GK Update 27th, 28th & 29th December 2020

1. PM Modi flagged off India’s first driverless train on Delhi Metro

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has flagged off the country’s first-ever fully-automated driverless train service on the Magenta Line of the Delhi Metro.
  • Apart from this, PM also launched fully operational National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) on the Airport Express Line of Delhi Metro, to connect DMRC with the NCMC service.
  • NCMC, also known as ‘One Nation One Card’, is an inter-operable transport card that allows the holders all in one service to pay for their travel, toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping and even withdraw money.

2. Prime Minister Narendra Modi flags off 100th ‘Kisan Rail’

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has flagged off the 100th ‘Kisan Rail’ on 28th December 2020. The 100th run of the Kisan Rail was flagged off from Sangola in Maharashtra to Shalimar in West Bengal virtually.
  • Kisan Rail is a mobile cold storage to move perishable things like fruits, vegetables, milk, fish, etc., with complete security.
  • The first Kisan Rail was introduced from Devlali in Maharashtra to Danapur in Bihar on August 7, 2020, which was further extended up to Muzaffarpur.
  • Currently, of only a handful of trains plying across the India connecting states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar and Nagpur, there are nine Kisan Rail running on nine routes.

3. PM to inaugurate ‘New Bhaupur- New Khurja section’ 

  • ‘New Bhaupur- New Khurja section’ of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) will be inaugurated by the PM Narendra Modi on 29th December 2020 at 11 AM through video conferencing.
  • During the event, Prime Minister will also inaugurate EDFC’s Operation Control Centre (OCC) at Prayagraj.
  • On the occasion, Governor of Uttar Pradesh Shrimati Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Shri Yogi Adityanath and Union Minister Shri Piyush Goyal will also be present.

4. Myanmar Navy formally commissions INS Sindhuvir submarine

  • The Myanmar Navy has officially inducted the submarine INS Sindhuvir, which was handed over by the Indian Navy to the country in October 2020. This is the first submarine in the Myanmar Navy’s arsenal.
  • The submarine has been refurbished for the Myanmar Navy by state-run defence shipbuilder, Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) in Visakhapatnam.
  • INS Sindhuvir was commissioned on 25th December 2020, which marked the 73rd anniversary of the Myanmar Navy.
  • INS Sindhuvir has been renamed as UMS Minye Theinkhathu by the Myanmar Navy.
  • This is the first submarine in the Myanmar Navy’s arsenal. It is a diesel-electric Kilo-class submarine, which was in operation in the Indian Navy since 1988.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • President of Myanmar: Win Myint.
  • Myanmar Capital: Naypyitaw.
  • Myanmar Currency: Kyat.

5. India-Vietnamese Navy conducts PASSEX-2020 in South China Sea

  • The Indian Navy and Vietnamese Navy undertook the naval passage exercise PASSEX in the South China Sea.
  • The two-day exercise was conducted s part of efforts to boost maritime cooperation between the two countries. The Indian Naval Ship (INS) Kiltan took part in the exercise.
  • INS Kiltan, reached Vietnam’s Nha Rong Port in Ho Chi Minh City, carrying humanitarian assistance to deliver 15 tonnes of relief material for flood-affected people under Mission Sagar-III.
  • This mission of INS Kiltan is part of India’s Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) assistance to Friendly Foreign Countries during the ongoing pandemic.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Prime Minister of Vietnam: Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
  • Vietnam Capital: Hanoi.
  • Vietnam Currency: Vietnamese dong.

6. ICC Awards of the Decade 2020 announced

  • The winners of the prestigious ICC Awards of the Decade were announced on 28th December 2020. The ICC Awards of The Decade recognise the best players across Cricket over the past 10 years.

List of Winners

  • ICC Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade: MS Dhoni (India)

ICC Men’s Awards

  • Sir Garfield Sobers Award for ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade: Virat Kohli (India)
  • ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade: Virat Kohli (India)
  • ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Decade:  Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
  • ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Decade: Steve Smith(Australia)
  • ICC Men’s Associate Cricketer of the Decade: Kyle Coetzer (Scotland)

ICC Women’s Award

  • Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award for ICC Female Cricketer of the Decade: Ellyse Perry (Australia)
  • ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade: Ellyse Perry(Australia)
  • ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Decade: Ellyse Perry (Australia)
  • ICC Women’s Associate Cricketer of the Decade: Kathryn Bryce (Scotland)

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chairman of ICC: Greg Barclay.
  • CEO of ICC: Manu Sawhney.
  • Headquarters of ICC: Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

