Daily Current Affairs and GK | 8 December 2020

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

1. Serum Institute of India applies for emergency approval of ‘Covishield’ Vaccine.

  • Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine maker, has applied for the emergency approval of the indigenous made ‘Covishield’ Vaccine.
  • After Pfizer, it is the second company to apply for the approval of a vaccine candidate from Drugs Controller General of India.
  • Serum Institute of India (SII) has partnered with AstraZeneca to conduct Covishield vaccine trials in India.
  • SII has already manufactured 40 million doses of the vaccine under the at-risk manufacturing and stockpiling license.
  • Adar Poonawalla is the CEO of Pune-based Serum Institute of India.
  • Drug Controller General of India (DCGI):
    • It is a department under the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation.
    • It is also responsible for setting the standards for manufacturing, import, sales and distribution of drugs in India.
    • It approves licenses of specified categories of drugs, including blood and blood products, vaccines, sera, etc.
    • Current DCGI: V G Somani

covishield

(Source: News on AIR)

 

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

2. PM will address India Mobile Congress 2020 virtually.

  • Prime Minister will address the Indian Mobile Congress 2020 virtually.
  • It will be organised by the Department of Telecommunications and the Cellular Operators Association of India.
  • It will be the 4th Edition of Indian Mobile Congress.
  • The theme of IMC 2020 is “Inclusive Innovation - Smart, Secure, Sustainable”.
  • In this meet, many CEOs of the telecom sector and experts from different sectors such as Artificial Intelligence, 5G, cloud computing, and cybersecurity will participate.
  • Its main objective is to bring investment in telecom and emerging technology sectors, promote Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Digital Inclusivity, entrepreneurship and innovation, etc.
  • India Mobile Congress (IMC):
    • It is the largest digital technology event in India that brings policymakers, global industry experts, academia together to discuss the issues related to the telecom and technology sector.
    • It will be conducted from 8-10 December 2020.

India Mobile Congress 2020

(Source: Financial Express)

Topic: Awards and Prizes

3. Invest India declared winner of 2020 United Nations Investment Promotion Award.

  • UNCTAD has announced Invest India as the winner of the 2020 United Nations Investment Promotion Award.
  • The award was presented at the headquarters of UNCTAD in Geneva.
  • The award is presented to recognize and celebrate the outstanding achievements and best practices of Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs).
  • UNCTAD assessed the work done by 180 Investment Promotion Agencies.
  • Some of the good practices followed by Invest India are Business Immunity Platform, Exclusive Investment Forum webinar series, its social media engagement, focus COVID response teams created, etc.
  • UN Investment Promotion Award is the most honourable award for Investment Promotion Agencies. Some of the past winners of this award are Germany, South Korea and Singapore.
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):
    • It is a permanent intergovernmental body that was established in 1964.
    • It is a central agency that monitors the performance of IPAs and identifies global best practices.
    • Secretary-General: Mukhisa Kituyi
    • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Invest India:
    • It is the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India.
    • It acts as the first point of reference for investors in India.
    • It was established in 2009 as a non-profit venture.
    • It works under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
    • CEO & MD: Deepak Bagla

Topic: Environment and Ecology

4. Central Government has granted recognition to two new Zoos in Bihar and UP.

  • Government of India has granted recognition to two new Zoos- one is Rajgir Zoo Safari in Nalanda, Bihar and another is Shaheed Ashfaqullah Khan Prani Udyan in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.
  • This decision was taken in the 37th General Body meeting of Central Zoo Authority.
  • Government is working for the up-gradation of 15 zoos of the country to the global standards.
  • Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park located in Andhra Pradesh is the largest zoological park in Asia.
  • Rajgir Zoo Safari (Bihar):
    • It is located in the Nalanda district of Bihar.
    • It is established exclusively for safari enclosures.
  • Shaheed Ashfaque Ullah Khan Prani Udyaan (Uttar Pradesh):
    • It is situated in Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh.
    • It will be a house to many birds, herbivores and carnivores animals.
  • Central Zoo Authority:
    • It is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
    • It was constituted in 1992 under the Wild Life Protection Act 1972.
    • It is responsible for the recognition and regulations of Zoos in India.
    • Chairman: Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

central zoo authority

(Source: PIB)

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

5. An MoU has been signed between SJVN Limited and Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency for Green Energy Projects.

  • Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency and SJVN Limited have signed an MoU for Green Energy Projects.
  • IREDA will support SJVN Limited in developing the action plan for Renewable Energy projects for the next 5 years.
  • Under the MoU, IREDA would also assist the SJVN renewable energy projects in the technical and financial aspects.
  • SJVN is developing 100 MW Dholera Solar Power Project & 100 MW Raghanseda Solar Power Project in Gujarat.
  • The synergy between both organizations will help India in achieving the renewable energy target of 175 GW by 2022.
  • India ranks 4th in terms of renewable power.
  • IREDA:
    • It is a Mini Ratna Company under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
    • It provides financial support to specific projects and schemes for generating electricity through new and renewable sources.
  • SJVN Ltd:
    • It is the largest hydroelectric power generation company in India.
    • It was established as Nathpa Jhakri Power Corporation Limited in 1988.
    • It is a Mini Ratna Company under the Ministry of Power.

