 1996.
  • He served his second term for a period of thirteen months from March 1998 to April 1999 and then a full term from 1999 to 2004.
  • His first entry into parliament was in 1962 through the Rajya Sabha. He was elected to the Lok Sabha seven times.
  • In 2015, Mr Vajpayee was conferred the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award.

Centre Approves Rs 453 Crore Loan To Tamil Nadu For Building Fishing Harbours:

  • The central government approved a Rs 453-crore loan at a subsidized interest rate of five percent to the Tamil Nadu government for setting up three fishing harbors.
  • The funds released from the Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF) has a corpus of Rs 7,522 crore. An agreement signed between the Union fisheries ministry.

NTPC to invest 50,000 crores for 10 GW solar capacity:

· NTPC planning to add 10 GW of solar energy generation capacity by 2022. An investment of 50,000 crores to be funded mainly by green bonds.

· NTPC installed renewable energy capacity of 920 MW, which constitutes mainly solar energy. It formulated a long-term plan to become a 130 GW company by 2032 with 30% non-fossil fuel or renewable energy capacity.

· The company will tender 2,300 MW of solar energy capacity by the end of this fiscal.

Digital Radio to be launched in 2024:

  • Centre government planning to revamp All India Radio officially known as Akashvani by introducing Digital Radio in India by 2024. The country will be technologically-equipped for it.
  • The announcement in this regard was made by Union Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Prakash Javadekar at the 2019 Akashvani Annual Awards in New Delhi.
  • Digital Radio launched by the year 2024, there will be more clarity as the audio of digital radio.

Atal Bhujal Yojana launched by Government of India:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched Atal Bhujal Yojana (ATAL JAL) which aims to improve groundwater management.
  • The scheme has been designed with the principal objective of strengthening the institutional framework for participatory groundwater management.
  • It aims to bring behavioral changes at the community level for sustainable groundwater resource management in seven States.
  • The 7 states includes GujaratHaryanaKarnatakaMadhya PradeshMaharashtraRajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The scheme will promote panchayat led ground water management and behavioural change with primary focus on demand side management.
  • The Government has outlaid Rs. 6000 crore for the scheme. Out of the total outlay of Rs. 6000 crore to be implemented over a period of 5 years (2020-21 to 2024-25), 50% shall be in the form of World Bank loan, and to be repaid by the Central Government.
  • The remaining 50% shall be through Central Assistance from regular budgetary support. The entire World Bank’s loan component and Central Assistance will be passed on to the States as Grants.

Petroleum Minister unveils India’s first long distance CNG bus:

  • Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister unveiled India’s first long-distance CNG bus fitted with CNG cylinders in New Delhi. It can travel around 1000 kilometres in a single fill.
  • The first long-range interstate CNG bus will ply from Delhi to Dehradun.
  • This type of buses will soon ply between Delhi to Jaipur, Chandigarh and Agra.
  • The project has been executed by Indraprastha Gas Limited, the largest CNG distribution company in the country.

Telangana Govt Raises Retirement age of TSRTC Employees to 60 Years:

  • Telangana government increased the retirement age from 58 to 60 for state-run transport corporation employees.
  • Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao signed on the file pertaining to the increase in the retirement age for the employees of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC).

India first Transgender University to come up in Uttar Pradesh:

  • India’s first university for the transgender community will be opened in the Fazilnagar block of the Kushinagar district in Uttar Pradesh. The transgender community members will be able to get an education.
  • The university is being built by Akhil Bhartiya Kinnar Siksha Seva Trust (All-India transgender education service trust). The university will facilitate its members to study right from class 1 to Post Graduate (PG) and even do research and get a PhD degree.

PM Modi unveiled Atal Bihari Vajpayee statue in Lucknow:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a statue of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at Lok Bhawan in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
  • He also laid the foundation stone for the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Medical University in the Uttar Pradesh capital.
  • The state government has given 50 acres of land for the varsity.

Rohtang tunnel in Himachal Pradesh named as Atal tunnel:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi named Rohtang passageway in Himachal Pradesh as Atal Tunnel to mark the 95th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
  • The tunnel has been named as a tribute to the former Prime Minister who took the historic decision of constructing this strategic tunnel.
  • It will provide all-weather connectivity to remote areas of Lahaul and Spiti Valley and also reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 Kilometres.

Last solar eclipse of decade to be observed in parts of country:

  • The annular solar eclipse the last one for the decade began at 7:59 this morning. It is referred to as the ring of fire – the solar eclipse or Surya Grahan initially be visible as a partial eclipse and can be viewed first from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.
  • India’s partial eclipse will be visible from parts of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Delhi. The partial eclipse, the annular solar eclipse was visible from 9:04 am (IST).

