Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

11th & 12th Dec 2020 Current Affairs Headlines

Important Days

UNICEF Day

The United Nations General Assembly created UNICEF on December 11, 1946, as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund to improve the health, nutrition, education, and general welfare of children devastated due to World War II.

UNICEF’s name was subsequently changed from United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund to United Nations Children’s Fund though, it continued to be known by the popular acronym based on the previous title.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • UNICEF Headquarters: New York, United States of America.
  • UNICEF Executive Director: Henrietta H. Fore.

International Mountain Day

The International Mountain Day is observed globally on December 11 every year.

The day is celebrated to create awareness about the importance of mountains to life, to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build alliances that will bring positive change to mountain peoples and environments around the world.

“Mountain biodiversity” is the theme of this year’s International Mountain Day, so let’s celebrate their rich biodiversity, as well as address the threats they face.

The day was established by the UN General Assembly in 2003 to encourage sustainable development of mountains. United Nations had declared 2002 as the UN International Year of Mountains.

World Human Rights Day: 10 December

Human Rights Day is celebrated on 10 December annually across the world. This Day came into existence on December 10, 1948, when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations.

This day is observed every year across the world, as it empowers us all. The day also acknowledges the advocates and defenders of human rights around the world.

This year theme of Human Rights Day: Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights. This year theme relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and focuses on the need to build back better by ensuring Human Rights are central to recovery efforts.


National News

Cabinet approves Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY) to boost employment in the formal sector by encouraging the businesses to do fresh hiring amid the pandemic.

ABRY will also incentivize the creation of new employment opportunities under Atmanirbhar Bharat Package 3.0.

The Cabinet has approved an expenditure of ₹ 1,584 crores for the current financial year and ₹ 22,810 crores for the entire scheme period from 2020 to 2023.

The scheme will provide subsidy for two years in respect of new employees engaged on or after October 1, 2020, and up to June 30, 2021.

The government will pay both 12 per cent employees’ contribution and 12 per cent employers’ contribution i.e. 24 per cent of wages towards EPF in respect of new employees in establishments employing up to 1,000 employees for two years.

It will pay only employees’ share of EPF contribution i.e. 12 per cent of wages in respect of new employees in establishments employing more than 1,000 employees for two years.

National Centre for Divyang Empowerment inaugurated in Telangana

The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, G Kishan Reddy has inaugurated the National Centre for Divyang Empowerment (NCDE) at the CRPF Group Centre in Hakimpet near HyderabadTelangana.

The NCDE is first of its kind establishment to re-skill and rehabilitates the Divyang Warriors of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) who suffered life-threatening injuries in the line of duty.

Several market-driven expertise like computer skills and various sports skills will be imparted on the Divyang Warriors to empower them and enable them to serve the force and the country.

All possible assistance and cooperation will be extended for the welfare of the Divyang Warriors.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Central Reserve Police Force Director-General: AP Maheshwari.
  • Central Reserve Police Force Headquarters: New Delhi, India.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurates Koilwar bridge in Bihar

The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari has inaugurated the 1.5 km long Koilwar bridge over Sone river in Bihar through Video Conferencing.

This newly inaugurated bridge is a part of the six-lane bridge being made in place of the existing two-lane bridge, for both rail and road traffic, which is 138 years old.

The total cost of setting up this three-lane bridge is estimated at Rs 266 crore. The bridge is a major road for transport between Bihar and UP.

Once this six-lane bridge is fully operational, the traffic on NH-922 and NH-30 will ease substantially.

Union Cabinet approves historic PM-WANI Scheme

The Union Cabinet has approved a scheme called the Prime Minister’s Wi-Fi Access Network Initiative (PM-WANI), to improve wireless connectivity and pave the way for free wireless internet in public spaces across the country.

The scheme will allow anyone, from an individual in a residential area to a Kirana shop owner to a tea shop vendor, to set up public Wi-Fi hotspot and deliver wifi services. It aims to promote the growth of public wi-fi networks in the country.


International News

Kuwait emir reappoints Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid as prime minister

Kuwait Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah has re-appointed Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah as prime minister.

The move comes two days after Sheikh Sabah submitted his government’s resignation in a procedural step following parliamentary polls.

The country’s ruler accepted the premier’s resignation before reassigning him to form the upcoming government.

Sheikh Nawaf who took over the leadership of the Gulf state in September after the death of his brother also asked Sheikh Sabah to nominate members of a new cabinet. The new cabinet would have to be approved by the Emir.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Kuwait Capital: Kuwait City.
  • Kuwait Currency: Dinar.

Romanian PM Ludovic Orban resigns

The Prime Minister of Romania, Ludovic Orban has stepped down from his post after his ruling National Liberal Party (PNL) lost in 2020 parliamentary election.

Following this, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis appointed the Minister of National Defense, Nicolae-Ionel Ciuca as the interim prime minister of the country.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Romania Capital: Bucharest.
  • Romania Currency: Romanian leu.
  • Romania President: Klaus Iohannis.

Banking News

BoB launches Atmanirbhar Women Gold Scheme

Bank of Baroda (BoB) has recently launched the Atmanirbhar Women Scheme as part of its Baroda Gold Loan.

