Current Affairs

16 December, 2020

International

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Virtually addressed Climate Ambition Summit 2020

i.The virtual Climate Ambition Summit 2020 was held to provide a platform for government and non-governmental leaders to demonstrate their commitment to the Paris Agreement and the multilateral process.
ii.It was co-hosted by the United Kingdom (UK), the United Nations (UN) and France, in partnership with Chile and Italy.
iii.The date also marked the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement.
iv.This summit also regarded as a “sprint to Glasgow” as the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is scheduled to take place from 1–12 November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.
v.From India, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi addressed the summit.
About United Nations (UN):
Secretary General– Antonio Manuel de Oliveira Guterres
Headquarters– New York, United States (US)
About United Kingdom (UK):
Capital– London
Currency– Pound sterling
Prime Minister– Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson

1st TWG Meeting between India, Iran, Uzbekistan on Joint use of Chabahar Port in Iran held virtually

The First Trilateral Working Group (TWG) meeting was held virtually between India, Iran & Uzbekistan to discuss the joint use of Chabahar port in Iran to increase regional connectivity within the 3 countries. The meeting was jointly chaired by Sanjeev Ranjan, Secretary (Shipping), Government of India, D. Dehkanov, Deputy Minister of Transport of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Shahram Adamnejad, Deputy Transport Minister of Islamic Republic of Iran.
i.Uzbekistan & Iran supported India’s proposal of holding “Chabahar Day” on the sidelines of the International Maritime Summit, which will be hosted by India in January 2021.
ii.Chabahar Port is located in the Southeastern part of Iran on the Gulf of Oman and is being developed by India.
iii.It is essential for India as it provides a way for India to bypass Pakistan goods to Afghanistan and other countries via sea route.
About Iran:
President – Hassan Rouhani
Capital – Tehran
Currency – Iranian Rial
About Uzbekistan:
President – Shavkat Mirziyoyev
Capital – Tashkent
Currency – Uzbekistani soʻm

National

FICCI’s Annual Convention & 93rd Annual General Meeting held Virtually; Inaugurated by PM Narendra Modii

The FICCI’s (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry) Annual Convention & 93rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held virtually amid COVID-19 on the theme “Inspired India” on December 11, 12 & 14, 2020.
ii.It was inaugurated by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi on December 12, 2020 and his inaugural address highlighted the success of financial inclusion through the trinity of J-A-M (JanDhan, Aadhar and Mobile).
iii.On December 11, 2020 he inaugurated the year-long FICCI Annual Expo 2020 (FAE 2020), a one-of-its-kind virtual event in India focusing on manufacturing and services sectors.
iv.During his address at the AGM, Piyush Vedprakash Goyal stated that the Government has identified another 24 sectors on which work is going on by industry leaders to add nearly Rs 200 lakh crores worth of manufacturing in India in the next 10 years.He highlighted that Startups will become the backbone of India.
About Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI):
Establishment- 1927
Headquarter- New Delhi

9th Sustainable Mountain Development Summit 2020 organized by IMI held virtually in Dehradun

The 9th Sustainable Mountain Development Summit 2020 (SMDS IX) organized by Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) and hosted by Sustainable Development Forum Uttaranchal (SDFU), Dehradun took place virtually in Dehradun from December 11-14, 2020. The Summit was held on occasion of the United Nations (UN) International Mountain Day 2020.
i.Theme for 2020 SMDS IX – ‘Emerging Pathways for Building a Resilient Post COVID-19 Mountain Economy, Adaptation, Innovation & Acceleration’.
ii.Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand was the Chief Guest of the event, and Conrad K. Sanga, Chief Minister of Meghalaya was the Guest of Honour of the event.
iii.SMDS is an Annual summit organised by IMI to discuss issues regarding Mountains and Hills.
iv.Ajay Rawat, Scholar and Environmental Activist was conferred Dr R.S. Tolia Memorial Award 2020 by IMI for his efforts in forest conservation in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR).
About Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI):
President – Prem Das Rai
Headquarters – New Delhi

NITI Aayog released ‘Vision 2035: Public Health Surveillance in India’, a White Paper

i.NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog publicized a white paper titled “Vision 2035: Public Health Surveillance in India” which was released by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar; Member (Health) Dr Vinod K Paul; Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Amitabh Kant; and Additional Secretary Dr Rakesh Sarwal.
ii.The white paper was co-developed by NITI Aayog and University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. Both organizations inked a Letter of Agreement (LoA) for the same in 2020.
iii.It lays out India’s vision 2035 for public health surveillance through the integration of the three-tiered public health system into Ayushman Bharat.
About National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog:
Chairman–Prime Minister (Narendra Damodardas Modi)
Headquarter– New Delhi

Economy

CRISIL Revised India’s GDP for FY21 to -7.7% against -9% Predicted in September 2020

7.7% (-7.7%) for India’s real gross domestic product (GDP) in FY21 as compared to the -9% forecast in September 2020.
ii.The key reason behind this upward revision is faster-than-expected recovery in the Q2FY21 (July-September 2020)
iii.For FY22, CRISIL projected a GDP growth of 10% due to weak base and global ‘rising tide’ effect.
iv.There will be permanent loss of 12% in real GDP terms due to COVID-19 pandemic.
About CRISIL:
Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer(CEO)– Ashu Suyash
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Parent Company– Standard & Poor’s (S&P)

