Daily Current Affairs and GK | 1 December 2020

Half Yearly (Jul- Dec 2020)
2020 Book

Current Affairs

Topic: Environment and Ecology

1. Cnemaspis avasabinae, a new species of lizard discovered in Eastern Ghats.

  • Cnemaspis avasabinae, a new species of lizard, has been discovered in the Eastern Ghats.
  • Cnemaspis avasabinae is the smallest known Indian gekkonid and the first species from the Velikonda Range in Andhra Pradesh.
  • It has been given a common name – Sabin’s Nellore dwarf gecko.
  • Gekkonid means a member of the family Gekkonidae, the largest family of small lizards (Geckos).
  • Cnemaspis avasabinae is the twelfth species found outside the Western Ghats. It has been discovered from a dry evergreen forest among the rocks.            
  • Its males lack femoral pores, which are generally found in both sexes of most species of lizards. Femoral pores release pheromones, chemicals that play role in communication with possible mates.  
  • Cnemaspis avasabinae has good vision and it may use visual signaling for male attraction.
  • Total 45 species of Cnemaspis are found in India. Out of them, 34 are from Western Ghats.

Cnemaspis avasabinae

 

Topic: Space and IT

2. 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.
  • Potentially Hazardous Asteroids are asteroids that have a minimum orbit intersection distance (MOID) of 0.05au or less.

burj khalifa sized asteroid

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Topic: Books and Authors

3. “PM Modi and his Government’s Special Relationship with Sikhs” book unveiled on the occasion of Gurupurab.

  • Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri launched a book titled “Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Government’s Special Relationship with Sikhs” on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti.
  • It has been published by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It was released in English, Hindi and Punjabi languages.
  • It comprises the message of Guru Nanak Dev and a compilation of government initiatives taken by the Modi government for the Sikh community.
  • The main initiatives taken for the Sikh community are the opening of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, grand celebration of 550th Prakash Parv, connectivity to all Sikh pilgrimages, etc.
  • Hardeep Singh Puri is the current Minister for Civil Aviation and Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • Guru Nanak Jayanti:
    • It is celebrated every year to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.
    • This year country is celebrating the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
    • He gave the mantra of ‘Ek Onkar’ to his followers, which means to treat all human beings equally without any discrimination. He has also given the message of ‘Naam Japo, Kirat Karo and Vand Chhako’.

prime minister narendra modi and his government’s special relationship with sikhs

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Important Days

4. Nagaland is celebrating its 58th foundation day on 1st December.

  • Nagaland had come into existence as the 16th state of India on 1 December 1963.
  • This year it is celebrating its 58th foundation day.
  • Nagaland is known for its diversity, traditions, Hornbill festival and Amur Falcons.
  • Naga peace talks:
    • Naga Peace Talk is a talk between the Indian government and the various stakeholders in Nagaland on the issue of Greater Nagalim. Greater Nagalim means a greater homeland for Naga tribes, including the area of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur.
    • NSCN-K and NSCN-IM are the main groups, which are involved in peace talks.
    • Naga framework agreement was signed on 3 August 2015 by the Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) to end the conflicting issues.
  • Nagaland:
    • It is a mountainous state in northeast India.
    • It shares its boundary with Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Myanmar.
    • Its capital is Kohima.
    • It is one of the smallest states in India.
    • Its current Chief Minister is Neiphiu Rio and Governor is RN Ravi.
    • It has 1 Lok Sabha seat, 1 Rajya Sabha seat, and 60 legislative assembly seats.

Nagaland

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

5. Government launches One Nation One Ration Card scheme in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

  • Government has started the One Nation One Ration Card scheme in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Aadhar Enabled Biometric e-POS machines have been installed to implement this scheme.
  • It will help migrant workers in getting their rations quota under the National food security Act.
  • It is one of the biggest reform by the government, it will help the government in providing rations quota effortlessly to migrant workers.
  • One Nation One Ration Card Scheme:
    • It has been implemented by the Department of Food & Public Distribution.
    • It has been launched to enable poor migrant workers to buy subsidized rice and wheat from any government ration shop in the country.
    • A migrant under this scheme will be allowed to buy a maximum of 50% of the family quota.
    • IM-PDS portal will provide the technological platform for the inter-state portability of ration cards.
    • All states will be included in one nation one ration card scheme by 2021.

Topic: Space and IT

6. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited delivers biggest ever cryogenic propellant tank to ISRO.

