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Current Affairs December 21 2019

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We are here for you to provide the important Recent and Latest Current Affairs 21 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

2nd Committee meet to commemorate Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary held in New Delhi150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma GandhiOn December 19, 2019 the President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind presided the 2nd meeting of National Committee for Commemoration of the 150th Birth anniversary (October 2) of Mahatma Gandhi ‘[email protected]’ which was held in New Delhi.

  • Ebook launched: During the committee meeting the President Shri Kovind received 1st copies of ebook on commemorative activities. The e-book was compiled by the Ministry of Culture(MoC).
  • Anthology launched: An anthology (collection of poems or collection of writing)on Gandhi compiled by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) from the Prime Minister(PM) formally released them.
  • Education Prize by Portugal: The Prime Minister of Portugal, António Luís Santos da Costa, announced the Portuguese govt’s launch of Gandhi Citizenship Education Prize to perpetuate Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals. The announced prize will be given annually.

External affairs ministry relaxed guidelines for reissuing of OCI card
On December 19, 2019 the Ministry of External Affairs(MEA), relaxed certain guidelines for Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI). The relaxation is for reissuing of passport for those people aged below 20 years and those aged above 50 years. The relaxation which is temporary has been granted till June 30, 2020.

  • OCI card holder below the age of 20: The card holder below 20 years of age who has not got his/her OCI card reissued on change of passport, can travel with the strength of existing OCI card bearing old passport no. He/She is also subjected to the condition that along with new passport, old passport should also be carried as mentioned in the OCI card.
  • OCI card holder above the age of 50: The card holder below 50 years of age, who got passport renewed but not got reissued OCI card on the renewed passport, can travel on the strength of existing OCI card along with new and old passport till June 30, 2020….Click here to Read More

Principal Scientific Adviser launched “EChO Network” in New Delhi

On December 20, 2019 Prof. Krishnasamy VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Govt of India launched a national program called “EChO Network” in New Delhi. The EChO network provides a template for cross-disciplinary leadership in India. The purpose of this programme is to bring citizens, govt etc to solve problems in the areas of research knowledge, and awareness of Indian ecology and the environment.

  • Function: EChO Network will develop a national network to catalyse a new generation of Indians who can make use of interdisciplinary concepts and handle real-world problems in the field of medicine, agriculture, ecology, and technology.
  • The programme is led by the office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to Govt. of India under the guidance of Prof. Shannon Olsson, Director of EChO Network….Click here to Read More

PM Modi addressed the annual conference of ASSOCHAM in New DelhiPM Modi attends centenary celebrations of ASSOCHAMOn 20 December 2019, PM Modi addressed the annual meeting of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in New Delhi. This is to celebrate the 100 years of ASSOCHAM.
Theme:
 New India Aspiring for 5 trillion USD
PM target’s to achieve 5 Trillion Dollar Economy – To achieve 5 Trillion Dollar Economy by 2024 it is required to boost digital transactions of GST. Also, the corporate tax was the lowest ever since this time which will enhance the economic growth in the country. He also spoke about the Labor Reforms and sweeping reforms in the Banking Sector to make it more transparent and profitable. The government would invest 100 Lakh Crore Rupees in the infrastructural sector and another 25 Lakh Crore Rupees in the Rural Sector in order to achieve the target.
About ASSOCHAM:
Founded- 1921
Headquarters- New Delhi
President- Balkrishan Goenka

Wipro & Nasscom jointly launches “Future Skills” platform to upskill 10,000 studentsWipro, NASSCOM launch ‘Future Skills’ platform On December 20, 2019, Software major Wipro has partnered with Indian IT (Information Technology) industry apex body, NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies) to launch ‘Future Skills’ platform to train 10,000 students from over 20 engineering colleges in India with new age technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data, cloud computing, cyber security and internet of things (IoT).
Key Points:
i.Future skills is a part of Wipro’s corporate social responsibility(CSR),  programme called ‘TalentNext’, which prepares faculty & academic leaders to train students.
ii.NASSCOM aims to include 9 crore techies to the industry by 2030.
iii.This tie-up will create a talent pool of students & will also ensure that the students are equipped with the best skills to make them future ready.
About Wipro:
Founded– 29 December 1945
Headquarters– Bangalore, Karnataka
Founder– Mohammed Hashim Premji
Chairman– Rishad Premji
AboutNasscom:
Formation– 1 March 1988
Headquarters– Noida, Uttar Pradesh
President– Debjani Ghosh

