Current Affairs

8 December, 2020


UN CND removes Cannabis from “Most Dangerous Drug” Category

In the Ongoing 63rd session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (UN-CND), Cannabis has been removed from the “Most Dangerous Drug” category.It is removed after UNCND voted to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, decades after they were first placed on the list.
i.Out of the 53-member CND, 27 member states voted in favour including India, US and most of European Nations and 25 members against.
Note:The move comes as a response to the World Health Organisation (WHO’s) 6 key recommendation from 2019 to remove cannabis from the “most dangerous” category.

IUCN Report named India’s Western Ghats under Significant Concern

i.In accordance with the new report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) namely “IUCN World Heritage Outlook 3”, India’s Western Ghats, inscribed by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 2012 as a natural world heritage site, is threatened by population pressure, urbanization and climate change. The site is regarded as of significant concern.
ii.The term significant concern in the report means the value of the site is threatened by a number of current and/or potential threats and there is a requirement of additional conservation measures in order to keep the value of site in long term.
iii.Notably, Western Ghats are one of the world’s eight hottest hot spots of biological diversity. The other seven are Madagascar, Philippines, Sundaland [South East Asia], Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, Caribbean, Indo-Burma, and Eastern Arc and Coastal Forests of Tanzania/Kenya.
About International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN):
Director General– Dr Bruno Oberle
Headquarter– Gland, Switzerland


PM Narendra Modi addressed IIT-2020 Global Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually addressed the World’s largest virtual Summit- IIT-2020 Global Summit on the inaugural day of the summit. The 2 day summit(4th & 5th December) is organised by PanIIT USA.The summit is chaired by Sanjiv Goyal & Co-chaired by Witty Bindra.
Theme of the IIT-2020 Global Summit – “The Future is Now”.
About the IIT-2020 Global Summit:
i.The Summit will focus on issues like the global economy, technology, innovation, health, habitat conservation and universal education.
ii.The summit also saw the participation of Union Minister of Education, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ making discussion on New Education Policy(NEP)-2020.
Highlights of PM’s Speech:
i.Government’s commitment towards the principle of “Reform, Perform, Transform”
ii.India’s move to Convert 44 Union labour laws into 4 codes.
iii.One of the Lowest corporate tax rates in the world, Production linked Incentive Scheme to enhance exports and manufacturing.
iv.India’s recent host of the Vaibhav Summit to encourage top-quality talent in science and innovation
v.The PM urged the community to share ideas and inputs on the 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence day in 2022.
About IITs in India:
Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) are the premier autonomous public technical and research universities located across India to provide world class Technical education.
First established- IIT Kharagpur, West Bengal in 1951.
Total Number of IITs- 23
About PanIIT USA:
Mission- Promote and enhance a common “IIT” brand for the IIT’s and its Alumni in the USA, helping alumni achieve their professional and personal goals in the USA.
Chairman of IIT-2020 Global Summit- Sanjiv Goyal
President- Sundy Srinivasan
First Conference- 2003

Govt Launched QRMP scheme for GST Payers with Turnover upto Rs 5 cr

i.Central Government in exercise of the powers conferred under sub-section (1) of section 39 read with sub-section (7) of section 39 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (12 of 2017) has initiated the “Quarterly Return filing & Monthly Payment (QRMP)” scheme for small taxpayers under GST System whose aggregate annual turnover of up to Rs 5 crore in the preceding financial year. The notifications for the same were issued by Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).
ii.The scheme allows the taxpayers to file GSTR-3B (sales) on a quarterly basis and pay tax every month w.e.f. January 1, 2021.
iii.Under this, the registered person or a taxpayer will furnish a return for every quarter, under sub-rule (1) of rule 61A of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 and pay the monthly tax under sub-section (7) of section 39 of the same Act.
iv.After the above changes the act is named as the Central Goods and Services Tax (Thirteenth Amendment) Rules, 2020.
v.This scheme is optional and can be availed based on GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number).
vi.It should be noted that the recommendation for the scheme was made by the GST Council in its 42nd meeting held on October 5, 2020.
About Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC):
Chairman– M. Ajit Kumar
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Finance

