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Important Current Affairs 10th December 2019

Exim Bank provides USD 500 mn credit to Bangladesh for defence procurement

• India has provided USD 500 million (Rs 3,561 crore) line of credit to Bangladesh for defence-related procurement in the neighbouring country.

• Export Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) entered into an agreement on April 11 with Bangladesh’s Armed Forces Division for making available to the latter a Government of India-supported line of credit (LoC) of USD 500 million

• The LoC is for the purpose of financing defence-related procurement in Bangladesh

• “Out of the total credit by Exim Bank under the agreement, goods and services including consultancy services of the value of at least 75 per cent of the contract price shall be supplied by the seller from India,” it said.

• The remaining 25 per cent of goods and services may be procured by the seller for the purpose of the eligible contract from outside India, including Bangladesh.

• But, based on the nature of the procurement, the eligible goods and services up to the contract price to be supplied by seller from India may be further reduced from 75 per cent to 65 per cent and further reduction may be considered on a case-to-case basis.

• The agreement under the LoC is effective from November 7.

• The terminal utilisation period of the loan is 10 years from the date of signing of the agreement.

Arnab Goswami elected president of News Broadcasters Federation’s governing board

• The News Broadcasters Federation has elected journalist Arnab Goswami as the president of its governing board.

• The broadcaster’s body comprises of 78 news channels in 14 languages from 25 states.

• The members unanimously elected Goswami, who is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Republic TV, to be president of the governing board.

• The self-regulation mechanism of the body will be led by a chairperson, four eminent personalities and four editors.

Russia banned from global sports for 4 years over doping, to miss Olympics

• World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has handed a four-year suspension to Russian Athletics Federation from all major sporting events, which includes the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and World Championships.

• Russia’s anti-doping agency can appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days.

• The ruling means Russian athletes will still be allowed to compete at the Tokyo Olympics as neutrals, but only if they can demonstrate that they were not part of what WADA believes was a state-sponsored system of doping.

• The Russian flag and national anthem have also been banned in global events.

• Earlier this year, WADA investigators and International Olympic Committee (IOC) had stated the Russian authorities tampered with a Moscow laboratory database to hide several potential doping cases.

Andreescu wins Canada’s athlete of the year award

• US Open champion Bianca Andreescu has become the first tennis player to win Canada”s athlete of the year award.

• The title is awarded each year to Canada”s top athlete, and Andreescu, 19, put together a strong case throughout her 2019 season, during which she won her first WTA title at the BNP Paribas Open — a Premier Mandatory tournament — and her second at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, a Premier 5 event that Andreescu grew up attending.

• The youngster later became the first from her country to win a Grand Slam singles title in the US Open,

Flamengo striker Barbosa wins Brazil’s Golden Ball

• Rio de Janeiro, Inter Milan loanee Gabriel Barbosa has won the Golden Ball for the best player in Brazil”s 2019 Serie A championship.

• He was one of seven Flamengo players named in the Serie A team of the year, joining goalkeeper Diego Alves, right-back Rafinha, midfielders Gerson, Willian Arao and Giorgian de Arrascaeta and forward Bruno Henrique.

• Others selected in Brazilian football”s ideal XI were Palmeiras defender Gustavo Gomes, Santos center-back Lucas Verissimo, Santos left-back Jorge and Palmeiras playmaker Dudu.

• Flamengo”s Portuguese head coach Jorge Jesus was named manager of the year and Corinthians forward Millene Fernandes was voted the outstanding women”s player.

• The best young footballer award went to 22-year-old Goias forward Michael Delgado.

Abu Dhabi selected as world’s leading sports tourism destination

• Abu Dhabi has been selected as the world’s leading Sports tourism Destination at the 26th edition of the World Travel Awards (WTA) being held in Muscat. This is the seventh time in a row that Abu Dhabi has been selected for this coveted award.

• The award is the latest in several prestigious accolades gained by Abu Dhabi this year, including being selected as the West Asia’s Leading Business Tourism Destination at the West Asia edition of WTA and Best City Break at the UK’s Selling Travel Agents’ Choice Awards.

• Abu Dhabi shined as a premium destination once again for sports tourism in 2019 after hosting some of the world’s top sporting events, such as the FIFA Club World Cup 2017 and 2018, the first edition of the UAE Tour, the AFC Asian Cup 2019, the Special Olympics World Games 2019, the UFC 242 showdown and the Brazil vs South Korea international friendly match.

• The UAE capital also continues to play host to annual acclaimed sports events including the Formula 1 Etihad Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon, the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi.

• Abu Dhabi has been making strides within sports tourism by developing sports facilities and events across the capital. Earlier this year, Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi had announced a five-year partnership with the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) to host annual premier fixtures in the capital as part of Abu Dhabi Showdown Week.

• The emirate has also recently won the rights to host the FINA Short Course World Championship in 2020.

• World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries.

