Daily GK -- November 2015 -- 101 to 200 = useful for ibps clerks main
101. ICICI Bank Canada launches student programme
i. ICICI Bank Canada, a subsidiary of private lender ICICI Bank, has launched Student GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate) Program for students aspiring to study in Canada.
ii. As per the terms of the programme, the amount of C$10,000 is paid back to the student while he/she is studying in Canada in 12 equal instalments along with the interest amount. The processing fee for applying to this programme is C$150.
iii. ICICI Bank Canada is the first Indian bank to be authorised by Canadian High Commission to accept GIC from Indian students. This programme enables students from India to fulfil the prerequisite of purchasing a GIC by transferring funds from any bank account held by them in India to their ICICI Bank Canada account. Students can do this while they are in India.
iv. Aspirants can apply for the Student GIC Program can register online and fill an application form sent to their email address. It can be submitted online itself as well as designated forex branches of ICICI Bank in India and transfer the required amount.
102. Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent name new India, MEA heads
i. Nokia announced that Sandeep Girotra would become the head of India and Amr Karim El-Leithy would become the head of Middle East and Africa as part of the planned combination of Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent, after and subject to the successful closing of the public exchange offer for Alcatel-Lucent securities announced on 15 April.
ii. Both would oversee the combined company's customer operations across India and Middle East and Africa, driving the execution of strategy and ensuring superior customer service, underpinned by a strong focus on innovation and quality.
iii. Sandeep Girotra joined Nokia Networks in 1996 and has held a number of different roles in India, heading the region since 2011. The proposed appointments are effective only after the successful closing of the public exchange offer and is subject to the completion of the relevant works council consultation procedures.
iv. Amr Karim El-Leithy is currently president for Middle East, Turkey and Africa for Alcatel-Lucent. He joined the company in 2009.
103. Practo, Uber enter into pact
i. Healthcare booking platform Practo and taxi-hailing platform Uber today announced a global partnership to help people reach doctors easily.
ii. Across India, Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore, those who book an appointment on Practo’s mobile application will be able to view the closest Uber available along with the appointment reminder alert.
iii. The next phase of integration will involve notifying the user to request for an Uber, an hour prior to the appointment.
iv. The partnership comes with an India-specific inaugural offer where any existing or new user booking an appointment on Practo till November 30, will get a free ride to and from the doctor’s clinic.
104. Thomas Cook India signs pact with OYO Rooms
i. Travel services provider Thomas Cook India has entered into a partnership with online aggregator of budget hotels, OYO Rooms, offering access to over 3,200 hotels, spread over 140 cities across India.
ii. The company’s partnership with OYO Rooms aims at providing a wide range of standardised stay options, optimal locations (both business and leisure areas) and maximised savings, Thomas Cook India said.
iii. The company’s partnership with OYO Rooms aims at providing a wide range of standardised stay options, optimal locations (both business and leisure areas) and maximised savings, Thomas Cook India said.
105. Saina Nehwal wins silver medal at 2015 China Open
i. Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal has won silver medal at 2015 China Open Superseries Premier Badminton tournament after finishing at second position in the Women’s Singles category.
ii. In the final match played at the Haixia Olympic Sports Centre in Fuzhou, the defending champion and top seeded Saina lost to sixth placed Xuerui Li from China by 12-21, 15-21 score.
iii. Saina and Li had met 12 times against each other and Saina has won just 2 of those games. The final of China Open tournament was overall Saina’s fifth final of the year 2015 and the third instance in 2015 that the World No. 1 has come out second best.
106. Nico Rosberg beat Lewis Hamilton to win Brazilian Grand Prix
i. German Formula One motor racer Nico Rosberg on 15 November 2015 defeated Lewis Hamilton to grab the Brazilian Grand Prix trophy. Sebastian Vettel grabbed the third position in the race.
ii. With the win, Rosberg reserved his place as runner-up in 2015 Formula One world championship. The Brazilian Grand Prix was German F1 Driver's second consecutive win following the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix. Besides, it was his fifth win of 2015 and the 13th of his career.
iii. Born on 27 June 1985, Rosberg has also briefly competed for Finland very early in his career. Rosberg entered Formula One in 2006 with Williams Grand Prix Engineering. He joined the re-branded Mercedes team for the 2010 Formula One season.
iv. The 2015 Brazilian Grand Prix is a Formula One motor race that was held at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, in São Paulo, Brazil.