Hemant Soren to take oath as Jharkhand CM on Dec 29:

  • In Jharkhand, Grand Alliance leader Hemant Soren will take oath as Chief Minister on the 29th of this month.
  • He was formally elected the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) legislature party leader.
  • He was projected as the chief ministerial candidate by the JMM, Congress and RJD Alliance that gained the majority in the recently concluded Assembly polls.

Niranjan Hiranandani takes over as Assocham president:

  • Niranjan Hiranandani has taken over as the new president of The Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (Assocham), the country’s apex organisation of industry and trade.
  • He will succeed Balkrishan Goenka, the Welspun Group Chairman.
  • Niranjan Hiranandani is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Hiranandani Group of Companies.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg steps down:

  • Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has stepped down as the company is facing tough period following two fatal crashes.
  • He will be replaced by Chairman David Calhoun effective January 13, 2020.
  • He became the CEO of the world’s largest aerospace company in July 2015.
  • The company’s best selling commercial jet was grounded worldwide in March 2019 after two fatal crashes killed 346 people.

Major Anoop Mishra awarded Army Design Bureau Excellence Award:

  • Major Anoop Mishra developed bullet-proof jacket Sarvatra to develop his bulletproof jacket the day hit by a stray bullet during an operation. Mishra hit by a ball on his coat during deployment in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The Indian Army officer stressed that the full-body protection jacket could withstand a sniper bullet from even 10 meters.
  • The jacket developed at the College of Military Engineering in Pune and can provide full-body protection against sniper rifle bullets.

Tamil Nadu tops ‘Good Governance Index’ launched by GoI:

  • The Central Government has released the “Good Governance Index” on the occasion of Good Governance Day.
  • The “Good Governance Index” was launched to assess the state of governance in Indian States and Union Territories.
  • The prime objective of the GGI is to provide quantifiable data to compare the state of governance in all states and Union Territories, enable them to formulate and implement suitable strategies for improving governance and shift to result oriented approaches and administration.
  • The Index was launched by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, and the Centre for Good Governance.
  • The GGI takes into consideration ten sectors. These ten Governance Sectors are measured on total 50 indicators. The 10 sectors are:
  • Agriculture and Allied Sectors
  • Commerce & Industries
  • Human Resource Development
  • Public Health
  • Public Infrastructure & Utilities
  • Economic Governance
  • Social Welfare & Development
  • Judicial & Public Security
  • Environment
  • Citizen-Centric Governance
  • The states and UTs are divided into three groups:
  • Big States
  • North-East & Hill States
  • Union Territories
  • Among the “Big States“, Tamil Nadu topped the Good Governance Index. The poor performers are Odisha, Bihar, Goa, and Uttar Pradesh with Jharkhand finishing last in the group.
  • Among the “North-East and Hill States“, Himachal Pradesh topped the index, followed by Uttarakhand, Tripura, Mizoram and Sikkim.
  • The worst performers in this group are Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, with Arunachal Pradesh finishing last in the group.
  • Among the “Union Territories“, Puducherry topped the index followed by Chandigarh and Delhi. Lakshwadeep is the worst performing UT.

Kamareddy wins Unicef-2019 Award for Swachh Bharat implementation:

  • Kamareddy district of Telangana has secured the United Nations International Children’s and Education Fund (Unicef)-2019 Award.
  • The district has won the award for effective implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission in water sanitation and hygiene sectors.
  • Kamareddy district was on top in the country among other districts in construction of individual sanitary lavatories, swachh darpan wall paintings, swachh survekshan, swachh sundar shouchalay and many other activities.

Virat Kohli named in Wisden cricketers of the decade list:

  • Indian captain Virat Kohli named in the Cricketers of the decade list along side four others by the Wisden Cricketers Almanac.
  • South African duo of Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers, Australia’s Steve Smith and women’s all-rounder Ellyse Perry added in the list.
  • Kohli scored 5,775 more international runs than anyone else in the last 10 years, has arguably been the best batsman over the last decade.

South African seamer Vernon Philander announces retirement:

  • South African all-rounder Vernon Philander announced international retirement from all forms of cricket after the conclusion of the upcoming Test series against England.
  • He has played 97 matches across all three formats, taking a combined 261 wickets with 1784 runs in his international career.
  • He also took 51 wickets in his first seven Test matches which earned him the 2012 SA Cricketer of the Year award.

MS Dhoni named captain of CA’s ODI team of the decade:

  • Former India skipper and wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni been named captain of Cricket Australia’s (CA) ODI team of the decade and the line-up features three Indian players.
  • Apart from Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have made the cut in CA’s team.
  • CA’s ODI team of the decade: Rohit Sharma, Hashim Amla, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Shakib Al Hasan, Jos Buttler, MS Dhoni (c), Mitchell Starc, Trent Boult, Lasith Malinga, Rashid Khan.

