Current Affairs

21 December, 2019

International

World’s first Global Refugee Forum hosted by Geneva, SwitzerlandGeneva hosted the world's first Global Refugee

ForumThe 1st ever Global Refugee Forum was held in Geneva, Switzerland from December 17-18 2019. The forum was co-hosted by Switzerland along with United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and co-convened (brought together) by Turkey, Germany, Ethiopia and Costa Rica. The forum will provide an opportunity to people to strengthen the international response against war, conflict and persecution that displaced people and left them with refugee status.

Focus areas: The 1st Global Refugee Forum will focus on 6 areas such as arrangements for burden and responsibility-sharing, education, jobs and livelihoods, energy and infrastructure, solutions, and protection capacity.
2nd Global Refugee Forum: A stock-taking meeting will take place in two years, and the second Global Refugee Forum is scheduled in 2023.
More than 25 million refugees fled international borders and are unable to return to their homes. The no of refugees doubled to 25million in over a decade.
$ 2.2 billion was pledged by the World Bank(WB) Group.The Inter-American Development Bank of US also pledged to provide $ 1 billion

National

Jal Ministry report: 3 lakh rural habitations lack quality water supply

The Ministry of Jal Shakti, submitted its data on water supply and usage by the people in the country. As per the data, nearly 3 lakh rural habitations in the country were deprived of the govt’s minimum prescribed provision of 40 litre per capita per day (lpcd) of potable quality drinking water.

Target set: The aim of the Jal ministry is to achieve 55 lpcd by 2024.
States facing water quality issues: The states which are currently facing water quality issues or seeing diminished supply of water are Rajasthan, West Bengal and Assam. Bihar, Punjab, Karnataka and Uttarakhand are the other States which also face the same issues….Click here to Read More
MoU by NRTI & Birmingham university to set 1st Centre of Excellence for NextGen Transport Systems
On December 19, 2019 the The National Rail Transport Institute(NRTI), deemed to be a university under the Ministry of Railways (MoR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Birmingham, (England)in New Delhi. The MoU was to set up 1st Centre of Excellence for Next Generation Transportation Systems.

Capital– Kabul
Currency– Afghan afghani
President– Ashraf Ghani
About IPC:
Founded– 1956
Headquarters– Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh

ICG organizes 18th National maritime search & rescue board meet 2019 in New Delhi

Indian Coast Guard (ICG),an armed force that protects India’s maritime interests, has organised the 18th National Maritime Search and Rescue Board (NMSARB) meeting 2019 in New Delhi.
The meet, chaired by K Natarajan -Director General (DG) of Indian Coast Guard and Chairman NMSARB, saw the discussion over policy issues, formulation of guidelines & procedures and assess the efficacy of National Search and Rescue Plan.
About Indian Coast Guard (ICG):
Founded– 18 August 1978
Headquarters– New Delhi
Motto-We protect

ICG conducted ‘Swachchh Samundra NW-2019’ off Vadinar in Gulf of Kutch, GujaratIndian Coast Guard conducts

'Swachchh Samundra NW-2019'The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) conducted a 2-day regional level pollution response exercise named ‘Swachchh Samundra NW-2019‘ at sea off Vadinar in Gulf of Kutch(GoK), Gujarat. The exercise was conducted from December 17-18, 2019. The aim of the exercise was to create a response mechanism by ICG, by taking actions for oil pollution incidents.
About Gujarat:
Capital- Gandhinagar.
Governor- Acharya Devvrat.
Chief Minister- Vijay Rupani.

Indian Navy conducted anti-hijacking exercise ‘Apharan’ off Kochi coast, KeralaExercise ‘Apharan'-Indian NavyOn

The Indian Navy(IN), Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and the Cochin Port Trust conducted large scale anti-hijacking exercise codenamed “Apharan” off Kochi coast of Kerala. More than 12 ships and helicopters of IN, ICG, and Cochin port trust participated in the exercise.
Aim: The aim of the exercise was to provide a response mechanism/preparedness to thwart any attempt by rogue elements to hijack a vessel or attempted forced entry into the Kochi harbour.
About Kerala:
Chief Minister- Pinarayi Vijayan.
Governor- Arif Mohammad Khan.
Capital- Thiruvananthapuram.