107. PRASAD and Swadesh Darshan schemes of Ministry of Tourism
i. PRASAD (National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive) and SWADSH DARSHAN schemes of the Union Ministry of Tourism were in news in the second week of November 2015. The two initiatives, along with Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs), were launched to achieve 1 per cent share of international tourist arrivals by 2016-17 from the present 0.68 per cent.
ii. Both the schemes are under implementation in mission mode and aimed at developing world-class tourism related infrastructure.
iii. PRASAD's objective is to augment religious and spiritual tourism in the country as India is a land of many religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism and Sufism.
iv. As part of SWADSH DARSHAN scheme, theme based tourism circuits are identified for infrastructure development across the country. Theme Based Tourist Circuit (TBTC) is defined as a tourist circuit around specific themes such as religion, culture, ethnicity, niche, etc. A TBTC could be confined to a state or could be a regional circuit covering more than a state or union territory (UT).
108. Governing Council of NIIF constituted under the chairmanship of Finance Minister
i. Union Ministry of Finance on 13 November 2015 constituted the Governing Council (GC) of the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). The GC will be chaired by the Union Finance Minister and the members included Secretary: DEA, Secretary: Financial Services, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Hemendra Kothari,T V Mohandas Pai.
ii. The GC was mandated to consider approval of guidelines for Investment of Trust property/Corpus of NIIF and parameters for appointment and performance of investment managers/ advisors among others.
iii. Its objective is to back new and stressed projects and help restart the investment cycle. It was proposed by the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget 2015-16.
iv. It was approved by the Union Cabinet on 23 July 2015 with an initial corpus of 20000 crore rupees. It was set up as a fund under the provisions of the Indian Trusts Act, 1882.
109. VHP leader Ashok Singhal dead
i. The patron of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Ashok Singhal passed away on 17 November 2015 in Gurgaon due to a prolonged illness. He was 89. Singhal served as the international working president of the Hindu organisation for over 20 years.
ii. Singhal was a key organiser of the first VHP Dharma Sansad held at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi in 1984. The Sansad gave birth to the movement for reclaiming the Ramjanmabhoomi temple. Later, he became the main leader of the Ramjanmabhoomi movement.
iii. Born in Agra on 15 September 1926, Singhal obtained his bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the Benaras Hindu University Institute of Technology in 1950. After graduation, he became a full time pracharak of RSS.
iv. In 1980, the leader was deputed to the VHP and became its joint general secretary.
110. AMRUT Action Plans for 81 cities approved with total project outlay of 5748 crore rupees
i. An inter-ministerial Apex Committee on 16 November 2015 approved State Annual Action Plans (SAAP) of 81 mission cities in 5 states-Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Mizoram under AMRUT for 2015-16.
ii. The meeting of the committee was headed by Shri Madhusudan Prasad, Secretary, Union Ministry of Urban Development, which is the nodal ministry for implementation of Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).
ii. As per the approved SAAPs, the Union, State governments and urban local bodies together will invest 5748 crore rupees. Out of this, Central assistance will be provided to an extent of 2440 crore rupees.
iv. And, Out of the five states, Tamil Nadu with 27 AMRUT cities would invest 3249 crore followed by Madhya Pradesh (32 cities)-1,656 crore, Odisha (9 cities)-456 crore, Jharkhand (7 cities)-313 crore and Mizoram will invest 73 crore rupees in the lone mission city of Aizawl.
v. With this approval, number of cities covered under AMRUT went up to 170 across 8 states with a total project expenditure of 8534 crore rupees.
111. Standard Chartered names Zarin Daruwala as new India CEO
i. Zarin Daruwala will join as the India chief executive officer at Standard Chartered Bank, the international lender said in a statement on Tuesday. Daruwala was president of the wholesale lending team at ICICI Bank Ltd. Daruwala will report to Ajay Kanwal, regional CEO, ASEAN & South Asia at Standard Chartered.
ii. In July, Standard Chartered had announced a revamp of its core management team. Sunil Kaushal, who was heading the India operations, was moved and appointed as regional chief for Africa and Middle East.
iii. Daruwala, who had taken over as head of ICICI Bank’s wholesale banking team in July 2010, has led teams in corporate banking, project finance, structured finance, financial institutions, government and public sector banking, and has also helped build ICICI’s rural and agri-finance offering.
iv. ICICI Bank said its board has appointed Vishakha Mulye as executive director. Mulye, who is managing director and chief executive officer of ICICI Venture Funds Management Co, will be in charge of the wholesale banking business at ICICI Bank, after her appointment.
