Monthly Current Affairs Compilation 2020
Top Current Affairs December 2020
National Farmers’ Day or Kisan Diwas: 23 December
National Farmers Day or Kisan Diwas is celebrated every year on 23 December in India. The day is celebrated to praise farmers’ contribution to the economy and society and create awareness about helping them. The day also celebrates the birth anniversary of Chaudhary Charan Singh, the fifth Prime Minister of India. Majority of the population in India is dependent on agriculture for their livelihood.
Ola will set up the world’s largest Scooter factory in Tamil Nadu.
Ola has announced that it will establish the world’s largest scooter factory in Tamil Nadu. It will provide employment to around 10,000 people, and the cost of the project will be Rs 2400 crore. It is a step towards making India a global manufacturing hub in the field of electric vehicles. This factory will not only fulfill the demand for electric vehicles in India, but it would also export vehicles to other countries. Ola is planning to launch its first electric scooters.
Dr. Carolina Araujo wins Ramanujan Prize for Young Mathematicians 2020.
Dr. Carolina Araujo from Brazil has won Ramanujan Prize for Young Mathematicians 2020. She is the first non-Indian to receive this prize. She has won the prize for outstanding work in Algebraic Geometry. Her work is on birational geometry, a branch of Algebraic Geometry. She is a mathematician from the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IMPA), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST) informed Dr. Carolina Araujo about Vigyan Jyoti, a DST’s initiative to tap 100 girl students in 550 districts during 2020-2025.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris- Time’s Magazine 2020 Person of the Year.
Time magazine has jointly named U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as 2020 Person of the Year. Kamala Harris will become the first woman, first African American, and first Asian American Vice President of U.S. The 45th U.S. President Donald Trump was named Time’s 2016 Person of the Year. Recently, Indian-American Gitanjali Rao was named first-ever Time’s Kid of the Year.
Central Government announced ‘CO-WIN’ app for delivery of COVID-19 vaccine.
The Union Health Ministry has announced a ‘CO-WIN’ mobile app for the COVID-19 vaccine delivery. It will look at the whole vaccination process from registration to report. It will have five separate modules for administrator, registration, vaccination, beneficiary acknowledgment and reports.
Bangladesh signed its first Preferential Trade Agreement.
Bangladesh has signed its first Preferential Trade Agreement with Bhutan after Independence. It is its first PTA with any country in the world. It was signed on the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Bhutan and Bangladesh in Dhaka. It will allow the passage of many goods duty-free between both countries. It will allow passage of 100 Bangladesh products and 34 Bhutan products duty-free. The Trade volume between Bhutan and Bangladesh is about 50 million dollars.
McAfee’s report finds losses from cybercrime at over $1 trillion.
McAfee’s “The Hidden Costs of Cybercrime report” has found that losses from cybercrime all over the world stand at over $1 trillion. The global losses of over $1 trillion are equal to more than 1% of global GDP. Global GDP was $142 trillion in 2019. As per the report, the global losses increased by more than 50% from the $600 billion losses reported in a study carried out in 2018. McAfee’s report is in collaboration with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
Indian Navy successfully tested BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile in Anti-Ship mode.
Indian Navy has successfully test-fired the BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile in Anti-Ship mode on 1 December. It has been test-fired with high precession on a decommissioned ship. Supersonic missiles: Missiles that could travel at speed between 2-3 Mach are called Supersonic. It travels faster than the speed of sound.
World’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa sized asteroid was to pass by Earth.
World’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa sized asteroid was to pass by Earth on 29 November. The name of the asteroid is 153201 (2000 WO107). Scientists discovered it in 2000. Its diameter is 820 meters. The height of the Burj Khalifa is 829.8 metres. It is a near-earth asteroid and is classified as Potentially Hazardous Asteroid by NASA’s jet Propulsion Laboratory. It was earlier seen in January 2018. It will pass by the Earth in February 2031.
Top Current Affairs November 2020
A new species of burrowing frog named after Bengaluru.
A new species of burrowing frog has been named after Bengaluru as Sphaerotheca Bengaluru. The researchers found this species while documenting Amphibians in the Deccan Plateau parts of Karnataka. They named the new species Sphaerotheca Bengaluru to highlight that amphibians from the non-forested area have not been documented completely. They also named the new species Sphaerotheca Bengaluru to highlight that there are lacunae in restoring frog habitats in Bengaluru.
