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Weekly Current Affairs 16th to 22nd of December 2019
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched Atal Bhujal Yojana (ATAL JAL) which aims to improve groundwater management. The scheme has been designed with the principal objective of strengthening the institutional framework for participatory groundwater
- It aims to bring behavioral changes at the community level for sustainable groundwater resource management in 7 States: Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar
- The scheme will promote panchayat led ground water management and behavioural change with primary focus on demand side
- The Government has outlaid 6000 crore for the scheme. Out of the total outlay of Rs. 6000 crore to be implemented over a period of 5 years (2020-21 to 2024-25), 50% shall be in the form of World Bank loan, and to be repaid by the Central Government.
- The remaining 50% shall be through Central Assistance from regular budgetary support. The entire World Bank’s loan component and Central Assistance will be passed on to the States as
- Ashleigh Barty and Rafael Nadal were named International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) World Champions in singles for 2019. The awards will be given at the 2020 ITF world champions 2nd June, in Paris.
- The Central Government has released the “Good Governance Index” on the occasion of Good Governance Day to assess the state of governance in Indian States and Union Territories.
- The prime objective of the GGI is to provide quantifiable data to compare the state of governance in all states and Union Territories, enable them to formulate and implement suitable strategies for improving governance and shift to result oriented approaches and
- The Index was launched by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, and the Centre for Good
- The GGI takes into consideration ten sectors. These ten Governance Sectors are measured on total 50 indicators. The 10 sectors are: Agriculture and Allied Sectors; Commerce & Industries; Human Resource Development; Public Health; Public Infrastructure & Utilities; Economic Governance; Social Welfare & Development; Judicial & Public Security; Environment; Citizen-Centric Gov
- Among the “North-East and Hill States“, Himachal Pradesh topped the index, followed by Uttarakhand, Tripura, Mizoram and The worst performers in this group are Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, with Arunachal Pradesh finishing last in the group.
- Among the “Union Territories“, Puducherry topped the index followed by Chandigarh and Lakshwadeep is the worst performing UT.
- The Reserve Bank of India has capped the permissible exposure limit of a lender on a Peer- to-Peer lending (P2P) platform for all borrowers. The aggregate exposure has been set at Rs 50 lakh at any given point of time. The step has been taken to protect the consume
- The lender investing more than Rs 10 lakh across P2P platforms has to produce a certificate to P2P platforms from a practising Chartered Accountant certifying minimum net-worth of Rs 50
- The central bank also stated that the “Escrow accounts” to be operated by bank promoted trustee for transfer of funds need not be mandatorily maintained with the bank which has promoted the trustee. It also mandates that all the transactions through bank accounts, and cash transaction are strictly Kamareddy district of Telangana has secured the United Nations International Children’s and Education Fund (Unicef)-2019 Award for effective implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission in water sanitation and hygiene Kamareddy district was on top in the country among other districts in construction of individual sanitary lavatories, swachh darpan wall paintings, swachh survekshan, swachh sundar shouchalay and many other
- The Government of India has constructed Girls’ Hostel for Nepal Armed Police Force School, Kirtipur, Nepal. The new infrastructure is constructed with the GoI’s grant assistance of 42 million Nepali Rupees.
- President Ram Nath Kovind released the mobile app of the Red Cross Society of India, developed by the Telangana Centre for Good Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban has achieved its target of creating Urban India Open Defecation Free as urban areas of 35 states and Union Territories have become Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister unveiled India’s 1st long-distance CNG bus fitted with CNG cylinders in New It can travel around 1000 kilometres in a single fill and will ply from Delhi to Dehradun.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi named Rohtang passageway in Himachal Pradesh as Atal Tunnel to mark the 95th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari 5 verticals of Quality Mandate developed by UGC was launched in New Delhi to equip country’s next- generation with vital skills, knowledge and ethics for leading a rewarding life. The 5 documents covers evaluation reforms, eco-friendly and sustainable university campuses, human values & professional ethics, faculty induction and academic research integrity.