112. Global cancer summit on Nov 18-20
i. Global Cancer Summit, a three-day programme focussed on understanding and suggesting strategies to tackle cancer, will be organised from November 18-20 at the Indian Institute of Science.
ii. The event is organsied by BioGenesis - the Euro-Indian Health Cluster (India), Global Cancer Foundation and supported by the Indian Council of Medical Research. iii. The conclave is expected to have 700 experts in the field of oncology and related sectors and is dedicated to the late US senator Ted Kennedy.
113. Axis MF launches Children’s Gift Fund
i. Axis Mutual Fund today announced its new fund offer, the Axis Children's Gift Fund. This is Axis' first goal-based investment option, the MF house said. Investments can only be made for a minor, represented by a parent or guardian.
ii. According to the company, such an investment would be better than taking an education loan in the future for a child's education. The NFO comes with an optional lock-in period till the child turns 18 years old.
iii. The open-ended balanced scheme will invest up to 60 per cent in equity and equity derivatives, a maximum of 55 per cent in debt and a maximum of 15 per cent in cash arbitrage.
iv. The minimum application amount is Rs. 5,000. The fund will be benchmarked against the Crisil Composite Bond Fund Index.
114. World Bank, AP ink $75-m credit deal for rural project
i. The Centre, Andhra Pradesh and the World Bank have inked a $75 million (₹500 crore) credit deal for the Andhra Pradesh Rural Inclusive Growth Project. The project seeks to enhance agricultural incomes of small and marginal farmers and ensure increased access to services related to health, nutrition, sanitation and social entitlements.
ii. It will focus on increasing economic opportunities for small and marginal farmers, especially from Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) households in the 150 most backward mandals.
iii. In addition, it will invest in developing a network of social enterprises for food, nutrition, sanitation and other social enterprises which operate at community and district level. The agreement was signed by Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary (Department of Economic Affairs), Ministry of Finance; Sunitha Kolaventy, Finance Secretary, Andhra Pradesh; and Onno Ruhl, World Bank Country Director in India.
iv. The Project will help link small and marginal farmers to urban markets and make them competitive across the value chain. Investments will be made for increasing the nutritional content of products such as milk, vegetables and poultry.
115. Syed Akbaruddin appointed as next Permanent Representative of India to UN
i. Syed Akbaruddin was on 16 November 2015 appointed as the next Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations at New York. He will replace Asoke Kumar Mukerji who assumed the office in April 2013.
ii. In this position, Akbaruddin will head India’s diplomatic mission in the UN and articulates the country’s stand on critical issues at the global forum.
iii. Akbaruddin is a 1985 batch officer of Indian Foreign Service and currently, he is serving as Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. He also served as MEA spokesperson and was Chief Coordinator of successful India Africa Foreign Summit held in New Delhi from 26 October to 29 October 2015.
iv. So far, excluding Akbaruddin, 19 diplomats served as Permanent Representative of India to the UN. Notable among them are the incumbent Vice President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari (1993-95), Brajesh C Mishra (1979-81), Nirupam Sen (2004-09) and Hardeep Singh Puri (2009-13) among others.
116. FIFA banned Nepal football Chief Ganesh Thapa for 10 years for corruption
i. FIFA, the governing body of football, on 16 November 2015 banned Nepal's football chief Ganesh Thapa for 10 years for corruption. The body also banned the president of the Laos federation Viphet Sihachakr for two years for bribery.
ii. In the context of the 2009 and 2011 elections at the Asian Football Confederation congress, FIFA accused Thapa of committing various acts of misconduct, which includes the solicitation and acceptance of cash payments from another football official, for personal and family gain.
iii. FIFA's ethics committee also stated that he had specifically been bribed over elections for the FIFA executive committee in 2009 and 2011.
iv. Earlier, it was revealed by The Associated Press that Thapa received an illegal gift of 100000 US dollars from Bin Hammam in 2009. The money was deposited into the personal bank account of Thapa’s son. Apart from the ban, Thapa was fined 20000 Swiss francs by the ethics committee's adjudicatory chamber.
