Current Affairs 2020

Cabinet approves conduct of Census of India 2021 and updation of National Population Register [24 Dec 2019]

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the proposal for conducting Census of India 2021 at a cost of Rs. 8,754.23 crore and updation of National Population Register (NPR) at a cost of Rs. 3,941.35 crore. Census of India will cover the entire population in the country while NPR will also cover all the population except in the state of Assam.

Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla appointed as Foreign Secretary [23 Dec 2019]

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla (IFS: 1984), Ambassador in Washington D.C. as Foreign Secretary with effect from 29.01.2020 upon completion of two year term of Shri Vijay Keshav Gokhale as Foreign Secretary on 28.01.2020.

Dr Sangita Reddy takes over as President FICCI [23 Dec 2019]

Dr Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group, has taken over as FICCI President from Mr Sandip Somany, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, HSIL Limited, at the apex chamber's 92nd Annual Convention in New Delhi.

Sahitya Akademi announces annual Sahitya Akademi Awards [18 Dec 2019]

The Awards were recommended by distinguished Jury members representing 23 Indian languages and approved by the Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi. Seven books of poetry were awarded to Dr. Phukan Ch. Basumatary (Bodo), Dr. Nand Kishore Acharya (Hindi), Sri Nilba A. Khandekar (Konkani), Sri Kumar Manish Arvind (Maithili), Sri V. Madhusoodanan Nair (Malayalam), Smt. Anuradha Patil (Marathi) and Prof. Penna Madhusudan(Sanskrit). Four novels were awarded to Dr. JoysreeGoswami Mahanta (Assamese), Sri L. Birmangol Singh (Beryl Thanga) (Manipuri), Sri Cho. Dharman (Tamil) and Sri Bandi Narayana Swamy (Telugu). Six books of short stories were awarded to Sri Abdul Ahad Hajini (Kashmiri), Sri Tarun Kanti Mishra(Odia), Sri Kirpal Kazak (Punjabi), Sri Ram sawroop Kisan (Rajasthani), Sri Kali Charan Hembram(Santali) and Sri Ishwar Moorjani (Sindhi). Dr. Shashi Tharoor (English), Dr. Vijaya(Kannada) and Prof. Shafey Kidwai (Urdu) have won for each of their works on creative non-fiction, autobiography and biography respectively. Three books of essays were awarded to Dr. Chinmoy Guha(Bengali), Sri Om Sharma Jandriari (Dogri) and Sri Ratilal Borisagar (Gujarati).????

Lt Gen M.M. Naravane appointed as Chief of Army Staff [17 Dec 2019]

Government has decided to appoint Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, as the next Chief of the Army Staff after the retirement of General Bipin Rawat, UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, ADC on December 31, 2019. Lt Gen Naravane will take over as Chief of the Army Staff in the substantive rank of General with effect from the afternoon of December 31, 2019.

ADB, India sign $250 million loan to expand energy efficiency investments in India [17 Dec 2019]

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India on 16th December 2019 signed a $250 million loan to Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) to expand energy efficiency investments in India that will benefit agricultural, residential and institutional consumers. In addition, $46 million financing will be provided from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), to be administered by ADB.

Deepika Padukone Bags Award for Mental Health Awareness [14 Dec 2019]

Deepika Padukone has been honoured by the 26th Annual Crystal Award for raising mental health awareness. She is the only Indian actress to feature in Davos 2020 winners list. Apart from Deepika, artist Theaster Gates and choreographer Jin Xing have also been felicitated with the Annual Crystal Award.

Toni-Ann Singh crowned Miss World 2019 [14 Dec 2019]

Jamaica's Toni-Ann Singh was crowned Miss World 2019 at an beauty pageant in London. Ms Toni-Ann Singh is a student of women's studies and psycology at Florida State University. Ms. Singh is the fourth Jamaican to win the coveted pageant.

Best parliamentarian of the year award [11 Dec 2019]

Best parliamentarian of the year award was conferred on Saugata Roy, Lok Sabha member from TMC and former minister of state for urban development, and Tiruchi Siva, Rajya Sabha member from DMK. NCP leader Supriya Sule and Congress leader Viplove Thakur were conferred the best women parliamentarian awards from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha respectively.

PSLV successfully launches RISAT-2BR1 and nine commercial satellites in its fiftieth flight [11 Dec 2019]

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its fiftieth flight (PSLV-C48), successfully launched RISAT-2BR1 along with nine commercial satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. After 16 minutes and 23 seconds, RISAT-2BR1 was successfully injected into an orbit of 576 km. Subsequently, nine commercial satellites were injected into their intended orbits. After separation, the two solar arrays of RISAT-2BR1 were deployed automatically and the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru assumed control of the satellite. In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration.

