Daily Current Affairs and GK | 20 November 2020

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 01 Dec 2020 11:59 AM IST

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1. India and NDB sign 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.
  • The National Capital Region (NCR) is an urban area that includes New Delhi and its surrounding areas. It includes some portions of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, with the national capital Delhi at its core. Other cities in the NCR include Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida, Ghaziabad, Alwar and Bhiwadi.
  • It is one of the world’s largest urban agglomeration and it is a major economic center of India.
  • New Development Bank (NDB):
    • It was founded by BRICS-Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa in 2014.
    • The objective of this bank is to raise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS countries and other emerging economies and developing countries.
    • Marcos Prado Troyjo is the current president of the New Development Bank.
    • Its headquarters is in Shanghai.   

RRTS Project

(Source: Financial Express)


2. Government of India has launched Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge.

  • ‘Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge’ has been launched by the Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
  • It has been launched on the occasion of World Toilet Day for the safety of sewer or septic tank cleaner.
  • It will ensure that no person lost their life due to entering a sewer or septic tank. It will promote mechanized cleaning and will fend off the hazardous cleaning’ of sewers and septic tanks.
  • In this challenge, the focus will be on creating awareness, infrastructure creation for mechanized cleaning and capacity building of the workforce.
  • In 2013, the Government of India had enacted the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act to restrict hazardous cleaning.
  • Hazardous cleaning means entering of a person into a septic tank or sewer without any protective gear.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission- Urban (SBM-U):
    • It was launched in 2014.
    • It is a national-wide flagship programme for universal sanitation in urban areas.
    • It is implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
    • It has played a significant role in sanitation and solid waste management.

3. Defence Minister and Information and Broadcasting Minister launched two books on selected speeches of President.

  • Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has unveiled two books- ‘The Republican Ethic Volume III’ and ‘Loktantra Ke Swar’.
  • These two books comprise some important speeches of President Ram Nath Kovind of the third year of his presidency.
  • E-Book version of these books has been launched by the Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar.
  • The President speeches included in these books are on various issues such as girl’s education, empowerment of women, welfare of the weaker sections, etc.

loktantra ke swar

(Source: News on AIR)

4. Union Education Minister has to be conferred with Vatayan Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • Vatayan Lifetime Achievement Award will be conferred to the Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ for his literary works.
  • Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has already received many awards in the field of literature and administration, including the Sahitya Bharati Award, Sahitya Good Governance Award, Bharat Gaurav Samman, etc. He has also received “Himal Gaurav Samman” by Nepal.
  • German Version of his book ‘Just a Desire’ has been published in Afro Asian Institute, Hamburg.
  • He has written more than 75 books on various issues in different languages. He is associated with many social activities.
  • Vatayan Lifetime Achievement Award:
    • It is given by the Vatayan-UK organization in London.
    • It is given to poets, writers and artists for their literary contribution.
    • Prasoon Joshi and Javed Akhtar are other Indians who have received this award.

5. PM Modi and Lotay Tshering to virtually launch RuPay Card phase-2 in Bhutan today.

  • PM Modi and PM of Bhutan, Lotay Tshering will virtually launch RuPay Card phase-2 in Bhutan today.
  • RuPay Card phase-1 was jointly launched by two Prime ministers when PM Modi visited Bhutan in August 2019.
  • Bhutanese cardholders will be allowed to access RuPay network in India after launch of RuPay Card phase-2.
  • RuPay Card phase-1 allowed Indian visitors in Bhutan to access ATMs and points of sale terminals all over Bhutan.
  • Bhutan:
    • It is a landlocked country.
    • Thimpu is its capital.
    • Prime Minister: Lotay Tshering
    • Tibet is located in its north. Sikkim lies in its west. Assam is located in its south. West Bengal lies in its east, and Arunachal Pradesh lies in its southwest.  

rupay card Bhutan

(Source: News on AIR)

6. GST Bhawan inaugurated in Panchkula, Haryana.

  • GST Bhawan has been inaugurated in Panchkula, Haryana, by M. Ajit Kumar, Chairman of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).
  • GST Bhawan at Panchkula is the first major infrastructure project of CBIC completed in times of Covid.
  • In February 2020, GST Bhavan in Mazgaon, Mumbai, was in news for catching fire.
  • Muttoli Ajit Kumar (M. Ajit Kumar) was appointed as chairman of CBIC in January 2020.

gst bhawan panchkula

(Source: News on AIR)

7. Government of India and the World Bank signed an agreement for Meghalaya Integrated Transport Project.

  • A loan agreement of $120 million has been signed between the Government of India, the Government of Meghalaya and the World Bank for the implementation of Meghalaya Integrated Transport Project (MITP). It will help in modernizing the transport sector of Meghalaya.
  • MITP project will improve the road infrastructure, build bridges with new technology and support innovative solutions in the transport sector.
  • It will help to develop climate-resilient and safe roads, which will play a crucial role in the economic development of Meghalaya.
  • This loan agreement from the World Bank has a maturity period of 14 years.
  • It will help in providing connectivity to every corner of the state and by developing Meghalaya as a connecting hub for international trade.
  • It will also support the state government’s initiative “Restart Meghalaya Mission” to boost development activities in the state after COVID-19 pandemic.
  • World Bank:
    • It is one of the world’s largest finance provider that aims to end extreme poverty and promote shared growth.
    • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and International Development Association (IDA) together make up the World Bank.
    • Headquarters: Washington, D.C.
    • Members: 189 countries
    • President: David Malpass

