- 1. Climate Change Performance Index 2021 released by Germanwatch.
- 2. International Mountain Day: 11 December
- 3. PM Modi addressed International Bharati Festival 2020.
- 4. World’s largest satellite-based Narrow Band-Internet of things (NB-IoT) network for fishermen, farmers, construction, and mining and logistics enterprises launched.
- 5. India-Uzbekistan organised their first virtual summit.
- 6. RTGS system will be available round the clock from 14 December.
- 7. Council on Energy, Environment and Water study claimed that 75% districts of India are hotspot of extreme climate events.
- 8. EXIM Bank and SIDBI plan to set up an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF).
Topic: Report and Indices
1. Climate Change Performance Index 2021 released by Germanwatch.
- India ranked 10th in the Climate Change Performance Index 2021, recently released by Germanwatch, a non-profit organization.
- India has moved one position down from the previous year’s rank. In 2019, it was in the ninth position.
- India and the United Kingdom are the only G-20 countries that have found a place in the top 10.
- CCPI 2021, covering the year 2020, shows no country has found a place in the Top 3.
- Sweden ranked 4th in the index, followed by the United Kingdom and Denmark.
- China has attained 33rd rank while the USA, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Australia, South Korea and Russia are at the bottom of the index.
- According to this report, no country is on track to meet its Paris Agreement commitment to restrict the temperature rise below 2 degree Celsius by the end of the century.
- Who publishes Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI)? – It is published annually by the effort of Germanwatch, the New Climate Institute and the Climate Action Network.
- When was the index first published? – The index was published for the first time in 2005.
- What are the four assessment categories based on which the index is prepared? – The index evaluates and analyses the efforts of 57 countries based on 14 indicators placed into four assessment categories:
- Green House gas emissions (40%)
- Renewable energy (20%)
- Energy use (20%)
- Climate policy (20%)
Topic: Important Days
2. International Mountain Day: 11 December
- International Mountain Day is celebrated every year on 11 December since 2003 to highlight the importance of mountains to life.
- United Nations declared the year 2002 as the UN International Year of Mountains.
- The United Nations has declared 2021 to 2030 the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
- 15% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s land animals and plants live in the mountains.
- Theme 2020: Mountain Biodiversity
- SDG 15: Life on Land
Topic: National News
3. PM Modi addressed International Bharati Festival 2020.
- Prime Minister Modi addressed the International Bharati Festival 2020 virtually on 11 December 2020.
- It is being organised by the Vanavil Culture on the 138th birth anniversary of the national poet, Mahakavi Subramanya Bharati, in Chennai.
- On this occasion, Seeni Vishwanathan will be awarded this year’s Bharti award for his compendium on Subramaniya Bharati.
- Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharati:
- He was one of the greatest Tamil writers and poets.
- He was also known as Mahakavi Bharathi.
- He wrote many books and poems during the Indian Independence movement. His most famous works are Kannan Paatu, Kuyil Paatu, Panchali Sabatham, etc.
- He has also written articles and poems on various issues such as women empowerment, the caste system, untouchability, child marriage, etc.
- He had died on 11 September 1921.
(Source: The Print)
Topic: Space and IT
4. World’s largest satellite-based Narrow Band-Internet of things (NB-IoT) network for fishermen, farmers, construction, and mining and logistics enterprises launched.
- World’s largest satellite-based Narrow Band-Internet of things (NB-IoT) network has been launched by Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) for fishermen, farmers, construction, and mining and logistics enterprises.
- Skylotech India (Skylo) developed NB-IoT indigenously. It will be linked satellite ground infrastructure of BSNL.
- Skylotech India (Skylo) offers an IoT network in India. It was in the news in January 2020 for raising $103 million in the second round of funding led by SoftBank Group of Japan.
- Narrow Band-Internet of things (NB-IoT) is an LPWAN radio technology. The full form of LPWAN is Low Power Wide Area Network. It is developed for connecting IoT devices.
- Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL):
- It was founded in 2000. It is a Public Sector Undertaking wholly owned by Government of India.
- Pravin Kumar Purwar is its chairman & MD. It is headquartered in New Delhi.
