Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 09-12-2020

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Useful compilation of Civil Services oriented - Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 09-12-2020

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    • SECTION 1 - TEN NEWS HEADLINES
  1. Farmer’s Protests – Centre firm on farm laws as Bharat Bandh passes peacefully - Union Home Minister told farmers’ leaders that the Centre would not repeal the three contentious farm sector laws, on a day that saw nationwide road blockades and peaceful protests in support of the demand for a rollback of the laws. The leaders of all protesting farmer federations will meet at the Singhu border to discuss the Centre’s proposal. The unexpected meeting with the Home Minister came hours after farm unions under the banner of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha claimed that more than 50 lakh people participated in the Bharat Bandh call at 20,000 locations across the country. At least 25 political parties supported the bandh, along with trade unions, retail and transport associations and many professional bodies. Sixth round of talks between all the farmers’ unions and the government will not be held on Dec 09.
  2. Covid-19 Updates – First fully tested vaccine debuts - Britain’s National Health Service delivered its first shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, opening a mass vaccination campaign with little precedent in modern medicine and making Britons the first people in the world to receive a clinically authorised, fully tested vaccine. At 6.31am, 90-year-old Margaret Keenan, a former jewellery shop assistant, rolled up the sleeve of her “Merry Christmas” T-shirt to receive the first shot, and her image quickly became an emblem of the remarkable race to produce a vaccine and the international effort to end a pandemic that has killed 1.5 million people worldwide. The first 8,00,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for Britain were transported in recent days from a manufacturing plant in Belgium to federal warehouses in Britain, and then to hospitals. Fifty hospitals will be administering the shots until the government can refine a plan for delivering them at nursing homes and doctor’s offices.
  3. Geography - China, Nepal announce new height of Mt. Everest  - New figure of 8,848.86 m replaces 8,848 m, a measurement carried out by the Survey of India in 1954. Nepal and China jointly announced the new height of Mount Everest as 8,848.86 metres in a high-profile virtual ceremony, with their Presidents exchanging letters and the Foreign Ministers in attendance, all aimed at showcasing both a deepening strategic relationship and the amicable resolution of a long-running debate. Everest — also known as Sagarmatha in Nepal and Mount Qomolangma in China — was “an important symbol of the China-Nepal friendship”, China’s President Xi Jinping said, calling it a “peak of China-Nepal friendship”. The mountain lies on the border between Nepal and Tibet and the summit can be accessed from both sides, although the Nepal route is more popular.
  4. Economy -  Govt proposes for the constitution of a dedicated EPC - The Ministry of Textiles has invited proposals for the constitution of a dedicated Export Promotion Council (EPC) for Technical Textiles. The constitution of an Export Promotion Council for Technical Textiles is a part of the National Technical Textiles Mission. The Council shall abide by all directions of the Central Government in respect of promotion and development of international trade. National Technical Textiles Mission - It was approved with a total outlay of Rs. 1480 crore in February 2020. It aims to position the country as a global leader in technical textiles and increase the use of technical textiles in the domestic market. It aims at taking domestic market size to US $ 40 bn to US $ 50 billion by 2024.
  5. Education – Notification explaining specific surgical procedures by PG medical student of Ayurveda must be practically trained - Lately, a government notification listed out specific surgical procedures that a postgraduate medical student of Ayurveda must be practically trained to acquaint with, as well as to independently perform. The notification has been criticized by the Indian Medical Association (IMA). The IMA is a national voluntary organisation of Doctors of Modern Scientific System of Medicine, which looks after the interest of doctors as well as the wellbeing of the community at large. Surgery is mentioned in Ayurveda. Sushruta is considered as the father of surgery and he described 60 types of upakarma for treatment of wounds, 120 surgical instruments and 300 surgical procedures. As per the Ayurveda practitioners, the latest notification just brings clarity to the skills that an Ayurveda practitioner possesses but IMA doctors claim that the new notification gives the impression that the skills or training of the Ayurveda doctor in performing modern surgeries are the same as those practicing modern medicine which is misleading.
