Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 30 December 2020
Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 30 December 2020
Meteorological Center inaugurated in Ladakh
A meteorological centre was inaugurated in the union territory of Ladakh on Tuesday which would provide localised weather forecasts thus strengthening the weather-related early warning system for the region.
At 3,500 metres, this meteorological centre is the highest such facility in India, Union Earth Sciences Minister Harsh Vardhan said at the inauguration of the facility.
He said it would provide short range (three days,) medium range (12 days) and long- range (one month) forecast for the two districts -- Leh and Kargil.
The region is unique in terms of weather, climate, culture, topography with extreme temperatures, ranging from minus 40 degrees Celsius in Drass to scanty average precipitation of 10 centimetres annually, which makes the region a distinct cold desert, he said. Ladakh also experiences various kinds of extreme weather events like cloud bursts, flash floods, glacial lake outbursts, avalanches and drought.
The centre will also give weather forecasts about tourist places such as Nubra, Changthang, Pangong Lake, Zanskar, Kargil, Drass, Dha-Baima (Aryan valley), Khalsi.
Digital Ocean launched
Harsh Vardhan, Union Health, Science & Technology, Earth Sciences Minister, inaugurated Digital Ocean, during a Virtual Meeting today, according to a statement.
Indian National Centre for Ocean Information provides ocean information and advisory services to various stakeholders including data based on oceanographic research, advisory services such as fishing zone advisories, ocean state forecast, high wave alerts, tsunami early warnings, storm surge and oil-spill.
It depends upon the oceanographic and marine meteorological data received from a wide variety of in situ and remote sensing ocean observing platforms in real-time established by the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
The Digital Ocean platform (www.do.incois.gov.in) includes a set of applications developed to organise and present heterogeneous oceanographic data by adopting rapid advancements in geospatial technology.
The platform will serve as a one stop-solution for all the data related needs of a wide range of users including research institutions, operational agencies, strategic users, academic community, maritime industry, policy makers and the public. It will play a central role in sustainable management of our oceans and expanding our “Blue Economy” initiatives.
Japan committed to working with India for realising better health for the people
Japan sees India as the “most natural strategic partner” to promote a free and inclusive Indo-Pacific, and this year’s Malabar naval exercise was an example of efforts by the four members of the Quad to ensure the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.
In a wide-ranging interview, Suzuki spoke of cooperation with India in spheres ranging from security to trade and investment. He also said there is no scope in a rules-based free and open Indo-Pacific for attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by coercion.
Year 2020 turned out to be an unprecedented one with our days so much affected by Covid-19. Protecting lives and recovering the economy have become a top priority for governments across the world. That is why Japan is supporting the efforts of the government of India through 50 billion yen (about Rs7,500 crore) budget support and 1 billion yen (about Rs150 crore) grant assistance, as well as through international organisations such as UNDP, UNICEF, UNHCR and IFRC.
Indo-French SKYROS practice
The 17th edition of Varuna, an Indo-French naval exercise, currently on off Goa coast, is the largest joint exercise undertaken by the two Navies and represents the strengthened maritime co-operation between India and France, said statements released by both Navies in Goa on Monday.
The statements, released at a press conference on board INS Mumbai, said that the harbour and sea phases of the exercise from May 1 to May 6 and from May 7 to May 10, respectively, are aimed at honing skills for naval operations across the broad spectrum, with an increased focus on tactical scenarios.
The second sea phase is scheduled to be held at the end of May in Djibouti, located on the Horn of Africa.
“It will be the largest ever conducted Varuna exercise with 11 of India and Frances’s most modern units, including two aircraft and two submarines,” statement of the French Navy said.
The submarine, built at MDL with the main collaborator being M/s Naval group, France, is set to commence sea trials soon.
Secretary (Defence Production) Ajay Kumar was the chief guest for the ceremony and Veena Ajay Kumar was the lady dignitary who performed the ceremony. “The submarine has been named Vela after an earlier submarine, which was the lead submarine, of the erstwhile Vela class, the second batch of the Foxtrot class submarines acquired from USSR.
China revises down 2019 GDP growth to 6% on lower manufacturing
China revised down its official Gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate for 2019 to 6% from 6.1%, mainly due to a lower estimate for manufacturing output, a change that will make it slightly easier for officials to report economic expansion this year.