117. Siril Verma clinched silver at World Junior Badminton Championships
i. Young shuttler Siril Verma on 15 November 2015 grabbed a silver medal at the BWF World Junior Championships held in Lima, Peru. China’s Chia Hung Lu clinched the gold medal at the Boys' singles event.
ii. With this, Verma joined the ranks of Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu, R.M.V. Gurusaidutt, H.S. Prannoy and Sameer Verma, who have won medals for India in the World junior championships.
iii. Verma came into limelight when he clinched the Junior U15 Asian Championships title in 2013. He also became the first Indian player to win the Badminton Asia Youth Championships in 2013.
iv. The 15-year-old shuttler trains at the Pullela Gopichand Academy. Verma was born on 25 December 1999 in Andhra Pradesh (now Telangana).
v. The BWF World Junior Championships is also known as the World Junior Badminton Championships. It is a tournament organized by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) to crown the best junior badminton players (under-19) in the world.
118. Australian cricketer Mitchell Johnson retires from International cricket
i. Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson (age 34) has announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket. He made this announcement after conclusion to the second Test match against New Zealand at WACA.
ii. With this, he has joined his fellow team mates who had recently retired from international cricket including Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Chris Rogers and Shane Watson.
iii. In his test career, he had scored 2,036 runs at a batting average of 22.35 and his top score was 123 (not out). He had scored one century and 11 half centuries. He had bowled 15,409 balls in his test career and had taken 311 runs at bowling average of 28.1.
iv. He had made his ODI debut in 2005 against New Zealand and had played 153 ODI matches. In his ODI career, he had scored 951 at an average of 16.12, with to score of 73 runs. He had bowled 7,066 balls and had taken 239 wickets at an average of 25.3.
119. Kiren Rijiju conferred with Disaster Risk Reduction Asia Champion honour by UN
i. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, was on 17 November 2015 designated as the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Champion for the Asia Region by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). Rijiju also became the first Indian to be conferred with this honour.
ii. The honour was conferred Margarete Wahlstrom, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, during the inaugural session of the Asia Leaders’ Meeting towards Implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR in Asia.
iii. Rijiju is the first regional champion for DRR after the Sendai Agreement, giving an impetus to Union Government efforts to facilitate regional support towards enabling community resilience in the Asia-Pacific region.
iv. UNISDR recognizes individuals as Disaster Risk Reduction Champions for using their political influence to lobby for disaster risk reduction in their country, region and beyond. This is a non-remunerated honorary position.
v. Only the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction and head of UNISDR may designate a Disaster Risk Reduction Champion by issuing a letter of designation. It advocates and promotes the goals and priorities of the Hyogo
120. RAW former Chief Sankaran Nair died
i. Former Chief of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) K. Sankaran Nair passed away on 17 November 2015 in Bengaluru. He was 94. Nair, who hailed from Ottapalam village in Kerala, was a part of the Intelligence Bureau. Later, he was inducted into RAW in 1968, as the deputy to Rameshwarnath Kao.
ii. Nair was also credited with the liberation of Bangladesh from Pakistan in 1971. It was under his leadership that RAW helped find the guerrilla fighters troupe Mukti Bahini and train them.
iii. In 1977, Nair was appointed as the Chief of RAW. However, he resigned just three months after taking over. He protested against the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai downgrading the post of chief of RAW to director from Secretary (R).
iv. Nair also served as India’s High Commissioner to Singapore from 1986 to 1988. In 1985, the former RAW Chief was honoured him with a Padma Bhushan.
121. PM Narendra Modi concluded his two-nation tour to UK and Turkey
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 16 November 2015 returned to India after his two-nation tour of the United Kingdom and Turkey.
ii. During his five-day visit which took place from 12 November to 16 November 2015, Modi participated in G-20 summit at Antalya in Turkey and met with Queen Elizabeth II, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and others.
iii. During this tour, he stayed in UK (12 to 14 November 2015) and Turkey (14 to 16 November 2015).
iv. Modi inaugurated Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar Memorial in London. He unveiled Basaveshwara Statue in London and addressed the Indian Community at Wembley Stadium, London. Modi paid homage at Gandhi Statue in London and met with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. With this, he became the first Indian head to address the British parliament
v. Modi held delegation level talks with Prime Minister David Cameron of United Kingdom and also met Leader of the Labour Party and the Leader of the Opposition. Modi attended the UK-India CEO Forum. He also visited Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) plant, a subsidiary of India’s Tata Motors, in Solihull
122. Foundation stone of first Mega Food Park of Telangana laid
i. Union Minister of Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal on 16 November 2015 laid the foundation stone of the first Mega Food Park in Telangana. The park is promoted by Smart Agro Food Park Pvt. Ltd. at Village Lakkampally and Chimrajpally, Nandipet Mandal, District Nizamabad, Telangana.
