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Current Affairs 29 December 2020

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Top 15 Current Affairs of 29 December 2020

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

PM Modi launches Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY SEHAT – Health Insurance Scheme to cover all residents of J&KPM launches Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY SEHAT

On December 26, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri-Jan Arogya Yojana Social Endeavour for Health & Telemedicine (PM-JAY SEHAT) Health Insurance scheme for covering all the residents of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K).The scheme will operate on insurance mode in convergence with PM-JAY.
Union Ministers Amit Shah, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Dr Jitendra Singh and Lieutenant Governor of J&K, Manoj Sinha were present during the virtual event.
Gist of PM-JAY SEHAT introduced in J&K:
i.The main objective of PM-JAY SEHAT is to provide free of cost insurance cover to all citizens of J&K.
ii.Financial cover of upto INR 5 Lakhs per family per year on a floater basis to all residents. A family floater policy is a health insurance plan which covers the entire family on the payment of a single annual premium.
iii.All the hospitals (both private & public)  enshrined under PM-JAY scheme will provide services under the scheme.
About Jammu & Kashmir:
Nickname – Switzerland of India
Hydro Projects – Ratle Hydroelectric project (River Chenab), Kiru hydro-electric project (River Chenab), Pakal Dul (Drangdhuran) Hydroelectric Project (River Marusudar)
<<Read Full News>>

India, Vietnam hold PASSEX Naval Exercise 2020 in South China Sea;INS Kiltan reaches NhaRong Port, Vietnam under Mission Sagar-IIIIndian naval ship conducts passage exercise with Vietnamese Navy in South China Sea

Indian Navy & Vietnam People’s Navy undertook a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) 2020 in the South China Sea from December 26-27, 2020 to boost maritime cooperation between the two countries.
On December 25, 2020  Indian Navy Ship (INS) Kiltan carrying 15 tonnes of  Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief (HADR) reached NhaRong Port, Ho Chi Minh City as part of Mission Sagar-III. The relief materials are for the flood-affected people of Central Vietnam.
PASSEX:
i.A PASSEX exercise is usually carried out between 2 navies to ensure that they are able to communicate & cooperate in times of war or humanitarian relief.
Mission Sagar-III to Vietnam:
i.The 15-tonnes of relief materials were handed over to Vietnam’s Central Steering Committee for national disaster prevention & control.
ii.Central Vietnam had faced severe floods during October-November, 2020, it had claimed the lives of 230 people.
About Vietnam:
Prime Minister– Nguyen Xuan Phuc
Capital– Hanoi
Currency– Vietnamese dong
About Indian Navy:
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS)– Admiral Karambir Singh
Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Navy)– New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>

PM Narendra Modi Inaugurates India’s 1st ever Driverless Train operations on Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line driverless train operations on Delhi

On December 28, 2020, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi virtually inaugurated India’s 1st ever Driverless Train Operations on Delhi Metro’s 38 Kilometres long Magenta Line  which connects Janakpuri West & Botanical Garden in Noida. PM also inaugurated the fully operational National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) services on the Airport Express Line of Delhi Metro.
i.With the inauguration, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) entered the elite league of 7% of the World’s Metro networks which are capable of operating without drivers.
ii.The Driverless train operations will be extended to the Pink Line between Majlis Park & Shiv Vihar by Mid-2021.
iii.NCMC is an inter-operable transport card allowing citizens to pay for bus travel, toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping &  withdraw money.
iv.Hardeep Singh Puri,Union Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs, Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi were present during the launch.
About Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC):
First Operations of Delhi Metro Rail began in 2002
Total operational network – 389 kms
Chairman – Durga Shanker Mishra
About Delhi:
Wildlife Sanctuary– Asola-Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary (Aravalli hill range)
Dam– Delhi Dam (also known as Hartwick Dam) is an Embankment Dam.
<<Read Full News>>