IIT-H fellow Jigneh patel launches India’s 1st vaccination clinic in Pune, Maharashtrafirst Vaccination Clinic in Pune

In collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Jigneh Patel, a fellow at the Center for Healthcare Entrepreneurship (CfHE) at IIT(Indian Institutes of Technology) Hyderabad (Telangana), has launched India’s 1st ‘Vaccination On Wheels’(VOW) Clinic in Pune,Maharashtra.

Patel had received assistance under the Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations.

VOW is actually a vehicle-ready clinic with vaccines for children. This moving clinic will be sent to residential areas where the vaccination rate is low. Similarly, this clinic will be easily accessible in schools and colleges in far-flung areas.
About IIT Hyderabad:
Motto– Inventions and Innovations
Established– 2008
Director– Prof B. S. Murty
About Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation(BMGF):
Launched– 2000.
Headquarters– Seattle, Washington, United States(US).
Previous name– William H. Gates Foundation.

Economy

HDFC Bank becomes 3rd Indian company to cross m- cap of $ 100 billion

India’s leading private sector bank, HDFC (Housing Development Finance Corporation) Bank Ltd, has become the 3rd company to cross market capitalization (m-cap) of $ 100 billion (over Rs 7 lakh crore) after Reliance Industries Ltd- RIL ($140.74 billion) & Tata Consultancy Services – TCS ($114.60 billion).
However, it closed below the $100 billion mark at roughly $99.5 billion.
About HDFC Bank:
Founded– August 1994
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Managing Director– Aditya Puri
Tagline– We understand your world.

SEBI reshuffles 8-member Abraham koshy committee on Investor Protection & Education Fund

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI),a Regulator for the Securities market in India owned by Government, has made extensive changes to the 8-member advisory committee on Investor Protection and Education Fund (IPEF), advising on issues related to investor education and protection activities.
The chairman of this committee is former Professor, Abraham Koshy of IIM(Indian Institutes of Management) Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

Fitch cuts India’s FY20 GDP growth forecast to 4.6 % from 5.6%

Fitch Ratings Inc., an American credit rating agency has lowered the India’s GDP(Gross Domestic Product) growth forecast for fiscal year-FY20 (or 2019) to 4.6 % from the earlier estimate of 5.6%.Fitch made this deduction due to declining trade &consumer confidence.
Also it has placed India’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘BBB-‘ with a Stable Outlook.
About Fitch:
Founded– 1914
Founder– John Knowles Fitch
President and CEO– Paul Taylor

ADB approves $ 490 million loan to upgrade roads in Madhya Pradesh

Asian Development Bank (ADB),an international development finance institution has inked a $490 million loan agreement with Government of India (GoI) for upgrade about 1,600 km of Madhya Pradesh(MP) state highways (750km) & major district roads- MDRs (850km) from single-lane to two-lane widths in the state.
This project will be a public-private partnership (PPP) through the hybrid-annuity model (HAM),for this, an additional $286 million investment will be mobilized by the state.
i.This fund will improve road conditions , rural and peri-urban connectivity,safety &raise living standards by enabling better access to markets and better services

Sports

ICC continues partnership with UNICEF for ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020

The International cricket council (ICC) announced its partnership with UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund)  for ICC Women’s T20 World cup 2020.The main focus of this partnership is empowering women and girls in cricket.
The money raised will go towards an innovative programme to promote girls’ participation in cricket in Sri Lanka and build peace in communities.
About UNICEF:
Aim: To promote the equal rights of women and girls and to support their full participation in the political,social and economic development of their communities.
Headquarters- NewYork, UnitedStates.
Chairman- Henrietta H Fore
About  ICC:
CEO- Manu Sawhney
Chairman- Shashank Manohar
Headquarters- Dubai,United Arab Emirates

India slipped 11 places to number 108th  in FIFA rankings in a year; Belgium tops

According to the FIFA’s(Federation Internationale de Football Association) year-ending released on December 19, 2019, Indian men’s football team remains at number 108 with 1187 points. The Indian team, however, slipped 11 places throughout the year (In December 2018, India was ranked 97 in the FIFA rankings).
About FIFA:
Motto– For the Game. For the World
Founded– 21 May 1904
Headquarters– Zürich, Switzerland
President– Gianni Infantino
2022 FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar from 21 November to 18 December, 2022

Miscellaneous

Infosys launched 3 blockchain-powered distributed applications

Indian multinational corporation Infosys launched 3 blockchain-powered distributed applications for domains of government services, insurance, and supply chain distributed management. The applications were designed as ready-to-subscribe business networks.
About Infosys:
Founded- 7 July 1981.
Headquarters- Bengaluru, Karnataka.
Chief Executive Officer(CEO)- Salil Parekh.