PASSEX 2020 between Russian Federation Navy and Indian Navy held in Eastern IOR

i.On the occasion of Indian Navy Day i.e. December 4, 2020, a two-day long Passage Exercise (PASSEX) 2020 between Russian Federation Navy (RuFN) and Indian Navy (IN) was held from 4 to 5 December 2020 in the Eastern Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
ii.The Indian side was represented by 2 warships viz. indigenously constructed guided missile frigate Shivalik and anti-submarine corvetteKadmatt along with integral helicopters while Russian side included 3 ships- RuFN guided missile cruiser Varyag, large anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleyev and medium ocean tanker Pechenga.
iii. Aim: To enhance interoperability and assimilation of best practices between both friendly navies.
About Indian Navy:
Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS)– Admiral Karambir Singh
Integrated Headquarters MoD-Ministry of Defence (Navy)– New Delhi
About Russia:
Capital– Moscow
Currency– Russian ruble
President– Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin


ICICI Bank Launched “iMobile Pay” App

i.ICICI (Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India) Bank launched “iMobile Pay” app offering payments and banking services for all i.e. customers of any bank can use this app.Bank claims that, iMobile Pay is 1st of its kind app.
ii.It has all features of payment apps like scanning of QR (Quick Response) code for making payments, sending money to any UPI ID, bank account, self, instant transfer of money free-of-cost to any bank account, payment app or digital wallet.
About ICICI Bank:
Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Sandeep Bakhshi
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline– Hum Hai Na, Khayal Apka
Virtual Assistant– iPal

Kotak Mahindra AMC Launched India’s 1st international REIT Fund of Funds

i.Mahindra Asset Management Company Limited (KMAMC) or Kotak Mutual Fund launched India’s first diversified REIT (Real Estate Investment Trusts) Mutual Fund namely “Kotak International REIT Fund of Funds”.
ii.It is an open-ended mutual fund scheme that will invest in units of SMAM Asia REIT Sub Trust Fund to provide long-term capital appreciation and income.
iii.The SMAM Asia REIT Sub Trust Fund is one of the largest Asia Pacific (Excluding Japan) REIT funds investing in listed REITs in the Asia Pacific region. It is managed by Sumitomo Mitsui DS AMC Limited headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.
About Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company Limited (KMAMC):
Group President & Managing Director (MD)– Nilesh Shah
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra


Sergio Perez wins Formula 1 Rolex 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix; Jehan Daruvala becomes 1st Indian to win F2 race

Mexico’s Sergio Perez (Racing Point BWT Mercedes) won the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix (officially known as the Formula 1 Rolex Sakhir Grand Prix 2020) held at ‘Outer Circuit’ configuration at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain. Sergio Perez became the First Mexican Formula One Driver to win a race since Pedro Rodriguez who won the 1970 Belgain Grand Prix. The Championships are organized by Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).
i.France’s Esteban Ocon (Renault) finished second, while Canada’s Lance Stroll (Racing Point BWT Mercedes) came Third.
About Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA):
President – Jean Todt
Headquarters – Paris, France


China launches Gaofen-14 – Earth Observation Satellite from XSLC

China National Space Administration (CNSA) successfully launched Gaofen-14, a New Earth Observation Satellite from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre (XSLC) in Southwest China’s Sichuan province. The Satellite was sent into orbit by Long March-3B/G5 Carrier Rocket. This was the first use of the G5 version of the Long March-3B launch vehicle which features a longer fairing.
i.The launch is the 354th Flight of the Long March Carrier Rocket series.
ii.Gaofen is a series of Chinese High-resolution Earth Observation Satellites for China’s High-Resolution Earth Observation System (CHEOS).
iii.The satellite will be used for large scale digital topographic maps, digital surface models and provides basic geographic information.
iv.The Geographic data obtained from the satellite will be used to realize projects under the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI).

Mondo Duplantis and Yulimar Rojas Named ‘2020 World Athletes of the Year’ at World Athletics Awards 2020

Mondo Duplantis and Yulimar Rojas Named ‘2020 World Athletes of the Year’ at World Athletics Awards 2020

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