ii. Besides, two more Mega Food Parks have been sanctioned to be set up in Khammam and Mahboobnagar districts in Telangana.
iii. The park will have facilities of 5000 MT Multi Commodity Cold Storage, 5000 MT Raw Material Warehouse, 5000 MT Finished Good Warehouse, 5000 MT Grain Silos, 500 MT Deep Freeze, 20 MT/day Turmeric Processing Facility and modern food testing lab.
iv. The Mega Food Park Scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries in the country to give a major boost to the Food Processing Sector. The scheme will also facilitate creation of modern infrastructure for food processing along the value chain from the farm to the market.
123. Tianhe-2: World’s powerful Supercomputer for the sixth consecutive time
i. China’s Tianhe-2 supercomputer has emerged as the world’s most powerful supercomputer system for the sixth consecutive time. It was unveiled in 46th edition of Top500 list of supercomputers.
ii. The Chinese Supercomputer is capable of performing calculations with processing speed of 33.86 petaflops per second (Pflop/s). It has held the title since June 2013. Supercomputer Titan of the US Department of Energy has been placed at second position. It has a performance of 17.59 Pflop/s.
iii. Supercomputer Sequoia of Tech giant IBM was placed at third position. It has processing speed of 17.17 Pflop/s. K computer of Fujitsu was placed at fourth position. It has processing speed of 10.51 Pflop/s. Supercomputer Mira of IBM placed at fifth position. It has processing speed of 8.58 Pflop/s.
iv. Supercomputer Tianhe-2 or Milky Way 2 has been developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology. It has processing speeds of 33.86 petaflops (1000 trillion calculations) per second. Presently, it is deployed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou and is playing important role in boosting China’s capabilities in both scientific and defence fields.
124. Intel’s 'Ek Kadam Unnati Ki Aur’ begins in Telangana village
i. Chip-maker Intel has rolled out its ‘Ek Kadam Unnati Ki Aur’ programme towards rural digitisation in 10 States from Nadimpalle villlage in Telangana.
ii. Announcing the setting up of the first Unnati Kendra at the village in Mahabubnagar District, Intel Vice President-Sales and Marketing Group and Managing Director-South Asia Debjani Ghosh said the company will work with Central and the State governments to identify “best framework” for digitisation.
iii. Creating a blueprint to drive technology-enabled transformation at the grassroots in the select States is the objective of the programme. While work with Telangana was underway for sometime now -- the Kendra at the Common Service Centre has been functioning since June -- Intel was yet to decide on the other nine States and number of villages in Telangana, Ms.Ghosh told presspersons at the launch function in Hyderabad on Wednesday.
iv. Effective digitisation of rural India will be central to the success of Digital India programme, she said, while underscoring the need to make such initiatives relevant to the people. It should lead to increase in the income and improved livelihood for rural people.
125. Delhi to host the first International Qawwali Festival 2016
i. Delhi will host the first International Qawwali Festival 2015 titled Taali Ho that is scheduled to be held from 12 February 2016 to 14 February 2016. This was announced during the performance by Qawwali singers from India and Pakistan at India Islamic Centre providing a glimpse of the festival.
ii. The festival aims to reinforce a notion that music is not restricted to any borders. The event is also set to showcase the evolution that Qawwali has undergone with artistes performing a fusion of old genre of music with a modern touch.
iii. Hailing from the Sikandrabad Gharana, the Nizami Brothers are going to perform at the event. They are among the most popular Qawwali singers in Astana Gayki as well as the modern Qawwali tradition.
iv. Other Qawwali singers who will be a part of the event are Warsi brothers from Hyderabad, Hamza Akram and Taimoor Akram from Pakistan, Tahir Hussain Faridi Qawwal from US and Ahmed Sham Sufi Qawwal from Afghanistan.
