Current Affairs

4 December, 2020


Dr Harsh Vardhan Chaired “Health Talks”, Annual Conference under Sweden India Nobel Memorial Week

i.As a part of 13th Sweden India Nobel Memorial Week 2020, on December 2, 2020, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) chaired the inaugural session of “Health Talks”, an annual conference of the India Sweden Healthcare Innovation Centre.
ii.During the conference it was announced that the Innovation Centre is also in the process of setting up a Centre of Excellence at AIIMS Jodhpur on Cancer Care to help patients to better understand and manage their disease.
iii.The Sweden India Nobel Memorial Week was instituted in the memory of Swedish inventor and philanthropist Alfred Nobel and celebrates his biggest contributions viz. innovations, entrepreneurship and creativity.
Static GK:
Ambassador of Sweden to India– Klas Molin
Ambassador Designate of India to Sweden & Latvia– Tanmaya Lal
Minister of State (MoS) MoHFW– Ashwini Kumar Choubey

India, Suriname hold 7th Joint Commission Meeting virtually; MoS External Affairs, Muraleedharan Co-Chairs the Meeting

The 7th India-Suriname Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) was held virtually. The meeting was Co-Chaired by the Minister of State for External Affairs, V.Muraleedharan & Albert R. Ramdin, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation of the Republic of Suriname.
i.The next JCM Meeting is set to be held atParamaribo, Capital of Suriname in 2022 on a date to be decided by both countries.
ii.They also agreed to enhance cooperation for the establishment of creative industries, Health, Traditional System of Medicine, Agriculture, Mining, Energy, Defense, Culture & Education, Consular Cooperation and Development Partnership.
iii.The Two Ministers emphasized the importance of undertaking developmental projects under concessional conditions (including Lines of Credits) to improve the spirit of South-South Cooperation.
About Ministry of External Affairs (MEA):
Union Minister – Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar
Minister of State – V. Muraleedharan
About Suriname:
President – Chan Santokhi
Capital – Paramaribo
Currency – Surinamese Dollar (SRD)


Odisha hosts 9th International Sand Art festival and 31st Konark Dance festival

From 01-05 December, 2020 Odisha government tourism department has organised the 9th edition of International Sand Art festival at Chandrabhaga Beach in Odisha’s Puri district and parallely the 31st edition of Konark dance festivalfollowing the COVID-19 protocols.
i.Theme of the 2020 International Sand Art festival is “environment” and “COVID-19”.
ii.India’s renowned sand artist and Padma Shri Awardee, Sudarsan Pattnaik, is the Chief Curator of the event.
iii.Konark Dance festival witnessed Odissi, Bharatanatyam, Manipuri, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Sattriya dances, Organised at the Konark Natya Mandap, Sun Temple.

DRDO creates New Laboratory ‘Defence Geo Informatics Research Establishment’ by Merging 2 DRDO Labs – SASE, DTRL

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) created a New Laboratory named ‘Defence Geo Informatics Research Establishment’ for focused research on terrain and avalanches along the borders with China and Pakistan by merging 2 DRDO labs – Manali based Centre for Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE) & Delhi based Defence Terrain Research Laboratory (DTRL).
i.The merger will help in bringing together the capabilities & resources of two labs to work under the same mission.
ii.DTLR provided real time data for terrain evaluation to Indian Army.
iii.SASE is involved in research in the field of snow and avalanches to provide avalanche control measures, forecasting support to Indian Armed Forces.
iv.DRDO Chairman, Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy constituted a 5-member committee headed by Professor V. Ramagopal Rao to review the charter of duties for laboratories of DRDO.
About Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE):
Director – Lokesh Kumar Sinha
Location – Manali, Himachal Pradesh
About Defence Terrain Research Laboratory (DTRL):
Director – Lokesh Kumar Sinha
Location – New Delhi
About Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO):
Chairman – Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy
Headquarters – New Delhi