2nd follow-up committee meet by India, Afghan & Iran on Chabahar pact held in New Delhi
On December 20, 2019, the 2nd meeting of the Follow-up Committee for implementing trilateral Chabahar Agreement between India, Afghanistan and Iran was held in New Delhi. The meeting was held at the level of Joint Secretary/ Director-General.
Agreement to include Mormugoa and New Mangalore Port from India:
During the meeting, it was agreed to include Mormugao(Goa) and New Mangalore Port(Karnataka) from India in addition to JNPT (Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust), Mundra(Gujarat), Kandla(Gujarat) and Cochin(Kerala) ports as part of designated route under the Chabahar Agreement.
i.3rd followup meeting: The 3rd followup committee meeting was decided to be conducted in India in the 1st half of 2020 followed by 2nd Coordination Council meeting….Click here to Read More

AP topped in organizing Fit India School Week; above 21,000 schools received FIT India flag
On December 20, 2019 Andhra Pradesh(AP) topped the list for organising Fit India Week in schools. So far, AP has organised the Fit India Week in 13,839 schools. AP was followed by Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh ranked 2nd & 3rd by organising the programme in 1,967 and 1,504 schools respectively. Overall the programme was organised in 26,845 schools.
FIT India flag: 
21,344 schools obtained the Fit India Flag. Again AP topped the list obtaining 8,117 flags. It was followed by Karnataka in the second rank.
Key Points:
i.FIT India movement: The movement was launched by Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi in August 29, 2019.  On November 24 2019, in popular radio show Mann Ki Baat, the PM urged students to celebrate the Fit India week observed in 1st week of December and also to get enrolled in Fit India Star Rankings.
ii.Fit India School Ranking: It is the 1st-ever fitness rating for schools introduced in India. Schools are given 5-star & 3-star rating based on fitness levels of students. Obtaining FIT India Flag is precondition for getting FIT India school ranking. click here to know more.

2nd National Conference on Uniformed Women in Prisons Administration held at Madhya Pradesh
The Second National Conference on Uniformed Women in Prisons Administration was held at Central Academy for Police Training on 19-20 December 2019 in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The conference was inaugurated by the Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai.
The Madhya Pradesh Jail Department along with the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) of New Delhi organized the conference.
Key points:
i.The first conference was held in New Delhi in 2017.
ii.30% of reservation in government services has been given to the women in Madhya Pradesh.
iii.To strengthen the women officers and employees mentally and socially, programs were held to balance work and family life.

92nd Annual Convention of FICCI held in New Delhi 
The 92nd Annual Convention of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) was conducted in New Delhi from December 20-21,2019. The Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan addressed the 92nd convention. The theme for the year 2019 was “India: Roadmap to a $5 trillion economy”.
About Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI):
Formation- 1927
Headquarters- New Delhi.
President- Sandip Somany.
Founder- Ghanshyam Das Birla & Purshottamdas Thakurdas.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India leads world in pollution-linked deaths with about 2.3 million in 2017: GAHP Report
On December 20, 2019, According to the new report, “2019 Pollution and Health Metrics: Global, Regional and Country Analysis” released by Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP), India leads the world with about 2.3 million (23,26,771 deaths) in 2017 in terms of premature deaths due to pollution.India is followed by China (18,65,566 deaths) & Nigeria (2,79,318 deaths). The United States (US), the world’s third most populous country with 325 million people, stood at 7th position (1,96,930 deaths).
i.Pollution death per 1 lakh population:  In terms of total untimely deaths per 1 lakh population due to pollution, Chad ranks 1st  with 287 deaths, followed by Central African Republic (251) & North Korea (202) .while India ranks 10th  in this list with (174).
ii.Deaths related to Air-pollution:  In terms of untimely deaths due to air pollution only, China ranks first with 12, 42,987 deaths, India ranked 2nd with (12,40,529 deaths) and Pakistan ranks third (1,28,005)….Click here to Read More

