Daily Current Affairs and GK | 23 December 2020

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 23 Dec 2020 22:23 PM IST

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Topic: MoUs/Agreements

1. Indian Army and Bank of Baroda signed an MoU for Baroda Military Salary Package.

  • Indian Army and Bank of Baroda signed an MoU for Baroda Military Salary Package.
  • The main aim of this MoU is to provide banking service to serving and retired Army personnel.
  • Under this MoU, Bank of Baroda will provide Personal Accidental Insurance cover, Permanent Total Disability cover, Partial disability Cover and Air Accident Insurance Cover. It will also provide Higher Education Cover and Girl Child Marriage Cover in case of death of serving personnel.
  • The other benefits provided under this agreement include unlimited free ATM transactions, discount on locker rental, and free remittance through RTGS.  
  • Bank of Baroda:
    • It is the third-largest public sector bank in India.
    • It was founded in 1908.
    • Chairman: Hasmukh Adhia
    • Headquarters: Vadodara

Indian Army and Bank of Baroda signed an MoU

(Source: News on AIR)


Topic: Personality in News

2. Veteran Congress leader Motilal Vora passed away.

  • Motilal Vora, an Indian politician, has died at the age of 93.
  • He was the veteran leader of the Indian National Congress.
  • He served as the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh from 1985-88 and in 1989.
  • He had also served as Governor of Uttar Pradesh from 1993 to 1996.
  • He was also a Rajya Sabha member from Chhattisgarh.
  • He also served as the treasurer of the Congress for 16 years.

Veteran Congress leader Motilal Vora

(Source: India Today)

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

3. USD 500 million project has been signed by Centre and World Bank.

  • A USD 500 million project has been signed by the Centre and World Bank to build national highway corridors in four states.
  • The names of these states are Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Green National Highways Corridors Project will help reduce GHG emissions when construction and maintenance of highways.
  • It will support Road Transport and Highways Ministry to construct 783 kilometres of highways.
  • Green National Highways Corridors Project was approved in March 2020. It will continue till 2025. Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is the implementing agency for it.
  • World Bank:
    • World Bank is one of the world’s largest finance providers aiming to end extreme poverty and promote shared growth.
    • Headquarters: Washington, D.C.
    • Members: 189 countries
    • President: David Malpass

centre and world bank

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: National News

4. Registrar General of India (RGI) sent letter to all state coordinators to update names in charge register.

  • Registrar General of India (RGI) has sent a letter to all state coordinators to update names of an area, locality, colony or building in charge register.
  • RGI’s letter said that these details should be mentioned in column number 18 as the charge register does not have a separate column for these details.
  • A charge register is a document that will help census enumerators (persons employed in taking a census) to collect details during the first phase of Census-House Listing and Housing Census and the National Population Register (NPR).
  • It shows how the work will be distributed among enumerators. It marks the House Listing Blocks (HLB) to be visited by each official.
  • HLB is a primary unit for data collection. It consists of only 650 to 800 people. Charge register will also be used for field work related to updating of NPR.
  • The first phase of the census 2021 was postponed earlier due to Covid-19. It was initially planned to be held from April 1 to September 30.
  • On January 9, the RGI notified the 31 columns. The enumerators will ask responses for these columns during the House Listing and Housing Census.
  • As per Citizenship Rules 2003, NPR is the first step for National Register of Citizens (NRC). It was first collected in 2010 and updated in 2015. 
  • Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner:
    • It conducts the decennial Census exercise. It was founded in 1961. It comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
    • Vivek Joshi is the current Registrar General and Census Commissioner.

India Census 2021

(Source: The Hindu)

Topic: Geography

5. 21 December: Winter Solstice in Northern Hemisphere and Summer Solstice in Southern Hemisphere.

  • 21 December is Winter Solstice in Northern Hemisphere and Summer Solstice in Southern Hemisphere.
  • In Northern Hemisphere, 21 December is the shortest day of the year. In Southern Hemisphere, 21 December is the longest day of the year.
  • After six months, 21 June 2021 will be Summer Solstice and the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • But, 21 June 2021 will be the shortest day of the year or longest night in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • The differences in the hours of daylight are due to the tilting of the Earth’s axis of rotation at an angle of 23.5° to its orbital plane.
  • Northern Hemisphere gets direct sunlight during summer days due to tilting towards the Sun for half a year.
  • During the other half of the year, Northern Hemisphere tilts away from the Sun, and days are shorter.
  • On 21 December, North Pole is most tilted away from the Sun. Hence, it is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Winter Solstice is the first day of Uttarayana. Jewish people call winter solstice “Tekufat Tevet”. Winter solstice is celebrated as Yalda or Shab-e-Yalda in Iran and neighbouring countries. Peru celebrates the winter solstice with the festival Inti Raymi (sun festival).

