Daily Current Affairs 22 Dec 2020

NRA CET Daily Current Affairs


UK’s new strain of coronavirus

India and several other countries have suspended their flights from United Kingdom due to the concerns about the new variant of COVID-19 that is spreading rapidly in the country.

A mutant of COVID-19 has been the reason of rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in East and South England. The new variety is being referred to as Variant Under Investigation (VUI).

The variant was identified by COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK). The COG-UK is a consortium that analyses genome sequencing data. It is the largest contributor to COVID-19 database GISAID.

The new variant is the result of multiple mutations in the spike protein of COVID-19. According to the preliminary analysis, the mutant is more transmissible than the previously circulating variant. The COG-UK had identified these mutations as “N501Y”. It is an areas of spike protein where the virus binds to the human cell.

Indian sharks, rays and chimaeras face high risk of extinction: IUCN

The International Union for Conservation of Nature recently found that Sharks, Rays and Chimeras are facing high risk of extinction. The Shark Specialist Group held an assessment in the Exclusive Economic Zone and found that out of 170 species of Sharks found across the oceans of the country, 19 are facing extinction. Around 11% of species in the oceans of India are facing extinction.

First Potential Radio signal from Exo planet

An international team of scientists have collected the first possible radio signal from an exoplanet. The exoplanet is 51 light years away from the earth.


  • They are planets outside the solar system.
  • Doppler Spectroscopy and Transit Photometry are the best methods to detect Exoplanets.
  • Exoplanets are hard to detect as they are close to the stars they are orbiting. Thus, the brightness of the stars prevents from being detected easily.

New Routes for Inland waterway

The Government of India recently identified new routes for ferry services through inland waterways. This is being done to promote coastal shipping and boost tourism.

The new routes include Hazira, Somnath temple, Okha and Jamnagar. Also, destinations along the international routes have also been identified under the Sagarmala Project. The Sagarmala project aims to promote port led development in the country by using the 7,500 km long coastline.

Around six international routes have been identified. These routes include four international destinations such as Seychelles, Chattogram of Bangladesh, Madagascar and Jaffna of Sri Lanka.

6th India-Japan Samwad Conference

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently addressed the sixth India-Japan Sanwad Conference through video conferencing.

The main objective of the Sixth India-Japan Samwad Conference was to discuss the need to build future Asia based on the traditions of non-violence and democracy in Asia.

The main objectives of sixth Samwad Conference are to encourage dialogue and debate, vary forward the ancient tradition of spiritual and scholarly exchanges and to highlights shared values between India and Japan.

Five Hundred Meter Aperture Spherical Telescope

After the collapse of the Arecibo Telescope, China is opening its world largest Radio Telescope for international scientists. The World second largest Arecibo Observatory collapsed in Puerto Rico after the 900-tonne receiver platform became loose and plunged 140-metres onto the radio dish below. With this, China recently announced that it is open its world largest Five Hundred Metre Aperture Spherical Telescope to international scientists

ASTRA Mk-I Missile, IMSAS and BOSS System – Indigenous, developed by DRDO

The Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh recently handed over three systems developed by DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) to the chiefs of the Defence Forces. The IMSAS (Indian Maritime Situational Awareness System) was handed over to the Indian Naval Chief Admiral Karambir Singh. The Astra Mk-1 was handed over to the Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria. BOSS, Border Surveillance System was handed over to the Army Chief General MM Naravane.

North Africa’s Couscous in UNESCO Cultural Heritage List

The Couscous, the Berber dish was recently added to the Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Despite their differences, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania joined together to highlight their love for the dish. The Couscous has joined Singapore’s Hawker culture, Baudima dance of Zambia and wine horse of Spain into the UNESCO list of Intangible Heritage.

Krishna Godavari Basin’s R- Cluster

The Reliance Industries Limited and British Petroleum recently announced the start of gas production from the R cluster. R Cluster is the deepest Off-shore gas field in Asia. It is the first of the three deep water gas projects jointly developed by Reliance Industries Limited and British Petroleum.

RBI Positive Pay System

The Reserve Bank of India is to introduce “Positive Pay System” from January 1, 2021 for cheque transactions above Rs 50,000. This is to be done to enhance safety and eliminate frauds.

It is a process of reconfirming key details of large-value cheques. The large value cheques are those where the transactions are above 50,000 INR. It basically involves reconfirmation of key details of cheques. It is not mandatory for the banks to implement the system.

Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Act

The Senator of United States recently blocked a bill that would give refugee status to Hong Kong people. The bill is called the Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Act.

Stopgap Funding Bill

The US President Donald Trump recently signed the Stopgap Funding Bill. The bill provides the law makers two more days to sort out few issues in the ongoing negotiations about the 900 billion USD aid package.

Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020

The Union Ministry of Power recently drafted the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020. These rules are being drafted for the first time in the Indian history.

Reliability of services

The average number and duration of usages per consumer per year for the DISCOMs are to be fixed by the State Electricity Regulatory Commission. What is Power Outage? It is the loss of electric power per year for the DISCOM.

Timely and simplified procedure for connection

The procedure to get a new connection has been simplified greatly under the new rules. Only two documents re required to set up a connection of 10 KW of load. The need to estimate the demand charges for loads up to 150 KW has been removed. The time duration to provide a new connection in metro cities has been fixed as seven days, in municipal areas it has been fixed as fifteen days, rural areas, it has been fixed as thirty days.


A rebate of 2% to 5% has been fixed on serving bills with delay of sixty days or more.

Bill Payment

The consumers can pay the bills in cash only if their bill amount is less than Rs 1000. Bills greater than Rs 1000 are to be paid online.


A new category of Prosumers has been identified under the new rule. Prosumers are those consumers who have the right to produce electricity for self-use and inject excess to the grid. They are also consumer who have set up rooftop units or solarised irrigation pumps. The excess power is fed into the grid using the same point of connection. The limits to inject into the grid is set by SERC.

Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum

A Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum is to be established. The forum will have representatives of consumers at various levels. It includes sub-division for ease of consumer grievance redressal.

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