Daily Current Affairs and GK | 16 December 2020

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 16 Dec 2020 22:55 PM IST

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Topic: Reports and Indices/Rankings

1. UNESCO released 2020 State of the Education Report for India.

  • UNESCO has released the ‘State of the Education Report for India 2020’. This edition has mainly focused on the technical and vocational education and training of India (TVET).
  • It has provided details about the short-term and long-term courses available in India through educational institutions and state.
  • It has been developed by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences under the guidance of UNESCO.
  • This report has been developed to strengthen TVET systems of Member States under the objective of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4- “Quality Education” and the Education 2030 Framework for Action.
  • This report will help government agencies and the private sector in developing their program and policies related to skill development in India.
  • Government of India has set a goal of creating 110 million skilled force by 2022. It is currently training 10 million youths every year.
  • This report has recommended ten provisions for the informal workforce of India to achieve the goal of skilled forces in India.
  • It has also recommended preserving the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of India as it provides livelihood to a large number of population.
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
    • It was established on 16 November 1945.
    • It is a specialized agency of the United Nations based in Paris, France.
    • It aims at promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education, the sciences, and culture.
    • Member States: 193
    • Director General: Audrey Azoulay

Topic: Sports

2. Bhubaneswar and Rourkela to host 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup.

  • Rourkela and Bhubaneswar will host the Men’s Hockey World Cup from 13 to 29 January 2023.
  • Odisha will host the Men’s Hockey World Cup for the second time consecutively.
  • The President of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has reviewed the preparedness for this event.
  • Men’s FIH Hockey World Cup:
    • The 2023 World Cup will be the 15th edition of the Men’s FIH Hockey World Cup.
    • Men’s FIH Hockey World Cup tournament was started in 1971 and is held every four years.
    • Bhubaneshwar hosted the 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup. It was won by Belgium.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

3. A Scheme for approval of Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies launched by Quality Council of India (QCI).

  • A Scheme for approval of Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies has been launched by the Quality Council of India (QCI) at the request of FSSAI.
  • The scheme aims to increase the Hygiene Rating in India by making the number of recognized Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies in India greater.
  • Recognized Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies check the obeying of food hygiene and safety procedures laid by FSSAI.
  • FSSAI Food Hygiene Rating is an online, transparent scoring and rating process for food businesses supplying food directly to consumers. Food establishments are rated in the form of smileys (1 up to 5) after the audit.
  • Quality Council of India (QCI):
    • It was established in 1997 jointly by the government and the Indian industry represented by ASSOCHAM, CII and FICCI.
    • The nodal ministry for QCI is the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It has 38 members. It is an autonomous body under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
    • It is headquartered in New Delhi.  Its chairman is Adil Zainulbhai.

Topic: Important Days

4. Vijay Diwas being celebrated across the country on 16 December.

  • The nation is celebrating the 50th anniversary of India’s victory in the Indo-Pak War of 1971. It is being celebrated as ‘Vijay Diwas’.
  • On this occasion, Prime Minister will light up ‘Swarnim Vijay Mashaal’ to begin the celebration.
  • Many events will be organised to celebrate the event, including the lit up of four victory Mashaals. These Mashaals will be carried to the villages of the Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra Awardees of 1971 war. 
  • The government is celebrating this year as ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ to mark the victory of India in the war of 1971.
  • Vijay Diwas:
    • It is celebrated every year on 16 December to commemorate the Victory of India in the Bangladesh liberation war of 1971.
    • On this day, Gen. Niazi surrendered along with his 93,000 Pakistani troops before the Indian Army in Dhaka in 1971.
    • Bangladesh celebrates this day as its Independence Day.

swarnim vijay mashaal

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

5. Dept of Posts & India Post Payments Bank launched DakPay App.

  • Department of Posts and India Post Payments Bank has launched a new payment app, ‘DakPay’.
  • It is launched as a part of the ongoing efforts to expand digital financial inclusion across the country.
  • It is not just a digital payment app, but it would also provide other digital financial and banking services of the Department of India Post and Post Payments Bank.
  • It will help people in transferring money and it will also give online access to Banking and Postal products.
  • It has been launched by the Communication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
  • Department of Posts: It was formed in October 1854 by Lord Dalhousie. It is headquartered in New Delhi. It works under the Ministry of Communications.
  • India Post Payments Bank:
    • It was established in 2018.
    • It is a public sector payment bank, which is operated by the Department of Post.
    • It provides banking services through the postmen and post offices.

