Current Affairs

12 December, 2020


26th Edition of DST-CII Technology Summit 2020 between India, Portugal held virtually from December 7-9, 2020

The 26th Edition of DST-CII (Department of Science & Technology-Confederation of Indian Industry) Technology Summit was held virtually from December 7-9, 2020. Portugal was the partner for 2020’s edition of Technology Summit. The meeting was organized by DST, CII. Manuel Heitor, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Portugal was the Guest of Honour at the Summit. Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science & Technology, India inaugurated the event.
i.From the Portugal side, Foundation for Science & Technology (FCT), Ministry of Education, Government of Portugal was responsible for organizing the event.
ii.The sectors which were discussed during the Summit were Watertech, Agritech, Healthtech, Energy, Climate change, Cleantech, Information Technology (IT), Information & Communication Technology (ICT) & Advanced Technologies, space-ocean interactions, innovation and start-ups.
About Confederation of Indian Industry (CII):
President – Uday Kotak
Headquarters – New Delhi
About Portugal:
Prime Minister – Antonio Costa
Capital – Lisbon
Currency – Euro

17th International Inter-Ministerial Conference on South-South Cooperation in Population and Development held Virtually; Harsh Vardhan Participated

i.The 17th International Inter-Ministerial Conference on South-South Cooperation in Population and Development titled “Nairobi Commitments and the 2030 Agenda: Taking stock and looking ahead to post COVID-19 Crisis” was held virtually.
ii.The ministerial session for the same was held on “Promoting South-South Cooperation for Attaining Nairobi Commitments and the Agenda 2030” which was chaired by Dr. Faisal Sultan, The Federal Minister of the National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination of the Government of Pakistan.
iii.The conference was co-sponsored by Partners in Population and Development (PPD), the United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA), and National Health Commission of China (as Chair of PPD).
iv.During the session, Keynote Address was delivered by internationally acclaimed and outstanding leaders in health, population and development. The Indian side was represented by Union Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). It should be noted that he is the Vice-Chair of the PPD Board.
About Partners in Population and Development (PPD):
Chair, PPD Board– H.E. Dr. Li Bin
Headquarter– Dhaka, Bangladesh
About United Nation Population Fund (UNPF):
Executive Director– Dr. Natalia Kanem
Headquarters– New York, United States (US)

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju addressed the 10th Global Sports Summit, TRUF 2020 organized by FICCI

Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju virtually addressed the 10th Global Sports Summit, TRUF 2020, organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). On that Occasion Minister made the announcement on the establishment of 1000 Khelo India Small Centres in the country.
About Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI):
Created on the advice of Mahatma Gandhi jointly by G. D. Birla and Purshottamdas Thakurdas
Established- 1927
Headquarter-New Delhi
President Elect – Uday Shankar
About Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports:
Minister of State (MoS) (Independent Charge) –Kiren Rijiju
Headquarters – New Delhi


IESA, UNIDO tie up to Boost Energy Storage Innovations in India

i.The India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) collaborated to promote innovations in energy storage in India.
ii.The collaboration was done on the lines of the launch of the 4th round of innovation challenge by UNIDO’s Facility of Low Carbon Technology Deployment (FLCTD) to support and encourage new innovations in Indian energy storage and e-mobility space.
iii.The IESA will act as a supporting partner for this innovation challenge.
iv.There will be grant of up to USD 50,000 for winning technologies, and recognition from the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, UNIDO and IESA.
About India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA):
It is India’s leading alliance on energy storage and e-mobility.
Executive Director– Debi Prasad Dash
Headquarter– Pune, Maharashtra
About United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO):
Members – 170 (As of April 2019)
Director General– LI Yong
Headquarter– Vienna, Austria

NSDC Signs MoU with BYJU’S to Support Skilling of Teachers and Trainers

The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BYJU’S to support the skilling of teachers and trainers. The partnership is as part of Skill India Mission.
Aim – To empower teachers and trainers with skills and digital tools so as to make learning very effective, engaging and personalised for children and youth.