Paul Volcker, former Fed Chairman who curbed inflation, dies at 92

• Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve Chairman who helped tame inflation in the 1980s and carried out Wall Street reforms amid the global financial crisis, died at the age of 92.

• Volcker died due to complications from prostate cancer, said his daughter, Janice Zima.

• He was also an adviser to ex-Presidents Richard Nixon and Barack Obama.

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Important Current Affairs 9th December 2019

India ranks 129th in 2019 human development index; Top- Norway

• India has been ranked at 129th spot in the 2019 Human Development Index released by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Last year India was ranked 130th.

• As per the 2019 Human Development Report (HDR), the 2019 Human Development Index has been topped by Norway. Switzerland is on second while Ireland is on the third.

• South Asia was the fastest-growing region witnessing 46 Percent growth during 1990-2018.

Ex-Petroleum Secy Chaturvedi appointed NSE Chairman

• Former bureaucrat Girish Chandra Chaturvedi has been appointed as the Chairman of the governing board of the NSE.

• The development comes after NSE received regulator SEBI”s approval on Chaturvedi”s appointment. He held the post of Public Interest Director at the company.

• “The Board and the Management of National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) welcomes Girish Chandra Chaturvedi, a retired IAS Officer and former Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, as the new Chairman of NSE,” the stock exchange major said in a statement.

India Among Top 10 in 2019 Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI): Report

• The 2019 Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) was presented at the ongoing COP25 climate summit in Madrid, Spain on December 10, 2019.

• India has for the first time emerged among the top 10 countries with higher climate performance.

• It has been ranked at 9th spot in the index for its Climate Policy performance among 57 countries and European Union.

• However, the first three places of the ranking remain unoccupied, since none of the countries is on a path compatible with the Paris climate targets, to implement strategies to limit global warming below 2 or even 1.5°C.

• Sweden (4th) and Denmark (5th) were the top rankers in the index.

• The ranking takes into consideration various criteria’s such as

• country’s energy use,

• its per capita emissions,

• its emission reduction targets for 2030,

• its national and international climate policy,

• renewable energy deployment and

• past trends of emissions.

Finland elects Sanna Marin, the youngest-ever Prime Minister

• Finland’s Social Democrats elected a 34-year-old former transport minister to the post of the prime minister, making her the youngest head of government in the country’s history.

• Sanna Marin narrowly won vote to replace outgoing leader Antti Rinne, who resigned after losing the confidence of the coalition partner Centre Party over his handling of a postal strike.

• At 34, Marin also becomes one of the world’s youngest state leaders, ahead of Ukraine’s prime minister Oleksiy Honcharuk, who is currently 35.

India to launch spy satellite, 9 others on Dec 11

• India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket would launch the country’s latest spy satellite RISAT-2BR1 and nine foreign satellites on December 11, said the Indian space agency.

• According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the rocket numbered as PSLV-C48 will lift off at 3.25 p.m. with RISAT-2BR1, a radar imaging earth observation satellite weighing about 628 kg.

• The rocket will blast off from the first launch pad at Sri harikota rocket port in Andhra Pradesh and place RISAT-2BR1 into an orbit of 576 km. The satellite will have a life of five years.

• Piggybacking on the Indian satellite would be nine foreign satellites from the USA (multi-mission Lemur-4 satellites, technology demonstration Tyvak-0129, earth imaging 1HOPSAT), Israel (remote sensing Duchifat-3), Italy (search and rescue Tyvak-0092) and Japan (QPS-SAR – a radar imaging earth observation satellite).

• These international customer satellites are being launched under a commercial arrangement with New Space India Limited (NSIL).

International Anti-Corruption Day: December 9

• International Anti-Corruption Day is observed annually on 9 December to raise public awareness for anti-corruption.

• The day is observed since the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on 31 October 2003.

• Theme 2019-‘United Against Corruption.’

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Important Current Affairs 8th December 2019

RBI allows ‘on tap’ Licensing of Small Finance Banks in the Private Sector

• The Reserve Bank of India has released the Guidelines for ‘on tap’ Licensing of Small Finance Banks in the Private Sector. On tap licensing means, that now one can apply to open a Small Finance Bank whenever he/she wishes to open. This is unlike the previous case where RBI has issued in-principle approval to ten applicants only, to open Small Finance Bank.

Here are some important points related to this:

• The licensing window will be open on-tap;

• minimum paid-up voting equity capital / net worth requirement shall be ₹ 200 crore.

• for Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks (UCBs), desirous of voluntarily transiting into Small Finance Banks (SFBs) initial requirement of net worth shall be at ₹ 100 crore, which will have to be increased to ₹ 200 crore within five years from the date of commencement of business.

• SFBs will be given scheduled bank status immediately upon commencement of operations

• Payments Banks can apply for conversion into SFB after five years of operations.

‘Friends’ actor Ron Leibman passes away at 82

• Ron Leibman, who played the father of Jennifer Aniston’s character in ‘Friends’, passed away due to pneumonia at the age of 82.

