Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 23 December 2020

Bank Exam Current Affairs

Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 23 December 2020


Prime Minister to inaugurate the India International Science Festival-2020

  • The countdown to the 6th edition of India International Science Festival (IISF) has begun. This year’s  mega science festival will take offon 22nd December with the inaugural address by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The journey of IISF was started in the year 2015. “During the COVID situation, IISF-2020is being organized online and it is going to be the largest science festival in virtual environment”, said the Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan in New Delhi today. He was addressing the curtain raiser press-conference on IISF-2020. He informed the media that while the inaugural address at the Festival will be made by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, the concluding session of the Festival on December 25, 2020 will be addressed by the Vice-President Shri Venkaiah Naidu.
  • Dr Harsh Vardhnsaid  thatscience in our country has made commendable strides and so  it was thought that people at large should know and take pride inscientific developments and achievements of our country. “That is why, to highlight Indian science and scientists, it was thought in 2015 that India International Science Festivals should be held every year where all people can participate and celebrate science”, he said.
  • Chief Coordinator and Director of the Nodal Institute (CSIR-NISTADS), Dr. RanjanaAggarwal, in her opening remarks spoke about the whole eventand said, “the virtual platform will help in connecting to the people who live even in the far-flung areasof the country. This is a unique festival whichconnects the society with science. In this festival, there are 41 different events in which 13 new events have been included and every section of the society will be enlightened in this science festival”.She informed the media that Guinness World Records (GWR) is a unique event of IISF and “this year we are trying to attempt Guinness records in five categories”. Dr. Aggarwal mentioned that in IISF 2020, events have been organized under 9 broad verticals: Science for Masses, Science for Students, New Frontiers, Industry and MSME, Science for Agriculture and Rural Development, Inclusive Development, Science and Humanities, National and International Linkages, and Sustainable Development. 

PM releases postal stamp as part of AMU’s centenary celebrations

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a postal stamp as part of centenary celebrations of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
  • Chancellor of the University Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin and Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank were also present on the occasion.
  • Earlier in the week, buildings in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) were illuminated for its centenary celebrations.
  • Speaking to ANI, AMU Public Relations Officer (PRO) Omar Saleem Peerzada had said, “A centenary celebration is a landmark event in the history of any university. We are celebrating this event following all protocols of the Covid-19 pandemic. There are webinars, seminars and symposiums going on.”
  • AMU became a University in 1920, through an Act of Indian Legislative Council by elevating the Mohammedan Anglo Oriental (MAO) College to the status of a Central University. MAO College was set up in 1877 by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.

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US President Donald Trump confers Legion of Merit on PM Modi

  • United States’ President Donald Trump has conferred the Legion of Merit, one of the highest military honours of the US, on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “exceptionally meritorious service” as the leader of India.
  • The Legion of Merit, Degree Chief Commander, was bestowed on Modi on behalf of Trump on Monday. The medal is rarely awarded and can only be conferred by the US President. It is usually given to heads of state or heads of government.
  • The award was received on behalf of the Prime Minister by India’s ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu. At the same ceremony on Monday, the Legion of Merit, Degree Chief Commander, was also awarded to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

China faces power cuts owing to shortage of thermal coal

  • Several Chinese cities are facing energy shortage and have imposed restrictions on electricity use.
  • Chinese authorities have ascribed these power shortage problems to a surge in power demands due to an unusually cold winter and to the growth of industrial production as it faces a shortage of thermal coal. 
  • As per reports, China’s import ban on Australian coal owing to fractured trade relations, has also partly exacerbated the situation. 
  • Many local power plants depend on high quality Australian coal and now they are having trouble finding an alternative as country’s coal mines are struggling to fill the shortfall. 
  • It has hit energy supplies and sent prices soaring. 
  • As per state media, Chinese experts warn that such shortage also exposes problems in the power supply in China, as the suspended coal imports will exacerbate the imbalance in power supply.
  • Data from industry website showed that China imported 75 million tons of coal from Australia in 2019, which is roughly 3% of China's coal consumption. 
  • The ratio, however, could reportedly exceed 10 per cent in more developed provinces that are drawn to the high quality of Australian coal.


