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Environment Current Affairs December 4th Week 2020

Antarctic Iceberg A68 Becomes Cause For Concern For South Georgia Island:

For South Georgia Island, the giant Antarctic iceberg A68 has become a cause for concern. The giant A68 iceberg is Antarctica`s largest free-floating ice block, spanning approximately 5,800 square kilometres.
♦ The giant iceberg A68 occupies an area of approximately 5,800 square kilometres and is the largest free-floating ice block in Antarctica. Since 2017, it has been floating in the Atlantic Ocean.
♦ Ocean currents have caused icebergs to be forced into the South Atlantic Ocean in 2020. Since then, the British Overseas Territory has been drifting into the isolated sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia (BOT).
♦ These raise fears that icebergs may have an impact on the rich biodiversity of the island.
♦ With ocean currents, icebergs migrate and either get swept up in deeper waters or land themselves.
♦ The US National Ice Center (USNIC) recently reported that there are two new A68a cut icebergs that are big enough to name and map.
♦ They are called A68E and A68F.

International Current Affairs December 4th Week 2020

Indias Minister Met The Top Leaders of Qatar:

India`s Minister of Foreign Affairs met with the top leaders of Qatar and discussed strengthening cooperation between the two countries on economic and security issues. This visit is part of India`s ongoing West Asian outreach, which the government considers to be part of the expansion of its neighbourhood. Qatar is a member of the Council for Cooperation in the Gulf.
♦ India and Qatar agree to maintain regular consultation and coordination in multilateral forums on all matters of mutual concern (including oil, energy, energy, petrochemical industry, investment, infrastructure, growth, export and education projects).
♦ Discussed ways of improving multi-faceted bilateral ties in the oil, commerce, investment, food processing, healthcare, education, culture, defence and security sectors.
♦ During the Covid-19 pandemic, India thanked Qatar for taking care of the people in the Indian community.
♦ During the pandemic, India and Qatar maintained close, high-level contacts.
♦ India appreciated the dedication of the Qatar Businessmen Association to developing a business relationship with India and briefed them on Atmanirbhar Bharat`s new opportunities.
♦ Qatar`s leader appreciated the contribution of Qatar`s Indian community and reviewed his visit to India.
Recent Developments:
In order to address the economic effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, both countries have agreed to set up a special task force to encourage investment from the Qatar Investment Authority as part of India`s continued promotion to major countries in West Asia. Both parties agree to institutionalise efforts to encourage and secure the rights of workers, including the settlement of labour disputes and the healthy and reliable promotion of people`s movement between the two countries.

Economy Current Affairs December 4th Week 2020

India To Become Fifth Largest Economy In 2025:

A recent study published by the Center for Economics and Business Research (CBER) forecasts that in 2025, India will once again surpass the United Kingdom as the fifth largest economy and leap to third position by 2030. CBER is a UK-based company that provides public and private companies with independent economic forecasts.
♦ The Indian economy will grow by 9% in 2021 and 7% in 2022.
♦ This trend of growth will make India the third largest economy in the world by 2030, surpassing the UK in 2025, Germany in 2027 and Japan in 2030.
♦ In 2028, thanks to the contrasting recoveries of the two countries from the Covid-19 pandemic, China will absorb the USA to become the world`s largest economy, five years earlier than previously predicted.
♦ Japan will remain the third-largest economy in the world until India overtakes it in the early 2030s, dragging Germany down from fourth to fifth.
♦ Previously, India surpassed the UK in 2019 to become the fifth-largest economy in the world, but in 2020 it dropped to sixth place.
♦ Even before the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, the Indian economy has been losing momentum.
♦ A combination of factors, including the fragility of the financial system, reforms and changes (Demonetisation, GST) and the slowdown in global trade, has resulted in a slowdown in growth.
♦ For the second quarter of 2020 (April to June), GDP is 23.9% lower than the 2019 pace, suggesting that nearly a quarter of the country`s economic output has been depleted by global demand and the deterioration of domestic demand, followed by a series of strict national lockdowns.

Defence Current Affairs December 4th Week 2020

Kamov-226T: Utility Helicopters is to be Waived

For a waiver to send the Kamov-226T (Ka-226T) utility helicopters to Russia, the Indian Army will approach the Defense Ministry. In 2015, an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) was signed by India and Russia to purchase 200 Ka-226T helicopters.
♦ An Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) was signed by India and Russia in 2015 to purchase 200 Ka-226T helicopters, estimated to be worth more than USD 1 billion.
♦ The Kamov-226T is designed to replace the Indian Army and Air Force`s Cheetah and Chetak fleets.
♦ Ka-226T is the design of the famous Kamov Design Bureau in Russia.
♦ This is a light helicopter with a maximum take-off weight of 3.5 tonnes or more and a maximum payload of 1 tonne.
♦ The Ka-226T uses a coaxial rotor, which in high altitude conditions is particularly beneficial.
♦ The Ka-226T also has a special, removable "mission" cabin that allows the helicopter to adapt to various tasks, such as surveillance and delivery of cargo.

Science & Technology Current Affairs December 4th Week 2020

BBX11 Gene: Greening Of Plants Was Recognized:

The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) has acknowledged that the gene BBX11 can promote crop greening. This gene plays a key role in controlling the levels of protochlorophyllide, which is an intermediate product of the biosynthesis of the green pigment chlorophyll.
♦ The gene `BBX11` has been identified by IISER scientists. The thesis was recently published in the "New Phytologist" British journal. A long, multi-step process includes the synthesis of chlorophyll in plants.
♦ It must synthesise chlorophyll quickly when the seedling emerges from under the soil to sustain its growth.
♦ To facilitate chlorophyll`s rapid synthesis, plants make a chlorophyll precursor called "protochlorophyllide" in the dark, which glows red when blue light is shone on the plant.
♦ The light-dependent enzymes transform protochlorophyllide to chlorophyll after plants reach the light from below the soil.
♦ The amount of synthesised protochlorophyllide must be proportional to the number of available enzymes to turn it into chlorophyll.
♦ Exposure to light will turn it into molecules that cause `photobleaching` if there is too much free protochlorophyllide.

Cabinet Approved The Export Of The Akash Missile System:

The export of Akash missile systems was recently approved by the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In addition, a committee was formed to rapidly allow the export of missile systems.


♦ The Indian government`s target is to export $5 billion worth of Akash missiles. The Akash missile has more than 96 percent local material, according to the Ministry of Defense.

♦ By 2025, the export of Akash missiles will assist the Indian government to achieve US$ 25 billion in defence manufacturing turnover.

♦ In the next five years, the Indian Armed Forces will invest more than US$130 billion on capital purchases. This will also help promote the manufacturing sector for defence.

♦ The Akash missile is a local surface-to-air short-range missile with a 25 kilometre range.

♦ It was developed under the Comprehensive Guided Missile Development Plan by the National Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). In 1984, the integrated guided missile development programme started.

♦ It is made by Bharat Dynamics Limited. The missile has a 25-kilometer range and can strike the target in any weather. In the air, this missile can travel 18,000 metres.

♦ Fighter jets, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles can be destroyed. There are 6 launchers in each "Akash" missile regiment, and each launcher has 3 "Akash" missiles.

♦ Several defence sector reforms were announced in May 2020 by the Minister of Finance. These reforms are aimed at developing the country`s defence production capabilities, boosting exports and equipping its defence forces effectively.

♦ Independent budget investments were also made in order to buy military equipment made in India. The foreign direct investment cap for the defence sector was increased from 49 percent to 74 percent under the automatic path.


♦ India forbids 101 weapons and military platforms from being imported, such as conventional warships, light-fighting helicopters, cruise missiles, aircraft transport and sonar systems.

USAs Plan To Have Nuclear Reactor On Moon:

By the end of 2026, the United States aims to build the first nuclear reactor on the moon, a new order recently released by the White House. The National Strategy for Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion was provided by the President of the United States. In collaboration with NASA, the US Department of Energy is also preparing to seek industry design proposals for the same purpose in early 2021.
♦ In order to support the sustained lunar presence and exploration of Mars, NASA is expected to launch the fission surface power for lunar surface demonstration by 2027 with scalability to a power range of 40 kilowatt-electric and higher, according to the instructions.
♦ The aim of NASA is to develop a flight hardware system that is ready by the end of 2026 to be incorporated with the lunar lander.
♦ Upcoming robotic and human exploration missions to the Moon and Mars would benefit from fission power systems (called nuclear reactors).
♦ It is necessary for these missions to provide a safe, reliable, and readily accessible power source, and fission surface power systems may meet these requirements.
♦ The fission surface energy system will be completely manufactured and assembled on Earth and integrated as a payload on the lander.
♦ The system consists of four main subsystems: nuclear reactors, conversion units for electric power, cooling arrays, and subsystems for power management and distribution.
♦ It will be designed to operate for up to 10 years.

Radio Waves Emission Detected From The Direction Of Proxima Centauri:

Astronomers recently picked up radio wave emissions from the direction of Proxima Centauri from the $100 million "Breakthrough Listening" project (the closest star to our Sun). The Breakthrough Listen project was initiated by physicist Stephen Hawking.
♦ In Proxima Centauri, the news ignited curiosity. It is assumed that one of the planets of Proxima Centauri orbits in the habitable zone of the star, thus raising the likelihood of life or its maintenance.
♦ Proxima Centauri is 4.2 light-years away from the Sun.
♦ Its mass is roughly one-eighth of that of the sun, and it is too faint to be seen from Earth with the naked eye.
Key Facts About Proxima b:
♦ The topic of intense curiosity is Proxima b, one of the two planets orbiting the star.
♦ Proxima b is 1.2 times the size of Earth and orbits the star every 11 days, situated in the Goldilocks region of Proxima Centauri.
♦ The Goldilocks zone is the region around the star where the atmosphere of the surrounding planets (e.g. Earth is in the Goldilocks zone of the Sun) is not too hot and not too cold for liquid water to occur.
♦ However, this does not mean that there is water on Proxima b.
♦ If its atmosphere has been stripped away by solar flares from Proxima Centauri, it may also be hostile to life.

Environment Current Affairs December 3rd Week 2020

India adds Tso Kar wetland complex to Ramsar site:

India has added the Tso Kar wetland complex to the Ramsar site, making substantial progress in protecting biodiversity. In the Changtang region of Ladakh, the 42nd batch of internationally significant Tso Kar wetland is situated above 4,500 metres above sea level.
♦ Two related lakes, the Startsapuk Tso freshwater and the larger Tso Kar super-salinity, are included in the complex and show famous examples of two adjacent lakes.
♦ The name Tso Kar refers to the white salt weathering caused by salt lake water evaporation on the edge of the lake.
♦ The local climate is arid, and the lake`s primary source of water is glacial meltwater.
♦ The existence of lakes, especially freshwater, in areas where species are sparse, attracts biodiversity.
♦ Many endangered species, including the endangered falcon (Falco cherrug) and Asian wild dog (Cuon alpinus laniger), and the vulnerable snow leopard, are found at the site (Panthera uncia).
♦ This station is also a major migratory bird transfer station along the Central Asia Line and is also one of the most popular breeding grounds for black-necked Indian cranes (Grus nigricollis).
♦ The Ramsar Convention is a UNESCO-established intergovernmental environmental treaty that entered into force in 1975. A wetland of international significance named under the Ramsar Convention is the Ramsar Wetland.

Important Days Current Affairs December 4th Week 2020

National Consumer Rights Day is celebrated on 24 December:

India celebrates National Consumer Rights Day every December 24th. Celebrate March 15, Global Consumer Rights Day. In order to protect consumers` interests, India celebrates National Consumer Day. Celebrating the National Day of Consumer Rights this year with the following theme: Sustainable Consumer Rights
♦ On December 24, which was the "Consumer Protection Law" promulgated on this day in 1986, the National Consumer Rights Day was celebrated.
♦ The six rights of consumers are acknowledged in the Consumer Act. They have the right to choose, to correct, to hear, to teach, to defend, and to know.
♦ The right to protection is the right to be protected in such a way that goods and services which endanger life and property are not placed on the market.
♦ Quality, quantity, potency, purity, product prices, and standards have been told of the right to know.
♦ Right of hearing means that the opinions of consumers should be listened to and that, under reasonable circumstances, due consideration should be given to consumers` rights and interests.
♦ The right to redress seeks remedies for unequal trade and exploitation practises. According to the bill, at the regional, state, and central levels, fast and easy remedies for consumers will be created.
♦ The right to know is the right to know the competitive prices of goods and services.
♦ In compliance with the Consumer Protection Law, the Central Consumer Protection Bureau was established. It was set up under the 2019 Consumer Protection Act.
♦ This organisation has the authority to prosecute matters relating to consumer rights abuses. It will primarily ensure that the goods and services supplied comply with the regulations of the Indian Agency for Food Safety and Standards.
♦ It is entitled to remove services which are unhealthy, harmful and dangerous to customers by demanding the return of the price of goods or services and suspending discriminatory practises.
Good Governance Day Is Observed On 25 December:
To commemorate the anniversary of the birth of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, December 25th is observed as Good Governance Day every year.
♦ The Good Governance Day aims to raise awareness among the people of India of transparency in government.
♦ The process of decision-making and the process of implementing (or not implementing) decisions is governance.
♦ Governance, such as corporate governance, international governance, national governance, and local governance, can be used in many ways.
♦ Eight Characteristics of Good Governance, as identified by the United Nations, are:
-Involvement, the rule of law, openness, responsiveness, orientation of consensus, fairness, effectiveness and performance, accountability
♦ Challenges to Good Governance in India:
-Women Empowerment, Corruption, Delay in Justice
Administrative Framework Centralisation, Democratic Criminalization, Environmental Stability, Sustainable Growth, Globalization Problems, Liberalization and Market Economy
♦ Initiatives Taken by Government are:
-National e-Governance Programme, Good Governance Index, Access to Information Act, 2005
-Other Initiatives are: Setting up NITI Aayog, Make in India programme, Lokpal, etc. 



