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Daily Current Affairs – 8th Dec. 2020

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Daily Current Affairs

Given below are the daily current affairs for 8th Dec. 2020


Data of transgender prisoners to be included in reports: Centre


The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) will include transgenders as a separate third gender in their annual publication of Prison Statistics India from 2020 onwards.


Earlier, a petition was filed arguing that unless the NCRB assign a proper sex to the prison inmates, who may be transgender, there cannot be a proper guarantee of their civil rights, constitutional rights and even basic human rights.


  • The Prison Statistics of India (PSI) collects annual data on prisoners across the country.
  • So far, PSI had been collecting data under two categories — male and female.
  • The NCRB intends to include transgenders in the gender classification of prisoners from PSI-2020 onwards.


After SII, Bharat Biotech seeks DCGI approval

What’s in News?

After pharma majors Pfizer and the Serum Institute of India (SII), Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Ltd. has sought emergency use authorisation from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for its COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin.

UPDATE:  The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has not granted the Emergency Use Authorization permission (EAU) to city-based Bharat Biotech and the Serum Institute of India (SII) for their respective vaccines, Covaxin and Covisheild. Source: Click here

Havana Syndrome


Nearly four years ago a mysterious neurological illness, referred to as “Havana syndrome”, started to afflict American diplomats and intelligence operatives in Cuba, China, and other countries.

  1. Now, a report by the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) has found “directed” microwave radiation to be its “plausible” cause.

What is the ‘Havana syndrome’?

In late 2016, US diplomats and other employees stationed in Havana reported feeling ill after hearing strange sounds and experiencing odd physical sensations in their hotel rooms or homes.

  1. The symptoms included nausea, severe headaches, fatigue, dizziness, sleep problems, and hearing loss, which have since come to be known as “Havana Syndrome”.

 What causes the ‘Havana syndrome’?

Directed pulsed RF energy appears to be the most plausible mechanism in explaining these cases among those that the committee considered.

  1. The immediate symptoms that patients reported including sensations of pain and buzzing sound apparently emanated from a particular direction, or occurred in a specific spot in a room.


IMA to protest against new amendment


The Indian Medical Association (IMA) will protest (following the COVID protocols) against the notification of the amendment to the post-graduate Ayurveda education regulations by the Central Council of Indian Medicine enabling post-graduate Ayurveda surgery students to study and practise modern medicine surgical procedures and techniques.


Recently, a Gazette of India notification was issued by the Central Council of Indian Medicine identifying surgical procedures that can be performed by post-graduate Ayurvedic doctors in Shalya (surgery).

Tharu tribals:


The Uttar Pradesh government has recently embarked upon a scheme to take the unique culture of its ethnic Tharu tribe across the world.

The scheme involves creating homestays. The idea is to offer tourists an experience of living in the natural Tharu habitat, in traditional huts made of grass collected mainly from the forests.

Who exactly are the Tharu people?

  1. The community belongs to the Terai lowlands, amid the Shivaliks or lower Himalayas. Most of them are forest dwellers, and some practice agriculture.
  1. The word tharu is believed to be derived from sthavir, meaning followers of Theravada Buddhism.
  2. The Tharus live in both India and Nepal. In the Indian terai, they live mostly in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar.
  3. Tharu women have stronger property rights than is allowed to women in mainstream North Indian Hindu custom.


Light Detection and Ranging Survey (LiDAR) technique:


National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited will be adopting Light Detection and Ranging Survey (LiDAR) technique using Laser enabled equipment mounted on a Helicopter for conducting ground survey for the preparation of Detailed Project Report for the proposed Delhi-Varanasi HSR corridor.


  1. The proposed Delhi-Varanasi HSR alignment covers mixed terrains including densely populated urban and rural areas, Highways, Roads, Ghats, Rivers, Green fields etc, which makes this activity more challenging.
  1. National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has been entrusted with the work for preparing Detailed Project Report for the Delhi-Varanasi HSR Corridor by the Ministry of Railways.
  2. The tentative length of the corridor is about 800 km, the alignment and stations will be decided in consultation with the government.

What is LiDAR?

It is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth.

  1. These light pulses—combined with other data recorded by the airborne system— generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics.

How it works?

LiDAR follows a simple principle — throw laser light at an object on the earth surface and calculate the time it takes to return to the LiDAR source. Given the speed at which the light travels (approximately 186,000 miles per second), the process of measuring the exact distance through LiDAR appears to be incredibly fast.