7. Skyroot Aerospace successfully test-fire solid-fueled rocket engine

  • Indian Space startup, Skyroot Aerospace has successfully test-fired a solid propulsion rocket engine, named Kalam-5.
  • With this, it has become the first private company of India to successfully design, develop and test a full solid-fueled rocket stage.
  • This crucial propulsion technology will be used for their maiden rocket Vikram-1, which is under active manufacturing and is targeted to be launched in December 2021 with the help of ISRO.
  • Kalam is a series of five solid-fueled rocket engines with a thrust ranging from 5kN to 1000kN (approx 100Tons).  The remaining four motors are in various stages of manufacturing and will be tested in 2021.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Founder and CEO of Skyroot Aerospace: Pawan Kumar Chandana.
  • Skyroot Aerospace Founded: 12 June 2018.
  • Skyroot Aerospace Headquarters location: Hyderabad.

8. US plans to set up a Nuclear Reactor on Moon

  • USA’s plan to set up the first nuclear reactor on the moon by the end of 2026. In early 2021, the US Department of Energy in collaboration with NASA intends to solicit industry design proposals. It also got an impetus with a recent White House directive.
  • The outgoing President Donald Trump, issued the “National Strategy for Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion” on 16 December.
  • Under it, he asked Nasa to “initiate fission surface power project for lunar surface demonstration by 2027 with scalability to a power range of 40 kilowatt-electric and higher to support a sustained lunar presence and exploration of Mars”.
  • The objective of NASA behind this was to establish a flight hardware system that is ready for integrating with the lunar lander by 2026 end. The nuclear reactor is known as the fission power system that will benefit future robotic and human expedition missions to the moon as well as Mars.

9. MS Dhoni named captain of ICC Men’s ODI and T20I Teams of the Decade

  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the ICC Teams of the Decade based on the performances, consistency of players over the period of last 10 years.
  • Former Indian captain and wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been named as the captain of the ICC ODI Team of the Decade.
  • Dhoni has also been named the skipper of the ICC T20I Team of the Decade. Similarly, Virat Kohli has been named the captain of the ICC Test Team of the Decade. Ravi Ashwin is the only other Indian in this list.

10. BWF bans Russian badminton player Nikita Khakimov for 5 years

  • The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has imposed a 5-year ban on Russian shuttler Nikita Khakimov for charges of “betting, wagering and irregular match results.
  • Khakimov was part of the Russian men’s team that won the bronze medal at the 2020 European Team Championships.
  • The 32-year-old Khakimov was found to breach BWF’s integrity regulations, including approaching a player and offering money to manipulate a match, betting on badminton games and deliberately destroying evidence of a corruption offence to conceal from the BWF.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Badminton World Federation Headquarters: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Badminton World Federation Founded: 5 July 1934.
  • Badminton World Federation President: Poul-Erik Hoyer Larsen.

11. Anshu Malik wins silver at Individual Wrestling World Cup in Serbia

  • Indian wrestler, Anshu Malik has become the first wrestler of the country to finish on the podium position at the Individual Wrestling World Cup in Belgrade, Serbia.
  • The 19-year-old won a silver medal in the women’s 57kg category to claim first international medal of the tournament for the country. She lost to Moldova’s Anastasia Nichita 5-1 in the final.

12. Union Minister Shripad Naik Releases book “Sutranivednachi sutra- ek anbav”

  • Union Minister of State (I/C) for AYUSH and Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik released a Konkani book “Sutranivednachi sutra- ek anbav”, by Dr Roopa Chari on 26 December, 2020. It is published by Sanjana Publications .
  • Dr. Roopa Chari is a well-known personality in the field of Compering in Goa.
  • This book will help aspiring youngsters, who wish to make a career in this field. This is the spontaneous art; you don’t nurture it by having any classes. With proper study, you always have to be vigilant, as compere is the link between the audience and the speaker.

13. Veteran Dance Historian Sunil Kothari passes away

  • Padma Shri awardee dance historian and critic, Sunil Kothari has passed away. He was qualified as a Chartered Accountant, before turning to the study of Indian dance forms. He authored more than 20 books on the subject of Indian dance forms.
  • The noted dance scholar Kothari received numerous titles and awards for his contribution to Indian dance forms.
  • Some of them include the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1995); the Padma Shri bestowed by the Government of India (2001); and the Life Time Achievement Award of the Dance Critics Association, New York, USA (2011).

14. Former WWE Wrestler ‘Luke Harper’ passes away

  • Former professional wrestler Jon Huber, who was popularly known by his ring name ‘Luke Harper’ in the WWE has passed away, due to a non-COVID-19 related lung illness.
  • He wrestled under the names Luke Harper and Brodie Lee and performed for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) as well as All Elite Wrestling (AEW).

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