National Current Affairs December 4th Week 2020

Chillai Kalan Started In Kashmir Valley:

The 40-day cold winter `chillai kalan` started on the 21st of December in the Kashmir Valley, and the night temperature was below zero throughout the region.
Key Facts:
♦ The 40-day cold winter will last until January 31.
♦ Chillai Kalan is followed by Chillai-Khurd and Chillai-Bachha.
♦ Chillai Khurd (small cold) lasts for 20 days, starting from January 31st to February 19th.
♦ Between February 20 and March 2, Chillai-Bachha (baby cold), a 10-day duration, occurred.
♦ Chillai Kalan is usually considered to be the heart of winter, generally with snow, the freezing of water bodies like Dal Lake and highway closures is caused by sub-zero temperature.

Union Health Minister Nominated To The Board Of GAVI:

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Health of the Union, has been elected to the Board of GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance. The Minister of Vaccinations and Immunization Immunization (GAVI) has been nominated by the Global Alliance as a member of the GAVI board. He will be serving the GAVI Board constituency of the South East Area Regional Office (SEARO)/Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO). From 1 January 2021 until 31 December 2023, he will hold the post. 



The GAVI Vaccine Alliance has vaccinated 822 million children in the world`s poorest countries as part of its goal to save lives, alleviate hunger and secure the world from pandemics and avoid more than 14 million future fatalities. GAVI was founded under the name `Global Vaccines and Immunization Alliance` in 2000. It was initiated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It is a collaboration between the Foundation, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank and governments around the world. The GAVI is dedicated to improving the use of vaccines among the most vulnerable children.

Ministry Of Housing And Urban Affairs Has Launched E-Sampada:

E-Sampada, a new web portal and smartphone application, has been unveiled by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. A single window for all resources is provided by the new application.


♦ The new application offers a single window for all facilities, including the allocation of more than 100,000 government residences, the allocation of office space in 45 office buildings in 28 cities to government agencies, and the booking of 1,176 vacation homes.

♦ The portal provides users throughout India with online facilities to make complaints, send documents and hold virtual hearings.

♦ This is a significant step towards increasing transparency and accountability for e-government and offering multiple real estate services such as allocation, retention, regularisation and certification without membership fees.

♦ The best use of resources can be supported by real-time information on asset use and service delivery. Manual interference will be reduced by automated processes and accountability will be improved.

Indian Railways Will Establish the Kisan Rail:

From Sangola in Maharashtra to Shalimar in West Bengal, the Prime Minister will flag off the 100th Kisan Rail. Through a public-private partnership, Indian Railways will create "Kisan Rail" (PPP).
♦ In ensuring rapid transportation of agricultural products across the world, Kisan Rail has become a game-changer. It provides quick transport of goods that are perishable.
♦ Vegetables and fruit will be transported via the multi-commodity train service. It is permitted at all stops on the way to load and unload perishable goods, and does not restrict the size of the consignment.
♦ A 50 percent subsidy for the transportation of fruits and vegetables is offered by the Government of India.
♦ A national cold supply chain for transporting perishable goods has been established by the Indian Railways and Kisan Rail.
♦ "In the general budget (2019-20), the Minister of Finance announced: "The Indian Railways will develop a `Kisan Rail` through PPP arrangements. To build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, including milk and meat, the express trains and freight trains should be fitted with refrigerated coaches.

President Lays The Foundation Stone For Various Developmental Projects In Diu:

For various development projects in Diu, the President of India laid the foundation stone. In the "Swachh Survekshan" 2019, Daman and Diu ranked first.
♦ Diu has been working hard in the Union Territory to build and maintain civic facilities.
♦ As a result of these efforts, over the past 4 years, the Union Territory has won approximately 40 social development awards and distinctions from different Indian government ministries.
♦ Through these efforts, Diu has become India`s first city that can meet 100% of its solar energy needs.
♦ All three districts are declared "Open Defecation Free" in the Union Territory.
♦ Daman and Diu ranked first in the 2019 "Swachh Survekshan".

Sports Current Affairs December 3rd Week 2020

Ministry of Sports included Gatka, Kalaripayattu in Indigenous games and sports:

In the 2021 Khelo India Youth Games, the Ministry of Sports included Gatka, Kalaripayattu, Thang-Ta and Mallakhamba. A national yojana/scheme for the growth of sports in India, introduced in 2018, is the Khelo India Programme. The 2021 Khelo Indian Games are expected to be held in Haryana.
Gatka originated from the Punjab province. "It is the "Nihang Sikh" warriors` traditional fighting style, used for self-defense and sports.
Kalaripayattu is a Kerala-derived traditional style of martial art. It is known as India`s oldest living martial art and one of the world`s oldest surviving martial arts. Its roots can be traced back to the 3rd century BCE, at least.
Thang-Ta is a form of martial art from Manipur. It`s part of the Huyen Langlon Martial Art. Thang-Ta means armed war. Another feature of Huyen langlon is sarit sarak (unarmed combat). "Thang" means sword and "Ta" means spear, both of which are the main arms of Huyen langlon.
A traditional sport that originated in the Indian subcontinent is Mallakhamba or Mallakhamb. Aerial yoga or gymnastics postures and grappling grip with vertical stationary or hanging wooden pole, cane, or rope are done by gymnasts in this sport. The use of Sheesham poles, crutches or ropes was practised in three common versions of Mallakhamb. It was declared to be a state-run sport in Madhya Pradesh in 2013.

Defence Current Affairs December 3rd Week 2020

DRDO Systems Handed Over To Chiefs of Armed Forces:

Three indigenously developed Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) systems were handed over to the Army, Navy, and Air Force by the Defence Minister.
Systems handed over include:
♦ Indian Maritime Situational Awareness System (IMSAS) – Navy
♦ ASTRA Mk-I Missile – Air Force
♦ Border Surveillance System (BOSS) – Army
Indian Maritime Situational Awareness System (IMSAS):
IMSAS is the most modern, entirely indigenous, high-performance smart software framework that can provide global maritime charts, marine planning tools and analytical functions to the Indian Navy. In order to allow naval command and control, the device provides maritime operational images from the naval headquarters to each ship at sea (C2). The Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), Bangalore, and the Navy are conceptualising the framework. Bharat Electronics Co., Ltd.(BEL) in Bangalore.
It is the first indigenously produced Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile and can be fired from Sukhoi-30, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Mig-29, and Mig-29K. The weapon system was developed and manufactured by Bharat Power Co., Ltd. (BDL), Hyderabad, by the Defense Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad.
Border Surveillance System (BOSS):
This is an automated all-weather monitoring device. The device has been deployed for day and night surveillance in the Ladakh Border Region. The system enables tracking and monitoring by automatically detecting intrusions in harsh sub-zero temperature regions with remote operating capabilities at high altitudes. The Instrument Research and Development Agency (IRDE), Dehradun, designs and develops it. It is manufactured by Machilipatnam`s Bharat Electronics Co., Ltd. (BEL).
India successfully test fired MRSAM:
India successfully tested a medium-range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) fired off the Odisha coast on 23 December. The Indian Army is expected to induct rockets. It will greatly increase the battle performance of the defence forces.
♦ The missile was launched at pad number-1 of the Integrated Test Range from a ground mobile launcher (ITR). 
♦ With precision, the missile reached the target and was tracked by different radars and electro-optical instruments.
♦ In collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries, the missile was jointly produced.
♦ The unmanned air vehicle (UAV) Banshee was first flown into the air and was struck by MRSAM. Bharat Dynamics Ltd developed the MRSAM.

Memorandum of Understanding Current Affairs December 3rd Week 2020

Mou Signed Between India And The USA:

An MoU between India and the United States was authorised by the Cabinet to share information on areas of shared interest in the electricity sector.
♦ The MoU was signed between India`s Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) and the United States` Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
♦ The MoU would help to strengthen the regulatory and policy structure so that an efficient wholesale electricity market can be developed and grid reliability improved.
♦ The CERC is a statutory agency which operates under Sec 76 of the 2003 Electricity Act.
♦ Under the Electricity Regulatory Commission Act of 1998, it was originally established in 1998. 
♦ The Committee aims to foster competitiveness, productivity and economic activity in the bulk power market, to improve the quality of supply, to stimulate investment and to recommend to the Government that structural barriers be eliminated to bridge the gap between supply and demand, thereby promoting customer interests.
Some of the functions of CERC:
♦ Regulate electricity prices for companies owned or operated by the central government for power generation;
♦ Regulate electricity transmission between inter-state.
♦ Determine the price of electricity for inter-State electricity transmission.
♦ Charge fees for the purposes of the Act.
♦ Specify the grid code according to the grid standard;
♦ Specify and enforce standards for the quality, consistency and efficiency of services rendered by the licensee;
♦ When necessary, determine the transaction margin in the inter-state power transaction;
♦ Some advisory roles are also carried out by CERC, such as the formulation of National Electricity Policies and Tariff Policies.
Indian Army signs MoU with Bank of Baroda for new Baroda Military Salary Package:
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Baroda Military Salary Package was signed by the Indian Army and the Bank of Baroda. Lt Gen Ravin Khosla, DG(MP&PS) and Shri Vikramaditya Singh Khichi, Executive Director of Bank of Baroda, have signed the MoU. The MoU lays down the basis on which the Bank of Baroda will provide banking services to serving and retired Indian Army personnel.
♦ Services under the Baroda Military Salary Plan will be provided through the Bank`s network of over 8,200 domestic branches and over 20,000 company correspondent touchpoints to serving and retired Indian Army personnel.
♦ The plan would include very attractive benefits, including free personal accident insurance coverage, permanent complete disability coverage, partial disability coverage and large amounts of air accident insurance coverage, and Higher Education Cover and Girl Child Marriage Cover on death in the case of serving workers.
♦ Other deals under the bundle will include unlimited free ATM transactions at all bank ATMs, waivers or concessions on different retail loan service charges, free RTGS/NEFT remittance facility, free Demand Draft/Cheque, Banker`s significant locker rental discounts, and numerous additional card use benefits.
A Virtual Summit Between India and Bangladesh:
A virtual summit was organised by the Prime Ministers of India & Bangladesh. There were detailed consultations between the two sides on all aspects of bilateral ties and exchanges of views on regional and international issues.
MoUs and agreements were signed on:
♦ Cooperation in the field of Hydrocarbon Sector.
♦ India grants assistance through local bodies and other public sector agencies to undertake high-impact community development projects.
♦ Protocol on Transboundary Elephant Conservation
♦ Provide equipment and develop the waste/solid waste disposal ground at Barishal City Corporation`s Lamchori field.
♦ Cooperation in the field of Agriculture
♦ MoU between the National Museum, New Delhi, India and the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial Museum, Dhaka, Bangladesh 
♦ Terms of reference of the Bangladesh - India CEO`s Forum

World Bank Signs $500 Million Project to Develop Green NH Corridors:

The Government of India (GoI) and the World Bank have signed a $500 million project in the states of Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh to build secure and green national highway corridors. The purpose of the project is to improve the capacity of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) to combine safety and green technology.
♦ The Green National Highways Corridors Project will help MoRTH to develop 783 km of highways in different geographies by combining healthy and green technology models, such as local and industrial by-products, marginal materials, and other bioengineering solutions, in compliance with the project agreement. 
♦ The project would help to minimise GHG emissions from highway building and maintenance.
♦ The transport infrastructure is aimed at providing smooth connectivity and reducing the cost of logistics.
♦ In order to enhance and boost the efficiency of logistics, the Government of India has initiated several investment programmes in infrastructure in the road sector. 
♦ The project will help analytics on the National Highway network to map freight volume and movement trends, provide creative logistics solutions and identify constraints.
♦ In the states of Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, the selected stretches will also help to boost connectivity and encourage economic growth.

Economy Current Affairs December 3rd Week 2020

The US Puts India on Currency Watchlist:

India was included by the US Treasury Department on its watch list of currency manipulators. Vietnam and Switzerland are designated as manipulators of currencies. The U.S. in 2019 The Treasury Department exempted India from the watch list of its major trading partners of its currency manipulators.
Currency Manipulators:
This is a mark imposed on a country by the US government that aims to purposely devalue its currency for "unfair currency practises" against the U.S. dollar. This practise means that in order to achieve an unfair advantage over other nations, the nation artificially decreases the value of its currency. This is because the devaluation of the currency would lower the export costs of the country, thus artificially demonstrating a decrease in the trade deficit.
Currency Manipulator Watch List:
♦ A semi-annual report is released by the US Treasury Department, which must follow the growth of the international economy and check foreign exchange rates.
♦ Criteria: The watch list would include an economy that meets two of the three requirements found in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Compliance Act 2015. This includes:
♦ "Significant" bilateral trade surplus with the United States at least $20 billion in 12 months.
♦ The current account surplus is equivalent to at least 2% of the gross domestic product over the course of 12 months (GDP).
♦ The listing will not be punished or sanctioned in any way whatsoever, but will destroy the global financial reputation of the country on the foreign exchange market, even by underestimating the currency in order to obtain an export advantage.
♦ India, Taiwan, and Thailand have joined the other seven countries on the watch list. Other countries on the list include China, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Italy, Singapore, and Malaysia.

International Current Affairs December 3rd Week 2020

UK And EU Have Agreed To Continue Brexit Trade Deal Talks:

The United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) have agreed to begin talks on the Brexit trade agreement and to reduce the deadline for the post-Brexit trade agreement to the end of the transition period on 31 December. The 11-month period expires on 31 December 2020, after which the UK continues to participate in the EU Customs Union and the Single Market.
♦ The time of transition ensures that there is no unexpected shock, but a degree of stability that helps both parties to secure an orderly Brexit, mitigating disruption to people, industries, governments and international partners.
♦ Significant gaps exist in post-Brexit trade deal talks on three critical issues: equal opportunities, governance and fisheries. The "evolution mechanism" or "parity mechanism" was dismissed by the United Kingdom.  
♦ The goal of this mechanism is to prevent the United Kingdom from weakening the European Union if the bloc chooses to increase its standards in areas such as environmental regulation or the rights of workers. A agreement that left it bound by EU rules in the future could not be approved by the United Kingdom.  
♦ The United Kingdom wants to reach an agreement through bilateral talks with EU representatives, but the EU has already indicated that the process should be handled by a joint committee of EU and UK officials, that arbitration should be held in the event of conflicts and that negotiations should be conducted by a committee on behalf of all 27 member states of the bloc. 
♦ The main emphasis is on the access of the fishing fleets of the European Union to the waters of the United Kingdom and according to sources, France is leading the task in this field and has been seeking access rights for at least 10 years, a request that the United Kingdom does not wish to submit, arguing that it has failed to satisfy the conditions for the restoration of controls in order to leave the block.

