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Current Affairs December 20 2019

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We are here for you to provide the important Recent and Latest Current Affairs 20 December 2019, which have unique updates of Latest Current Affairs 2019 events from all newspapers such as The Hindu, The Economic Times, PIB, Times of India, PTI, Indian Express, Business Standard and all Government official websites.

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

IIT-H fellow Jigneh Patel launches India’s 1st vaccination on Wheels (VOW) Clinic in Pune, Maharashtrafirst Vaccination Clinic in Pune (Write Static gk)On December 19, 2019, In collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Jigneh Patel, a fellow at the Center for Healthcare Entrepreneurship (CfHE) at IIT(Indian Institutes of Technology) Hyderabad (Telangana), has launched India’s 1stVaccination On Wheels’(VOW) Clinic in Pune, Maharashtra.
Key Points:
i.Patel had received assistance under the Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations.
ii.VOW is actually a vehicle-ready clinic with vaccines for children. This moving clinic will be sent to residential areas where the vaccination rate is low. Similarly, this clinic will be easily accessible in schools and colleges in far-flung areas.
iii.Patel had founded Jivika Healthcare to offer vaccination services.
iv.In addition to do vaccination awareness work, the clinic can also aims to get children fully immunized as per World Health Organization (WHO) and Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) standards.
v.Grand Challenges Explorations:It is a $100 million initiative funded by BMGF to support innovative thinkers worldwide to explore ideas that can solve persistent global health and development challenges.
About IIT Hyderabad:
Motto– Inventions and Innovations
Established– 2008
Director– Prof B. S. Murty
About Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation(BMGF):
Launched– 2000.
Headquarters– Seattle, Washington, United States(US).
Previous name– William H. Gates Foundation.

Indian Navy conducted anti-hijacking exercise ‘Apharan’ off Kochi coast, KeralaExercise ‘Apharan'-Indian NavyOn December 18, 2019, the Indian Navy(IN), Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and the Cochin Port Trust conducted large scale anti-hijacking exercise codenamed “Apharan” off Kochi coast of Kerala. More than 12 ships and helicopters of IN, ICG, and Cochin port trust participated in the exercise.
Aim:
The aim of the exercise was to provide a response mechanism/preparedness to thwart any attempt by rogue elements to hijack a vessel or attempted forced entry into the Kochi harbour.
Key Points:
i.Interdiction of a “rogue” (dishonest or unprincipled one) vessel outside the Kochi port, insertion of Marine Commandos (MARCOS) onto the rogue/hijacked vessel through boarding operations was conducted.
ii.The exercise was conducted under the aegis of the Commander-in-Chief, Coastal Defence, Anil Kumar Chawla, who is the chief of the Southern Naval Command.
About Kerala:
Chief Minister- Pinarayi Vijayan.
Governor- Arif Mohammad Khan.
Capital- Thiruvananthapuram.

ICG conducted ‘Swachchh Samundra NW-2019’ off Vadinar in Gulf of Kutch, GujaratIndian Coast Guard conducts 'Swachchh Samundra NW-2019' The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) conducted a 2-day regional level pollution response exercise named ‘Swachchh Samundra NW-2019‘ at sea off Vadinar in Gulf of Kutch(GoK), Gujarat. The exercise was conducted from December 17-18, 2019. The aim of the exercise was to create a response mechanism by ICG, by taking actions for oil pollution incidents.
Key Points:

i.Exercise Phase: The exercise had 2 phases. The 1st phase on December 17 saw a tabletop exercise simulating oil spill from a tanker while the 2nd phase was conducted on December 18, 2019.
ii.Focus areas: The exercise focused on combating marine oil spill in the region, exercising reporting procedures, testing of communication links, threat assessment and deployment of pollution response equipment. Demonstration of dispersant spray capabilities ICG Interceptor boats, Fast Patrol Vessels(FPV), Pollution Control Vessels(PCV) and Dornier aircraft were also undertaken.
iii.GoK: The GoK handles 70% of oil imports by India and 11 Single Point Moorings (SPMs) out of total 27 SPMs which is 42%. SPM is a floating buoy/jetty anchored offshore to allow handling of liquid cargo such as petroleum products for tanker ships.
About Gujarat:
Capital- Gandhinagar.
Governor- Acharya Devvrat.
Chief Minister- Vijay Rupani.

