Current Affairs

22 December, 2020

International

India Jumps to 63rd Rank in EODB 2020: World Bank

The World Bank (WB) has released the updated the Ease of Doing Business(EODB) 2018 & EODB 2020 reports after correcting the data irregularities submitted by 4 countries – China, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia & Azerbaijan. India Ranked 63 in the 17th edition of WB report ‘Ease of Doing Business 2020-Comparing Business Regulation in 190 Economies’ report remains unchanged.
In August, 2020, WB decided to pause the publication of the EODB report due to a number of irregularities, and changes to data in previous reports.
List of Other Corrections:
i.UAE’s ranking of 16 in the EODB 2020 report remains unchanged, while Azerbaijan has improved to 28 from 34 in the EODB 2020 report.
ii.Saudi Arabia, in the 2020 report, the published score including irregularities affecting the Getting Credit and Paying Taxes indicators was 71.6 with a global ranking of 62. After correcting these irregularities, the Doing Business 2020 score is 70.9. However, if irregularities had not occurred, Saudi Arabia’s position would stand at 63.
iii.According to the corrected list, China has slipped 7 places to 85th Rank in the 2018 report from 78th Rank before correction.
Rankings of Ease of Doing Business 2020 Report:
Rank Country Score
63 India 71.0
1 New Zealand 86.8
2 Singapore 86.2
3 Hong Kong, China 85.3
188 Venezuela 30.2
189 Eritrea 21.6
190 Somalia 20.0

About World Bank (WB):
President – David R. Malpass
Headquarters – Washington D.C., United States of America

National

8th edition of North East Festival (NEF) 2020 Held in Guwahati, Assam for 1st time

8th edition of the North East Festival (NEF) 2020 was held at Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati, Assam by adhering to all Covid related protocols and guidelines. It was for the first time that Guwahati hosted this annual two-day event. The festival was open for the public to attend virtually.The inaugural ceremony was graced by Union Minister Jitendra Singh, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) as the Chief Guest of the festival, Assam Chief Minister (CM) Sarbananda Sonowal, and Tripura CM Biplab Deb among other dignitaries. The focus of this year was on ‘Growth Agenda for North East Post COVID-19’. The events showcase and create awareness about the northeast and promote entrepreneurship, investment and tourism.

ASSOCHAM Foundation Week 2020 observed on Dec 15-19, 2020; PM conferred “ASSOCHAM Enterprise of the Century Award” to Ratan Tata

i.The Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) Foundation Day 2020 was commemorated on December 12, 2020. To mark this occasion, the chamber organized a 5-day virtual event “ASSOCHAM Foundation Week 2020” from 15th to 19th December 2020 on the theme “India’s resilience: Aatmanirbhar roadmap towards a US$5 trillion economy”.
ii.During the occasion, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi delivered the keynote address via video conferencing and also presented “ASSOCHAM Enterprise of the Century Award” to Ratan Tata, who received the award on behalf of the TATA Group.
iii.The award recognized the role played by Tata Group in India’s development. Dharmendra Pradhan invites India Inc. to join the Atmanirbhar Bharat Urja initiatives Mega zoo set to come up on 250.1 acres in Gujarat’s Jamnagar
About Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM):
Establishment– 1920
President– Vineet Agarwal
Secretary General– Deepak Sood
Headquarter– New Delhi

Indian Navy, INCOIS sign MoU to Share Ocean Services Data

i.A virtual Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Indian Navy (IN) and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) on sharing of ocean services, data, and expertise in the field of operational oceanography.
ii.The MoU was signed by Dr T.Srinivasa Kumar, Director INCOIS and Commodore AA Abhyankar, who heads Indian Navy’s Oceanology and Meteorology Directorate.
iii.This MoU will benefit both Indian Navy and INCOIS in future interactions and professional exchanges.
About Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS):
Establishment– 1999
Director– T.Srinivasa Kumar
Headquarter– Telangana, Hyderabad
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)

Economy

ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund Launched ‘ICICI Prudential Business Cycle Fund’, an Open-Ended Equity Scheme

ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund launched ‘ICICI Prudential Business Cycle Fund’, an open-ended equity scheme following business cycles based investing theme. The New Fund Offer (NFO) opens on December 29, 2020 and closes on January 12, 2021.
Highlights of the Scheme:
i.The scheme will invest in equity and equity related securities in Indian markets with focus to ride business cycles through dynamic allocation between various sectors and stocks at different stages of business cycles.
ii.It will create long term wealth.
iii.It will follow a top down approach from monitoring macro indicators (global and domestic), identifying business cycles followed by determining suitable sectors, and selecting the stocks within these sectors.
iv.The benchmark of the scheme is Nifty 500 TRI(Total Return variant of Index).
Note
As per the Securities and Exchange Board of India-SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations 1996, the particulars of the ICICI Prudential Business Cycle Fund have been prepared.
SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations 1996– Last amended on October 29, 2020
About ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund:
It was founded in 1993 as ICICI Asset Management Company, the joint venture between ICICI Bank and Prudential Plc, established ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company in 1998.
MD & CEO– Nimesh Shah
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra

ADB Approves a $231 Million Loan to Construct Lower Kopili Hydroelectric Power Plant in Central Assam, India

i.The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a $231 million(Rs 1, 701 core) loan to construct the Lower Kopili Hydroelectric Power (LKHEP) plant in Central Assam, India.
ii.This loan is the 3rd and largest tranche of the $300 million(about Rs 2,200 crore) Assam Power Sector Investment Program that was approved by ADB in 2014.
About Asian Development Bank (ADB):
Headquarters– Mandaluyong, Manila, Philippines
President– Masatsugu Asakawa
Membership– 68 countries(Including India)
Formed– 1966

IIFL Home, ICICI Bank Joined Hands for Affordable Housing, MSME loans

i.IIFL (formerly India Infoline Limited) Home Finance Ltd, the subsidiary of IIFL Finance has joined hands with ICICI (Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India) Bank for sourcing and servicing arrangement to provide affordable housing and MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) loans.
ii.As a part of tie-up, IIFL Home will hunt and then provide services to customers through the entire loan life-cycle including sourcing, documentation, collection and loan servicing while ICICI Bank will provide funding to these customers.
About ICICI Bank:
Establishment– 1955 (incorporated in 1994)
Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Sandeep Bakhshi
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline– Hum Hai Na, Khayal Apka
About IIFL Home Finance Ltd:
Chairman– S. Sridhar
Headquarter– Gurugram, Haryana

Sports

Indian Boxers bag 9 medals at the Cologne Boxing World Cup 2020; Finish 2nd in the Overall Medal List

Indian Boxers bagged 9 Medals – 3 Gold, 2 Silver & 4 Bronze at the Cologne Boxing World Cup 2020 held from December 16-20 at Cologne, Germany. India finished 2nd in the overall Medals List, Germany topped the list with 16 medals. The Cologne Boxing World Cup 2020 was hosted by the European Boxing Confederation (EUBC).
List of Indian Winners:
Winners Medal Category
Amit Panghal Gold 52 kg, Men’s Category
Manisha Moun Gold 57 Kg, Women’s Category
Simranjit Kaur Gold 60 Kg, Women’s Category
Sakshi Chaudhary Silver 57 Kg, Women’s Category
Satish Kumar Silver +91 Kg, Men’s Category
Sonia Lather Bronze 57 Kg Women’s Category
Pooja Rani Bronze 75 Kg Women’s Category
Gaurav Solanki Bronze 57 Kg Men’s Category
Mohamed Hussamudin Bronze 57 Kg Men’s Category

About Boxing Federation of India (BFI):
President – Ajay Singh
Headquarters – New Delhi

Sports Ministry approves inclusion of 4 Indigenous Games to be part of Khelo India Youth Games 2021

Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports has approved the inclusion of 4 Indigenous Games – Gatka, Kalaripayattu, Thang-Ta and Mallakhamba as part of the 4th Edition Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) in 2021 set to take place at Panchkula, Haryana.
i.The inclusion will help in preservation, promotion and popularization of these games.
ii.Along with the 4 games, Yogasana will also be a part of the Khelo India Youth Games 2021.
About Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports:
Minister of State, Independent Charge – Kiren Rijiju
Headquarters – New Delhi

Miscellaneous

Rajnath Singh Inaugurated India’s First Hypersonic Wind Tunnel Test Facility at Hyderabad, Telangana

i. Union Minister Rajnath Singh, Ministry of Defence (MoD) visited Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO’s) Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex in Hyderabad, Telangana. He was accompanied by Union Minister of State (MoS) Gangapuram Kishan Reddy, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and G Satheesh Reddy,DRDO Chairman.
ii.In the missile complex, Rajnath Singh inaugurated India’s first advanced Hypersonic Wind Tunnel (HWT) test facility.
iii.It is an enclosed free jet facility with pressure vacuum and having nozzle exit diameter of 1 meter which will simulate Mach No 5 to 12.
iv.During the visit Gangapuram Kishan Reddy also laid the foundation stone of Explosive Test Facility for Propellant and Explosive Systems at missile complex.
About Ministry of Defence (MoD):
Rajnath Singh Constituency– Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (UP)
Minister of State (MoS)– Shripad Yesso Naik

Union Minister & MoS of Ministry of Communications Presents Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Telecom Skill Excellence Awards 2018

Ravi ShankarPrasad, Union Minister of Communications and Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre, Minister of State of Ministry of Communications presented the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Telecom Skill Excellence Awards 2018in Electronics Niketan, CGO Complex, New Delhi, India.
1st Prize– Sreenivas Karanam, Bangalore, Karnataka(Cash award- Rs 50,000)
2nd Prize– Subrat Kar, Professor at Bharti School of Telecommunication Technology and Management and Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Delhi (Cash award- Rs 30,000)

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