  6. USA – Biden picks retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as Defence Secretary - U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate retired General Lloyd Austin as his Defence Secretary, making Gen. Austin the first African American in the post, if he is confirmed by the Senate. In choosing Gen. Austin, Mr. Biden has passed over contenders for the job, such as former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Pentagon official Michèle Flournoy. Mr. Biden could announce his nomination of the 67-year-old four-star General, as per Politico, which first reported the story. Gen. Austin formerly headed the U.S. Central Command overseeing combat in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Syria. Gen. Austin oversaw the U.S. response to the rise of the Islamic State (IS) — including a $500 million failed programme to recruit Syrian fighters against IS — and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. U.S. law requires a seven-year cool-off period from the Army before becoming Defence Secretary — Gen. Austin will need a waiver from the U.S. Congress if he is to be confirmed to the position.
  7. Economy – LMC bonds have been listed on the BSE - Rs. 200-crore worth Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) bonds have been listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Lucknow becomes ninth city to raise municipal bonds, incentivized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (Mohua) under Mission Amrut. BSE is the oldest stock exchange in India as well as Asia. A municipal bond (muni) is a debt security issued by a state, municipality or county to finance its capital expenditures, including the construction of highways, bridges or schools. They  were first issued in India in 1997, five years after the 74th Constitutional Amendment decentralized urban local bodies and gave them autonomy; made them accountable to citizens, and reformed their finances enabling them to access capital markets and financial institutions.
  8. Environment and Ecology – ZSI projected 90% decline in Malayan Giant Squirrel - The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), in a first-of-its-kind study, has projected that numbers of the Malayan Giant Squirrel (Ratufa bicolor) could decline by 90% in India by 2050, and it could be extinct by then if urgent steps are not taken. Headquartered at Kolkata, ZSI is a subordinate organisation of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, established in 1916. It is a national centre for faunistic survey and exploration of the resources leading to the advancement of knowledge on the exceptionally rich faunal diversity of the country.
  9. Economy - Blanket interest waiver on all loans to be Rs 6 lakh crore - Centre to SC – The Centre informed the Supreme Court that if it were to consider waiving interest on all the loans and advances to all categories of borrowers for the six-month moratorium period announced by RBI in view of COVID-19 pandemic, then the amount foregone would be more than Rs 6 lakh crore. If the banks were to bear this burden, then it would necessarily wipe out a substantial and a major part of their net worth, rendering most of the lenders unviable and raising a very serious question mark over their very survival. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R S Reddy and M R Shah was informed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, that this was one of the main reasons why waiver of interest was not even contemplated and only payment of instalments was deferred.
  10. Constitution and Law - Gender Gap in Judiciary - The Supreme Court only has two women judges, as against the 34 seats reserved for women judges and there has never been a female Chief Justice of India (CJI). There are only 80 women (7.2% of the total number of judges) judges out of the total sanctioned strength of 1,113 judges in the SC and the HCs, out of which two in the SC. The Punjab and Haryana HCs has the maximum strength of women judges (11 out of 85 judges), followed by the Madras HC (9 out of 75 judges). Both Delhi and Bombay HCs have 8 women judges. The HCs of Manipur, Meghalaya, Patna, Tripura, Telangana, and Uttarakhand, do not have any women in the sitting judges. In the senior designation of lawyers, there are only 17 women senior counsel designates in the SC as opposed to 403 men. The Delhi HC has 8 women and 229 men designates. Similarly, in the Bombay HC, there are 6 women and 157 men designates.