ICG organizes 18th National maritime search & rescue board meet 2019 in New Delhi
On December 18, 2019, Indian Coast Guard (ICG),an armed force that protects India’s maritime interests, has organized the 18th National Maritime Search and Rescue Board (NMSARB) meeting 2019 in New Delhi.
The meet, chaired by K Natarajan -Director General (DG) of Indian Coast Guard and Chairman NMSARB, saw the discussion over policy issues, formulation of guidelines & procedures and assess the efficacy of National Search and Rescue Plan.
Key Points:
i.Partakers:
For the 1st time, 3 strong fields of the M-SAR (Maritime Search and Rescue) – Secretary (Ministry of Shipping), Secretary (Ministry of Civil Aviation) and Secretary (Department of Fisheries) participated in the annual meeting, that also saw 3 new permanent members – Ministry of Shipping, Department of Animal husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS).
48 Board members from various ministries, agencies, all Coastal States & Union Territories(UT) were also present on the occasion.
Awards presented:
NMSAR Board recognises the SAR efforts of merchant mariners, Govt. Owned Vessels and Fishermen every year. The list of awards for 2019 are as follows:

S.No Award name Won by
1 SAR Award for Merchant Vessel (MV) for the year 2018-19 MV Asia Emerald III
(It saved 6 lives from a distressed fishing boat)
2 SAR Award for Fisherman Anand A Ambhire from Maharashtra (for saving 11 lives from a sinking fishing boat)
3 SAR Award for Government-Owned SAR Unit ICG Ships (ICGS) Sujoy & ICGS Vikram
(for saving 46 lives from ROSV Sagar Sampada off New Mangalore)

About Indian Coast Guard (ICG):
Founded
– 18 August 1978
Headquarters– New Delhi
Motto-We protect

Jal Ministry report: 3 lakh rural habitations lack quality water supply
On December 14, 2019 the Ministry of Jal Shakti, submitted its data on water supply and usage by the people in the country. As per the data, nearly 3 lakh rural habitations in the country were deprived of the govt’s minimum prescribed provision of 40 litre per capita per day (lpcd) of potable quality drinking water.

  • Target set: The aim of the Jal ministry is to achieve 55 lpcd by 2024.
  • States facing water quality issues: The states which are currently facing water quality issues or seeing diminished supply of water are Rajasthan, West Bengal and Assam. Bihar, Punjab, Karnataka and Uttarakhand are the other States which also face the same issues….Click here to Read More

MoU by NRTI & Birmingham university to set 1st Centre of Excellence for NextGen Transport Systems
On December 19, 2019, The National Rail Transport Institute(NRTI), deemed to be a university under the Ministry of Railways (MoR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Birmingham, (England)in New Delhi. The MoU was to set up NRTI’s 1st Centre of Excellence for Next-Generation Transportation Systems.

  • MoU signing:The MoU was signed by Mr. Vinod Kumar Yadav, Chairman of the Railway Board and Chancellor of NRTI and Professor Clive Roberts, Head of the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) at the University of Birmingham.
  • IR-Founding partner: Indian Railways(IR) is a founding partner of this centre. As a founding partner, IR will provide data, professional expertise, spare equipment and other available resources directly or through its Centralised Training Institutes and research organisations.
  • NRTI is India’s first and only transportation university launched in 2018….Click here to Read More

Afghanistan becomes the 1st nation to recognize Indian Pharmacopoeia
On December 20, 2019, The National Department of Regulation of Medicines and Health Products of the Ministry of Public Health of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has formally recognized Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP), an official book of standards for drugs manufactured & marketed in India in terms of their identity, purity and strength.
Key Points:
i.With this, Afghanistan has become the 1st nation to recognize IP, which is published by the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) on behalf of the Department of Commerce, and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
ii.The standards of the book has been made under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules 1945 thereunder.
iii.The recognition will be used on the basis of the need for esteemed pharmacopoeia in the quality of medicines and health products.
iv.In order to promote public and animal health in India, the IPC provides standards for quality of drugs including active pharmaceutical ingredients, dosage forms, used by health professionals, patients and consumers.
In addition to IP, the commission also develops IP Reference Substances (IPRS) that act as fingerprint for identification of an article under test and its purity as prescribed in the IP monographs.
About Afghanistan:
Capital– Kabul
Currency– Afghan afghani
President– Ashraf Ghani
About IPC:
Founded
– 1956
Headquarters– Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