Russia signed a pact with Hetero for producing Sputnik V COVID vaccine in India.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund signed a pact with the pharmaceutical company Hetero for the production of 100 million doses of Sputnik V COVID vaccine in India. As per the RDIF, Sputnik V has shown 95% efficacy after the first dose. RDIF and Hetero are the manufacturing partner for the production of the Sputnik V COVID vaccine. The production will start from the beginning of 2021. RDIF has also collaborated with other countries for the global production of the Sputnik V vaccine.
Platinum Partner Award conferred to EPFO for highest transactions on UMANG App.
Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has been awarded Platinum Partner Award for the highest transactions on UMANG App. It has done more than 25 lakh transactions. On the eve of the 3rd anniversary of the UMANG App, the government has been giving the UMANG Awards to the Departments of Centre and States, based on the transactions in the last six months. EPFO has launched its services on the UMANG platform to easily availability its services to the socio-economically weaker sections. EPFO members can use 19 services on the UMANG App.
ATAL Faculty Development Programmes launched by Education Minister.
Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' has inaugurated 46 online programmes of AICTE Training and Learning (ATAL) Academy Faculty Development Programmes. It has been launched to train faculty of higher education institutions. These programmes will be conducted according to the National Education Policy -2020 in 22 states of India. It will help in improving the standard of faculties in the field of Engineering, Management, Life Skills, Design and Media.
Conference organized to mark the 3rd Anniversary of UMANG.
To mark the 3rd anniversary of UMANG and 2000+ services, an online conference has been organized under Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad’s chairmanship. During the event, the international version of UMANG was launched for USA, UK, Canada, Australia, UAE, Netherlands, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. It will enable people living outside India to avail the services of the Government of India.
30th edition of India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol concluded.
Indian Navy and the Royal Thai Navy conducted the 30th edition of India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol from 18 – 20 November 2020. INS Karmuk and HTMS Kraburi, along with Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft, have participated in the CORPAT. To strengthen the maritime links, both countries’ navies have been carrying out CORPAT twice a year since 2005. It will help in preventing and suppressing illegal fishing, drug trafficking, maritime terrorism, armed robbery and piracy.
India and NDB sign a USD 500 million loan agreement for Public Transport System in NCR Region.
A loan agreement of 500 million has been signed between the New Development Bank (NDB), the Government of India, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and National Capital Region Transport Corporation Limited for the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) Project. This ambitious project will develop an efficient and sustainable regional transport system in the NCR region. This 82 km long RRTS project between Delhi and Meerut will reduce the travel time, help in decongestion, and reduce pollution in the region. NDB funds will be utilized for procuring signaling, telecommunication, train control system, automatic train protection, etc.
Capacity building component of Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises scheme (PM-FME Scheme) inaugurated.
Capacity building component of Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises scheme (PM-FME Scheme) has been inaugurated by Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Narendra Singh Tomar. He has also launched GIS One District One Product (ODOP) digital map of India. It provides details of ODOP products of all the states to facilitate the stakeholders. The PM-FME scheme aims to train food processing entrepreneurs, various groups, viz., SHGs / FPOs / Co-operatives, workers, and other stakeholders of its implementation.
Bengaluru Tech Summit 2020 to be inaugurated by Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister will inaugurate Bengaluru Tech Summit, 2020 on 19th November. The Bengaluru Tech Summit 2020 will be organised by Karnataka government along with Karnataka Innovation and Technology Society, Karnataka government’s Vision Group on Information Technology, Biotechnology and StartUp, Software Technology Parks of India and MM Activ Sci-Tech Communications. The theme of the Bengaluru Tech Summit 2020 is "Next is Now". It is scheduled to take place from November 19-21. Industry captains, technocrats, researchers, innovators, investors, policymakers and educators will also participate in the summit.
Government announced a stimulus package to boost the economy.
Union Finance Minister has announced various measures to boost employment, credit and manufacturing in the country. Government has announced an “Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana”. Under it, the government will give Employees contribution and employer’s contribution to EPF-registered organizations on recruiting new people. It will cover new employees whose monthly wages are less than Rs. 15000 and people who lost their jobs in the pandemic period from 1 March 2020 in an EPFO-registered establishment. The government will give an additional outlay of Rs 10,000 crore to boost rural employment under PM Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana.
