Daily Current Affairs and GK | 22 December 2020

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 23 Dec 2020 15:05 PM IST

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Topic: Environment and Ecology

1. Ministry of Environment has released ‘Status of Leopard in India 2018’ report.

  • Environment Ministry has released the Status of Leopard in India 2018 report.
  • According to this report, the population of Leopard has increased by 60 percent from 2014.
  • India now has 12,852 leopards. The highest number of Leopard is in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Leopard:
    • It belongs to the big cat family.
    • The conservation status of Indian Leopard is Vulnerable as per IUCN Red List.
    • It is listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
    • It is mostly found in the rainforest, dry deciduous forest, and temperate forest.
    • It can run up to 50-60 km/h.



Madhya Pradesh







Topic: Miscellaneous

2. First-ever direct flight started from Delhi to Shillong.

  • The first direct flight between Delhi to Shillong has become operational.
  • The FlyBig has started this service between Delhi and Shillong.
  • The flight will go twice a week from 4 January 2021.
  • The name of the airport at Shillong is Umroi Airport.
  • Airports Authority of India manages domestic and International airports of India.
  • Meghalaya:
    • It is a hilly state in northeast India.
    • It is bounded on the north and north-east by Assam and on the south and southwest by Bangladesh.
    • Satya Pal Malik is the Governor and Conrad Sangma is the Chief Minister of Meghalaya.
    • Capital: Shillong

Topic: Reports and Indices/Rankings

3. HDFC, ICICI, and SBI become top three banks as per BFSI Movers and Shakers 2020 Wizikey Newsmakers Report.

  • HDFC, ICICI, and SBI have become the top three banks as per BFSI Movers and Shakers 2020 Wizikey Newsmakers Report released by Wizikey.
  • These three banks have done better than other banks in both quantity and quality of news.
  • As per the report, HDFC, ICICI, SBI, Yes Bank, PNB, HSBC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Bank of Baroda, Deutsche Bank and IDBI are the top-ten banks of 2020.
  • In the category of top UPI and Wallets, Google Pay and Phone Pe have achieved first and second rank, respectively.
  • In the category of Neo Banks, Yono, Neo and Kotak 811 secured the first, second and third rank respectively.
  • In the category of NBFCs, Dewan Housing Finance Corporation achieved the first rank. Its overall rank was 15.
  • Wizikey is a PR- SaaS (Software as a Service) start-up. Its report talks about the top 100 banks in India and emerging BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) models such as Wallets and UPI, Neo Banks, NBFCs, Small Finance Bank, Payments Banks.
  • Neo Banks are 100% digital (fully digital). They do not have any physical branches. Total 10 Neo Banks are functional in India. RBI does not currently provide licenses to Neo Banks.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

4. India Accelerator signed MoU with Department of Information Technology, Electronics, and Communication (DITECH) and Startup Haryana.

  • India Accelerator has signed MoU with the Department of Information Technology, Electronics, and Communication (DITECH) of Haryana government and Startup Haryana.
  • The partnership is aimed at developing a robust startup ecosystem in Haryana to stimulate the innovation and growth of disruptive startups.
  • Under MoU, India Accelerator will make its online program available to young entrepreneurs to equip them with the knowledge, mentorship, and connections. It aims to support startups registered with Startup Haryana.
  • India Accelerator is a seed-stage accelerator program. It is an Indian institution with the Global Accelerator Network. Accelerator is a term that refers to programs that provide support to young startups. 

Topic: Important Days

5. National Mathematics Day: 22nd December

  • It is observed every year on 22 December across the country.
  • It is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of the Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan.
  • It was first observed in 2012 on the 125th birth anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan.
  • Srinivasa Ramanujan:
    • He was born on 22 December 1887 in Tamil Nadu.
    • He is also known as the “man who knew infinity”.
    • He had contributed to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series and continued fraction.
    • He was one of the youngest people to receive the fellowship of the Royal Society.
    • He was the first Indian to receive a fellowship at Trinity College.