World’s first Global Refugee Forum held in Geneva, SwitzerlandGeneva hosted the world's first Global Refugee Forum The 1st ever Global Refugee Forum (GRF) was held in Geneva, Switzerland from December 17-18 2019. The forum was co-hosted by United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and co-convened (brought together) by Turkey, Germany, Ethiopia, and Costa Rica. The forum will provide an opportunity for people to strengthen the international response against war, conflict and persecution that displaced people and left them with refugee status.

  • Focus areas: The 1st Global Refugee Forum will focus on 6 areas such as arrangements for burden and responsibility-sharing, education, jobs and livelihoods, energy and infrastructure, solutions, and protection capacity.
  • 2nd Global Refugee Forum: A stock-taking meeting will take place in two years, and the second Global Refugee Forum is scheduled in 2023.
  • More than 25 million refugees fled international borders and are unable to return to their homes. The no of refugees doubled to 25million in over a decade.
  • $ 2.2 billion was pledged by the World Bank(WB) Group.The Inter-American Development Bank of US also pledged to provide $ 1 billion….Click here to Read More

BANKING & FINANCE

ADB approves $ 490 million loans to upgrade roads in Madhya Pradesh
On December 20, 2019, Asian Development Bank (ADB),an international development finance institution has inked a $490 million loan agreement with Government of India (GoI) for upgrading about 1,600 km of Madhya Pradesh(MP) state highways (750km) & major district roads- MDRs (850km) from single-lane to two-lane widths in the state.
This project will be a public-private partnership (PPP) through the hybrid annuity model (HAM), for this, an additional $286 million investment will be mobilized by the state.
i.This fund will improve road conditions, rural and peri-urban connectivity,safety  &raise living standards by enabling better access to markets and better services….Click here to Read More

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Fitch cuts India’s FY20 GDP growth forecast to 4.6 % from 5.6%
On December 20, 2019, Fitch Ratings Inc., an American credit rating agency has lowered India’s GDP(Gross Domestic Product) growth forecast for fiscal year-FY20 (or 2019) to 4.6 % from the earlier estimate of 5.6%.Fitch made this deduction due to declining trade &consumer confidence.
Also, it has placed India’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘BBB-‘ with a Stable Outlook.
Key Points:
i.
With the help of easy monetary and fiscal policy and structural measures, India’s growth rate will be 5.6 % in FY 2020-21 and 6.5 % in FY2021-22.
ii.
The Fitch’s growth forecast is lower than 4.9 % projection by Moody’s and 5.1% by Asian Development Bank (ADB). It is also noted that,the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also revised GDP growth forecast to 5 % for 2019-20 from 6.1 % projected in October 2019.
About Fitch:
Founded– 1914
Founder– John Knowles Fitch
President and CEO– Paul Taylor

SEBI reshuffles 8-member Abraham koshy committee on Investor Protection & Education Fund
On December 18, 2019, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI),a Regulator for the Securities market in India owned by Government, has made extensive changes to the 8-member advisory committee on Investor Protection and Education Fund (IPEF), advising on issues related to investor education and protection activities.
The chairman of this committee is former Professor, Abraham Koshy of IIM (Indian Institutes of Management) Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
i.Now, the panel additionally includes 3 Sebi officers -government administrators Nagendraa Parakh and V S Sundaresan  & chief general manager  N Hariharan….Click here to Read More

HDFC Bank becomes 3rd Indian company to cross m-cap of $ 100 billion
On December 19, 2019, India’s leading private sector bank, HDFC (Housing Development Finance Corporation) Bank Ltd, has become the 3rd company to cross market capitalization (m-cap) of $ 100 billion (over Rs 7 lakh crore) after Reliance Industries Ltd- RIL ($140.74 billion) & Tata Consultancy Services – TCS ($114.60 billion).
However, it closed below the $100 billion mark at roughly $99.5 billion.
Key Points:
i.With this increase in m-cap, HDFC Bank is now ranked 110th on the list of most valuable companies in the world, according to Bloomberg data that currently includes 109 companies with a m-cap of over $ 100 billion.
ii.HDFC ranks 26th in the list of banks and financial companies worldwide with a market cap of over $ 100 billion.
About m-cap:
It is the value of a company that is traded on the stock market, calculated by multiplying the total number of shares by the current share price.
About HDFC Bank:
Founded
– August 1994
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Managing Director– Aditya Puri
Tagline– We understand your world.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS 

