Daily Current Affairs and GK | 20 and 21 December 2020

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 21 Dec 2020 20:55 PM IST

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Topic: Important Days

1. International Human Solidarity Day: 20 December

  • International Human Solidarity Day is observed every year on 20 December to promote the spirit of sharing for eradicating poverty and celebrate unity in diversity.
  • Solidarity means those who suffer or benefit least deserve help from those who benefit most.
  • In 2005, the UN General Assembly identified solidarity as one of the fundamental values of international relations in 21st century.
  • In 2003, the United Nations General Assembly had established the World Solidarity Fund that aims to eliminate poverty and promote human development.

international human solidarity day

(Source: UN)


Topic: National News

2. Advanced Hypersonic Wind Tunnel test facility inaugurated in Hyderabad.

  • Recently, an advanced Hypersonic wind tunnel test facility has been inaugurated in Hyderabad by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
  • The indigenously developed facility is a pressure vacuum driven enclosed free jet facility with nozzle exit of 1m diameter.
  • India has become the third country after the US and Russia with such a facility.
  • The facility will simulate Mach 5 to 12.
  • The minister also handed over the Indian Maritime Situational Awareness System (IMSAS), ASTRA Mk-I Missile to and Border Surveillance System (BOSS) to the armed forces' chiefs.
  • BOSS: It is an all-weather electronic surveillance system designed and developed by Instruments Research & Development Establishment (IRDE), Dehradun. The system has been installed at Ladakh border area for day and night surveillance.
  • IMSAS: It is an indigenously developed high-performance intelligent software system that provides Global Maritime Situational Picture, Marine planning tools and Analytical capabilities to the Indian Navy.
  • ASTRA Mk-I: It is the indigenously developed first Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Missile, which can be launched from Sukhoi-30, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Mig-29 and Mig-29K.

advanced hypersonic wind tunnel test facility

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Appointments

3. S K Singhal appointed as DGP of Bihar.

  • S K Singhal has been appointed as Director General of Police (DGP) of Bihar.
  • He already had an additional charge of DGP as Gupteshwar Pandey had taken voluntary retirement in September.
  • He is a 1988 batch Bihar cadre IPS officer. He will retire on 31 August 2021.
  • Bihar:
    • It is third-largest state by population. Its capital is Patna and its governor is Phagu Chauhan. Nitish Kumar is its Chief Minister.
    • West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh are located in the east and west, respectively. Nepal and Jharkhand are located in its north and south, respectively. 
    • The State Animal of Bihar is Gaur (Mithun), State Bird is the house sparrow, State Tree is Peepal and State Flower is Kachnar.
    • It has 40 Lok Sabha seats, 16 Rajya Sabha seats and 243 Legislative assembly seats.

S K Singhal DGP of bihar

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Uttar Pradesh

4. UP Government introduces Varasat, a special campaign to control property and land disputes in rural areas.

  • UP Government has introduced ‘Varasat’, a special campaign to control property and land disputes in rural areas.
  • Varasat campaign will continue till 15th February 2021. It aims to end the exploitation of villagers in the name of Varasat of land and property.  
  • Varasat campaign will also control land mafia targeting disputed lands especially in the rural areas.
  • Under the Varasat campaign, Government is providing online and offline facilities for registering the ‘Varasat’.
  • People will get paper documents of their land property after the completion of Varasat /Varasaat exercise.
  • Uttar Pradesh:
    • It is the most populous state in India and ranks 4th in terms of area. The Chief Minister of the state is Yogi Adityanath and Governor is Anandiben Patel.
    • Deputy CMs: Dinesh Sharma and Keshav Prasad Maurya
    • The capital of the state is Lucknow. The state animal of Uttar Pradesh is Swamp Deer, State Bird is Saras Crane, State Tree is Ashoka and State Flower is Brahma Kamal.
    • Uttar Pradesh has 80 seats in the Lok Sabha and 403 assembly seats. It has 31 Rajya Sabha seats.