Lakshadweep becomes India’s First 100% Organic Union Territory

Indian Island region, Lakshadweep becomes India’s first 100% organic Union Territory in the country, and second in the country only after Sikkim. This comes after the UT received proper certifications and declarations under the Centre’s Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (organic farming improvement programme).
About Lakshadweep:
India’s smallest Union Territory with 36 Islands.
Includes- 12 atolls, 3 reefs, 5 submerged banks, 10 inhabited islands.
Capital- Kavaratti
Administrator- Praful Khoda Patel

Malayan Giant Squirrel could fall by 90% in India by 2050 ; ZSI’s 1st of its kind Survey

According to a First-of-its-kind survey conducted by Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Malayan Giant Squirrel or Black Giant Squirrel (Ratufa bicolor) could fall by 90% in India by 2050 due to shrinking of its original habitat zone.
i.At Present only 43.38% of the Original habitat in India is favourable for its living. The favourable zone of its habitat may decline to 2.94% by 2050.
ii.This would mean that, by 2050 the habitat of the squirrels will be restricted only to Southern Sikkim and North Bengal.
iii.The squirrel is considered to be an indicator of forest health, the decline in squirrel’s population reflects declining Forest area.


Equitas Small Finance Bank Ltd Launches 3 in 1 Account(savings +trading+ demat)

Equitas Small Finance Bank Ltd(ESFBL)launched a 3-in-1 account(tripartite account), which comprises savings, trading and demat accounts for its customers. The account enables customers to hold all their bank and financial investments under one umbrella. This account was launched to widen the bank’s product offerings.
Highlights of the Account
Single Platform
Customers can invest in a wide variety of financial products using a single platform, as the bank provides brokerage and demat services through referral arrangements with brokerage firms for trading and depository services.
About Equitas Small Finance Bank Limited(ESFBL):
MD and CEO– Vasudevan Pathangi Narasimhan (P N)
Headquarters– Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Commenced the business of SFB– September 5, 2016
Tagline– It’s Fun Banking

RBI Released Draft Guidelines for NBFCs’ Dividend Payouts: December 2020

i.The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its recent 4th Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) 2020-21 announced to issue guidelines for Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) with regard to distribution of dividend.
ii.Therefore on December 9, 2020, the apex bank released the “Draft Circular on Declaration of Dividend by NBFCs” to ensure greater transparency and uniformity in practice. It is open for comments by December 24, 2020.
iii.The guidelines will be applicable for dividend to be declared for the financial year beginning April 01, 2020 (FY 2020-21) onwards.
iv.NBFCs should comply with the provisions of Section 45 IC of the RBI Act, 1934.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Formation– 1 April 1935
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Deputy Governors– 4 (Bibhu Prasad Kanungo, Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, and M Rajeswar Rao)


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DRDO designed submachine gun ‘5.56X30 mm JVPC’ undergoes successful Trials

5.56 X 30 mm Joint Venture Protective Carbine (JVPC) designed by Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), a lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully finished the final phase of user trials. The Gun will now be inducted into the Indian Army.
i.Weapon is set to be manufactured at Small Arms Factory, Kanpur, and the Ammunition will be manufactured at Ammunition Factory, Kirkee Pune.
ii.The gun met all the parameters of Indian Army’s GSQR (General Staff Qualitative Requirements) during the trials.
About Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE):
Director – Dr. V Venkateswara Rao
Headquarter – Pune, Maharashtra

Judo Practitioners Sabrina Filzmoser of Austria and Flavio Canto of Brazil Appointed as ‘IJF Climate Ambassadors’

Marius Vizer, President of International Judo Federation(IJF) appointed Judo Practitioners(Judoka) Sabrina Filzmoser of Austria and Flavio Canto of Brazil as IJF Climate Ambassadors.They will help IJF to help to spread the message to save the planet.
Important Info: Recently, IJF has joined the UNFCCC’s (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) Sports for Climate Action initiative as a signatory to the Sports for Climate Action Framework.
About Sabrina Filzmoser:
i.She won gold in European Judo Championship in 2008 held in Lisbon, Portugal and 2011 held in Istanbul,Turkey
ii.She has won silver in European Judo Championship in 2010 held in Vienna, Austria and 2013 held in Budapest,Hungary.
iii.She also competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing, China and 2012 Summer Olympics held in London, UK.

Raj Kamal Jha for his Novel ‘The City and the Sea’ Wins 3rd Edition of Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2020

i.Raj Kamal Jha, Indian Author and the Chief Editor of The Indian Express wins 3rd Edition of Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2020 for his literary fiction novel ‘The City and the Sea’. This is Raj Kamal Jha’s 5th novel.
ii.His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, late Sultan of Oman and The People of Oman and Sandip Soparrkar a renowned dancer choreographer from India named as the winner of TagorePrize for Social Achievement 2020.
About Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize & Social Achievement Prize:
Instituted in – 2018
Chair of the Awarding Committee and Founder of Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize– Peter Bundalo

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