Current affairs (6TH & 7th DECEMBER)
BANGLADESH SIGNED ITS FIRST PTA WITH BHUTAN
- Bangladesh has signed its first Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Bhutan, which will allow duty-free access to a range of goods between the two countries and hence boost bilateral trade between them.
- Under the PTA, 100 Bangladeshi products will get duty free access to Bhutan, while 34 items from Bhutan will get duty free access into Bangladesh.
- Further items can be added in the list later on the basis of discussion between the two countries. This is the first PTA signed by Bangladesh with any country in the world since its independence in 1971.
- The PTA was signed on 6th December 2020, to mark 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and Bhutan.
- In 1971, Bhutan was the first country in the world to recognise Bangladesh as an independent country.
COREY ANDERSON RETIRED FROM ALL FORMS OF CRICKET
- New Zealand all-rounder, Corey Anderson has announced his retirement from international cricket.
- Anderson has played 13 Tests, 49 ODIs and 31 T20Is for New Zealand, scoring 2277 runs with two hundred and 10 half-centuries and 90 wickets.
- Anderson has signed a 3-year contract with Major League Cricket (MLC) in the USA, where he will serve in the Major and Minor League Cricket and coaching ventures at the cricket academies that come under the MLC.
- Anderson rose to fame after scoring fastest 100 in the history of One Day International cricket (ODI), in 36-ball against West Indies in January 2014.
- However, this record was broken by AB de Villiers, in January 2015 who scored the fastest ODI century against the West Indies in Johannesburg in 31 balls.
CHINA: 2ND NATION TO UNFURL FLAG ON THE MOON
- China has become the second country in the world to unfurl its national flag on the moon surface.
- Earlier this feat was achieved only by the USA when it planted its flag on the Moon during the Apollo mission in 1969.
- China achieved the historic feat when ‘Chang’e 5‘ probe of China, which was launched to collect soil and rock samples of the lunar surface, took off from the moon to return to earth after planting the national flag on 3rd December 2020.
- If the return journey concludes successfully, China becomes the only third country globally to have samples from the moon.
- Till date, this record is maintained only by the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s.
'PIXXEL' TO LAUNCH REMOTE SENSING SATELLITE
- The Bengaluru-based space-technology start-up “Pixxel”, has signed a pact with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to launch its first remote-sensing satellite on Isro’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket in early 2021.
- Earlier, the startup had planned to launch this satellite towards the end of 2020 and on a Russian Soyuz rocket.
- Pixxel aims to put a constellation of 30 earth observation micro-satellites into a sun-synchronous orbit by mid-2023.
- The data through these satellites will help in various sectors, ranging from agriculture to urban monitoring, such as track on air and water pollution levels, forest biodiversity and health, coastal and marine health, and changes in the urban landscape.
- The agreement was signed between Pixxel with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), a Government of India company under the Department of Space.
- This agreement with NSIL is the first-of-a-kind private earth-observation mission and one of the first since the setting up of IN-SPACe, the authorisation and regulatory body under the Department of Space (DoS) to enable private players undertaking space activities in India.
- ISRO Chairman: Sivan.
- ISRO Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka.
ADAR POONAWALLA NAMED AS 'ASIAN OF THE YEAR'
- Adar Poonawalla, the Chief Executive of the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), has been named among six “The Straits Times Asians of the Year” for 2020, by Singapore’s leading daily, The Straits Times, for their work in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
- SII has collaborated with the University of Oxford and the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to develop COVID-19 vaccine, ‘Covidshield’, and is conducting trials in India.
The other five Asians of the Year includes:
- Chinese researcher Zhang Yongzhen
- China’s Major-General Chen Wei,
- Japan’s Dr Ryuichi Morishita
- Singapore’s Professor Ooi Eng Eong
- South Korean businessman Seo Jung-jin
- The Straits Times has collectively referred these 6 winners as “the virus busters”, because they are heroes of a kind, having devoted themselves to the pressing cause of resolving the coronavirus pandemic, each in their own capacity.
ADB APPROVED 190 USD MILLION TO BENGALURU
- The Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan of $190 million (approx Rs 1,400 crore) to modernize and upgrade the power distribution system in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
- The financial-assistance by ADB will be used for the Bengaluru Smart Energy Efficient Power Distribution Project.
- The $190 million loan includes a $100 million sovereign loan and a $90 million non-sovereign guarantee loan to Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM).
- BESCOM is one of five state-owned distribution utilities and the largest in Karnataka. This combination of sovereign and non-sovereign loans is being deployed by ADB in India on a pilot basis for the first time.
- President of ADB: Masatsugu Asakawa.
- Headquarters: Manila, Philippines.
INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION DAY: 7TH DECEMBER
- The International Civil Aviation Day is celebrated every year on December 7 to recognize the importance of aviation to the social and economic development of the world.
- The purpose of International Civil Aviation Day is to help generate and reinforce worldwide awareness of the importance of international civil aviation to the social and economic development of States.
- And of the unique role of ICAO in helping States to cooperate and realize a truly global rapid transit network at the service of all mankind.
- The Council has decided that from now until 2023, the theme will be: “Advancing Innovation for Global Aviation Development”.
- The Day was established in 1994 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the day in 1996.
- International Civil Aviation Organization Headquarter: Montreal, Canada.
- International Civil Aviation Organization Council President: Salvatore Sciacchitano.
ARMED FORCES FLAG DAY: 7TH DECEMBER
- In India, the Armed Forces Flag Day (also known as the Flag Day of India) is observed annually on December 7 since 1949 as an honour to the soldiers, sailors and airmen of India who fought on the borders to keep the country safe.
- The three branches of the Armed Forces of India, namely, the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy are remembered on this day.
- The ‘Armed forces Flag Day Fund’ (AFFDF) has been constituted by the Government of India for the welfare and rehabilitation of the Ex-Servicemen (ESM)
NARINDER S. KAPANY FATHER OF FIBRE OPTICS PASSED AWAY
- Narinder Singh Kapany, also known as the father of fibre optics, passed away.
- The India-born American physicist was named as one of the seven “Unsung Heroes” by Fortune in their ‘Businessmen of the Century’ issue of November 1999.
- Kapany was the first to transmit images through fibre optics back in 1954 and laid the foundation for high-speed internet technology. He not only founded fibre optics but also used his own invention for the business.
- He founded the Optics Technology Incorporation and Kaptron Incorporation in 1960 and 1973 respectively.
- He studied at Agra University and then moved to Imperial College in London. He received his PhD from the University of London in 1955.
- He received ‘The Excellence 2000 Award’ from the USA Pan-Asian American Chamber of Commerce in 1998, a fellow of numerous scientific societies including the British Royal Academy of Engineering, the Optical Society of America, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.