BANKING & FINANCE

In a first, RBI brings US-style ‘operation twist’ to reduce long-term interest rates
On December 20, 2019, India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to conduct simultaneous sale and purchase of government bonds under the Open Market Operations (OMO) mechanism, a concept similar to “Operation Twist” that was last adopted by the US (United States) Federal Reserve in 2013.
So, the RBI will buy bonds worth Rs 10,000 crore of 6.45% maturing in the year 2029 and issuing bonds worth Rs 10,000 crore maturing in the year 2020.
i.This decision will reduce interest rates on long-term bonds & improve the liquidity position in the market. Currently, the difference between the repo rate and the interest rate payable on long-term bonds is around 1.50 % (or 150 bps -basis points)….Click here to Read More

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS    

Archaeologist R. Nagaswamy was honoured at the Silver Jubilee International Conference of Art in DhakaR. Nagaswamy was honoured at the Silver JubileeArchaeologist R. Nagaswamy was honoured at the Silver Jubilee International Conference of Art in Dhaka by Bangladesh culture minister K.M.Khalid for his contribution to art, archaeology, history and culture.
About R.Nagaswamy:

  • Ramachandran Nagaswamy is an Indian historian, archaeologist and epigraphist.
  • He served as the founder-director of Tamilnadu Archaeology Department.
  • In 2018 he was awarded India’s third highest civilian award Padma Bhushan.

Aditya became 1st child from Kerala to receive Bharat Award for braveryMalayali boy bags top bravery awardOn December 20, 2019 the Bharat award for bravery was announced. Aditya K. of Ramanattukara, Kozhikode, Kerala became the first child from the State to receive the highest honour award for bravery, the Bharat award. He was awarded for saving 20 people from a burning bus on the move. The awards will be presented by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi at the Republic Day event in New Delhi on January 26,2020.
Key Points:

i.Other children who won the bravery award from Kerala include 16 year old Muhammed Mohsin (awarded posthumously) for saving lives of 3 children and Fatah for rescuing a woman and a girl from an approaching train. Both Belong to Kozhikode, Kerala.
ii.The national bravery award is given by the Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) for the brave acts done by children neglecting their own safety.1 Bharat Award,5 special awards, and 15 general awards are announced annually by ICCW.
About Kerala:
Chief Minister- Pinarayi Vijayan.
Governor- Arif Mohammad Khan.
Capital- Thiruvananthapuram.
Rivers- Cheruthoni river, Bharathapuzha river, Pamba river, Chalakudy river, Parambikulam river.

Rafael Nadal, Ashleigh Barty named ITF World Champions for 2019         ITF World Champions for 2019International Tennis Federation (ITF) honoured eleven players in its annual awards 2019 including Singles, Doubles, Wheelchair, and Juniors. The ITF has announced that Rafael Nadal of Spain and Ashleigh Barty of Australia have been named 2019 ITF World Champions in Singles. This award’s will be given at the 2020 ITF world champions Dinner on 2nd June, 2020 in Paris.
i.Nadal claimed the season-ending ITF world title for the fourth time after sealing an historic 12th French Open and a fourth U.S. Open, as well as helping Spain to their sixth Davis Cup title.
ii.The 23-year-old  Ashleigh Barty is the first Australian to be named ITF Women’s World Champion having become the first Australian woman to reach No.1 in the world rankings since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1976. Barty also lifted the season-ending WTA Finals trophy and led Australia to their first Fed Cup final since 1993.
WINNERS OF THE EVENT

        CATEGORY     WINNER
Men Singles  Spain Rafael Nadal
Women Singles  Australia’s Ashleigh Barty
Women Doubles Timea Babos of Hungary and Kristina Mladenovic of France
 Men Doubles Colombia’s Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah
 Men’s Wheelchair  Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez
 Women’s Wheelchair  Netherland’s Diede de Groot
 Quad  Australia’s Dylan Alcott


About ITF:
Headquarters- London, United Kingdom.
President- David Haggerty.

    APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATION     

US Prez Trump elects Indian-American scientist Sethuraman as director of NSFscientist Sethuraman Panchanathan to lead National Science FoundationOn December 20, 2019, The United States (US) President Donald Trump has chosen Indian-American computer scientist, Sethuraman Panchanathan (58) as director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) of America.
He will succeed France Anne-Dominic Cordova, who retires in 2020 after completing her 6-year term as director of the institution.
Key Points:
i.Dr. Sethuraman has taken on new responsibilities with research, innovation, academic administration and policy experience.
ii.He is currently serving as the Executive Vice President and Chief Research and Innovation Officer at Arizona State University (ASU). He is also the founding director of the ‘Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing’ at ASU. Panchanathan is also the Vice President of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) in the US.
About National Science Foundation (NSF):
Formation– May 10, 1950
Headquarters– Virginia, U.S
Motto– Where Discoveries Begin
This body assisting research in all non-medical fields including science and engineering. Its medical counterpart, National Institute of Health (NIH) is a separate institution to work in the field of medicine.

      ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS     

Three proposals got automatic approval under CCI Green Channel
On December 20, 2019 The Competition Commission of India (CCI), obtained 3 Green Channel Combinations under automatic approval. The approval was done under the sub-section (2) of Section 6 of the Competition Act, 2002 (Act) read with regulation 5A of the Competition Commission of India, Regulations, 2011.
3 combinations that received approval:

  • Combination 1: 100% acquisition of both IDBI (Industrial Development Bank of India) Asset Management Ltd (IAML) and IDBI MF Trustee Company Ltd (IMTL) by Muthoot Finance Ltd (MFL).
  • Combination 2: 25.1% Acquisition of Adani Electricity Mumbai Ltd (AEML) and Adani Electricity Mumbai Services Ltd (AEMSL) by Qatar Holding LLC (QH) from ATL (Adani Transmission Ltd).
  • Combination 3: Acquisition and control of GVK Airport Holdings Ltd(GVKAHL) and its subsidiaries. The subsidiaries of GVKAHL are Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) and Navi Mumbai International Airport Private Ltd(NMIA) by Green Rock, NIIF and Indo-Infra….Click here to Read More

   SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Ethiopia Launches First Satellite Named ETRSS-1 from China
On December 20, 2019, The Ethiopian Remote Sensing Satellite-1 or ETRSS-1, was sent into space by a Chinese Long March 4B carrier rocket (CZ-4B) from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in North China.
ETRSS-1 is Africa’s 41st satellite in space and the third East African satellite. Ethiopia is now the 11th African nation to launch a satellite into space by joining the ranks of Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Sudan.

OBITUARY

Children’s book writer and Rajyotsava award winner Chandrakanth Karadalli passed awayChandrakanth Karadalli passes away On December 19, 2019, Chandrakanth Karadalli a renowned children’s book writer died due to cardiac arrest in Bangalore at the age of 70. He was a awardee of Karnataka Rajyotsava award in 2019 and Bala Sahitya Akademi award from the union government. He also received ‘Good Teacher’ award from both State and Nation Government.
About Chandrakanth Karadalli:

i.He was a retired government primary school teacher from Shahapur in Yadgir district.
ii.His works are Nalidadu Baa Navile, Puttana Kanasu, Vichara Taranga and Manadaalada Maatugalu.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

Vice President released book ‘Turbulence and Triumph’ by Rahul & Bharathi in New DelhiVice President M Venkaiah Naidu released the book 'Turbulence and Triumph On December 20, 2019 the Vice President of India Shri Venkaiah Naidu released a book titled ‘Turbulence and Triumph: The Modi Years’ in New Delhi. The book is jointly authored by Rahul Agarwal and Bharathi S Pradhan and is published by Om Books International.
Key Points:

i.The book is about life journey of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi from his days as a young boy in Gujarat till becoming the Prime Minister of India.
ii.Various successive initiatives launched by the PM like Make in India, Skill India, Swachh Bharat etc was discussed.

