Daily GK Update: 20th December 2019

HDFC Bank becomes third Indian company to cross $100 billion-mark

  • HDFC Bank now ranks 110th in the list of world’s most valued companies
  • Among the world’s most valued banks and financial companies which have a market cap of over $100 billion, HDFC Bank is ranked at 26
  • The surge in the HDFC Bank’s share price comes after most analysts remain bullish on the stock


5G trials to start in January-March quarter this fiscal

The 5G trials are expected to begin in the last quarter of the current fiscal, and the government has neither approved nor rejected any applicant so far, a senior telecom department official said on Tuesday. Asked if the government has taken a decision on Huawei’s participation, the official said that 12 applications have been received for 5G trials and that it has not rejected or approved any proposal so far.

Source : The Economic Times

Dunzo, Throttle get nod to test long-range drones

  • India’s civil aviation authority has selected the applications of Google-backed hyperlocal delivery startup Dunzo and Bengaluru-based drone maker Throttle Aerospace Systems to test long-range and autonomous drone use, according to industry experts and top officials aware of the developments.
  • The approvals are a part of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) experimental programme, called beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations, which was notified in May. The BVLOS Experiment Assessment and Monitoring (BEAM) Committee will oversee the evidence collected on the use of drones and their safety aspects and submit findings before India frames laws for longrange and autonomous drone use.

Source : The Economic Times

Centre okays ₹66,000 cr Kerala semi-high speed rail project

  • Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here on Tuesday claimed through a Facebook post that the Centre had given in-principle approval to the ₹66,000 crore Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod semi-high speed rail (SHSR) corridor project.
  • The order was issued by the Ministry of Railways and conveyed to Kerala Chief Secretary Tom Jose, Vijayan wrote.
  • It’s joint venture of the Kerala government and the Ministry of Railways. SHSR, named Silver Line, is envisaged to cut travel time between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod from 12 hours to 4 hours.

Source : Livemint.com

PM Modi addresses centenary celebrations of ASSOCHAM

  • It takes four words to say &lsquoEase of Doing Business&rsquo, but rankings improve when the government and entire system works day in and out, by going to the grassroots level: PM
  • Today, India is among the most business friendly nations worldwide: PM Modi
    We are moving towards Faceless Tax Administration to bring Transparency, Efficiency and Accountability in the tax system: PM
  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said that the goal of achieving the 5 Trillion Dollar Economy is achievable.
  • He was participating at the inaugural session of the Hundred Years of ASSOCHAM in New Delhi today.

Source : narendramodi.in

First vegetable shipment from Varanasi flagged off to Dubai via sea route

  • First trial shipment of fresh vegetables sourced from Varanasi region was flagged off from Mumbai to Dubai via sea route on Friday.
  • Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) — as part of its efforts to promote exports from India’s agriculture produce rich regions — had sent the first trial shipment of vegetables by sea route from Varanasi to Dubai, Commerce and Industry Ministry said in a statement.

Source : Business Standard

Railways Ministry signs MoU with University of Birmingham for establishing Centre of Excellence

The National Rail Transport Institute, a deemed to be university under the Ministry of Railways, signed an MoU with the University of Birmingham in Rail Bhawan, New Delhi on December 18th, 2019 to set up its first Centre of Excellence for Next Generation Transportation Systems. The MoU was signed by Mr. Vinod Kumar Yadav, Chairman, Railway Board and Chancellor of NRTI, and Professor Clive Roberts, Head of the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) at the University of Birmingham.

Source : Business Standard

IIT Hyderabad Fellow Launches ‘Vaccination On Wheels’ In Collaboration With Gates Foundation

  • Jigneh Patel, a fellow at the Center for Healthcare Entrepreneurship (CfHE) at IIT Hyderabad, has launched a Vaccination on Wheels Clinic in Pune.
  • The one of its kind service has been started in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Mr.
  • Patel had received a grant under the Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations.
  • Called ‘VaccineOnWheels.com’ as they have adopted VOW (Vaccination On Wheels) concept, this clinic will go to schools, colleges and corporates to conduct vaccination camps at their doorsteps. It will offer only vaccination services.

Source : NDTV

NITI Aayog to draft roadmap for population stabilisation

  • Government think tank Niti Aayog on Friday will hold a consultative meeting to discuss a roadmap for population stabilisation and come out with a working paper to address key gaps in India’s family planning programmes.
  • Increasing the basket of contraceptive choices and helping women make informed choices about delaying pregnancy are among the key recommendations expected to emerge from the meeting, the Aayog said in a release.
  • The meeting, which is being organised in partnership with Population Foundation of India (PFI), will deliberate on ways and means of strengthening India’s population policy and family planning programmes.
  • The Aayog said that India is at a stage where birth rates are falling but the population continues to grow due to the fact that more than 30 per cent of the population is young and in the reproductive age group.

Source : India Today

Portugal announces Gandhi Citizenship Education Prize

Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa has announced the Gandhi Citizenship Education Award, inspired by his thoughts and life, to help perpetuate the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi. Antonio Costa said that Gandhi Citizenship Award will be dedicated to social welfare.

Source : Jagran Josh

GST Council votes for a change, shifts lotteries to highest slab

  • The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Wednesday departed from its practice of consensus-based decision-making, opting the first time for a vote to settle differences among states over the taxation of lotteries.
  • The council also deliberated upon a presentation made by a committee of officers set up to study revenue augmentation, but refrained from any generalised rate increase or removal of exemptions.

Source : The Economic Times

Indian Navy & Coast Guard conduct largest-ever anti-hijacking Exercise ‘Apharan’

  • The Indian Navy, in collaboration with Indian Coast Guard, Cochin Port Trust, and other concerned stake holders, conducted a large scale Anti Hijacking Exercise off the Port of Kochi on 18 December.
  • This was the first time that such a large scale exercise involving all stake holders has been conducted in Kerala.
  • The Exercise, code named ‘Apharan’, saw the participation of multiple agencies, including more than 12 ships and helicopters of the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and Cochin Port Trust.
  • As part of the scenario, interdiction of a ‘rogue’ vessel outside Kochi port and insertion of Marine Commandos (MarCos) onto the rogue/hijacked vessel through boarding operations, as well as slithering down onto its deck from a Sea King helicopter, were exercised.

Source : Indus Dictum