GDP in 2019 was 435 billion yuan ($67 billion) smaller than the initial estimate released in January, China’s statistics bureau said Wednesday. That amount is roughly equal to the GDP of Ghana last year, based on World Bank figures.
According to the latest estimate, China’s nominal GDP was 98.7 trillion yuan in 2019. The manufacturing sector saw the largest change -- with value-added output reduced by 503.8 billion yuan from an earlier estimate -- followed by the finance, transportation and construction sectors.
China often makes small revisions to GDP data, based on factors such as the collection of more comprehensive data from businesses. Beijing in January revised up the annual growth rates between 2014 and 2018. In 2019, it revised the estimated growth of 2017 GDP downwards by 0.1 percentage point to 6.8%.
Beijing didn’t publish a GDP growth target in 2020 for the first time in decades, as it struggled with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Since then it’s largely controlled the spread of the virus, with business activity mostly returning to normal. As a result, China is the only major economy that’s expected to grow this year, though at a slower rate of around 2%, according to economists’ forecasts.
IPOs in 2020 dominated by PE exits
As the primary markets recouped after a three-month lull due to Covid-led disruptions and volatile stocks, public listing of companies received huge participation in 2020. However, most of the money raised through initial public offerings (IPOs) were used to provide an exit to private equity players or existing shareholders.
Around 55% of the money raised via IPOs in 2020 were meant for private equity or venture capital exits, which is at least at a five-year high compared to 24.36%, 29.09% and 26.72% in 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively, according to data from Prime database.
Beating covid-led business uncertainties, 15 IPOs raised an aggregate amount of Rs 26,611 crore this year, up 115% compared to the Rs 12,362 crore raised via 16 IPOs in 2019. Out of the total, Rs 14,101 crore were for PE/VC exits, while the rest was for fresh issue of shares meant for capital expansion of a company. In comparison, PE/VC exits accounted for Rs 3,022 crore in 2019, Rs 9,006 in 2018 and Rs 17,943 crore in 2017.
“PE exits in companies through public offer has been a continuing trend in Indian IPOs for the last 6-7 years. This is a global phenomenon and indicates a maturing capital market with VC/PE investors providing the early stage risk capital,” said Pranav haldea, managing director, Prime Database group.
::Science and Technology::
Complexity in science can be navigated using common sense: DST Secretary at ICMI
Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Prof Ashutosh Sharma, stressed that complexity in science can be navigated by using common sense and that it is important to relate research to larger questions of life, at the International Conference on Multifunctional Nano Materials (ICMN 2020).
“The new age has heightened the capabilities of the mind that machines do not have, like lateral thinking, connecting the dots, creativity, problem solving, interdisciplinary thinking, portability and developing concepts across silos, Professor Sharma said at the online conference which is taking place from December 28 to 30, 2020.
He also highlighted the importance of translation, innovation, startups, of closing the circle of knowledge and of relating a narrow domain of research to the larger concerns of science and society in the new age where future is throwing questions at faster pace, at the conference organised by Manipal University Jaipur.
Prof Sharma also spoke about future directions and drivers of science and technology. “Convergence and co-arising of technologies, rise of intelligent machines, sustainability and development, managing data, information technology, equity and inclusion are the challenges and opportunities that the new age brings,” he pointed out.
World Test Championship updated table after Melbourne Test: India retain second spot
The race for the top two spots in the World Test Championship points table is hotting up with India and New Zealand registering victories respectively to rival top placed Australia’s domination. India’s eight-wicket win over Australia in the second Test match at Melbourne helped them retain the second spot in the table. The top two teams on the table will contest the final next year.
While India continue to have the most points, they stay behind Australia on percentage points, which will eventually decide the positions on the table. India bagged 30 points for their eight-wicket win and now have 390 points and a 72.2 percentage of points (PCT).
Australia have 322 points with a 76.6 PCT, which was a result of a penalty they faced due to maintaining slow over rate in the Boxing Day Test.
New Zealand consolidated their third spot with a 101-run win over Pakistan in the first Test on Wednesday. The Black Caps earned 60 points for the win and now have a PCT of 66.7.