CEC Sunil Arora releases booklet ‘Crossing the Barriers…I Got Inked’ at National workshop on accessible elections held in New Delhi
On December 19, 2019, Election Commission of India (ECI), an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election process, has organized National Workshop on Accessible Elections 2019 in New Delhi to review the steps taken by ECI to make Elections Public Works Department (PwD) and Senior Citizens friendly. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Shri Sunil Arora has released a booklet, ‘Crossing the Barriers – I Got Inked’ during the workshop.
Key Points:
i.It also witnessed the release of “Accessibility Report 2019”, a document underscored the work is done so far, recent initiatives, and recommendations from all States/UTs (Union Territories) and various stakeholders.
ii.Besides Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra & Shri Ashok Lavasa, the workshop saw the participation of Chief Electoral Officers (CEO)& District Election Officers (DEO) from various States/UTs, representatives of Civil Society Organizations, Government Organizations,etc.

STATE NEWS

Former SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar passed away at the age of 78  Former SGPC chief Avtar Singh MakkarOn December 20, 2019, former Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee(SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar (39th president) passed away at the age of 78 in Gurugram, Haryana due to brief illness.  Avtar was the founder president of Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, which was then a hub for Akali politics.
Key Points:

i.Born on January 3, 1943 at Sargodha (now Pakistan), Avtar was elected as president of the district Akali jatha in 2002. He contested from Ludhiana North, Punjab before being elected to SGPC in 2005.
ii.He served the position until November 4, 2016, and became the second longest-serving president of the SGPC, after Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra.
iii.SGPC is an apex religious body of the Sikh community.

Kerala MLA Thomas Chandy passes away at 72
On December 20, 2019, The National Congress Party (NCP) State President and Kerala MLA, Thomas Chandy passed away due to cancer at the age of 72 at his home in Kochi, Kerala. Born in Chenammkary, Kerala in 1947, he represented the Kuttanad constituency in Alappuzha. He was closely associated with Kerala Student Union (KSU) and later with the Congress. He also built a business empire in the Persian Gulf.

Uttrakhand hosted the 11th Regional Quality Conclave
On December 20, 2019 the Quality Council of India (QCI) along with PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) organised the 11th edition of Regional Quality Conclave (RQC) at Rudrapur,Udham Singh Nagar of Uttarakhand. The theme of the RQC was “Advance Manufacturing with Quality, Innovation & Technology Interventions. It’s objective was to create awareness about significance of quality culture in businesses.

**************Current Affairs 21 December 2019 Headlines***************
1.2nd Committee meet to commemorate Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary held in New Delhi
2.External affairs ministry relaxed guidelines for reissuing of OCI card
3.Principal Scientific Adviser launched “EChO Network” in New Delhi
4.PM Modi at the annual conference of ASSOCHAM
5.Wipro & Nasscom jointly launches “Future Skills” platform to upskill 10,000 students
6.2nd follow-up committee meet by India, Afghan & Iran on Chabahar pact held in New Delhi
7.AP topped in organizing Fit India School Week; above 21,000 schools received FIT India flag
8.2nd National Conference on Uniformed Women in Prisons Administration held at Madhya Pradesh
9.92nd Annual Convention of FICCI held in New Delhi
10.India leads world in pollution-linked deaths with about 2.3 million in 2017: GAHP Report
11.In a first, RBI brings US-style ‘operation twist’ to reduce long-term interest rates
12.Archaeologist R. Nagaswamy was honoured at the Silver Jubilee International Conference of Art in Dhaka
13.Aditya became 1st child from Kerala to receive Bharat Award for bravery
14.Rafael Nadal, Ashleigh Barty named ITF World Champions for 2019
15.US Prez Trump elects Indian-American scientist Sethuraman as director of NSF
16.Three proposals got automatic approval under CCI Green Channel
17.Ethiopia Launches First Satellite Named ETRSS-1 from China
18.Children’s book writer and Rajyotsava award winner Chandrakanth karadalli passed away
19.Vice President released book ‘Turbulence and Triumph’ by Rahul & Bharathi in New Delhi
20.CEC Sunil arora releases booklet ‘Crossing the Barriers…I Got Inked’ at National workshop on accessible elections held in New Delhi
21.Former SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar passed away at the age of 78
22.Kerala MLA Thomas Chandy passes away at 72
23.Uttrakhand hosted the 11th Regional Quality Conclave

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