Banking & Financial Awareness
1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched an app for visually challenged to Identify currency Denomination ____MANI.
➢ The full form of ‘MANI’ is the “Mobile Aided Note Identifier”.
➢ The visually challenged people can identify the denomination of a currency note by using the mobile app “MANI”. The application also works offline once installed.
➢ MANI application scans currency notes using camera and gives audio output in Hindi and English.
2. India may overtake Germany to become the fourth-largest economy by ____ 2026.
➢ The report titled 'World Economic League Table 2020' was released by the UK-based Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).
➢ According to the report, India is expected to become the fourth-largest economy by 2026 and the third-largest by 2034.
➢ The CEBR report states that India would surpass Germany to become the fourth-largest economy by 2026 and further topple Japan in 2034 to become the third-largest economy.
3. Health insurance policy in the name ‘Arogya Sanjeevani’ mandatory for insurance companies ____IRDAI
➢ The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) has introduced a standard health cover policy that must be offered by all general and standalone health insurers.
➢ As per the guidelines issued by the IRDAI, every general and standalone health insurer should offer a standard health product, the Arogya Sanjeevani Policy, with a minimum sum insured of Rs 1 lakh, with the upper limit of Rs 5 lakh. The policy term will be for one year.
➢ The Arogya Sanjeevani policy is a first of its kind standard health insurance product that will help easy availability of health insurance.
4. Public sector lender has signed an MoU with the Women Entrepreneurs Welfare Association (WEWA), Tamil Nadu___ Indian Bank
➢ The bank, which has dedicated products specially designed for women customers, will provide loans to WEWA members at special discounted rates.
➢ Training will be given to the WEWA members in the INDSETIs (Indian Bank Self Employment Training Institutes).
➢ WEWA aims at adding 1,000 members by 2023 and requested the bank to provide the skill training to their members as per the interest and choice of the members.
5. CSC e-Governance Services India Limited has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL) for sale of______ FASTags.
➢ The agreement will facilitate the sale of PPBL FASTags through the last mile network of 3.6 lakh CSCs, helping realize the government's vision of cashless and smooth transit at all toll plazas across the country.
➢ For this, CSC will integrate its platform with Paytm Payments Bank to carry out seamless transactions.
➢ FASTags, which work on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology -- have been made mandatory at toll gates on national highways.
6. Who partnered with RevFin to offer life cover ___ PNB MetLife.
➢ RevFin, a digital lending start-up has partnered with PNB MetLife India Insurance Company to provide life insurance to its customers by bundling life insurance cover on their loans.
➢ This partnership supports financial inclusion by helping to secure the families of the borrowers against loan repayment burden in the event of the unfortunate demise of the borrower during the loan term.
➢ RevFin customers who have taken a loan to buy an electric three-wheeler can take advantage of this tie-up, and cover their outstanding loan amount during the loan tenure.
7. Who has introduced One Time Password (OTP)-based ATM cash withdrawals___ State Bank of India.
➢ The step has been taken to reduce the occurrences of unauthorised transactions happening at ATMs.
➢ SBI introduced one-time password for every cash withdrawal of Rs 10,000 and above between 8 am and 8 pm.
➢ It has been effective from January 1, 2020 across all SBI ATMs.
8. Who has enabled select banks in India to offer round-the-clock (24×7) trading in the Indian rupee___ Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
➢ The select banks in India offered Indian customers foreign exchange rates only in inter-bank market hours from 9 am – 5 pm.
➢ This decision will also make the offshore currency markets in countries like Dubai & Singapore less attractive for Indian investors.
1. Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader passed away in New Delhi____ DP Tripathi.
➢ He was the general secretary of the Nationalist Congress Party and a former students' union leader.
➢ Despite visual impairment, he worked throughout life. He has also written several books, including Congress and Independent India, Jawahar Satkam, Celebrating Faiz and Nepal Transition-A way forward among others.
2. Noted Assamese theatre personality passed away ___ Ratna Ojha.
➢ Eminent Assamese dramatist, litterateur and social activist Ratna Ojha (88) passed away in Guwahati, Assam.
➢ Recipient of the prestigious Natyasurya Award in 2005 for his contributions to theatre, Ojha had introduced street plays in Assam in 1971 with his skit 'Kokaideo' to revive the theatre movement in the state that was fading with the death of his mentor Phani Sarma.
3. Irani Gen killed in US airstrike on Baghdad airport ___ Qassem Soleimani.
➢ General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC's) Quds Force, and architect of its regional security apparatus has been killed following a US airstrike at Baghdad's international airport.
➢ The strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).
4. Former Karnataka Governor passes away ____ T N Chaturvedi.
➢ Former Governor of Karnataka T N Chaturvedi (90-years) passed away at a private hospital in Noida.
➢ Chaturvedi was the 14th Governor of Karnataka (from 2002–2007).
➢ He also served as of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) from 1984 to 1989.
1. The World Braille Day is observed across the world every year on ___4th January.
➢ The day mark the birth anniversary of Louis Braille.
➢ He was the inventor of Braille script or Braille code.