Important Exam Notifications

S. No.

Institution

Exam or Post Name

Vacancies or Seats

Qualification

Last Date to Apply

Link for Details

1

Cotton Corporation of India Limited

Management Trainee, Junior Commercial Executive & Junior Asst.

95

Degree, PG, CA/ CMA

07-01-2021

https://www.freejobalert.com/cotton-corporation-of-india-recruitment/92806/

2

AAI

ITI, Graduate/ Diploma Apprentice

180

10th/ Voca. Cer., Dip/ Deg (Engg Disc.)

31-12-2020

https://www.freejobalert.com/aai/23620/#Apprentice

3

NIRD&PR

State Programme Coordinator, Young Fellow

510

12th Class, PG Degree, Diploma

29-12-2020

https://img.freejobalert.com/uploads/2020/12/Notification-NIRDPR-Coordinator-Fellow-Resource-Person-Posts.pdf

4

Jalma Inst. for Leprosy & Other Mycob Diseases

Research Assistant/ Project Asst, Project Technician I, II & III

11

12th with DMLT/ PMW, Grad, PG

24-12-2020               

https://www.jalma-icmr.org.in/pdf/Vacancies%20for%20various%20post-compressed.pdf

5

MANAGE

Business Manager, Manager, Content Developer & Consultant

7

M.Sc, MVSc/ M.F.Sc, M Tech/ MBA/ CA/ PGDM

25-12-2020               

http://cia.manage.gov.in/Notification.pdf

 
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    • SECTION 2 - DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS
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    • 1. CONSTITUTION AND LAW (Prelims, GS Paper 2, Essay paper)
1.1 Gender Gap in Judiciary
 

 
Introduction -
  • The Supreme Court only has two women judges, as against the 34 seats reserved for women judges and there has never been a female Chief Justice of India (CJI).
  • There are only 80 women (7.2% of the total number of judges) judges out of the total sanctioned strength of 1,113 judges in the SC and the HCs, out of which two in the SC.
  • The Punjab and Haryana HCs has the maximum strength of women judges (11 out of 85 judges), followed by the Madras HC (9 out of 75 judges).
  • Both Delhi and Bombay HCs have 8 women judges. The HCs of Manipur, Meghalaya, Patna, Tripura, Telangana, and Uttarakhand, do not have any women in the sitting judges.
  • In the senior designation of lawyers, there are only 17 women senior counsel designates in the SC as opposed to 403 men. The Delhi HC has 8 women and 229 men designates.
  • Similarly, in the Bombay HC, there are 6 women and 157 men designates.
Foremost reasons to have women in Judiciary -
  • The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 5 and SDG 16 in particular), address the global responsibility of having representation of women in public institutions such as the judiciary.
  • Women judges strengthen the judiciary and help to gain the trust of public. Judiciaries being perceived as being more transparent, inclusive, and representative of the people whose lives they affect.
  • Enhance the legitimacy of courts, sending a powerful signal that they are open and accessible to those who seek recourse to justice.
  • Women judges bring those lived experiences to their judicial actions, experiences that tend toward a more comprehensive and empathetic perspective.
Suggestions to increase the participation of women in Judiciary -
  • Presently, no data is centrally maintained on the number of women in tribunals or lower courts, the SC must direct the collection of data and also to determine the year-wise number of senior designates by all HCs.
  • Greater representation of women should be ensured at all levels including the SC, considering that the power of appointment rests almost exclusively with the SC Collegium.
  • The goal must be to achieve at least 50% representation of women in all leadership positions.
  • There should be a mandatory training of all lawyers on gender sensitization, specially of the Judges, who might belong to the “old school” and are maybe “patriarchal” in outlook.
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    • 2. ECONOMY (Prelims, GS Paper 3, Essay paper
2.1 Weekly Round-up
  • As per the data of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Foreign direct investment (FDI) into India grew by 15% to US $ 30 bn during the first half of the current fiscal. Inflow of FDI during April-Sept 2020-21 stood at US $ 26 bn. Sectors which attracted maximum foreign inflows during April-September 2020-21 included computer software and hardware (US$ 17.55 billion), services (US$ 2.25 billion), trading (US$ 949 billion), chemicals (US$ 437 million) and automobile (US$ 417 million). Singapore emerged as the largest source of FDI in India during the period with US$ 8.3 billion investments. It was followed by the US (US$ 7.12 billion), Cayman Islands (US$ 2.1 billion), Mauritius (US$ 2 billion), the Netherlands (US$ 1.5 billion), UK (US$ 1.35 billion), France (US$ 1.13 billion) and Japan (US$ 653 million).
  • At Rs 9.5 lakh crore, India’s fiscal deficit came in at 119% of the target of Rs 7.96 lakh crore seven months into the ongoing fiscal in October, data released by the Controller General of Accounts on November 27, 2020 showed.
  • Contracting for the eighth consecutive month, the output of eight core infrastructure sectors dropped by 2.5% in October. The production of eight core sectors had contracted 5.5% in October 2019, data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry showed on November 27, 2020.
  • PM Modi inaugurated the virtual 3rd Global Renewable Energy Investment Meeting and Expo, RE-Invest 2020. Modi said that the renewable energy capacity in India is currently 136 Giga Watts, which is about 36% of country’s total capacity.
  • India slashed import tax on crude palm oil to 27.5% from 37.5%. India is the world’s biggest importer of palm oil. It imports around 9 million tonnes of palm oil annually, mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Invest India has launched a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Investor Map for India, laying out 18 Investment Opportunity Areas (IOAs) in six SDG enabling sectors that include education, healthcare, agriculture and allied activities, financial services, renewable energy & alternatives and sustainable environment.

