Daily GK Update: 17th December 2019

UNHCR will host the world’s first Global Refugee Forum

  • The first ever Global Refugee Forum will take place on 17 and 18 December 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The event, which is being held at Ministerial level, will be co-hosted with Switzerland and co-convened by Turkey, Germany, Ethiopia and Costa Rica. Additional co-convening arrangements are being explored and will be announced in due course.
  • The Secretary-General of the United Nations is expected to attend.

Source : UNHCR The UN Refugee Anency

ICMR issues guidelines for gene therapy in India

  • The apex health research body ICMR has released national guidelines regarding the procedures to be followed for developing and performing gene therapies to tackle inherited genetic or rare diseases in India.
  • Gene therapy is a technique that uses genetic modifications to treat or prevent ailments. As a part of the procedure, clinicians treat a disorder by inserting a gene into the cells of patients instead of using drugs or performing surgery.
Source : Business Standard

Supreme Court issues order on completion of ‘Smog Tower Project’ within 3 months

On December 16, 2019, the Supreme Court of India ordered the Centre and the Delhi Government’s to hasten the pilot project of setting up smog towers at Connaught Place.

DRDO successfully test fires supersonic cruise missile BrahMos at Orissa’s Chandipur

  • Supersonic cruise missile BrahMos was successfully test-fired from a base in Odisha’s Chandipur on Tuesday, Defence sources said.
  • The land-attack version of the missile was test-fired from a mobile autonomous launcher at Launch Complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near here at around 8.30 am, they said.

Source : The Print

India, Germany ink pact for Rs 1,958 crore finance to develop energy-efficient housing programme

  • India has secured a USD 277 million (about Rs 1,900 crore) loan from Germany to establish an energy-efficient housing programme in the country.
  • A loan agreement has been signed between State Bank of IndiaNSE -1.31 % (SBI) and German development bank KfW for USD 277 million to establish an energy-efficient housing programme in India, SBI said in a release.
  • The financial cooperation pact has been signed in October between the Government of India and the Government of Germany.

Source : The Economic Times

Amitabha Bagchi wins DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2019 for Half the Night is Gone

Novelist Amitabha Bagchi has won this year’s DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2019 for his novel Half the Night is Gone. His name was announced at the IME Nepal Literature Festival and he was awarded the prize by the Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali and DSC Prize co-founder Surina Narula.
The news was announced on the official Twitter handle of The DSC Prize. The tweet read, “The moment we have been waiting for is here. Jury Chair Harish Trivedi announces Amitabha Bagchi as the winner of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2019 for his novel “Half the Night is Gone”


Sridhar Patra appointed NALCO CMD

  • Sridhar Patra was on Monday appointed as the chairman-cum-managing director of NALCO, a Personnel Ministry order said.
  • Patra is at present Director (Finance) in the National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO).
  • He has been appointed as the CMD of NALCO till the date of his superannuation, i.e. October 31, 2024, the order said.

Source : Business Standard

Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane to be next Army chief

  • lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane will be the next Chief of Army Staff leading the 1.3 million-strong force. He is currently serving as Vice Chief of the Army.
  • Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat is due to retire on December 31 after a three-year stint. He is expected to be appointed as the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff.
  • Before taking charge as vice chief of the Army Staff in September, Lt Gen Naravane was heading the Eastern Command of the Army which takes care of India’s nearly 4,000-km border with China.
  • “It is an honour to be given this responsibility,” Lt Gen MM Naravane said in his first reaction after appointment as next Army chief.

Source : India Today

Urban Affairs min launches DDA portal for registration of properties in unauthorised colonies

  • Union Housing and Urban Affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday launched a portal of Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for registration of properties in unauthorised colonies in the city.
  • Puri said that the the government is committed to benefit 50 lakh residents of unauthorised colonies.
  • Out of 1,731 unauthorised colonies, 1,500 have already been demarcated and maps of more than 1,100 have been uploaded on the portal, he said.
  • Delhi’s Lt Governor Anil Baijal was present on the occasion.
  • Puri also inaugurated a project for construction of a socio-cultural centre in Rohini that will cost Rs 350 crore.

Source : Business Standard

NPCI sets up subsidiary for exporting UPI to international markets: RBI governor

  • The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has setup a subsidiary to export the much acclaimed Unified Payment Interface or UPI for governments and central banks interested in implementing similar instant fund transfer in their countries, Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das said here on Monday.
  • The subsidiary, apart from taking the technology to foreign markets, will also look at various business propositions exporting the payment solution will bring to the NPC.

Source : The Economic Times

Air Marshal D Choudhury is new Commandant of National Defence College, Delhi

  • Air Marshal D Choudhury took charge as Commandant of National Defence College from Vice Admiral Srikant in New Delhi yesterday. Prior to this appointment, Air Marshal Choudhury was senior Air Staff Officer at the Headquarters of Western Air Command, New Delhi.
  • Air Marshal Choudhury is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and was commissioned into the fighter stream of the India Air Force on 22 December 1983. The Air Marshal also an alumnus of the Royal College of Defence studies, UK, Post Graduate in Strategy and International Security from King’s College London, and also holds an M. Phil degree in Defence and Strategic Studies.

Source : Indus Dictum

India slips to 112th rank on gender gap index; in bottom 5 on health, economic fronts

  • India ranked lower than many of its international peers, and some of its neighbours like China (106th), Sri Lanka (102nd), Nepal (101st), Brazil (92nd), Indonesia (85th) and Bangladesh (50th)
  • India has slipped four places on the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap index to 112, behind neighbours China, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh, due to rising disparity in terms of women’s health and participation in the economy.
  • Moreover, India is now ranked in the bottom-five in terms of women’s health and survival and economic participation, according to an annual survey report released on Tuesday.

Source : Business Today