Insolvency and bankruptcy code (IBC) suspension extended till March 31

  • Fresh corporate bankruptcy filings for loans defaulted during the pandemic will remain suspended till the end of the fiscal, with the government extending the ongoing freeze.
  • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) was initially suspended for six months from March 25, which was later extended by another three months ending December 24.
  • Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said the government has now decided to extend the suspension for a full year. Sitharaman said at an interaction with the Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce that the government has extended various deadlines and eased compliance requirements to ensure companies were not stressed during the pandemic.
  • “Even suspension of the IBC has been extended even further from December 25. I think we have moved to say that it can be up to March 31, 2021. 
  • Central Bank of India launches RuPay Select contactless debit card
  • In association with the National Payments Corporation of India, Central Bank of India has launched a variant of a contactless debit card – ‘RuPay Select’. The RuPay Debit Select Card will focus on customers’ lifestyle, fitness, rejuvenation, nutrition and personal care.
  • “Central bank is launching RUPAY SELECT DEBIT CARD, in association with NPCI, which is designed especially for a select category with wellness as a key feature. Customers having the select card will enjoy benefits such as complimentary Health check-ups, Gym, Golf, SPA and lounge access at selected centres besides Accidental Cover of Rs 10 lakh at no extra cost to customers.”
  • The Central Bank RuPay Debit Select Card comes up with features such as airport lounge access to more than 20 domestic and 500 international lounges along with accidental and permanent disability insurance cover up to 10 lakh.
  • The contactless Debit Card ‘RuPay Select’ was launched by the bank on the occasion of Bank’s Foundation Day. The bank also launched another customer utility product – FASTAG in association with OSTA. With this customer using FASTAG will not lose any interest by transmitting the funds into FASTAG account, instead, the customer will cross the Toll Plaza with Central Bank of India FASTAG based on recharge amount blocked in his savings account and the account will be debited on next day of the transaction.

ICICI Bank launches the ‘Infinite India’ platform for foreign companies

  • India’s ICICI Bank announced today the launch of an online platform for foreign companies looking to establish or expand businesses in the country. Called ‘Infinite India’, the platform offers banking solutions as well as value-added services such as the incorporation of a business entity, corporate filings, licences and registrations, HR services, compliances and taxation among others. The ‘Infinite India’ platform eliminates the need for coordinating with multiple touchpoints, thereby leading to a hassle-free experience of doing business.
  • The ‘Infinite India’ initiative is a part of the host of technology-enabled-services that the bank is offering to foreign companies/MNCs coming to India.
  • Vishakha Mulye, Executive Director, ICICI Bank said, “Over the years, India has emerged as a preferred destination for foreign investment. We believe that a young demographic profile, strong consumer demand and supportive Government initiatives has boosted India’s economic outlook significantly. Also, India’s position in the World Bank’s survey on ‘ease of doing business’ improved significantly over the past few years, attracting foreign companies to set up operations.

::Science and Technology::

Adoption Of E20 Fuel By The Indian Public

  • E20 fuel is a mixture of 20% ethanol and gasoline. 
  • It is proposed to use E20 as a vehicle fuel to reduce vehicle emissions and the country’s oil import costs. 
  • Ethanol is a biofuel, a common by-product of biomass left by agricultural raw materials (such as corn, sugar cane, hemp, potatoes, etc. 
  • The currently allowed mixing ratio is 10% of ethanol, although India only reached 5.6% in 2019.


Rafael Nadal earns fourth Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award

  • Established in 1977, the ATP Sportsmanship Award gained its regular owner between 1988-1995, with Stefan Edberg winning five honors in those years. Known as one of the most relaxed and acknowledged players on the Tour, the ATP recognized Edberg in 1996 when the award took his name, represented as the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award since then.
  • In the last 25 years, Alex Corretja, Patrick Rafter, Paradorn Srichaphan, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were the only winners of the award voted by the players themselves, with Federer and Nadal taking every single one since 2004!

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