Daily Current Affairs – Dec 18th, 2020

Table of Contents

India falls 17 spots on 2020 Human Freedom Index to 111th rank.

This index on global ranking of personal, civil and economic freedom placed India at 111 out of 162 countries, China at 129 rank, Bangladesh at 139 and Pakistan at 140. New Zealand was ranked one in the index, followed by Switzerland and Hong Kong.

Did you Know

Bottom most – Venezuela, Sudan, and Syria.

International Migrants Day – 18 December

International Migrants Day is celebrated every year on December 18 to highlight the contributions made by international migrants & internally displaced persons (IDPs) & challenges they face. The number of international migrants in 2019 reached 272 million.

Did you Know

2020 Theme is “Reimagining Human Mobility”.

Indian entrepreneur,Vidyut Mohan, named among ‘Young Champions of the Earth’ winners by UNEP.

Vidyut Mohan was one of the “Young Champions of the Earth” winners by UNEP . Co-founder of “Takachar”, a social enterprise enabling farmers to prevent open burning of farm residues & earn extra income by converting them into value-added chemicals on-site.

Did you Know

Prize is annually awarded to 7 entrepreneurs under age 30.

Cabinet approved MoU between India and USA for exchange of information in areas of mutual interest in the electricity sector.

MoU between Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) & Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) was approved. It will help in improving regulatory & policy framework for developing efficient wholesale power markets & enhancing grid reliability.

Did you Know

CERC is a key regulator of power sector in India.

MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari to inaugurate the 23rd Hunar Haat of indigenous master artisans in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh

‘Hunar Haat’ is the flagship initiative by the Minority Affairs Ministry to generate employment for master craftspeople . It is a platform for products made by traditional artisans & craftsmen from all over India. 23rd Hunar Haat is held at Rampur,UP.

Did you Know

Next Hunar Haat – Shilp Gram, Lucknow in Jan 2021.

IndusInd Bank launches its first metal credit card ‘PIONEER Heritage’ in partnership with Mastercard.

IndusInd Bank in partnership with Mastercard launched its first metal credit card – ‘PIONEER Heritage’. The card has been specially curated to match the requirements of affluent Indian professionals & entrepreneurs.

Did you Know

IndusInd Bank launched ‘PIONEER Banking in January 2020.

35th edition of India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (IND-INDO CORPAT).

The 35th edition of IND-INDO CORPAT between Indian & Indonesian Navy was conducted.It will contribute towards the Indian Navy’s efforts to consolidate inter-operability and forge strong bonds of friendship across the Indo Pacific.

Did you Know

IND-INDO CORPAT conducted since 2002.

India strengthens its commitment to clean Sport, contributes USD 1 million to WADA for scientific research.

India has pledged a sum of $1mn to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). It will allow WADA to develop innovative anti-doping testing & detection methods and further strengthen WADA’s independent Investigations & Intelligence Department.

Did you Know

HQ – Montreal, Canada;
President Witold Banka.

2 DRDO-developed Prithvi-2 missiles test fired off Odisha’s Balasore coast.

India successfully test fired 2 Prithvi-2 ballistic missiles off the eastern coast of Odisha in Balasore. The trials of the DRDO-developed nuclear-capable surface to surface missiles were successful.It was developed under IGMDP.

Did you Know

IGMDP was conceived under Dr.Kalam.

Silk City of Bihar, ‘Bhagalpur’ hosted its first ever ‘Bird Festival’ for awareness about migratory birds.

A ‘Bird Festival’ as part of its initiative to save migratory birds that arrive in large numbers annually was held in Bhagalpur. Bhagalpur has been a hub of migratory birds due to water bodies(Vikramshila Dolphin Sanctuary, Jagatpur & Kanwar lake) there.

Did you Know

It was held from Dec 11 to 13.

NCB India and National Narcotics Board BNN, Indonesia conduct 4th Bilateral JWG meeting.

4th Bilateral Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting between NCB India and BNN, Indonesia was held.It was decided to exchange information on illegal entry & exit points of illicit drug trafficking on the Indonesia-India borders & information on technology used.