- The Union Health Minister has inaugurated the 2nd edition of “Eat Right Mela” in New Delhi organized by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). ‘The PURPLE Book’ a handbook on diets for diseases was also launched during the Network for Scientific Co-operation for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (NetSCoFAN), a network of research & academic institutions working in the area of food & nutrition along with the NetSCoFAN directory was launched during the “Eat Right Mela”.
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) railway station in Mumbai has been conferred with ‘Eat Right Station’ certification with the five-star rating by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for food safety and hygiene.
- All India Radio organized the National Symposium of Poets 2020 which was attended by select poets of all 22 languages recognized in the Chief Minister of Sikkim has laid the foundation stone of 2 Integrated Organic Food Processing units of Sikkim IFFCO Organics Ltd. (a joint venture between IFFCO and Government of Sikkim) in Rangpo, East Sikkim.
- Rajasthan Chief Minister inaugurated its first “Janta clinic” in the Malviya Nagar area of The clinic will provide free primary health care to people living in slums.
- Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy launched the ‘YSR Nethanna Nestham’ scheme at Dharmavaram in Anantapur district to provide financial assistance of Rs 24,000 annually to handloom weavers across the
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a statue of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at Lok Bhawan in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh and also laid the foundation stone for the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Medical University in the Uttar Pradesh
- In Jharkhand, Grand Alliance leader Hemant Soren will take oath as Chief Minister of the state.
- The 1st edition of Mandu Festival begins at Mandu, picturesque fort city of Madhya Pradesh and organized by Madhya Pradesh Tourism
- Ecuador has activated the emergency protocols in the Galapagos Islands to contain the environmental impact of a fuel spill in the Galapagos Islands. The step was taken after the accident occurred in a port on San Cristobal Island when a crane collapsed while loading a container onto the
- Eight West African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo have agreed to change the name of their common currency to Eco and severed their earlier currency CFA Franc’s links to former colonial ruler France.
- David Calhoun will replace Dennis Muilenburg as the CEO of the world’s largest aerospace company Boeing.
- China has successfully launched its largest carrier rocket “Long March-5” also known as “CZ-5” from Wenchang Space Launch Center in south China’s Hainan It carried a communication satellite “Shijian-20“.
- Russia’s 1st missile unit equipped with Avangard Hypersonic glide vehicle with latest strategic missiles of intercontinental range, enters into service.
- Wipro has partnered with Nasscom to train students on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, data science, internet of things, cybersecurity as a part of it’s corporate social responsibility programme “TalentNext“. The programme will be extended to students through Future Skills, a Nasscom
- Bank of Baroda has signed an MoU with the Gujarat government to facilitate the flow of credit in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector for greenfield projects, startups, women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs from backward area
- Federal Bank has tied up with online real estate platform Magicbricks for listing and e-auctioning of immovable properties repossessed by it in recovery proc
- Kotak Mahindra Bank has tied up with Pine Labs to enable debit card facility for their debit cardholders across point-of-sale terminals by Pine La Banks customers can avail EMI facility with a minimum purchase of Rs 8,000 and repay over 3 months to 12 months.
Books and Authors
- A book titled ‘Turbulence and Triumph: The Modi Years’ jointly authored by Rahul Agarwal and Bharathi S Pradhan was released in New Delhi. The book is about the life journey of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi from his days as a young boy in Gujarat to becoming the Prime Minister of
- A book titled “Dreams of a Billion: India and the Olympic Games” authored by Boria Majumdar with Nalin Mehta will be published by HarperCollins India in January
- A book titled “Politics of Opportunism: Regional Parties, Coalitions, Centre-State Relations In India” and authored by R P N Singh was released by noted economist and political analyst S Guru
- The Government of India has approved the release of Rs 8,655 crore as fresh capital to three public sector banks: Allahabad Bank (Rs 2,153 crore), Indian Overseas Bank (Rs 4,630 crore) and UCO Bank (Rs 2,142 crore) for preferential allotment of shar
- The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has announced a loan of $210 million for irrigation and solar energy projects in India. The bank will lend
$145 million to improve irrigation services and strengthen flood risk management in West Bengal and $65 million for a 250-megawatt solar project in Rajasthan.