India-Brazil bilateral meeting held virtually.
A bilateral virtual meeting held between External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar and Brazilian counterpart Ernesto Araujo. Both countries discussed various issues, including strengthening the India-Brazil Strategic Partnership and cooperation in healthcare, supply chain resilience, cybersecurity, etc. They also discussed issues such as India’s upcoming membership of the UNSC, the role of G4, and India’s priorities in the UNSC. Both countries condemned terrorism in any form and reaffirmed their cooperation in dealing with such issues.
Modi and Conte sign 15 agreements and adopt Action Plan for 2020-25.
PM Modi and PM of Italy Giuseppe Conte have signed 15 agreements and adopted an Action Plan for 2020-25. The Action Plan has been adopted for setting up priorities, strategic goals, and mechanisms for 2020-25. PM Modi and PM of Italy also said that the two countries are committed to working closely on a development-oriented global agenda for their respective G20 Presidencies (India in 2022 and Italy in 2021).
Childcare expenses to be included in the calculation of maintenance to deserted wives.
On November 4, the Supreme Court held that childcare expenses would be included in calculating maintenance/alimony to deserted wive Supreme Court also ruled that deserted wives and children will get alimony /maintenance from the date they file an application. In its 67 page judgment, the Supreme Court has laid guidelines for the amount of maintenance that should be paid by husbands to wives and children in matrimonial cases.
Malabar 20: Phase I commences off Vishakhapatnam from 3 November to 6 November
The 2020 Malabar Exercise is scheduled to be held in two phases. The 1st phase of the exercise has begun. Indian Navy (IN), United States Navy (USN), Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF), and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) are the participants of Malabar 20. This year it is the 24th edition of the Malabar exercise. Malabar Exercise is a naval exercise that started as a bilateral exercise in 1992 between the navies of India and US. Later, Japan joined the exercise in 2015. For the first time, QUAD countries will together conduct naval exercise as the Royal Australian Navy is also part of Malabar 20.
An MoU signed between IISc and IOCL for hydrogen-generation technology.
IISc and IOCL have signed an MoU to develop and demonstrate biomass gasification based hydrogen generation technology for producing fuel cell-grade hydrogen at low cost. It will be very helpful for hydrogen-based fuel technology and will be very crucial for a hydrogen-based economy. It will not only provide cleaner energy but will also help in addressing the challenge of biomass waste. It will help in meeting India’s de-carbonisation targets.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Zoological Park in Kevadia inaugurated by Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister has inaugurated the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Zoological Park in Kevadia in Gujarat. It has been set up near the Statue of Unity for promoting tourism in the area. He inaugurated 17 projects and laid the foundation stone for four new projects under the Integrated Development of Kevadia project. He also flagged off Ekta Cruise service from Shrestha Bharat Bhavan to the Statue of Unity. Zoological Park will be an interesting place for birdwatching. It also has a facility of Jungle Safari, which is the fastest built Jungle Safari. It has two aviaries-one for domestic birds and another for exotic birds. It is the world’s largest geodesic dome for the aviary.
Top Current Affairs October 2020
EU to allow participation of the US and Britain in its joint defence pacts.
EU will allow non-members such as the US and Britain to participate in its joint defence projects. The permission to the US and Britain will be given on an exceptional basis in individual projects. They will be allowed to participate in future projects for the development of aircraft, helicopters, and weapons. In May 2020, the European Commission proposed that 8 billion euros ($9.5 billion) of EU’s next budget should be kept on a new, complementary EU defence fund. In December 2017, the EU defence pact, known as Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) was launched. Its aim is to help the EU in funding, deploying, and developing armed forces together.
India and UK sign agreements at 10th India-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue.
India and UK have signed agreements on financial services, infrastructure, and sustainable finance at the 10th India-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue. Agreements include a new strategic partnership for faster development of Gujarat International Finance Tech (GIFT) City in the form of an international financial centre. The agreements also include support for developing the regulatory capacity of the International Financial Services Centre Authority, a statutory body under the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.
India to reorganize Military under Five Theatre Commands.
Indian Army will reorganize itself under the five Theatre Commands by 2022. It will help in creating a seamless command structure and defined operations for better-synchronized operations. The restructuring process of three services under the Theater Command has begun with the Special Northern Command of China and the Western Command of Pakistan.
Japan aims to become carbon neutral by 2050.