Centralised ‘Investment Clearance Cell’ set to become operational by April 2021Centralised investment clearance cell by April 15 2021The Centralised ‘Investment Clearance Cell’  announced by Government of India as part of the Single Window System is set to become operational by April 15, 2021. The Main objective of the Cell is to act as a one-stop digital platform to obtain central and state clearances/approvals required to start business operations in India.
i.The cell will eliminate the need for investors to visit multiple platforms or offices physically for obtaining clearances & gathering information.
iii.The portal will integrate the existing clearance systems of different Central Ministries/Departments & State Governments without any disturbance to the existing portals.
iv.The cell will  also provide information related to land banks.
Single Window System:
i.It is being developed by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry and was announced by Union Minister for Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman during Budget Announcement of 2020-21.
ii.The Main objective behind this system is to improve the Ease of doing Business in India.
About Ministry of Commerce & Industry:
Union Minister – Piyush Goyal
Minister of State – Hardeep Singh Puri, Som Parkash
<<Read Full News>>

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India becomes 6th Largest Economy in the world in 2020, slumps from 5th in 2019:CEBR’s WELT 2021 reportIndia to become 5th largest economy in 2025 NewAccording to the 12th edition of World Economic League Table 2021 (WELT) an Annual Report released by Centre for Economics & Business Research Ltd (CEBR), India slumped 1 spot to 6th Largest Economy (out of 193 countries) in the world in 2020 from 5th in 2019 due to the impact of COVID19. The United States (US) topped the 2020 rankings  followed by China & Japan.
i.India overtook the United Kingdom (UK) to become the 5th Largest economy in 2019 rankings.
ii.The report stated that India will become 5th Largest Economy by 2025 & 3rd Largest by 2030.
iii.CEBR has forecasted that Indian Economy will expand by 9% in 2021 & 7% in 2022.
iv.China will replace the US as the World’s Largest Economy by 2028.
League Table by 2020 Rankings:

Ranking Country
6 India
1 United States
2 China
3 Japan


About Centre for Economics & Business Research Ltd (CEBR):
Chairman – Bruce Warman
Location – London, United Kingdom
<<Read Full News>>

BANKING & FINANCE

BoB Launches Digital Lending Platform for Retail Loan Seekers to get Loans DigitallyBank Of Baroda launches Digital Lending Platform

i.On December 28, Bank of Baroda(BoB) launched Digital Lending Platform(DLP), to allow retail loan seekers to get loans in a digital way through a paperless process.
ii.It provides ‘in-principle approval’ to the loan seekers in 30 minutes for home, car and personal loans  without human intervention through multiple channels namely  website, mobile banking, internet banking and social media.
iii.The bank also offers ‘Online Loan against Fixed Deposits(FD)’ through Digital Lending Platform. This allows FD customers to avail loan against their Online FD instantly through mobile banking and net banking facility.
About Bank of Baroda:
The Bank has sponsored 3 Regional Rural Banks(RRBs) namely Baroda Uttar Pradesh Gramin Bank, Baroda Rajasthan Kshetriya Gramin Bank and Baroda Gujarat Gramin Bank.
HeadOffice– Vadodara(earlier known as Baroda), Gujarat
Managing Director(MD) and Chief Executive Officer(CEO)– Sanjiv Chadha
Established– 20 July 1908
Tagline– India’s International Bank
<<Read Full News>>

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS        

Virat Kohli Wins Sir Garfield Sobers Award for ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade; MS Dhoni wins ICC Spirit of Cricket Award of the DecadeVirat Kohli named ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade

i.On December 28, 2020 The winners of the International Cricket Council(ICC) Awards of the Decade(2010-2020) were announced. In this, Indian Cricketer Virat Kohli wins the Sir Garfield Sobers Award for ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade. He also won ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade award.
ii.MS Dhoni(India) won the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade for calling back former England batter Ian Bell after a disputable runout at Trent Bridge Cricket ground, Nottinghamshire, England in 2011.
iii.Ellyse Perry(Australia) wins the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for ICC Female Cricketer of the Decade. She also won ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade award and ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Decade award.
About International Cricket Council(ICC):
CEO– Manu Sawhney
Headquarters– Dubai, United Arab Emirates(UAE)
<<Read Full News>>