IND-INDO CORPAT Between Both The Navies:

The 35th edition of Organized Patrol India-Indonesia (IND-INDO CORPAT). IND-INDO CORPAT takes place between the Indian and Indonesian navies.


The two navies have been enforcing CORPAT along their International Maritime Boundary Line since 2002, with the goal of ensuring the protection and security of shipping and international trade in the region, in order to improve maritime relations. CORPAT develops naval awareness and interoperability and encourages steps to deter and avoid IUU fishing, drug trafficking, maritime terrorism, armed robbery and piracy. The Indian Navy Ship (INS) Kulish and the P8I Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) participated in the CORPAT. INS Kulish is an indigenous missile corvette.



As part of the SAGAR (Safety and Development for All in the Country) vision of the GOI - Government of India, the Indian Navy has actively cooperated with countries in the Indian Ocean region to coordinate patrols, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surveillance, pass exercises, and bilateral/multilateral cooperation exercises to improve Regional Maritime Security.

Israel Has Established Diplomatic Ties With Bhutan:

Diplomatic relations with Bhutan were established by Israel. In a deal brokered with US assistance, the development comes two days after Israel and Morocco agreed to normalise relations.
♦ Morocco became the fourth Arab nation in the past four months to participate in hostilities with Israel after the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain (Abraham Accords) and Sudan.
♦ Since 1982, Israel has supported Bhutan`s development of human capital, especially in the field of agricultural development, benefiting hundreds of young Bhutanese people.
♦ The two countries still maintain a cordial relationship, despite the lack of official interaction between the two countries.
♦ Israel briefly had a non-resident ambassador to Bhutan in 2010.
♦ Hundreds of Bhutanese youths have been educated by the Israel International Development Cooperation Agency (MASHAV) since 2013.
♦ Formal diplomatic ties have been formed between the two countries and they have agreed to cooperate closely in different sectors.
♦ The two sides will not set up embassies in Thimphu and Tel Aviv, and will coordinate in Delhi via their missions.
♦ The establishing of trade relationships would open up new avenues for cooperation between the two countries in the areas of water management, technology, growth of human capital, agricultural science and other areas of mutual benefit.
♦ Bhutan, which restricts the number of people entering Bhutan, could now be more accessible to Israelis with regard to tourism.
♦ The relations between the two communities would also be further enhanced by cultural exchanges and tourism.

Environment Current Affairs December 3rd Week 2020

Five Years of Paris Climate Accord on 12 December:

Before the Climate Ambition Summit, which will commence on 12 December 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland, India reaffirmed its commitment to the Paris Climate Accord. The Climate Ambition Summit 2020 will mark the Paris Agreement`s 5th anniversary. It will include a forum to demonstrate the commitment of government and non-government representatives to the Paris Agreement and to multilateral processes.
Climate Ambition Summit 2020:
Goal: Formulate new ambitious commitments on the basis of the Paris Agreement`s three pillars, namely prevention, adaptation and financial obligations.
Scope: The summit will provide a constructive forum for corporations, cities and other non-state actors to work together and work together to help the government and accelerate the structural shifts needed to reduce pollution and create resilience.
Organizer: United Nations, United Kingdom and France in cooperation with Chile and Italy.
Paris Climate Accord:
Legal status: This is a legally binding international treaty on climate change.
Adoption: The agreement was accepted by 196 countries at the COP 21 Conference of Parties in Paris in December 2015.
Target: Limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, ideally below 1.5 degrees Celsius, as opposed to pre-industrial times.
Goal: In order to achieve long-term temperature targets, the goal of all countries is to hit the peak of global greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible before the middle of this century, in order to achieve a climate-neutral environment.
Current Status of Global Emissions:
All states have submitted their national commitments to mitigate and adapt to climate change five years after the signing of the Paris Agreement. This contribution is not necessary to meet a threshold of less than 2 degrees Celsius and is even higher than the threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius set by the Paris Agreement. Only Bhutan, the Philippines, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Morocco and Gambia comply with the deal, with the exception of India. China is the highest greenhouse gas emitter of nearly 30% while the US accounts for 13.5% and the EU accounts for 8.7%.
India`s Current Emissions:
The report published earlier this year by the United Nations reported that India`s per capita emissions are currently 60% lower than the global average. Emissions from the nation grew by 1.4 percent in 2019, well below the average annual level of 3.3 percent over the past decade.
Some of the Measures taken by India to Control Emissions:
Specifications of the Bharat Stage (BS) VI: These are the emission control standards set by the government to regulate air pollution. National Solar Energy Mission: This is the Indian and state governments` main initiative to encourage sustainable ecological growth while addressing the challenges of India in terms of energy protection. National Hybrid Strategy for Wind-solar 2018: The main goal of this policy is to provide a framework to promote the development of large-scale grid-connected wind-solar photovoltaic (PV) hybrid systems for optimal and efficient utilization of wind and solar resources, transmission infrastructure and land. All these and many other initiatives have helped India reduce 164 million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions.
The Air Quality Board instructs 100% Conversion Industry:
Together with the government of Delhi NCT, GAIL and Indraprastha Gas Limited, the NCR and the adjacent area`s Air Quality Management Committee checked the progress of the conversion of the Delhi pipeline industry to natural gas (PNG).
♦ While PNG is used by a large number of industries, the Committee stressed that, given that the industrial sector is one of the key factors causing air pollution in Delhi and the National Capital Region, all of the industries found in Delhi must move to PNG.
♦ In accordance with the National Capital Region (NCR) Air Quality Management Act and adjacent areas, the committee was formed in November 2020.
♦ In terms of air pollution reduction, all existing bodies, including the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Delhi, UP, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan National Pollution Control Boards, have been replaced.
♦ The centre disbanded NCR`s Environmental Pollution Prevention and Control Department via this decree (EPCA). The Committee shall be a permanent body and shall be headed, in the capacity of Secretary or Chief Secretary, by a government official. It`s a legislative authority.
♦ A representative of the Minister of the Environment, five members of the Secretariat will serve ex officio, and two full-time members of the Joint Secretariat will become members.
♦ Three members from the CPCB, ISRO, air quality experts and NGOs.
♦ Representatives from other ministries and commissions, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Petroleum, Power, Road Transport and Highways, Housing and Urban Affairs, and Industry and Trade, will be associate members of the Group.
Powers of the committee:
♦ It may issue orders and file complaints in order to protect and improve air quality in the capital region and surrounding areas, and it is also responsible for taking all such steps to protect and improve air quality.
♦ The committee may take action to reduce air pollution and control or ban activities in the NCR and adjacent areas that may cause or increase pollution.
♦ It has jurisdiction over the NCR, including the regions of Punjab, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan.
♦ The committee has the right to punish, including incarceration and extreme punishment. Only by the National Green Tribunal, not by the civil court, will proceedings involving the committee be tried.
AnSI reported Exploitation of Sentinel Island will wipe out tribals:
The policy document of the Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) warns that commercial activities may pose a threat to groups in danger of extinction. Any use of the Andaman`s North Outpost Island for commercial and strategic advantages is dangerous to its occupier, Sentinese, according to ANSI.
♦ Anthropological Survey of India (ANSI) recorded that any exploitation for commercial and strategic benefits of the Andaman`s North Outpost Island is dangerous to its Sentinese occupier.
♦ It also claimed that on the island, the rights of the people are non-negotiable, inviolable and inviolable.
♦ For eternity and sanctity, the primary responsibility of the state is to protect these privileges.
♦ On their island, there should not be any economic or strategic interests.
♦ The document also called for a knowledge base in Sentinese to be created.
♦ "Since "field research" can not be carried out by tribal groups, anthropologists propose "distant cultural research".
♦ The Sentineles are the most distant tribe, and on the Andamans, the especially vulnerable tribe (PVTG) is entirely isolated. It has a population on North Qianshao Island of approximately 50 to 100.
♦ Not only are they one of the most isolated countries with almost 70 PVTGs in the world, they are also one of the five countries on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, including the Andaman, Angers, Galawa and Champence.
♦ While PVTG is categorised as both Sentinese and Great Andamanese, the tribe lives in two entirely distinct environments of contact.
♦ Their contact with the outside world is almost zero as far as the Sentinels are concerned, although the Greater Andaman has been in contact with the world outside the island for decades.
Indian Gaur Visible In The Urban Landscape Of Pune:
As it was visible in Pune`s urban environment, the Indian Bison became the subject of the headlines, leading to its arrest and death due to injuries. The devastating news of her death brought the rivalry between the nation`s people and Gaur into the spotlight.
Indian Gaur:
Scientific name: BosGaurus.
This is one of the biggest livestock in existence. Among wild cattle, it is one of the largest species.
Habitat: Gaurs occur from South Asia to Southeast Asia in forest hills and grasslands.
They exist in India, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. The Western Ghats in southern India is one of the most extensive Gaul fortresses in existence, especially in the Wayanad, Nagarhole, Mudumalai, Bandipur complex.
Gaur is the state animal of Goa and Bihar.
IUCN status: Vulnerable
The Indian government has included it in Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
It is listed in CITES Appendix I.
International Bank Applauds Indias Efforts Towards River Rejuvenation & Cleanliness:
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development praised India`s efforts in river rejuvenation.
♦ At the 5th India Water Effect Summit, the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and the Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (cGanga) organised a debate.
♦ The India Water Effect Summit is an annual event where many stakeholders come together to identify, discuss and create model solutions for some of the country`s largest water-related issues.
♦ The International Bank for Reconstruction & Development said it was very proud of all the work that has been done in India especially to curb open defecation.
♦ The IBRD also demonstrated that there has been a shift in how to deal with open defecation issues. Focus on education and understanding of the risks of open defecation has always been the path to progress, as has attention to infrastructure.
River cleaning exercise:
India clearly mentioned at the "Digital Water" conference its intention to cooperate with the United States to create the digital foundation of India for the water sector.
A US representative who participated in the discussion said water "equity" is crucial and shared the US Clean Water Act." success storey.
In order to speed up the entry of innovative technologies and solutions into the Indian market, US companies hope to cooperate with their Indian peers and propose areas ranging from artificial intelligence to the most advanced methods of infrastructure development. Interestingly, the "Jal Jeevan Mission" was also launched by India, whose aim is to distribute water equally to all individuals. It is noteworthy that the Mission of Namami Ganges has the advantages of political and financial factors. The discussion was coordinated by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and the Center for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies at the 5th India Water Effect Summit (cGanga).

Awards Current Affairs December 3rd Week 2020

Helpage India Has Been Presented The UN Population Award:

In the Organization group, HelpAge India won the 2020 UN Population Award. For her work on sexual wellbeing and the reduction of gender abuse, the Queen Mother of Bhutan, Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck, received the 2020 UN Population Award for Individuals.
♦ The United Nations Population Award Committee honours individuals or organisations every year for their exceptional contributions to challenges and solutions to population and reproductive health issues.
♦ The award was created by the General Assembly for the first time in 1981 and was first awarded in 1983. A gold medal, a certificate and a currency award are included in the award.
♦ It is the leading charity organisation in India, working with vulnerable senior citizens and helping them for almost 40 years. It was established in 1978 and was registered under the Registration Act of the Association of 1860.
♦ This is the first time that this honour has been awarded to an organisation in India in the history of the United Nations Population Prize.
♦ Since the award was established in 1981, only two Indians have earned the award in the past four decades: the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1983 and the industrialist-philanthropist Tata in 1992.
DPIIT invites applications for National Startup Awards:
The second edition of the 2021 NSA - National Entrepreneurship Award is being launched by the DPIIT - Department for the Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade. The award seeks to acknowledge and honour outstanding start-ups and promoters of the ecosystem. 
♦ The award is aimed at recognising and rewarding outstanding start-ups and promoters of the ecosystem, these companies develop creative products or solutions and scalable companies, these companies have tremendous potential to create employment or income, demonstrating that they can quantify the social impact. The economic interests of investors, but also the commitment to social security, must not only be taken into account.
♦ It also seeks to acknowledge developments that concentrate on locating essential things that are important to Atma Nirbhar Bharat.
♦ The Startup Award will be divided into 15 categories in 49 areas.
♦ Farming, animal husbandry, drinking water, education and skills development, electricity, business systems, the environment, financial technology, food processing, health and wellness, industry 4.0, protection, space, transport and travel are these 15 industries.
♦ Six special awards were also given to start-ups in educational institutions that have had an impact on rural areas, women entrepreneurs, the ability of alternative goods imported, creativity to combat COVID-19 and the provision of Hindi content.
♦ It will also reward outstanding incubators and accelerators as a key component of a strong startup ecosystem.
♦ Winning start-ups will each earn a cash prize of INR 500,000 in each field. The winner and two runner-ups will also have the ability to present their ideas for future pilot projects and task orders to relevant public bodies and businesses.
♦ They will also be given priority to participate in various domestic and international entrepreneurial activities.
♦ An award-winning incubator and an award-winning accelerator will each receive a cash prize of Rs 1.5 million.

Seven People Won UNEP 2020 Young Championships:

Seven enthusiastic environmentalists have been named as young champions of the earth by the United Nations Environment Programme. Seven entrepreneurs under the age of 30 receive the "Young Champions of the Earth" award every year.
Seven entrepreneurs under the age of 30 receive the "Young Champions of the Earth" award every year. Bold ideas about sustainable environmental change should be given to these entrepreneurs. To broaden their efforts, the winners of this award will receive advice, seed funding, and communication support. The Youth Champion Award seeks to inspire more young people to get closer to the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, the United Nations Environment Recovery Decade (2021-2030). (COP26, to be held in Glasgow in November 2021) and the United Nations Conference on Biological Diversity (to be Held in Kunming in May 2021).
Prize Winners:
♦ The next seven individuals have won the 2020 United Nations Environment Programme Earth Youth Championships
♦ Kenya`s Nzambi Matee is a materials engineer and was awarded for the use of recycled plastic waste and sand for the manufacture of low-cost construction materials.
♦ China`s Xiao Yuanren - He is the chief of the MyH20 group, which tests and tracks groundwater quality in rural China. He received an award for the creation of an app to educate communities about clean water in rural areas.
♦ India`s Vidyut Mohan-he is the co-founder of Takachar. He installed inexpensive portable equipment for biomass upgrades. It enables farmers, by turning crops into fuel, activated carbon and fertiliser, to prevent open burning.
♦ Lefteris Arapakis in Greece - Enaleia was created by him. It teaches local fishing groups to collect plastic from the sea, empowers and encourages them. The collected plastic, including socks and swimsuits, is recycled into fashion products.
♦ American Niria Alicia Garcia (Niria Alicia Garcia) - Niria partnered with the indigenous activist group on a historical trip to the largest watershed in California to carry the Sacramento Chinook Salmon back to life.
♦ In Kuwait, Fatehmah Alzelzela - Fatehmah set up Eco Star, a non-profit recycling initiative. It exchanges trees and plants from schools, households and companies in Kuwait for waste. 130 tonnes of metal, plastic and paper have been recycled by the company so far.
♦ Peru`s Max Hidalgo Quinto - Max founded Yawa. He developed a portable wind turbine capable of collecting 300 litres of water per day from the humidity and fog of the atmosphere. It uses technology for air-water use.