• Apart from ‘Friends’, Ron is also known for his roles in films like ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’, ‘Where’s Poppa?’ and the 1979 film ‘Norma Rae’.

• The actor also won an Emmy award in 1979 for TV series ‘Kaz’.

4th India Water Impact Summit 2019 held in Delhi

• The 4th India Water Impact Summit 2019 was held in New Delhi from December 5 to 7, 2019. Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat inaugurated the summit.

• It was organised by Ministry of Jal Shakti and the Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (cGanga) and was led by IIT-Kanpur.

• Theme of the event was: ‘Valuing Water – Transforming Ganga’.

• Objective of the summit: bringing together global financial investors and institutions to focus on water impact in smart cities.

Indian Junior Women’s Hockey team win 3-Nations Tournament in Australia

• The Indian junior women’s team has won the 3-Nations Tournament held in Australia from 3-8 December 2019.

• India secured 7 points to be placed at top position in the points table.

• Hosts Australia stood second while New Zealand finished third.

Jairam Sridharan steps down as Axis Bank CFO

• Jairam Sridharan, Group Executive and Chief Financial Officer and Key Managerial Personnel of Axis Bank, has stepped down from his post . He informed that he would like to pursue other career opportunities and as such has resigned from his services, Axis Bank said in a filing on Bombay Stock Exchange.

• Sridharan will continue to serve as the Group Executive and Chief Financial Officer of the bank under his notice period of three months, Axis Bank further stated in its statement.

• He joined Axis Bank in 2010 and was elevated to the group CFO’s position in 2015.

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Important Current Affairs 7th December 2019

RBI raises peer-to-peer lending limit five-times to 50 lakh

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has raised its lending limit to peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms five-folds to 50 lakh from current 10 lakh.

• However, the exposure of a single borrower is capped at 50,000 across all NBFC-P2P platforms.

• The decision was made after “a review of the functioning of the lending platforms and lending limit was carried out by RBI.”

• In the P2P industry, individual borrowers are connected to lenders through digital platforms, and the platform just plays the role of a marketplace. More than 15 companies have registered with the RBI as non-banking finance company P2P lending platforms.

Rajendran Chinna Veerappan Re-appointed MD & CEO of CSB Bank

• The board of directors of Kerala based CSB Bank (formerly known as Catholic Syrian Bank) has re-appointed Rajendran Chinna Veerappan as Managing Director and CEO of the Bank.

• He will serve the second three years terms with effect from 9 December till 8 December 2022.

• Veerappan has been on CSB board since November 2016 and his tenure was to end on 8 December.

Assam govt sets up Anti-Depredation squads

• The Assam government has set up 15 Anti-Depredation Squads of the Forest department to deal with human-wildlife conflicts in the state.

• The anti-depredation squads will be stationed in 15 major human-wildlife conflict districts of the state to deal with the problem and ensure the safety of both humans and animals.

• The anti-depredation squads will be equipped with all logistics required for mitigating the conflict. The squads will have 12 bore pump action guns and rubber bullet ammunition.

President Kovind Presents National Florence Nightingale Awards 2019

• The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, presented the National Florence Nightingale Awards to nursing personnel during a ceremony on December 5, 2019 in New Delhi as a part of the International Nurses Day.

• 36 nursing professionals were conferred the National Florence Nightingale Awards 2019 for their meritorious services.

• The award was instituted by the Government of India in 1973 and are named after Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

• The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Mid-wife.

• 2020 also mark the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale.

Indian Army lifts Sudan Polo Cup

• The Indian Army team lifts Sudan Polo Cup, one the most prestigious polo tournament, beating beats British Army team . The match took place at the Jaipur Polo Grounds in Delhi between the both the polo teams.

• In a well contested match, the Indian team won the match by 5-3 following which Vice Chief of Indian Army Lieutenant General Manoj Mukund Naravane felicitated the teams.

• The Sudan Cup, is one of the most prestigious polo tournament, played between the British Army and the Indian Army alternately in India and UK. It was instituted in 1922.

Armed Forces Flag Day: 7 December

Armed Forces Flag Day or the Flag Day of India is observed annually in India on December 7 since 1949 as an honour to the soldiers, sailors and airmen of India who fought on the borders to keep the country safe.

