30 Nov 2020 - Daily Current Affairs

30 Nov 2020 - Daily Current Affairs

India to host SCO Council of Heads of Government Meeting today

  • India hosted the 19th meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Government in a virtual format.
  • The Summit was chaired by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.
  • This is the first time that a Summit-level Meeting will be held under India's Chairmanship since it gained full membership of the organisation in 2017.
  • The Prime Ministers from the SCO Member States of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan attend the SCO meeting.
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2. Indian Navy leases two Sea Guardian drones from US

  • The Indian Navy has leased two unarmed drones MQ-9B from the USA for one year.
  • The Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020 introduced an option for leasing military platforms.
  • The unmanned aerial vehicles can be deployed in the Ladakh region if the need arises.
  • The hi-tech drones, manufactured by US firm General Atomics, arrived at the naval air station INS Rajali in Tamil Nadu earlier this month.
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3. GMRT accorded prestigious IEEE Milestone status

  • The Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) has been selected as a ‘Milestone’ facility by the U.S.-based Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
  • It is an array of thirty parabolic radio telescopes of 45-metre diameter in Pune.
  • IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organisation dedicated to advancing technology. 
  • Previous two Indian IEEE Milestones were:  pioneering work done by Sir J.C. Bose and scattering of light’ phenomenon (CV Raman)
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4. China's first domestically made nuclear reactor, Hualong One, goes online

  • China has powered up its first domestically developed nuclear reactor, the Hualong One.
  • It is a significant step to become less dependent on Western allies for energy security and critical technology.
  • The reactor can generate 10 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year and cut carbon emissions by 8.16 million tons.
  • Nuclear plants supplied less than five per cent of China's annual electricity needs in 2019.
  • Beijing attempts to become carbon neutral by 2060.
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5. Avinash Sable sets new national record in Delhi half-marathon

  • Avinash Sable has set a new national record in winning the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM).
  • He completed his win in 1:00:30sec to become the only Indian to finish half a marathon in less than 61 min. 
  • In the 2019 World Athletics Championships, Sable had clocked 8 minutes 21.37 seconds in the men's 3000m steeplechase final to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
  • At the 16th ADHM Ethiopians, Amedework Walelegn and Yalemzerf Yehualaw claimed the men’s and women’s titles resp. 
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6. Joe Biden to nominate Neera Tanden as chief of budget team

  • S. President-elect Joe Biden Joe Biden intends to nominate Indian-American Neera Tanden as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
  • It is a top position inside the White House responsible for managing the administration’s budget.
  • Tanden (50) would be the first woman of color to head the influential Office of Management and Budget at the White House.
  • Tanden is currently chief executive of the left-leaning Center for American Progress.
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7. SIDBI inks MoU with Tamil Nadu govt to develop MSMEs

  • SIDBI has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Tamil Nadu government to develop micro, small and medium enterprises ecosystem in the state.
  • As per the MoU, SIDBI would deploy a project management unit for training and capacity-building programs in areas like technology transfer, intellectual property rights, and research and development, among others.
  • PMU is likely to bring deep engagement in financial and non-financial sectors in TamilNadu.
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8. RXIL's First Trade Credit Insurance Transaction

  • Receivables Exchange of India Ltd (RXIL) has initiated a Trade Credit Insurance (TCI) backed transaction with Tata AIG as the insurer and ICICI Bank, YES Bank as the financiers in a Sandbox envt. 
  • This is the first time a TReDS platform has tested the efficacy of TCI backed transaction improving the ability of financiers in assigning credit limits to corporates
  • TCI, once implemented, will enable financiers to discount the invoices drawn on lower-rated corporate buyers
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9. Darth Vader actor David Prowse passes away

  • David Prowse (85), the English actor who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars films, passed away. 
  • The champion weightlifter-turned-actor starred as the body, but not the voice, of one of cinema's best-known villains.
  • Director George Lucas opted to dub another voice onto Prowse's portrayal of the towering, masked antagonist Darth Vader in “Star Wars”, “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi”.
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10. Fiscal deficit reaches 120% of the annual target

  • The Union Govt’s fiscal deficit further widened to ₹9.53 lakh crore, or close to 120% of the annual budget estimate, at the end of Oct 2020.  
  • The deficit widened mainly due to poor revenue realization.
  • The lockdown imposed to curb spreading of coronavirus infections had significantly impacted business activities and in turn, contributed to sluggish revenue realisation.
  • It is the difference between the Revenue Receipts plus Non-debt Capital Receipts and the total expenditure.
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