Leander Paes to retire from Tennis in 2020:

  • Indian tennis ace Leander Paes has announced that 2020 will be his last year as a professional tennis player.
  • Leander, who made his Olympic debut in 1992, will look for one final flourish at Tokyo Olympics next year.
  • He has won eight doubles and ten mixed doubles Grand Slam titles.

England World Cup winner Martin Peters passes away:

  • Former West Ham and Tottenham midfielder Martin Peters, who scored England’s second goal in the 1966 World Cup final against West Germany, passed away.
  • He joined West Ham in 1959 as a 15-year-old, made his debut in 1962 and was a key player in the side who won the 1965 Cup Winners Cup final at Wembley.

Renowned Hindi author Ganga Prasad passes away:

  • Renowned Hindi author Ganga Prasad Vimal passed away in a road accident in Sri Lanka.
  • He was born in 1939 in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand. He wrote more than a dozen poetry collections, short story collections and novels.
  • His last novel, Manushkhor, was published in 2013. He received several Hindi literary awards.

December 24 – National Consumer Day:

  • Every Year 24th December is observed as National Consumer Day with a specific theme in India.
  • The theme of this year is “ alternate consumer grievance/dispute redressal”.
  • The objective is to highlight the importance of the consumer movement and the need to make every consumer more aware of their rights and responsibilities.
  • On this day the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was enacted.
  • The Act aims to provide consumers with effective safeguards against different types of exploitation, such as defective goods, deficiency in services and unfair trade practices.

Airtel Payments Bank enables 24×7 NEFT transfers:

  • Airtel Payments Bank announced its customers will now be able to use the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) any time of the day in-line with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines.
  • The facility will be available to customers on a 24×7 basis even on holidays. Customers can enable them to receive or send funds to any bank from anywhere, anytime.

GoI to infuse Rs 8,655 crore into Allahabad Bank, IOB & UCO Bank:

  • The Government of India has approved the release of Rs 8,655 crore as fresh capital to three public sector banks. The list includes Allahabad BankIndian Overseas Bank (IOB) and UCO Bank. The infusion will be done for preferential allotment of shares.
  • Fresh capital amounting to Rs 2,153 crore will be allocated to Allahabad BankRs 2,142 crore to UCO Bank and Rs 4,630 crore to Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) for preferential allotment of shares.

RBI caps lending on P2P platforms at Rs 50 lakh:

  • The Reserve Bank of India has capped the permissible exposure limit of a lender on a Peer-to-Peer lending (P2P) platform for all borrowers. The aggregate exposure has been set at Rs 50 lakh at any given point of time. The step has been taken to protect the consumers interest.
  • The lender investing more than Rs 10 lakh across P2P platforms has to produce a certificate to P2P platforms from a practising Chartered Accountant certifying minimum net-worth of Rs 50 lakh.
  • The central bank also stated that the “Escrow accounts” to be operated by bank promoted trustee for transfer of funds need not be mandatorily maintained with the bank which has promoted the trustee.
  • It also mandates that all the transactions through bank accounts, and cash transaction are strictly prohibited.

AIIB to give $210 million loan for irrigation & solar energy projects:

  • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has announced a loan of $210 million for irrigation and solar energy projects in India. The bank will lend $145 million to improve irrigation services and strengthen flood risk management in West Bengal.
  • The irrigation project in West Bengal is co-financed by the World Bank and is expected to strengthen the management of the Damodar Valley Command Area irrigation scheme.
  • The bank will also lend $65 million for a 250-megawatt (MW) solar project in Rajasthan.

RBI launches new PPI for small digital transactions:

  • The Reserve Bank of India has introduced a new semi-closed prepaid payment instrument (PPI) which can be used for the transaction of goods and services up to a limit of Rs 10,000.
  • The loading facility of the instrument will be linked only from a bank account. This direction has made under Section 18 read with Section 10(2) of Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.
  • PPIs are instruments that facilitate the purchase of goods and services, including financial services, remittance facilities, etc., against the value stored on such instruments. There are currently three kinds of PPIs allowed by RBI: closed system, semi-closed and open PPIs.
  • The PPIs may be issued as cards, wallets, and any such form/instrument which can be used to access the PPI and to use the amount therein.
  • PPIs in the form of paper vouchers shall no longer be issued.

