20.12.21 Daily UKPSC Current Affairs




Asia’s biggest liquid mirror telescope to come in U’khand


The Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (AIRES) will soon install Asia’s biggest Liquid Mirror Telescope also known as Devasthali Optical Telescope (DOT) at Devasthal near Nainital in Uttarakhand. A liquid mirror telescope coated with mercury is much cheaper than the usual ones and it can observe only those objects in space that come into its view as it cannot be moved in different directions. It will be used to study celestial bodies like stars, space debris and satellites among others which will pass through its focus.

Currently, biggest such telescope in Asia has a diameter of 3.6 metres while this telescope would be of four metres in diameter making it to be the third biggest telescope in the world after the installation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel launched this telescope remotely in March, 2016. It has been made in joint cooperation with Canada and Belgium at a cost of Rs 10 crore. The scientist of ARIES, Dipankar Banerjee informed that the telescope could have been installed earlier but it got delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the state. He said that all the manufacturing work of the telescope is completed and it will be installed and inaugurated soon. Some experts from Belgium and Canada will also arrive on the occasion, added Banerjee.




India, US Announce New Program Titled Technology-based Energy Solutions To Tackle Climate and Clean Energy Challenges


India and the US unveiled a new programme to fund technologies aimed at addressing climate and clean energy concerns.


According to a Science and Technology Ministry note, the programme aims to support India-US science and technology-based entrepreneurial measures to address the development and implementation of next-generation clean and renewable energy, energy storage, and carbon sequestration to address climate and clean energy challenges.


President Ram Nath Kovind Inaugurates Sri Ramna Kali Mandir in Dhaka



:President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the restored Sri Ramna Kali Mandir here on 17 Dec 2021, 50 years after it was wrecked by Pakistani forces in 1971, and called the historic temple a symbol of India-Bangladesh cultural and spiritual cooperation.


♦President Ram Nath Kovind is visiting Bangladesh at the invitation of his counterpart, M Abdul Hamid, to join the golden jubilee celebrations of Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan in 1971.

♦At the rebuilt temple, President Ram Nath Kovind and First Lady Savita Kovind offered prayers.




Cabinet Approves Scheme To Boost Semiconductor Manufacturing


The Union Cabinet approved a Rs 76,000 crore scheme to increase semiconductor and display production in India on 15, December.


  • This plan was approved in order to promote India as a worldwide hub for high-tech manufacturing and to attract multinational chip manufacturers.
  • It would also boost India’s goal to become self-sufficient in electronics production by attracting significant investment.
  • This initiative will result in the creation of 35,000 specialized jobs and one lakh indirect jobs.
  • This is crucial because, in the current geopolitical environment, reliable suppliers of semiconductors and displays are critical.

PM Modi conferred with highest civilian honour of Bhutan


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been conferred with Bhutan’s highest civilian award called NgadagPelgiKhorlo.



  • He was conferred with the award on the occasion of Bhutan’s National Day.
  • National Day of Bhutan is observed on December 17.
  • It marks the crowning of UgyenWangchuck as first DrukGyalpo of modern Bhutan.
  • On the occasion, celebrations are held at Changlimithang Stadium.
  • Celebration includes a public address by the DrukGyalpo as well as a procession including a statue of UgyenWangchuck, honouring the first DrukGyalpo and independent Bhutanese nation.


Order of the Dragon King is the highest decoration of Bhutan. It is awarded to recognise a lifetime of service to the people and Kingdom of Bhutan.


ISRO developing a SSLV with Private Participation


According to Union Minister Jitendra Singh, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is in process of developing a Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) with private participation. The satellite will be launched in first quarter of 2022.


  • SSLV will provide a payload capability of 500 kg to a planar orbit of 500 km.
  • Development of SSLV is in final stages.
  • First developmental flight of SSLV is targeted to launch during the first quarter of 2022.
  • Government has sanctioned Rs 169 Crores to develop this project including the qualification and development of the vehicle systems as well as flight demonstration by three development flights namely, SSLV-D1, SSLV-D2 and SSLV-D3.

SSLV is being developed with the aim of launching small satellites commercially at a reduced price and higher launch rate as against the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).


Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Index


On the Index on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy, West Bengal has topped the chart in the large states category.


Four Categories of states in Index


Index has divided states into four categories: large states, small states, North East and Union Territories.


Which organisation prepared the index report?


The report on ‘Index on Foundational Literacy & Numeracy’ has been prepared by ‘Institute for Competitiveness’. It was released by chairman of Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM), Bibek Debroy.

The ‘Index on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy’ establishes an understanding of overall state of Foundational Learning among children below ten years across states and Union territories in India. It has five pillars, comprising of 41 indicators. The five pillars include:

  1. Educational infrastructure
  2. Access to education
  3. Basic Health
  4. Learning outcomes and

Out of the five pillars, states have performed worse particularly in governance pillar.


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