27 December 2019 - Daily Current Affairs

27 December 2019 - Daily Current Affairs

27 December 2019 - Daily Current Affairs

1. Indian Railways unveiled Him Darshan Express on Kalka-Shimla route

  • Indian Railways has unveiled ‘Him Darshan Express’ comprising all-new Vistadome coaches from Kalka railway station to Shimla.
  • This special train will commute between the Kalka and Shimla station for the next year till December 24, 2020.
  • Modified in carriage and wagon depot at Kalka, this is a first-of-its-kind train on the Kalka-Shimla route.
  • The train will have seven coaches including one first-class sitting cum luggage room coach (FCZLR) and six first-class AC Vistadom coaches.
  • Him Darshan Express will be the first-ever train with Vistadome coaches by the Indian Railways that will run on a regular basis.
  • The train will follow the concept of individual seat charter services via Passenger Reservation System (PRS) and various other online modes.

2. HRD Minister launches five documents developed by UGC

  • In order to improve the quality of Higher Educational Institutions, UGC has adopted the Higher Education Quality Improvement Programme Mandate.
  • In the same line, the Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on December 26, 2019, launched the five documents developed by the University Grants Commission, UGC covering the 5 verticals of Quality Mandate in New Delhi.
  • These five documents cover evaluation reforms, eco-friendly and sustainable university campuses, human values and professional ethics, faculty induction and academic research integrity.
  • On the occasion, the HRD Minister also mentioned SATAT and MulyaPravah, both frameworks of the UGC.
  • MulyaPravah is the Guidelines for Inculcation of Professional Ethics and Human Values in the higher education institutions
  • While SATAT is a Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Framework for Campus development in higher education institutions that encourages universities to adopt sustainable methods and to practice policies that enhance the environment quality in the campus of the universities.

3. Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurates 2nd Edition of “Eat Right Mela”

  • On 26th December 2019 the Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has launched the second edition of the ‘Eat Right Mela’ at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.
  • The ‘Eat Right Mela’ is an effort to encourage citizens on having a healthy diet and reduce the disease burden in the country. The theme of the event is ‘Healthier Diets’.
  • Organized by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and National Association of Street Vendors of India, the Eat Right Mela is a commendable effort and outreach activity for citizens to nudge them towards eating right.
  • The first ‘Eat Right Mela’ was launched in New Delhi in December 2018.
Source: PIB

4. India set to cross 100GW renewable energy capacity mark in 2020

  • India is all set to cross the 100GW renewable energy capacity mark in 2020 and can make rapid strides towards the ambitious 175GW clean energy target by 2022.
  • The government, however, needs to promote storage to ensure 24X7 clean energy supply as coal-fired thermal power still remains the base load in the country.
  • India's installed renewable energy generation capacity touched around 86GW by November-end. This includes solar, wind, small hydro, biomass, waste to energy and others.
  • Around 30GW renewable capacity including 18GW solar and 10GW wind energy is under implementation. Besides, around 40 GW including 36GW solar and 3.4GW wind energy, is being tendered.
  • Earlier this year, several new programs such as PM-KUSUM, solar rooftop phase-2, development of Ultra Mega Renewable Energy Power Parks (UMREPPs), etc have been introduced to promote renewable energy sector in India.
Source: Economic Times

Banking and Economy

5. Federal Bank joined hands with Magicbricks to recover dues from 30 big accounts

  • Federal Bank has partnered with online real estate platform Magicbricks for listing and e-auctioning of immovable properties repossessed by the bank in recovery proceedings.
  • The move is aimed at speedy recovery of the bank’s impaired assets while helping customers get the best rate in the market for their properties.
  • The bank has got into a pan-India arrangement with the housing portal in order to recover dues in 30 major accounts amounting to Rs 50 crore in the fourth quarter of this year.
  • Under the deal, Federal Bank will leverage on Magicbrick’s reach across demographic profiles and consumer categories, removing any geographical restrictions for buyers.
  • MD & CEO of Federal Bank: Shyam Srinivasan
  • Headquarter: Kochi, Kerala
  • The tagline of Federal Bank: Your Perfect Banking Partner

6. Pine Labs partners with Kotak Mahindra Bank to enable EMIs on Kotak debit cards

  • Pine Labs, a merchant platform company and Kotak Mahindra Bank have tied-up to enable Equated Monthly Instalments (EMI) payments on Kotak Debit Cards.
  • This arrangement enables over 10 million eligible Kotak debit card customers to pay for their purchases in easy installments through the Pine Labs POS terminals.
  • Pine Labs has a network of over 150,000 merchants across India. It will be a win-win proposition for both consumers and merchants as EMIs extend the power of affordability to consumers.
Source: The Hindu BusinessLine

7. RBI launches new prepaid payment instrument (PPI) for small digital transactions

  • In order to the digital transaction in India, the Reserve Bank (RBI) has introduced a new semi-closed Prepaid Payment Instrument (PPI).
  • The new PPI can be used for the transaction of goods and services up to a limit of Rs 10,000.
  • This direction was made under Section 18 read with Section 10(2) of Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.
  • These PPIs will enhance the digitization of daily payments at local shops and retail outlets for the purchase of daily household goods and services.
  • The main features of these instruments are: such PPIs will be issued by bank and non-bank PPI issuers after obtaining minimum details of the PPI holder.
Source: Business Standard