Kotak Mahindra Bank partners with Pine Labs to enable EMIs on debit cards:

  • Kotak Mahindra Bank has tied up with Pine Labs to enable debit card facility for their debit cardholders across point-of-sale terminals by Pine Labs.
  • Banks customers can avail EMI facility with a minimum purchase of Rs 8,000 and repay over 3 months to 12 months. Its aim is to provide affordable, flexible and easy EMI options on a range of products so that bank’s customers can break their high-value purchases into affordable instalments at no extra cost.

Finance minister releases stamp to commemorate DRI’s role:

  • Finance minister of India released a postage stamp to commemorate distinguished service and glorious contribution of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in protecting the nation.
  • DRI plays an immense role to counter smuggling and preserve cultural heritage and environment of the country.
  • It is essential for DRI to keep pace with technologies such as data analytics to fight against contraband items such as gold and narcotics. Contraband is good that is against the law to trade or to import or export.

Indian railway launches ‘Him Darshan Express’:

  • Indian Railways started a glass-enclosed vistadome “Him Darshan Express” train on the heritage Kalka-Shimla route, with glass rooftop to have a panoramic view of the hilly region.
  • This train will have seven coaches, including one first-class sitting cum luggage room coach (FCZLR) and six first-class AC vistadome coaches.

Government of India will launch “Digital Radio” in 2024:

  • Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar has announced that the Central government will launch the “Digital Radio” in 2024.
  • The announcement was made during the annual Akashvani Awards function held in New Delhi. The minister stated that “All India Radio is an institution which is a part of people’s lives, be it music, news or entertainment”.

HRD Minister launches five documents developed by UGC:

  • The Union Human Resource Development Minister launched the 5 documents developed by UGC covering the 5 verticals of Quality Mandate in New Delhi.
  • These 5 documents cover evaluation reforms, eco-friendly and sustainable university campuses, human values & professional ethics, faculty induction and academic research integrity.
  • These 5 documents help to improve the quality in Higher Educational Institutions, University Grants Commission has adopted the Higher Education Quality Improvement Programme Mandate.
  • The quality mandate aims at evolving higher education system to equip country’s next-generation with vital skills, knowledge and ethics for leading a rewarding life.                

Health Minister inaugurates 2nd edition of “Eat Right Mela”:

  • The Union Health Minister has inaugurated the 2nd edition of “Eat Right Mela” in New Delhi. The Eat Right Mela of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is a commendable effort and outreach activity for citizens towards eating right.
  • The Union Minister launched ‘The PURPLE Book’ a handbook on diets for diseases. The book provides general guidelines for hospitals on suitable diets for common medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer, gut disorders and so on in a simple format and has been developed and vetted by experts in the field of food and nutrition.
  • This book is available for free download on www.fssai.gov.in.
  • The Union Minister also launched NetSCoFAN (Network for Scientific Co-operation for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition), a network of research & academic institutions working in the area of food & nutrition along with the NetSCoFAN directory, covering detailed information of various heads/Directors and lead scientists of lead and associated partnering institutions.
  • The NetSCoFAN would comprise of eight groups of institutions working in different areas viz. biological, chemical, nutrition & labelling, food of animal origin, food of plant origin, water & beverages, food testing, and safer & sustainable packaging.

CSMT gets ‘Eat Right’ station certificate:

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) railway station in Mumbai has been conferred with ‘Eat Right Station’ certification with the five-star rating by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for food safety and hygiene.
  • CSMT has been judged on the basis of compliance of food safety and hygiene, availability of healthy diet, food handling at preparation, food waste management, promotion of local and seasonal food and creating awareness on food safety and healthy diet.
  • ‘Eat Right Station’ initiative is a part of the ‘Eat Right India’ movement launched by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and a Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) major which is aimed at promoting food safety and hygiene at the static catering units at railway stations.

National Tribal Dance Festival begins in Raipur:

  • National Tribal Dance Festival begun in Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh, The inaugural function presided over by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.
  • National Tribal Dance Festival The National Tribal Dance Festival organized in Chhattisgarh for the first time.
  • Around 1300 participants from 25 states & UTs of the country and six countries participating in this three-day dance fest. These folk dance teams will present their respective folk art cultures.

Federal Bank ties up with Magicbricks:

  • Private sector lender Federal Bank has tied up with online real estate platform Magicbricks for listing and e-auctioning of immovable properties repossessed by it in recovery proceedings.
  • The move is aimed at speedy recovery of the bank’s impaired assets while helping customers get the best rate in the market for their properties.

5th round of India-Japan Maritime Affairs Dialogue:

  • The 5th Round of India-Japan Maritime Affairs Dialogue was held in Tokyo, Japan. The two sides exchanged views on various topics of mutual interest in the maritime domain and identified the means for further strengthening their maritime cooperation.
  • Both sides reiterated the importance of the Dialogue as an important mechanism between the two countries for consultations on issues of mutual interest in maritime affairs and agreed to hold the next round of the Dialogue on a mutually convenient date in India.
  • The first round of India-Japan Maritime dialogue was held in New Delhi in 2013.

