2. Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad gets ISO certification from UK
- Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad has received ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Standards Certificate from Accreditation Service for Certifying Bodies (ASCB), UK.
- With this, it has also become the 1st zoo in the country to get this certificate.
- Before getting certification, zoo assessment was conducted in a phased manner by HYM International Certifications, ASCB.
- It has been accorded as wildlife conservation hub, particularly endangered species of Deccan
3. ASSOCHAM Foundation Week 2020 concluded
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed concluding session of ‘ASSOCHAM Foundation Week 2020’ virtually on 19th December 2020.
- Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (ASSOCHAM) Foundation Week was held from 15 to 19 December 2020.
- Theme 2020: ‘India’s resilience: Atmanirbhar roadmap towards $5 trillion economy.’
- ASSOCHAM was established in 1920 and presently has 400 Chambers and Trade Associations, and serving over 4.5 lakh members across India.
4. Odisha Govt launches Pareshram Portal for industrial development
- Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik has launched ‘PAReSHRAM’ web portal along with 22 other online services of Labour and Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) dept.
- It will help in ‘ease of doing business’ contributing significantly to industrial development of the State.
- PAReSHRAM Portal
- Information regarding different labour laws for everyone
- It will provide 52 types of services like application form for services
- Entrepreneurs can get registration certificate, licence, etc.
National & International Appointments
5. Sukhbir Singh Sandhu gets six months extension as NHAI chairman
- Sukhbir Singh Sandhu’s tenure as the Chairman of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been extended for a period of six months by Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.
- He is a 1988-batch IAS officer of Uttarakhand cadre
- He was about to retire on January 21, 2021 and will now serve till July 21, 2021.
- NHAI: Autonomous agency of Government, set up in 1988.
- NHAI HQs: Delhi
6. ADB & India sign $300 million loan to upgrade power distribution in UP
- Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed $300 million loan agreement with India to upgrade rural power distribution networks in Uttar Pradesh, providing reliable electricity supply to consumers.
- It is the first tranche of the loan for UP Power Distribution Network Rehabilitation Project
- Aim: conversion of 65,000 km of rural low-voltage distribution lines from bare conductors to aerial bundle conductors (ABC) benefitting 70 million people in 46,000 villages.
Banking & Finance
7. RBI extends restrictions on PMC Bank for 3 months till 31 March 2020
- RBI has further extended the restrictions Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank by 3 months till 31 March, 2021.
- PMC Bank has also received 4 Expression of Interest (EoI) for its revival.
- These proposals will be examined by the bank for their viability and feasibility taking into account the best interest of the depositors.
- PMC bank was placed under Directions by RBI with effect from the close of its business on September 23, 2019
Honours & Awards
8. Vidyut Mohan among UNEP’s ‘Young Champions of the Earth’ for 2020
- Vidyut Mohan (29 years) has been recognized as one of the 7 winners of ‘Young Champions of the Earth’ 2020 award
- The award is being conferred by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) annually
- Vidyut is the co-founder of ‘Takachar’, social enterprise that prevent open burning by farmers and convert farmers waste into value-added chemicals
- Other Winners
- Nzambi Matee (Kenya)
- Xiaoyuan Ren (China)
- Lefteris Arapakis (Greece)
- Niria Alicia Garcia
- Max Hidalgo Quinto
- Fatemah Alzelzela
9. International Human Solidarity Day: 20 December
- International Human Solidarity Day is being observed every year on December 20 to celebrate the unity in diversity and raise awareness about the importance of solidarity.
- This day was proclaimed by UN General Assembly on December 22, 2005.
- According to United Nations Millennium Declaration, solidarity is among the fundamental values that are essential to international relations.
- World Solidarity Fund was set up in Feb 2003 as a trust fund of UN Development Programme
10. Veteran Journalist and first RSS ideologue MG Vaidya passes away
- Senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue MG Vaidya (97 years) passed away after a brief illness.
- He was a veteran journalist, Sanskrit scholar and the first official spokesperson of RSS (RSS is the ideological mentor of Bharatiya Janata Party).
- He became a member of the RSS in 1943
- He was also a member of Maharashtra’s Legislative Council as the Governor’s nominee between 1978 and 1984.
- He was a prolific writer in Marathi and Hindi.