8. Ravi Shankar Prasad has released ‘My Stamp on Chhath Puja’.

  • Union Minister of Law and Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad, has launched ‘My Stamp on Chhath Puja’ initiative.
  • It is a unique concept of the Department of Posts for providing a personalised stamp. In this initiative, any person or corporate organisation can order a personalised photograph or an image of a Postage Stamp.
  • My Stamp on Chhath Puja is available in all major post offices and Philatelic bureaus across the country.
  • A special cover based on the theme of ‘Chhath-A symbol of Simplicity and Cleanliness ‘was also released by the Department of Posts.
  •  Department of Posts:
    • It works under the Ministry of Communications.
    • It is involved in delivering post, remitting money by money orders, accepting deposits under Small Savings Schemes, providing life insurance coverage.
    • Postal service was started on 1 April 1854 in India.

My Stamp

(Source: News on AIR)

9. Douglas Stuart wins the Booker Prize of 2020.

  • The Booker Prize of 2020 has been given to Douglas Stuart for his debut novel Shuggie Bain.
  • His book is about a boy growing up in poverty in 1980s Glasgow with a mother who is battling addiction and Poverty.
  • Douglas Stuart is the second Scottish to win this award after James Kelman.
  • The final six candidates for this year’s prize are Diane Cook, Avni Doshi, Brandon Taylor, Tsitsi Dangarembga and Maaza Mengiste.
  • In 2019, the honour was conferred jointly to Atwood for “The Testaments” and Evaristo for “Girl, Woman, Other”.
  • Booker Prize:
    • It was launched in 1969.
    • It is a literary prize awarded every year for the best novel written in English and published in the UK or Ireland.
    • The winner receives £50,000, and £2,500 is given to all the shortlisted authors.
    • Bernice Rubens was the first woman to be awarded the Booker Prize in 1970 for “The Elected Member”.

Booker Prize 2020

(Source: The Guardian)

10. Women’s T20 World Cup 2022 to be held in February 2023.

  • International Cricket Council (ICC) has postponed the Women’s T20 World Cup 2022 and it will be held in February 2023.
  • Women’s T20 World Cup 2022 was originally scheduled to be held in November 2022. Now, it will be held from 9 to 26 February 2023.
  • ICC has postponed the Women’s T20 World Cup 2022 to reduce number of big events in 2022.
  • Common Wealth Games and 50 over Women’s World Cup will also be organized in 2022. 
  • In August 2020, fifty over Women’s World Cup was postponed from 2021 to 2022 due to Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Women’s T20 cricket will also start in 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
  • ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2022 will be the eighth edition of ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
  • International Cricket Council:
    • The International Cricket Council is the global governing body of cricket.
    • It was established in 1909 by the representatives of Australia, England and South Africa as the Imperial Cricket Conference.
    • It is headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


(Source: News on AIR)

11. India and EU hold 12th Counter-Terrorism Dialogue.

  • 12th Counter Terrorism Dialogue was virtually held between India and EU on 19 November 2020. 
  • The dialogue offered an opportunity to continue close cooperation and coordination on the issue of counter terrorism, which is an important part of India-EU strategic partnership.
  • India and EU strongly disapproved terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They also disapproved of use of terrorist proxies for cross-border terrorism.
  • The participants of the 12th Counter-Terrorism Dialogue reviewed threats due to UN-sanctioned terrorist entities.
  • The dialogue also offered a situation to discuss counterterrorism cooperation in multilateral fora such as Financial Action Task Force, Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF) and UN.
  • It also offered a situation to discuss counterterrorism cooperation in UN High-Level Counter-terrorism Week 2021 and review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which is about to happen.
  • United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism had organized Counter-Terrorism Week 2020 virtually in July 2020.
  • Seventh biennial review of UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and Global Congress of Victims of Terrorism will take place during High-Level Counter-Terrorism Week 2021.
  • UN General Assembly had adopted Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in 2006. It is reviewed biennially.

(Source: News on AIR)

12. 15th G-20 Leaders Summit to be attended by PM Modi.

  • 15th G-20 Leaders Summit will be attended by PM Modi at the invitation of the King of Saudi Arabia.
  • Saudi Arabia is chairing 15th G-20 Leaders Summit on 21 and 22 November in a virtual format.
  • The theme for the meeting is “Realising the Opportunities of the 21st Century for All”. The summit is the second G20 leaders meeting in 2020.
  • It will be held in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. 2019 G-20 Summit was held in Osaka, Japan.
  • G-20:
    • It is the global forum for the governments and central bank governors that was founded in 1999.
    • G20 includes 19 countries and the European Union. There is no permanent secretariat of G20.
    • G20 Presidencies will be with Italy in 2021 and with India in 2022.





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