  • Biggest ever cryogenic propellant tank (C32 LH2) has been delivered by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to ISRO.
  • C32 LH2 is designed by HAL to increase the payload capacity of GSLV MK III, a heavy-lift satellite launch vehicle of ISRO.
  • It can load 5755 kg propellant fuel in the 89 cubic meter volume.
  • HAL had provided many satellite structures for the PSLV, GSLV Mark II and III launch vehicles. It is also developing a crew escape module for Gaganyaan Mission.
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL):
    • It was formed on 1 October 1964.
    • It works under the Ministry of Defence.
    • It is a government owned corporation involved in the design, fabrication and assembly of aircraft, jet engines, helicopters.
    • Its headquarters is located in Bangalore.
  • Indian Space and Research Organization (ISRO):
    • It is the space agency of the Indian government that was founded in 1969 by Vikram Sarabhai.
    • Current Director: Kailasavadivoo Sivan
    • Headquarters: Bengaluru

HAL cryogenic propellant tank to ISRO

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Indian Polity

7. Karnataka High Court rules that MLC AH Vishwanath cannot become a Minister.

  • Karnataka High Court has ruled that MLC AH Vishwanath cannot become a Minister.
  • The Court ruled that it is clear that he is disqualified under the anti-defection law.
  • The Court said that other MLCs, R. Shankar and N. Nagaraj (MTB), could become ministers as they were elected to the Legislative Council. Mr. Vishwanath was nominated to the Council.
  • The petitioner had appealed that the inclusion of three MLCs in the Council of Minister was against Article 164 and 361B of the Constitution.
  • Article 164 deals with appointments, terms and salaries of Ministers.
  • Article 361B prohibits members of the house disqualified under the 10th schedule from holding the remunerative post.
  • Anti-defection law provides for disqualification of MPs and members of state legislatures on the three grounds given below:
    • If a member of a political party voluntarily leaves the party or votes against the directions of the party without prior permission or approval by party within 15 days.
    • If an independent member joins a political party after election.
    • If a nominated member joins any political party after a gap of six months from joining the House.

8. Election Commission tells Law Ministry that it is ready to allow NRI voters to cast their votes through Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS).

  • Election Commission has told Law Ministry that it is ready to allow NRI voters to cast their votes through ETPBS in 2021 election in Assam, West, Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.  
  • As per the Election Commission’s proposal, interested NRIs should inform Returning Officer (RO) in minimum five days after the notification of election.
  • NRIs will take a printout of the postal ballot electronically sent to them by RO, mark their preference in the ballot and send it back.
  • The postal ballot will be sent along with a declaration by an officer. This officer should be appointed by a diplomatic or consular representative of India in the country in which NRI is residing.
  • Earlier, EC wanted a postal ballot for all Indians residing abroad. Government brought the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2017 for this purpose. But, it lapsed.
  • As per the current law, voters residing overseas can only vote in their constituencies. 
  • Government can allow NRI voters to vote through ETPBS by amending Conduct of Election Rules, 1961.
  • Only service voters are currently allowed to vote through ETPBS. Under ETPBS, Returning Officer (RO) sends the postal ballot electronically. The ballot is returned via ordinary mail.
  • A citizen of India, who is not residing in India and has not taken citizenship of any other country, can register as an NRI voter.

Topic: Important Days

9. World AIDS Day: 1 December

  • World AIDS Day is observed all over the world on 1 December every year.
  • World AIDS Day was started in 1988 and since 2004, it is planned and promoted by the World AIDS Campaign.
  • World AIDS Day is an important opportunity to raise awareness, remember those who have died and celebrate positive achievements in dealing with AIDS like greater opportunities for treatment and prevention of AIDS.
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) targets the immune system and weakens people’s defense against many infections and some types of cancer. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is the most advanced stage of HIV infection.
  • Around 38 million people in the world were living with HIV in the year 2019. Due to gaps in HIV services, 690 000 people died from HIV-related causes in 2019.
  • Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) is used for HIV. WHO aims to reach 90% of people living with HIV (PLHIV) by 2020 and make ART accessible to every PLHIV by 2030.
  • National Health Policy 2017 and UN SDGs aim to end AIDS by 2030. India has 2.35 million people with HIV. This is the third-highest HIV burden in the world.
  • Theme: “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience and Impact” 

Topic: State News/ UTs

10. Entire population of West Bengal to be covered under Swasthya Sathi health insurance scheme.

  • The entire population of West Bengal will be covered under its Swasthya Sathi health insurance scheme from 1 December 2020.
  • West Bengal Government has launched the Swasthya Sathi health insurance scheme in 2016.
  • It provides basic health cover up to Rs 5 lakh per annum per family. Basic health cover under the scheme is for secondary and tertiary care.
  • The scheme is entirely funded by state government. Each and Every family in the state will get cashless treatment and female guardians of families will be given one smart card under the scheme.
  • The scheme applies to all state-run and private hospitals. Ayushman Bharat Scheme is not being implemented in West Bengal.
  • West Bengal:
    • It is a state of eastern India. It is located between the Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal.
    • Its capital is Kolkata, which was formerly established as the East India Company Trading Post and the capital of the British Raj.
    • The Chief Minister of West Bengal is Mamta Banerjee and Governor is Jagdeep Dhankhar.
    • The state animal of West Bengal is the cat fish and the state bird is the white throated kingfisher.
    • The state tree of this state is Alstonia scholaris and the State Flower is Night flowering Jasmine. 
 

 

 

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