- It provides telecom services all over India except Delhi and Mumbai.
Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings
5. India-Uzbekistan organised their first virtual summit.
- India and Uzbekistan have organized their first virtual summit on 11 December 2020.
- Both countries have discussed their bilateral relationship and various issues, including cooperation in the post-COVID world.
- In this summit, many MoUs will be signed in renewable energy, capacity building, etc. Earlier, both countries had signed an agreement for cooperation in the field of Civil Nuclear energy.
- India and Uzbekistan are Strategic Partners since 2011. Both countries are negotiating on the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) and the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).
- The Bilateral trade between India and Uzbekistan is around USD 247 million. They want to increase it to USD 1 billion.
- It is a Central Asian nation.
- Its capital is Tashkent and the currency is Uzbekistani Som.
- It is bordered by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan.
- Shavkat Mirziyoyev is the current President of Uzbekistan.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Indian Economy
6. RTGS system will be available round the clock from 14 December.
- The Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) facility will now be available 24x7 from 14 December.
- RTGS is used for large-value fund transfers, while NEFT is used for fund transfers of up to Rs 2 lakh.
- RBI stated that it would give a boost to digital payments, and it will provide facilities to businesses and customers for the transfer of money round the clock.
- India will become one of the few countries to make RTGS available round the clock. In India, RTGS uses ISO 20022 format messaging standard for financial transactions.
- NEFT facility is already available 24x7 from December 2019.
- Real-time gross settlement (RTGS):
- It was started on 26 March 2004.
- It is a gross settlement based electronic payment system.
- In RTGS, transactions are completed individually or on a one-to-one basis.
- As per RBI, the minimum limit for transactions in RTGS is Rs 2 lakh.
- As per RBI, there is no upper or maximum limit for transactions in RTGS.
- At present, it handles 6.35 lakh transactions on a daily basis.
Topic: Environment and Ecology
7. Council on Energy, Environment and Water study claimed that 75% districts of India are hotspot of extreme climate events.
- As per the study of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, India’s 75% districts are the hotspots of extreme climate events.
- It is the country’s first study to identify the district affected by extreme climatic events such as cyclones, floods, droughts, heat, and cold waves.
- Findings of this study are:
- In recent times, the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events have increased. In India, 250 extreme events were recorded between 1970 and 2005, but in the last 15 years, 310 extreme climatic events have been recorded.
- The study has found that in the last 50 years, the frequency of floods has increased almost eight-times, and landslides, heavy rainfall, hailstorms, thunderstorm events have increased over 20 times.
- According to the study, after 2005 yearly average of extreme floods has increased to 11 and about 55 districts of India are affected by floods each year.
- In 2019, 151 districts of India got affected by 16 extreme flood events. The most flood-prone districts in India are Barpeta, Darrang, Dhemaji, Goalpara, Golaghat, Sivasagar.
- The current extreme weather events could be the result of 0.6 degrees Celsius temperature rise in the last 100 years.
- According to the study, the number of drought-affected district has increased 13 times after 2005. In India, 79% district faces a drought-like situation every year.
- Most drought-affected districts of India are Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Anantapur, Chittoor, Bagalkot, Bijapur, Chikkaballapur, Gulbarga, Hassan.
- The study has also observed that there has been a shift in the pattern of extreme climate events in the 40% districts of India. Many flood-prone areas have converted into drought-prone areas and vice-versa has also happened.
- The shifting of weather patterns is alarming because it reduces the capability of the administration in the fight against extreme weather events.
- India is the fifth most affected country by extreme climate events globally.
Topic: Banking System/Finance
8. EXIM Bank and SIDBI plan to set up an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF).
- EXIM Bank and SIDBI plan to set up an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) in partnership.
- The fund will be to set up support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by providing equity and loans.
- In Budget for Financial Year 2020-21, the government announced that a fund would be set up by SIDBI and EXIM Bank to support SMEs in pharmaceuticals, auto components and other sectors.
- The aim of the scheme (Ubharte Sitaare) is to find Indian enterprises currently underperforming but having the potential to grow.