Current Affairs

21 December, 2020

International

20th Meeting of IORA Council of Ministers hosted Virtually by UAE; France Joined IORA as its 23rdMember

i.20th Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Council of Ministers (COM) Meeting 2020 hosted virtually by United Arab Emirates (UAE) where Indian side was represented by Vellamvelly Muraleedharan, Minister of State (MoS) Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
ii.The COM was inaugurated by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of UAE while it was chaired by Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, UAE Minister of State.
iii.It was the first virtual COM amid COVID-19.
iv.The meeting was attended by all 22 Member States and 10 Dialogue Partners and also adopted the Emirates Communique as the outcome of the COM.
About Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA):
Establishment– 1997
Secretary-General– Nomvuyo N. Nokwe
Headquarter– Ebene, Mauritius

MoD organized India-Maldives Defence Cooperation Webinar and Expo

Department of Defence Production (DDP), Ministry of Defence (MoD) through Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) organized India – Maldives Defence Cooperation Webinar and Expo as a part of the Aero India 21 series of webinar to boost defence cooperation and engagements with friendly foreign countries.
Theme- “Joint Indo Maldives High Level Defence Engagement”
About Maldives:
President- Ibrahim Mohamed Solih
Capital- Male
Currency- Maldivian Rufiyaa
The 8 Degree channel separates India’s Minicoy island and Maldives

National

EAM Jaishankar virtually Addresses the 2020 GTS – 5th Edition organized by MEA, CI

External Affairs Minister (EAM), Jaishankar virtually addressed the 2020 Global Technology Summit (GTS) – 5th Edition, It was jointly organized by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Carnegie India (CI) from December 14-18, 2020. The Theme of 2020 GTS is “Geopolitics of Technology”.
i.Sub theme of GTS 2020 – Data: Linking the World, Digital Payments: The Future of Global Financial Highways, Digital Inclusion: Taking the Local to the Global, and Transforming Healthcare for a Post-COVID World.
ii.GTS is one of the four Flagship annual conferences organized by MEA, the other three being – Raisina Dialogue, the Geo-Economic Dialogue & the Indian Ocean Conference.
iii.EAM S Jaishankar argued for the reformation process in the United Nations (UN).
Carnegie India (CI):
It was established in 2016 to focus on 3 interrelated programs – technology and society, political economy, and security studies.
About Carnegie India (CI):
Centre Director – Rudra Chaudhuri
Location – New Delhi

MoFPI Signed Joint Communique with MoTA along with 5 MoUs with TRIFED, ICAR, NSFDC, NAFED and NCDC for PM-FME

i. Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) signed a Joint Communique with Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) and also inked 5 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with 5 government entities for the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PM-FME) Scheme.
ii.The MoUs were signed with TRIFED (Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India ), ICAR( Indian Council of Agricultural Research), NSFDC(National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation), NAFED (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. ) and NCDC (National Cooperative Development Corporation).
iii.MoFPI signed an agreement with Union Bank of India as nodal bank for PM FME scheme.Union Bank of India would help in transferring the subsidy recevied from Centre and states into loan accounts.
iv.Joint Communique was signed by Deepak Khandekar, Secretary, MoTA and Pushpa Subrahmanyam, Secretary, MoFPI in the presence Narendra Singh Tomar, Arjun Munda, Rameshwar Teli.
About Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED):
Establishment– 1987
Managing Director (MD)– Pravir Krishna
Headquarter– New Delhi
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Tribal Affairs

35th edition of IND-INDO CORPAT 2020 held between the Indian Navy and the Indonesian Navy

i. 35th edition of India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (IND-INDO CORPAT) 2020 between the Indian Navy and the Indonesian Navy was held to strengthen inter-operability and to build strong bonds of friendship across the Indo Pacific.
ii.The Indian side was represented by Indian Naval Ship (INS) Kulish, an indigenously built missile corvette along with P8I Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) while Indonesian side was led by Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Cut Nyak Dien, a Kapitan Pattimura (Parchim I) class corvette and a MPA of the Indonesian Navy.
About Indonesia:
Capital– Jakarta
Currency– Indonesian rupiah
President– Joko Widodo

Minister of Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal launched “Australia Economic Strategy Report 2020”

i.Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry launched Australia Economic Strategy Report 2020prepared by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) team, led by Ambassador Anil Wadhwa, Former Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, with contribution from KPMG, India.
ii.The Report was launched during the CII’s virtual session on Enhancing India Australia Bilateral Economic and Trade Relationship.
iii.This report will contribute to the Indo-Australia strategic bilateral relationship as it has made recommendations for expanding cooperation in various areas.
About Confederation of Indian Industry (CII):
Director General– Chandrajit Banerjee
President– Uday Kotak
Headquarter– New Delhi

Economy

India’s Retail inflation Declined to 6.93% in November 2020: CPI Data

As per the Consumer Price Index(CPI) datareleased by the Government of India, India’s retail inflation based on the CPI declined to 6.93% in November 2020 from 7.61% in October 2020. The inflation rate for rural area was 7.20% and urban area 6.73% in November 2020 against 7.75% and 7.33% in October 2020.

