GK Update 25th November 2020

1. India announces over 100 high-impact projects for Afghanistan

  • The 2020 Afghanistan Conference was organized in Geneva from 23-24 November 2020 virtually.
  • The External Affairs Minister of India, Dr S. Jaishankar led the Indian delegation at the conference.
  • The Conference was co-hosted by the United Nations, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and the Government of Finland.
  • Construction of the Shatoot Dam, which would provide safe drinking water to 2 million residents of Kabul city. This dam will be built on the 202-kilometre Phul-e-Khumri transmission line, which was built by India in 2019 to provide electricity to Kabul city.
  • India has introduced a brand new section of over 100 high-impact neighbourhood initiatives in Afghanistan value USD 80 million (Rs 592 crore) because the nation’s growth portfolio within the war-ravaged nation has reached over USD three billion (Rs 22,200 crore) to this point.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Afghanistan Capital: Kabul.
  • Afghanistan President: Ashraf Ghani.
  • Afghanistan Currency: Afghan afghani.
  • Afghanistan Official languages: Pashto, Dari.

2. China launches historic “Chang’e-5” mission to Collect Lunar Samples

  • China has launched a historic mission ‘Chang’e 5‘ to the moon to collect ‘first lunar samples’.
  • The mission aims at the investigation of the landing area to obtain the on-site analysis data related to the lunar samples, as well as systematic and long-term laboratory analysis of the lunar samples.
  • It is the world’s first moon-sample mission in more than 40 years.
  • Till date, only two nations, the US and the Soviet Union have been able to collect the lunar sample. The last mission was undertaken by Soviet Union’s Luna 24 mission in 1976.

3. Himachal Pradesh govt launches ‘Him Suraksha Abhiyan’

  • Himachal Pradesh government has launched ‘Him Suraksha Abhiyan’ to sensitize the people regarding Covid-19 pandemic and also to collect information regarding symptoms of diseases like TB, Leprosy, sugar and blood pressure by the door to door campaign throughout the State. 
  • Under this Abhiyan about 8000 teams comprising of Health, Ayurveda, Women and Child Development, Panchayati Raj Departments, District Administration and NGOs would be involved in this campaign.
  • It would ensure door to door data collection of health parameters of the people.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of HP: Jairam Thakur; Governor of HP: Bandaru Dattatraya.

4. Narendra Singh Tomar virtually inaugurates Phagwara mega food park

  • Union Food Processing Industries Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has virtually inaugurated the Rs 107.83 crore mega food park at Phagwara in Kapurthala district of Punjab.
  • So far, 37 mega food parks have been sanctioned across the country, of which 20 have started functioning.
  • The mega food park, spread over 55 acres of land and that will benefit 25,000 farmers, is equipped with warehouses in 3,944 square meters, silos with 20,000-tonne capacity, cold storage with 3,000-tonne capacity as well as individually quick-frozen and deep freezer units and other facilities.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Punjab: Capt. Amarinder Singh; Governor: V.P. Singh Badnore.

5. Indian Army successfully testfires Land-attack version of BrahMos missile

  • Indian Army successfully test-fired a land-attack version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands territory.
  • The supersonic cruise missile successfully hit its target, which was on another island.
  • The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile is the world`s fastest operational system in its class.
  • DRDO has recently extended the range of the missile system from the existing 298 km to around 450 km.
  • Brahmos is a universal long-range supersonic cruise missile system that can be launched from land, sea and air.
  • The missile has been jointly developed by DRDO, India, and NPOM, Russia, through the joint venture BrahMos Aerospace.