Topic: Miscellaneous

6. NHSRCL will use LiDAR Survey technique for Delhi-Varanasi High-Speed Rail Corridor ground survey.

  • LiDAR survey technique will be used by the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited for conducting the ground survey of the Delhi-Varanasi High-Speed Rail Corridor.
  • This technique uses Laser data, GPS data, flight parameters and actual photographs to provide accurate survey data for the project.
  • The ground survey is one of the most critical parts of any infrastructure project. It provides accurate detail about the area.
  • LiDAR survey technique was first used for the Mumbai- Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Corridor.
  • Delhi-Varanasi proposed HSR Corridor is about 800km in length. It will pass through one of the densely populated regions of India and mixed terrain of rivers, Highways, Greenfield, etc.
  • LiDAR Survey technology: Lidar stands for Light Detection and Ranging. It uses light pulse for measuring the distance. It is a remote sensing technology used for collecting information about a specific area.
  • National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited:
    • It was established in 2016.
    • It is a ‘special purpose vehicle’, which works under the Ministry of Railways.
    • Its main objective is to finance, construct, maintain and manage the High-Speed Rail Corridor in India.
  • Proposed High-Speed Rail Corridor in India are:
    • Ahmedabad-Mumbai High-Speed Rail Corridor
    • Delhi–Kolkata high-Speed Rail corridor
    • Mumbai-Nashik-Nagpur
    • Chennai-Bengaluru-Mysuru
    • Delhi-Chandigarh-Ludhiana-Jalandhar-Amritsar

national high speed rail corporation limited

(Source: Wikipedia)

Topic: Personality in News

7. A renowned Hindi writer, Madhukar Gangadhar, passed away.

  • A well-known Hindi writer Madhukar Gangadhar has passed away at the age of 88.
  • ‘Motiyo Wale Haath’, ‘Hira Ki Aankhen’, ‘Uttar Katha’ are some of his famous works.
  • He served in All India Radio (AIR) for a long time and worked as Deputy Director- General (DDG), AIR at New Delhi.
  • He belonged to the state of Bihar.

Topic: Appointments

8. Sushil Kumar Modi elected as a member of Rajya Sabha.

  • Former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi, has been elected as a member of the Rajya Sabha.
  • He is elected in the By-election after the seat got vacant due to the demise of Ram Vilas Paswan.
  • Bihar has 16 Rajya Sabha seats and 40 Lok Sabha seats.
  • Nitish Kumar has taken the oath as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the Seventh time after the Bihar election of 2020.
  • Rajya Sabha:
    • It is also called the Council of States. It is the upper house of the Parliament.
    • Each member is elected for a term of six years.
    • One-third of the members of Rajya Sabha retire after every second year.
    • Article 80 of the Indian Constitution states that the maximum strength of Rajya Sabha is 250. Out of this, 12 are nominated by the President while 238 represents the states and two UTs- Delhi and Puducherry.
    • The allocation of seats to the States and UTs in Rajya Sabha is given in the Fourth Schedule.
    • Vice President of India is the ex-officio chairman of Rajya Sabha.

sushil kumar modi

(Source: Economic Times)

Topic: Banking System/Finance

9. Atmanirbhar Women Scheme started by Bank of Baroda.

  • Atmanirbhar Women Scheme has been started by Bank of Baroda as part of its Baroda Gold Loan.
  • The bank will offer loans to women at a 0.50% concession rate under the scheme.
  • Under the gold loan scheme, the Bank of Baroda also offers Agri-gold loans and retail loans at 0.25% and 0.50% concession, respectively.
  • Bank of Baroda:
    • It is the third-largest public sector bank in India.
    • Chairman: Hasmukh Adhia
    • Tagline: India’s International Bank 

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

10. $2.5 million technical support approved by Asian Development Bank (ADB).

  • $2.5 million technical support has been approved by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to develop advanced biofuel in India.
  • The money for technical support is provided from Asia Clean Energy Fund and Republic of Korea’s e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund.
  • Under the Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility (CEFPF), the Japanese government provides the fund for Asia Clean Energy Fund.
  • Advanced biofuels are biofuels produced from non-food (non-edible) biomass. They are also called second-generation biofuels.
  • Agricultural residue, municipal solid waste, and used cooking oil are examples of non-food (non-edible) biomass.
  • In other words, advanced biofuels are biofuels produced from sources like Agricultural residue, municipal solid waste, and used cooking oil.
  • Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility (CEFPF) was set up in 2007 for energy security in developing member countries of ADB and lowering the rate of climate change.
  • Asia Clean Energy Fund is a part of CEFPF. It comes under CEFPF. This fund was established by Japan.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Rankings   

11. McAfee’s report finds losses from cybercrime at over $1 trillion.

  • McAfee’s “The Hidden Costs of Cybercrime report” has found that losses from cybercrime all over the world stand at over $1 trillion.
  • The global losses of over $1 trillion are equal to more than 1% of global GDP. Global GDP was $142 trillion in 2019. 
  • As per the report, the global losses increased by more than 50% from the $600 billion losses reported in a study carried out in 2018.
  • McAfee’s report is in collaboration with Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
  • The report focuses on both significant financial and unseen impacts of cybercrime all over the world.
  • McAfee is an American company providing computer security software globally.
 

 

 

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