national mathematics day

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

6. India and Vietnam signed seven key agreements at Virtual Summit.

  • India and Vietnam signed seven key agreements for cooperation in the field of defense, scientific research, renewable energy, nuclear energy, petro-chemicals, and cancer treatment.  
  • Both leaders have also released a joint vision document and a plan of action for bilateral relationships between 2021-23.
  • Both leaders discussed bilateral and global issues. They also discussed the India-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
  • Vietnam is one of the important countries of India’s Act East policy.
  • Vietnam:
    • It is a South-East Asian country.
    • It shares a boundary with China, Laos and Cambodia.
    • It is known for its beaches, rivers and Buddhist pagodas.
    • Nguyen Xuan Phuc is the Prime Minister and Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh is the Vice President of Vietnam.
    • Its capital is Hanoi and the currency is Vietnamese dong.

india and vietnam act east policy

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

7. Indian Navy signed an MoU with INCOIS for sharing Ocean service data.

  • An MoU has been signed between Indian Navy and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services  (INCOIS) for sharing ocean services, data, and expertise in the field of operational oceanography.
  • This MoU will help in further deepening the relationship between both organizations.
  • Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS):
    • It is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
    • It was established in 1999.
    • It provides ocean information and advisories to various stakeholders.
    • It also provides warning services for tsunamis, storm surges, high waves, etc.
    • Srinivasa Kumar is the Director of INCOIS.
  • Indian Navy:
    • It is the naval branch of the Indian Armed Forces.
    • The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Navy.
    • The Chief of the Naval Staff is the commander, the highest-ranking officer in the Indian Navy. Admiral Karambir Singh is the 24th Indian Navy Chief.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

8. PM Modi has been conferred the ‘Legion of Merit’ award.

  • US President Donald Trump conferred the ‘Legion of Merit’ award to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his leadership role in the US-India strategic partnership.
  • It has been given for his efforts to make India a global power and for his role in the development of the strategic partnership between the United States and India.
  • The US President has also given this award to the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
  • Other awards presented to PM Modi are as follows:
    • Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud by Saudi Arabia (2016)
    • State Order of Ghazi Amir Amanullah Khan by Afghanistan (2016)
    • Grand Collar of the State of Palestine Award (2018)
    • Order of Zayed Award by United Arab Emirates (2019)
    • Order of St Andrew by Russia (2019)
    • Order of the Distinguished Rule of Nishan Izzuddin by Maldives (2019)
  • Legion of Merit award:
    • It is a military award of the United States Armed Forces.
    • It is the seventh highest award of US military awards.
    • It is given for exceptionally meritorious service.

PM Modi Legion of Merit award

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

9. Government will launch ‘SEHAT’ health insurance scheme for Jammu and Kashmir.  

  • Prime Minister will launch Social Endeavour for Health and Telemedicine health insurance scheme (SEHAT) for Jammu and Kashmir on 26 December 2020.
  • It will provide health insurance to the remaining one crore population, who were not covered under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme.
  • After the launch of the ‘SEHAT’ scheme, Jammu Kashmir will become the first state to achieve Universal Health coverage.
  • PMJAY scheme provides health insurance to 30 lakh people of Jammu Kashmir.
  • Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY):
    • It was launched in September 2018 from Ranchi, Jharkhand.
    • It is a flagship scheme of the National Health Policy of the Government of India.
    • It provides a health cover of Rs 5 lakhs per family per year secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
    • The implementing agency of this scheme is National Health Authority.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

10. CGWB and CSIR-NGRI Signed an MoA for High-Resolution Aquifer Mapping & Management of Arid regions.

  • A memorandum of agreement has been signed between Central Ground Water Board and CSIR-NGRI for the use of advanced heliborne geophysical survey under the Aquifer Mapping Programme.
  • Heliborne geophysical survey will be conducted in the arid regions of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana.
  • The Phase-I of this project will cover 65500 sq km of arid Rajasthan, 32 thousand sq km arid parts of Gujarat, and 2500 sq km of Haryana.
  • The Ministry of Jal Shakti is using technology for the first time for the identification of aquifers on such a large scale.
  • Central Ground Water Board (CGWB):
    • It is a multi-disciplinary scientific organization under the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
    • It aims to Sustainable Development and Management of Ground Water Resources of India.
    • It is headed by the Chairman and has six Members.
  • National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI): It is a geoscientific research organization under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). It is located in Hyderabad.





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