GK Update 17th December 2020

1. PM Modi inaugurates world’s largest renewable energy park in Gujarat

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the 30,000 megawatts (MW) capacity hybrid renewable energy park in Kutch district of Gujarat.
  • It will be the largest renewable energy park of its kind in the world. It is expected to play a major role in fulfilling India’s vision of generating 450 GW (4,50,000 MW) of power by 2030.
  • The park is being constructed between Khawda and Vighakhot villages near India-Pakistan border
  • The renewable park will have two dedicated zones, one each for the wind energy and solar energy.
  • It will be spread over 72,600 hectares of wasteland, including 49,600 hectares for the solar project and 23,000 hectares of land for wind power.

2. GoI inks $1-bn loan pact with NDB to support Indian Economy

  • The Government of India and the New Development Bank (NDB) have signed a loan agreement worth $1,000 million for ‘supporting India’s economic recovery from COVID-19’. The loan has a tenor of 30 years, including a 5-year grace period.
  • The programme will support Indian Government in mitigating the adverse economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic and enable economic recovery in the rural areas.
  • The loan will support expenditures on rural infrastructure related to natural resource management (NRM) and rural employment generation under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
  • The programme will support the government in mitigating the adverse economic impact of Covid-19 pandemic and enable economic recovery in the rural areas through natural resource management works which will facilitate economic activity and employment generation to stimulate rural demand.
  • The programme will improve the livelihood of rural poor along with providing income opportunities to migrant workers who returned home due to job loss caused by Covid-19 pandemic.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • New Development Bank Headquarters location: Shanghai, China.
  • New Development Bank President: Marcos Prado Troyjo.
  • New Development Bank Founder: BRICS.
  • New Development Bank Founded: 15 July 2014.

3. India and World Bank sign $400 million project to protect India’s poor

  • The Government of India and the World Bank have signed a $400 million project to protect vulnerable groups in urban and peri-urban areas across the country impacted by COVID-19.
  • This is the second such assistance in the series of two ‘Accelerating India’s COVID-19 Social Protection Response Programme’. Under the first operation, $750 million was approved by World Bank in May 2020.
  • World Bank will support India in its efforts at providing social assistance to the poor and vulnerable households, severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The programme will strengthen the capability of state and central governments in India to provide coordinated and adequate social protection to the poor and vulnerable from the shocks triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Headquarters of World Bank: Washington, D.C., United States.
  • President of World Bank: David Malpass.
  • World Bank Founded: July 1944.

4. Canara Bank unveils “FX 4 U” for forex remittance via Internet Banking

  • Canara Bank has launched FX 4 U that enables its entire internet banking users to handle forex transactions hasslefree.
  • FX 4 U is used for forex remittance through internet banking. With this development, eligible customers will be able to undertake a remittance facility in adherence to the FEMA regulations 1999.
  • Once the letter of credit (LC) module is activated, the corporate customers can make and submit LC applications with documents through internet banking.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Syndicate Bank was amalgamated into Canara Bank on April 2020.
  • Canara Bank Founded: July 1906 by Shri Ammembal Subba Rao Pai.
  • Canara Bank Tagline: Together We Can.
  • Canara Bank MD & CEO: L V Prabhakar.
  • Canara Bank Headquarters: Bangalore, Karnataka.

5. SBI Ecowrap Report Projects India GDP to contract 7.4% in FY21

  • The State Bank of India, in its research report ‘Ecowrap’ has revised the GDP growth of India at (-) 7.4 per cent in FY21.
  • Earlier this forecast was (-) 10.9 per cent. The SBI research report has also forecast India’s GDP growth in FY22 at 11 per cent.
  • The report also believes that it would take seven quarters from the fourth quarter of FY21 for GDP to reach the pre-pandemic level in nominal terms.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chairman of State Bank of India: Dinesh Kumar Khara.
  • SBI Founded: 1 July 1955
  • SBI Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.

6. Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati elected as Vice President of ABU

  • The CEO of Prasar Bharati, Shashi Shekhar Vempati has been elected as the Vice President of Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) for a period of three years. Prasar Bharati is India’s largest public broadcasting agency.
  • The Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia–based Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), is one of the largest broadcasting associations in the world.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Prasar Bharati Founded: 23 November 1997.
  • Prasar Bharati Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union Headquarters: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union President: İbrahim Eren.
  • Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union Formation: 1 July 1964.

