Cambridge Dictionary has named ‘quarantine’ as Word of the Year 2020. The word has been named the word of the year based on data that showed that it was one of the most highly searched words on the Cambridge Dictionary this year. Cambridge editors have noticed that people are using the word in a new way this year describing a “general period of time in which people are not allowed to leave their homes or travel freely so that they do not catch or spread a disease.” This new sense of quarantine has now been added to the Cambridge Dictionary.

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“Quarantine was the only word to rank in the top five for both search spikes and overall views (more than 183,000 by early November), with the largest spike in searches (28,545) seen in the week of March 18-24, when many countries around the world went into lockdown as a result of Covid-19,” as per an official release.

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The Bowring and Lady Curzon Medical College and Research Institute in Bengaluru have been named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The institute was set up in 2018-19 on the campus of Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital in Shivajinagar in the heart of Bengaluru.

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About Atal Bihari Vajpayee:

Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the first leader from the Bharatiya Janata Party to become the Prime Minister. He served as Prime Minister thrice — briefly in 1996, from 1998 to 1999, and then for a full five-year term between 1999 and 2004. Among his several portfolios, Vajpayee had also served as External Affairs Minister during PM Morarji Desai’s tenure during 1977 and 1979.

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Infrastructure major Larsen and Toubro (L&T) has bagged an order worth over Rs 7,000 crore to construct a part of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR), also known as the Bullet Train Project. The scope of the order includes the construction of viaducts, one station, major river bridges, maintenance depots, and other auxiliary works.

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The approximately 508 km Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail project will cover Maharashtra, Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Gujarat, with 12 stations along the route. Upon completion, the high-speed rail will operate at a speed of 320 kmph, covering the entire distance in approximately 2 hours with limited stops and in 3 hours with all stops.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Larsen and Toubro CEO: S. N. Subrahmanyan.
  • Larsen and Toubro Founded: 7 February 1938.
  • Larsen and Toubro Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.

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Konark Corps of Indian Army has launched a 1971 kilometres cycling expedition in Gujarat and Rajasthan to commemorate the commencement of the Golden Jubilee Victory Celebrations of Indian Armed Forces in the Indo-Pak War of 1971. 1971 Kilometers ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh Cyclothon’ across Gujarat & Rajasthan has been joined by the relay teams of 20 participants each of the various Army Formations across the two states.

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The cycle expedition was flagged off from an outpost near Lakhpat in Kutch by Honorary Captain Gumansinh Jhala, an 87-year-old War Veteran who had participated in both Indo-Pak wars of 1965 & 1971 then serving with 7 Grenadiers.

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Russia successfully test-fired a Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile in the Arctic. the frigate Admiral Gorshkov in the White Sea fired a Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile, hitting a naval target 450 km away in the Barents Sea at a speed of over Mach 8.

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In early January, the same frigate test-fired a Tsirkon missile for the first time, striking a ground target over 500 km away. Last month, the warship deployed in the White Sea destroyed a naval target in the Barents Sea with a Tsirkon missile.

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The National Statistical Office (NSO) has released the estimates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the second quarter (July-September) Q2 of 2020-21. The GDP at Constant (2011-12) Prices in Q2 of 2020-21 is estimated at Rs 33.14 lakh crore, as against Rs 35.84 lakh crore in Q2 of 2019-20, showing a contraction of 7.5% as compared to 4.4% growth in Q2 2019-20.

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Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar has launched the “India Climate Change Knowledge Portal”.  According to Prakash Javadekar, India has practically achieved its pre-2020 climate action targets. He said, though India is not responsible for climate change it is taking responsible action to mitigate the challenge.

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About the portal:

  • The portal will have all the major steps the Government is taking at both national and international levels to address the climate change issues.
  • Portal will be a single-point information resource that provides information on the different climate initiatives taken by various Line Ministries enabling users to access d status on these initiatives.

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The Indian national team have moved up a spot to 104 in the latest FIFA Rankings. The Indian team were ranked 108th in the October 2020 rankings. In two months, India has climbed 5 spots after being 109th in September.

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Meanwhile, on the global scene, the top six remain unchanged. Belgium continues to lead the rankings followed by France, Brazil, England, Portugal and Spain. Argentina is seventh, having interchanged spots with eighth-placed Uruguay. Mexico and Italy complete the top 10.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • President of FIFA: Gianni Infantino; Founded: 21 May 1904.
  • Headquarters: Zürich, Switzerland.

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SpiceJet has launched dedicated freighter services connecting Leh with the rest of the country. This is the first time a civil airliner has started freighter services to Leh. Accordingly, the airline operated its first freighter flight from Delhi to Leh carrying 13 tonnes of cargo supplies. SpiceXpress, the dedicated cargo arm of SpiceJet, will deploy its Boeing 737 freighter on this route.

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The dedicated cargo flights will help transport fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, perishables, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and other general cargo. Besides improving logistics and connectivity, the new freighter service will ensure transportation of these essential commodities remains unaffected due to dipping temperatures and adverse weather conditions during these winter months. The new flights launched are seasonal and will operate during the winter months when surface transportation is disrupted owing to harsh weather conditions. In line with its commitment to ensuring seamless transportation of essential commodities, SpiceJet aims to address the geographical challenges while offering seamless connectivity through its cargo service.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • SpiceJet Founded: 2004.
  • SpiceJet Headquarters: Gurugram.
  • Chairman & Managing Director of SpiceJet: Ajay Singh.

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Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has inaugurated and laid the foundation stones of 16 National Highway projects in Uttar Pradesh. The construction cost of these infra projects is estimated to be around Rs 7477 crore.

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These highway projects include a road length of 505 kilometres and will provide better connectivity, convenience to the public as well as lead to economic growth in the state. National Highways works worth two lakh crore rupees are being undertaken in UP.

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