126. CCI imposed penalties on 3 Airlines for concerted action in Fixing Fuel Surcharge
i. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on 17 November 2015 imposed penalties upon 3 Airlines for concerted action in fixing and revising Fuel Surcharge (FSC) for transporting cargo. These 3 Airlines are Jet Airways (India) Ltd, InterGlobe Aviation Limited and Spice Jet Limited.
ii. The matter was filed by Express Industry Council of India under section 19(1)(a) of the Competition Act, 2002 against Jet Airways (India) Ltd, InterGlobe Aviation Limited, Spice Jet Limited, Air India Limited and Go Airlines (India) Limited alleging contravention of the provisions of section 3 of the Act which deals with anti-competitive agreements.
iii. The Commission noted that the Airlines acted in parallel in collusion in fixing FSC rates. Such conduct was found to have resulted in indirectly determining the rates of air cargo transport and thereby in contravention of the provisions of section 3(1) read with section 3(3)(a) of the Competition Act, 2002.
iv. Accordingly, penalties of 151.69 crore rupees, 63.74 crore rupees and 42.48 crore rupees were imposed upon Jet Airways (India) Ltd., InterGlobe Aviation Limited and Spice Jet Limited respectively. Besides, cease and desist order was also issued against the Airlines. No penalty was imposed upon Air India Limited as its conduct was not found to be parallel with other Airlines.
127. Indian Red Cross Society Secretary General SP Agarwal died
i. Eminent neurosurgeon and secretary general of Indian Red Cross Society Satya Paul Agarwal died on 17 November 2015. He was 70. He is survived by his wife Sarita Agarwal, son Tushar Agarwal and daughter Ashima Sharma.
ii. Since 2005, Agarwal was serving the Indian Red Cross Society as its Secretary General. He was also the Chair of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Advisory Body on Sustainable Development and Health.
iii. He was a well-known public health administrator and played a pivotal role in execution of various disaster relief operations and control of disease outbreak and epidemics in the country. From 1996 to 2005, he was Director General of Health Services of Union Government.
iv. In 2014, he received Belgian Redcross Flanders Gold Medal. In 2010, he was honoured with the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award, for his services to the fields of medicine and public health. In 2005, he was honoured with the Life Time Achievement award for TB.
128. Kosmos 2510, the first satellite of EKS (Tundra) system, launched by Russia
i. Russia successfully on 17 November 2015 launched the first satellite for its newest early warning system, named EKS or Integrated Space System. The satellite was officially named Kosmos 2510 (Tundra 11L).
ii. This new-generation satellite is designed to restore Moscow's capability to detect, track and identify worldwide missile launches from space. The satellite was carried by a Soyuz-2.1b rocket from Site 43/4 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, located in Northern Russia.
iii. The launch was carried out under the command of Deputy Commander of Russian Aerospace Defence Forces (VKO) – Commander of the Space Troops Alexander Golovko.
iv. RKK Energia, a Russian manufacturer of spacecraft and space station components, built the Tundra spacecraft. The satellite will be operated by the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces. It was delivered into a highly elliptical geosynchronous orbit, called a Tundra orbit.
129. Czech Republic defeated Russia to retain Fed Cup
i. The Czech Republic on 15 November 2015 successfully defended its Fed Cup crown after beating Russia in final day's play in Prague. Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova emerged as the team’s hero as she not only won her singles rubber to tie the match at 2-2 but also returned to court after a break to secure another comeback victory in the finals of the deciding doubles.
ii. The victory marked a fourth Fed Cup success for the Czech Republic in five years. The country has won the Fed Cup nine times overall, including Czechoslovakia's five before its split in 1993.
iii. Fed Cup is the premier international team competition in women's tennis. It was launched in 1963 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The competition was known as the Federation Cup until 1995.
130. World Toilet Day observed on 19 November with the theme Sanitation and Nutrition
i. World Toilet Day (WTD) was observed on 19 November 2015 across the world with the theme Sanitation and Nutrition. The aim of WTD is to raise awareness about the people in the world who don’t have access to a toilet, despite the fact that it is a human right to have clean water and sanitation.
ii. The effort of the WTD in 2015 was to draw the world’s attention to the importance of toilets in supporting better nutrition and improved health. WTD has been celebrated by the World Toilet Organisation since 2001. It was later became an official UN day on 24 July 2013 as the 67th session of UN General Assembly approved it through the Sanitation For All resolution.
iii. About 2.4 billion people around the world still do not have adequate sanitation and 1 billion among them still defecate in the open. Poor sanitation increases the risk of disease and malnutrition, especially for women and children.
iv. While 1000 children die each day due to poor sanitation, women and girls risk rape and abuse because they have no toilet that offers privacy. In September 2015, the UN General Assembly approved the Sustainable Development Goal 6 that aims at access to water and sanitation for all.