8. AIIB announces $210 million in loans for irrigation & solar energy projects

  • On 27th December 2019, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has announced a total loan of $210 million for irrigation and solar energy projects in India.
  • The AIIB will lend $145 million to improve irrigation services and strengthen flood risk management in West Bengal.
  • The irrigation project in West Bengal is co-financed by the World Bank and is expected to strengthen the management of the Damodar Valley Command Area irrigation scheme.
  • While $65 million has been allocated for a 250-megawatt (MW) solar project in Rajasthan promoted by Hero Future Energies.
  • Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank that was established with a mission to improve the social and economic scenario of Asia.
  • India is the second-largest shareholder of the bank and the largest recipient of its loan and equity commitments.
  • The total commitments to the country stand at $3 billion, which is about a third of a total of $10 billion.
  • Headquarters: Beijing, China
  • Members: 100
  • President of AIIB: Mr. Jin Liqun

9. RBI sets ₹50-lakh lending cap on NBFC-P2P platforms

  • In order to protect the consumers' interest, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set a ₹50-lakh cap on the aggregate exposure of a lender to all borrowers across all Non-Banking Financial Company – Peer to Peer (NBFC-P2P) lending platforms at any point of time.
  • Further, the RBI has specified that the investments of the lenders on P2P platforms have to be consistent with their net-worth.
  • An NBFC-P2P is an intermediary providing the services of loan facilitation via online medium or otherwise to the participants, who enter into an arrangement with the intermediary to lend on it or to get the loan facilitation services provided by it.
Source: BusinessLine

10. FM releases stamp to commemorate DRI’s role

  • On December 26th, 2019 the Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has released a postage stamp to commemorate distinguished service and glorious contribution of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in protecting the nation.
  • The DRI continues to play an immense role in countering smuggling as well as in preserving the cultural heritage and environment of the country.
  • The challenges faced by the organization continue to grow with the adoption of innovative modes of smuggling and the FM called for increasing the concerted efforts of DRI.
  • It is essential for DRI to keep pace with technologies such as data analytics to fight against contraband items such as gold and narcotics. Contraband is good that is against the law to trade or to import or export.

 Book and Authors

11. Book “Dreams of a Billion: India and the Olympic Games” to chronicle India’s Olympic journey

  • The book titled “Dreams of a Billion: India and the Olympic Games” is written by Boria Majumdar with Nalin Mehta.
  • This book will describe India’s journey in the global sports arena of Olympics – the wins, the misses, the star sportspersons, their stories, and the challenges and possibilities that lie ahead of India to make its mark at the mega sporting event in Tokyo in 2020.
  • It will be published by HarperCollins India in January 2020.

International Affairs

12. China, Iran, Russia to hold joint naval drills in the Gulf of Oman

  • China, Russia, and Iran will hold trilateral naval exercises in the Gulf of Oman from 27th December to 30th December 2019.
  • This will be the first such move by the three countries in the volatile Middle East.
  • The Chinese Navy has sent a guided-missile destroyer to participate in the drills.
  • The exercise aims to deepen the exchanges and cooperation between the navies of the three countries and demonstrating the goodwill and ability of the three parties to jointly maintain world peace and maritime security.
  • The Gulf of Oman borders Iran and Pakistan on the north, Oman on the south, the United Arab Emirates on the west and faces the Gujarat coast.
Source: Business Standard


13. American songwriter Allee Willis passes away

  • American Songwriter Allee Willis (72) passed away after a cardiac arrest.
  • She was best known for composing the “I’ll Be There For You”, the theme song of the popular sitcom Friends.
  • She has several other hits under her name like Earth, Wind, and Fire, which was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018. She won a Grammy in 1985 for her work on the soundtrack for “Beverly Hills Cop“.
Source: The Hindu

 14. ‘Colours of the Mountain’ author Da Chen dies at 57

  • The brilliant storyteller of China, Da Chen, who is best known for his book “Colours of the Mountain” passed away on December 26, 2019.
  • In his critically acclaimed, best-selling Colours of the Mountain, he recounted the abuses he and his family suffered during the latter years of the country’s Cultural Revolution.
  • His book “Colours of the mountain was published in seven languages.
  • His most recent book, Girl Under a Red Moon, was published just three months ago.
Source: The Hindu

State Affairs

15. Delhi Cabinet approves Electric Vehicle Policy to tackle air pollution

  • The Delhi Cabinet headed by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal approved an Electric Vehicle Policy 2019. The aim of the policy is to help reduce air pollution in the capital.
  • Under the policy, the government aims to make electric vehicles 25% of all new vehicles registered in the city by 2024.
  • Also, the government will develop public charging infrastructure, install charging stations every three km and give subsidies to people buying electric vehicles, among others.
Source: The Hindu


16. Abhinav Lohan wins Bengaluru Open Golf Championship

  • India’s Abhinav Lohan has won the Bengaluru Open Golf Championship on December 26, 2019, and lifts PGTI title.
  • It was Lohan’s first title on the TATA Steel PGTI and his second win of the year emerged victorious at the PGTI Feeder Tour event in Lucknow.
  • Chandigarh’s Karandeep Kochhar with 71 finished runner-up at 12-under-276. Bengaluru duo of M Dharma and Rahil Gangjee 71 won third and fourth places with totals of 11-under-277 and 10-under-278.
  • Lohan became the fourth Indian golfer to register his maiden title on the TATA Steel PGTI this season following the likes of Kshitij Naveed Kaul, Priyanshu Singh, and Veer Ahlawat.
Source: News on AIR

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