7. SAIL gets the Golden Peacock Environment Management Award 2020

  • Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has been awarded the prestigious Golden Peacock Environment Management Award for the year 2020 in the Steel Sector by the Institute of Directors.
  • The company has been the winner of this award for successive two years and this bears testimony to the efforts made by it for sustainable and environmentally responsible steel making. This award is one of the most coveted awards in the category.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chairman of SAIL: Anil Kumar Chaudhary.
  • SAIL Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • SAIL founded: 19 January 1954.

8. India ranks 131 in the Human Development Index 2020

  • According to the report released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), India has been dropped two spots to 131 among 189 countries in the 2020 Human Development Index.
  • Norway topped the index, followed by Ireland, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Iceland, the report showed.
  • Niger is the lowest-ranked country at 189, placed among Low human development category, with a score of 0.394.
  • India(131), Bhutan (129), Bangladesh (133), Nepal (142), and Pakistan (154) were ranked among countries with medium human development.
  • In the BRICS grouping, Russia was 52 in the human development index, Brazil 84, and China 85.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • UNDP Headquarters: New York, New York, United States.
  • UNDP Head: Achim Steiner.
  • UNDP Founded: 22 November 1965.

9. Kylie Jenner tops Forbes’ list of highest-paid celebrities of 2020

  • American media personality and reality TV star, Kylie Jenner has been crowned the highest-paid celebrity of 2020 by Forbes.
  • The top-earning stars in the world earned a combined of $6.1 billion in 2020 with Kylie Jenner. Setting aside Kylie’s history with Forbes, the financial experts there calculated her earning this year to be at $590 million after she sold a majority of her beauty brand’s stake to Coty Inc.
  • Ranked at number 2 on the list by making $170 million was American rapper and record producer Kanye West, who is also coincidentally Kylie’s brother-in-law. In addition to Tyler Perry, Howard Stern, and Dwayne Johnson, A-lister athletes like Roger Federer, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar and LeBron James helped round out the top 10.

10. ISRO sets up a dedicated control centre ‘NETRA’ for SSA

  • The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has set up a dedicated Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Control Centre named “NETRA”, at its ISTRAC campus at Peenya, Bengaluru.
  • The ISRO SSA Control Centre ‘NETRA’ was formally inaugurated by ISRO Chairman K Sivan.
  • The “NEtwork for space object TRacking and Analysis (NETRA)” will monitor, track and protect India’s space assets. It will function as a hub of all SSA activities within India.
  • It has been set up as a ‘Directorate of Space Situational Awareness and Management (DSSAM)’ aiming to protect high valued space assets from space debris close approaches and collisions.
  • The state-of-the-art facility, dedicated to SSA activities, will also help to coordinate between Indian agencies, their foreign counterparts and international bodies.
  • The main elements of NETRA would be a radar, an optical telescope facility, and a control centre.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • ISRO Chairman: K.Sivan.
  • ISRO Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka.

11. NASA selects Raja Chari as commander of SpaceX Crew-3 mission

  • NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have selected Indian-American Raja Chari to be the Commander of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station. Presently Raja Chari is a colonel in the US Air Force.
  • He will be the commander of SpaceX Crew-3 mission, while Nasa’s Tom Marshburn will be pilot and ESA’s Matthias Maurer will serve as a mission specialist. This mission is expected to be launched next year.
  • When Chari, Marshburn, and Maurer arrive at the orbiting laboratory, they will become expedition crew members for the duration of their six-month stay. The crew will have a slight overlap with the Crew-2 astronauts, who are expected to launch in the spring of 2021.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • The administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration: Jim Bridenstine.
  • Headquarters of NASA: Washington D.C., United States.

12. Qatar to host 2030 Asian Games, 2034 edition in Saudi Arabia

  • The 2030 Asian Games were awarded to Doha, Qatar and the 2034 event went to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia after a deal was struck between the rival nations.
  • Doha beat Riyadh for the 2030 Games in the vote at the Olympic Council of Asia’s (OCA) general assembly.
  • The vote took place amid a bitter and long-running political dispute between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Saudi Arabia is one of four countries which has imposed a trade and travel boycott on Qatar since 2017.
  • The OCA reached a deal to vote on the 2030 host but to give the other candidate the 2034 event.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Olympic Council of Asia Headquarters: Kuwait City, Kuwait.
  • Olympic Council of Asia President: Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah.
  • Olympic Council of Asia Founded: 16 November 1982.
  •  Olympic Council of Asia Motto: Ever Onward.

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