India’s Top 10 Police Stations for 2019 announced

• Government has released the list of best performing Police stations from across the country. The Top 10 Police Stations in the country are:-

1.         Aberdeen- Andaman, Andaman & Nicobar Islands

2.         Balasinor- Mahisagar, Gujarat

3.         Ajk Burhanpur- Burhanpur, Madhya Pradesh

4.         AWPS Theni- Theni , Tamil Nadu

5.         Anini- Dibang Valley, Arunachal Pradesh

6.         Baba Haridas Nagar, Dwarka- South West, District Delhi

7.         Bakani- Jhalawar, Rajasthan

8.         Choppadandi (M)- Karimnagar, Telangana

9.         Bicholim- North Goa, Goa

10.       Bargawa- Sheopur, Madhya Pradesh

• The objective was to rank the top 10 Police Stations out of 15,579 Police Stations in the country through data analysis, direct observation and public feedback. The ranking process commenced with shortlisting of the best performing Police Stations, in each State on the basis of addressing

1.         Property offence

2.         Crime against women

3.         Crime against weaker sections.

• Number of Police Stations selected initially from each State comprise of:

1.         Three from each State with more than 750 Police Stations

2.         Two from all other States and Delhi

3.         One from each Union Territory

International Civil Aviation Day: 7 December

• The International Civil Aviation Day is celebrated every year on December 7 to recognize the importance of aviation to the social and economic development of the world.

• The Day was established in 1994 TO celebrate the 50th anniversary of International Civil Aviation Organization.

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Important Current Affairs 6th December 2019

Piyush Goyal inaugurates third edition of National Public Procurement Conclave

• Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal inaugurated the third edition of National Public Procurement Conclave in New Delhi.

• The two-day conclave has been organized by Government e-Marketplace, GeM in association with Confederation of Indian Industry.

Avantee mega Food Park inaugurated in MP’s Dewas

• In Madhya Pradesh, Union Minister for food processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurated Avantee mega Food Park in Dewas.

• This first food park of central India is spread over 51 acres and has been constructed at a cost of about 150 crore rupees.

• About 5 thousand local people will get employment from this Mega Food Park.Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Rameshwar Teli was also present on the inaugural ceremony.

RBI to introduce new prepaid payment instrument

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will introduce a new type of prepaid payment instrument (PPI) which could be used only for purchase of goods and services up to a limit of Rs 10,000.

• Accordingly, the loading of such PPI will be only through a bank account and it could be used for making only digital payments such as bill payments and merchant payments, among others.

• “Such PPIs can be issued on the basis of essential minimum details sourced from the customer. Instructions in this regard will be issued by December 31, 2019,” the RBI said in a statement on developmental and regulatory policies.

• PPIs are financial instruments that facilitate the purchase of goods and services against the value stored on such instruments.

Mumbai Central Certified India’s first ‘Eat Right Station’ by FSSAI

• The Mumbai Central station of Railways was conferred with the ‘Eat Right Station’ certification with four stars rating by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), as a part of ‘Eat Right India’ movement launched last year.

• According to a press note, the Mumbai Central Railway Station is the country’s first “Eat Right Station.”

• FSSAI, along with Western Railways (WR) and Indian Railways Catering Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), has trained food handlers, both in canteens and base kitchens. They inspected catering establishments at the station and certified and

rated the standard of food.

• As part of efforts to help passengers make a healthy and right food choice, the Indian Railways launched the ‘Eat Right Station’ as part of the ‘Eat Right India’ initiative of the FSSAI started in 2018.

• Eat Right India’ built on two broad pillars — Eat Healthy and Eat Safe — aimed to engage, excite and enable people enhance their health and wellbeing

James Johnson appointed to run Australian football

• James Johnson, former FIFA head of football, has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Football Federation Australia (FFA). Johnson will commence in the role from January next year.

• Johnson arrives in the role with a wealth of experience under his belt having been the Senior Vice President of External Affairs with the City Football Group (CFG) most recently.

• He has previously held positions with FIFA — as head of professional football and senior manager member associations — and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) as director of international relations and development.

Former TT coach and Dronacharya awardee Bhawani Mukherji passes away

• Former India Table tennis head coach Bhawani Mukherji died at his residence.

• Mukherji, 68, is survived by his wife and a son.

• He was the head coach at NIS Patiala and became the head coach of the national team for a brief period after the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

• He was bestowed with the Dronacharya Award in 2012, thus becoming the first coach to earn the recognition in table tennis.

Priyanka Chopra tops IMDb 2019 list of Indian celebrities

• Actress Priyanka Chopra has been named as the top star of Indian cinema and television series in 2019, in a list released by the global film and TV website IMDb.

• Actress Disha Patani is on second spot, followed by Hrithik Roshan, Kiara Advani, Akshay Kumar,Salman, Alia Bhatt, Katrina Kaif, Rakul Preet Singh and Sobhita Dhulipala.

• IMDb determines the list using data from IMDbPro STARmeter rankings, which are based on the actual page views of the more than 200 million monthly IMDb visitors.

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Important Current Affairs 5th December 2019

India ranks 5th in Global Climate Risk Index

• The Global Climate Risk Index 2020 released by environmental think tank Germanwatch ranked India the fifth most vulnerable nation to climate change.

• The report suggested that the 2018 monsoon led to India fall from the fourteenth position in 2017 to fifth in 2018.

• As per the study, the monsoon had forced over 220,000 people in Kerala to leave their homes.