NABARD Signs MoU with SBI to Take up Joint Intervention Projects in Karnataka

i. NABARD( National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development), Karnataka Regional Office Bengaluru, Karnataka has signed MoU(Memorandum of Understanding) with SBI(State Bank of India), LHO, Bengaluru.
About National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD):
Came into existence-12 July 1982
Chairman– Dr. Govinda Rajulu(G.R.) Chintala
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
About SBI(State Bank of India):
Founded– July 1, 1955 as SBI
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman– Dinesh Kumar Khara(Succeeds Rajnish Kumar)
Tagline– The banker to every Indian; With you all the way; Purely banking nothing else; The nation banks on us; A bank of the common man

Paytm Partners with Suryoday Small Finance Bank to Offer Instant Digital Loans to MSMEs

i. Paytm partnered with Suryoday Small Finance Bank(SFB) Ltd to offer collateral-free instant digital loans to MSMEs(Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises). This will empower the MSMEs.
ii.This is the 1st lending partnership for Paytm with a small finance bank to help merchants to avail loans seamlessly.

NPCI Allowed Payment Banks and Fintechs in its Shareholding upto 0.44%

i.The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has completed private placement of 4.63% of its equity shares worth Rs 81.64 crores. This placement has enabled small finance and payment banks, as well as fintechs to be its shareholders up to 0.44%.
ii.With this placement, now the total shareholder entities for NPCI stand at 67.
About National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI):
It is a not-for-profit organisation, and an initiative of the RBI and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).In November 2020, UPI-payments in the country crossed the 2 billion transaction count.In August 2020, NPCI launched its international arm, NPCI International Payments Ltd to expand real-time payment system UPI and card payment network RuPay in other countries.


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IAF Carries out Firing of Surface-to-Air Missiles Akash, Igla in Suryalanka, Andhra Pradesh

The Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out the Firing of Indigenously Developed Akash Missile System (Surface-to-Air Missile) & Russian-Origin Short-Range Igla Missile (Surface-to-Air Missile) as part of a drill which took place at Air Force Station in Suryalanka, Andhra Pradesh. The drills were part of an exercise which was carried from November 23-December 2 by the IAF.
i.Both the Akash Missile System & Short Range Igla Missiles were fired and they engaged the Maneuverable Expendable Aerial Targets (MEAT).
ii.Akash is a Nuclear capable Missile Defence System developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL)
iii.The Igla Missile is a Russian man-portable infrared homing Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM).
About Indian Air Force:
Chief of the Air Staff – Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria
Headquarters – New Delhi

First Dronacharya Awardee from J&K, Kuldeep Handoo appointed as “Fit India” movement ambassador

Srinagar born Wushu coach and the first Dronacharya Awardee from the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Kuldeep Handoo is appointed as the Ambassador of Fit India movement.
Fit India movement:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Fit India movement in August 2019 in New Delhi, to encourage Indians to include fitness activities and sports in their daily lives to pave the way for a healthy and fit lifestyle.

Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal constitutes Task Force to impart Technical Education in Mother Tongue

Union Minister of Education, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ constituted a Task Force for preparing a blueprint on imparting Technical Education in Mother Tongue. The Task Force will be headed by Secretary of Higher Education (Amit Khare).
i.The Task Force will submit a report in 1 month based on suggestions made by various stakeholders.
ii.The decision to constitute a Task Force was taken by Union Education Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal during a high level meeting on the Implementation of National Education Policy (NEP) – 2020.
iii.The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 had mandated that the Medium of instruction up to Grade 5, which can be extended till Grade 8 will be in Mother Tongue/Regional Language.
About Ministry of Education:
The Ministry of Education was formerly known as the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD).
Union Minister – Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’
Headquarters – New Delhi

RIL Tops 2020 Fortune 500 Ranking List of Indian Companies

i. Fortune India announced the 2020 Fortune 500 Ranking List of Indian companies .
ii.The list is topped by Reliance Industries Ltd(RIL) with revenue of Rs 615,854.00 crore, accounting for 7% of cumulative revenues and 11% profit of the companies featured. RIL retains the top rank for the 2nd time.
iii.Indian Oil Corporation Ltd.(IOCL) secured 2nd rank with revenue of Rs 493,932.99 crore followed by Oil & Natural Gas Corporation with revenue of Rs 405,243.31 crore.
About Reliance Industries Limited (RIL):
Chairman & Managing Director(CMD) – Mukesh Ambani
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

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