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Important Current Affairs 3rd December 2020

NATIONAL

IOCL launches India’s first 100 Octane Premium Petrol

• Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan launched India’s first indigenously developed ‘100 Octane premium petrol’ through video conferencing. Octane ratings are measures of fuel stability that increases engine efficiency. The high octane premium grade petrol will be marketed under the brand ‘XP-100’. It has been developed by Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) at its Mathura refinery in Uttar Pradesh.

• XP-100 will be made available in a phased manner across the country and in the first phase, it will be made available in 10 cities. The cities are Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Agra, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad.

• With this launch, India has joined a select league of nations globally that have such superior quality fuel.  Till date, such quality of fuel is available only in six countries including USA, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Malaysia and Israel.

West Bengal launches massive ‘Duare Sarkar’ outreach campaign

• West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee has launched a massive campaign titled ‘Duare Sarkar’ (government at doorsteps) to aware people about the 11 state-run welfare schemes and help them avail its benefits. The two-month-long outreach programme has been launched keeping in view the 2021 state assembly elections which are due in April-May.

• The campaign will continue from December 1, 2020, to January 30, 2020, in four phases, with slogan ‘jar jekhane darkar, asche apnar duare sarkar’ (government will be at your doorsteps whenever you need it). The 11 schemes will be made available to the beneficiaries through camps set up for the purpose.

Arjun Munda e-launches "Virtual Aadi Mahotsav-Madhya Pradesh"

• The Union Minister for Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda has launched the first-ever virtual edition of Aadi Mahotsav – Madhya Pradesh. The event will showcase the tribal traditions of the various tribal communities by having their crafts and natural products on display. Videos showcasing different aspects of their culture – music, dance etc, will also be shared. In essence, it will still be a celebration of the tribes and their diverse, varied lifestyle but on a different platform.

• The 10-day long festival will begin from December 1, 2020. It is being hosted on the Tribes India website – www.tribesindia.com. The highlights of the virtual launch included a virtual tour of the artisans’ workplace and glimpses of the tribal dance and music from Madhya Pradesh. The main focus of the first virtual Aadi Mahotsav is on the tribal craft and culture of Madhya Pradesh. The next focus state of the programme would be Gujarat ( from 11th December 2020), followed by West Bengal from the 21st December 2020.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Indian Army successfully testfires Anti-Ship version of BrahMos missile

• India successfully test-fired the anti-ship version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands territory. The test was conducted as part of the ongoing trials being conducted by the Indian Navy. The DRDO-developed BrahMos supersonic cruise missile with a strike range of 300 Km was launched from Indian Navy’s INS Ranvijay and it successfully hit its target ship near the Car Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal.

• Recently the land-attack version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was also successfully test-fired from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands territory. The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile is the world’s fastest operational system in its class.

OBITUARY

MDH owner ‘Mahashay’ Dharampal Gulati passes away

• The owner of MDH Masala, Dharampal Gulati passed away. He was born in 1923 in Sialkot, Pakistan. He was fondly called ‘dalaji’ and ‘Mahashayji’. A school dropout, Dharampal Gulati joined his father’s spice business in the early days. Back in 2019, the government honoured him with Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in the country.

• After partition in 1947, Dharampal Gulati moved to India and stayed at a refugee camp in Amritsar. He then moved to Delhi and opened a store in Delhi’s Karol Bagh. Gulati officially established the company in 1959. The business did not just flourish in India only but Gulati became a distributor and exporter as well. His company exports Indian spices to various parts of the world including the UK, Europe, UAE, Canda, etc.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhary becomes new Director General of BRO

• Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhary has been appointed as the 27th Director General of Border Roads Organisation (BRO). His appointment is effective from 1st December 2020.

• Lt Gen Chaudhary succeeds Lt Gen Harpal Singh who has been appointed as the new Engineer-in-Chief of the Indian Army. The BRO is responsible for construction and maintenance of all border roads including those along the frontiers with China and Pakistan.