Top ten most affected countries in 2018:

1.         Japan

2.         Philippines

3.         Germany

4.         Madagascar

5.         India

6.         Sri Lanka

7.         Kenya

8.         Rwanda

9.         Canada

10.       Fiji

Pritivirajsing Roopun elected as new President of Mauritius by parliament

• Pritivirajsing Roopun (also known as Pradeep Roopun) has been sworn in as the new and 7th President of the island nation Mauritius on December 2, 2019.

• The 61-year-old succeeds Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, who resigned in March 2018.

• Roopan was the former arts and culture minister of the country.

RBI 5th Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Review, 2019-20: Repo Rate unchanged at 5.15%

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released its fifth bi-monthly monetary policy statement for 2019-20 in which the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), led by Governor Shaktikanta Das, decided to keep the policy repo rate unchanged at 5.15%.

• In 2019, the RBI has cut repo rate by 135 basis points so far to a nine-year low of 5.15%.

• Analysts were expecting another 25 basis points cut.

• RBI has also lowered its GDP growth forecast to 5%

• Key Policy Rates & Reserve Ratios

Repo Rate       5.15%

Reverse Repo Rate     4.90%

Marginal Standing Facility Rate         5.40%

Bank Rate       5.40%

CRR    4%

SLR     18.5%

Joaquin Phoenix Named PETA’s 2019 Person of the Year

• ‘Joker’ star Joaquin Phoenix has been named 2019 Person of the Year by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

• Phoenix is vegan since the age of three and has been a longtime supporter of the animal rights organisation.

• He recently appeared in PETA’s “We Are All Animals” billboards in Times Square and on Sunset Billboard as he promoted legislation to ban travelling wild-animal circuses.

• Past recipients of the award have been Oprah Winfrey, Anjelica Huston and Pope Francis.

Former England captain Bob Willis dies aged 70

• Former England captain Bob Willis has died at the age of 70 after battle with cancer.

• The former fast bowler played in 90 Tests and 64 ODIs for England after his 1971 debut and retired in 1984.

• Finishing his Test career with 325 wickets, Willis stands at fourth on the all-time list of England wicket-takers.

World Soil Day: December 5

• The World Soil Day is celebrated every year on December 5 to raise awareness of the importance of soil quality for human well-being, food security and ecosystems

• The 2019 theme – ‘Stop Soil Erosion, Save our Future’!

• The day was first considered by the International Union of Soil Sciences in 2002.

India Ranks 73 in UNCTAD B2C E-Commerce Index 2019; Netherlands Tops

• The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has released Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-commerce Index 2019, that measures an economy’s preparedness to support online shopping.

• India has moved seven places up in the list to be ranked 73rd out of 152 countries.

• The list has been topped by the Netherlands for the second consecutive year.

Mobile app namd Madhu App for e-learning launched in Odisha

• Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched Madhu App, an e-learning mobile phone app, for making classroom learning easier for students.

• Madhu App is named after noted freedom fighter and social reformer Madhusudan Das.

• Using the App, students will be able to download video lectures and exercises by qualified teachers in Odia language.

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Important Current Affairs 4th December 2019

Masatsugu Asakawa elected ADB President

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said its board has unanimously elected Masatsugu Asakawa as its new president.

• Asakawa, 61, currently special advisor to Japan’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, will assume office as ADB’s 10th President on January 17, 2020.

• He will succeed Takehiko Nakao, who will leave office on January 16, 2020.

Sundar Pichai becomes Alphabet CEO as Google Co-founders step down

• Google Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have announced Google CEO Sundar Pichai is replacing Page as CEO of parent company Alphabet.

• Larry Page and Sergey Brin have decided to transition from their roles as CEO and President, respectively, of Alphabet.

• Page became CEO of Alphabet after Google restructured to form the parent company in 2015. He had previously been CEO of Google.

Govt launches 4th round of Regional Connectivity Scheme-UDAN

• Government has launched the 4th round of Regional Connectivity Scheme – UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) to further enhance the connectivity to remote and regional areas of the country.

• Civil Aviation Ministry said, the focus in this round will be North East Region, Hilly States, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Islands.

• The scheme was launched in October, 2016, which seeks to provide connectivity to un-served and under-served regions through revival of existing air strips and airports.

• In the last three years government has successfully completed three rounds of bidding under the Scheme and awarded about 700 routes. The Ministry aims to operationalize one thousand routes and more than 100 airports in the next five years.

New Zealand win MCC’s Spirit of Cricket award for 2019

• New Zealand cricket team has been awarded the MCC’s Christopher Martin-Jenkins (CMJ) Spirit of Cricket Award 2019 for their “sporting conduct” in ICC Men’s World Cup 2019 final.

• The Kane Williamson-led team had lost to England after a tied Super Over by the virtue of having scored fewer boundaries. “Their actions deserve this recognition,” said MCC President Kumar Sangakkara.

• 2018’s joint winners were Dan Bowser and Chris Edwards of the England Learning Disability team, who were recognised for their outstanding sporting actions during the team’s tour of the Netherlands.