AAO bestows Life Achievement honour to Dr Santosh G Honavar:

  • Dr Santosh G Honavar, India’s ophthalmologist is conferred with the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s (AAO) highest award Life Achievement honour that is given to its members.
  • He is the first Indian chosen for the honour. American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye specialists.

Abhinav Lohan wins Bengaluru Open Golf Championship:

  • Abhinav Lohan has won the Bengaluru Open Golf Championship 2019 powered by Karnataka Tourism. This was Lohan’s first title on the TATA Steel PGTI. Karandeep Kochhar finished the championship as runner up.
  • With the victory, Lohan has become the 4th Indian golfer to register his maiden title on the TATA Steel PGTI.
  • Abhinav Lohan was part of the Indian team that won the silver medal at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou.

American songwriter Allee Willis passes away:

  • The American songwriter Allee Willis passed away recently. She penned the iconic “I’ll Be There For You” track for the long-running television show “Friends”.
  • She has several other hits under her name like Earth, Wind and Fire, which was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018. She won a Grammy in 1985 for her work on the soundtrack for “Beverly Hills Cop“.

‘Colours of the Mountain’ author Da Chen passes away:

  • China’s brilliant storyteller, Da Chen, who created the critically acclaimed memoir “Colours of the Mountain” passed away recently.
  • In “Colours of the Mountain” he recounted the abuses he and his family suffered during the latter years of the country’s Cultural Revolution. The book was published in seven languages. His last book which was published recently was “Girl Under a Red Moon”.

Book to chronicle India’s Olympic journey:

  • A book titled “Dreams of a Billion: India and the Olympic Games” author by Boria Majumdar with Nalin Mehta released. The book will be published by HarperCollins India in January 2020.
  • The book comprises of all the wins, the misses, the star sportspersons, their stories, and the challenges and possibilities that lie ahead of India to make its mark in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
  • The book provides an inside view of what goes on backstage in the Indian Olympics world alongside a quick history of how India has fared at the Olympics over the past century and a look at how the Indian Olympics world has changed in the last decade.

RBI directs large UCBs to report exposures above Rs 5 cr to CRILC:

  • The Reserve Bank of India has directed large cooperative banks to report all exposures of Rs 5 crore and more to the Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC).
  • The move is aimed at early detection of financial distress. The aggregate exposure will include all fund-based and non-fund based exposures like partial credit enhancement, including investment exposure on the borrower.
  • As per the new rules, Urban Cooperatives Banks are required to submit CRILC report on quarterly basis with effect from December 31, 2019.
  • The CRILC was created by the Reserve Bank of India. CRILC constitutes commercial banks, all India financial institutions and certain non-banking financial companies with multiple objectives, which, among others, include strengthening offsite supervision and early recognition of financial distress.

Nirmala Sitharaman launches common e-auction platform for assets attached by banks:

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched e-Bkray, an online platform to increase the transparency in auctioning of assets attached by banks.
  • The platform is equipped with property search features, and navigational links to all PSB e-auction sites provide single-window access to information on properties up for e-auction as well as a facility for comparison of similar properties photographs and videos of uploaded properties.

IAF bids farewell to the iconic “MiG-27” fighter aircraft:

  • The Indian Air Force bids farewell to the iconic “MiG-27” with a decommissioning ceremony at the Jodhpur air base. The Mig 27 is a soviet origin aircraft that was built under licence by HAL and became a part of the IAF strike fleet in 1985.
  • The jet contributed significantly in wars and peace-keeping operations and also emerged as the real hero in the 1999 Kargil war. It’s contribution in the Kargil war earned it the title ‘Bahadur’.

Raksha Mantri launches DefExpo 2020 mobile app:

  • Raksha Mantri has launched the “DefExpo 2020” mobile app of the forthcoming DefExpo 2020. The app has been developed by Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence (MoD).
  • It provides detailed information about the daily events, participating exhibitors, Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), guest speakers of seminars/webinars, publications, and directions of the venues and city weather. The main features of the app constitutes inform, engage and feedback.

“National Symposium of Poets 2020” organized by All India Radio:

  • All India Radio organized the National Symposium of Poets 2020. Select poets of all 22 languages recognized in the constitution participated in the symposium.
  • It is being held every year since 1956. The poets from all corners of the country gave their presentations and captivated the hearts of the people during the symposium.
  • The symposium will be broadcasted on the eve of Republic Day and at all the centers of AIR.