  1. A lidar instrument principally consists of a laser, a scanner, and a specialized GPS receiver.
  2. Airplanes and helicopters are the most commonly used platforms for acquiring lidar data over broad areas.


Vadhavan port project:

  1. The Vadhavan port will be India’s 13th major port.
  1. It has been planned as an ‘All Weather, All Cargo’ satellite port to enhance capabilities in handling deep draft ships and larger vessels.
  2. The port project is part of the Centre’s Sagarmala initiative that aims to make Indian ports major contributors to the country’s GDP.
  3. The Port will have a dedicated road and rail service so as not to interfere with the local traffic, thereby avoiding any clutter within the local transportation.
  4. It will be developed on a “landlord model”.

Why in News?

Villagers in Maharashtra’s Dahanu are objecting to the Vadhavan port project. They believe the project will be detrimental to the environment and their livelihoods.

Two new Zoos granted recognition by Central government:

The Rajgir Zoo Safari in Nalanda, Bihar and Shaheed Ashfaque Ullah Khan Prani Udyaan in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh were granted recognition.

  1. Approved at the 37th General Body meeting of Central Zoo Authority.


U.S., China dominate arms market: report

What’s in News?

A report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on the global arms market.

Key Findings:

  • U.S. and Chinese companies dominated the global arms market in 2019.
  • The U.S. arms industry accounted for 61% of sales by the world’s “Top 25” manufacturers, ahead of China’s 15.7%.
  • The U.S. has dominated the market for decades.
  • West Asia made its first appearance among the 25 biggest weapons manufacturers.
  • Total sales by the “Top 25” rose by 8.5% to $361 billion, or 50 times the annual budget of the UN’s peacekeeping operations.

What is SIPRI?

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) established in 1966 is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.

Based in Stockholm the Institute provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public.

Investment Promotion Award 2020:

The United Nations (UNCTAD) has declared Invest India- the National Investment Promotion Agency of India- as a winner of the 2020 United Nations Investment Promotion Award.

  1. The award recognizes and celebrates the outstanding achievements and best practices of Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) across the globe.

UNCTAD is a central agency that monitors performance of IPAs and identifies global best practices. Germany, South Korea and Singapore have been some of the past winners of the award.


  1. India Mobile Congress Will Be Held Virtually From December 7-10, 2020
    • Theme 2020 : ” Inclusive Innovation – Smart , Secure , Sustainable “
    • Organised By The Department of Telecommunications Along With The COAI
    • COAI : Cellular Operators Association Of India
  2. 6th International Film Festival Of Shimla Will Be Held Virtually On 25-26 December
  3. Bangladesh Signed The Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) With Bhutan
    • This Will Allow Duty-Free Access To A Range Of Goods Between The 2 Nations
  4. 7th WASH (Water , Sanitation And Hygiene) Conclave 2020
    • The Theme For The Conclave Was ” Hygiene Matters “
    • Organised By The UNICEF & The National Institute Of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj
    •  The Event Had Participants From Andhra Pradesh , Karnataka And Telangana 
  5. 8th North East Festival To Be Held In Guwahati On December 19-20
    • The Focus Of The Festival Will Be ” Growth Agenda For North East Post Covid-19 “
  6. Assam Govt Has Proposed Setting Up Ripu Reserve Forest As National Park Named ” Raimona “
  7. ADB Has Approved A Loan Of $190 Million To Modernize & Upgrade The Power Distribution System In Bengaluru
    • ADB : Asian Development Bank
  8. Annika Sorenstam Elected As President Of International Golf Federation
  9. Goa ” Most Vegan-Friendly State ” For The Year 2020 : PETA
    • PETA :  People For Ethical Treatment Of Animals
  10. Jehan Daruvala Became The 1st Indian To Win An F2 Race 
    • Jehan Daruvala Won The Sprint Race In Sakhir For His 1st F2 Race Victory
  11. ICAR Won The International King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award
    •  From The United Nation’s Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO)
    • For Raising Awareness About Importance Of Soil Health
    • ICAR : Indian Council Of Agricultural Research
  12. Raj Kamal Jha Won Rabindranath Tagore Literary
    • Raj Kamal Jha Won The Award For His Novel ” The City And The Sea “
    • It Is The 3rd Edition Of The Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize
  13. Somnath Ghosh Has Been Appointed As Non-Executive Director At RBL Bank


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