Lok Sabha passes Citizenship (Amendment) Bill [10 Dec 2019]

The Lok Sabha on December 10 midnight passed the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, that seeks to provide Indian citizenship to to non-Muslim refugees from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan after facing religious persecution there. After over seven-hour-long debate, the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha with 311 members favouring it and 80 voting against it. According to the Bill, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31 2014, facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.

Finland's Sanna Marin, 34, is world's youngest PM [09 Dec 2019]

Sanna Marin, Finland's Transport Minister has been selected to lead the Social Democratic party. She is expected to be sworn in as Prime Minister of the Northern European nation this week. The 34-year-old will not only become the youngest PM of Finland, but will be the youngest head of state of an country in the world.

Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa Crowned Miss Universe 2019 [09 Dec 2019]

South African beauty Zozibini Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe 2019 at annual beauty pageant in Atlanta, USA. Zozibini is the first black women to win the honour since Leila Lopes from Angola in 2011.

Cabinet approves launch of Bharat Bond Exchange Traded Fund [04 Dec 2019]

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for creation and launch of Bharat Bond Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) to create an additional source of funding for Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs) Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), Central Public Financial Institutions (CPFIs) and other Government organizations. Bharat Bond ETF would be the first corporate Bond ETF in the country.

First Manned Mission [04 Dec 2019]

The Human Space Mission: Gaganyaan is targeted for December 2021. The Gaganyaan Programme has been approved by the Government of India. The design and configuration of major subsystem are finalized. The procurement and system/ subsystem realisation for tests and flight has commenced. The crew selection and training process for Gaganyaan mission is progressing well including the training in Russia under Gaganyaan Mission. GSLV Mk III launcher which is ISRO’s heavy lift launcher is identified for Gaganyaan mission. It has requisite payload carrying capacity for Orbital module in desired elliptical orbit. Process for human rating of GSLV Mk-III is progressing well.

Sundar Pichai become Alphabet's CEO [03 Dec 2019]

Google's parent Alphabet announced on December 3 that Sundar Pichai will be new CEO of Alphabet.

Exercise Mitra Shakti -VII: 2019 [01 Dec 2019]

The seventh edition of Exercise MITRA SHAKTI- 2019 aimed at enhancing interoperability and operational efficiency amongst the armies of both India and Sri Lanka when deployed as part of United Nations peace keeping forces commenced on 01 December at Aundh Military Station, Pune. The objective of the exercise is to build and promote positive relations between armies of India and Sri Lanka through focus on sub unit level training on counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations in urban and rural environment under United Nations mandate. The joint training exercise also signifies the strength of India-Sri Lanka relations in the field of military cooperation and engagement, which is vital for refining the interoperability and operational preparedness.

Shri Hari Mohan takes over as Chairman, Ordnance Factory Board [01 Dec 2019]

Shri Hari Mohan has taken over the charge as Chairman, Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) w.e.f. December 01, 2019 from Shri Saurabh Kumar who superannuated from the services. A 1982-batch Indian Ordnance Factories’ Service (I.O.F.S.) officer with Post Graduate Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Shri Hari Mohan had been a topper of University of Allahabad & University of Pune while obtaining his Bachelor & Masters in Mechanical Engineering. He holds an M. Phil in Public Administration.

Soma Roy Burman takes charge as new Controller General of Accounts [01 Dec 2019]

Smt. Soma Roy Burman, a 1986-batch Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) Officer, took charge as the new Controller General of Accounts. Smt. Burman is the 24th Controller General of Accounts (CGA) and is the seventh woman to hold this coveted position.

Commissioning of INAS 314 - “Raptors” [29 Nov 2019]

Indian Naval Air Squadron 314, the sixth Dornier aircraft squadron was commissioned on 29 Nov 19 at an impressive ceremony held at Naval Air Enclave, Porbandar. Vice Admiral MS Pawar, AVSM, VSM, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff was the Chief Guest on the occasion. INAS 314 derives its name “Raptors” from the “Bird of Prey” family. The insignia of the squadron depicts a ‘Raptor bird’ searching over the vast blue expanse of the sea. ‘Raptors’ are large bird of prey known for excellent sensory capabilities, powerful and sharp talons and strong wings symbolising the capabilities of the aircraft and envisaged roles of the squadron.