➢ Braille is a tactile writing system used by people who are visually impaired.
➢ Braille users can read computer screens and other electronic supports thanks to refreshable braille displays.
➢ People can write braille with the original slate and stylus or type it on a braille writer, such as a portable braille notetaker (or computer) that prints with a braille embosser.
1. Who has been re-appointed as Railway Board Chairman for a period of one year____ VK Yadav.
➢ Mr. Yadav had taken over as Railway Board Chairman from Ashwani Lohani, who had retired from the post in December 2018.
➢ Earlier, Yadav had held the post of General Manager of South Central Railway (SCR).
➢ He is an electrical engineer and belongs to the 1980 batch of the Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers.
2. The Union government has set up a 7 members Group of Minister (GoM) to review the crop insurance scheme, “Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) headed by ____ Rajnath Singh (Defence Minister).
➢ The GoM will also make suggestions to improve the insurance scheme according to the needs of the farmers.
➢ The GoM includes home minister Amit Shah and agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar, the ministers of state for agriculture, finance, tribal affairs, and animal husbandry.
➢ The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) was launched on 14th January 2016 to provide financial support to farmers suffering from crop loss or damage due to an unforeseen event.
3. Who appointed as the new chancellor of Queen's University Belfast in Ireland___ Hillary Clinton.
➢ Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been appointed the new chancellor of Queen's University in Belfast, Ireland for a five-year term.
➢ She became the university's first female chancellor.
➢ The position of chancellor has been vacant since the death in 2018 of Thomas J Moran, chairman, president, and chief executive of Mutual of America Life Insurance Company.
4. Iran's supreme leader named the Deputy Head of the Revolutionary Guards' foreign operations arm Esmail Qaani ___ Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
➢ Earlier, Soleimani was killed in a pre-dawn US strike in Baghdad.
➢ Qaani was one of the most decorated commanders of the Guards during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.
5. Who has been appointed as the Chairperson and Managing Director of Shipping Corporation of India (SCI)___ Harjeet Kaur Joshi.
➢ Harjeet Kaur is currently the Director Finance at SCI and, since September 12, has been holding the additional charge of the Chairperson and Managing Director of the navratna PSU.
➢ Harjeet Kaur will become the first lady to head SCI, which is 63.75 percent owned by the government.
➢ She will take charge of SCI at a time when the government is planning to privatize the shipping company.
6. Who has been appointed as Chairman of National Medical Commission __ Dr. Suresh Chandra Sharma.
➢ He is Professor and Head of ENT – Head and Neck Surgery at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
➢ Regarding this, an order was issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
➢ Health Ministry bureaucrat RK Vats, who has also been Medical Council of India (MCI) Secretary-General, has been named Secretary General of NMC.
7. Dubai-based Indian girl who can sing in 120 languages wins Global Child Prodigy Award___ Sucheta Satish.
➢ The 13-year-old Sucheta Satish, known as the Dubai Indian High School's nightingale, won in the singing category.
➢ The Global Child Prodigy Award is a platform to celebrate children's talent and power in different categories such as dancing, music, arts, writing, acting, modelling, science, innovation, sports, etc.
8. Best Motion Picture (Drama) in ‘Golden Globe Awards 2020’ ___1917.
➢ The 77th Golden Globe Awards, which honor the movies and American Television were distributed on 6th January 2020 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California.
➢ Best film – drama: 1917
➢ Best actress in a film – drama: Renee Zellweger, Judy
➢ Best actor in a film – drama: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
➢ Best film – musical or comedy: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
➢ Best score – film: Joker
➢ Best director – film: Sam Mendes, 1917
➢ Best song – film: I’m Gonna Love Me Again, Rocketman
Important News – India
1. Who has released SDG India Index and Dashboard 2019___ NITI Aayog.
➢ Government think tank the NITI Aayog has Aayog has released the 2nd edition of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index and dashboard for the year 2019 in New Delhi.
➢ The Index comprehensively documents the progress made by India’s States and Union Territories towards achieving the 2030 SDG targets.
➢ Kerala achieved the first rank in the composite SDG Index with a score of 70, followed by Himachal Pradesh at 69. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu ranked at the third position with the score of 67.
➢ While Bihar is at the bottom of Niti Aayog’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index.
2. India's second spaceport for launching small satellites will be established in Tamil Nadu's ____Thoothukudi district.
➢ The country's first spaceport is at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 90 km northeast of Chennai. Thoothukudi is about 600 km southeast of Chennai. The new location is ideal for launching smaller satellites of less than 500 kg in the sun-synchronous orbit.
3. The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) will conduct the Asiatic Lion Census in_____ May 2020.
➢ Around 8,000-10,000 cameras will be used to carry out the 2020 lion census in Gujarat, the last abode of the Asiatic lion.
➢ The 2015 lion census had counted 523 lions in the state.
➢ The number is expected to have risen phenomenally the population may have crossed the 1,000-mark.
➢ The entire census area is to be divided into a 3-km grid. Officers will collect hair, nails, teeth, etc.
