December 14, 2019

National

  1. Sanskrit University Bill, 2019 Passed by Lok Sabha
  • The Lok Sabha has approved the Central Sanskrit University Bill 2019. It grants the status of Central University to three honorary Sanskrit Universities in the country.
  • The Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi, and Sri Lal Bahadur Shastri Vidyapeeth, as well as the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha at Tirupati, have been accorded the status of Central University.
  • The Human Resource Development Minister Nishank Pokhariyal said that this language has contributed to making India a world guru in the past.
  1. Inauguration of Navarms 2019 4th International Seminar Cum Exhibition on Naval Weapon Systems
  • The fourth edition of International Seminar cum Exhibition on Naval Weapon Systems ‘NAVARMS – 2019’ with the theme ‘Make in India – Fight Category: Opportunities and Imperatives’ was inaugurated by Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff at Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, Development Enclave, New Delhi.
  • The inaugural session of the seminar was attended by more than 300 delegates from three services, Min of Defence, DRDO, DGQA, DGAQA, OFs, DPSUs, Indian and international Industries and reps of foreign mission of friendly countries.
  • The NAVARMS – 2019 Exhibition on defence technology was inaugurated by the CNS. The Exhibition comprised of exhibits from Ordnance Factory, DPSUs, private industries (both domestic and international) and Indian Navy showcasing cutting edge and niche defence technologies.
  1. External Affairs Ministry to host 6th Indian Ocean Dialogue, Delhi Dialogue XI
  • External Affairs Ministry will host the 6th Indian Ocean Dialogue and Delhi Dialogue XI at the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi.
  • For the first time, these two dialogues will be held consecutively and on similar Indo-Pacific theme.
  • The theme for Indian Ocean Dialogue is “Indo-Pacific: Re-imagining the Indian Ocean through an Expanded Geography”.
  • The theme for this year’s Delhi Dialogue is “Advancing Partnership in Indo-Pacific”, and is being organized with the assistance of the Research and Information System for Developing Coun
  1. Ekamra Kshetra to replicate Jagannath temple project
  • After the positive response for beautification project of Jagannath Temple in Puri, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced a package for revival and preservation of the heritage value and grandeur of Lingaraj Temple and its surroundings on 66 acre of land.
  • The package for Ekamra Kshetra in the first phase includes Outer Access Road Development, Lingaraj Entry Plaza, Bindu Sagar revival plan, parking space, Lingaraj Heritage Complex, development of amenities for Kedar Gouri-Mukteswar complex, Heritage e-auto project, relocation projects and heritage interpretation centre.
  1. IBM’s weather forecast system for accuracy of forecasts in India.
  • International technology company IBM Plans to make a high resolution weather forecast model that will also rely on user generated data to improve the accuracy of forecasts available in India.
  • IBM GARF, as the forecast system is called, can generate forecasts at a resolution of 3kms. This is a significantly higher resolution than the 12-km models used by the India Meterological department to generate forecasts.
  • These weather forecast techniques rely on dynamic modeling and collect a trove of atmosphereic and ocean data, crunch it in supercomputers and generate forecasts over desired time-frames-three days, weekly or fortnightly.
  1. Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi expressway to be named after late Bal Thackeray
  • The Mumbai state cabinet Maharashtra minister Eknath Shinde has approved to name the under-construction Mumbai-Nagpur super communication Samruddhi expressway after Shiv Sena party founder late Bal Thackeray.
  • The cabinet also approved an additional share capital of Rs 3,500 crores to reduce the burden of loan that will be raised for this project. This in turn will bring down the interest amount by Rs 2,500 crores.
  • Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi expressway: It is a 700-km super expressway, which is scheduled to be completed in 2021. This expressway is expected to cut down the travel time between Mumbai and Nagpur by than nine hours.

State

  1. Madhya Pradesh to host “Namaste Orchha” festival 2020 in Orchha
  • Madhya Pradesh (MP) Tourism Department is going to organize a 3-day Cultural Festival ‘Namaste Orchha 2020’ in Orchha from March 6 – March 8, 2020, with the aim to promote MP Tourism through Orchha & especially to attract tourists.
  • The information was provided by Mr. Sudhi Ranjan Mohanty, Chief Secretary, Government of Madhya Pradesh at a press conference in Bhopal on December 11, 2019.

International

  1. Boris Johnson wins General Election in the United Kingdom
  • Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson, has won the General Elections in the United Kingdom. His Conservative Party secured 364 of the 650 seats in the house.
  • The opposition Labour Party secured 203 seats while the Liberal Democrats Party got 11 seats. On the other hand, the Scottish National party stunned the political pundits with victory over 48 seats.
  • Now, the results will pave a way for Brexit voting in the House of Commons that will take place in January 2020.