Urdu author Mujtaba Hussain to return Padma Shri awardUrdu author Mujtaba Hussain to return Padma Shri awardOn December 18, 2019, the 86-year-old Urdu author Mujtaba Hussain from Hyderabad, Telangana had said he will return his Padma Shri award to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). He stated due to the current sitiation in the country, he did not want to keep the award anymore.
Key points:

i.The Government of India awarded him the fourth highest civilian honour of Padma Shri 2007, for his contributions to Urdu literature.
ii.He is best known for his books  America Ghaans Kaat Raha Hai, Cihrah dar cihrah, a take on US foreign policy, Japan Chalo and many other books.

Virat Kohli, first sportsperson to top the Forbes India celebrity list 2019Virat Kohli, Akshay, Salman Khan top Forbes India's 2019The Forbes India magazine has published its list of celebrity 100 for the year 2019.This  rankings were based on the estimation of their annual earnings through professions and endorsement of celebrities and their frame from October 1,2018 to September 30, 2019.
According to the list of celebrity 2019, Indian Cricket team captain Virat Kohli has become the first sportsman to gain the top spot for the first time with the annual earnings of Rs. 252.72 crore. Kohli replaced Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, who had been at the top for the previous three years. Actor Akshay Kumar is at the second position followed by Salman Khan.
World Forbes List :

  • Virat Kohli only Indian in Forbes 2019 list of world’s highest-paid athletes, released on Jun 13, 2019
  • Akshay Kumar only Indian on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list for 2019, released on Jul 17, 2019

TOP TEN RANKS:

   RANK   NAME
      1   VIRAT KOHLI
      2   AKSHAY KUMAR
      3   SALMAN KHAN
      4   AMITABH BACHCHAN
      5   MS DHONI
      6   SHAH RUKH KHAN
      7   RANVEER SINGH
      8   ALIA BHATT
      9   SACHIN TENDULKAR
      10   DEEPIKA PADUKONE

About FORBES INDIA:
Founded- 2008
Headquarters- Mumbai,India.
Owned by- Reliance Industries-owned media conglomerate,Network18.

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad presented Rashtrya Swayamsiddh Samman 2019 by JSPL Foundation in New DelhiJSPL Foundation On 19th December 2019, the JSPL Foundation, the CSR (Corporate social responsibility) arm of Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. has conferred Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Samman 2019 to recognize and honour social innovators and Change Agents in India. The awards were presented by Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics and Information Technology upon 17 individuals and 10 organisations at a function held in New Delhi.
Key Points:

i.Rashtriya Swayamsiddh Jeevan Samman for lifetime achievement was conferred upon Seturam Gopalrao Neginhal (SG Neginhal), a pioneer of urban forestry.
ii.Five Individuals and one organisation received certificates of appreciation as Distinguished Recognition.
About award:
i.Instituted in 2015, the award includes a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh and a certificate of appreciation to acknowledge and support the on-going work of awardees.
ii.The award is presented in 10 categories: Art and Culture, Education, Environment, Entrepreneurship & Livelihood, Health, Innovation & Technology, Public Service, Agriculture & Rural Development, Sports and Women Empowerment.

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS   

Patanjali Ayurved completes acquisition of debt-ridden Ruchi Soya 
On December 19, 2019 Patanjali Ayurved made its first big acquisition to take over soya food brand Nutrela maker Ruchi Soya for Rs.4,350 crore through an insolvency process. Patanjali has settled Rs 4,350 crore of dues debt-ridden Ruchi Soya towards financial creditors by infusing Rs 1,100 crore equity and arranging another Rs 3,250 crore via debt.The acquisition will help Patanjali to acquire edible oil plants and soyabean oil brands such as Mahakosh and Ruchi Gold.

