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  • India will host the 19th meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Government in virtual format on 30 November 2020.

  • It will be the first time that a Summit-level Meeting will be held under the Chairmanship of India, since it gained full -membership of the organization in 2017.

  • The Hon’ble Vice President of India Shri Venkaiah Naidu will be the chair of the Summit.

  • The Summit will end with the adoption of the Joint Communique.

  • Th SCO Summit is held annually at the level of Prime Ministers of SCO and deals primarily with the trade and economic agenda of the organization.

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi chaired the 33rd PRAGATI meeting on 25 November 2020 to review multiple projects, grievances and programmes.

  • PRAGATI stands for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation.

  • The projects worth around Rs 1.41 lakh crore, related to ten states and union territories, were reviewed. They included Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

  • These projects were related to the Ministry of Railways, MORTH, DPIIT and Power Ministry.

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is set to visit his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi on 30 November 2020.

  • Programmes to be attended by PM during the visit includes:

    • Dedicate to the nation the six-lane widening project of the Handia (Prayagraj) – Rajatalab (Varanasi) section of National Highway 19.

      • Total outlay of this 73 Km stretch of the newly widened and six laned NH19 is Rs 2447 crore. It is expected to reduce the travel time between Prayagraj and Varanasi by one hour.

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi embarked on a three-city visit on 28 November 2020, to personally review the COVID-19 vaccine development and manufacturing process at facilities in these cities.

  • Facilities visied by PM Modi are:

    1. Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad,

    2. Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad

    3. Serum Institute of India in Pune

  • The scientists at these facilities expressed their joy that the Prime Minister met them face to face in order to boost their morale and help accelerate their efforts in the vaccine development journey.


Letter of Understanding signed between Rajasthan, UN World Food Programme

A Letter of Understanding (LoU) has been signed between the Rajasthan government and United Nation”s World Food Programme (WFP) for proposed participation to achieve food and nutritional security goals.

  • The LoU has been signed with Women and Child Development, School Education, Rural Development and Tribal Regional Development departments so that the target of food and nutritional security can be achieved by taking the necessary support from these departments.


India’s GDP in September quarter contracts 7.5%: Govt data

India’s gross domestic product or GDP contracted 7.5% in the quarter ending September in comparison to the same period last year, data released by the Union ministry of statistics and programme implementation (Mospi) showed.

  • India’s GDP fell by 23.9% in April-June period quarter, worst in decades, amid the coronavirus pandemic-induced which hit businesses and livelihoods across the country.

  • The numbers showed that the narrowing of contraction was led by the manufacturing sector, electricity, construction and agriculture. The construction sector, which had slumped to a decline of 50.3% in the June quarter, displayed some recovery declining by 8.3%.

  • This is the first time that the economy posted two successive contractions since the government started publishing quarterly GDP data in 1996.


Lt Gen Harpal Singh appointed Engineer-in-Chief of Indian Army

Lt Gen Harpal Singh has been appointed as the next Engineer-in-Chief of the Indian Army.

  • He will take over from the incumbent, Lt Gen SK Shrivastava, on December 1.

  • At present, Lt Gen Harpal Singh is posted as the Director-General, Border Roads Organisation (BRO). Maj Gen Rajeev Chaudhary, who has earlier served as Chief Engineer Southern Command, will take over the reins of BRO.


F.C. Kohli, father of Indian IT industry, passes away

Faqir Chand Kohli, (F.C. Kohli), known as the father of Indian Software Industry, passed away in Mumbai following cardiac arrest. He was 96.

  • Mr. Kohli was the founder-CEO of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). He joined Tata Electric Co. in 1951 where he helped set up the load despatching system to manage system operations.

  • He became director of Tata Electric in 1970. As the first CEO of TCS, he pioneered India’s IT revolution and helped the country build the $190-billion IT industry.

  • He was a recipient of Padma Bhushan from the Government of India.

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