- 1. Digital India Awards 2020 conferred by President Ram Nath Kovind.
- 2. Cabinet approved export of Akash Missile System to achieve the target of defence export.
- 3. The construction of industrial corridor nodes at Krishnapatnam and Tumakuru industrial areas approved.
- 4. Mukesh Ambani’s rank in Hurun global rich list drops from 4th place in August to 8th place in December.
- 5. ISRO chairman K Sivan’s tenure extended for one year.
- 6. Pakistan has challenged India’s claim to get Basmati rice registered as its product in EU.
- 7. V K Yadav awarded the Eminent Engineer Award for the Year 2020.
- 8. India will open Missions in Estonia, Paraguay and Dominican Republic.
- 9. Cabinet approved MoU between India and Bhutan for Cooperation in the field of Outer Space.
- 10. Government declared Nagaland as ‘disturbed area’ for the next six months.
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Topic: Awards and Prizes
1. Digital India Awards 2020 conferred by President Ram Nath Kovind.
- Digital India Awards 2020 has been conferred by President Ram Nath Kovind through video conferencing.
- The entire process of Digital India Awards is being carried out online for the first time this year.
- Digital India Awards 2020 is the sixth season of Digital India Awards. They were earlier given in 2009, 2012, 2014, 2016 & 2018.
- There are seven categories of Digital India Awards. They are Innovation in Pandemic, Excellence in Digital Governance -State/UTs, Open Data Champion, Jury Choice, Excellence in Digital Governance - Ministry/Department (Central), Excellence in Digital Governance-District and Exemplary Product.
- Haryana government won the award for the Antyodaya Saral project. Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal won the award for Sahayata Mobile App, Food and Civil Supplies and e-Abgari projects.
- Digital India awards are given biennially (once every two years) since 2009. The awards were started under the support of the National Portal of India.
- Digital India Awards were earlier known as Web Ratna Awards until 2014. Web Ratna Awards were renamed as Digital India Awards from the 2016 season.
2. Cabinet approved export of Akash Missile System to achieve the target of defence export.
- The Union Cabinet has approved the export of Akash Missile System to achieve the target of USD 5 billion of defence export.
- Akash Missile system will help improve the quality of defense products and help them become globally competitive.
- The export version will be different from the deployed version.
- Government has also set up a committee for the faster approvals of defense products. The committee comprises of Defence Minister, External Affairs Minister and National Security Adviser.
- It will also help India in building strategic defence ties with other countries.
- Akash Missile:
- It is a Surface-to-Air Missile with a range of 25 Kms.
- It is developed by DRDO.
- It is the first indigenously developed missile system.
(Source: DD News)
Topic: National News
3. The construction of industrial corridor nodes at Krishnapatnam and Tumakuru industrial areas approved.
- The construction of industrial corridor nodes at Krishnapatnam and Tumakuru industrial areas has been approved by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).
- Krishnapatnam industrial area is located in Andhra Pradesh and Tumakuru industrial area is located in Karnataka. They are part of Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC).
- Additionally, CCEA has approved Multi Modal Logistics Hub and Multi Modal Transport Hub at Greater Noida, UP.
- In addition to two hubs and two industrial corridor nodes, opening of three Indian Missions in 2021 has been approved by Union Cabinet.
- Government has approved five industrial corridor projects as given below.
Number of states
Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC)
Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra
Amritsar Kolkata Industrial Corridor (AKIC)
Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal
Chennai Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC)
Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala
East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC) with Vizag Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC) as Phase-1
West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu
Bengaluru Mumbai Industrial Corridor (BMIC)
Topic: Reports and Indices/Rankings
4. Mukesh Ambani’s rank in Hurun global rich list drops from 4th place in August to 8th place in December.
- Mukesh Ambani’s rank in the Hurun global rich list has dropped from 4th place in August to 8th place in December.
- However, Mukesh Ambani continues to be the richest Asian as per the data gathered by Hurun Research.
- Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is ranked at one and Elon Musk is ranked at second place. Elon Musk is the founder of SpaceX.