  • Acharya Balkrishna is appointed as the Chairman And Managing Director of the Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd
  • Swami Ramdev as non-executive director on its new board.  

 SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

DRDO successfully flight tested 2 Pinaka missiles in salvo mode; QR-SAM also test-fired from Odisha coast
On December 20, 2019, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the premier Research and development (R&D) organization of the country, has successfully tested the upgraded version of the Pinaka rocket Mark-II from DRDO’s Proof and Experimental Establishment firing test range at Chandipur testing center in Odisha.
DRDO also test-fired its all-weather tracked-chassis Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QR-SAM) from the launch pad-3 at the Interim Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha at 4.20 pm.
i. Pinaka, an artillery missile system, can hit up to 75 km in enemy territory with full accuracy.
ii. Developed by DRDO,QR-SAM also hit multiple targets within a range of about 25 – 30 km with two vehicle configurations for area air defence….Click here to Read More

IAU named new star as ‘Sharjah’ and its planet as ‘Barajeel’
On December 19, 2019, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has announced new names of its newly discovered star and its planet. The star ‘HIP 7943’ was named as “Sharjah” and one of its planet (exoplanet) was named as “Barjeel”. The announcement was made during a press conference of IAU in Paris, France during the centenary celebration of the union (IAU) on July 28, 2019.

  • Star Sharjah: Appreciating the achievements of Sharjah, which is the Capital of Arab Culture, Capital of Islamic Culture and also has the name of World Book Capital, the star was named as “Sharjah”.
  • Barjeel meaning: A barjeel is a wind tower that directs the flow of wind, where the air can be recirculated as a form of air conditioning….Click here to Read More

Home ministry alerts on Android bug ‘StrandHogg’ vulnerable to cyberattack
On December 16, 2019, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs(MoHA) sent an alert to all States warning about a bug in Android operating system(OS) called ‘StrandHogg’. It is a real-time malware application which would pose as genuine applications and access all the users’ data.  All android device versions including latest android version 10, are vulnerable to this bug.
Key Point:
i.Promon, a Norwegian firm specialising in In-App protection, found proof of this android vulnerability which they call it as ‘StrandHogg’.
ii.The information about this bug was shared by Threat Analytical Unit(TAU), Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) of MoHA.
iii.Malware functionality: The malware can listen to phone conversations, access photo album, read/send messages, make calls, record conversations and get login credentials to various accounts.
About Android:
Fact- Android is a mobile operating system based on a modified version of the Linux kernel (operating system kernel) designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices.
Initial launch- September 23, 2008.

Infosys launched 3 blockchain-powered distributed applications
On December 18, 2019 Indian multinational corporation Infosys launched 3 blockchain-powered distributed applications for domains of government services, insurance, and supply chain distributed management namely Infosys Supply Chain Distributed Application, Infosys Government Services Distributed Application, and Infosys Insurance Distributed Application. The applications were designed as ready-to-subscribe business networks.
Key Points:
i.Core business processes across multiple value chain partners having disparate IT (Information Technology) systems can be strengthened using blockchain-powered distributed applications.
ii.The applications are equipped with predictive return on investment (ROI) analytics for business investments. These applications will enable quick deployment and help stakeholders with solving various issues with digital technologies like IoT (Internet of Things), analytics etc.
About Infosys:
Founded- 7 July 1981.
Headquarters- Bengaluru, Karnataka.
Chief Executive Officer(CEO)- Salil Parekh.

ENVIRONMENT

386 million years old World’s oldest fossil forest discovered in the US 
On December 20, 2019 Scientists from Cardiff University in the United Kingdom(UK), Binghamton University in the United States (US) and the New York State Museum have recently discovered remnants of a 386-million-year old world’s oldest fossil forest in a sandstone quarry in Cairo, New York, United States(US). This forest is around 2 or 3 million years older than the current world’s oldest forest at Gilboa, also in New York State and around 40 kilometres away from the Cairo site.
Journal: The findings of the discovery is published in the journal ‘Current Biology’.
Key Points:
i.According to researchers, the forest is mapped over 3,000 square metres at the quarry in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains.
ii.Tree discovery: The research showed that the forest was home to at least two types of trees Cladoxylopsids and Archaeopteris. The third type of tree was also uncovered but is still unidentified. These trees reproduced using only spores rather than seeds.

