National & International Appointments
1. Zhang Ming takes over as new Secretary-General of SCO
- Veteran Chinese diplomat, Zhang Ming has taken over as Secretary-General of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) with effect from 1st Jan 2021 for three years
- He succeeded Vladimir Norov, former diplomat from Uzbekistan.
- Before joining SCO, he served as the head of the Chinese mission to the European Union.
- SCO comprises: India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
- India took presidency of SCO for 2022-2023
- HQs: Beijing, China
Summits & Conferences
2. Jitendra Singh to inaugurate 24th Conference on e-Governance 2020-21
- Union Minister Jitendra Singh will inaugurate 24th Conference on e-Governance 2020-21 in Hyderabad
- Organized by: Dept of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in association with Govt of Telangana
- Theme: India’s Techade: Digital Governance in a Post Pandemic World
- It will be presented under 6 categories to 26 e-Governance initiatives at Central, State, District levels and Academic-Research Institutions and PSU
National & International Appointments
3. Govt re-appoints Vijay Paul Sharma as CACP Chairman
- Vijay Paul Sharma has been re-appointed as chairman of Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP)
- He was appointed for the first time in June 2016
- He was critical in agreeing to govt's decision to set the MSP at 50% of the cost of production.
- Established: 1965 as Agricultural Prices Commission and was given its present name in 1985
- Decentralized agency to recommend Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) and to motivate farmers to adopt the latest technology
Banking & Finance
4. RBI lays down eligibility norms for entities tapping credit bureau data
- RBI has laid down eligibility norms for entities tapping into data from credit information companies (CICs) under Credit Information Companies (Amendment) Regulations, 2021
- Under this, company must be owned-controlled by resident Indian citizens to become specified user with credit bureau, amid reports of lending apps with Chinese links operating in India
- Governing statute of statutory corporation should allow the business or activity of processing of information
National & International Organizations
5. Antigua and Barbuda join International Solar alliance
- Antigua and Barbuda become 102nd country to join International Solar Alliance to catalyze global energy transition through a solar-led approach
- ISA: action-oriented, member-driven, collaborative platform for increased deployment of solar energy technologies as a means for bringing energy access, ensuring energy security, and driving energy transition in its member countries.
- ISA was launched by India, France in 2015
- Headquarters of ISA: Gurugram, India.
6. India’s Biggest Skill Competition ‘IndiaSkills 2021’ commenced
- National competition of IndiaSkills 2021 commenced in New Delhi
- Organized by: National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC)
- It will witness participants from 26 states/ union territories competing in more than 50 skills such as car painting, patisserie and confectionery, welding, cyber security, among others.
- It will be held at multiple locations, including Pragati Maidan, from 7 to 9 Jan under Covid-19 protocols mandated by local authorities and the state government.
7. PM inaugurates Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) in Kolkata
- PM Narendra Modi inaugurated second campus of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) in Kolkata via video conferencing.
- It has been built at a cost of over Rs 530 crores, out of which around Rs 400 crores have been provided by the Union govt and rest by West Bengal govt, in the ratio of 75:25.
- It is a 460 bedded comprehensive cancer centre unit with cutting edge infrastructure for cancer diagnosis, staging, treatment and care.
Banking & Finance
8. FM releases monthly Post Devolution Revenue Deficit Grant to 17 States
- Finance Minister has released monthly Post Devolution Revenue Deficit (PDRD) Grant of Rs 9,871 crore to 17 States.
- The grants are released to the States as per the recommendations of the Fifteenth Finance Commission to meet the gap in Revenue Accounts of the States post devolution
- PDGD Grants are provided under Article 275 of the Constitution.
- Eligibility of States to receive this grant and quantum of grant was decided by Commission.
9. UP govt announces 50% rebate in electricity bills for private tube wells
- Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath has announced 50% rebate in power bills of private tube wells used by farmers in the state with effect from January 2022
- It covers the metered, unmetered, energy efficient and private tube wells of the farmers in rural areas and metered tube wells in urban areas.
- It will benefit around 13 lakh farmers of the state directly.
- According to the proposed new rates, now consumers in rural areas will have to pay Re 1 per unit.
10. ICAR-SBI launches tribal intervention project in Anamalai Tiger Reserve
- ICAR–Sugarcane Breeding Institute (ICAR-SBI), Coimbatore in collaboration with Anamalai Tiger Reserve has conducted campaign on ‘knowledge empowerment of tribals’ and launched its Scheduled Tribe Component (STC) project at Attakatti
- Interventions by Institute for implementing STC, was finalized based on systematic need assessment by conduct of Focus groups among two tribes ‘Malasar’ and ‘Malai malasar’ tribes belonging to Nagaroothu, Old Sarkarpathy, Chinnarpathy
11. Intra-State Transmission System of Green Energy Corridor Phase-II
- Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the scheme on Green Energy Corridor (GEC) Phase-II for Intra-State Transmission System (InSTS)
- It will add 10,750 circuit kilometres of transmission lines and 27,500 MVA transformation capacity of substations
- It will facilitate grid integration and power evacuation of 20 GW of Renewable Energy power projects in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, TN, UP
- Total estimated cost: Rs. 12,031.33 crores
Banking & Finance
12. RBI cancels CoA of Muthoot Asset Finance and Eko India Financial Services
- RBI has cancelled the Certificate of Authorisation (CoA), of Muthoot Vehicle and Asset Finance Ltd and Eko India Financial Services Private Ltd for non-compliance with regulatory requirements.
- Both the Payment System Operators (PSOs) had authorization for the issuance and operation of prepaid payment instruments.
- After CoA cancellation, these companies cannot transact the business of issuance and operation of prepaid payment instruments.
13. Reliance launches India Inc's biggest bond sale abroad
- Reliance Industries Ltd has launched its mega bond sale as the company sought to raise $3-5 billion from offshore investors.
- This will be the largest-ever bond sale by an Indian company tapping overseas money and year's first fundraising from India
- Proceeds will be used primarily to refinance existing debt with a likely funding cost benefit, apart from financing capital expenditure
- Bonds are of three tenors: 10, 30 and 40 years.
14. MHA constitutes committee to enquire security lapses during PM Punjab visit
- Ministry of Home Affairs has constituted a committee to enquire into the serious lapses in the security arrangements during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab.
- It is a three-member committee and will be headed by Sudhir Kumar Saxena, Secretary (Security), Cabinet Secretariat
- It also comprises Balbir Singh, Joint Director, IB and S. Suresh, IG, SPG.
- The committee has been advised to submit the report at the earliest.