- 1. Army Service Corps celebrated its foundation day on 8 December.
- 2. Indian-origin Anil Soni appointed as first CEO of WHO Foundation.
- 3. United Kingdom becomes first country to launch COVID-19 vaccine on large scale to the Public.
- 4. UNESCO names fort cities of Gwalior and Orchha in list of World Heritage Cities.
- 5. India’s first Water Metro ferry will be launched in January 2021.
- 6. Nokia to head the EU’s 6G project Hexa-X.
- 7. Army chief started his visit to UAE & Saudi Arabia to strengthen Defence ties.
- 8. First high altitude suborbital test flight of SpaceX’s futuristic starship ended before it was completed.
- 9. UP government working to include Tharu villages in home stay scheme of UP Forest Corporation.
- 10. HAL-IISc Skill Development Centre in Challakere started its first training programme.
Topic: Important Days
1. Army Service Corps celebrated its foundation day on 8 December.
- Army Service Corps has celebrated its raising day on 8 December.
- Its origin can be traced from the years of 1760s when there was a Commissariat for the armies of presidencies of Bengal, Madras and Bombay.
- It was renamed as Indian Army Service Corp on 8 December 1950 after Independence. On this day, it had dropped the use of the suffix ‘Royal’.
- Army Service Corps:
- It is part of the Indian Army, which provides logistic support to the Defence forces.
- It is responsible for provisioning, procurement and distribution of supplies and petroleum products to the Army, Air Force, Navy and other Paramilitary forces.
- It is also responsible for the carriage of ammunition, animals, fighting vehicles, etc.
- The motto of Army Service Corps is “SEVA ASMAKAM DHARMAHA”.
- It is the oldest and largest administrative service of the army.
(Source: News on AIR)
2. Indian-origin Anil Soni appointed as first CEO of WHO Foundation.
- Indian-origin Anil Soni has been appointed as the first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the WHO Foundation.
- He will take his position from 1 January 2021. He was head of Global Infectious Diseases at Viatris. Viatris is a global healthcare company.
- He has served as Senior Advisor, HIV at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and CEO at Clinton Health Access Initiative.
- He has also worked in different roles for Global Fund to fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis and for Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
- WHO Foundation:
- It is an independent grant-making organization with headquarters in Geneva.
- It was started in May 2020. Professor Thomas Zeltner is its founder. He is also chairman of its Board.
- It works alongside the WHO and the health community all over the world. It is legally separate from WHO.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases
3. United Kingdom becomes first country to launch COVID-19 vaccine on large scale to the Public.
- United Kingdom has started the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. It has become the first country to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine on a large scale.
- Indian origin, Dr. Hari Shukla, become the first person to receive the coronavirus vaccine.
- The vaccine will be given in two doses to a person, in an interval of 21 days. Full immunity of this vaccine develops after seven days of the second dose.
- Priority for this vaccine will be given to older persons, nursing-home workers and other high-risk health-care staff.
- Britain is the worst-hit European country from COVID-19, with over 61,000 deaths.
- Pfizer and BioNTech have claimed that their vaccine candidate is 95% effective in preventing the coronavirus.
- The Prime Minister of India has announced that India will implement its COVID-19 vaccination drive with the help of mobile technology.
- Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India have applied for emergency use authorization for their COVID-19 vaccine candidates in India.
Topic: Art and Culture
4. UNESCO names fort cities of Gwalior and Orchha in list of World Heritage Cities.
- UNESCO has named the fort cities of Gwalior and Orchha in the list of World Heritage Cities.
- Both Gwalior and Orchha are located in Madhya Pradesh. ‘Orchha’ means ‘hidden palace. It was the capital of the Bundela kingdom in the 16th century.
- Raj Mahal, Jehangir Mahal, Ramraja Temple, Rai Praveen Mahal, and Laxminarayan Mandir are some famous places in Orchha.
- Gwalior is a city founded in the 9th century. Gurjar Pratihar Rajvansh, Tomar, Baghel Kachvaho and Scindias ruled over it.
- It is known for places and temples, especially Sas Bahu Ka Mandir temple.
- Additionally, it is famous for Gwalior Fort, which has a sandstone plateau. Gujari Mahal Palace of 15th century is located within the fort.
- Ahmedabad and Jaipur are two other Indian cities already included in the World Heritage site list.
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Infrastructure and Energy
5. India’s first Water Metro ferry will be launched in January 2021.
- India’s first water metro ferry project will be launched from the Cochin shipyard in January 2021. It will be first launched on the Vyttila-Kakkanad route.
- The project is implemented by Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL). It will connect 10 islands spread over 78.2 km with 38 terminals.
- Kochi is the first city to integrate water transport as a feeder service to the metro network.
- The ferry used for this project will have a seating capacity of 100 passengers and these ferries will be electric-solar powered.
- Kochi Metro Rail Corporation (KMRL) had signed a loan agreement with the German Development Bank for the finance of this project.
- It will help in providing last-mile connectivity to the people living in islands around Kochi.