RBI Further Extends Restrictions on PMC Bank till March 31, 2021

The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) further extended the restrictions of Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative(PMC) Bank Limited for a period of 3 months from December 23, 2020 to March 31, 2021.All other terms and conditions of the Directives under reference shall remain unchanged.Earlier the restriction was imposed till June 23, 2020 and then changed until December 22, 2020.
About Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative(PMC) Bank Limited
Commenced Operations– February 13, 1984
CEO– Surinderpal Singh Ram Singh(succeeds- Shiny Mithbaokar)
HeadQuarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

ADB & Govt of India Signs $4.21 million PRF Facility for Tripura Urban and Tourism Development Project

i.The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Government of India signed a $4.21 million(Around 31 Crore) Project Readiness Financing (PRF) facility for Tripura Urban and Tourism Development Project.
ii.This is the 1st PRF facility for a Northeastern state of India.
iii.Dr. C. S. Mohapatra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance signed the facility on behalf of Govt of India and Takeo Konishi, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission on behalf of ADB.
About Asian Development Bank (ADB):
Establishment– 1966
President– Masatsugu Asakawa
Headquarters– Mandaluyong City, Manila, Philippines
Membership– 68 countries (Including India)
About Tripura:
National Park– Clouded Leopard National Park, Bison National Park
Zoo– Sepahijala Zoo

Sports

Anshu Malik wins India’s First Medal at the Wrestling-Individual World Cup 2020 in Belgrade, Serbia

India’s Women wrestler Anshu Malik won the Silver medal in the 57 Kg category at the Individual World Cup 2020 held at Belgrade, Serbia. She won the first and only medal winner in the event where Indian side was represented by 24 wrestlers.
i.In the Gold medal fight, Anshu Malik lost to reigning European champion Anastasia Nichita of Moldova.
ii.19-year-old Anshu Malik won her first medal at international level in her 3rd event.
About Individual World Cup 2020:
The Individual World Cup came as a replacement to the 2020 World Championship which was cancelled due to less participants because of the pandemic.
3 categories- Freestyle, Greco-Roman and women’s.
Organiser- United World Wrestling
About Serbia:
President- Aleksandar Vučić
Capital- Belgrade

Miscellaneous

Russia launches 36 UK Telecom Satellite into Space

Russian space agency Roscosmos Space Agency launched a Soyuz rocket carrying 36 UK telecommunications and internet satellites into space from Vostochny launch site. The satellites were made by British company OneWeb.This was the first launch of OneWeb satellites from the Vostochny spaceport.
About Russia:
President- Vladimir Putin
Capital- Moscow
Currency- Ruble
About United Kingdom:
United Kingdom consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
President- Boris Johnson
Capital- London
Currency- Pound Sterling

Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh hands 3 DRDO Developed systems to Chiefs of 3 Armed Forces

Union Minister for Defence, Rajnath Singh handed over 3 New Indigenous Systems – Border Surveillance System (BOSS), Indian Maritime Situational Awareness System (IMSAS) & ASTRA MK-I Missile all developed by Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) to the Chiefs of 3 Armed Forces – Indian Navy, Indian Air Force (IAF) & Indian Army at a function held in DRDO Bhawan, New Delhi.
i.BOSS – An all-weather electronic surveillance system designed for automatic detection of intrusion at harsh high-altitude sub-zero temperature areas.
ii.IMSAS – A high performance software systemto provide Global Maritime Situational Picture, Marine Planning Tools & Analytical capabilities to Indian Navy.
iii.ASTRA Mk-I is an Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Missile (Air-to-Air Missile) capable of being launched from Sukhoi-30, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Mig-29 & Mig-29K.
DRDO Awards Ceremony:
Rajnath Singh Felicitated 45 eminent Scientistsfrom DRDO for their extraordinary research work & Contribution. DRDO Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 – N V Kadam, Agni Award for Excellence in Self-Reliance 2018 – Amit Sharma.
About Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO):
Chairman – Dr G Satheesh Reddy
Headquarters – New Delhi

Amar Singh College Receives ‘Award of Merit’ in the 2020 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation

i.Amar Singh College, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir received the ‘Award of Merit’ in the 2020 UNESCO(United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
ii.It is one of the 7 award winners of the 2020 awards. It is the first international award given to cultural heritage in Kashmir.
iii.Sunder Nursery of New Delhi, Mumbai received ‘Special Recognition for Sustainable Development’ and Award of Excellence.
iv.It is the 1st heritage complex in Delhi to receive 2 UNESCO Asia-Pacific awards for Cultural Heritage Conversation.
About United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO):
Director General– Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters– Paris, France
Members– 193 member states(including India) and 11 Associate Members

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