Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 19 December 2020

Bank Exam Current Affairs

Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 19 December 2020


India is well prepared for all challenges says RM Rajnath Singh

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said the new India is capable of giving a fitting reply to anyone who attempts aggression against the country.
  • Stating that the war patterns amd strategies are changing, the minister asked the newly commissioned flying officers of the Air Force to be prepared for newer and emerging challenges like cyberspace war. 
  • Addressing them after presenting them wings on completion of their training at the Air Force Academy, Dundigal near Hyderabad this morning, he asked them to be ready for future challenges and asked to equip and themselves with the emerging technologies.
  • Referring to the recent standoff between India and China in the northern sector, he said India is always a peace loving country, but if someone attempts to disturb the country, we are always ready to give them a fitting reply. 
  • He recalled the services rendered by air force especially in transporting supplies, he said it has been a force multiplier.
  • The Minister presented wings to about 100 flight cadets  including three from friendly countries, who have passed out from the Air Force Academy.

We moved from ‘Why India’ to ‘Why not India’: PM Modi says at Assocham

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi said reforms brought in by his government have changed the perception about India on the global platform. “This is the time to plan and act and focus on nation-building as the next 27 years will decide India’s global role,” Prime Minister Modi said during his virtual keynote address at the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India’s (Assocham) ongoing foundation week.
  • The Prime Minister also talked about the importance of industry in India’s growth. “There is so much positivity in the world regarding the position of India and this positivity is because of the hopes and dreams of 130 crore Indians,” he said.
  • PM Modi also presented the “Assocham Enterprise of the Century Award” to Ratan Tata, who received the award on behalf of the Tata Group. PM said that the Tata group has contributed to the development of the country under the able leadership of Ratan Tata. 
  • You have been the carrier of leadership in this tough period and for this, we should be much obliged to you,” Tata said. “If we all stand together and follow what you have said and what you have shown, we will have a situation where the world will look at us and say this Prime Minister said it could happen and he made it happen.
  • Assocham was established in 1920 by promoter chambers representing all regions of India. It has over 400 chambers and trade associations in its fold and serves more than 450,000 members across India. The organisation represents the interests of trade and commerce in India and acts as an interface between issues and initiatives with a goal to promote both domestic and international trade and reduce trade barriers.

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Malaysia to receive first batch of Pfizer vaccine in February

  • Malaysia said it expects to receive the first batch of the Covid-19 vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech in February, according to a report by national news wire Bernama.
  • Last month, Malaysia announced it had agreed to buy 12.8 million doses of the vaccine, becoming the first country in Southeast Asia to strike a deal with the US drugmaker.
  • Under the deal, Pfizer will deliver the first one million doses in the first quarter of 2021, with 1.7 million, 5.8 million and 4.3 million doses to follow in subsequent quarters.
  • Trade Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said the government is also in talks with other pharmaceutical companies to secure more vaccines.
  • “The government is making efforts to get a bigger supply of vaccine to meet our needs. The government will take the advice of the Health Ministry regarding the percentage of people who need to be vaccinated,” Mohamed Azmin was quoted as saying by Bernama.


US Central Bank Keeps Countercyclical Capital Buffer at Zero

  • The US Federal Reserve Board voted Friday to keep its countercyclical capital buffer at zero percent, saying it would not order banks to hold additional capital to protect against losses in a future economic downturn. The Fed said it made the decision after consulting with other bank regulators.
  • The tool is intended to direct banks to build up capital during times when the economy is strong to bolster resilience in future recessions.
  • The Fed has however never triggered it, even at the tailend of the record-long expansion that ended in February with the coronvirus pandemic and the current recession.
  • Governor LaelBrainard, who had repeatedly advocated for raising the buffer before the current crisis, did not dissent on Friday's decision.

Provident Fund Interest to Be Paid In A Single Instance, Not In Two Instalments: Sources

  • EPFO received good returns from the sale of ETFs and is in now in a position to transfer the entire tranche of interest payments to subscribers in one go.
  • You may get the entire interest of 8.50 per cent on your provident fund corpus this year, instead of two instalments of 8.15 per cent and 0.35 per cent as proposed by the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) earlier. The Union Labour Ministry has moved a proposal to the Finance Ministry for the transfer of entire consolidated amount of annual interest payments to Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) subscribers in one go, sources in the retirement fund body told NDTV. Earlier, the Labour Ministry had decided to pay the sum in in two parts due to "exceptional circumstances arising out of COVID-19".
  • According to a senior official, the EPFO has received good returns from the sale of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and is in now in a position to transfer the entire tranche of interest payments to subscribers in a single instance.
  • Exchange-traded funds — unlike regular mutual funds — trade like shares listed on stock exchanges. The EPFO invests subscribers' money in a range of instruments including ETFs to provide promised returns which help the salaried build their retirement corpuses.  

::Science and Technology::

Supercapacitors step-up voltage window using organic nanofibres

  • Scientists have developed energy storage devices with stepped-up voltage window using organic nanofibres, which can serve as miniaturized energy source for supplying small packets of energy to the various electronic gadgets that would be needed for the lifestyle of the future.
  • While tiny batteries could provide the desired supply of energy, they are incapable when it comes to energy requirements in the form of a power pulse, which capacitors could deliver only if their energy storage capacity is increased. Supercapacitors are poised to fill the gap in between providing desirable energy and power densities in one go. 
  • It is critical to enhance the operable voltage window of supercapacitors to step up their efficiency above present-day supercapacitors, which operate with voltages typically below 3 V.
  • In this direction, Prof G U Kulkarni and his group from Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences, Bangalore, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology, have come up with a simple method for the fabrication of a planar supercapacitor using organic nanofibres as solid-state electrolyte drop coated on low-cost titanium metal microelectrodes. The present work has been recently published in the scientific journal ‘Nano Energy’.


Australia vs India 1st Test: Australia Win in Two and Half Days as India Record Lowest Score in Tests

  • The Indian cricket team under ViratKohli faced its worst hour of embarrassment while collapsing to its lowest Test score of 36 as a rampaging Australia cruised to an emphatic eight-wicket victory inside two and half days in the opening Day/Night Test on Saturday. 
  • There were no demons in the pitch but Josh Hazlewood (5-3-8-5) and Patrick Cummins (10.2-4-21-4) displayed fast bowling of highest quality, the impact of which will be far-reaching with three more Tests to go. India's earlier lowest score was 42 at the Lord's in 1974 against England, known in Indian cricket parlance as the "Summer of 42". 

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