Ewire Softtech in Partnership with YES Bank Launched ‘EWIRE – YES BANK Prepaid Card’

i.Ewire Softtech Pvt Ltd under the Kerala Startup Mission(KSUM) launched ‘EWIRE – YES BANK Prepaid Card’ in partnership with YES bank to establish its presence across the country in its digitisation drive.
ii.The co-branded prepaid card was launched on a PAN-India basis through its RuPay prepaid cards platform and Ewire app along with providing Loans, Insurance and Current Account Savings Account(CASA) account through its channel partners.
About Ewire Softtech Pvt Ltd:
Commenced operations– 2018
Co-Founder and MD– Udayabhanu Damodaran
Headquarters– Kochi, Kerala
About YES Bank:
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline– Experience our expertise
Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Prashant Kumar
Incepted– 2004

Canara Bank Launches ‘FX 4 U’, a Tech product for Forex Remittance through Internet Bankingi

Canara Bank launched‘FX 4 U’, a new technology(tech) product.
ii.This product helps the users of its Internet Banking(IB) to handle forex transactions.
iii.Currently, the outward remittance module is being activated, the remaining modules will be activated shortly.
About Canara Bank:
Syndicate Bank was amalgamated into Canara Bank on April 2020
Founded– July 1906 by Shri Ammembal Subba Rao Pai.
Tagline– Together We Can
Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer(CEO)– L V Prabhakar
Headquarters– Bangalore, Karnataka

Edelweiss General Insurance launches a first of its Kind, Open API Gateway

Edelweiss General Insurance Company Limited launched a first of its kind, Open Application Programming Interface(API) Gateway to enable full digital collaboration with its business partners. The authorised partners of Edelweiss General Insurance , with this gateway can integrate their systems with the technology platform of the company.
About Edelweiss General Insurance:
It is India’s first cloud-native insurer.
Executive Director(ED) & CEO – Shanai Ghosh
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

Sports

Ankita Raina ITF doubles title in the 23rd Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge held in Dubai

Indian tennis player Ankita Raina and Georgia’s Ekaterine Gorgodze clinched the ITF (International Tennis Federation) Doubles title at the 23rd Al Habtoor Challenge 2020 held in Dubai by defeating Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov (Spain) and Kaja Juvan (Slovakia). This is Ankita Raina’s 3rd Doubles Title of the 2020 season. The al Habtoor Challenge is a hard court event. Ankita Ravinderkrishan Raina hails from Ahmedabad, Gujarat. She is the current Indian No.1 in both women’s singles (WTA Ranking – 180) and Doubles (WTA Ranking – 117).

Miscellaneous

Russia Test Launches ‘Angara A5’ Heavy Lift Space Rocket from Plesetsk Cosmodrome

Russia Successfully test launched ‘Angara A5’ – Heavy Lift Space Rocket from Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Northwest Russia. This is the 2nd successful test flight of the vehicle after 1st successful test flight in 2014. Angara is a new series of space launchers being built by Russia after the collapse of Soviet Union.
i.Angara A5 will replace Proton M Rocket to carry Russia’s heaviest payloads into orbit.
ii.The Angara Rocket series is developed & manufactured by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Centre.

INS Himgiri, 2nd Project 17A Stealth Frigate, Launched at GRSE Yard in Kolkata

i.the 2nd ship of Project 17A class of stealth frigates, namely, Indian Naval Ship (INS) Himgiri, built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) was launched at its facility in Kolkata (West Bengal).
ii.The chief guest of the launch ceremony was General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) while the INS was launched by spouse of CDS, Smt Madhulika Rawat as a part of the naval traditions.
iii.It should be noted that it is the 1st ship built by GRSE as a part of Rs 19,294 crore contract for construction of the three stealth frigates by August 2023 under Project 17A. Also, the P17A ships are the first gas turbine propulsion and largest combat platforms ever built at GRSE.
About Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE):
Establishment– 1934
Chairman and Managing Director (CMD)- Rear Admiral V K Saxena
Headquarter– Kolkata, West Bengal

RBI Approves Re-appointment of Uday Kotak as MD & CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank

Reserve Bank of India(RBI) approved the reappointment of Uday Kotak as Managing Director(MD) and Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Kotak Mahindra Bank(KMB) for a period of 3 years effective from 1st January 2021.

UNEP announces 6 Recipients for 2020 Champions of the Earth Award

the United Nations (UN) Environment Programme (UNEP) virtually announced 6 Individuals as recipients of the 2020 Champions of the Earth Award, which is UN’s highest environmental honour. The award is given across 5 categories – Policy Leadership, Inspiration & Action, Science & Innovation, Entrepreneurial vision & LifeTime Achievement Award.
They are given to recognize the contributions of outstanding environmental leaders from public & private sectors and also from civil society.
Awards:
Recipient Category Contribution
Frank Bainimarama,
Prime Minister of Fiji Policy Leadership for global climate action work, and commitment to climate-responsive national development
Dr Fabian Leendertz,
(Germany) Science & Innovation Discovery in Zoonotics & work in One Health
Mindy Lubber (United States of India) Entrepreneurial Vision for commitment to convert capital markets green by mobilizing top investors and companies
Nemonte Nenquimo (Ecuador) Inspiration & Action Leadership and unifying work with indigenous communities to halt drilling in Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest
Yacouba Sawadogo
(Burkina Faso) Inspiration & Action for teaching traditional nature-based solution to farmers for regeneration of soil to turn barren land into arable land in Africa
Professor Robert D. Bullard (United States of America) Earth Lifetime Achievement Award For commitment and service to environmental justice

About United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):
Executive Director– Inger Andersen
Headquarter– Nairobi, Kenya

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