Banking & Finance

  1. Mastercard ties up with Federal Bank for identity check security for digital transactions
  • Global payments technology major Mastercard has joined hands with Federal Bank to provide an additional layer of security for digital transactions.
  • Mastercard Identity Check is a global authentication program that uses the latest authentication standards of EMV 3-D Secure to provide an additional layer of security for digital transactions and facilitate higher approval rates, improving the authentication experience for merchants, issuers and cardholders.
  • It provides banks with a secure and user-friendly way to authenticate cardholders without the use of static passwords, increasing approval rates.
  • The facility decreases online shopping cart abandonment, reduces fraud and improves conversion rates for e-commerce merchants.
  1. Government to sell 100 per cent stake in Air India
  • The government has decided to sell its entire 100 per cent stake in Air India under the proposed disinvestment process, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday.
  • The national carrier, which has a debt burden of more than Rs 50,000 crore, has been making loss for long and as part of revival efforts, the government has decided on disinvestment.
  • Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM) has been reconstituted and the re-initiation of the strategic disinvestment of Air India has been approved.
  • AISAM has approved the 100 per cent sale of Government of India stake in Air India for the re-initiated strategic disinvestment of Air India.
  1. Tech Mahindra bags smart city project from Pune’s Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation
  • IT company Tech Mahindra has bagged a smart city project worth Rs 500 crore from Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) in Pune.
  • Through this project, Tech Mahindra will engage with more than 15 lakh citizens of PCMC in Pune district by enabling the technology-led transformation to convert it into a smart and sustainable city.

Business & Economy

  1. Moody’s slashes India’s GDP growth forecast to 5.6% for 2019
  • Moody’s Investors Service,an American credit rating agency in its Global Macro Outlook 2020-21, has lowered India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product ) growth forecast for 2019 to 5.6 % , which is less than 7.4 % in 2018 .
  • It cuts the forecast due to the slow growth rate of employment is impacting consumption. It also expects that the growth rate will improve after that and it can be 6.6 % and 6.7 % in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
  • India’s pace of economic growth has slowed down since mid-2018 and real GDP growth has fallen from around 8% to 5% in the second quarter (April-June 2019) of 2019. The growth rate fell further to 4.5 % in the September quarter.
  • It is noteworthy that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also lowered the India’s economic growth forecast from 6.1 % to 5% citing soft demand and sluggish external demand.

Sports

  1. Rohit Sharma named La Liga’s first India brand ambassador.
  • Rohit is the first non-footballer in the league’s history to become brand ambassador
  • One of international cricket’s premier batsmen, Rohit Sharma was on Thursday named the first-ever India brand ambassador of La Liga, the top Spanish football league.
  • The current ICC World No. 2, Rohit is the only batsman in the history of the game to have scored three double hundreds in the 50-overs format including a world record 264.

Appointment & Resignation

  1. Ashok Leyland names former JCB India chief Vipin Sondhi as MD & CEO.
  • Chennai based commercial vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland appointed Vipin Sondhi as its MD and CEO for a period of 5 yrs.
  • Sondhi was the MD and CEO of JCB india for about 14 years. Prior to Sondhi, the Hinduja group company was being led by Vinod Dasari, who quit to join Royal Enfield as CEO in April.
  1. Shrikant Madhav Vaidya shortlisted to be the Chairman of IOC
  • Shrikant Madhav Vaidya, Director of Refineries, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) was shortlisted to become the Chairman of IOC.
  • He was selected for the post by government headhunter Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB).
  • He joined the IOC board in October 2019, and will replace Sanjiv Singh who is the current chairman of IOC. The term of office for the post is three years.
  • Madhav Vaidya is also a Director on the board of Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL), a subsidiary of Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (RRPCL).

Award & Honors

  1. Nirmala Sitharaman among world’s 100 most powerful women: FORBES
  • The Forbes 2019 list of ‘The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ has been topped by German Chancellor Angela Merkel
  • Sitharaman, a newcomer on the Forbes most powerful women list, is ranked 34th.
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, HCL Corporation CEO and Executive Director Roshni Nadar Malhotra and Biocon Founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw have been named among the world’s 100 most powerful women by Forbes.
  • The Forbes 2019 list of ‘The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ has been topped by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, followed by President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde in the second spot and Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, ranked third. Also on the list is Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (29).
  1. Shireen Dalvi, journalist returns State Sahitya Akademi Award to protest against Citizenship Amendment Bill
  • Shireen Dalvi (Shirin Dalvi), Mumbai based Urdu Journalist returned the 2011 Special Prize given by the Maharashtra State Urdu Sahitya Akademi to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).
  • The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, amends the Citizenship Act of 1995 to provide Indian citizenship to illegal migrants who entered India on or before 31st December 2014.
  • But it has no mention of the Muslim community. The bill also relaxes the citizenship period of migrants from 11 years to 5 years, the immediate beneficiaries of the bill includes over 30,000 people.
  • Also Abdur Rahman, IPS (Indian Police Service) officer resigned from his post as the Inspector General of Police (IGP) at the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and Yaqoob Yavar, former Head of Urdu Department at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) returned his award of Rs.1 lakh received from the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Urdu academy in the year 2018 to protest against the CAB bill.

Science, Space & Technology

  1. NASA scientists develop map showing presence of water ice on Mars
  • NASA scientists have developed a map detailing the presence of water ice on Mars, with some believed to be as little as 2.5 centimetres below the Red Planet’s surface.
  • The researchers, including those from the American space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California, said in a press statement that water ice will be a key consideration for any potential landing site on Mars.

Obituary

  1. Telugu actor Gollapudi Maruti Rao passes away
  • Veteran actor and literary figure Gollapudi Maruthi Rao passed away at Gollapudi, who established himself as a writer, had worked for a regional news paper as a sub editor in 1959.
  • He also worked in All India Radio for two decades.
February 7, 2020

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