DRDO confers ‘Scientist of the Year Award-2018’ on Dr Hemant Kumar Pandey 

Dr Hemant Kumar Pandey has been conferred with ‘Scientist of the Year Award-2018’ by Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) for his contributions towards developing herbal medicines which includes ‘Lukoskin’ a drug for treatment of leucoderma. Pandey has been undertaking research at DRDO’s Defence Institute of Bio-Energy Research (DIBER) at Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand for 25 years.  

   SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

China Launches a New Remote Sensing Satellite ‘Yaogan 33R’ into SpaceChina launches remote sensing satellite into space

i.On December 27, 2020 China successfully launched ‘Yaogan 33R’,  a new remote sensing satellite from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China into space.
ii.The satellite was sent into orbit by a Long March-4C(Y35) rocket.

  • It was the 357th flight mission of the Long March carrier rocket series.
  • Weina Jishu Shiyan, a micro and nano technology experiment satellite was also launched in this mission.

About China(officially- People’s Republic of China):
Capital– Beijing
Currency – Renminbi (RMB)
<<Read Full News>>

ISRO releases Initial Data from Chandrayaan-2 Mission;ISRO Developing Green Propulsion for ‘Gaganyaan’Chandrayaan-2 mission’s initial data released

On December 24, 2020, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) released the initial data from Chandrayaan-2, India’s second Moon Mission to the general public through PRADAN portal hosted by ISSDC (Indian Space Science Data Centre).
i.At present, ISRO Science Data Archive (ISDA) has datasets acquired by Chandrayaan-2 payloads from 7 instruments. Data sets from Imaging Infra-Red Spectrometer (IIRS) payload will be added in the future.
ii.The Chandrayaan-2 was launched on July 22, 2019 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
iii.The data sets have been released  to the public in the Planetary Data System-4 (PDS4) format.
iv.ISSDC is the main centre of data archive for the planetary missions of ISRO.
ISRO Developing Green Propulsion for ‘Gaganyaan’:
ISRO is in the process of developing Green Propellants for ‘Gaganyaan’ – India’s human space flight mission.  The Green propellants will be used for every stage of a rocket.
About Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO):
Chairman – K Sivan
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka
About Indian Space Science Data Centre (ISSDC):
Location – Bengaluru, Karnataka
<<Read Full News>>

ENVIRONMENT

Portulaca laljii: A New Species of Wild Sun Rose Discovered in Eastern Ghats, Prakasam District, Andhra PradeshNew species of Sun Rose found in the Eastern Ghats

Botanists have discovered a new species of wild Sun Rose, ‘Portulaca laljii’ from  Eastern Ghats(Prakasam District, Andhra Pradesh) in India. The new species is from genus Portulaca (Family -Portulacaceae). The species is named after Lal Ji Singh, an eminent botanist of the Botanical Survey of India associated with the Andaman and Nicobar Centre of the Botanical Survey of India to honour his contributions.

  • Botanists Pasupuleti Sivaramakrishna and Pulicherla Yugandhar associated with Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh have contributed to the discovery.

Important Info
i.The discovery has been published in the  Journal of Asia Pacific Biodiversity in an article titled “A new species of the genus Portulaca L. (Portulacaceae) from the Eastern Ghats, India”.
ii.Only little information is available about the population of the species, considering this, this species  has been  placed under the ‘Data Deficient’ category of the International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN) List of Threatened Species.
About Portulaca laljii:
i.It has morphological features like tuberous root, no hair in its leaf axils, a reddish pink flower(at about 0.5mm), prolate-shaped fruits, and copper brown seeds without lustre, that distinguish the species from other species of genus Portulaca.
ii.Flowering and Fruiting will be seen during July- February.
Note
The species were 1st spotted in April 2018. The explorations were undertaken in the Prakasam district during April 2018 to February 2020.
About Plants Belonging to Genus Portulaca 
i.The plants who belong to genus Portulaca are classified in  Sun Rose category as they flower in bright sunshine.
ii.These plants show various degrees of juiciness in their vegetative parts like roots, stems and leaves.
iii.Earlier studies on genus Portulaca in India have revealed the existence  of eight species.