- It is a major port city of India and it is part of Ernakulam district of Kerala.
- It is an important spice trading center of India.
- Kochi Metro is spread over 18.4km with 16 operational metro stations.
(Source: Timesnow News)
Topic: Space and IT
6. Nokia to head the EU’s 6G project Hexa-X.
- European Commission’s funded 6G project ‘Hexa-X’ will be headed by NOKIA. This project will focus on providing a wireless network for the next generation.
- It will commence from 1 January 2021, with a planned duration of 2.5 years.
- The Hexa-X project’s main aim is to connect the physical, digital, and human worlds to the 6th generation wireless.
- The 6G technology will connect humans to machines and it will also connect humans with the digital world.
- It could create a technology that would understand human intentions, anticipate needs, and will make interaction with the physical world more effective.
- Nokia has been the pioneer in providing wireless technology of every generation to the world. The 6G technology is likely to be commercially available from 2030.
- 6G technology:
- It will be the sixth-generation wireless network technology.
- It will be the successor of 5G network technology.
- It will be around 100 times faster than 5G technology.
- China has launched an experimental 6G test satellite on 6 November 2020.
7. Army chief started his visit to UAE & Saudi Arabia to strengthen Defence ties.
- Army chief General M M Naravane has started his Week-long trip to UAE & Saudi Arabia.
- The main objective of this trip is to strengthen Defence ties between India and these two important Gulf countries.
- It will be the first-ever visit by an Indian army chief to the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
- In this visit, the Army chief will hold meetings with civilian and military leaders and will also visit Defence establishment of these countries.
- The army chief is scheduled to visit UAE on 9-10 December and he will travel to Saudi Arabia on 13 December.
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Western Asia (at the northeast end of the Arabian Peninsula)
United Arab Emirates Dirham
Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Topic: Space and IT
8. First high altitude suborbital test flight of SpaceX’s futuristic starship ended before it was completed.
- First high altitude suborbital test flight of SpaceX’s futuristic starship ended before completion on 8 November 2020.
- Space X’s goal was to send Starship prototype to an altitude of 12.5 km and return it back to a vertical landing.
- The company has already carried out five Starship test flights successfully up to a maximum height of 490 feet (0.15 km). Tuesday’s test flight was meant to carry starship prototype to the highest altitude so far.
- The spaceship prototype was a stainless steel version and was the first one with a nose cone, body flaps and three Raptor engines.
- SpaceX has a rocket production, testing and launch site in Texas. It is called the Boca Chica launch site.
- SpaceX aims to use starships to send extremely big satellites into orbit around Earth and send people and cargo to Moon and Mars.
- The company has earlier announced that Yusaku Maezawa will be its first private passenger. He will fly around Moon in 2023.
- It was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk.
- It is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company.
- It is known for its reusable rockets and astronaut capsules.
- Its headquarters is located in California.
- CEO of SpaceX is Elon Musk.
(Source: The Hindu)
Topic: State News/ Uttar Pradesh
9. UP government working to include Tharu villages in home stay scheme of UP Forest Corporation.
- UP government is working to include Tharu villages in home stay scheme of UP Forest Corporation.
- Tharu villages are located in Balrampur, Bahraich, Lakhimpur and Pilibhit districts of UP.
- Tourists visiting Tharu villages will live within the huts of the Tharu tribe. As a result, Tharu people will directly earn money by providing home-cooked foods and huts to the tourists.
- UP Forest Corporation will train Tharu people in communication with the tourists.
- The population of Scheduled Tribes in UP was over 11 lakh as per Census 2011. The population of Tharu tribe is the largest among them.
- Tharu tribe belongs to Terai or Tarai region. It is a lowland region between Shivalik hills or lower Himalayas and Indo-Gangetic plain.
- It is believed that the word Tharu comes from the word sthavir. It means followers of Theravada Buddhism.
- Along with UP, Tharu people live in Uttarakhand and Bihar. They also live in Nepal. Other important points about the Tharu tribe are given below:
- Occupation and food habits: They are mostly forest dwellers consuming alcoholic beverages. Some practice agriculture and eat beef.
- Languages: They speak different forms of Hindi, Urdu, and Awadhi and dialects of Tharu (an Indo-Aryan language).
- Worship: They worship Lord Shiva and believe in Narayan as a supreme being providing sunshine, rain, and harvests.
- Dishes: Bagiya or dhikri (steamed dish of rice flour) and ghonghi (cooked edible snail) are their dishes.
(Source: The Indian Express)
Topic: National News
10. HAL-IISc Skill Development Centre in Challakere started its first training programme.
- Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) - Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Skill Development Centre in Challakere started its first training programme.
- HAL-IISc Skill Development Centre was inaugurated by Defence Minister in August 2020. It is located in IISc’s new campus in Challakere, Chitradurga district (Karnataka).
- Challakere is called Science City. Premier Scientific institutions of India such as IISc, DRDO, and ISRO have set up their campus in Challakere.
- ISRO will set up its Human Space Flight Centre in Challakere. Challakere is also called oil city.