Current Affairs of 28th December 2019

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1. Veteran Political cartoonist Vikas Sabnis passes away

 Veteran Political cartoonist Vikas Sabnis passed away last night in Mumbai due to cardiac arrest. He was 69.
He had completed 50 years of an illustrious career in 2018. Inspired by Bal Thackeray and RK Laxman, he had started his career in 1968. Since then, for over 50 years, Sabnis has worked as a staff cartoonist at various newspapers, including The Times of India and the Mid-day.
He made caricatures and political cartoons on various subjects and issues. These ranges from local to international levels.

2. Losar Festival 2019: Ladakhi New Year celebrated

People in Ladakh region are celebrating Ladakhi New Year, Losar with festive fervor, 28th December 2019. Ladakh Lieutenant Governor RK Mathur participated in the celebrations, organized by the Ladakh Buddhist Association and Leh Hill Council, in Leh. Losar is noted to be the most important festival for Tibetan Buddhism in Ladakh. This gleeful festival marks the beginning of the New Year and it is celebrated with zest and gaudy. 

3. China launches Long March-5 rocket

China launched the third Long March-5, the largest carrier rocket of the country, from Wenchang Space Launch Centre in south China’s Hainan Province on 28th December 2019.

The rocket, coded as Long March-5 Y3, blasted off from the coastal launch centre at 8:45 pm (Beijing time), carrying the Shijian-20 technological experiment satellite weighing over eight tonnes, the heaviest and most advanced communications satellite of the country. The Long March-5 is a large, two-stage rocket, capable of carrying a payload of 25 tonnes, equivalent to the weight of 16 cars, to low Earth orbit, 14 tonnes to geostationary transfer orbit, eight tonnes to Earth-Moon transfer orbit, or five tonnes to Earth-Mars transfer orbit, over twice the capacity of the current main Long March series rockets.

4. Russia deploys its 1st Avangard Hypersonic missile system

Russia’s 1st missile unit equipped with Avangard Hypersonic glide vehicle enters into service. Russia’s defence ministry stated that a new hypersonic weapon with the latest strategic missiles of the intercontinental range has become operational.

The nuclear-capable missiles can travel more than 20 times the speed of sound. They have a “glide system” that affords great maneuverability and could make them impossible to defend against. The Avangard can carry a nuclear weapon of up to 2 megatons. Avangard is designed using new composite materials to withstand temperatures of up to 2,000 Celsius resulting from a flight through the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds.

5. Mandu Festival begins at Mandu, Madhya Pradesh

The first edition of Mandu Festival begins at Mandu, picturesque fort city of Madhya Pradesh. The event is organized by Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board. The festival will witness a celebration of the historic heritage blended with the modern vibrancy of the city culture.

The Mandu festival will offer an eclectic mix of performing arts, workshops, art installations, nature trails, walks, food, architecture and music to the visitors during the festival. The festival is based on the idea of “Khojne Me Kho Jao”. The Mandu festival will redefine the essence of the city & bring about the joy of establishing a new tourism hub in the state.

6. RBI directs large UCBs to report exposures above Rs 5 cr to CRILC

The Reserve Bank of India has directed large cooperative banks to report all exposures of Rs 5 crore and more to the Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC).

The move is aimed at the early detection of financial distress. The aggregate exposure will include all fund-based and non-fund based exposures like partial credit enhancement, including investment exposure on the borrower.

As per the new rules, Urban Cooperatives Banks are required to submit the CRILC report on a quarterly basis with effect from December 31, 2019. The CRILC was created by the Reserve Bank of India. CRILC constitutes commercial banks, all India financial institutions and certain non-banking financial companies with multiple objectives, which, among others, include strengthening offsite supervision and early recognition of financial distress.

7. Delhi Cabinet approves Electric Vehicle Policy for pollution control

The Delhi Cabinet on Monday approved the Electric Vehicle Policy, 2019 with an aim to check vehicular pollution in the national capital.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the Delhi government estimates that 5 lakh electric vehicles will be registered in the next five years and it will result in saving Rs 6,000 crore on fuel expenditure.

With the Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy, 2019, 25 percent of all new vehicle registrations in Delhi to be EVs by 2024. The first draft of the EV policy was made public in November 2018. Vehicles have been a major cause of pollution, 40 percent of PM 2.5 and 80 percent of NOx and Carbon Monoxide is due to the vehicle.

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