• The CMJ Spirit of Cricket award was created in 2013 by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and the BBC in memory of former MCC President and BBC Test Match Special commentator Christopher Martin-Jenkins (“CMJ”), who was passionate about promoting the spirit of the game.

Cristiano Ronaldo named Serie A Player of the Year

• Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been named the Serie A Player of the Year.

• For the first time at the Italian ceremony, there were also awards for female players, with Roma and Italy forward Manuela Giugliano winning the top prize.

• Ronaldo signed for Juventus from Real Madrid in July 2018 and helped Juventus win their eighth successive Serie A title.

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Important Current Affairs 3rd December 2019

EU Commission begins new term under von der Leyen

• Ursula von der Leyen is the first woman to hold the EU’s top job as President of the European Commission, which has officially begun its new five-year term.

• Already, the 61-year-old former German defence minister, who succeeds Jean-Claude Juncker has a full intray.

• She has made the issue of climate change one of her top priorities – describing it as an existential crisis.

Govt appoints Soma Roy Burman as new Controller General of Accounts

• The government said it has appointed Soma Roy Burman, a 1986-batch Indian Civil Accounts Service Officer, as the new Controller General of Accounts (CGA). Burman is the 24th CGA and is the seventh woman to hold this position.

• During her 33-year long career, she has held cadre positions at different levels in ministries such as Home Affairs, Information & Broadcasting, Industry, Finance, Human Resource Development and Shipping, Road Transport & Highways.

• Prior to this, Burman served as the Additional Controller General of Accounts in the office of CGA, handling the critical areas of accounting rules, policy and reforms, financial reporting, data analytics, cash and budget management.

Lionel Messi and Megan Rapinoe win 2019 Ballon d’Or awards

• Barcelona forward Lionel Messi won this year’s Ballon d’Or award.

• The 32-year-old Argentine overtook Cristiano Ronaldo and took his tally of Ballon d’Or wins to six, the most by any player.

• Messi and Ronaldo have now won 11 of the past 12 Ballon d’Ors.

• 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup-winning US co-captain Megan Rapinoe won the women’s Ballon d’Or.

CRISIL cuts India’s GDP growth for FY20 to 5.1%

• Rating Agency CRISIL has reduced the GDP growth rate projection for India for 2019-20 (FY20) to 5.1% from its earlier prediction of 6.3%.

• This comes after the official data (Government of India) shows the second-quarter growth at 4.5%.

India and ADB Sign USD 206 million loan to strengthen urban services in 5 Tamil Nadu cities

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India has signed $206 million loan on December 2, 2019 to develop water supply and sewerage infrastructure in 5 cities of Tamil Nadu.

• The loan amount will also be used to strengthen capacities of urban local bodies (ULBs) for improved service delivery.

VP Venkaiah Naidu launches 'Bharatiya Poshan Anthem'

• On December 3, 2019, Indian Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu launched the “Bharatiya Poshan Anthem”.

• The anthem has been conceptualised by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

• It has been written by noted lyricist Prasoon Joshi and sung by Shankar Mahadevan.

• The ‘Poshan Abhiyan or National Nutrition Mission’ was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March 2018 to make India malnutrition free by 2022 by ensuring holistic development and adequate nutrition for pregnant women, mothers and children.

Indo-Nepal joint military Exercise SURYA KIRAN 2019 Commences in Rupendehi

• The annual joint military exercise ‘SURYA KIRAN – XIV’ between India and Nepal began at Salijhandi, Rupendehi district of Nepal on 03 December 2019.

• The exercise will continue till December 16, 2019.

Author Tony Joseph wins 2019 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize for ‘Early Indians’

• English author Tony Joseph has been awarded the 12th ‘Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize’ for his 2018 book, “Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From”.

• Instituted in 2008, by the Shakti Bhatt Foundation, the award seeks to celebrate “extraordinary new writing in all genres” from South Asian countries.

Indian men’s volleyball team beat Pakistan to clinch Gold at 13th South Asian Games

• The Indian men’s volleyball team defeated Pakistan by 3-1 in finals at the South Asian Games 2019 to win gold.

• The bronze medal ent to Sri Lanka.

• Meanwhile, in the women’s final, Indian team beat hosts Nepal 3-2 to clinch the gold. Here also Sri Lanka won bronze.

• South Asian Games 2019 is being held in Kathmandu, Nepal from December 1-10, 2019.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities: 3 December

• The International Day of Persons with Disabilities was proclaimed in 1992 by United Nations General Assembly and is observed annually on December 3.

• Aim: to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

• 2019 Theme: Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd December 2019

India becomes 1st country to make entire Haj process digital

• The Minister also informed that India has become the first country to make the entire Haj process completely digital for pilgrims going on Haj 2020.

• All the 2 lakh Indian Muslims going for Haj in 2020 will be provided with an online application, e-visa, Haj mobile app, ‘e-MASIHA’ health facility, and also the first ever “e-luggage pre-tagging” facility.