India Post Payments Bank launched DakPay App

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: International news

6. Kazakhstan is celebrating its 29th Independence Day.

  • Kazakhstan is celebrating the 29th anniversary of its independence.
  • Kazakhstan got independence on 16 December 1991 from the Soviet Union. It was the last country to gain independence from the Soviet republic.
  • Nursultan Nazarbayev was the first president of independent Kazakhstan.
  • Now, Kazakhstan has become one of the important economic centers of the world.
  • Kazakhstan will hold its first legislative election in 2021.
  • Kazakhstan and India have cooperated in the field of trade, economy, investment, and defence.
  • Kazakhstan:
    • It is located in Central Asia.
    • It shares its border with Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, the Aral Sea, Turkmenistan and the Caspian Sea.
    • Nur-Sultan is the capital and Tenge is the currency of Kazakhstan.
    • Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is the current President.
    • It is the largest country in Central Asia.

Kazakhstan independence day

Topic: Miscellaneous

7. Ladakh is celebrating ‘Losar’ festival.

  • The people of Ladakh are celebrating the ‘Losar’ festival as the Ladakhi New Year. 
  • It began on 15 December and will continue for the next 15 days.
  • On this occasion, special prayers will be performed at Chokanga Vihara in Leh. The celebration events will be organized by the Ladakh Buddhist Association’s Youth Wing and Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council.
  • Losar festival:
    • It is celebrated as the Ladakhi or Tibetan New Year.
    • It is celebrated as the onset of the New Year, according to Tibetan Buddhism.
    • It is one of the most prominent festivals of Ladakh.
    • It is celebrated to depict the struggle between good and evil. “Metho” ceremony is the most important part of this festival.

Losar Festival Ladakh

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

8. TROPMET-2020 Symposium being organized by Indian Meteorological Society and North Eastern Space Applications Centre.

  • Indian Meteorological Society (IMS) and North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC) is organizing a Symposium on Tropical Meteorology (TROPMET-2020) at Shilong.
  • The theme of the Symposium is “Weather and Climate Services over Mountainous Regions”.
  • The importance of weather and climate services for the mountainous region was discussed at the conference.
  • The government has deployed Doppler Weather Radar and Automatic Weather Station (AWS) to solve the challenge of severe weather and climate change in the mountainous region.
  • The government has also set up a ‘Himansh’ observatory in Western Himalayas to solve the problems of people of the mountainous regions.
  • Indian Meteorological Society has informed that they have taken few steps for the up-gradation of weather & climate service and has established the Regional Climate Centre for research and development in the mountainous region.
  • The need for impact-based weather forecasting was also discussed during the conference.
  • Dr. B. Rohith has received the WMO young scientist award for 2019. 

Topic: Environment and Ecology

9. Himalayan serow (Capricornis sumatraensis thar) sighted for the first time by humans in the Himalayan cold desert region.

  • Himalayan serow (Capricornis sumatraensis thar) sighted for the first time by humans in the Himalayan cold desert region.
  • More specifically, it has been sighted near Hurling village in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. Earlier, it had been sighted through camera traps in Tirthan valley.
  • Spiti is located in the cold mountain desert region of western Himalaya. Its valley floor has an average elevation of 4,270 metres above sea level.
  • The sighting of Himalayan serow (Capricornis sumatraensis thar) in Spiti is unusual as it is usually present at altitudes between 2,000 metres and 4,000 metres.
  • As per the wildlife officials, it would have reached Spiti valley from Rupi Bhaba Wildlife Sanctuary in nearby Kinnaur. It resembles a cross between a goat, a donkey, a cow, and a pig.
  • Himalayan serow (Capricornis sumatraensis thar):
    • It is a subspecies of the mainland serow (Capricornis sumatraensis). It is an herbivore.
    • It is placed in the ‘vulnerable’ category in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and under Schedule I of The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
    • All species of serow are found in Asia. However, the Himalayan serow is found only in the Himalayan region, particularly in the eastern, central, and western Himalayas.
    • Himalayan serow is not found in the Trans Himalayan region. Its important features are given below.

Himalayan serow

Important Features of Himalayan Serow

(Capricornis sumatraensis thar)

A medium-sized mammal

Large head

Thick neck

Short limbs

Long, mule-like ears

A coat of dark hair







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