GK Update 29th & 30th November 2020

1. PM Modi Chairs 33rd PRAGATI Meet

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chaired the 33rd PRAGATI meeting to review multiple projects, grievances and programmes.
  • PRAGATI stands for “Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation”.
  • The projects worth around Rs 1.41 lakh crore, related to ten states and union territories, were reviewed. They included Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
  • These projects were related to the Ministry of Railways, MORTH, DPIIT and Power Ministry.

2. PM Modi visits 3 cities to review coronavirus vaccine development

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has embarked on a three-city visit on 28 November 2020, to personally review the COVID-19 vaccine development and manufacturing process at facilities in these cities.
  • Facilities visited by PM Modi are Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad, Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad and Serum Institute of India in Pune
  • The scientists at these facilities expressed their joy that the Prime Minister met them face to face in order to boost their morale and help accelerate their efforts in the vaccine development journey.

3. Narendra Singh Tomar launches Honey FPO Programme in 5 states

  • The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar virtually inaugurated Honey Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) Programme in five states, for producing honey.
  • The Honey FPO Programme aims to address the issues faced by the beekeeping industry and also promote honey production in the country. This will also help in achieving the goal of increasing farmer’s income.
  • These 5 FPOs will be set up by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED). They will be set up at East Champaran (Bihar), Morena (Madhya Pradesh), Bharatpur (Rajasthan), Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) and Sunderbans (West Bengal).

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • Chairman of NAFED:  Bijender Singh.
  • NAFED Founded: 2 October 1958.
  • NAFED Headquarters: New Delhi.

4. Arab Gulf’s first coal-based power plant being developed in Dubai

  • The first coal-based power plant of Arab Gulf country is being developed in Saih Shuaib, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
  • The 2,400MW Hassyan clean coal power station will be built at an estimated cost of $ 3.4 billion.
  • The project will comprise four units of 600MW each, which are expected to start operations in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 respectively.
  • The power plant is expected to produce sufficient electricity to power approximately 250,000 households.

5. UBS Projects India’s GDP at -10.5% for FY21

  • The UBS has projected India’s real GDP to contract 10.5% in FY21, in its Global Economics & Markets Outlook 2021-2022 report.
  • For the fiscal 2021-22 (FY22) UBS expect India’s real GDP growth to rebound to +10%  in FY22. UBS also estimates India’s GDP to stabilise at 6.2 per cent YoY in FY23.

6. IRDAI approves ICICI Lombard acquisition of Bharti Axa General

  • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has given its in-principle approval for the merger of Bharti AXA General Insurance with ICICI Lombard.
  • The merged entity will have a market share of around 8.7 per cent on a proforma basis in the general insurance business.
  • Based on the share exchange ratio recommended by independent valuers, shareholders of Bharti AXA will receive two shares of ICICI Lombard for every 115 shares of Bharti AXA. At present, promoter ICICI Bank Ltd holds is 51.89% stake in ICICI Lombard, while the rest is with the public. After the proposed deal, the promoter stake will come down to 48.11%.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • IRDAI Founded: 1999.
  • IRDAI Headquarters: Hyderabad.
  • IRDAI Chairperson: Subhash Chandra Khuntia.

7. YES Bank launches ‘SMS Pay’ on POS Terminals

  • Private lender YES Bank has launched an ‘SMS Pay’ functionality on POS terminals, which would allow merchants to accept contactless and remote payments from their customers.
  • YES Bank has collaborated with French payment services company Worldline to launch the new facility.
  • SMS Pay will facilitate merchants to accept remote payments on their POS machines and enable their customers to transact safely without leaving the comfort of their homes.
  • Through SMS Pay, local merchants & department stores could request payments from their customers by entering their contact details in the POS terminal following which an SMS would be triggered to the customer’s mobile number instantly, with a payment URL link.
  • Customers can complete the payment through their domestic debit and credit cards.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • YES Bank MD & CEO: Prashant Kumar.
  • YES Bank Founder: Rana Kapoor.
  • YES Bank Founded: 2004.
  • YES Bank Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.

8. India and Finland sign MOU on environmental protection

  • India and Finland signed an MoU for developing cooperation in the field of Environment protection and biodiversity conservation.
  • The MoU was signed by Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar from the Indian side and his Finnish counterpart Krista Mikkonen through video-mode.
  • Further, advance Indian and Finnish partnership and strengthen technological, scientific and management capabilities and develop bilateral cooperation in the field of environmental protection and biodiversity conservation
  • Support, exchange best practices in areas like prevention of air and water pollution, waste management, and promotion of circular economy.

9. Virat Kohli becomes fastest to reach 22,000 international runs

  • Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli scripted another record in the game. He broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record and became the quickest batsman to complete 22,000 runs. He reached the milestone in his 462nd innings.
  • Tendulkar batted 493 times to reach that mark. They are followed by Brian Lara (511 innings) and Ricky Ponting (514 innings) on the list.
  • The only batsman with an average of over 50 across all formats, Kohli has 7240 runs in Tests, 12834 runs in ODIs and 2794 runs in T20Is.
  • Kohli achieved this feat during the second ODI between Australia and India at the SCG.
  • Notably, Kohli has become the eighth batsman overall and the third Indian to surpass 22,000 international runs.  Rahul Dravid, who scored 24208 runs, is another Indian on the list.

10. Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare

  • The United Nation recognised Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare on 30th November every year since 2005.
  • The day marks a tribute to the victims of chemical warfare, as well as to reaffirm the commitment of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the elimination of the threat of chemical weapons, thereby promoting the goals of peace, security, and multilateralism.
  • The history of the serious efforts to achieve chemical disarmament that culminated in the conclusion of the Chemical Weapons Convention began more than a century ago.
  • Chemical weapons were used on a massive scale during World War I, resulting in more than 100,000 fatalities and a million casualties.

11. International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

  • The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is an UN-organized day held every year on November 29.
  • It is observed to mark the anniversary of resolution 181, wherein the Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine on November 29, 1947.
  • In 1977, the General Assembly called for the annual observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
  • On that day, in 1947, the Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine. This date, which was chosen because of its meaning and significance to the Palestinian people, is based on the call by the United Nations General Assembly for an annual observance of the resolution on the partition of Palestine.

12. 11th National Organ Donation Day

  • The ‘National Organ Donation Day’ is observed in India every year on 27 November, since past 10 years.
  • The day aims to promote awareness and recognize the selfless contribution made by deceased donors to healthcare and mankind re-instil our faith in humanity.
  • The year 2020 marks the 11th National Organ Donation Day. It is organised by the National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organization Headquarters: New Delhi.

13. British Actor David Prowse passes away

  • British character actor David Prowse, best known for playing ‘Darth Vader’ in the original Star Wars trilogy, passed away.
  • He was a weightlifter-turned-actor, was selected to portray Darth Vader for his imposing physique of 6-foot-7 inch.
  • However, the role was voiced by James Earl Jones. Prowse wore the black suit and helmet to play Darth Vader.

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