Malayalam poet Akkitham wins 55th Jnanpith Award [29 Nov 2019]

Eminent Malayalam poet Akkitham has been chosen for the 55th Jnanpith Award, according to an announcement by the Jnanpith Selection Board. Born in 1926, Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri, popularly known as Akkitham is one of the most revered names in Malayalam poetry. Apart from poetry, his literary excellence has footprints in genre like drama, reminiscence, critical essays, children literature, short stories and translations. Some of his celebrated creations include Veeravadam, Balidarsanam, Nimisha Kshethram, Amrita Khatika, Akkitham Kavithaka, Epic of Twentieth Century and Antimahakalam

Reliance Industries hits Rs 10 lakh crore market capitalisation [28 Nov 2019]

Oil-retail-to-telecom major Reliance Industries (RIL) became the first company among listed entities to hit a market capitalisation (mcap) of Rs 10 lakh crore on November 28.

Colm McLoughlin Receives the ABLF Lifetime Achievement Award [27 Nov 2019]

Dubai Duty Free's Executive Vice Chairman & CEO, Colm McLoughlin received the "Lifetime Achievement Award" at the Asian Business Leadership Forum (ABLF) and Awards. The ABLF Lifetime Achievement Award is a heartfelt felicitation of a true visionary. Wielding immense influence, this achiever mentors a generation of powerful business leaders.

PSLV-C47 successfully launches Cartosat-3 and 13 Commercial nanosatellites into Sun Synchronous Polar Orbit [27 Nov 2019]

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its forty ninth flight (PSLV-C47), successfully launched Cartosat-3 along with 13 Nanosatellites of USA from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. After 17 minutes and 38 seconds, Cartosat-3 was successfully injected into a sun synchronous orbit of 509 km. Subsequently, the 13 nanosatellites were injected into their intended orbits. After separation, solar arrays of Cartosat-3 were deployed automatically and the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru assumed control of the satellite. In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration. The mission life of the Cartosat-3 is 5 years. Cartosat-3 will address the increased user’s demands for large scale urban planning, rural resource and infrastructure development, coastal land use and land cover, etc.

Lok Sabha passes the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019 [27 Nov 2019]

The Lok Sabha passed the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019, after negating all the proposed amendments. Initiating the debate on the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha, Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah said that SPG shall provide proximate security to the Prime Minister and his immediate family members residing with him at his official residence. The Bill says that family members of a former Prime Minister who reside with him at his allotted accommodation will get security cover of the SPG only for five years, from the date he/she ceases to hold the office of Prime Minister.

Lok Sabha passes the Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (Merger of Union Territories) Bill, 2019 [27 Nov 2019]

Lok Sabha passed the Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (Merger of Union Territories) Bill, 2019 today. The bill has been brought to provide for merger of union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, in view of the policy of the Government to have "Minimum Government, Maximum Governance". This would bring about administrative convenience, speedy development and effective implementation of central and state government schemes. Both the Lok Sabha seats would remain intact and there will be no change in the status of Group III and IV employees. The merged entity would be governed under the jurisdiction of the Bombay High Court.

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019 Passed by Parliament [27 Nov 2019]

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019 has been passed by the Parliament. It was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 26th November, 2019 and already passed by the 17th Lok Sabha on 5th August, 2019. The proposed Bill has following provisions: - 

  1. Non discrimination against a Transgender Person in educational institutions, employment, healthcare services etc.
  2. Recognition of identity of Transgender Persons and to confer upon them right to self perceived gender identity.
  3. Provision of right of Residence with parents and immediate family members.
  4. Provision for formulation of welfare schemes and programmes for education, social security and health of Transgender Persons.
  5. Provision for National Council for Transgender Persons to advice, monitor and evaluate measures for the protection of their rights.

ADB, India sign $451 Million Loan to strengthen Power Connectivity in Tamil Nadu [27 Nov 2019]

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $451 million loan to strengthen power connectivity between the southern and northern parts of the Chennai–Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC), which is part of the East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC), in Tamil Nadu. ADB is the lead partner of the Government of India for developing ECEC. The signatories to the loan agreement were Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB), Department of Economic Affairs in India’s Ministry of Finance, and Mr. Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission.

Lakshya Sen wins Scottish Open Badminton title [24 Nov 2019]

Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen clinched the Scottish Open Badminton Men's Singles title. This is Sen's fourth title since September 2019.

Certifying Agency for Organic Food grains [22 Nov 2019]

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is the food regulator in the country and is responsible for regulating organic food in domestic market and imports. FSSAI has notified domestic standards for organic products recognizing National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP), Participatory Guarantee System for India (PGS) or any other equivalent procedure as pre-requisite for qualifying the organic food claim in domestic market. FSSAI has notified Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017 in the Gazette of India on 29.12.2017.

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Headquarter: New Delhi Function of the Organization: The Medical Council of India was established in 1934 under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1933, now repealed, with the main function of establishing uniform standards of higher qualifications in medicine and recognition of medical qualifications →

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