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Important Current Affairs 9th December 2020

NATIONAL

Kiren Rijiju launches 2nd edition of Fit India Cyclothon

• Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has launched the second edition of Fit India Cyclothon through a virtual platform. The mega cycling event will run for 25 days, beginning from 7th December till 31st December 2020. The event has been organised across the country in each district. The citizens can participate by registering on Fit India website.

• The participants can cycle daily for a distance of their choice, and share their images and videos on social media. They may also tag @FitIndiaOff and use the hashtag – FitIndiaCyclothon and #NewIndiaFitIndia.

PM Modi virtually inaugurates Construction work of Agra Metro project

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the construction work of the Agra Metro project in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. The Agra Metro project comprises 2 corridors with a total length of 29.4 km. It would connect major tourist attractions like Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Sikandra with railway stations and bus stands.

• The estimated cost of the project will be around Rs 8,379.62 crore. It will be completed in 5 years.

• The Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC) has set the target to complete the first phase of the Agra Metro Rail Project by December 2022.

• Once operational, the project will boost `Ease of Living` of the 26 lakh population of the city and also cater to more than 60 lakh tourists who visit Agra every year.

• It will also provide an environment-friendly Mass Rapid Transit System to the city.

Centre Launches QRMP scheme for GST payers

• The Central Government has launched ‘Quarterly Return filing & Monthly Payment of Taxes (QRMP)’ scheme for small taxpayers under the GST system. Taxpayers with an aggregate annual turnover of up to Rs 5 crore in the preceding financial year and have filed their October GSTR-3B (sales) return by November 30, 2020, are eligible for this scheme. The notifications for the same were issued by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).

• Persons with aggregate turnover up to Rs 5 crore would be allowed to furnish their GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B returns on a quarterly basis, beginning January-March quarter of 2020-21.

Quarterly GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B can also be filed through an SMS.

• Taxpayers can also make GST payments every month, through challan, with effect from January 1, 2021.

• This can be done either by self-assessment of monthly liability or 35% of net cash liability of previous filed GSTR-3B of the quarter.

• Under this, the registered person or a taxpayer will furnish a return for every quarter, under sub-rule (1) of rule 61A of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 and pay the monthly tax under sub-section (7) of section 39 of the same Act.

• After the above changes, the act is named as the Central Goods and Services Tax (Thirteenth Amendment) Rules, 2020.

OBITUARY

All India Radio writer Madhukar Gangadhar passes away

• Eminent Hindi writer, Madhukar Gangadhar passed away. He was the lead storyteller of the new story movement. He was an associate of Renuji in Patna Akashvani, director of All India Radio in Allahabad & Deputy Director General at Delhi AIR.

• After serving for 39 years in All India Radio (AIR) he became an independent writer based in Delhi. ‘Motiyo Wale Hath’, ‘Hirna Ki Aankhen’ are some of his most well-known works.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Anil Soni appointed first CEO of The WHO Foundation

• US-based Indian-origin health expert, Anil Soni has been appointed as the first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the newly-created “The World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation”. Before this, he was working with Viatris, a global healthcare company in the US, where he served as Head of Global Infectious Diseases. He will assume his role as CEO with effect from 1st January 2021.

• The WHO Foundation was launched in May 2020 as an independent grant-making agency, based in Geneva, Switzerland, to work alongside the WHO and the global health community to address the most pressing global health challenges.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Anti-Corruption Day: 09 December

• International Anti-Corruption Day is observed annually on 9 December to raise public awareness for anti-corruption. The day is observed since the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on 31 October 2003.

• The theme of International Anti-Corruption Day 2020: ‘RECOVER with INTEGRITY.’ The theme focuses on recovery through corruption mitigation and emphasizes that inclusive C-19 recovery can only be achieved with integrity.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Raj Kamal Jha wins Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize

• Journalist-author, Raj Kamal Jha has won the 3rd Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize for his novel, “The City and The Sea”. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the winner of the $5,000 prize was announced online in Copenhagen, Denmark.

• Jha’s book, which is based on the December 2012 Nirbhaya rape and murder case, was chosen from ten shortlisted books including Amitav Ghosh’s Gun Island, Nirmala Govindarajan’s Taboo and Ranjit Hoskote’s Jonahwhale.

• The Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize for Social Achievement 2020 was conferred to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the late Sultan of Oman and The People of Oman,

• Renowned Indian choreographer Sandip Soparrkar for his contribution to the betterment of society through his initiative Dance for a Cause.

ICAR wins 2020 King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award

• The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), has won the prestigious International King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award for 2020. The award was presented annually by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The award was conferred to the ICAR on the occasion of World Soil Day, on December 5. ICAR India will officially receive the award by Her Royal Highness, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand, during an event in Bangkok in January 2021.

• ICAR has been conferred the award for its commitment to raising awareness of the importance of healthy soils at the World Soil Day celebration in 2019, which addressed soil erosion under the motto “Stop soil erosion, save our future”.

• The programme was organised by Bhopal-based Indian Institute of Soil Science, an autonomous institute for higher learning, established under the umbrella of Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

RANKING

India Ranks 10th in the Climate Change Performance Index 2021

• India is ranked at 10th place in the ‘Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2021’, released on 7th December 2020. The overall score of India is 63.98. It is for the second time in a row that India emerged among the top 10 countries with higher climate performance from among 58 economies. India was at 9th spot last year in the index.

• Like CCPI 2020, the first three places in 2021 ranking also remains unoccupied, since none of the countries is on the path compatible with the Paris climate targets, to implement strategies to limit global warming below 2 or even 1.5°C. Sweden (4th) United Kingdom (5th), Denmark (6th), Morocco (7th), Norway (8th), Chile (9th) were among the top 10 rankers in the index. It was also noted that, from the G20 countries, only the EU as a whole, along with the UK and India, ranked among high performers.

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