Daily Current Affairs and GK | 24 December 2019
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1. Harsh Vardhan Shringla- new foreign secretary
- India’s Ambassador to the US, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, is the new foreign secretary.
- He is a 1984 batch IFS officer who will assume the office of the foreign secretary on 29 January 2020 by replacing Vijay Gokhale.
- He has been appointed as the new foreign secretary after the clearance from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, which is headed by PM.
2. DRDO built QRSAM system successfully test-fired
- Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) built Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) was successfully tested from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the Odisha coast.
- Ground Telemetry Systems, Range Radar Systems and Electro-Optical Tracking Systems were used for tracking the entire event.
- QRSAM-Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile
- It is a single-stage solid propelled missile with a minimum number of vehicles for a firing unit.
- It has midcourse inertial navigation system with a two-way data link and terminal active seeker.
- The radars installed in the system are four-walled with 360-degree coverage and the system is capable of searching and tracking targets on the move.
3. Emergency declared by Ecuador in the wake of fuel spill
- In order to contain the environmental effects of a fuel spill in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador has declared an emergency.
- The fuel spill took place after an accident occurred due to the breakdown of a crane while loading a container onto the barge, thereby leading to the sinking of 600 gallons of diesel fuel carrying ship.
- Galapagos Islands:
- These are located 1,000 km east of Ecuador and are an archipelago of volcanic islands.
- These are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
4. Over 67% of imported toys failed quality test
- Quality Council of India (QCI) conducted a survey on imported toys in which over 67% of the toys failed to meet the standards.
- The survey was conducted on the imported toys present in Delhi-NCR.
- Around 80% of the toys lacked in required physical and mechanical safety properties, while 30% of the plastic toys contained beyond permissible levels of phthalate, heavy metals, etc.
- Most of the imported toys in Delhi NCR markets are from China, followed by Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Germany.
- 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.
- Headquarters: New Delhi
- Motto: Working for “National Well Being”
5. First Tripartite Agreement signed to implement FIDF
- The first tripartite agreement has been signed by the Department of Fisheries, NABARD and Govt. of Tamil Nadu to implement Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Fund (FIDF).
- According to the agreement, Rs. 7522 crores will be spent on the infrastructure requirement of fisheries sector.
- NABARD provides concessional financing under FIDF to fisheries infrastructure facilities through state governments.
- India ranks 2nd in the world in terms of fish production.
- It is a national agricultural and rural development bank.
- It was established on 12 July 1982.
- Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
6. Assam Cabinet approves the proposal to make Assamese the state language
- The Assam Cabinet has agreed to make the Assamese language the state language of Assam.
- Bodoland Territorial Administrative Districts, Barak Valley and Hill districts of Assam will be excluded from this.
- Assamese will be made compulsory in all schools of Assam.
- Currently, in Assam, the official languages are Assamese and Bodo.
- The central government has to amend Article 345 of the Indian Constitution to make the Assamese language as the state language.
7. Eight West African nations decided to change the name of common currency
- The eight West African nations decided to rename their common currency from CFA franc to Eco.
- The decision was announced during the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to the Ivory Coast.
- These eight West African countries are- Ivory Coast, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali, Benin, Niger, Togo and Guinea-Bissau.
- There will be a change in the name of the currency, withdrawal of French governance regarding currency and stoppage of holding 50% of reserves in French treasury.
8. Southern Africa most unequal region on the continent
- According to the Human Development Index (HDI) 2019, Southern Africa is the most ‘unequal’ region in terms of income.
- The top 10% of the society in South Africa draws 65% of the national income, while the bottom 40% has received only 4% of the national income.
- The income inequality decreases while moving towards North and West Africa.
- The report was released by the United Nations Development Programme, which emphasized the need to address inequality and climate crisis together.
- India has been ranked 129th in the index.
9. Rakhi sets two new national records
- Indian weightlifter Rakhi Halder created two new national records and bagged a bronze medal in the women's 64kg weight category at the Qatar International Cup in Doha.
- She set a new national record by lifting 95kg in the snatch with 123 kg in clean and jerk.
- Mirabai Chanu won the gold medal on the first day of the tournament.
Multiple Choice Questions(MCQs)
1. Who among the following has been appointed as the new Foreign Secretary?
- Bharat Kumar Shinde
- Shriram Chanu
- Harsh Vardhan Shringla
- Shailesh Singh
2. QRSAM System has been flight-tested recently; it is a
- Air to Air missile
- Land to Air missile
- Land to Land missile
- Air to Land missile
3. Recently which country has declared an emergency due to the fuel spill in the Galapagos Islands?
4. Which of the Indian state had a tripartite agreement with NABARD and Fisheries Department?
- Tamil Nadu
- West Bengal
5. Where is the headquarters of the Quality Council of India (QCI) located?
- New Delhi
6. The central government has to amend which of the following articles of the Indian Constitution to include the Assamese as the State language of Assam?
- Article 345
- Article 395
- Article 365
- Article 375
7. What will be the new name of the common currency of the eight West African countries?
8. Which of the following statements is not true?
- Southern Africa is the most unequal region of the continent in terms of income.
- Human Development Index (HDI) is published by the United Nations Development Programme.
- India is ranked 122nd in the HDI 2019.
- None of the above
9. Indian weightlifter Rakhi Halder has bagged which medal in the 6th Qatar International Cup?
- None of the above