Important Days Current Affairs December 3rd Week 2020

International Universal Health Coverage Day is observed on 12 December:

This day reminds everyone that they should be able to get the quality medical treatment they need without facing financial problems, no matter who they are or where they live. Every year, December 12th is the International Day of Universal Health Coverage.
♦ `Health for all: protecting all` is the theme of UHC Day 2020. On 12 December 2020, the UHC Day Campaign will mark one year since the first COVID-19 cases were registered.
♦ Celebrate this day internationally to highlight the value of universal health coverage (UHC) for a health system that is resilient and robust.
♦ This day reminds everyone that they should be able to get the quality medical treatment they need without facing financial problems, no matter who they are or where they live.
♦ The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution on global health on 12 December 2012, speeding up the process of achieving universal health coverage (UHC).
♦ "A resolution on "Transform Our World: The 2030 Plan for Sustainable Development" was adopted by the UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) on September 25, 2015 and set the aim of achieving universal health coverage by 2030. Provide safe high-quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
♦ UHC ensures that without any financial difficulties, citizens of all groups, sects, castes, etc. receive quality medical services. High-quality treatment, educational facilities, recovery, from health promotion to preventive and palliative care are included.

Vijay Diwas Celebrated Across India:

In the 1971 war, India commemorated its victory over Pakistan on December 16, 2019. In order to help Bangladesh obtain its independence and win the war, India fought against Pakistan. Bangladesh celebrates its independence on the same day.
♦ The three army chiefs reached the war memorial in Delhi to celebrate India`s victory and to pay tribute to the soldiers who served in the war.  
♦ The valiant soldiers who lost their lives in the war were paid homage. Also paying tribute to the soldiers were PM Modi and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, as well as other senior leaders.  
♦ It was on this day that the 93,000-strong Pakistani army surrendered. 1971 Between December 3, 1971, and December 16, 1971, India and Pakistan threatened each other with their armed forces over Bangladesh`s independence for 13 days. 
♦ Armies fought on the Eastern and Western fronts in the United States. After the armies signed the instrument of surrender and declared a new nation for Bangladesh, the war ended on December 16, 1971.  
♦ The date of the NRC of Assam was sealed by the NRC and the Indian War Government as March 24, 1971. This is because, on that specific date, the war officially started.  
♦ The Pakistani army opened fire in Rangpur, Chittagong, and Syedpur on March 24, 1971, killing over 1,000 civilians. The number of immigrants from Bangladesh to Assam and other nearby states subsequently grew. Therefore on March 24, 1971, the NRC`s date was signed.

Goa`s Liberation Day is on 19 December:

The Goa Liberation Day in India is celebrated every year on 19 December and marks the day on which the Indian armed forces liberated Goa in 1961, after 450 years of Portuguese rule.
♦ Some regions of India were colonised by the Portuguese in 1510, but India`s colonies in India were confined to Goa, Daman, Diu, Dadra, Nagar Haveli, and Anje diva by the end of the 19th century.
♦ India gained independence on August 15, 1947, and Goa was still under Portuguese control.
♦ The Portuguese declined to relinquish control over Goa and other territories in India.
♦ Former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru concluded that the only choice for success was military action.
♦ Attacks by the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and Indian Army were included in the 36-hour military operation of 18 December 1961, codenamed "Operation Vijay" which means " Operation Victory "
♦ "The War Memorial at Indian Naval Ship Gomantak was constructed in memory of seven young gallant sailors and other personnel who laid down their lives on 19 Dec 1961 in the "Operation Vijay," undertaken by the Indian Navy for the liberation of Anjadip Island and Territories of Goa, Daman and Diu,"
♦ There are several activities and festivals held in Goa on Goa Liberation Day, but this festival is likely to be cancelled because of the pandemic.
♦ From three separate locations in the state, the torchlight procession was lit, and eventually, all gatherings were held in Azad Maidan. This is where the buying of Goa is a tribute to those who lost their lives. 
To commemorate the occasion, India also held various cultural programmes, such as SugamSangeet (Indian music and Kannada poetry).

Person In News Current Affairs December 3rd Week 2020

International Bharathi Festival - 138th Birthday Of Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathi:

To celebrate the 138th birthday of Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathi, the Vanavil Cultural Center organised the 2020 International Bharathi Festival 2020, and Scholar Shri Seeni Viswanathan won the 2020 Bharati Award.
Subramanya Bharathi:
He is a Tamil novelist, poet, journalist, Indian independent activist, social reformer and polyglot, and is widely known as "MahakaviBharathi" He fought for women`s emancipation, opposed child marriage, and promoted Brahmanism and religious reform. Bharati started his career as a journalist and associate editor at "Swadesamitran" in 1904 as a young man. In May 1906, he started the weekly "India" The three slogans of the French Revolution were declared: Democracy, Equality and Fraternity.
The first paper in Tamil Nadu to publish political cartoons was "India" The caste system was rejected by Bharati. By decorating many Dalits in Tamil Nadu on upanayanaan, he took a series of innovative steps to question orthodoxy (sacred thread). Bharati promoted and ensured the Dalits` entry into temples. As Shakti or Strength, he visualised "woman". In 1906, Bharati also published the cover of the journal `Chakravarthini,` which focused on empowering Indian women.
He also encouraged and supported the inclusion of women in politics, their rights, and education. The Bharati Award was created in 1994 by the Vanavil Cultural Center and is awarded every year to outstanding people who have made outstanding contributions in any society-related field and who have worked hard to realise the dream of Bharati.

Science & Technology Current Affairs December 3rd Week 2020

Eluru Mystery Illness In Andhra Pradesh:

The Andhra Pradesh town of Eluru suffers from unknown diseases. At present, the cause is unclear, but it is being investigated.
♦ In blood samples, traces of lead and nickel were found by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.
♦ The nickel was found in milk samples obtained by Eluru during the preliminary investigation.
♦ The main suspicion is that heavy metals pollute water.
♦ Researchers believe that chemicals or insecticides have entered the sources of drinking water.
♦ Samples from local fish were collected.
♦ The district government and Eluru City Company officials are also investigating whether excessive use of bleaching powder and chlorine in sanitation programmes would cause water contamination as part of the Covid-19 preventive measures.
Headache, vomiting, dizziness, convulsions, seizures, nausea, anxiety, loss of consciousness and other neurological symptoms are the recorded symptoms.
Action taken by the Government:
Medical teams have been deployed by the West Godavari District Administration to track residents of the town and surrounding areas affected by unexplained illnesses. To check people`s conditions, the medical rescue team performed household surveys.
E-Sanjeevani Telemedicine Service Records 1 Million Teleconsultations:
The Ministry of Health`s eSanjeevani telemedicine service crossed 1 million teleconsultations.
♦ The first digital transformation of a developing world to provide health services nationally is said to be the launch of eSanjeevani in India.
♦ ESanjeevaninot only accomplished a major digital change in the provision of health services during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also supported the country`s digital health ecosystem.
♦ The Internet must be used for telemedicine to provide medical care from a distance. Not only does it increase medical care coverage, but it can also enhance the quality of medical services while saving time and money.
♦ "eSanjeevani" is a comprehensive web-based telemedicine solution.
♦ `eSanjeevani` expands the scope of advanced health services in rural areas and remote communities to individuals.
♦ Quality and accessibility have always been the core agenda of the programme.
♦ By bridging the digital gap between urban and rural areas, between the wealthy and the poor, eSanjeevani also aims to make healthcare services equal.
♦ It is also possible to use eSanjeevani to provide interns with medical education, people across different Common Service Centers (CSCs), etc.
♦ In 28 states and Union territories, the Ministry of Health`s eSanjeevani initiative provides services in two sources.
♦ The success of e-Sanjeevani:
-Patients in more than 550 districts of India are using eSanjeevani.
-More than one-tenth of eSanjeevani users are over 60 years old and above.
-Approximately 25% of patients use eSanjeevani multiple times.
-These reflect the reality that instead of going to the hospital`s OPDs to consult a doctor, the public has started to favour telemedicine.

Vigyan Yatras to promote Scientific Temper among Masses being organised by various institutions ahead of IISF 2020:

Before the India International Science Festival, Vigyan Yatras promoted Scientific Temper Before (IISF).

About India International Science Festival (IISF):

It was launched in 2015 to celebrate science and technology development and to show how science can introduce India to developed countries in a short period of time. The goal is to encourage the public to engage with science, to celebrate science`s joy and to demonstrate how science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) can provide us with solutions to improve the quality of life. VijnanaBharati has partnered with the Ministry of Science & Technology and the Ministry of Earth Sciences. (VIBHA) For the Indian International Science Festival, to create a unique platform that aims to stimulate people`s interest and make learning more meaningful.

About VigyanYatra:

VigyanYatra is an Indian International Science Festival promotional event. The mobile science exhibition kicked off in this case from many cities in the world. The aim of this scientific journey is to foster scientific temperament and instil in the public a scientific culture. The programme has also activated young people`s minds because all local school/university students are presented by science exhibition mobile vans that create interest in science and raise awareness about science the IISF. The sixth edition of IISF will be held on a virtual platform because of the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic. Approximately 30 locations throughout the country where this science journey will be organised have been established. Eminent communicators in science, innovators, teachers, students and local research scholars will be congratulated.

ISRO Launched CMS - 01 Satellite:

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has launched the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C50) communications satellite CMS-01 at the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Andhra Pradesh.

ISRO previously launched India`s Earth observation satellite, EOS-01, and nine other customer satellites in November 2020.

Key Facts:

♦ CMS-01 is a communications satellite intended to provide C-Band Frequency Spectrum Extended Services.

♦ The name of a part of the electromagnetic spectrum in the microwave range in the 4.0 to 8.0 gigahertz frequency range is C-band (GHz).

♦ The Indian mainland as well as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Lakshadweep islands will be protected by the 

♦ It is estimated that the lifespan of the satellite will be more than 7 years.

♦ In its predefinedSub-Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit, the satellite is precisely injected (GTO). Finally, it will be put in a specified slot in the Geosynchronous Orbit after a series of operations.

♦ CMS-01 will replace and enhance the service of GSAT-12.

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle:

The third-generation launch vehicle is India`s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The first launch vehicle fitted with liquid levels is the PSLV. In October 1994, the first successful PSLV launch took place. For the two most significant missions, PSLV is used. They are the 2008 Chandrayaan-1 and the 2013 Mars Orbiter Spacecraft. Two further launch vehicles are the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark II and GSLV MkIII.



P Ovale Malaria Has Been Identified In Kerala:

Plasmodium ovale, a rare form of malaria, has been found in a jawbone in Kerala. The soldier is thought to have been infected by Plasmodium ovale in Sudan and to have contracted the virus in Sudan.
Key Facts:
♦ One of five species of malarial parasites is Plasmodium ovale: Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax (the most common Plasmodium), Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale, and Plasmodium Knowlesi.
♦ Since about 20 percent of parasitic cells are oval in shape, it is called oval.
♦ The parasite may remain in the human spleen or liver for a long time, perhaps several years, after a mosquito bite, and the person can develop symptoms in the future.
♦ Symptoms include fever, headache & nausea for 48 hours, which seldom cause severe disease.
♦ P ovale is somewhat similar to P vivax, and the treatment is equivalent to that of P vivax infected individuals.
♦ It can be tricky to distinguish between P vivax and P ovale and can only be differentiated by careful detection. In the area of tropical Western Africa, P ovale malaria is endemic. It is relatively rare outside of Africa, with less than 1 percent of isolates found.
♦ In the Philippines, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, the virus has been detected, but it is still relatively uncommon in these regions.
Transmission in India:
According to the National Institute of Malaria Research - NIMR, the Kerala case may be an isolated case. To date, there are no recorded cases of local transmission. In the past, Gujarat, Kolkata, Odisha and Delhi have also reported individual cases. However, no local transmissions have been recorded yet-which means these cases have been obtained. In India, among the 1.57 lakhs cases of malaria in Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya and Madhya Pradesh in 2019, 1.1 lakhs cases (70%) were falciparum malaria. By the World Malaria Report 2020, the number of cases in India has dropped from approximately 20 million in 2000 to approximately 5.6 million in 2019.
Covid-19 triggered Mucormycosis Fungal Infection:
Increased cases of Covid-19 induced Mucormycosis have been seen by physicians. Covid-19 patients low immunity makes them more vulnerable to this fungal infection. Mucormycosis is a severe but rare fungal infection caused by a group of moulds called mucormycosis, also known as the black fungus or zygomycosis.
Types of Mucormycosis:
Rhinocerebral (Sinus and Brain) Mucormycosis
Pulmonary (Lung) Mucormycosis
Gastrointestinal Mucormycosis
Cutaneous (Skin) Mucormycosis 
Disseminated Mucormycosis
It happens by inhaling from the environment, inoculating or ingesting spores. There will be no spread of mucormycosis from person to person or from person to animal. It typically happens in individuals that have health conditions or take medications that decrease the capacity of the lower body to combat germs and sickness.
Single-face swelling and numbness, headache, nasal or sinus inflammation, black nose or upper mouth bridge lesions, fever, stomach pain, nausea, and gastrointestinal bleeding are general signs.
To prevent mucormycosis and other mould infections, treatment with prescription antifungals is required. Mucormycosis usually involves surgery to remove the tissue that is contaminated.