OBITUARY

Padma Shri Sunil Kothari, an Eminent Indian Dance Historian Passed Away at 87Eminent dance scholar and critic Sunil Kothari passes away at 87

On December 27, 2020 Padma Shri Sunil Kothari, an eminent and noted Indian dance historian, scholar and critic passed away at the age of 87 at a Delhi hospital. He was born on 20th December 1933 in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
About Sunil Kothari:
General Info
i.He was a Chartered Accountant(CA) by profession and also taught accountancy in Sydenham College, Mumbai Maharashtra before turning into dance studies.
ii.He held the Uday Shankar Chair in Rabindra Bharati University, and taught in the Dance Department of New York University as a Fulbright Professor.
iii.He was a dance critic of the Times of India group of publications for 40 years.
Vital Role
He played a significant role in establishing the School of Arts and Aesthetics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University and mentored many art scholars.
Books Authored
He has authored many books including, Bharata Natyam: Indian Classical Dance Art
Odissi: Indian Classical Dance Art,Rasa: The Indian Performing Arts in the Last 25 Years among others.
Awards & Honours
i.He received many awards including, Padma Shri award in 2001 for Art, Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1995, the Life Time Achievement Award of the Dance Critics Association, New York, USA (2011)
ii.He has also received many honours including Doctor of Letters (DLitt) by the Rabindra Bharti University for his research on dance sculptures in the medieval temples of north Gujarat among others.

Kadambur M. R. Janardhanan, Former Union Minister Passed Away at 91Former Union Minister Janardhanan dies at 91

On December 26, 2020 Kadambur  M. R. Janardhanan, former union minister and  senior  All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader passed away at the age of 91 in a  private hospital in Thoothukudi(formerly Tuticorin), TamilNadu due to age-related ailments. He was born in Kadambur, Thoothukudi district on October 22, 1929.

  • He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Tirunelveli constituency, TamilNadu first in 1984 and then again in 1989, 1991 and 1998.

About Kadambur  M. R. Janardhanan
i.He served as the union Minister of State, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions with additional Charge of minister of State for Finance (Revenue, Banking and Insurance) in the second Vajpayee Ministry from 1998 to 1999.
ii.He was a farmer and was involved in agro-based business. He was a short story writer.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

Union Minister Shripad Naik Releases Konkani Book ‘Sutranivednachi sutra- ek anbav’ Authored by Dr Roopa ChariUnion Minister Shripad Naik Releases bookSutranivednachi sutra- ek anbav

On December 26, 2020 Shripad Naik, Union Minister of state (I/C) for AYUSH(Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) and Minister of State for Defence released a Konkani book titled ‘Sutranivednachi sutra- ek anbav’. This book is authored by Dr Roopa Chari and published by Sanjana Publications.
About the Book:
The book is about compering, that will help youngsters who aspire to make a career in this field.
Note
As Compere is a link between the audience and the speaker, he/she should be attentive with proper study.
About Dr. Roopa Chari:
i.She is a popular personality in the field of Compering in Goa.
ii.She has represented Goa on national level at Delhi and has also done programmes in Indonesia.
Facts About Konkani language
i.It is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Konkani people, mainly along the western coastal region (Konkan) of India.
ii.It is one of the 22 Scheduled languages mentioned in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution and is the official language of the Indian state of Goa.

PM Modi Released a Book Titled “Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Parliament – A Commemorative Volume” PM Narendra Modi releases book on Atal Bihari Vajpayee

On 25th December 2020, Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi released the book “Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Parliament – A Commemorative Volume” to commemorate the 96th birth anniversary of the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The book was published by the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

  • The birth anniversary of Vajpayee is observed as the “National Good Governance Day” and the book was released at the event held in the Central Hall of Parliament, New Delhi.
  • Om Birla, Lok Sabha Speaker, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and other parliamentarians were present during the event.