  • Extensive network of roots of more than 11 metres in length belonging to the Archaeopteris trees was also discovered.

About United States(US):
President- Donald Trump.
Capital- Washington D.C.
Currency- US Dollar.

SPORTS

India slipped 11 places to number 108th  in FIFA rankings in a year; Belgium tops
According to the FIFA’s(Federation Internationale de Football Association) year-ending ranking released on December 19, 2019, Indian men’s football team remains at number 108 with 1187 points. The Indian team, however, slipped 11 places throughout the year (In December 2018, India was ranked 97 in the FIFA rankings).
Key Points:
i.Belgium
, the runners-up of the World Cup 2018, topped their second consecutive year with 1765 points. World champions France remained at 2nd (1733 points) and Brazil in 3rd (1712 points) place. England have moved up a notch to 4th  and Uruguay to 5th .
ii.Asian countries : Among Asian countries, India has ranked 19th ,while Japan tops the list but is ranked 28th in the overall ranking.
About FIFA:
Motto
– For the Game. For the World
Founded– 21 May 1904
Headquarters– Zürich, Switzerland
President– Gianni Infantino
2022 FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar from 21 November to 18 December, 2022.

ICC continues partnership with UNICEF for ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020UNICEF for ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020On December 20,2019 the International cricket council (ICC) has extended its partnership with UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) for ICC Women’s T20 World cup 2020 to be held in Australia from 21 February to 8 March, 2020. The main focus of this partnership is empowering women and girls in cricket. The money raised will go towards an innovative programme to promote girls’ participation in cricket in Sri Lanka and build peace in communities. The ICC and UNICEF partnership commenced in 2015, as part of the ICC’s global community outreach programme ‘Cricket 4 Good’.
About UNICEF:
Aim: To promote the equal rights of women and girls and to support their full participation in the political,social and economic development of their communities.
Headquarters- NewYork, UnitedStates.
Chairman- Henrietta H Fore
About  ICC:
CEO- Manu Sawhney
Chairman- Shashank Manohar
Headquarters- Dubai,United Arab Emirates

OBITUARY

Sahitya Akademi awardee Kannada writer Sheshagiri Rao passed away at the age of 94Writer and critic LS Sheshagiri Rao no moreOn December 20, 2019, noted Kannada writer and critic L.S. Sheshagiri Rao passed away at the age of 94 due to old age ailments in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Sheshagiri is famous for his critical works and also for and an English-Kannada dictionary he compiled. His first work Idu Jeevana, an anthology of short stories was released in 1948. He is best known for his book “Hosagannada Sahitya Charitre”.
Key Points:

i.Born on February 16, 1925, in Bangalore, Karnataka, Mr.Rao was a retired staff from the English Department of Bangalore University in Karnataka.
ii.Awards: He was honoured with Kendra Sahitya Akademi award in 2001 for his work English Sahitya Charitre. It is about English literature history in Kannada. His other awards include Rajyotsava Award and Karnataka Sahitya Academi award. He was the first writer to win Sahitya Parishat prize in 1947.
iii.He was the president of 74th All India Kannada Sahitya Sammelana in 2007 held at Udupi, Karnataka. He was also the 1st president of the Kannada Book Trust. Sheshagiri also worked with Rashtrothana Parishat social service organisation in Karnataka.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Human Solidarity Day observed on 20th December 2019International-Human-Solidarity-Day-2019The International Human Solidarity Day is observed annually on December 20 by the United Nations(UN) under the resolution (A/RES/60/209). On December 22, 2005, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed to observe the solidarity day on December 20, to promote the culture of solidarity and the spirit of sharing to combat poverty.
Key Points:

i.The UN identifies solidarity as one of the fundamental and universal values that should underlie relations between peoples in the 21st century.
ii.Certain initiatives such as the establishment of the World Solidarity Fund (WSF) under the resolution 57/265 by UNGA on December 20, 2002, to eradicate poverty was promoted with involvement from all relevant stakeholders. WSF was established in 2003, also to promote human and social development in developing countries.
About United Nations (UN):
Founded- 24 October 1945.
Headquarters- New York, United States(US).
Secretary General- António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres.