131. Mobile app to locate eToilet
i. Eram Scientific Solutions, manufacturer of electronic toilets, has unveiled a new eToilet mobile app. The Andriod app is downloadable for free from Google Playstore by typing the keyword ‘etoilets.’
ii. It helps locate the nearest etoilets via a map and address listings, Anvar Sadath K, CEO, Eram, says. It also provides details on mode of access and information on facilities such as napkin-vending machine and incinerator.
iii. The app enables sharing feedback on the user experience of eToilet along with image uploading. The public can also use the app to suggest new places for installing eToilets. eToilets have opened a new era in the public sanitation sector with its unmanned, self-cleaning and remote monitoring features, Sadath said.
iv. The app has been launched as part of establishing a new connected eToilet Infrastructure (CeTI) on the occasion of the World Toilet Day (November 19).
132. V Raja is MD of Philips India
i. Philips India has appointed V Raja as the Vice-Chairman and Managing Director effective December 1.
ii. In his new role, he will be responsible for driving and building the healthcare and consumer lifestyle businesses of the company in India.
iii. He takes over from A Krishna Kumar who took over the new role of Head of the Emerging Businesses Group for Philips globally.
iv. Raja is joining from TE Connectivity, where he was the President, India Operations, since 2011.
133. Vijay Keshav Gokhale appointed as India’s ambassador to China
i. Senior diplomat Vijay Keshav Gokhale has been appointed as India’s Ambassador to China. He will replace Ashok Kantha, who was appointed as envoy to China in January 2014 for a two-year term i.e. till January 2016.
ii. Currently, Mr.Gokhale is serving as the India’s Ambassador to Germany. He is a 1981 batch India Foreign Service (IFS) officer. Prior, to his appointment as India’s top envoy to Germany, he had served at different Indian missions including in Hong Kong, Hanoi, Beijing and New York.
iii. Mr.Gokhale also had held the posts of director (China and East Asia) and joint secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) headquarters in New Delhi, . He is known to be one of the most knowledgeable Indian diplomat who is well versed with international affairs of China.
134. Union Cabinet approved signing of Tripartite Agreement on IBSA Fund for Poverty Alleviation
i. The Union Cabinet on 18 November 2015 approved the signing of the Tripartite Agreement among India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) on the IBSA Fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger. The decision will help in strengthening the IBSA Fund which is a unique vehicle in the context of South-South cooperation.
ii. The IBSA countries contribute 1 million US dollars each annually to the Fund, which till January 2015 has accumulated to 28.2 million US dollars, with total implemented/approved projects commitment of 26.2 million US dollars. Remaining 2.09 million US dollars is available for programming. India on its part has contributed 9.1 million US dollars so far to the Fund.
iii. The IBSA Fund undertakes development projects in third countries. The first project to be financed by the IBSA Fund was in support of agriculture and livestock development. It was conferred with the South-South Partnership Award at the 2006 UN Day event held in New York in December 2006.
iv. The IBSA Fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger was set up in 2004 as one of the three pillars of cooperation under the IBSA Dialogue Forum. The other two pillars are consultation and coordination on global political issues and trilateral collaboration in concrete areas and projects.
135. WHO launched World Antibiotic Awareness Week with the theme Antibiotics: handle with care
i. The World Health Organisation (WHO) on 16 November 2015 launched the World Antibiotic Awareness Week with the theme Antibiotics: handle with care.
ii. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness and encourage best practices among the public, policymakers, health and agriculture professionals to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.
iii. The campaign is part of the WHO’s recent efforts to fight against antibiotic resistance due to growing misuse. In May 2015, the Sixty-eighth World Health Assembly a global action plan to improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance through effective communication, education and training.
iv. Antibiotics, also known as antibacterials, are types of medications that destroy or slow down the growth of bacteria in order to contain bacteria-caused illness. Though all bacteria are not harmful, few of them do cause such illnesses as syphilis, tuberculosis, salmonella, and some forms of meningitis.