➢ The collection process is to be carried out using scientific methods laid out by NTCA.
4. The Ministry of Agriculture announced that the sowing area of rabi crops has increased by ____36 lakh hectares.
➢ This is mainly due to the improvement in soil moisture in Rabi growing states.
➢ The total area under Rabi crops was 536 hectares last year and this has increased to 571 hectares. Of these, wheat has been sown in 297 lakh hectares, rice has been sown in 14 lakh hectares, coarse cereals in 46 lakh hectares and oilseeds in 74 lakh hectares.
5. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated 107th edition of Indian Science Congress in ____Bengaluru.
➢ The theme of ISC 2020 is “Science and Technology: Rural Development”. The event brings together science fraternity across the world to discuss scientific innovation and research.
➢ Over 15,000 participants, including Nobel Laureates, scientists, intellectuals, academicians, policymakers, researchers, students and delegates from different institutions are participating in the event.
➢ There will be 28 Plenary Sessions during the event, on areas ranging from Climate Smart Agriculture for Food Security, Crop Improvement Towards Food and Nutrition Security to Artificial Intelligence and Medical Technology.
6. Labour Ministry to launch a portal for the speedy resolution of grievances ___ Santusht.
➢ The labour ministry has announced to launch a new portal 'Santusht' for the speedy redressal of workers as well as employer grievances and ensuring effective implementation of labour laws at the grassroots level.
➢ Initially, ‘Santusht’ would monitor all services provided by retirement fund body EPFO and health insurance and services provider ESIC to formal sector workers.
➢ Workers and employers can lodge their complaints on the portal, which would be managed by an internal monitoring cell comprising five to six officers.
7. city will host the 14th Global Healthcare Summit 2021____ Visakhapatnam.
➢ The brochure of the summit was released on 30 December 2019 by MP M.V.V. Satyanarayana.
➢ The focus of the Global Health Summit is an Indian-centric approach, with special events such as global impact and India’s contribution in providing cost-effective medicines and addressing the shortage of healthcare professionals.
➢ For the first time, the 14th Global Health Care summit will be held in AP and is expected to boost the healthcare in the region.
8. HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal has inaugurated the 28th edition of annual New Delhi World Book Fair at Pragati Maidan in____ New Delhi.
➢ As part of Mahatma Gandhiji's 150 birth anniversary celebrations, the theme of this year is Gandhi:The Writers' Writer.
➢ Eminent Gandhian scholar Girishwar Mishra is the chief guest on the occasion.
➢ The book fair organised by National Book Trust (NBT).
➢ Other features at the fair will include -- Theme pavilion, authors' corner, seminar hall, braille books, children's pavilion and foreign countries' pavilion.
9. Indian Railways launches integrated helpline number for passengers ___139.
➢ The Indian Railways has integrated its helpline numbers into a single number 139 for quick grievance redressal and enquiries by passengers during their train journeys.
➢ The new helpline number 139 will take over all the existing helpline numbers.
➢ It will be easy for passengers to remember this number and connect with Railways for all their needs during train travel.
10. Twenty-two tableau proposals (16-states and 6- Central Ministries) have been short-listed for participation in this year's ______Republic Day parade.
➢ Ministry of Defence had received a total of 56 tableaux proposals comprising 32 from States and 24 from Ministries in this regard.
➢ The tableaux proposals received are evaluated in a series of meetings of the Expert Committee comprising of eminent persons in the field of art, culture, painting, sculpture, music and architecture.
➢ Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to be the chief guest at India's Republic Day celebrations in 2020.
11. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the National Traders Convention in ____New Delhi.
➢ The convention has been organized by the Confederation of All India Traders and will deliberate upon various issues concerning traders.
➢ The aim of this convention will be to discuss the role of the trading community in achieving a 5 trillion dollar economy goal. today said NDA government is committed to protect the interests of traders and to promote ease of doing business.
12. Third international symposium on marine ecosystems – challenges and opportunities (MECOS-3) is to be held in____ Kochi.
➢ Eminent marine scientists, oceanographers, fisheries researchers, and marine biotechnologists from across the globe are expected to participate in it.
13. 5th Global Drosophila Conference held at _____Pune.
➢ The fifth edition of the Asia Pacific Drosophila Research Conference (APDRC5) was held in Pune.
➢ The conference was organized in the country for the first time by the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER).
14. India extends USD 75 mn line of credit for solar parks in___Cuba.
➢ Export-Import Bank (Exim Bank) has given a $75 million line of credit to Cuba for financing 75 MW Photovoltaic Solar Parks.
➢ Exim Bank is the premier export finance institution of India.
➢ Regarding this, the Exim Bank has entered into an agreement with Banco Exterior De Cuba on July 16, 2019.
15. Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has inaugurated the first silk processing plant at Surendranagar in ____Gujarat.
➢ This would help cut down the cost of production of silk yarn drastically and increase the sale and availability of raw material for Gujarati 'Patola' sarees locally.
➢ The plant has been set up by a khadi institution at a cost of Rs 75 lakh, in which KVIC has contributed Rs 60 lakh.