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    • 3. ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY (Prelims, GS Paper 3, Essay paper)

3.1 Not Available Today

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    • 4. FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Prelims, GS Paper 2, Essay paper)

4.1 Biden’s health team
 
 
Highlights –  
  • US President-elect Joe Biden has unveiled his health team, naming Xavier Becerra as Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Indian-American Dr Vivek Murthy as his Surgeon General.
  • Dr Anthony Fauci has been named as Chief Medical Adviser to the President on COVID-19, while Dr Rochelle Walensky has been named as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith as COVID-19 Equity Task Force Chair.
  • Becerra is currently the Attorney General of California and a former member of Congress who helped drive passage of the Affordable Care Act. He led the defence of the law in the Supreme Court last month. If confirmed, Becerra will be the first Latino to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • A distinguished physician, research scientist, and former Vice Admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Dr Murthy is nominated to serve as Surgeon General of the United States. A trusted national voice on health issues and a long-time advisor to Biden, he currently serves as co-chair of the President-elect’s COVID-19 transition Advisory Board.
  • Murthy, 43, served as Surgeon General of the United States during the Obama administration and had to leave abruptly when Donald Trump became the US President.
  • Jeff Zients, an accomplished public servant widely known for his extraordinary track record successfully managing large and complex initiatives, will serve as Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response and Counselor to the President.
  • Natalie Quillian will serve as Deputy Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response.
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    • 5. GOVERNMENT SCHEMES (Prelims, GS Paper 2, GS Paper 3)
5.1 Not Available Today
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    • 6. MISCELLANEOUS (Prelims, Various GS Papers)
6.1 Armed Forces Flag Day
 