This scheme aims to target the self-reliant woman in India. Under the scheme, the bank is offering loans at 0.50 per cent concession for women.

The bank under the gold loan scheme is offering agri-gold loan at 0.25 per cent concession and for a retail loan at 0.50 per cent concession.

This Atmanirbhar scheme is exclusively meant for helping women to be self-reliant. The scheme was launched at BOB’s Ramamurthy Nagar branch in Bengaluru and simultaneously in 18 branches coming under 18 zones in the country.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Bank Of Baroda Headquarters: Vadodara, Gujarat, India.
  • Bank Of Baroda Chairman: Hasmukh Adhia.
  • Bank Of Baroda MD & CEO: Sanjiv Chadha.

Economy News

Fitch Ratings lowers India’s GDP contraction at 9.4% for FY21

Fitch Ratings has revised the GDP growth rate for India in its Global Economic Outlook, and now expects the economy to contract 9.4 per cent in the current financial year 2020-21, as compared to (-)10.5 per cent forecast earlier.

Fitch has also projected the FY22 GDP growth at 11 per cent and 6.3 per cent growth in FY23.

Nomura Expects India to be fastest growing Asian economy in FY21

The Japanese research and brokerage house Nomura has projected India to be the fastest-growing Asian economy in 2021.

Nomura has estimated the gross domestic product (GDP) growth of India for the calendar year 2021 (CY21) at 9.9%. For the calendar year 2020 (CY20), Nomura expects GDP growth at -7.1 per cent.


Appointment News

Zena Wooldridge Elected As World Squash Federation President

Zena Wooldridge from England has been elected as the World Squash Federation President. She will become the 10th WSF President to serve since the Federation’s inception in 1967.

She is the second female President after New Zealand’s Susie Simcock. She replaces outgoing President Jacques Fontaine, from France. She previously served six years as President of the European Squash Federation between 2013-2019.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • World Squash Federation Founded: 1967.
  • World Squash Federation Headquarters: Hastings, United Kingdom.

Annika Sorenstam elected president of International Golf Federation

The International Golf Federation (IGF) elected Annika Sorenstam as its new president effective January 1, 2021.

IGF President, Peter Dawson, is stepping down after 10  years of leadership and service.  Sorenstam, a 72-time winner on the LPGA Tour and former No. 1 from Sweden.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • International Golf Federation Founded: 1958.
  • International Golf Federation Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • Golf became an Olympic sport again in 2016 after 112 years.

Ranks and Reports News

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at 41 on Forbes 2020 list

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has grabbed the 41st spot in the 2020 list of Forbes 100 most powerful women in the world.

This is the second time she features in the list, in 2019 ranked at 34 and ranked 41st in 2020.

India’s leading Businesswomen, Kiran Mazumdar-shaw, Chairman of Biocon Limited also featured in the list at 68th position.

The list also saw the biggest jump in ranking to 3rd position by Kamala Harris, Vice President-Elect of USA, and Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina Wajed is ranked at 39.

Here is the list of top 5 personality in the Forbes 100 most powerful women in the world:

RankPersonalityProfession
1Angela MerkelChancellor, Germany
2Christine LagardePresident, European Central Bank
3Kamala HarrisVice President-elect, United States
4Ursula von der LeyenPresident, European Commission, European Union
5Melinda GatesCo-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
41Nirmala SitharamanFinance Minister of India
68Kiran Mazumdar-ShawFounder, Chair and Managing Director, Biocon Ltd.

Summits and Conferences News

World Economic Forum 2021 to be held in Singapore

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has decided to host its 2021 annual meeting in Singapore, which earlier was scheduled to take place in Lucerne-Burgenstock, Switzerland from 13-16 May 2021.

The decision to shift the annual forum from Switzerland has been taken in view of the Covid-19 situation in Europe.

This would be the second time since its inception in 1971 that the forum will be held outside Switzerland. In 2002, the forum was held in New York to show solidarity with the American people in the aftermath of 9/11.

The meeting is generally held in Davos, Switzerland, but amid covid, the meeting was first shifted to Lucerne-Burgenstock, Switzerland in October 2020. Now again the venue has been shifted to Singapore. It would return to Davos, Switzerland, in 2022.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • World Economic Forum Headquarters: Cologny, Switzerland.
  • World Economic Forum Founder: Klaus Schwab.
  • World Economic Forum Founded: January 1971.

Sports News

Madagascar replaces the Maldives as host of 2023 Indian Ocean Island Games

Madagascar has replaced the Maldives as the host of the 2023 Indian Ocean Island Games due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event had been awarded to the Maldives last year, but members of the Indian Ocean Island Games Federation voted to move the Games to Madagascar.

The decision came as a result of the challenges the Maldives is facing in organising the event during the coronavirus crisis. The Maldives had requested pushing back the 2023 Games to 2025 but the IOIGF was keen to avoid a six-year void between editions of the multi-sport event.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Madagascar Capital: Antananarivo.
  • Madagascar President: Andry Rajoelina.
  • Madagascar Currency: Malagasy ariary.

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