A Scientists group won Innovate 4 SDG

A group of scientists from the Delhi Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Delhi) won an Invention Competition (Innovate 4 SDG) organised by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) India Accelerator Laboratory, which is their groundbreaking `plant-based simulation egg.`
♦ The Indian Development Program Accelerator Laboratory is committed to solving some of India`s most pressing problems through creativity, such as air pollution, sustainable water resources and the recoverable livelihoods of customers.
♦ The team won first place and won an innovation award of $5,000.
♦ It is developed from a very simple crop protein based on a farm that not only looks and tastes like eggs, but also has very similar nutrients to poultry eggs.
♦ Simulated egg production meets the protein needs of diet-specific, health-conscious, vegetarian, and vegetarian individuals.
♦ The team has also developed analogs that use fruits and vegetables to extract chicken and fish meat from plants.
♦ Similar to eggs, fish, and chicken, plant-based texture foods were created to address the long-standing problems of people with malnutrition and clean protein foods.

National Current Affairs December 3rd Week 2020

New Policy On School Bag 2020 By The Ministry Of Education

According to the new "Schoolbag Policy", the weight of a schoolbag shall not exceed 10% of the weight of students in grades I to X, and no homework should be done until class II.
♦ The new policy also suggests frequent testing in schools of the weight of bags.
♦ They should be lightweight and can fit only two shoulders, with two padded and flexible braces, and no wheel brackets are allowed.
♦ The policy also suggests that the weight of each textbook be printed on it by publishers.
♦ These guidelines are focused on different surveys and studies carried out by the National Educational Study and Training Council (NCERT).
♦ High-quality meals and drinking water are also recommended by the Policy to all students so that they do not need to carry a lunch box or water bottle.
♦ The policy said there should be no bags in pre-primary. 
NGT Constituted Committee for Protection of Mahanadi Floodplain:
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) formed a high-level committee to identify the floodplains of Mahanadi. Mahanadi is the largest river in Orissa.
♦ The Chief Minister of Orissa declared in January 2020 that the 424 acres of land reclaimed from the Mahanadi River will be used to add ecological, recreational, athletic, cultural and technical value to the lives of the people of Cuttack.
♦ A local resident violated the state government`s plan and submitted a complaint to NGT alleging that unauthorised construction activities would adversely affect the river`s ecology and interfere with the Mahanadi River`s flow.
♦ An advisory group consisting of the Central Water Commission, the National Hydrology Institute and the State and Central Pollution Control Commission was set up by the NGT to establish regulations to ensure riverfront growth without affecting the floodplains of the river.
♦ Floodplain legislation: Except for the Ganges notice issued in 1986 under the Environmental (Protection) Act of 1986 by the Ministry of Central Water Resources, the Ministry of River Creation and the Ministry of Restoration of the Ganges, there is no central regulation to control the floodplain. An active Ganges floodplain or its tributaries.
♦ However, some states have laws to regulate floodplains: The Manipur River Flood Zoning Act of 1978, 2012 Uttarakhand Flood Plain Zoning Act.
Mahanadi river:
♦ After Godavari and Krishna, the Mahanadi river system is the third largest river in the Indian Peninsula, and the largest river in Orissa.
♦ Origin of the Mahanadi River: It rises to the south of Amarkantak from a position near Sihawa in Chhattisgarh`s Bastar Mountains.
♦ Major tributaries of Mahanadi River
♦ The river catchment area stretches to Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra and Jharkhand.
♦ Its basin is bounded in the north by the hills of central India, in the south and east by the Eastern Ghats and in the west by the Maikara Mountains.
♦ Major Tributaries of the Mahanadi river: Seonath River, Hasdeo River, Mand River, Ib River, Jonking River, Tel River.
Government of India and World Bank sign Project:
A $400 million project was signed by the Government of India (GOI) and the World Bank to support India`s efforts to provide social assistance to the families impacted by Covid.
A $400 million project was signed by the Government of India (GOI) and the World Bank to support India`s efforts to provide social assistance to poor and needy families seriously impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the second of two procedural series of operations.
The first US $750 million operation was authorised in May 2020. The plan would improve the capacity of the states and the national government of India to provide the poor and vulnerable groups with organised and adequate social security from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
India contributes to WADA:
India is contributing USD 1 million for scientific research to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
♦ India has pledged USD 1 million to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for its scientific research budget to further protect the climate of Clean Sport globally, allowing WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) to establish new methods of anti-doping monitoring and detection.
♦ The money was also used to further improve the autonomous investigation and intelligence services of WADA.
♦ India supported the largest donation of USD 1 million among the donations made by other governments around the world, including China, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
♦ The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will share the total sum of contributions from all member nations equally to set up a US$10 million fund.
♦ At the 5th World Conference on Doping in Sport, held in Katowice, Poland in 2019, the decision to establish the corpus was made.
♦ This donation exceeds the annual contribution by India to the core budget of WADA.
Museum On Subhash Chandra Bose To Be Set Up In Kolkata:
In Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, on January 23, 2022, the Indian government will open a museum. In Kolkata, a museum will be created. On the 125th anniversary of Netaji`s birth, the museum will open. There are also proposals by the Indian government to reprint some books published by Netaji. New Delhi`s Netaji Museum will also be expanded.
♦ In New Delhi, the museums are digital and are spread over three floors. The museum reflects the sacrifices that legends have made since childhood. 
♦ The museum also records INA`s role in combating, awakening its development and popularity in the country. The focus of the museum is on Indian heritage, especially the position of Southeast Asian people and their contribution to the Indian National Army. 
♦ It also depicts Colonel Amrik Singh Gill`s covert operations and four others who were landed at the Konark temple by a submarine to establish their INA secret centre in India. Near the Red Fort, the Museum was built. The Indian Army`s soldiers were guarded by the British.
♦ All four of the Red Fort`s barracks were turned into museums. Three other museums will be created, in addition to the Subhash Chandra Bose Museum. They will be interested in the massacre of the 1857 Rebellion and contemporary art at Jallianwala Bagh.
♦ The Indian National Army was founded by the Indian National Party and the Empire of Japan in 1942. The Indian National Army`s main objective was to ensure the independence of India from the British. Originally, it was written by Mohan Singh. He was arrested later, and the first INA finally collapsed. Later, under the leadership of Netaji, he was revived.
♦ The Red Fort is owned by India`s Archaeological Survey Bureau. ASI is accountable for protecting the cultural property and national heritage of India. The Red Fort is visited daily by about 5,000 to 6,000 visitors. This figure can be as high as 10,000 on public holidays and weekends.

Foundation Stone Laid For New Parliament Building:

The Prime Minister (PM) of India laid the foundation stone for the New Parliament Building. The old Parliament Building will become a museum.
♦ The new parliament building is part of the Rs 20,000 crore cost of the Central Vista project.
♦ The four-story building will have a triangular shape and three national symbols will cover its interior (lotus, peacock and banyan).
♦ The Parliament Building will be completed in 2022.
♦ There will be increased seating space in the new Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha halls.
♦ In addition, it is possible to extend the seats at the Lok Sabha Hall to 1,272 to hold joint meetings.
♦ The primary construction material will be Dholpur stone. Red granite can replace red sandstone in some interior areas.
♦ The building will be fitted with a new communication system for audio-visual communication.
♦ It will also be entirely suitable for wheelchairs and disabled people.

Science & Technology Current Affairs December 2nd Week 2020

Singapore Agency Approves Sale Of Lab-Grown Meat:

Sales of a lab-grown meat product have been licenced by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA). 
♦ This is the first time in the world that cultured meat can be sold anywhere. Cultured chickens developed in the United States by East Just are SFA approved products.
Difference between lab-grown meat and plant-based meat:
-The latter is made from plant sources (such as soy or pea protein), while the cultivated meat is grown in the laboratory directly in cells.
Both have the same objectives:
-Provide alternatives to conventional meat products that can be consumed by more people, minimise the risk of zoonotic diseases and reduce the effect of meat consumption on the environment.
-Cultured meat is the same as traditional meat in terms of cell structure, except that cultured meat is not directly obtained from animals.
(1)Cultivated meat can reduce land use by more than 95%.
(2)It can reduce climate change emissions by 74-87%and nutrient pollution by 94%.
(3)The risk of contamination by pathogens such as Salmonella and E. coli is greatly reduced; 
(4)It does not require antibiotics, thus reducing the public health threat by increasing the resistance to antibiotics.
Japan`s Hayabusa2 Mission Set To Return To Earth:
Six years after the launch of Japan`s "Hayabusa2" flight, it will return to Earth. It will bring samples from the Ryugu asteroid orbiting the sun.
♦ The Mission Hayabasu2 was launched in December 2014.
♦ The spacecraft was sent to research the asteroid Dragon Palace and collect samples on a six-year voyage.
♦ In late October 2020, NASA`s OSIRIS-REX spacecraft also brought back samples from the asteroid Bennu.
♦ This is the first time a probe has encountered a celestial body with a diameter of less than 100 metres, according to the Japan Aeronautics and Space Administration (JAXA).
♦ Ryuguis is a potentially hazardous asteroid known as (PHA). In 1999, it was discovered.
♦ It was named in 2015 by the Minor Planet Center and is 300 million miles from Earth. It took 42 months for Hayabusa2 to meet the mark.
♦ In 2010, Hayabasu2`s precursor, the Hayabusa mission, carried back samples from the Itokawa asteroid.
IRDAI Standardises Health Policies For Robotic And Bariatric Surgeries:
All medical policies, including robotic surgery and bariatric surgery, have been standardised by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). In the area of healthcare, robotic surgery has wide prospects.
♦ The implementation of this form of surgery makes it easier to perform complicated procedures. They allow doctors, with greater accuracy, versatility and control, to perform various types of complex procedures.
♦ The cost of benefiting from this kind of programme in India is lower compared to developed countries, so that it can be easily accessed by more people.
♦ Instead of large incisions, robotic surgery permits surgery through tiny holes or "small holes" to minimise patient injury.
♦ Compared with conventional open and laparoscopic surgery, through a smaller incision, this instrument can more quickly penetrate hard-to-reach parts of the patient`s body.
♦ This helps to shorten the time for recovery, minimise complications and shorten hospital stays. They are minimally invasive, painless and provide greater benefits in terms of cosmetics.
♦ Higher surgical costs often mean lower premiums for insurance. Bariatric surgery is an operation which by changing the digestive system, helps reduce weight.
♦ The Indian Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDAI) is a regulatory body designed to safeguard the interests of insurance clients.
♦ It controls and pays attention to the growth of the insurance industry while monitoring activities related to insurance.

BSNL Introduce Worlds` First, Satellite-Based Narrowband-IoT Network In India:

BSNL cooperated with Skylotechof India and announced a breakthrough in satellite-based NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things).
♦ This was developed indigenously by Skylo.
♦ It will link with the satellite ground infrastructure of BSNL and provide coverage of PAN India, including the Indian Sea.
♦ The coverage is extensive and will not leave any dark spots in India.
♦ This is the world`s 1st satellite-based NB-IoT network.
♦ This latest technology supports India`s strategy to introduce India`s core sectors with indigenous IoT connectivity.
♦ The technology has been successfully tested across India on Indian railways, fishing vessels, and connected vehicles.
♦ Skylo`s "User Terminal is connected to the sensor, a small smart, extremely tough box, and the data is transmitted to the Skylo network and distributed to the hands of users.

Economy Current Affairs December 2nd Week 2020

RBI Introduces Risk-Based Internal Audit Norms For Nbfcs,Ucbs:

RBI announced the implementation of risk-based internal audit requirements for large urban cooperative banks (UCBs) and non-bank financial companies by the Reserve Bank of India (NBFCs).
♦ Purpose of introduction: To strengthen controlled organisations` governance and assurance functions.
♦ It also formulated guidelines for hiring statutory auditors to enhance the quality of financial reporting for commercial banks, the UCB and the NBFC.
♦ It is becoming increasingly necessary for NBFC and its interconnection with various sections of the financial system, so the resilience of this sector needs to be increased.
♦ Therefore, it has been agreed to establish transparent dividend declaration requirements for different types of NBFCs.
♦ Authorisation will be provided to regional rural banks to enter the RBI`s LAF - Liquidity Adjustment Facility, Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) and call/notice money market.
♦ In order to enhance the ecosystem of digital payment platforms and provide users with better protection and convenience, the Reserve Bank of India is proposing to give digital payment security control instructions to controlled entities.

Awards Current Affairs December 2nd Week 2020

Global Teacher Prize Is Awarded To An Elementary School Teacher:

The Global Teacher Award 2020 was won by Ranjitsinh Disale, an elementary school teacher in Solapur, Maharashtra.
Global Teacher Prize:
♦ It is a one million dollar annual award to honour outstanding educators who have made outstanding contributions to their field.
♦ Founder: A global charitable foundation committed to enhancing education, the Varkey Foundation. The award is being organised in collaboration with UNESCO.
♦ Objective: It stresses the value of educators and the fact that they deserve recognition and praise around the world for their efforts.
♦ It aims to understand that not only their students, but also the communities around them, have an influence on the best teachers.
♦ An significant factor in the social, political, economic and health challenges facing the world today is insufficient education. Training has the potential for poverty, discrimination and conflict to be alleviated.
RanjitsinhDisale`s Contribution:
He converted a dilapidated building into a school, which later became the first school to implement a Quick Response (QR) code in Maharashtra. A barcode containing a matrix of dots is a QR code. A QR scanner or a smartphone with a built-in camera may be used to search it. He not only converts classroom textbooks into the native language of the student, but also embeds them in special QR codes so that audio poems, video lectures, storeys and assignments can be read by learners. He is also passionate about creating peace in conflict zones among young people. In India and Pakistan, Palestine and Israel, Iraq and Iran, and the United States and North Korea, his `Let`s Cross the Borders` initiative links young people.
Impact of Disale`s Efforts:
There is currently no record of adolescent marriage in the village, and the girls` enrollment rate has reached 100 percent. In 2017, the state government declared they will introduce QR code textbooks across the state for all grades. It was announced in 2018 that all NCERT textbooks would have embedded QR codes.
United Nations Investment Promotion Council awarded India Investment Award:
"Invest in India" was recently named as the winner of the 2020 United Nations Investment Promotion Awards by the United Nations Conference on Trade & Development - UNCTAD. The award honours the excellent contributions of investment promotion companies around the world. There will be approximately 180 such institutions shortlisted for this award in 2020.
♦ A team has been developed by UNCTAD to monitor investment promotion agencies around the world. In March 2020, the committee was set up to follow best practises followed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
♦ The response from IPA became an evaluation of the 2020 United Nations Investment Promotion Awards. This shows that while India is the second-most populated country in the world, India`s inventions help to monitor the country`s spread of COVID-19.
♦ UNCTAD deals with matters of trade, investment and growth. The organisation goal is to increase trade and investment. 
♦ UNCTAD was established in 1964. It publishes reports such as the "Trade and Development Report" and the "World Investment Report".
♦ In June 2020, UNCTAD published the 2020 World Investment Survey. The foreign direct investment flow in 2020 has decreased by 40 percent compared to 2019, according to the study. 
♦ Global foreign direct investment flows will be below US$1 trillion for the first time since 2005. International direct investment will further slip by 5% to 10% by 2021. India`s flow of foreign direct investment in 2019 jumped to 9th position, according to the survey. Inflows of foreign direct investment into India amounted to US$51 billion, with India ranking 12th in 2018.