AR Rahman roped in as ‘BAFTA Breakthrough’ India ambassador

• Oscar and Grammy-winning Indian composer, AR Rahman has been roped in as ambassador of the BAFTA Breakthrough initiative in India. In 2020, BAFTA will identify and support up to five exceptional talents working in film, games or television in India.

• The BAFTA Breakthrough initiative, is part of the Academy’s year-long programme to support new talent, coming up in the film, games and television industries in the UK, China, India and the US and gives them access to unique career development and mentoring opportunities. It is a unique opportunity for promising artists to be supported by a world-renowned organisation, including connections with other talented creatives across the world and being mentored by BAFTA-winners and nominees.

Bata names Sandeep Kataria as global CEO

• Footwear major Bata Shoe Organization has appointed Sandeep Kataria as the new global Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He is the first Indian to be appointed to the global role of Bata (Headquarter-Lausanne, Switzerland). He takes over from Alexis Nasard, who has stepped down after almost five years in the role.

• Before this, Kataria was the CEO of Bata India since 2017. Under Kataria, Bata India managed to transform into the largest footwear retailer in India within a relatively short span.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Persons with Disabilities: 03 December

• The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed annually on December 3. The IDPWD day was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly. The 2020 theme: ‘Not all Disabilities are Visible’.

• The day is celebrated to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

RANKING

India ranked 8th in Global Terrorism Index 2020

• In the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2020, India has been ranked at 8th spot globally in the list of countries most affected by terrorism in 2019. The GTI score of India is 7.353 out of 10. India recorded 277 Deaths, 439 Injuries & 558 Incidents due to Terrorism in 2019. Regionally, South Asia was the most impacted region by terrorism in 2019, recording more deaths than any other region. Also, globally the deaths caused due to terrorism fell by 15 per cent to 13,286 in 2019 over 2018.

• Jammu and Kashmir was the most affected Region due to terrorism, it reported 165 attacks and 103 deaths. The three most active groups in Kashmir was Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Hizbul Mujahideen & Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

• Chhattisgarh was the second most affected region in India with 85 attacks and 53 deaths all from Maoist Extremists.

Countries Most Affected by Terrorism:

• With a score of 9.592, Afghanistan has topped the index as the worst terror impacted nation among the 163 countries.

• It is followed by Iraq (8.682) and Nigeria (8.314) at second and third place respectively.

Countries Least Affected by Terrorism:

• Qatar (0.014) took the 133rd Rank followed by Uzbekistan (0.010) in the 134th Rank and around 29 Countries (score of 0.000) took the 135th Rank which means they are Least Affected Countries or Face No Impact due to Terrorism.

US Air Quality Index: Lahore is world’s most polluted city

• Lahore, the cultural capital Pakistan, has been ranked as the world’s most polluted city, according to air pollution data released by the US Air Quality Index (AQI). Lahore reported a particulate matter (PM) rating of 423. New Delhi stood second with a PM of 229, while Nepal’s capital Kathmandu ranked the third with a PM of 178.

• The Air Quality Index (AQI) is released by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to give people an idea of whether it’s safe to breathe the air.

• AQI is based on the levels of five major pollutants regulated by the EPA: ground-level ozone, particulate matter (PM2.5), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.

• AQI measures air quality by placing it on a scale of 0-500, where air quality is regarded as satisfactory if the AQI is under 50.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

ADB and India sign $50 million loan agreement for West Bengal

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India have inked $50 million policy-based loan agreement to improve financial management procedures and operational efficiencies in West Bengal. Titled as the ‘West Bengal Public Finance Management Investment Programme’, the project will help to achieve more fiscal savings, promote informed decision making, and improve service delivery in the state.

• A centre for fiscal policy and public finance will be established to deepen the capacity of the state government officials on public finance management while developing a web-based grievance redress system for transport corporations and urban local bodies will provide a credible citizen-government interface.

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