Mandu Festival begins at Mandu, Madhya Pradesh:

  • The first edition of Mandu Festival begins at Mandu, picturesque fort city of Madhya Pradesh. The event is organized by Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board. The festival will witness a celebration of the historic heritage blended with the modern vibrancy of the city culture.
  • The Mandu festival will offer an eclectic mix of performing arts, workshops, art installations, nature trails, walks, food, architecture and music to the visitors during the festival. The festival is based on the idea of “Khojne Me Kho Jao”.
  • The Mandu festival will redefine the essence of the city & bring about the joy of establishing a new tourism hub in the state.

BSNL gets 770 cr from Bharat Broadband Nigam to clear BharatNet vendor dues:

  • Bharat Broadband Nigam Limited to set up an optical fiber network under the BharatNet Project paid around 770 crores in advance to BSNL to help the telecom firm clear dues of vendors involved in the project.
  • The debt-ridden state-run telecom firm had requested BBNL to pay 1,033 crores earlier this month to clear the dues of vendors engaged in the BharatNet project.

CSIR Institute created new technology to boost production of Geranium:

  • Geranium plant has substantial medicinal value, and their essential oil works as an anti-inflammatory and anti-septic agent.
  • The production of the Geranium boost under the Aroma mission.
  • Scientists from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research- Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CSIR-CIMAP), Lucknow developed a new low-cost technology to prepare Geranium saplings and make this available for the farmers too.

China launches its largest carrier rocket “Long March-5”:

  • China has successfully launched its largest carrier rocket “Long March-5“. The rocket was launched from Wenchang Space Launch Center in south China’s Hainan Province. The rocket is also known as CZ-5. It was China’s third attempt to launch the rocket.
  • The Chinese rocket carried the Shijian-20 satellite, a communication satellite and placed it into its designated orbit. The Shijian-20 satellite will lay the foundation for the development of highly sensitive space probes.
  • It is China’s heaviest and most advanced communications satellite in geosynchronous orbit.

Russia deploys its 1st Avangard Hypersonic missile system:

  • Russia’s 1st missile unit equipped with Avangard Hypersonic glide vehicle enters into service. Russia’s defence ministry stated that a new hypersonic weapon with latest strategic missiles of intercontinental range has became operational.
  • The nuclear-capable missiles can travel more than 20 times the speed of sound. They have a “glide system” that affords great manoeuvrability and could make them impossible to defend against.
  • The Avangard can carry a nuclear weapon of up to 2 megatons. Avangard is designed using new composite materials to withstand temperatures of up to 2,000 Celsius resulting from a flight through the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds.

Ratan Tata Gautam Adani among India’s top 10 most Googled business tycoons:

  • Tata Sons chairman Ratan Tata emerged as India’s most searched business tycoon on Google in 2019.
  • Google released a Year in Search 2019 report shows what was trending on the world’s largest search engine during the year in India.

Veteran Political cartoonist Vikas Sabnis passes away:

  • Veteran Political cartoonist Vikas Sabnis has passed away recently. He recently completed 50 years of illustrious career in 2018. He was inspired by Bal Thackeray and RK Laxman.
  • He has also worked as a staff cartoonist at various newspapers, including the Times of India and the Mid-day. He made caricatures and political cartoons on various subjects and issues. These ranges from local to international levels.

A book titled “Politics of Opportunism” released by S Gurumurthy:

  • Noted Economist and Political Analyst S Gurumurthy released a book titled “Politics of Opportunism: Regional Parties, Coalitions, Centre-State Relations In India”.
  • The book is authored by R P N Singh. The book throws light on the subject related to rise of regional parties and Centre-States relation.
  • RNP Singh is a former officer of the Intelligence Bureau, Government of India. He has also earned the coveted Presidents Police Medal, Indian Police Medal, the Sukriti and Kautilya awards for his distinguished services.

Finance Minister launches an e-auction platform “eBkray”:

  • Finance Minister has launched an e-auction platform “eBkray“. The platform will enable online auction of attached assets by banks. The platform provides navigational links to all PSB e-auction sites, property search feature.
  • It also presents single-window access to information on properties up for e-auction, comparison of similar properties, and also contains videos and photographs of the uploaded properties.
  • Indian Banks Auctions Mortgaged Properties Information (IBAPI) portal is an initiative of Indian Banks Association under the policy of the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance was launched to provide a platform to give details of mortgaged properties to be auctioned online by Banks, starting with PSBs.