National Current Affairs December 2nd Week 2020

ASCI Guidelines For Online Gaming And Fantasy Sports Were Issued:

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has released a consultation requiring all private television broadcasters to follow the guidelines on online gaming, fantasy sports and other ads issued by the ASCI (Advertising Standards Council of India). The Ministry advises that any practises prohibited by statute or legislation should not be promoted by advertising.
♦ The I&B Ministry claims that a large number of commercials have appeared on TV related to video gaming and fantasy sports.
♦ Some individuals are worried that this form of advertisement tends to be misleading, does not adequately disclose to clients the financial and other risks associated with it, and does not completely comply with the advertising rules set out in the Cable Television Network (Management) Act of 1995 and the Consumer Protection Act of 2019.
♦ This announcement was therefore released to "protect the interests of consumers."
ASCI guidelines:
♦ "playing these games may bring financial risks and may be addictive."playing these games may bring financial risks and may be addictive.
♦ Not less than 20 percent of the whole print advertising should be the disclaimer.
♦ Audiovisual and audio commercials must also include a disclaimer.
♦ After the commercial, the disclaimer should be positioned and must be in the same language as the advertisement.
♦ The rules stipulate that no person under the age of 18 playing online games and earning real money should be represented by any game ads, and that person is not even recommended to play these games.
♦ The rules state that any person who even appears to be under the age of 18 should not be portrayed in such advertisements.
♦ Ads does not portray winning as sales opportunities or alternate job choices in online games.
♦ Ads do not mean that individuals are more popular than those who make money from online games.
AYUSH Export Promotion Council Was Established:
The Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Ministry of AYUSH agreed to create the AYUSH Export Promotion Council.
♦ To promote AYUSH`s exports, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry and the Ministry of AYUSH have agreed to jointly create an Export Promotion Council.
♦ It was also agreed in the joint review of AYUSH trade and industry that the entire AYUSH industry would work together to achieve competitiveness in terms of price and quality in order to promote AYUSH exports.
♦ In the AYUSH Ministry, the proposed AYUSH Export Promotion Council (AEPC) will be housed.
♦ It has been agreed to speed up the HS code standardisation process for AYUSH.
HS Code:
HS stands for Harmonized System, which is an identification code of six digits. It was produced by WCO (World Customs Organization). To clear any product which enters or crosses any international border, customs officers use HS codes.

ICCR To Promote Yoga Globally:

The Ministry of AYUSH and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has simplified and increased their joint efforts to promote yoga globally.
Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR):
♦ The Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) is an autonomous organization of the Indian government. It was established by MaulanaAbulKalam Azad on April 9, 1950.
♦ ICCR is involved in India`s external cultural relations or cultural diplomacy, through cultural exchange with other countries and their peoples. It is committed to strengthening cultural relations and enhancing mutual understanding.
♦ ICCR is registered as a Society under the "Societies Act " and operates as an independent institution under the administrative control of the Ministry of External Affairs. ICCR is headquartered in Azad Bhavan, New Delhi.
♦ ICCR has institutionalized cooperation with state governments and signed MoU with 17 state governments.
♦ The states those signed an MoU with ICCR are-Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Dammam &Diuu, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Meghalaya, Northeastern Council, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Telangana and Rajasthan Jaipur CitizenForum.
♦ The activities of the Council are monitored by its three statutory bodies -General Assembly, Council and Finance Committee. ICCR conducts business through a global network of cultural centres, as well as India`s diplomatic missions and postal overseas networks.
♦ Currently, there are 37 Indian Cultural Centers around the world working closely with the Indian Embassy and led by the directors.

Schemes Current Affairs December 2nd Week 2020

PM-KUSUM Scheme Guidelines Were Issued:

Guidelines for the implementation of feeder-level solarisation under Component C of the PM-KUSUM scheme have been provided by MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy).
♦ The KUSUM program consists of three parts.
-Component A It involves the construction of distributed renewable energy power plants installed on the land.
-Component B This requires the construction of an autonomous agricultural solar pump.
-Component C Solarisation for grid-connected agricultural pumps is included.
♦ The objective of the PM-KUSUM Component-C plan is to provide farmers with reliable electricity during the day and to increase their income by buying excess solar energy, thus enabling them to save water.
♦ Farmers can receive reliable solar energy for irrigation during the day in the case of feeder-level solarization, but there is no provision to sell excess solar energy.
♦ Farmers should therefore be encouraged to save water and raise revenue.
♦ The average electricity demand of farmers in a certain region should be determined by DISCOM (Distribution Company) based on different factors.
♦ This power requirement will be known as the consumption of baseline power.
♦ DISCOM should allow farmers to use energy that is lower than the electricity usage of the baseline.
♦ Such savings should be considered to be surplus energy pumped by farmers, and DISCOM would use surplus electricity to pay for these surpluses at the predetermined price of electricity.
♦ This would be a major measure for preserving the level of groundwater.

International Current Affairs December 2nd Week 2020

Bangladesh Has Started To Relocate Thousands Of Rohingya Refugees To Bhasan Char Island:

Bangladesh has started transferring thousands of Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char Island, while human rights groups have called for a halt to this process. In its Cox Bazar camp, which has more than 1 million Rohingya, transporting refugees to Bhasan Char would relieve the chronic congestion. Humanitarian organisations and human rights organisations state that floods and hurricanes are vulnerable to Bhasan Char.
♦ There are approximately 40,000 Rohingya residing in India, according to the Home Affairs Ministry. They have entered India over the years from Bangladesh via Bangladesh by land. 
♦ All Rohingya in India have previously been told by the government that they are "illegal immigrants" and will be deported soon. India doesn`t have any clear refugee rules.
♦ India is not a signatory to the `United Nations Convention` of 1951 or the `Protocol` of 1967. The "Convention" concerns the status of refugees and is not included in the Legislation of the "United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Statute."
♦ The UNHCR has previously noted, however that the "non-refoulment principle" is considered to be part of customary international law and is thus binding for all nations, irrespective of whether they have signed the Refugee Convention.
♦ Non-refoulement is an international law that prohibits an individual from being returned to a position where they might be persecuted by a government.
♦ Bhashan Char, also known as Thengar Char, is a small island at the mouth of the River Megna. It`s owned by Bangladesh.
The Rohingya are an ethnic group consisting predominantly of Muslims who live mainly in western Myanmar`s Rakhine Province. Instead of the standard Burmese, they speak a dialect of Bengali. Although they have lived for many generations in the region, Myanmar still sees them as people who under colonial rule, moved to their property. It did not however, grant full nationality to the Rohingya. As they are not residents, their acts are restricted to the state of Rakhine.
The fastest-growing refugee crisis: 
In 2017, a police post and a military base in Rakhine state were targeted by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army - ARSA, a Rohingya rebel group. More than 7 million Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries, including India as a result of Myanmar`s security forces response. There were rumours of villages being burning and civilians dead following the armed assault. The United Nations calls the Rohingya situation "the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world."

Indo-Nepal Link Canal Foundation Was Laid:

Foundation Laying of India-Nepal Link Canal Master Project. In 1996, the Governments of India & Nepal signed a bilateral agreement called the "Mahakali Treaty".
♦ According to the treaty, the Indian government will supply 70 MU of energy generated from the Tanakpur Power Station each year, and construct the main pipe and a 1.2-kilometre-long Indo-Nepal irrigation canal that takes off from the Tanakpur Barrage to release a predetermined amount of water.
♦ The Indo-Nepal Link Canal project includes the construction of the main pipe on the left bank of the existing Tanakpur Barrage and directing its water to the irrigation canal to Nepal.
♦ The Mahakali Treaty is a treaty between India & Nepal that involves sharing the waters of the Mahakali River.
♦ The treaty is mainly aimed at the comprehensive development of water resources in the Mahakali River and has been completed on the basis of an equal partnership.
♦ Mahakali originated in Nepal and formed a considerable distance between the two countries. The treaty recognizes the Mahakali River as the border river between the two countries.
♦ The scope of the treaty includes Sarada Barrage, Tanakpur Barrage and the proposed Pancheswar project.
♦ Starting from Sarada Barrage, the treaty gave Nepal 28.3 cubic centimetres (1,000 cubic feet) of water during the rainy season and 4.25 cubic meters (150 barrels) of water during the dry season. If Sarada Barrage is unavailable, the quantity will be provided from Tanakpur Barrage.
♦ In addition, the treaty also instructs that no less than 9.91 cubic meters (350 cubic feet) should flow downstream of the barrage to maintain and protect the river`s ecosystem.
♦ Although the treaty is being implemented, the implementation process is still very late.
Tanakpur Power Station:
This is a Hydel power station located in Tanakpur near Banbassa, District Champawat, Uttaranchal. The capacity of Tanakpur Power Station is 94.2 MWe. The first unit was put into operation in 1992, and the last unit was put into operation in 1992. It is operated by the National Hydropower Corporation (NHPC). Utilize the hydropower potential of the Sharda River (Mahakali River in Nepal).

Environment Current Affairs December 2nd Week 2020

By 2050 The Population Of Malayan Squirrels In India May Drop By 90%:

A recent ZSI-Zoological Survey of India study predicts that the number of Malayan squirrels (Ratufa bicolor) will decrease by 90 percent by 2050.
♦ Habitat destruction may restrict squirrels to southern Sikkim and North Bengal by 2050, according to ZSI.
♦ India still accounts for 43.38 percent of the original squirrel habitat now. By 2050, desirable areas will decrease to 2.94 percent of the region in which this species is expected to live.
♦ One of the largest squirrel species in the world is the Malayan squirrel. It has a black upper body, a pale lower half, and a long and bushy tail.
♦ IUCN status: Near Threatened. It is protected by India`s Wildlife Protection Act.
♦ The Malayan squirrel is found in India: West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Nagaland. Other countries: South China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Java.
♦ It is found in evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, at an altitude of 50 m to 1,500 m, from plains to hills.
♦ India is the three squirrels` birthplace. The other two are present on the Indian Peninsula-the Great Indian Squirrel and the Great Grey Squirrel.
♦ Giant squirrels are daytime, unlike night-flying squirrels, but arboreal (tree-dwelling) and herbivorous species are much like squirrels.
Houbara Bustards Can Be Hunted During The Hunting Season:
During the 2020-21 hunting season, Pakistan issued special permits to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and two other royal family members to search for the internationally protected Houbara bus.
Houbara bustard:
♦ Bustard Houbara lives in an arid climate. It belongs to two separate IUCN recognised species.
♦ One species (Chlamydotisundulata) lives in North Africa, and another species (Chlamydotismacqueenii) lives in Asia, and is commonly referred to as McQueen`s bustard.
♦ From Northeast Asia to Central Asia, the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula, the population of the Asian Houbara Bustard spreads and enters the Sinai Desert.
♦ Approximately 33,000 houbara bustards exist today, according to data from the International Fund for the Protection of Houbara (IFHC).
♦ The Asian bustard migrates south into Pakistan, the Arabian Peninsula, and neighbouring Southwest Asia after breeding in the spring to spend the winter.
♦ In the southern part of their mountain range, including parts of Iran, Pakistan, and Turkmenistan, some Asian Houbara bustards live and breed.
♦ IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable.
Plans For Elephant Corridors In Odisha:
The Orissa state government was ordered by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to prepare action plans for 14 identified elephant corridors.
Elephant Corridors: They are narrow grounds linking two large habitats of elephants. They are important for reducing the deaths of animals due to accidents and other causes. The fragmentation of the forest makes preserving the migration corridor even more important. This elephant campaign helps to improve the species` survival rate and birth rate. 88 elephant corridors have been identified by the Wildlife Trust of India, according to the National Elephant Corridor Project.
Concern: The key reasons for the breakup of the corridor are the overall growth of human settlements, highways, railway lines, power lines, canals and mining industries.
Reasons for Protecting the Corridors:
The behaviours of elephants are important in order to ensure the genetic viability of their populations. It also helps to regenerate forests, like tigers, that other species depend on.
Since they are not in protected parks and reserves, approximately 40 percent of elephant sanctuaries are vulnerable. In addition, for migration corridors, there is no clear legal cover.
Animal routes are blocked by woods converted into farms and unregulated tourism. Animals are then forced to pursue new roads, resulting in increased conflicts between elephants and humans.
Critical ecosystems are seriously affected by poor control of ecotourism. It particularly affects animals, such as elephants, that have larger livestock.
Elephants: A main species is the elephant. There are three Asian elephant subspecies—Indian, Sumatran and Sri Lankan. The Indian elephant has the broadest distribution, making up the bulk of the continent`s remaining elephants.
Conservation Status of Indian Elephants:
-Wildlife Protection Act,1972: Schedule I
-IUCN Red List: Endangered
-CITES Appendix I
Of the Asian elephant population, India accounts for 50 percent. The nation has 27,312 elephants, according to the 2017 Elephant Census, which is almost 3,000 less than the census in 2012.
India`s Initiatives for Conservation of Elephants:
GajYatra: On the occasion of World Elephant Day 2017, a national elephant conservation campaign was initiated.
Elephant Project: This is a plan initiated and started in 1992 by the central government. 