Did you Know

NCB, DG – Rakesh Asthana

Formal recognition of Yogasana as a competitive sport.

The Ministry of AYUSH & Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports announced the formal recognition of Yogasana as a competitive sport. Sports discipline of Yogasana is likely to have 51 medals in 4 events and 7 categories.

Did you Know

National Individual Yogasana Sports Championship in 2021.

Defence Acquisition Council(DAC) approves proposals worth Rs 27,000 crore to procure equipment from domestic industry.

DAC approved Capital Acquisition proposals of various weapons, platforms, equipment & systems required by Indian Army, Navy and Air Force at an approximate overall cost of Rs 28,000 crore of which products worth Rs. 27,000 crore from domestic industry.

Did you Know

DAC chairman – Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

Six environmental trailblazers honored with UNEP’s 2020 Champions of the Earth Award.

UNEP announced 6 winners of Champions of the Earth Award for initiatives aimed at healing the planet amid natural & man-made threats.Champion of the Earth Lifetime Achievement was Robert D. Bullard, an American scholar for promoting environmental justice.

Did you Know

Executive director – Inger Andersen;
HQ – Nairobi, Kenya.

ISRO sets up a dedicated control center ‘NETRA for Space Situational Awareness(SSA).

A dedicated control centre, Network for space object Tracking and Analysis

‘NETRA’, for SSA activities in the country, aimed at monitoring, tracking and protecting India’s space assets, has been set up within the ISTRAC campus at Peenya, Bengaluru.

Did you Know

Only America, Russia and Europe had such an SSA centre.

Bank of Baroda appoints Ian De Souza as new chief financial officer.

Bank of Baroda has appointed Ian De Souza as new chief financial officer. He will replace Subrat Kumar. A Chartered Accountant, De Souza has 23 years of experience in the banking and financial services domain.

Did you Know

Bank of Baroda:
CEO & MD -Shri Sanjiv Chadha.

ISRO launches new communication satellite CMS-01 successfully.

ISRO has successfully launched new communication satellite CMS-01 as PSLV-C50 carrying the satellite lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The CMS-01’s intended operational life is 7 years and will replace ageing GSAT-12.

Did you Know

CMS -01 is India’s 42nd communications satellite.

Lewandowski and Lucy Bronze Win FIFA Player Of The Year Awards.

Poland captain Robert Lewandowski was named men’s player of the year by the FIFA.England defender Lucy Bronze was named best women player of the year.The Puskas Award for best goal went to Tottenham’s South Korean striker Son Heung-min.

Did you Know

FIFA president – Gianni Infantino

Virtual Summit between PM Modi and PM Sheikh Hasina: India and Bangladesh sign 7 MoUs, agreements.

MoUs included framework of understanding in the Hydrocarbon sector, framework agreement on High Impact Community Development Project, protocol on transborder elephant conservation, Garbage and solid waste disposal,in the field of agriculture etc.

Did you Know

India also released a postal stamp to commemorate Bangabandhu.

Indian-American Raja Chari among 3 astronauts selected by NASA for SpaceX Crew-3 mission.

Indian-American US Air Force Colonel Raja Chari has been selected as the Commander of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) by NASA and the European Space Agency.

Did you Know

SpaceX CEO – Elon Musk.

India, UK to forge 10-year roadmap for ties, push talks on trade deal

During talks between UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab & India’s S Jaishankar, the two sides decided to work on common challenges and shared opportunities across the Indo-Pacific. The two sides will work towards an “enhanced trade partnership” next year.

Did you Know

Minister of External Affairs of India – S Jaishankar.

Webinar and expo with theme ‘Joint Indo Maldives High Level Defence Engagement’ held between India and Maldives.

‘Joint Indo Maldives High Level Defence Engagement’ webinar between India & Maldives was held. This is part of Aero India 21 series of webinars which is being organised to boost defence cooperation & engagements with friendly foreign countries.

Did you Know

India-Maldives joint military exercise – Ex EKUVERIN.

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