SBI to implement OTP-based ATM cash withdrawals from January 1 2020:

  • State Bank of India will introduce One Time Password (OTP)-based ATM cash withdrawals. The step has been taken to reduce the occurrences of unauthorised transactions happening at ATMs. SBI will introduce one-time password for every cash withdrawal of Rs 10,000 and above between 8 am and 8 pm.
  • The OTP-based cash withdrawal will be effective from January 1, 2020 across all SBI ATMs. When an SBI cardholder will enter the amount of cash he/she wishes to withdraw, a screen will appear asking for the OTP.
  • The customer will then have to put the OTP that the bank will send to the registered mobile number.
  • OTP is a system-generated string of numeric characters that allow users to make a single transaction.
  • The facility will not be applicable at other banks’ ATM as this functionality has not been developed in National Financial Switch (NFS).

HDFC Life partners with Paytm to expand its distribution:

  • HDFC Life Insurance has partnered with Paytm to expand its distribution. The partnership is aimed to enable customers of Paytm to purchase insurance products from HDFC Life.
  • HDFC Life Insurance is constantly exploring opportunities to create and sustain new partnerships to strengthen its distribution network.
  • With the partnership, HDFC Life Insurance aims to increase insurance penetration in India and to simplify the customers experience right from the purchase to the claim process.

5th Round Of India-Japan Maritime Affairs Dialogue Was Held In Tokyo:

  • 5th round of India-Japan Maritime Affairs dialogue was held in Tokyo, Japan.
  • During this dialogue, India and Japan agreed to deepen their maritime cooperation.
  • Apart from the dialogue, the 8th Round of India-Japan bilateral consultations on disarmament, non-proliferation and export control was also held in Tokyo.
  • Indian delegation: The Indian delegation was led by Indra Mani PandeyAdditional Secretary in Disarmament and International Security Affairs under the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
  • Japanese delegation: The delegation from the Japanese side for the 5th round dialogue was led by Ambassador Yamanaka A.

President Addresses Golden Jubilee Celebrations Of Vivekananda Rock Memorial:

  • President Ramnath Kovindhas said that the vision and enthusiasm of Swami Vivekananda continue to inspire the nation and its youth. He was addressing the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu.
  • The President recalled that Kanyakumari held a special place in the life of Swami Vivekananda. He pointed out that the Swamiji had spent three days in meditation in Kanyakumari, before embarking on his famous trip to Chicago for addressing the World Conference of Religions.
  • Mr Kovind also had special words of praise for the Rock Memorial, built on a rock at the confluence of three oceans, which attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year.

More Than 1 Crore Houses Sanctioned Under PM Awas Yojana (Urban):

  • More than one crore houses have been sanctioned under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).
  • Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri informed that one crore houses have already been sanctioned out of a validated demand of 1.12 crore houses in urban areas.
  • He said a total of 57 lakh houses are in various stages of construction of which, nearly 30 Lakh houses have been completed. PMAY (U) is one of the largest affordable housing programmes in the world.
  • Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Durga Shanker Mishra informed that the Mission has covered a range of social groups.
  • Around 1.20 crore employment has been generated through forward and backward linkages with about 250 auxiliary industries like, steel, brick kilns, cement, paint, hardware, and sanitary.

Home Minister lays foundation stone of CRPF Headquarters in New Delhi:

  • Union Home Minister laid the foundation stone of Directorate General Building of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in New Delhi.
  • The new building at a cost of Rs 280 crore will have all modern facilities and green amenities. It will also have effective control and command system with modern training modules for 3.5 lakh strong force to enhance their operational capability.
  • The Home Minister also launched a new logo “Garud” for those engaged in providing security to the common man and VIPs.

Mastercard signs agreement to acquire RiskReckon:

  • Mastercard has announced an agreement to acquire RiskRecon. RiskRecon is one of the leading providers of data analytics solutions and artificial intelligence focused on cyber-risk and security and offering solutions to mitigate cyber risks faced by the companies.
  • The acquisition would enhance the cyber-security systems for MasterCard which offers payment processing services on a global scale.

New Delhi hosts 49th Border Coordination Conference between BSF & BGB:

  • 49th Border Coordination Conference between border guarding forces of India and Bangladesh was held in New Delhi.
  • The Indian delegation was headed by DG Border Security Force Vivek Kumar Johri and the Bangladesh delegation was headed by DG of Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) Md Shafeenul Islam.
  • The conference focused on co-operation in Border Guarding and Border Management between the two forces.
  • During the conference, both forces agreed to make all possible efforts to curb the menace of cattle smuggling or any other criminal activity and to ensure tranquility on the borders.

Hemant Soren sworn as CM of Jharkhand:

  • Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Hemant Soren was sworn in as the 11th Chief Minister of Jharkhand.
  • Governor of Jharkhand Droupadi Murmu has administered the oath of office and secrecy to Soren, in the presence of senior political leaders and chief ministers from across states.
  • This will be the 44-year-old JMM leader’s second stint as Jharkhand Chief Minister. In the just-conducted Assembly elections, the JMM, Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) alliance triumphed over the BJP, winning 47 seats in the 81 member House.