 
Key points –
  • The Armed Forces Flag Day or the Flag Day of India is a day dedicated to India towards collection of funds from people of India for the welfare of the Indian Armed Forces personnel.
  •  It has been observed annually in India on December 7 since 1949. Over the years, it has become a tradition to commemorate this day as an honour to the soldiers, sailors and airmen of India.
History –
  • Immediately after India achieved independence, a need arose for the government to manage the welfare of its defence personnel.
  • On August 28, 1949, a committee set up under the defence minister decided to observe a Flag Day annually on December 7. The idea behind observing a Flag Day was to distribute small flags to the general population and in return collect donations.
  • Flag Day gains more significance as it considers that it is the responsibility of the civilian population of India to take care of the families and dependents of the armed forces personnel who fight for the country.
  • The flag is similar to that of the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence, first utilised in 1956, and is a common colour-scheme in British-aligned territories, used by fellow Commonwealth members Cyprus, India, Kenya and Nigeria.
Importance –
  • The Flag day is mainly observed to serve three basic purposes – rehabilitation of battle casualties; welfare of serving personnel and their families; resettlement and welfare of ex-servicemen and their families.
  • On the Flag Day all three branches of the Indian armed forces, the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy, arrange a variety of shows, carnivals, dramas and other entertainment programmes to showcase to the general public the efforts of their personnel to ensure national security.
  • Throughout the country small flags and car flags in red, deep blue and light blue colours representing the three Services are distributed in return for donations.
Flag Day Fund –
  • The original Flag Day Fund was set up in 1949, by the Defence Minister's Committee. In 1993, the Defence Ministry of India consolidated related welfare funds into a single Armed Forces Flag Day fund.
  • Those funds include: Amalgamated Special Fund for War Bereaved, War Disabled and other ex-Servicemen/Serving Personnel; Flag Day Fund; St Dunstan's (India) and Kendriya Sainik Board Fund; Indian Gorkha Ex-Servicemen's Welfare Fund.
  • The fund collection is managed throughout the country by the local arms of the Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB), which is part of the Ministry of Defence.
6.2 Weekly Round-up – Corporate World
  • Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) gave in-principle approval for the merger of Bharti AXA General with ICICI Lombard. Bharti Enterprises currently owns 51% stake in Bharti AXA General Insurance, while French insurer AXA has 49%.
  • Adani Gas Ltd, the city gas distribution firm of billionaire Gautam Adani's group, will change its name to Adani Total Gas to reflect French energy giant Total's stake in the firm. Adani Gas is now "a joint venture company of Adani Group and TOTAL Group, France with 37.40 per cent stake by each promoter and remaining 25.20 per cent with public shareholders
  • The government in Nov 2020 blocked access to 43 more Chinese mobile apps, including Alibaba Workbench, AliExpress, Alipay Cashier, CamCard and WeDate, for being prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity and defence of the nation.
  • The National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA) has found three subsidiaries of Procter & Gamble (P&G) group of making Rs 241 crore in aggregate by not passing the reduction in goods and services tax (GST) to consumers. Procter & Gamble Home Products Pvt. Ltd was found to be profiteering Rs 181 crore, Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care Ltd Rs 2 crore and Gillette India Ltd Rs 58 crore.
  • Tech giant IBM on November 26, 2020 said it has collaborated with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to create a robust education and skilling ecosystem through the Common Services Centre Academy. CSC Academy, part of the Common Services Centre (CSC), and IBM, will foster the capability and development of learners with diverse backgrounds and educational needs.
  • Faqir Chand Kohli, the first CEO of Tata Consultancy Services and father of India’s software industry died in Nov2020 at the age of 96. Kohli, who studied a Master’s degree from MIT in US, returned to India joining Tata Electric Co in 1951 to set up the country’s first load dispatch centre. In 1969, the Tata group doyen J R D Tata asked Kohli to set up TCS, after Tata Electric installed a computer system to control the electric line between Mumbai and Pune.
  • James Wolfensohn, who served as President of the World Bank from June 1995 to May 2005, died on November 26, 2020 at the age of 86. Born in Australia, he became a U.S. citizen in 1980.
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    • 7. POLITY (Prelims, GS Paper 2)
7.1 Not Available Today

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    • 8. SOCIAL ISSUES (Prelims, GS Paper 1, GS Paper 2)

