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Important Current Affairs 30th November 2020

INTERNATIONAL

Quarantine’ named Cambridge Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2020

• Cambridge Dictionary has named ‘quarantine’ as Word of the Year 2020. The word has been named the word of the year based on data that showed that it was one of the most highly searched words on the Cambridge Dictionary this year. Cambridge editors have noticed that people are using the word in a new way this year describing a “general period of time in which people are not allowed to leave their homes or travel freely so that they do not catch or spread a disease.” This new sense of quarantine has now been added to the Cambridge Dictionary.

• “Quarantine was the only word to rank in the top five for both search spikes and overall views (more than 183,000 by early November), with the largest spike in searches (28,545) seen in the week of March 18-24, when many countries around the world went into lockdown as a result of C-19,” as per an official release.

NATIONAL

PM Modi Chairs 33rd PRAGATI Meet

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chaired the 33rd PRAGATI meeting to review multiple projects, grievances and programmes. PRAGATI stands for “Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation”.

• The projects worth around Rs 1.41 lakh crore, related to ten states and union territories, were reviewed. They included Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

• These projects were related to the Ministry of Railways, MORTH, DPIIT and Power Ministry.

PM Modi visits 3 cities to review vaccine development

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has embarked on a three-city visit on 28 November 2020, to personally review the C-19 vaccine development and manufacturing process at facilities in these cities.

Facilities visited by PM Modi are:

Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad,

Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad

Serum Institute of India in Pune

• The scientists at these facilities expressed their joy that the Prime Minister met them face to face in order to boost their morale and help accelerate their efforts in the vaccine development journey.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare

• The United Nation recognised Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare on 30th November every year since 2005. The day marks a tribute to the victims of chemical warfare, as well as to reaffirm the commitment of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the elimination of the threat of chemical weapons, thereby promoting the goals of peace, security, and multilateralism.

• The history of the serious efforts to achieve chemical disarmament that culminated in the conclusion of the Chemical Weapons Convention began more than a century ago. Chemical weapons were used on a massive scale during World War I, resulting in more than 100,000 fatalities and a million casualties.

OBITUARY

British Actor David Prowse passes away

• British character actor David Prowse, best known for playing ‘Darth Vader’ in the original Star Wars trilogy, passed away. He was a weightlifter-turned-actor, was selected to portray Darth Vader for his imposing physique of 6-foot-7 inch. However, the role was voiced by James Earl Jones.

• Prowse wore the black suit and helmet to play Darth Vader.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

UBS Projects India’s GDP at -10.5% for FY21

• The UBS has projected India’s real GDP to contract 10.5% in FY21, in its Global Economics & Markets Outlook 2021-2022 report. For the fiscal 2021-22 (FY22) UBS expect India’s real GDP growth to rebound to +10%  in FY22. UBS also estimates India’s GDP to stabilise at 6.2 per cent YoY in FY23.

YES Bank launches ‘SMS Pay’ on POS Terminals

• Private lender YES Bank has launched an ‘SMS Pay’ functionality on POS terminals, which would allow merchants to accept contactless and remote payments from their customers. YES Bank has collaborated with French payment services company Worldline to launch the new facility.

• SMS Pay will facilitate merchants to accept remote payments on their POS machines and enable their customers to transact safely without leaving the comfort of their homes.

• Through SMS Pay, local merchants & department stores could request payments from their customers by entering their contact details in the POS terminal following which an SMS would be triggered to the customer’s mobile number instantly, with a payment URL link.

• Customers can complete the payment through their domestic debit and credit cards.

IRDAI approves ICICI Lombard acquisition of Bharti Axa General

• The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has given its in-principle approval for the merger of Bharti AXA General Insurance with ICICI Lombard. The merged entity will have a market share of around 8.7 per cent on a proforma basis in the general insurance business.

• Based on the share exchange ratio recommended by independent valuers, shareholders of Bharti AXA will receive two shares of ICICI Lombard for every 115 shares of Bharti AXA. At present, promoter ICICI Bank Ltd holds is 51.89% stake in ICICI Lombard, while the rest is with the public. After the proposed deal, the promoter stake will come down to 48.11%.

• The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has already approved the acquisition of the two entities while approvals request from other concerned regulators for the transaction has been applied. The policyholders should benefit from an enhanced product suite and deeper customer connects touchpoints.

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