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Important Current Affairs 25th December 2020

NATIONAL

Karnataka unveils “FRUITS” portal for farmers

• Karnataka government has unveiled the Farmer Registration and Unified beneficiary Information System (FRUITS), an e-governance portal, to create a repository of farmland information and farm loan details on a single platform. All farmers will be registered and given an identification number on the portal.

• The FRUITS Portal is integrated into the BHOOMI Package of the Karnataka State for fetching and validating the land details. One other important facility of this Portal is online creation of charge by which visit of farmers to Sub-Registrar Office is avoided.

Canara Bank has agreed to run FRUITS on a pilot basis.

• Canara Bank observed that Karnataka State Government has always been in the forefront of technology initiatives to improve the ease of Banking as can be seen from the various initiatives like BHOOMI Package, Debt Waiver Portal and currently, the FRUITS Portal.

• Using this number, banks and other lending institutions can access the land details of farmers as well as details of their existing borrowings and take a quick decision on lending.

Cabinet approves 100% FDI in DTH services

• The Union Cabinet approved revised guidelines for Direct-to-Home (DTH) broadcasting services, allowing 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) as well as increasing the licence period to 20 years. Due to our I&B guidelines, this field was not getting the benefit of 100 per cent FDI. After changing the guidelines, the guidelines will have the same guidelines as the Commerce Ministry and will come under 100 per cent FDI.

• Under the revised guidelines the licenses will be issued for a period of 20 years, compared to 10 years at the moment, and will be renewed for a 10-year period. The license fee has been revised from 10 per cent of gross revenue (GR) to 8 per cent of adjusted gross revenue (AGR), which will be calculated by deduction of GST from GR.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Cabinet approves the merger of four Govt film media units

• The Cabinet approved the merger of four government-run film and media units — the Films Division, the Directorate of Film Festivals, the National Film Archives of India and the autonomous body Children’s Film Society, with the National Film Development Corporation.

• The merger of Film Media Units under one corporation will lead to convergence of activities and resources and better coordination, thereby ensuring synergy and efficiency in achieving the mandate of each media unit. This will lead to a reduction in duplication of activities and direct savings to the exchequer.

• The Films Division, which was established in 1948 and is the oldest of the four units, was created primarily to produce documentaries and news magazines as publicity for government programmes and to keep a cinematic record of Indian history.

• The National Film Archives of India was established in 1964 with the primary objective of acquiring and preserving Indian cinematic heritage.

• The Directorate of Film Festivals was set up in 1973 to promote Indian films and cultural exchange.

• The Children’s Film Society, which was founded in 1955 with the specific objective of providing children and young people value-based entertainment through the medium of films.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

NTPC wins the prestigious CII-ITC Sustainability Awards 2020

• Country’s largest power producer, National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) has been conferred “Excellence” in the prestigious CII-ITC Sustainability Awards 2020 in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Domain. NTPC has been honoured in the Corporate Excellence Category, Commendation for Significant Achievement.

• This is the highest award conferred by CII-ITC in CSR domain. NTPC is the only PSU to receive the award in the Corporate Excellence category. NTPC wins the prestigious CII-ITC Sustainability Awards in Corporate Excellence category second time in a row i.e. in the year 2019 and 2020.

Srinagar’s Amar Singh College recognised with UNESCO Award

• Srinagar based Amar Singh College has been recognized with the ‘Award of Merit’ in the 2020 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. The restoration of the Amar Singh College brought back one of the most prominent institutional buildings in Kashmir to its former glory.

• The college building is 80 years old and INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) chapter in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir had carried out the conservation work at the Amar Singh College.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay-NIF book prize announced

• The winners of the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay New India Foundation Book Prize 2020 for the best non-fiction book on contemporary/ modern India were announced. The Prize was given jointly to Amit Ahuja for his Mobilizing the Marginalized: Ethnic Parties without Ethnic Movements (Oxford University Press) and to former Union minister Jairam Ramesh for his A Chequered Brilliance: The Many Lives of VK Krishna Menon (Penguin Random House), a biography of politician and diplomat VK Krishna Menon.

• The award carries a citation and a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh, that will be shared by the two authors.

VP Venkaiah Naidu virtually released the book ‘Oh Mizoram’

• VP Venkaiah Naidu virtually released the book ‘Oh Mizoram’, written by Governor of Mizoram, Shri P S Sreedharan Pillai. Pillai is a lawyer, an orator, a prolific writer, a philanthropist, and a thinker.

• He has written 125 books in Malayalam & English. Oh, Mizoram is his first poetry collection in English.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

PayU ties up with Google Pay to introduce tokenised payments

• PayU with Google Pay has introduced tokenised payments flow for Indian merchants. With the digital token linked to the phone and card information tokenised, Google Pay users can make repeat payments seamlessly and securely. Through the option of one-click payment, one doesn’t need to re-enter the payment data, as the OTP is read automatically and the payment is processed instantaneously.

• Tokenised payments offer a highly convenient, safe, and friction-free payment experience, and we are excited to partner with Google Pay to make this available for our merchants. It will help them build lasting trust and loyalty with customers, reduce risks of cart abandonment and payment failures, and scale up their businesses.

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