Yoshihide Suga, Prime minister of Japan, announced that his country would achieve zero carbon emission by 2050. In the current scenario, 56% of Japan’s energy requirement comes from fossil fuels. Japan will make a sustainable economy its pillar of growth, and it will move towards a green society. It will promote hydrogen, battery storage, carbon recycling and wind power to achieve this ambitious goal. The Japanese Government will revise its 2030 target of renewable energy to meet the 2050 pledge.
India’s biggest cardiac hospital in Ahmedabad and world’s longest temple ropeway in Girnar inaugurated.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s biggest cardiac hospital at U.N. Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Center. He also launched a Mobile App for telecardiology at the Civil Hospital campus in Ahmedabad. He also dedicated the world’s longest temple ropeway (2.3 km long and 900m height) at Girnar in Junagarh. Usha Breco Limited has developed the Girnar ropeway.
Amazon says that it would not appear before the Joint Committee of Parliament on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019.
Amazon has said that it would not appear before the Joint Committee of Parliament on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, on 28 October. JPC examining Data Protection Bill has tried to get the views of Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Paytm, and other companies on data security and protection. The chairperson has said that Amazon’s refusal is equal to a breach of parliamentary privileges. Action may be taken against Amazon if it will not appear next Wednesday.
Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2020 shows marginal increase in wealth of Indian adults.
Global Wealth Report 2020 released by Credit Suisse has shown marginal increase in wealth of Indian adults by $120. As per the report, average wealth of Indian adults has increased by 1.7% from $17,300 in December 2019 to $17,420 in June 2020. Credit Suisse has estimated the of countries with ultra-high net worth individuals, India appeared at 4th place after US, China and Germany. In the first half of 2020, household wealth increased only in China and India.
HCNG dispensing centre for buses inaugurated in Delhi.
A hydrogen enriched-Compressed Natural Gas (HCNG) plant and the dispensing station have been inaugurated at the Rajghat Depot in New Delhi. It was inaugurated by the Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot. Hydrogen enriched-Compressed Natural Gas (HCNG) plant is set up by IOCL in collaboration with the Delhi Transport Department. Hydrogen enriched-Compressed Natural Gas is considered as one of the leanest fuel so it can replace fuel such as gasoline, diesel, LPG, Petrol, etc. It reduces the emission of carbon dioxide and increases fuel efficiency, which would result in overall fuel saving.
Israel to begin human trials of COVID-19 vaccine candidate ‘Brilife’.
Israel will start the human trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate ‘Brilife’ by October-end. The vaccine is developed by the Israel Institute of Biological Research (IIBR). The vaccine has a trade name “Brilife”, ‘Bri’ for health, ‘il’ for the state of Israel, and ‘life’.
Ayushman Sahakar scheme launched by Union Agriculture Minister.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has launched the Ayushman Sahakar scheme, which has been formulated (prepared) by National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC). Ayushman Sahakar scheme is a way to help cooperatives play an important role in the creation of healthcare infrastructure in India. Under the scheme, prospective cooperatives will get term loans equal to 10 thousand crore rupees in the future.
PM Narendra Modi addressed Grand Challenges Annual Meeting (GCAM).
Prime Minister virtually addressed the inaugural function of the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting (GCAM) 2020. It has been co-hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, the Indian Council of Medical Research and NITI Aayog, along with the Grand Challenges Canada, the United States Agency for International Development and Wellcome.
First India-Chile joint commission meeting held virtually.
India and Chile held their first joint commission meeting via videoconferencing. Both countries agreed upon cooperation in various fields, including trade and commerce, agriculture, health and social security, Defence and space. The meeting was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chilean counterpart Andres Allamand Zavala.
SBI can issue and encash Electoral Bonds from 19 October to 28 October.
In the 14th phase of the sale, SBI has been authorized to issue and encash Electoral Bonds from 19 October to 28 October. The Electoral Bonds will be issued and encashed through the 29 Authorised branches of SBI.
Union Cabinet approves World Bank aided STARS project.
The Union Cabinet has approved the World Bank-supported project STARS for improving school education outcomes. STARS project will support States in developing, implementing, evaluating and improving interventions with direct linkages to improved education outcomes. The objectives of this project are aligned with the objectives of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 of Quality-Based Learning Outcomes. Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project estimated cost is 5,718 crore. This project will be implemented as a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme under the Department of School Education and Literacy.