winter solstice

Topic: Geography

6. Jupiter and Saturn came nearest in a rarest celestial event.

  • People across the world witnessed a rare celestial event of the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter on 21 December.
  • The conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter planets takes place every 20 years. They are appearing so close to each other after around 400 years.
  • This time, both planets appeared just a tenth of a degree apart from each other.
  • The last closest conjunction of these planets happened in 1623. The next closet conjunction will take place in 2080.
  • The distance between Jupiter and Saturn is about 730 million km.
  • Jupiter:
    • It is the largest planet in the solar system.
    • It is the fifth planet from the Sun.
    • It completes one revolution around the Sun in 12 years.
    • The radius of Jupiter is 11 times more than that of Earth.
  • Saturn:
    • It is the sixth planet from the Sun.
    • It completes one revolution around the Sun in 29 years.
    • It is the second-largest planet in the solar system.
    • The average radius of Saturn is nine times that of Earth.

rare celestial event

(Source: NASA)

Topic:  Awards and Prizes

7. DPIIT invited applications for second edition of the National Startup Awards (NSA) 2021.

  • Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has invited applications for National Startup Awards 2021.
  • It will be given in 49 areas classified into 15 broad sectors.
  • The winner of each area will be awarded a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh. The winning incubator and accelerator will be awarded a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh.
  • The runner up will also get an opportunity to present their products and solutions to the corporate and government officials.
  • National Startup awards:
    • It was started by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade in 2019.
    • It is given to startups for their innovative products and solutions for generating employment and creating wealth.
  • Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT):
    • It comes under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It was formed in 1995.
    • It was known as the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion before January 2019.

Topic: National News

8. Sports Minister inaugurated Khelo India State Centres of Excellence in 8 states.

  • Union Minister Kiren Rijiju inaugurated the Khelo India State Centre of Excellence (KISCE) in eight states.
  • It has been inaugurated in the state of Karnataka, Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala, Manipur, Mizoram, Odisha and Telangana.
  • These centers will provide world-class training and infrastructure to athletes. It will also help in talent identification.
  • The Khelo India State Centres of Excellence will play a vital role in the vision of making India one of the top 10 countries in the 2028 Olympics.
  • Khelo India:
    • It was launched in 2018.
    • It aims to revive the sports culture in India by building a strong framework for all sports played in the country.
    • Under it, talented players are identified at an early age and they are trained for international competition.
    • It has twelve components.

khelo india state centre of excellence

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Report and Indices

9. IMD released ‘End of the Season Southwest Monsoon 2020’ report.

  • India Meteorological Department (IMD) has released the ‘End of the Season-Southwest Monsoon 2020’ report.
  • Highlights of this report are:
    • The rainfall from this year’s Southwest Monsoon has been 109% of its Long Period Average.
    • The seasonal (June- September) rainfall over Northwest India, Central India, South Peninsula and Northeast (NE) India were 84%, 115%, 130% and 106%, respectively.
    • Southwest monsoon commenced on 17 May 2020 and covered the whole country on 26 June 2020.
    • A cyclonic Storm “NISARGA” formed during this seasonal monsoon between 1- 4 June.
    • The monthly rainfall over the season was 118% of LPA in June, 90% of LPA in July, 127% of LPA in August, and 104% of LPA in September.
    • The Southwest Monsoon withdrew from the entire country on 28 October 2020 with a delay of 11 days.
  • Indian Meteorological Department (IMD):
    • It was founded in 1875.
    • It works under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
    • It is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting, and seismology.
    • Its headquarters is located in New Delhi.
  • Indian monsoon:
    • The word monsoon has been derived from the Arabic word ‘Mausim’.
    • Monsoons are seasonal winds that bring rainfall in the Indian region.
    • India receives south-west monsoon winds in summer and north-east monsoon winds in winter.
    • The south-west monsoon brings most of the rainfall in India between June to September.
    • The south-west monsoon has two branches:
      • The Arabian Sea branch
      • The Bay of Bengal branch

Topic: Sports

10. The winners of ATP awards 2020 has been announced.

  • Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Frances Tiafoe are among the winners of the ATP awards for 2020.
  • Novak Djokovic has won the Australian Open, Dubai Tennis Championships, Italian Open title, etc., in 2020. He was in the top spot in the ATP ranking.
  • Rafel Nadal has won the men’s singles title of the French Open for the 13th time. He has also received the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award and Roland Garros crown.
  • Frances Tiafoe has been given the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award for this social work during COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Roger Federer has won the singles fans’ favourite player award.
  • Carlos Alcaraz of Spain has been awarded as the newcomer player.
  • Vasek Pospisil has been selected as Comeback Player of the Year.
  • ATP Awards: It is given to tennis players based on their ATP ranking and Vote of fans.

Topic: Important Days

11. National Farmers’ Day or Kisan Diwas: 23 December

  • National Farmers Day or Kisan Diwas is celebrated every year on 23 December in India.
  • The day is celebrated to praise farmers’ contribution to the economy and society and create awareness about helping them.
  • The day also celebrates the birth anniversary of Chaudhary Charan Singh, the fifth Prime Minister of India.
  • Majority of the population in India is dependent on agriculture for their livelihood.





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