• They would also get information in India itself regarding accommodation and transportation in Mecca and Madina, like building and the room allotted to them.

RBI adds Debt ETFs as eligible securities for repo transactions

• The Reserve Bank of India has announced that the Units of Debt Exchange Traded Funds (Debt ETFs) shall henceforth be eligible securities for repo transactions.

• The securities eligible for repo under these Directions shall include:

1.         Government securities issued by the Central Government or a State Government.

2.         Listed corporate bonds and debentures, subject to the condition that no participant shall borrow against the collateral of its own securities, or securities issued by a related entity.

3.         Commercial Papers (CPs) and Certificate of Deposits (CDs).

4.         Units of Debt ETFs

5.         Any other security of a local authority as may be specified in this behalf by the Central Government.

Nationwide vaccination drive launched to prevent eight diseases under Mission Indradhanush 2.0

• Centre is launching nationwide vaccination drive to prevent eight diseases under Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0 across the country today.

• What is IMI 2.0: It is pan-India vaccination drive where children under the age of 2 years and pregnant women will be immunized against eight vaccine preventable diseases.

• Objective of IMI 2.0: Achieve targets of full immunization coverage in 272 districts in 27 States.

• Duration of the vaccination drive: December 2019 to March 2020.

Mandatory hallmarking for gold jewellery/artefacts from Jan 15, 2021

• The Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has announced that the Hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts in India will be made mandatory from January 15, 2021, to ensure purity of the precious metal.

• The government notification in this regard will be issued on 15 January 2020 and the decision will come into effect after a period of one year.

• It will be now compulsory for all the jewellers to register with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and sell only hallmarked gold jewellery and artefacts.

• They have been given a period of one year time for clearing their old or existing stock.

Masatsugu Asakawa elected 10th President of ADB

• The Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has unanimously elected Masatsugu Asakawa as its new President.

• The 61-year-old Mr. Asakawa will assume office as ADB’s 10th President on 17 January 2020.

• ADB headquarter – Metro Manila, Philippines.

Saudi Arabia assumes G20 presidency

• Saudi Arabia assumed the G20 presidency on December 01, 2019 and will hold the G20 leaders’ summit in Riyadh on November 21 and 22, 2020. The G20 summit in 2019 was hosted by Japan.

• The theme of the event will be “Realising Opportunities of the 21st Century for All”.

• Saudi Arabia will focus on three aims – empowering people, safeguarding the planet, and shaping new frontiers.

UN Climate Change Conference - December 2019

• The 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP25 officially began in Madrid, Spain on 2 December 2019. It will continue till December 13.

• The conference was earlier planned to take place Chile, but due to social unrest in the country, the location changed to Spain. However Chile will remain the overall in charge of the event.

• The conference will include the following events:

• 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),

• 15th meeting of the parties for the Kyoto Protocol (CMP15), and

• 2nd meeting of the parties for the Paris Agreement (CMA2)

• The main objective of the conference is to bring the world together to deal with several issues pertaining to the full operationalization of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.

• Ms. Carolina Schmidt, Minister of the Environment in Chile, is the President of COP 25.

‘Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat’ conference inaugurated in Jammu

• Union Minister of State (PP), Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurated a two day Conference on ‘Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat’ in Jammu on November 30, 2019. The conference focusses on ‘Jal Shakti’ and ‘Disaster Management’.

• The conference was organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) in association with Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and Governments of Tamil Nadu.

India-Japan Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue (2+2) held in New Delhi

• The India-Japan Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue (2+2) was held on 30th November 2019 in New Delhi. 2 participants participated from both the sides in the meet.

• The Indian side was represented by Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar while foreign Affairs Minister Mr. Toshimitsu Motegi and Minister of Defence Mr. Taro Kono represented Japan.

• The next 2+2 Ministerial Meeting will be held in Tokyo.

Armed Forces Flag Day-CSR Conclave 2019 Held in New Delhi

• The Armed Forces Flag Day (AFFD) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Conclave 2019 was held in New Delhi on December 2, 2019.

• Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh addressed the conclave and urged the people of the country to contribute generously to the Armed Forces Flag Day (AFFD) Fund for the welfare of the Ex-Servicemen who have selflessly served the nation.

Labour Ministry to celebrate Pension Week from 30th Nov, 2019 to 6th Dec 2019

• Labour Ministry has decided to celebrate Pension Week from November 30, 210 to December 06, 2019.

• The aims of the Pension Week is to increase enrollments under:

• Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan (PM-SYM) – aim to enroll one crore beneficiaries by March 2020 and

• National Pension Scheme for Traders and Self-Employed Persons (NPS-Traders) 50 lakhs beneficiaries for NPS-Traders by March 2020

• For this, Minister of State(I/C) for Labour and Employment Shri Santosh Gangwar inaugurated a function in New Delhi.

10th Indian Organ Donation Day Held in New Delhi

• The Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, presided over the 10th Indian Organ Donation Day in New Delhi on November 30, 2019.