Defence Minister laid the foundation stone of the Nechiphu Tunnel.
Defence Minister has laid the foundation stone of the Nechiphu Tunnel in West Kameng, Arunachal Pradesh. The tunnel is located on Balipara-Charduar-Tawang (BCT) road. It is 450 m long and D-shaped. Defence Minister has also inaugurated eight bridges in Arunachal Pradesh and 36 bridges in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Sikkim and Jammu & Kashmir. The bridges were constructed by Border Roads Organisation.
2020 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences announced.
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2020 has been awarded jointly to Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson. The two economists were awarded "for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats." Their discoveries have benefitted sellers, buyers and taxpayers globally. The prize comes with a 10 million Swedish krona cash award and a gold medal. Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was established in 1969.
M. Rajeshwar Rao appointed as Deputy Governor of RBI.
RBI’s senior-most Executive Director, M. Rajeshwar Rao, has been appointed as new Deputy Governor of RBI by the central government. He has replaced N.S. Vishwanathan, who resigned in March due to health issues. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Rajeshwar Rao as the Deputy Governors of RBI. He was currently looking Internal Debt Management Department, International Department and Financial Markets Operation Department of RBI.
2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry announced.
Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna have been jointly awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. They have been awarded for the development of a method for genome editing. Before Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna, Marie Curie, her daughter Irène Joliot-Curie, Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin (1964), Ada Yonath (2009), and Frances H. Arnold (2018) were the only five women to be awarded with the most presitigious award in the field of Chemistry.
Winners for Nobel Prize in Medicine 2020 announced.
Three scientists Harvey J Alter, Charles M Rice, and Michael Houghton, have jointly bagged the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology. It has been given for the discovery of the hepatitis C virus. Dr. Alter and Dr. Rice are American medical researchers. Dr. Houghton is a British Professor of virology. A gold medal and prize money of 10 million Swedish kronor will be given to winners. The discovery of the Hepatitis C virus has revealed the cause of the remaining cases of chronic hepatitis. Currently, there is no effective vaccine against hepatitis C, and this research work has raised hope for the development of an effective vaccine.
Dr. Jitendra Singh releases Coffee Table Book titled 'Discovering the Heritage of Assam'.
Minister of Development of North East Region, Dr. Jitendra Singh, has released a book. This is a coffee table book titled “Discovering the Heritage of Assam”. The book has a foreword by Actor Amitabh Bachchan and the book has been published by Penguin. The author of the book is Padampani Bora, who is an IRS officer of 2009 batch. The book is a compilation of heritage, beliefs, and traditions of different ethnic tribes and subtribes living in the North Eastern region of India.
Ministry of Jal Shakti presented Swachh Bharat Awards-2020.
Swachh Bharat Awards-2020 was given to States, Districts, Blocks, and Village Panchayats by Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. The awards were given in two categories, namely Drinking water and Cleanliness. The Union Government launched the three missions- Swachh Sundar Samudayik Shouchalaya, Samudayik Shouchalaya Abhiyan and Gandagi Mukth Bharat.
Shri Apurva Chandra appointed as Secretary, Ministry of Labour & Employment.
Shri Apurva Chandra, a 1988 batch IAS officer of Maharashtra cadre, has taken over as Secretary in the Ministry of Labour & Employment. Before this posting, he served as Special Director General, Defence Acquisition in the Ministry of Defense. He played a key role in contributing to AtmaNirbhar Bharat in terms of greater defence acquisition from the domestic market. He has also served in the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas in the Government of India. He has worked as the Principal Secretary in the Government of Maharashtra.
India successfully test-fired BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.
BrahMos supersonic cruise missile with indigenous features has been successfully test-fired by Defence Research and Development Organisation from Balasore in Odisha. Booster and Airframe Section and many other subsystems of this missile are indigenously developed. It has paved the way for producing indigenous component of the powerful BrahMos Weapon System.
Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry launched Ambedkar Social Innovation & Incubation Mission.
Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, Thaawarchand Gehlot, has launched Ambedkar Social Innovation and Incubation Mission under Venture Capital Fund for SCs. It will promote innovation and entrepreneurship among SC students studying in higher education institutions. It will provide financial assistance to SC entrepreneurs. Nearly one thousand SC youth will be identified with start-up ideas through the Technology Business Incubators and they will be funded 30 lakh for three years as equity funding.