IAU named new star as ‘Sharjah’ and its planet as ‘Barajeel’

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has announced new names of its newly discovered star and its planet. The star ‘HIP 7943’ was named as “Sharjah” and one of its planet (exoplanet) was named as “Barjeel”. The announcement was made during a press conference of IAU in Paris, France during the centenary celebration of the union (IAU).

Star Sharjah: Appreciating the achievements of Sharjah, which is the Capital of Arab Culture, Capital of Islamic Culture and also has the name of World Book Capital, the star was named as “Sharjah”.
Barjeel meaning: A barjeel is a wind tower that directs the flow of wind, where the air can be recirculated as a form of air conditioning….Click here to Read More
Home ministry alerts on Android bug ‘StrandHogg’ vulnerable to cyberattack
On December 16, 2019 the Union Ministry of Home Affairs(MoHA) sent an alert to all States warning about a bug in Android operating system(OS) called ‘StrandHogg’. It is a real-time malware application which would pose as genuine applications and access all the users’ data. All android device versions including latest android version 10, are vulnerable to this bug.

DRDO successfully tests Pinaka missile system & QR-SAM from base on Odisha coast

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the premier Research and development (R&D) organization of the country,has successfully tested the upgraded version of the Pinaka rocket Mark-II from DRDO’s Proof and Experimental Establishment firing test range at Chandipur testing center in Odisha.
DRDO also test-fired its all weather tracked-chassis Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QR-SAM) from the launch pad-3 at the Interim Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha at 4.20 pm.

Pinaka,an artillery missile system, can hit up to 75 km in enemy territory with full accuracy.

Developed by DRDO,QR-SAM also hit multiple targets within a range of about 25 – 30 km with two vehicle configurations for area air defence

Patanjali Ayurved completes acquisition of Ruchi Soya

Patanjali Ayurved made its first big acquisition to take over soya food brand Nutrela maker Ruchi Soya for Rs.4,350 crore through an insolvency process.The acquisition will help Patanjali acquire edible oil plants as also soyabean oil brands such as Mahakosh and Ruchi Gold.

Acharya Balkrishna is appointed as the Chairman And Managing Director of the Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd
Swami Ramdev as non-executive director on its new board.

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad presented Rashtrya Swayamsiddh Samman 2019 by JSPL Foundation in New DelhiJSPL Foundation

The JSPL Foundation, the CSR (Corporate social responsibility) arm of Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. has conferred Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Samman 2019 to recognize and honour social innovators and Change Agents in India. The awards were presented by Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics and Information Technology upon 17 individuals and 10 organisations at a function held in New Delhi.

Virat Kohli tops the Forbes India celebrity list 2019Virat Kohli, Akshay, Salman Khan top Forbes India's 2019

The Forbes India magazine has published its list of celebrity 100 for the year 2019.This rankings were based on the estimation of their annual earnings through professions and endorsement of celebrities and their frame from October 1,2018 to September 30, 2019.
According to the list of celebrity 2019, Indian Cricket team captain Virat kohli has become the first sportsman to gain the top spot for the first time with the annual earnings of Rs. 252.72 crore.Kohli replaced Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, who had been at the top for the previous three years. Actor Akshay Kumar is at the second position followed by Salman Khan.

Urdu author Mujtaba Hussain to return Padma Shri awardUrdu author Mujtaba Hussain to return Padma Shri award

The 86-year-old urdu author Mujtaba Hussain from hyderabad, had said he will return his Padma Shri award to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA). He stated due to the current atmosphere in the country,he did not want to keep the award anymore.

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Daily Current Affairs | 24th November 2020

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