About the Book:
i.The book highlights the life and contributions of the former Prime Minister Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
ii.The book features his notable speeches delivered at the parliament and some of his rare photographs from his public life.
Other Book on Atal Bihari Vajpayee:
i.On 25th December 2020, “Vajpayee: The Years that Changed India” the new book authored by Shakti Sinha who worked with Vajpayee as the secretary to the leader of the Opposition (1996-97) and as his private secretary (1998-99) was released.
ii.The book published by Penguin Random House India narrates the political philosophy of Vajpayee and provides the insights of his thoughts and how he worked.
iii.The book of 10 chapters portrays the struggles and difficulties faced by him during his term as PM of India.
About Atal Bihari Vajpayee:
i.Atal Bihari Vajpyee was born on 25th December 1924 in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh.
ii.He served 3 terms as the PM of India: 13 days in 1996, 13 months from 1998 to 1999 and full term from 1999 to 2004.
Awards:
i.He received the Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant Award for Best Parliamentarian in 1994.
ii.He was honoured with the Padma Vibhushan, India’s 2nd highest civilian award in 1992.
iii.He also received the Bharat Ratna, India’s Highest Civilian Award in 2015.

IMPORTANT DAYS

1st International Day of Epidemic Preparedness – 27th December 20201st International Day of Epidemic Preparedness

i.The United Nations(UN)’s observed the first ever International Day of Epidemic Preparedness across the globe on 27th December 2020. The day recognises the role of government and other stakeholders like healthcare workers in controlling and managing the outbreak of epidemic.
ii.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/75/L.18 on 7th December 2020 and proclaimed the 27th December of every year as the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness.
iii.In September 2020, António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations launched the “UN Comprehensive Response to COVID-19” to save lives, protect societies, and recover better.
About United Nations(UN):
Secretary-General– António Guterres
Headquarters– New York, United States of America
About United Nations General Assembly(UNGA):
President– Volkan Bozkır
Headquarters– New York, United States of America
<<Read Full News>>

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S.no Current Affairs 29 December 2020
1 PM Modi launches Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY SEHAT – Health Insurance Scheme to cover all residents of J&K
2 India, Vietnam hold PASSEX Naval Exercise in South China Sea;INS Kiltan reaches NhaRong Port, Vietnam under Mission Sagar-III
3 PM Modi  Inaugurates India’s 1st ever Driverless Train operations on Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line
4 Centralised ‘Investment Clearance Cell’ set to become operational by April 2021
5 India becomes 6th Largest Economy in the world in 2020, slumps from 5th in 2019:CEBR’s WELT 2021 report
6 BoB Launches Digital Lending Platform for Retail Loan Seekers to get Loans Digitally
7 Virat Kohli Wins Sir Garfield Sobers Award for ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade; MS Dhoni wins ICC Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade
8 DRDO confers ‘Scientist of the Year Award-2018’ on Dr Hemant Kumar Pandey
9 China Launches a New Remote Sensing Satellite ‘Yaogan 33R’ into Space
10 ISRO releases Initial Data from Chandrayaan-2 Mission;ISRO Developing Green Propulsion for ‘Gaganyaan’
11 Portulaca laljii: A New Species of Wild Sun Rose Discovered in Eastern Ghats, Prakasam District, Andhra Pradesh
12 Padma Shri Sunil Kothari, an Eminent Indian Dance Historian Passed Away at 87
13 Kadambur M. R. Janardhanan, Former Union Minister Passed Away at 91
14 Union Minister Shripad Naik Releases Konkani Book ‘Sutranivednachi sutra- ek anbav’ Authored by Dr Roopa Chari
15 PM Modi Released a Book Titled “Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Parliament – A Commemorative Volume”
16 1st International Day of Epidemic Preparedness – 27th December 2020