- The Reserve Bank of India has introduced a new semi-closed prepaid payment instrument (PPI) which can be used for the transaction of goods and services up to a limit of Rs 10,000. The loading facility of the instrument will be linked only from a bank
- The Reserve Bank of India has directed large cooperative banks to report all exposures of Rs 5 crore and more to the Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC) with effect from December 31, 2019. The CRILC was created by the Reserve Bank of
- In Cuba, President has appointed Manuel Marrero Cruz as the country’s first prime minister in more than 40 years since its scrapping in
- Dr Monisha Ghosh has been appointed as the first woman Chief Technology Officer at the US government’s powerful Federal Communications Commission (FCC). She will replace Dr Eric
- Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals Group, has taken over as the President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) for 2019-20. She will succeed Sandip
- Harsh Vardhan Shringla has been appointed as the new Foreign Secretary. He will take over from incumbent Vijay
- Niranjan Hiranandani will succeed Balkrishan Goenka as the new president of The Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (Assocham), the country’s apex organisation of industry and
- The Indian Coast Guard has conducted a regional level pollution response exercise named ‘Swachchh Samundra NW-2019’ at sea off Vadinar in Gulf of Kutc
- Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile system developed by DRDO was successfully flight-tested from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the Odisha
- The Indian Air Force bids farewell to the iconic “MiG-27” with a decommissioning ceremony at the Jodhpur air base.
Awards and Recognitions
- Aditya K. of Kozhikode, Kerala has become the 1st child from the State to bag the Bharat Award for bravery given away by the Indian Council for Child Welf Two more children Muhammed Mohsin & Fatah from Kerala are also the recipients of the awards.
- Noted archaeologist Nagaswamy was honoured at the Silver Jubilee International Conference of Art in Dhaka by Bangladesh.
- India’s ophthalmologist Dr Santosh G Honavar has become the 1st Indian to be conferred with the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s (AAO) highest award Life Achievement honour.
Summit and Conference
- External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar co-chaired the 19th Joint Commission meeting with Foreign Minister of Iran in Tehran,
- The 5th Round of India-Japan Maritime Affairs Dialogue was held in Tokyo,
Ranks and Reports
- India has emerged as the world’s 3rd-largest publisher of science and engineering articles as per the statistics compiled by the US National Science Foundation (NSF). China is at the top position, followed by the
- India’s shuttler Maisnam Meiraba Luwang beats Ken Yong Ong to won the Men’s singles Bangladesh Junior International Badminton Series 2019 held in Dhaka,
- South African all-rounder Vernon Philander announced international retirement from all forms of
- Former India skipper and wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni has been named Captain of Cricket Australia’s (CA) ODI team of the Apart from Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma also made into the CA’s team.
- Indian tennis ace Leander Paes has announced to retire from Tennis in 2020 as a professional tennis play
- Abhinav Lohan has won the Bengaluru Open Golf Championship 2019 powered by Karnataka Tourism.
- Indian skipper Virat Kohli is one of the five players named in the Wisden Cricketers of the Decade. Other players in the list are: Australian batsman Steve Smith, and South Africans: Dale Steyn, and AB de Villiers. Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry is the only female cricketer in the
Science and Technology
- The World Health Organization has approved a “biosimilar” medicine of Trastuzumab named “Ontruzant” to make cheaper breast cancer treatment at an affordable rate to women
- National Mathematics Day is celebrated on 22nd December every year to mark the birth anniversary of legendary mathematician Srinivasa
- Kisan Diwas or National Farmers’ Day is observed across India on December 23 to honour Chaudhary Charan Singh, the 5th Prime Minister of India .
- Good Governance Day is observed in India annually on the 25th of December to mark the birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna and former-Prime Minister Atal Bihari
- India observes 24th December every Year as National Consumer Day with a theme “alternate consumer grievance/dispute redressal”.
- Renowned Hindustani classical vocalist Vidushi Savita Devi known for her thumirs and her book ‘Maa…Siddheshwari’ passed
- Former West Ham and Tottenham midfielder Martin Peters passed
- Renowned Hindi author Ganga Prasad Vimal from
Uttarakhand, passed away recently.
