Current Affairs Today 20th December 2019
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Current Affairs Today 20th December 2019
International Human Solidarity Day: 20 December
International Human Solidarity Day is observed on 20 December every year.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) identified solidarity as one of the fundamental and universal values and designated 20 December of each year as International Human Solidarity Day.
The Day aims to raise public awareness of the importance of solidarity. It encourages debate on the ways to promote solidarity for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals including poverty eradication.
ADB, India Sign $ 490 Million Loan Upgrade Madhya Pradesh Roads
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India today signed a $490 million loan for public-private partnership (PPP) project to upgrade about 1,600 km of state highways and major district roads from single-lane to two-lane widths in the state of Madhya Pradesh. An additional $286 million investment will be mobilized through private sector participation under the PPP modality.
The project will upgrade 750 km of state highways and 850 km of MDRs to two-lane and all-weather standards with road safety features.
It will also develop an e-maintenance system, which can record defects or required maintenance, along with a training program to develop capacity on contract implementation and project finance in the Madhya Pradesh Road Development Corporation.
Headquarters: Manila, Philippines
President: Takehiko Nakao
Devesh Srivastava takes charge as CMD of GIC Re
The government has appointed Devesh Srivastava as chairman and MD of national reinsurer General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re).
Mr. Srivastava began his career with Oriental Insurance Company in Delhi. Subsequently, in 1999 Mr. Srivastava’s services were transferred to GIC Re.
General Insurance Corporation India
Ethiopia launches its first satellite
Ethiopia launched its first satellite, a landmark achievement for the country’s space program that caps a banner year for the African space industry.
Solomon Belay, director-general of the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute, announced the satellite was designed by Chinese and Ethiopian engineers and the Chinese government paid about $6m of the more than $7m manufacturing costs.
The 70-kilogram remote sensing satellite is to be used for agricultural, climate, mining and environmental observations.
Capital: Addis Ababa
Currency: Ethiopian Birr
Prime minister: Abiy Ahmed
Govt approves ₹436 crores for digital upskilling of IT workforce
Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has approved Rs.436 crore for Future Skills PRIME (Programme for Reskilling/Upskilling of IT Manpower for Employability) over a period of three years.
The programme the next level of the Future Skills platform seeks to skill 412,000 professionals in new technology such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, Internet of Things, Big Data, cybersecurity, social and mobile, etc.
Union Minister for Law and Justice, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology: Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Ravi Shankar Prasad Constituency: Patna Sahib
Indian men’s football team ranked 108th in latest FIFA rankings
The Indian men’s football team remained static at 108th spot in the year-ending FIFA rankings.
India, however, lost 11 places throughout the year.
Belgium ranked the first position while In the Asian rankings, Japan is followed by Iran (33), Korea (40), Australia (42) and continental champion Qatar (55).
Qatar will host FIFA World Cup 2022
President: Gianni Infantino
Headquarters: Zürich, Switzerland
Indian Navy & Coast Guard conduct largest-ever anti-hijacking Exercise ‘Apharan’
The Indian Navy, in collaboration with Indian Coast Guard, Cochin Port Trust, and other concerned stake holders, conducted a large-scale Anti Hijacking Exercise off the Port of Kochi.
The exercise Apharan aimed to streamline the response mechanism. It focused on the preparedness of the navy to thwart any attempt by to hijack a merchant vessel or attempt forced entry of a rogue or commandeered merchant vessel into Kochi harbour.
Chief of the Naval Staff: Admiral Karambir Singh
Afghanistan first country to recognize Indian Pharmacopoeia
The Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP) has been recognised formally by the National Department of Regulation of Medicines and Health Products of the Ministry of Public Health of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. It will also be used based on the requirement as reputable pharmacopoeia in the laboratory of medicines and health products quality.
Afghanistan has become the first country to recognize IP pursuant to the efforts of Department of Commerce and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Fitch cuts India GDP growth forecast to 4.6% in FY20
Fitch Ratings on Friday cut its growth forecast for India to 4.6 per cent for the 2019-20 fiscal from the previous estimation of 5.6 per cent after factoring in significant deceleration in past few quarters due to credit squeeze and deterioration in business and consumer confidence.
Portugal announces Gandhi Citizenship Education Prize
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced the setting up of a Gandhi Citizenship Education Prize in order to help promote Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals.
Every year, the Gandhi Citizenship Education Prize would be inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s different thoughts and quotes. The first edition of this prize will be dedicated to animal welfare as Mahatma Gandhi said that the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
DRDO successfully flight-tests Pinaka Missile System off Odisha coast
Pinaka Missile System developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was successfully flight-tested from the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the Odisha Coast.
The Pinaka is an Artillery Missile System capable of striking into enemy territory up to a range of 75 kilometres with high precision.
The mission achieved all the objectives including enhancing the range, accuracy and sub-system functionality.
Chairman: G Satheesh Reddy
Headquarters: New Delhi