varasat campaign to control property and land disputes

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Sports

5. Four Indigenous sports will be included in Khelo India Youth Games 2021.

  • The Government has approved the inclusion of four indigenous Games in the Khelo India Youth Games 2021.
  • These four indigenous games are Gatka, Kalaripayattu, Thang-Ta and Mallakhamba.
  • The Khelo India Youth Games 2021 will be held in Haryana.
  • Kalaripayattu:
    • It is a martial art form of Kerala.
    • Many different techniques such as meipayattu (physical body exercise), vadipayattu (fight using sticks), valpayattu (fight using swords) and verumkaiprayoga (bare hand exercise) are used in this martial art.
  • Thang-Ta:
    • It is a popular martial art form of Manipur.
    • Swords and spears are used in this martial art form.
  • Gatka:
    • It is a traditional martial art form of Punjab.
    • It was used by the Nihang Sikh Warriors for self-defense.
  • Mallakhamba:
    • It is a traditional sport of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
    • It is performed by athletes around a pole.
    • It is a state sport of Madhya Pradesh.

rural areas khelo india youth games 2021

(Source: PIB)

6. Indian Boxers won nine medals in Boxing World Cup championship at Cologne.

  • Indian boxers have won 9 medals, including three golds, two silver, and four bronze in the Boxing World Cup championship at Cologne, Germany.
  • Gold winners: Amit Panghal in Men’s category, Manisha Moun and Simranjit Kaur in the Women’s category
  • Silver medalist: Satish Kumar (91 kg), and Sakshi Choudhary (57 kg)
  • Bronze medalist: Sonia Lather (57kg), Pooja Rani (75kg), Gaurav Solanki (57kg) and Mohamed Hussamudin (57kg)
  • AIBA World Boxing Championships will be held in 2021 at Belgrade, Serbia.

aiba world boxing championships

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

7. Petroleum Minister dedicated 8th oil and gas basin to the nation.

  • Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has dedicated the Asokenagar-1 oil well of the Bengal basin to the nation. It will be India’s eighth oil and gas producing basin.
  • It will be the first oil and gas basin of the West Bengal.
  • It was discovered by the ONGC and has been completed under the Early-Monetization Plan of the Government of India. ONGC has started the production from this well.
  • The other oil-producing basins of India are Krishna-Godavari, Mumbai Offshore, Assam Shelf, Rajasthan, Cauvery, Assam-Arakan Fold Belt and Gulf of Cambay.
  • India is the third-largest oil importer in the world. India is trying to reduce its oil import to 67% by 2022.
  • ONGC:
    • It is a public sector oil and gas company.
    • It is the largest oil producing company in India.
    • It accounts for 72% of the country’s hydrocarbon production.
    • Its headquarters is located in New Delhi.

oil and gas basin asokenagar-1 oil well

(Source: Business Standard)

Topic: Miscellaneous

8. International Science Film Festival of India will be organised from 22nd-25th December 2020.

  • The 6th International Science Film Festival of India (ISFFI) as part of the India International Science Festival will be organised from December 22 to 25, 2020.
  • It is organized to promote young science filmmakers for making films based on science and technology. It will help in the development of scientific temper among the people.
  • Many participants across the world will participate in this event.
  • India International Science Festival 2020 (IISF):
    • It is the 6th edition of IISF that was launched in 2015 in association with Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA) to engage the public with science and celebrate the joy of science.
    • It will be held from 22 to 25 December 2020.
    • The theme of IISF-2020 will be ‘Science for Aatmanirbhar Bharat and Global Welfare’.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

9. Gastrodia agnicellus, a new species of orchid, has been named “ugliest orchid in the world”.

  • Scientists have named a new species of orchid from the forest of Madagascar.
  • The newly discovered species of orchid ‘Gastrodia agnicellus’ has been named “the ugliest orchid in the world”.
  • It is one of the 156 species named by the scientists of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 2020.
  • The flowers of this orchid are small, brown and ugly, and it depends upon the fungi for nutrition. It doesn’t have any leaves for the photosynthesis process.
  • Every year about 2000 plants are named by scientists.
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: It is an important botanical research and education institution in the United Kingdom.

gastrodia agnicellus new species of orchid

(Source: The Hindu)

Topic: Space and IT

10. OneWeb will provide high-speed internet in India.

  • OneWeb has announced that it will provide high-speed internet in India by mid-2022.
  • OneWeb has been acquired by the UK government and Bharti Global after the bankruptcy.
  • It has secured the global priority spectrum rights, which will help him in providing the high- speed internet service globally.
  • Recently, it has launched 36 communication satellites for providing high-speed broadband service in the regions Europe, Canada and Alaska by 2021.
  • The internet penetration rate in India is around 50% in 2020.
  • Bharti Global:
    • It is an international arm of Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel.
    • It is working in more than 18 countries.
    • Sunil Bharti Mittal is the CEO of Bharti Global.





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