Aerosols In Indo-Gangetic Plain Have Led To Increased Incidents Of High Rainfall:

Scientists have found that in the foothills of the Himalayas, aerosols such as black carbon and dust that make the Indo-Ganga Plain one of the most polluted areas in the world have contributed to a rise in high precipitation events.
♦ A team of researchers from the Rulkella National Institute of Technology, the Leipzig Institute of Meteorology (LIM), the University of Leipzig, Germany, the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, and the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur was funded by the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India under the DST Climate Change Program. 
♦ The critical position of direct aerosol radiation effects on high precipitation events in the Himalayas is highlighted by this proposal.
♦ The Indus Ganges and the North Indian River Plain are often referred to as the Indo- Gangetic Plain. It is situated between the great mountains of the north and the plateau of the peninsula and consists of three major rivers: the Ganges, Indus, Brahmaputra and its tributaries. 
♦ In the north and east of India, it covers around 7,000 square kilometres.
♦ The region is known for its high aerosol content, a large proportion of which is black carbon and dust, primarily caused by burning stubble and pollution from vehicles. 
♦ This offers an opportunity to examine how aerosols influence extreme events of rainfall, especially when air masses are pushed from a low elevation to a higher elevation as they pass over rising terrain, technically called orographic forcing.

Important Days Current Affairs December 2nd Week 2020

International Civil Aviation Day 2020 is On 7 December:

In order to raise awareness of the importance of the role of the International Civil Aviation Organization (IACO) in air transport, it is International Civil Aviation Day every 7 December. The United Nations body responsible for international aviation safety regulations is the International Civil Aviation Organization. This day, not a public holiday, is observed as a global anniversary.
♦ The ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) signed the 50th anniversary of the Convention on International Civil Aviation on December 7, 1994, celebrating the first International Day of Civil Aviation.
♦ The "Agenda 2030" has been adopted by the United Nations (UN) and countries around the world, focusing on global sustainable growth.
♦ A special anniversary theme for International Civil Aviation Day is set up every five years by the ICAO Council. The council will select a theme for the four-year intervention period. 
♦ The theme of International Civil Aviation Day is "Working together to ensure that no other country is left behind." from 2015 to 2018. 
♦ The Security Council has agreed to set the theme as: `Advancing Innovation for Global Aviation Growth` from now until 2023.
♦ Resolution A29-1 of the General Assembly was passed in 1996 by the UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) and proclaimed that this day will be International Civil Aviation Day. 
International Civil Aviation Organization – ICAO:
ICAO is a United Nations organisation set up on 7 December 1944 to promote the establishment of international aviation safety standards to ensure continuity in international cooperation and civil aviation affairs. The `Financial Transit Agreement on Services` and the `International Air Service Agreement` were both concluded in the same year. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, ICAO introduced International Civil Aviation Day in 1994. This is done to raise and use the global awareness of the importance of international civil aviation in countries` social and economic growth. The IACO-International Civil Aviation Organization is an entity of the United Nations working in collaboration with other member states of the United Nations.
Armed Forces Flag Day Is On 7 December:
On 7 December, to remember the martyrs and uniformed soldiers, the Flag Day of the Armed Forces was observed and dedicated to collecting funds from the people for the benefit of the armed forces.
♦ On the Flag Day of the Armed Forces, all three branches of the Armed Forces, namely the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy, arranged different types of programmes to pay tribute to and commend the soldiers for their efforts to safeguard national honour.
♦ The main purpose and the day of the flag of a armed forces is to raise funds from the people by selling packages, stickers and other items in order to improve the personnel of the armed forces. On August 28, 1949, to remember soldiers, soldiers and pilots, the Ministry of Defence opted to celebrate this day. 
♦ The Flag Day celebration of the armed forces seeks to pay tribute to the brave and challenging soldiers and to reshape citizens` peace. The annual celebration focuses on providing war veterans with recovery facilities, relocating and preserving the wellbeing of returning soldiers. The celebration of Armed Forces Flag Day has therefore enhanced the cultural relations between Indians and members of the armed forces.
♦ The Indian Armed Forces Flag Day is observed annually to honour the sacrifices rendered to the nation by the army, air force and navy staff. The aim of this event is to actively engage and provide public support throughout the country for the following purposes:
-Provide rehabilitation services to the families of war victims.
-Take action for the welfare of employees and their families.
-Assist in the placement and welfare of former soldiers and their families.
♦ The public and volunteers raised donations in honour of the event by selling coupon posters, stickers and other items throughout India. This helps to maximise the amount of money earned in a number of ways by ordinary individuals. These funds are used for the Indian armed forces` welfare.
♦ Indian military personnel distribute country-wide Indian tricolour flags or vehicle flags (red, dark blue, and light blue indicate the three divisions of the Indian Army). In order to maintain and defend the country`s life, the courageous and enterprising insurgents showed the people how they faced encounters and lost their lives.
♦ The collection of funds is handled by the Kendriya Sainik Committee`s local agency under the Ministry of Defence of India. It is managed and supervised by official and unofficial voluntary organisations by the management committee.
International Anti-Corruption Day is observed on 9 December:
On 9 December, International Anti-Corruption Day is observed. The goal of the day is to raise awareness of corruption and the steps to tackle corruption that can be taken. The day seeks to raise awareness of the threat of corruption and what can be done by individuals to tackle it.
The use of powers by government officials or their network contacts for illicit private gain is corruption. Patronage, power peddling, graft, bribery, nepotism, blackmail, cronyism are included in the context of corruption. In all societies, corruption will undermine social and economic growth. Unfortunately, there is no nation, area or culture that is free from corruption. The UN has estimated that $1 trillion is paid in bribes per year. It also reports that $2.6 trillion is stolen annually by way of corruption. The sum bribed annually is equal to more than 5% of the global gross domestic product (GDP). According to the United Nations Development Programme report, funds lost to corruption in developing countries are estimated to be 10 times the amount of official development assistance.
On 31st October 2003, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption. It passed a resolution and designated 9th December as International Anti-Corruption Day. The day was designated to raise awareness of corruption and of the role of the Convention in combating and preventing it. The Convention came into force in December 2005.

Human Rights Day is on 10th December:

Every year 10th December is observed as National Human Rights Day. The theme of Human Rights Day for the year 2020 is "Recover Better - Stand Up For Human Rights".
♦ The theme of Human Rights Day 2020 is "Recover Better - Stand Up For Human Rights".
♦ The main reason to observe this day every year is to help people aware of their social, cultural and physical rights and it also ensures the welfare of the people in all possible contexts. 
♦ And To commemorate the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 1948.
♦ The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a landmark document in the history of human rights.
♦ The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been translated into more than 500 languages and is the most translated document in the world.

Economy Current Affairs December 1st Week 2020

IFSCA Has Obtained The Membership IAIS:

Membership of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors was received by IFSCA (IAIS).
♦ IFSCA can join the IAIS global network via this membership and can share views and information with other global regulatory agencies.
♦ In the IFSC of GIFT City, this will help set up a vibrant global insurance centre.
♦ GIFT IFSC currently operates 17 leading insurance companies active in offshore insurance and reinsurance undertakings.
♦ This membership will make a major contribution to the connection between IFSC and global insurance organisations, and will allow IFSCA and other global insurance companies to grow global insurance businesses together.
♦ About International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS):
♦ IAIS (International Association of Insurance Supervisors) is a voluntary membership group that accounts for 97 percent of global insurance premiums for insurance regulators from more than 200 jurisdictions.
♦ It is an international standard-setting body responsible for formulating and assisting in the implementation of insurance industry oversight principles, regulations and other supporting materials.
♦ A platform for members to share their expertise and understanding of insurance supervision and the insurance industry is also given by IAIS.
♦ G20 leaders and other international standard-setting bodies typically need the acknowledgment of their collective abilities by the IAIS.
♦ It has its headquarters in Switzerland and was established in 1994.

International Current Affairs December 1st Week 2020

Bilateral Cooperation between China and Nepal 

Different issues related to their bilateral interests were discussed by China and Nepal, including the strengthening of military cooperation between the two countries, issues relating to the resumption of training and student exchange programmes and the follow-up of security assistance initiatives affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 1955, Nepal developed ties with China. It accepted Tibet as a part of China in 1956 and signed the Peace and Friendship Treaty in 1960. Nepal was suggested as a "zone of peace" between India and China in the 1970s by the King of Nepal, Birendra. No strong interest was shown by India, but China expressed support.
The relationship between India and Nepal took a turn for the better in 2015, when India placed an informal but successful blockade on Nepal, resulting in a significant shortage of fuel and medicine in Nepal.
China reopened its border with Nepal in Tibet as tensions with India increased. Nepal reaffirmed its commitment to the `Single China Strategy` following the Chinese President`s recent visit, pledging not to allow any troops to use its territory against China.
China`s Interest:
Although there are open borders between Nepal and India, people can move freely across the border; as Nepal`s largest trading partner, China is gradually trying to replace India. In South Asian countries, India is the largest economy and has been the king of South Asian nations. China needs India`s rising power & status to be contained, which could challenge China`s dream of being a superpower.
Therefore the main strategic priorities of Beijing`s Nepal strategy have been the preservation of a balance of power in favour of South Asia and ensuring Nepal`s active cooperation to prevent its rivals from using the country for anti-China activities. The northern border between China and Nepal is situated entirely in Tibet. China believes that security cooperation with Nepal is important for Tibetan affairs to be managed.
Nepal’s Benefit:
China is for Nepal, a possible source of products and funding for its economic recovery. Almost half of the population of Nepal is unemployed and more than half are illiterate. More than 30 percent of Nepal`s population lives in poverty at the same time. Nepal needs to contact China to resolve its poverty and unemployment issues in order to solve its internal problems. In the talks, Nepal and China will make progress and run counter to India`s "Big Brother" strategy. Through the China-Nepal Economic Corridor, Nepal seeks to end India’s dominance on its trade routes by strengthening ties with China.
India`s Concern:
Given the difference in strategic weight between China and Nepal, China may use security diplomacy as a tool for interfering with Nepal`s internal affairs. Since Nepal is the buffer country of India, seeing Nepal enter the sphere of influence of China would not serve the strategic interests of India. Furthermore the role of China in "Security Diplomacy" is not limited to Nepal. China has strong financial resources and the growth of China`s presence in India is difficult for India to manage neighbourhoods. The China-Nepal Economic Corridor may cause China to dump consumer goods through Nepal, which will further deteriorate the trade balance between India and China.
Talks Held Between India and Vietnam:
Cooperation in capacity building in the defence industry, training and cooperation in United Nations(UN) peacekeeping operations, etc., were discussed by the Defense Ministers of India and Vietnam.
♦ The two countries reiterated that India and Vietnam`s close cooperation is an essential cornerstone of a comprehensive strategic partnership (2016).
♦ India insists that in the near future, an institutionally framework agreement will be concluded to strengthen cooperation in the defence industry.
♦ Vietnam is grateful to the Indian Army for helping the Indian Defense Forces in capacity building in the field of human resource development.
♦ India is also willing to extend the scope and level of training at the Indian National Defense Academy for all three of the Vietnamese National Defense Force services.
♦ Cooperation in UN peacekeeping operations has been discussed by the two countries.
♦ Cooperation in the field of hydrology has been addressed, which will help exchange hydrological data and help in the development of navigation maps.
♦ India was also invited by Vietnam to participate in the December 2020 ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus (ADMM Plus) hosted by Vietnam.
♦ ADMM-Plus is a forum to enhance security and defence cooperation for peace, stability and prosperity in the region for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its eight dialogue partners, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the USA.

Science & Technology Current Affairs December 1st Week 2020

ARTPARK Will Promote Technology Innovations in AI:

The Bangalore-based AI and Robotics Park (ARTPARK) will foster AI and robotics innovation by implementing ambitious R&D mission model projects in the fields of healthcare, education, transport infrastructure, agriculture, retail and networking, thereby contributing to society.
♦ ARTPARK (AI and Robotics Technology Park) is a joint venture of Section 8 Company (a non-profit organisation) of the Indian Institute of Science and AI Foundry, which obtained a seed fund from the Indian Ministry of Science & Technology.
♦ It is set up with a worldwide collaborative ecosystem as the premier research translation park. At the Robert Bosch Cyber Physics System Center at IISc, it is being incubated.
♦ With a task-driven model, ARTPARK is committed to using AI and robotics to offer a better quality of life to individuals.
♦ Its tasks include reducing the cost of living using AI and robotics, providing everyone with a higher quality of life, and improving access to knowledge, education and support for AI.
World Malaria Report 2020 - WHO
The World Health Organization has updated the World Malaria Study for the year 2020 (WHO).
About the World Malaria Report:
The World Malaria Report provides estimated cases of malaria worldwide based on mathematical predictions. Provide comprehensive updates on global and regional malaria data and trends. The report tracks investment in malaria planning and research and progress in all intervention areas (prevention, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring). It also includes special chapters on the elimination of malaria and the fight against the main threats of malaria.
The report is completely based on information obtained from the national malaria control plan and other partners in endemic countries. It is published annually by the World Health Organization (WHO).
♦ The report shows that considerable progress has been made by India in reducing the burden of malaria.
♦ India is the only high-prevalence nation that recorded a decrease of 17.6 percent in 2019 compared to 2018.
♦ The annual parasitic incidence (API) decreased in 2018 by 27.6 percent compared to 2017 and in 2019 by 18.4 percent compared to 2018. Since 2012, India has maintained an API of less than one.
♦ India also contributed most, from about 20 million to about 6 million, to the decline in cases across the country. The percentage decline in malaria cases was 71.8 percent between 2000 and 2019 and the death rate was 73.9 percent.
♦ India`s incidence of malaria was reduced by 83.34 percent between 2000 and 2019, and the mortality rate from malaria was reduced by 92 percent.
♦ This helped India reach goal 6 of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) (the incidence rate dropped by 50-75 percent between 2000 and 2019).
♦ The overall number of confirmed cases of malaria from 2020 to October has also decreased by approximately 45% compared to the same period in 2019.

