Tuesday, 1 December 2020



                BITA (Banking Institute & TNPSC Academy)


1. Delhi government caps price of RT-PCR test at Rs 800 in private labs

  • The Delhi government on November 30, 2020 fixed the price of RT-PCR test by private labs in the national capital at Rs 800. The RT-PCR tests are extremely crucial for COVID-19 testing.
  •   Currently, the private labs in Delhi have been charging Rs 2,400 for the RT-PCR Test, while these tests are being conducted for free in government hospitals and testing centers. 
  • The state health department in an order fixed the price of the tests at Rs 800 for samples collected from the collection sites by private-sector labs and those that are collected at the private labs, collection facilities and hospitals. The rate includes charges of both sample collection and testing costs at the site.
  • The department also fixed the price at Rs 1,200 for samples that are collected through home visits. The rate includes all charges including for visit, sample collection and the testing cost.

2. India has lowest per million cases and per million deaths

  • As per the latest reports, India is putting up a better fight against COVID-pandemic than most countries across the globe, as it has one of the lowest per million COVID cases and per million deaths. 
  • Other nations like the US, UK, France, Brazil and Italy have reported 4-5 times the number of cases on a per million basis than India as of November 28, 2020. Far as the number of deaths due to COVID-19 per million population is concerned, India has reported 98 deaths as of November 28, 2020.
  • On the other hand, other nations like the US has reported 813 deaths, Brazil 805, UK 846 and France saw 780 deaths. All these countries have reported 8-9 times more deaths than India on a per million basis. 

3. US President-elect announces all-women communications team

  •  Joe Biden, US President-elect has appointed an all-women White House communications team. The team will be led by Kate Bedingfield, who will serve as the White House Communications Director. 
  •   Biden has also appointed former President Barack Obama’s State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki as his White House press secretary.
  • Psaki had served at several positions during the Obama-Biden administration, including as White House Communications Director and State Department Spokesperson.

4. New DRDO lab-created for focused research along India's border with Pakistan, China

  •  The government has created a new DRDO lab for conducting focused research on terrain and avalanches along India’s borders with China and Pakistan. The lab has been created by merging together two existing DRDO laboratories. 
  • The new laboratory has been named Defence Geo Informatics Research Establishment. The two labs merged by the government include the Manali-based Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment and Delhi-based Defence Terrain Research Establishment.
  •   The merger is the first step in the large-scale reforms to be taken up in the DRDO by its Chief Dr G Satheesh Reddy in order to make the organisation leaner and more result-oriented.

 5. 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.

6. PM Modi visits 3 cities to review coronavirus vaccine development

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has embarked on a three-city visit on 28 November 2020, to personally review the COVID-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 and 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.

7. Narendra Singh Tomar launches Honey FPO Programme in 5 states

  • The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar virtually inaugurated Honey Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) Programme in five states, for producing honey.
  • The Honey FPO Programme aims to address the issues faced by the beekeeping industry and also promote honey production in the country. This will also help in achieving the goal of increasing farmer’s income.
  • These 5 FPOs will be set up by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED). They will be set up at East Champaran (Bihar), Morena (Madhya Pradesh), Bharatpur (Rajasthan), Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) and Sunderbans (West Bengal).

Chairman of NAFED:  Bijender Singh.

NAFED Founded: 2 October 1958.

NAFED Headquarters: New Delhi.

8.  Arab Gulf’s first coal-based power plant being developed in Dubai

  • The first coal-based power plant of Arab Gulf country is being developed in Saih Shuaib, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
  •   The 2,400MW Hassyan clean coal power station will be built at an estimated cost of $ 3.4 billion.
  • The project will comprise four units of 600MW each, which are expected to start operations in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 respectively.
  •  The power plant is expected to produce sufficient electricity to power approximately 250,000 households.

9. 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.
  •  Change-5 probe is the lunar sample return mission of China National Space Administration (CNSA).
  •   China'sChang'e-5 lunar mission recently became the first probe in 40 years to try to bring back lunar samples from an unexplored portion of the Moon. The spacecraft will return to Earth around December 15, 2020
  • Chang’e-5 probe is the lunar sample return mission of China National Space Administration (CNSA).

 10. Blue Tide Phenomenon Observed In Maharashtra

  •   Luminescence is generally higher in deep-living and planktonic organisms than in shallow species. This is an anti-predatory response. This phenomenon is called the "blue tide".
  • Appears when luminous sea creatures make the ocean appear dark blue shades.
  •  Waves interfere with these single-celled microorganisms and cause them to release blue light.
  • Bioluminescence is the property of a living organism to produce and emit light.
  • Animals, plants, fungi and bacteria show bioluminescence. A large number of marine animals and microorganisms can produce their own light.

11. Foundation Day of GITA Was Observed

  • ·         GITAs vision is to strengthen Indias innovation ecosystem by supporting and promoting technology and innovation-driven companies.
  •       The 9th foundation day of the Global Innovation Technology Alliance (GITA) is observed on November 29, 2020.
  •       The Global Innovation Technology Alliance (GITA) is a "non-profit" Section 8 Public-Private Partnership (PPP) company that is jointly promoted by the Technology Development Board (TDB) of the Departmentof Science and Technology (DST), Government of India and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).

12. India International Science Festival 2020 to Be In December

  •    IISF is a festival that celebrates the scientific and technological achievements of India.
  • The 6th India International Science Festival (IISF) to be held in a virtual format in December 2020. CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) organized IISF-2020 pre-conference events in various states to raise awareness.

13. CSIR-CCMBs Coronavirus Detection Method Receives ICMR Approval

  • CSIRs laboratory, Hyderabad Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) has developed a simple and rapid dry swab direct RT-PCR method to expand the detection of SARS-CoV-2.
  • The CSIR-CCMB dry swab direct RT-PCR method for coronavirus detection has been approved by the Indian Council of Medical and Research (ICMR).

14.  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.

15. 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%.

IRDAI Founded: 1999.

IRDAI Headquarters: Hyderabad.

IRDAI Chairperson: Subhash Chandra Khuntia.

 16. 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.

YES Bank MD & CEO: Prashant Kumar.

YES Bank Founder: Rana Kapoor.

YES Bank Founded: 2004.

YES Bank Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.

17. India and Finland sign MOU on environmental protection

  •  India and Finland signed an MoU for developing cooperation in the field of Environment protection and biodiversity conservation.
  • The MoU was signed by Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar from the Indian side and his Finnish counterpart Krista Mikkonen through video-mode.

18. International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

  • The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is an UN-organized day held every year on November 29.
  •  It is observed to mark the anniversary of resolution 181, wherein the Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine on November 29, 1947.
  •  In 1977, the General Assembly called for the annual observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
  • On that day, in 1947, the Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine. This date, which was chosen because of its meaning and significance to the Palestinian people, is based on the call by the United Nations General Assembly for an annual observance of the resolution on the partition of Palestine.

19.11th National Organ Donation Day

  • The ‘National Organ Donation Day’ is observed in India every year on 27 November, since past 10 years.
  •  The day aims to promote awareness and recognize the selfless contribution made by deceased donors to healthcare and mankind re-instil our faith in humanity.
  • The year 2020 marks the 11th National Organ Donation Day. It is organised by the National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  •  National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organization Headquarters: New Delhi.

20. 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.



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