Gen Bipin Rawat named as country’s 1st Chief of Defence Staff:

  • Indian Army General Bipin Rawat has been named as the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). The Chief of Defence Staff will be a 4-star General, the principal military advisor to the defence minister, and will head the new Department of Military Affairs.
  • The Chief of Defence Staff will ensure the jointness in training, logistics and procurement of the three services. General Rawat is the first officer to hold the post of the Chief of Defence Staff
  • The Defence Ministry had also amended the army, air force and navy rules by bringing in a new clause that allows the CDS to serve upto a maximum age of 65 years.
  • The CDS will administer all tri-services organisations, but their command will be with the Chief of the service which has a predominant role in their functioning.

Christina Koch records longest single spaceflight by woman:

  • NASA Astronaut Christina Koch has created a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman. She has surpassed the earlier record of 288 days in space which was previously established by NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson in 2017.
  • She would return to Earth in February 2020. Till then, she would have spent more than 300 days in the space. She is onboard the International Space Station since 14th March 2019.
  • The world record for the single longest mission by any space explorer whether man or woman, is held by cosmonaut Valery Polyakov, who spent 438 consecutive days on board Russia’s former space station Mir from January 1994 to March 1995.

Australia paceman Peter Siddle retires from international cricket:

  • Australian pace bowler Peter Siddle has announced his retirement from International Cricket. In his career of 11 years, he represented Australia in 67 Tests, 20 ODIs and 2 Twenty20 matches.
  • He took 221 wickets in 67 Test matches. He started his International Cricket career against India in 2008.

Kohli & Bumrah named in Wisden’s T20I Team of the decade:

  • India skipper Virat Kohli and pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah were the only Indians in Wisden’s T20 International team of the decade.
  • Australia’s limited overs skipper Aaron Finch was named captain of the Wisden’s T20 International team of the decade.
  • Here is the complete Wisden’s T20I team of the decade: Aaron Finch (c), Colin Munro, Virat Kohli, Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell, Jos Buttler, Mohammad Nabi, David Willey, Rashid Khan, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga.

MS Dhoni Named Captain Of CA’s ODI Team Of The Decade:

  • Former India skipper and wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni been named captain of Cricket Australia’s (CA) ODI team of the decade and the line-up features three Indian players.
  • Apart from Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have made the cut in CA’s team.
  • CA’s ODI team of the decade: Rohit Sharma, Hashim Amla, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Shakib Al Hasan, Jos Buttler, MS Dhoni (c), Mitchell Starc, Trent Boult, Lasith Malinga, Rashid Khan.

Koneru Humpy becomes women’s World Rapid champion:

  • Indian Grandmaster Koneru Humpy wins the World Women’s Rapid Chess Championship held in Moscow, Russia.
  • She won the title after drawing the Armageddon game against Lei Tingjie of China. Humpy lost the first tie-break game and then won the second to reach the Armageddon game.
  • China’s Lei Tingjie won the silver and Ekaterina Atalik of Turkey settled with bronze. Humpy is only the second Indian to win the rapid gold in the current format after Vishwanathan Anand who won it in 2017.

Weightlifter Seema Banned For Four Years For Doping:

  • India’s Commonwealth Championship silver medallist weightlifter Seema has been slapped with a four-year suspension for a doping violation.
  • In a statement, the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) said Seema’s dope sample was collected this year during the 34th Women National Weightlifting Championship in Vishakhapatnam.
  • “The analysis report of her sample returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for presence of a prohibited substance namely Hydroxy-4-methoxy Temoxifen (Metabolite of Tamoxifen), Selective Estrogen Receptor Modular (SERM) Metenolone, Anabolic Steroid Ostarine ( Enobosram), Selective Androgen Receptor Modular (SARM).”
  • They are all non-specified substances as per the WADA prohibited list of 2019.
  • Seema won a silver medal in the 2017 Commonwealth Championships and finished sixth in the women’s 75kg competition at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018.

Vishwesha Tirtha Swami of Pejawar Mutt passes away:

  • The pontiff of Pejawar Mutt, Vishwesha Tirtha Swami passed away in Udupi. He was born at Ramakujna in Dakshina Kannada district on April 27, 1931.
  • He was ordained as a monk at the age of eight in 1938, as the 33rd seer in the linage or ‘guru parampara’ of the Pejawar Mutt.
  • Vishwesha Tirtha Swami made history by becoming the only seer among the seers of the Ashta Mutts (eight mutts) of Udupi, which propagate the Dwaita philosophy, to have performed five biennial Paryayas.

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