- The American songwriter Allee Willis who penned the iconic “I’ll Be There For You” track for the long- running television show “Friends” passed away rece
- China’s brilliant storyteller, Da Chen, who created the critically acclaimed memoir “Colours of the Mountain” passed away
- Veteran Political cartoonist Vikas Sabnis has passed away
- Krishnasamy VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Govt of India launched a national program called “EChO Network” in New Delhi. The EChO network provides a template for cross-disciplinary leadership in India.
- Integral Coach Factory (ICF) of Indian Railways has produced its 3000 Coaches in record 215 days and retained its position as the largest coach- maker in the
- To battle rising air pollution in cities, an ‘Oxygen Parlour’ has been opened at Nashik railway station with the efforts of Airo Guard in collaboration with the Indian Railways. The parlour will provide an experience of breathing clean air to the com
- Finance minister of India released a postage stamp to commemorate distinguished service and glorious contribution of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in protecting the
- Indian Railways started a glass-enclosed vistadome “Him Darshan Express” train on the heritage Kalka- Shimla route, with glass rooftop to have a panoramic view of the hilly
- Central government will launch the “Digital Radio” in
- Raksha Mantri has launched the “DefExpo 2020” mobile app of the forthcoming DefExpo 2020, developed by Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence (MoD).
- Headquarters of Integral Coach Factory: Chennai, Tamil Nadu; Established: 2nd October
- Iran Capital: Tehran; Currency: Rial; President: Hassan
- Chief Minister of Kerala: Pinarayi Vijayan; Governor: Arif Mohammad Khan; Kerala: Thiruvananth
- Headquarters of ITF: London, United Kingdom; President: David
- President of Cuba: Miguel Díaz-Canel; Capital: Havana; Currency: Cuban
- Chief Minister of Sikkim: Prem Singh Tamang; Governor of Sikkim: Ganga
- Nepal Prime Minister: K P Sharma Oli; Capital: Kath
- WHO Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland, Director general: Tedros
- DRDO Chairman: G Satheesh Reddy; Established: 1958; Headquarters: New
- Indian Coast Guard was founded on 18 August 1978; Headquarters: New
- Bank of Baroda is headquartered at Vadodara, Gujarat.
- FICCI was established in 1927; FICCI Headquarters: New
- Governor of Andhra Pradesh: Biswa Bhusan Harichandan.
- CM of Rajasthan: Ashok Gehlot; Governor: Kalraj Mishra.
- Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs: Hardeep Singh
- CM of Telangana: K Chandrashekhar Rao; Governor: Tamilisai
- World Consumers Rights Day is celebrated on 15 March.
- CM of UP: Yogi Adityanath; Governor of UP: Anandiben
- Headquarters of Boeing: Chicago, United
- Himachal Pradesh CM: Jai Ram Thakur; Governor: Bandaru
- Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister: Dharmendra Pradhan.
- Chairman of Prasar Bharati: A Surya
- Railway Minister: Piyush
- The Union finance minister of India: Nirmala Sitha
- ICC Chief Executive Officer: Manu Sahney, Headquarters: Dubai, United Arab
- RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikant Das; Headquarters: Mumbai; Founded: 1 April 1935,
- President of AIIB: Jin Liqun; Headquarter: Beijing, Chin
- MD & CEO of Indian Overseas Bank: Karnam
- Chairman of UCO Bank: Atul Kumar
- American Academy of Ophthalmology Headquarters: San Francisco, California,
- Japan Capital: Tokyo, Currency: Japanese yen, PM: Shinzo
- CM of Maharashtra: Uddhav Thackeray; Governor: Bhagat Singh Koshyari; Capital:
- Chief Executive Officer of FSSAI: Pawan Kumar Agarwal; Chairperson: Rita
- Union Defence Minister of India: Raj Nath
- Capital of China: Beijing; Currency:
- President of Russia: Vladimir Putin; Capital: Moscow; Currency: Russian