8.1 Cost of cybercrime – more than $1 trillion
 


The McAfee report –
  • The growing cybercrime incidents now cost the world economy more than $1 trillion, or just more than one per cent of global GDP, which is up more than 50 per cent from a 2018 report that put global losses at close to $600 billion.
  • Two-thirds of surveyed companies reported some kind of cyber incident in 2019 and the average cost was more than half a million dollars per incident.
  • IP theft and financial crime account for at least 75 per cent of cyber losses and pose the greatest threat to companies.
  • The report titled 'The Hidden Costs of Cybercrime,' also explored the damage reported beyond financial losses, revealing that 92 percent of businesses felt there were other negative effects on their business beyond financial costs and lost work hours after a cyber incident.
  • Damage to companies also includes downtime, brand reputation and reduced efficiency and 56 per cent of surveyed organisations said they do not have a plan to both prevent and respond to a cyber-incident.
  • Out of the 951 organisations that actually had a response plan, only 32 per cent said the plan was effective.
  • The system downtime was a common experience for around two thirds of respondents' organisations.
  • The average cost to organisations from their longest amount of downtime in 2019 was $762,231.
  • Thirty-three per cent of survey respondents stated that IT security incident resulting in system downtime cost them between $100,000 and $500,000.
  • It took an average of 19 hours for most organisations to move from the discovery of an incident to remediation.
  • Nearly 26 per cent of the respondents identified damage to brand from the downtime experienced because of a cyber-attack.
8.2 International Civil Aviation Day 2020
 
Highlights–
  • December 7 is observed as International Civil Aviation Day. The day highlights and reinforces worldwide awareness on the importance of international civil aviation for the social and economic development of countries.
  • It also reminds us of the unique role of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in helping countries to cooperate and realize a global rapid transportation network at the service of all human beings.
  • Seventy-five years since the ICAO's foundation, the International Civil Aviation network carries over four billion passengers every year.
  • According to the UN, the global Air Transport sector supports 65.5 million jobs and USD 2.7 trillion in global economic activity. The industry employs over 10 million women and men to ensure 1,20,000 flights and 12 million passengers are carried safely to their destinations every day.
  • According to research by the Air Transport Action Group, the wider supply chain, flow-on impacts and jobs in tourism made possible by air transport have shown that at least 65.5 million jobs and 3.6 percent of global economic activity are made possible by the aviation industry.
History and Importance –
  • The International Day of Civil Aviation was established in 1994 to mark the International Civil Aviation Organization's golden jubilee activities.
  • In 1996, following up the ICAO initiative and with the support of the Canadian Government, the UN General Assembly officially recognized December 7 as International Civil Aviation Day in the UN system.
  • Agenda 2030 has been adopted by the UN and world nations that have embarked on a new era in global sustainable development.
  • With the coronavirus pandemic and aviation industry facing a crisis, the importance of aviation as an engine of global connectivity has never been more relevant to the Chicago Convention’s objectives to look to international flight as a fundamental enabler of global peace and prosperity.
Theme – 2020
  • In recognition of ICAO’s 75th anniversary, the Council selected the theme “75 Years of Connecting the World” for the 2019 celebrations. However, from this year until 2023, the Council has decided that the theme will be “Advancing Innovation for Global Aviation Development”.
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    • 9. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (Prelims, GS Paper 3)
9.1 Not Available Today
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    • 10. FACTS, CHARTS, RANKINGS and EDITORIALS (Prelims + GS Mains)
10.1 Not Available Today
 
10.2 Daily dose of  FIVE Facts -
  • PM Modi in Nov 2020 released a special stamp and Rs 100 coin to commemorate the foundation day of the University of Lucknow.
  • Full-form of the Govt. scheme PM-KUSUM  is Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan.
  • The 15th East Asia Summit (EAS), held in Nov 2020, was chaired by the Prime Minister of Vietnam.
  • Retail inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), in Sept 2020 was 7.34%.
  • The Blue Flag certification is accorded to beaches around the world by the Denmark-based Foundation for Environment Education.
10.3 Today's best editorials to read
  • We offer you 7 excellent editorials from across 10 newspapers we have scanned. 
CLICK HERE TO OPEN AND READ!

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    • SECTION 3 - MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions)

Solve the online quiz given, right now. Check scores, and relative performance!





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PT's IAS Academy: Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 09-12-2020
Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 09-12-2020
Useful compilation of Civil Services oriented - Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 09-12-2020
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PT's IAS Academy
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