Honey - The Sweetener On Your Plate May Be Sugar Syrup:

The Center for Science and Environment - CSE reported that honey marketed by well-known Indian brands failed the main purity test. The current regulations stipulate about 18 criteria that honey must comply with before manufacturers can label it as "pure honey." The products of the Indian brand meet the specifications of the national food regulations and are marked as honey, and only 3 are eligible.
♦ An significant technique used to characterise drugs and other chemical molecules is NMR (Nuclear magnetic resonance) spectroscopy. At the molecular level, NMR can determine the composition of the substance.
♦ In analysing molecular structure, quality control and assessing sample purity, NMR has a broad range of applications.
♦ The sample to be tested is put in a magnetic field and a nuclear magnetic resonance signal is produced by exciting the NMR excitation of the nuclear sample with radio waves and then detecting it with a sensitive radio receiver.
♦ The resonance frequency is modified by the intramolecular magnetic field surrounding the atoms in the molecule, thereby providing full knowledge about the electronic structure of the molecule and its different functional groups.

Environment Current Affairs December 1st Week 2020

Subdued Northeast Monsoon in The Southern Peninsula:

In the southern peninsula of India, inadequate rainfall has occurred, suggesting that this year the northeast monsoon is still flat.
♦ The rainfall brought by the southwest monsoon is increased by La Niña, but it has a negative effect on the northeast monsoon.
♦ Inter-Tropical Convective Zone (ITCZ): In the monsoon season, the present position of the ITCZ has also led to inadequate rainfall. ITCZ is currently situated north of its usual position.
♦ The Northeast monsoon or Winter monsoon occurs from October to December. 
♦ It is confined to the Southern peninsula. 
♦ For Karaikal, Yanam, Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala, North Interior Karnataka, Mahe and Lakshadweep, the Northeast Monsoon is important.
♦ Tamil Nadu recorded approximately 48% of the annual rainfall during these months, making it a key factor in agricultural activities.
♦ Some of the South Asian countries (such as Maldives, Sri Lanka and Myanmar) also recorded rainfall from October to December.
La Nina:
In Spanish, La Nina is referred to as the "little girl" meaning a large-scale cooling of the surface temperature of the central equator and the eastern Pacific Ocean, as well as changes in the circulation of the tropical atmosphere. Like El Nino, which is the warm phase of the so-called El Niño Southern Oscillation, it typically has the opposite effect on weather and environment (ENSO).
ITCZ is a low pressure zone and precipitation in tropical regions is defined by its movement north and south along the equator.
The Transboundary Manas Conservation Area Receives The Conservation Excellence Award:
For the year 2020, the Transboundary Manas Protected Area will win the Conservation Excellence Award.
The Conservation Excellence Award honours one place that has achieved excellence in two or more of these five subjects:
-Tiger and prey population monitoring and research; 
-Effective site management; 
-Enhanced law enforcement & protection & ranger welfare improvement; 
-Community based conservation, benefits and human-wildlife conflict mitigation; 
-Habitat and prey management.
Transboundary Manas Conservation Area (TraMCA):
-Established in 2011.
Vision: Jointly develop and manage a transboundary protected area between Bhutan and India for the benefit of humans and wildlife.
♦ An significant mosaic of the entire protected area in the eastern Himalayas forms the TraMCA landscape. It includes India`s entire Manas Tiger Reserve, Bhutan`s four reserves and two biological corridors.
♦ The centre of this biologically outstanding transboundary region is the Manas Tiger Reserve in India and the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan.
♦ Tigers, elephants, rhinos and more than 1,500 mammals, birds and vascular plants are housed here. The Manas River passes through them as well.
♦ The number of tigers increased from 9 in 2010 to 25 in 2018 in the Manas Mountains in India. This number has risen in Manas, Bhutan, from 12 times in 2008 to more than 26 times in 2018.

Defence Current Affairs December 1st Week 2020

IN lures a maritime guardian from the United States:

The Indian Navy (IN) has adopted two U.S. Unmanned drones from the MQ9B Marine Guardian. In India, these drones will be leased for one year.
♦ A maritime version of the Predator MQ9 UAV, the Drone is (UAV). It has a stamina of up to 40 hours and a top flying altitude of 40,000 feet as well.
♦ The drone has a maritime surveillance radar 3600 and an optional maritime surface search radar multi-mode.
♦ It can be used for operations related to anti-ground warfare, anti-submarine warfare, humanitarian aid/disaster relief, search and rescue, law enforcement (drug trafficking, illegal immigration and piracy).
♦ These drones are designed to perform surveillance in the Indian Ocean region and if necessary and needed, can be deployed along the Chinese border.
Raising Day of BSF Was Celebrated on 1 December:
On 1 December 2020, the Border Protection Force (BSF) is celebrating its 56th Growing Day. "India`s first line of defence" is the Border Protection Force (BSF).
♦ On 1 December 1965, shortly after the India-Pakistan War of 1965, the BSF - Border Protection Force was formed in accordance with an Act of Parliament.
♦ With its courage and prowess, the BSF - Border Security Force has always lived up to its slogan `Duty for Life` (Jeevan Paryant Kartavya).
♦ The Minister of State awarded the BSF workers with the "Police Medal for Gallantry" and the "President`s Police Medal for Distinguished Service."
♦ In addition, the Minister of State for Home Affairs introduced the BSF`s annual e-magazine, Borderman.
♦ The BSF is the world`s largest fringe guarding force, with Pakistan and Bangladesh ensuring the 6,386.36 km long International Borders. 

Passage Exercise (PASSEX) between Russian Federation Navy and Indian Navy in Eastern Indian Ocean Region:

A Passage Exercise (PASSEX) is being performed in the Eastern Indian Ocean Area (IOR) by the Indian Navy (IN) and the Russian Federation Navy (RuFN) from 4-5 December 2020.
♦ The exercise includes the participation of the RuFN guided-missile cruiser Varyag, the Pechenga medium ocean tanker and the Admiral Panteleyev large anti-submarine ship. IN was portrayed by the Shivalik indigenous guided-missile frigate and the Kadmatt anti-submarine corvette, along with integral helicopters.
♦ The aim of the PASSEX exercise is to improve interoperability, improve understanding and absorb best practises between both parties.
♦ Advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare drills, arms firings, seamanship exercises, and helicopter operations are also involved in the drill.
♦ PASSEX is carried out on the occasion of the Indian Navy`s Navy Day on 4 December.
♦ The close bonds of friendship shared between the two militaries are highlighted by this exercise.
PASSEX exercise is conducted regularly by the Indian Navy with units of friendly foreign navies. During the exercise, the navies of both countries will visit each other’s ports or during a rendezvous at sea. This exercise is conducted in the Eastern Indian Ocean Region. It reflects the strong long-term strategic relationship between the two countries and the defence cooperation in the maritime domain. PASSEX aims to strengthen Indo-Russian defence relations. 
The two navies have built a strong relationship through regular exercises such as INDRA Navy which is conducted biennially. The last edition was held in the Northern Indian Ocean Region from 4-5 September 2020. 

National Current Affairs December 1st Week 2020

Electrification of Railways Was Unveiled:

The newly electrified Dhigawara-Bandikui portion of the Northwest Railway Line was unveiled by the Minister of Railways, marking the first train on this electrified route from Dhigawara Station in Alwar District, Rajasthan.
♦ By December 2023, Indian Railways has set a target to complete the electrification of its wide-gauge network. About 66% of the broad-gauge lines have been electrified.
♦ The electrification level of the railway is 18065 kilometres. Compared with 2009-2014, the electrification level increased by 371% in 2014-20.
Speed: 100% electrification will eliminate train detention caused by the traction change (pull or pull the body on the surface) from diesel (electric) to diesel (or vice versa), thereby achieving seamless train operation.
Capacity: It will help railways increase line capacity due to the higher speed and higher traction capacity of electric locomotives.
Safety: An improved signal system would increase the safety of train operations.
Less economic burden: Electric traction is cheaper and more efficient compared to diesel traction, since electric traction trains are 50 percent cheaper than diesel.
Seamless movement: For suburban services, which require higher acceleration and braking functions to start and stop regularly, electric multi-units (EMU) are suitable.
Create employment opportunities: Direct jobs will be translated into around 20.4 million working days in the electrification construction process, which will significantly encourage employment.
Energy security: A complete transition to electric traction would reduce the consumption of fossil fuels by approximately 2.83 billion litres per year and thereafter reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Energy bill saving:  Electric locomotives have lower maintenance costs compared to diesel locomotives and can save Rs 13,510 crore in fuel costs per year.
Sustainability: Reduce the carbon footprint since the environmental cost of electric traction per ton-kilometer is lower than that of diesel traction.
India Become Pharmacy Of The World:
India is finding its own self-reliance for growth and production. Though there are at least five pharmaceutical companies involved in the production of vaccines in India, the Pune Serological Institute has been selected at the University of Oxford as a mass producer of the Covishield vaccine produced by Astra Seneca. In order to meet demand, the government has enabled a large Covid-19 vaccine development and distribution ecosystem.
♦ A rupee stimulus plan was announced by the Indian government. For the Covid Suraksha project, 9 billion Rufus will be used to encourage the production of indigenous vaccines.
♦ From pre-clinical research to clinical development, production, and regulatory deployment, the focus of the Covid-19 vaccine development mission is end-to-end and all available funds and funds will be incorporated to promote product development.
♦ Supporting the implementation of universal unified agreements, internal and external quality control systems, training, data management systems, regulatory submissions, and certification would be another significant objective.
♦ The grant will be awarded to the Indian Ministry of Vaccine Research and Development Biotechnology for COVID-19 and will ensure that it is quickly implemented into the public health system under the presumption that all regulations and permits are complied with.
♦ So far in academia and industry, the biotechnology department has funded a total of 10 candidate vaccines. Five candidate vaccines are in the clinical testing process so far.
♦ On December 4, ambassadors from 100 countries are expected to arrive in Pune to visit the Indian Serum Institute and Genova Biopharma. The position of India as a "world pharmacy" has been recognised by Sweden.
♦ Sweden is committed to expanding bilateral cooperation in the fields of health and life sciences, in view of the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, B Systems, a Luxembourg-based firm, is collaborating with India to manufacture portable vaccine cooling equipment to solve the problem of the distribution of vaccines in India.
♦ It should be noted that on 19 November, Prime Minister Modi held a virtual summit with Prime Minister Xavier Bettel of Luxembourg, during which he stressed the strengthening of bilateral cooperation.

Bonda Tribe Sees Rise in Distress Migration Due To Covid:

The Bonda tribe of Odisha saw a rise in the number of Covid-induced migrants killed. The Bonda people are an especially vulnerable tribal group known away from the mainstream for their secluded life.
-They are mainly forest dwellers.
-Matriarchal society-women are more willing to marry younger men.
-Women wear semi-naked clothing and wear different kinds of rings and necklaces on their arms, while men wear dangerous bows and arrows, a special dress style.
-Language-Remo, an Oceanian language belonging to the Mundari group.
♦ In India, 8.6 percent of the total population reflects the tribal population. In about 15 percent of the geographic area of the nation, tribal people live.
♦ Some of these groups are, according to the following criteria, declared especially vulnerable tribal groups (PVTG).
♦ The Primitive Tribal Groups (PTG) were established as a separate category in 1973 by the Dhebar Council, and the growth of these tribal groups is relatively slow.
♦ In 2006, PTG was renamed as a` especially vulnerable tribal group` by the Indian government. 75 tribal groups are listed as PVTG by the Ministry of the Interior. In 18 states and the A&N Islands, PVTG is based in UT. The largest number among the 75 PVTGs listed is Orissa (13), followed by Andhra Pradesh (12).
♦ In particular, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs is implementing the` Creation of Specially Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG)` plan for them.
♦ A variety of livelihoods are used by PVTG, such as food gathering, non-timber forest products (NTFP), hunting, livestock raising, transfer planting, and handicrafts. Their livelihoods mostly rely on forests.
♦ Odisha is the biggest tribal population group in India and has 62 tribal groups. Bonda, Biho, Chuktia Banga, Didai, Dungaria Kandha, Hill Karia, Juan, Kutia Kant, Langa So Ra, Rhoda, Mankildia, Podi Boyan and Sola are 13 of these PVTGs.

Important Days Current Affairs December 1st Week 2020

World AIDS Day is Observed on 1st December

World AIDS Day is celebrated every December 1st. Since 1988, people have been celebrating this day. Celebrating this day is to raise awareness of HIV infection prevention among individuals. The last week of November is celebrated annually as AIDS Awareness Week. In 1984, the first AIDS Awareness Week took place in San Francisco.
♦ This year the following theme is "Global Solidarity and Shared Responsibility" on World AIDS Day.
♦ As of 2017, around 2.14 million individuals in India have AIDS, according to figures from the NACO - National AIDS Control Organization.
♦ As of 2018, after South Africa and Nigeria, India is the third largest place of residence for AIDS patients worldwide. India`s HIV infection rate is lower than in many other nations.
♦ The prevalence of AIDS in India was 0.3 percent in 2016 . This is the world`s 80th-highest. India, through antiretroviral drugs and educational services, is fighting the disease.
National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO):
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare founded the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) in 1992. It is in a leading role in AIDS control. It works every two years with the National Institute of Medical Statistics and the Medical Research Council of India to estimate illnesses. The first such estimate of India was finalised in 1998, and the last was done in 2017. The number of centres delivering free antiretroviral care has been increased from 54 to 91 by NACO. Due to COVID-19, the number of AIDS patients in the country has greatly increased in 2020. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the country’s government plan to reduce AIDS has ceased.
December 5 is designated as World Soil Day:
December 5th is celebrated as World Soil Day each and every year. "Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity" is the theme for World Soil Day 2020.
♦ It aims to resolve increasingly severe soil management problems, address soil biodiversity declines, increase soil awareness and encourage governments, organisations, societies and individuals around the world to make commitments to strengthen the value of preserving sexual awareness of healthy environments and human well-being. Actively enhancing the condition of the soil.
♦ The rising issue due to population growth was also highlighted by World Soil Day. Therefore to ensure food protection, it is important to take steps to minimise soil erosion and preserve fertility.
♦ An international celebration of Soil Day in 2002 was recommended by the International Union of Soil Science (IUSS).
♦ In addition, within the Kingdom of Thailand and within the context of the Global Soil Alliance, FAO supports the official establishment of World Soil Day as a global awareness-raising forum.