6. Cabinet approves RBI’s proposal to merge Lakshmi Vilas Bank with DBS Bank

  • Union Cabinet has approved the merger of capital-starved Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) with DBS Bank India.
  • The Reserve Bank of India on 17 November proposed the merger of the lender with the Indian arm of Singapore’s DBS Bank.
  • The 94-year-old LVB will now cease to exist and its equity completely wiped out.
  • Its deposits will now be on the books of DBS India. Lakshmi Vilas is the second bank to need a rescue this year, and the third collapse of a major deposit-taking institution in 15 months and the first since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • As part of the amalgamation, DBIL will infuse fresh capital of Rs 2,500 crores into LVB.
  • This also marks the first instance when India has turned to a foreign entity to bail out a struggling domestic bank.
  • Under the deal, DBS got 563 branches, 974 ATMs and a $1.6 billion franchise in retail liabilities.
  • Earlier, the RBI had placed LVB under a one-month moratorium till December 16, during which withdrawals for depositors have been capped at Rs 25,000.

7. Pilibhit Tiger Reserve gets global award for doubling tiger population

  • The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR) and the Uttar Pradesh Forest department have bagged the first-ever international award, “TX2” for doubling the number of tigers in four years against a target of 10 years.
  • TX2 stands for ‘Tigers times two’, signalling the goal to double wild tigers. In 2014, PTR had 25 tigers which went up to 65 in 2018. 
  • The award was virtually presented to the principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife) of the state, Sunil Pandey, by UNDP’s (United Nations Development Program) head of ecosystems and biodiversity, Mindori Paxton.

8. Delhi Crime bags Best Drama Series at the International Emmy Awards

  • The Netflix show, Delhi Crime has won the Best Drama Series award at the 48th International Emmy Awards 2020.
  • Delhi Crime is the first web-series from India to win an International Emmy Award.
  • The show is written and directed by Richie Mehta and features actress Shefali Shah as the main character.


9. International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

  • The United Nations designated International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is celebrated worldwide on November 25.
  • The day is celebrated to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to various forms of violence and the true nature of the issue is often hidden.
  • This year’s theme for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”.
  • In 1981, activists at the Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Encuentros marked November 25 as a day to combat and raise awareness of violence against women more broadly; on December 17, 1999, the date received its official United Nations (UN) resolution.

10. Congress veteran Ahmed Patel passes away

  • Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP, Ahmed Patel passed away. He was Lok Sabha MP for three terms from 1977 to 1989 and Rajya Sabha MP since 1993 representing Gujarat.
  • He also served as the political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and was one of the party’s top negotiators during the UPA regime.

11. Veteran TV actor Ashiesh Roy passes away

  • Television actor Ashiesh Roy has passed away. The actor had appeared in a number of TV shows and films in his long acting career which began in 1997.
  • Some of his famous television shows include Movers & Shakers, Yes Boss, Remix, Baa Bahoo Aur Baby, Chaldi Da Naam Gaddi, Burey Bhi Hum Bhale Bhi Hum, Sasural Simar Ka, Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi, Mere Angne Mein, Aarambh.
  • He was also a voice actor who has been dubbing for foreign films.

12. “Nivar” in Bay of Bengal intensifies into severe cyclonic storm

  • The Deep Depression over the South West Bay of Bengal has intensified into the Cyclonic Storm “Nivar”.
  • The cyclone is currently located 410 km east-southeast of Puducherry and 450 km southeast of Chennai.
  • As per the India Meteorological Department, Cyclone Nivar is very likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 24-hours.
  • The storm shall cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around Puducherry.
  • The impact of the Cyclone shall be faced by the governments of Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka.
  • Maximum hazard will be caused to Tamil Nadu, which has been placed under ‘red’ (take action) alert.
  • The NDRF has formed 30 teams to launch rescue and relief operations in these states in view of the cyclone “Nivar”.

13. Martyrdom Day of ‘Guru Tegh Bahadur’

  • Every year, November 24 is celebrated as Martyrdom Day of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Guru of Sikhs of Sikh religion.
  • The day is celebrated as Shaheedi Divas of Guru Tegh Bahadur across the country.
  • It was on 24 November 1675, Guru Tegh Bahadur sacrificed his life for the sake of people who did not even belong to his community. to protect religion, human values, ideals and principles.

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