STATE NEWS

Ex-HC judge CV Ramulu appointed as Telangana’s 1st Lok Ayukta; Chandraiah new SHRC chiefG Chandraiah new SHRC chief, CV Ramulu Ayukta On December 20, 2019 Former High Court Judge CV Ramulu has been appointed as the Lokayukta in Telangana. His order was issued by Telangana governor Dr.Tamilisai Sounderarajan with immediate effect. Apart from CV Ramulu, Former law secretary V Niranjan Rao has been appointed as Upa Lokayukta.
G Chandraiah- new SHRC chief:

Former judge Justice G Chandraiah was appointed as Chairman of the Telangana State Human Rights Commission (SHRC). He succeeded Nisar Ahmad Kakru, who was the last SHRC chairman in Telangana and the post was left vacant after his retirement in 2016.

  • Other appointments: N. Anand Rao and Mohammed Irfan Moinuddin were also appointed as members of the SHRC.
  • Lokayukta: The Lokayukta is an anti-corruption ombudsman organization in the Indian states….Click here to Read More

New policies of renewable energy and investment promotion schemes launched in Rajasthan
On December 20, 2019, the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot, has launched new policies for the promotion of industry and renewable energy. The policies related to renewable energy are, Solar Energy Policy 2019, Wind and Hybrid Energy Policy 2019 along with Industrial Development Policy 2019 at an event in Jaipur, Rajasthan.  The state govt also launched two Investment Promotion Schemes, those are, Rajasthan Investment Promotion Scheme 2019 and Chief Minister’s Small Scale Industries Promotion Scheme 2019.
i. Key Participants: Energy Minister BD Kalla and Industry Minister Parsadi Lal Meena.
About Rajasthan:
Governor- Kalraj Mishra
State Bird- Great Indian bustard or Godawan
State Animal- Camel and Chinkara
State Dance- Ghoomar
State Game- Basketball
State Tree- Khejri

**************Current Affairs 20 December 2019 Headlines***************
1.IIT-H fellow Jigneh patel launches India’s 1st vaccination clinic in Pune, Maharashtra
2.Indian Navy conducted anti-hijacking exercise ‘Apharan’ off Kochi coast, Kerala
3.ICG conducted ‘Swachchh Samundra NW-2019’ off Vadinar in Gulf of Kutch, Gujarat
4.ICG organizes 18th National maritime search & rescue board meet 2019 in New Delhi
5.Jal Ministry report: 3 lakh rural habitations lack quality water supply
6.MoU by NRTI & Birmingham university to set 1st Centre of Excellence for NextGen Transport Systems
7.Afghanistan becomes the 1st nation to recognize Indian Pharmacopoeia
8.World’s first Global Refugee Forum hosted by Geneva, Switzerland
9.ADB approves $ 490 million loan to upgrade roads in Madhya Pradesh
10.Fitch cuts India’s FY20 GDP growth forecast to 4.6 % from 5.6%
11.SEBI reshuffles 8-member Abraham koshy committee on Investor Protection & Education Fund
12.HDFC Bank becomes 3rd Indian company to cross m- cap of $ 100 billion
13.Urdu author Mujtaba Hussain to return Padma Shri award
14.Virat Kohli tops the Forbes India celebrity list 2019
15.Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad presented Rashtrya Swayamsiddh Samman 2019 by JSPL Foundation in New Delhi
16.Patanjali Ayurved completes acquisition of Ruchi Soya
17.DRDO successfully tests Pinaka missile system & QR-SAM from base on Odisha coast
18.IAU named new star as ‘Sharjah’ and its planet as ‘Barajeel’
19.Home ministry alerts on Android bug ‘StrandHogg’ vulnerable to cyberattack
20.Infosys launched 3 blockchain-powered distributed applications
21.386 million years old World’s oldest fossil forest discovered in US
22.India slipped 11 places to number 108th in FIFA rankings in a year; Belgium tops
23.ICC continues partnership with UNICEF for ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020
24.Kannada writer Sheshagiri Rao passed away at the age of 94
25.International Human Solidarity Day observed on 20th December 2019
26.Ex-HC judge CV Ramulu appointed as Telangana’s 1st LokAyukta; Chandraiah new SHRC chief
27.New policies of renewable energy and investment promotion schemes launched in Rajasthan

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