• The event was organised by the National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO).

• The Minister also informed that India performs the second largest number of transplants in the world, next only to USA as per data available on the Global Observatory on Donation and Transplantation.

Nuclear Capable surface-to-surface Agni-III Missile Fails in Maiden Night Trial

• The maiden night trial of the nuclear capable Agni-III surface-to-surface ballistic missile was conducted from a mobile launcher at the Integrated Test Range at the APJ Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast on 30 November 2019.

• However, the test reportedly failed due to manufacturing defect.

• Agni III is designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)

13th South Asian Games Kicked Off in Nepal

• President of Nepal, Bidya Devi Bhandari declared the 2019 South Asian Games 2019 open. The inauguration ceremony was held at Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu, Nepal.

• The XIII South Asian Games will be held from December 1 to 10 in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Janakpur cities of Nepal and will see the participation of around 2700 athletes from seven countries. (Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives, Bhutan and Sri Lanka).

• Mascot of 2019 SAG: Krishnasar (the blackbuck antelope) is the official mascot.

• Tajinder Pal Singh Toor (shot putter) was the flag-bearer of India in the opening ceremony at South Asian Games.

National Pollution Control Day: December 2

The National Pollution Control Day is observed every year on December 2 in India to commemorate the life of people lost in the unfortunate incident of Bhopal Gas Tragedy that occurred in the year 1984 on the night of 2–3 December.

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Important Current Affairs 1st December 2019

BSF Celebrated its Raising Day

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended greetings to Border Security Force (BSF) personnel on the organization’s 55th raising day (01st December 2019).

• The BSF was raised in 1965 with the specific purpose of manning Indian borders as the ‘First Line of Defence’ against infiltration, smuggling, and military assault.

Govt launches drive to enroll 1 cr beneficiaries under two pension schemes

• The government has launched a drive to enroll one crore beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan (PM-SYM) and the National Pension Scheme for Traders and Self Employed Persons (NPS-Traders) by March next year.

• Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar launched the drive to mark the celebrations of Pension week. Stating that both the schemes are simple and hassle-free, an Aadhaar card number along with a savings bank account or Jan-Dhan account are needed for enrollments.

Exercise Mitra Shakti – VII Between India and Sri Lanka Commences in Pune

• The seventh edition of Exercise MITRA SHAKTI- 2019 amongst the armies of India and Sri Lanka commenced at Aundh Military Station, Pune on 01 December.

• The exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability and operational efficiency as well as build and promote positive relations between both the armies in the field of military cooperation and engagement for refining the interoperability and operational preparedness.

Soma Roy Burman Takes charge as new Controller General of Accounts (CGA)

• A 1986-batch Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) Officer, Smt Soma Roy Burman has been appointed as the new Controller General of Accounts (CGA), Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure with effect from December 1, 2019.

• Smt. Burman is the 24th CGA and 7th woman to hold the position.

• Prior to this, she served as Additional Controller General of Accounts in the office of CGA

Shri Hari Mohan Appointed as Chairman of Ordnance Factory Board

• Shri Hari Mohan, a 1982-batch Indian Ordnance Factories’ Service (I.O.F.S.) officer, has taken over the charge as Chairman of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) on December 01, 2019.

• He succeeds Shri Saurabh Kumar who superannuated from the services.

Iraqi PM Adel Abdul Mahdi resigns amid anti-government protests

• Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has submitted his resignation to Parliament amid ongoing anti-government protests across the country. The formal resignation came after an emergency cabinet session in which ministers approved the document and the resignation of key staffers, including Abdul Mahdi’s chief of staff.

• Barham Salih is the current President of Iraq.

Baghdad is the capital of Iraq.

The Iraqi dinar is the currency of Iraq.

Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju Launch 3rd Khelo India Youth Games in Guwahati

• The launching ceremony of the Composite Logo, Mascot, Jersey and Theme song of the third edition of Khelo India Youth Games 2020 took place at Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium, Sarusajai, Guwahti, Assam on November 30, 2019.

• The event was jointly inaugurated by Assam Chief Minister Sarbanada Sonowal in the presence of Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports.

• The 2020 Games will be held from 10 January 2020 to 22 January 2020.

• It will be conducted in partnership with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), School Games Federation of India (SGFI), and Assam as the host State.

• The event will be held in 20 disciplines with the participation of 37 States and Union Territories.

Lewis Hamilton wins Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to Clinch 11th Title of the Season

• The Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has won the 2019 Formula 1 season finale Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, held on December 1, 2019, to end the season with 11th title.

• With this Lewis Hamilton successfully defended the World Drivers’ Championship title for the second year running and sixth world drivers’ title overall.

• Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished runner-up while Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc came third.

World AIDS Day: December 1

• The World AIDS Day is observed across the globe on 1 December every year since 1988 to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection

• The theme for the World Aids Day 2019 is “Communities make the difference”.

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