- In August, Elon Musk did not appear in Hurun’s Top 10 rich list. Bernard Arnault is ranked third. He is Louis Vuitton SE group head.
- Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg are ranked at fourth and fifth slot, respectively.
- Mukesh Ambani’s net worth dropped from $90 billion in August to $82 billion in December.
5. ISRO chairman K Sivan’s tenure extended for one year.
- The union government has extended the tenure of K. Sivan for one year. He will continue as ISRO chairman and secretary, Department of Space, till January 14, 2022.
- He was appointed as ISRO chairman in January 2018.
- The chairman of ISRO is appointed by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.
- Chandrayaan-2 and the development of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-MK3) are two important missions of his tenure.
- Indian Space and Research Organization (ISRO):
- It is the space agency of the Indian government that was founded in 1969 by Vikram Sarabhai.
- Headquarters: Bengaluru
Topic: International News
6. Pakistan has challenged India’s claim to get Basmati rice registered as its product in EU.
- Pakistan challenged India’s application of a special GI tag for basmati in the European Union.
- As per the law, before applying for registration of any product in the international market it has to be protected under the geographical indication (GI) laws of that country.
- Basmati rice is not a protected product in Pakistan under his geographical indication (GI) laws.
- In its application, India claimed that ‘Basmati’ rice is produced in the region of northern India.
- India produces 70% of the world’s basmati rice. It is protected under the geographical indication tag in India.
- Geographical Indication Tag (GI) is a sign that identifies a product originating from a particular location that gives that product a particular quality or reputation or other attributes.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
7. V K Yadav awarded the Eminent Engineer Award for the Year 2020.
- V.K. Yadav, Chairman & CEO of Railway Board, has been awarded the “Eminent Engineer Award for the Year 2020’ by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
- He has received this award for his contribution towards the modernization of railways and the implementation of different reforms.
- This award has been given on the occasion of the birth anniversary of M Visvesvaraya in the field of Engineering and technology.
- Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET):
- It was established in 1871.
- It is a primer engineering institution in India.
- It is the world’s largest engineering institution.
Topic: International News
8. India will open Missions in Estonia, Paraguay and Dominican Republic.
- Union Cabinet has approved the opening of Indian missions in Estonia, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic to improve trade and cultural ties.
- It will help in deepening political relations, increase people-to-people contact, create investment opportunities, and help in increasing the export of Indian products.
- The decision to open these missions has been taken under the vision of India’s national priority of growth and development.
- Estonia: It is located in Northern Europe. Tallinn is the capital and Euro is the currency of Estonia. It is bordered by the Gulf of Finland, Baltic sea, Sweden, Latvia and Russia.
- Paraguay: It is a country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia to the northwest. It is one of the landlocked country of South America. Asunción is the capital and Guaraní is the Currency of Paraguay.
- Dominican Republic: It is the second-largest and most diverse Caribbean country. Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic.
Topic: MoU/ Agreements
9. Cabinet approved MoU between India and Bhutan for Cooperation in the field of Outer Space.
- The Union Cabinet has approved an MoU between India and Bhutan on Cooperation in the peaceful use of outer space.
- It was signed between both countries on November 19 for cooperation in the field of remote sensing of the earth, satellite communication, satellite based navigation, space science and exploration of outer space.
- Under this MoU, a Joint working group will be established for the implementation of the plan of action.
- It is a landlocked country.
- It is bordered by Tibet, Sikkim, Assam, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh.
- Thimpu is the capital and Ngultrum is the currency of Bhutan.
- Prime Minister: Lotay Tshering
Topic: National News
10. Government declared Nagaland as ‘disturbed area’ for the next six months.
- The Union Home Ministry has declared the entire Nagaland as a ‘disturbed area’ under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, for a further period of six months.
- The decision has been taken due to killings, loot and extortion cases in the state.
- Northeast states and Jammu Kashmir have been regularly demanding to remove ASPA from their states.
- Nagaland has been under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) for almost six decades.
- Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958:
- This is a Parliamentary Act which was introduced in 1958.
- The act gives the Armed Forces Special powers of search and arrest and many others for maintenance of public order.