136. Justice T S Thakur appointed Chief Justice of India
i. The President of India Pranab Mukherjee on 18 November 2015 appointed Justice Tirath Singh Thakur as the Chief Justice of India. Justice Thakur will take over the office from 3 December 2015 as the 43rd Chief Justice of India. His tenure will be till 3 January 2017.
ii. Justice Thakur was enrolled as a Pleader in October 1972 and joined the Chamber of his father D.D. Thakur. He practised in Civil, Criminal, Constitutional, Taxation and Service matters in the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir.
iii. He was elected as the President of the Bar Association in 1986 and was designated as a Senior Advocate in 1990. He was appointed as an Additional Judge of the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir on 16 February 1994 and later was transferred as Judge of the High Court of Karnataka in March 1994.
iv. In July 2004, he was transferred as a Judge of the High Court of Delhi. He was appointed as Acting Chief Justice of Delhi High Court on 9 April 2008. He took over as Chief Justice of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana on 11 August 2008. He was elevated as Judge of Supreme Court and assumed the charge on 17 November 2009.
137. Indian Resource Panel (InRP) on Resource Efficiency constituted
i. Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar on 18 November 2015 announced formation of Indian Resource Panel (InRP) on Resource Efficiency. India is the first country to constitute a National Resource Panel.
ii. The InRP was formed with an aim to promote sustainable development of the country by utilising secondary resources to meet developmental needs.
iii. The four of the 10 members of the InRP are former environment secretaries and they are Viswanath N Anand, RH Khwaja, Tishyarakshit Chatterjee and Prodipto Ghosh. Other six members are Ashok Khosla from Development Alternatives, Director-General of Bureau of Energy Efficiency Ajay Mathur, Ravi Agarwal of Toxics Link; CSE Director-General Sunita Narain, Seema Arora from CII and Prasad Modak of Environmental Management Centre.
iii. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) will partner with relevant ministries of the Union Government, private and public enterprises for creation of a facilitative environment for recycling to promote sustainability and decouple growth from environment degradation.
138. CCEA approved disinvestment of 10 percent paid up equity capital in Coal India Limited
i. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 18 November 2015 approved the disinvestment of 10 percent paid up equity capital of Coal India Limited (CIL).
ii. With this disinvestment in CIL, the Union Government is expecting to mop up around 20000 crore rupees. As at current market capitalisation, based on CIL stock price, 10 percent stake sale could fetch about 21137.71 crore rupees.
iii. This disinvestment implies divesting of 631636440 shares of Face Value of 10 rupees each out of the Union Government shareholding of 78.65 percent through public offering in the domestic market. This figure has been estimated after adjusting one percent equity to be offered for sale to the employees of CIL as per CCEA decision in September 2014, which is under process of implementation.
iv. The paid up equity capital of the CIL is 6316 crore rupees. After the disinvestment of 10 percent equity, the Government's shareholding in CIL would come down to 68.65 percent. The disinvestment transaction will be an Offer for Sale (OFS) of shares by the Promoters through the Stock Exchange Mechanism method as per the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Rules and Regulations.
139. Union Cabinet approved German as additional foreign language in Kendriya Vidyalayas
i. Union Cabinet on 18 November 2015 gave its ex-post approval to the Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) between the Ministry of Human Resource Development and Federal Foreign Office of Germany. The JDI seeks to promote German as an additional Foreign Language in Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV) schools.
ii. With this approval, German language will now be taught as an additional foreign language in KVs in conformity with the National Education Policy, 1986. The approval also gives green signal to promotion of teaching of Modern Indian Languages in Germany.
iii. German was taught as a foreign language in KVs since September 2011 when a MoU was signed between Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) and Goethe-Institute, Max Mueller. The validity of the MoU expired in September 2014.
iv. Due to some inconsistencies in the MoU vis-à-vis National Education Policy and the National Curriculum Framework relating to the “three language formula”, it was not renewed further.
140. Technology Acquisition & Development Fund under National Manufacturing Policy launched
i. Union Government on 18 November 2015 launched the Technology Acquisition and Development Fund (TADF) under the National Manufacturing Policy, 2011. The TADF was launched by Minister of State for Commerce & Industry Nirmala Sitharaman.
ii. The fund will facilitate acquisition of clean, green and energy efficient technologies. It will also catalyse the manufacturing growth in Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector with an aim to contribute to ‘Make in India’ initiative.
iii. The scheme will be implemented through Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA), a joint venture company. GITA was launched in 2007-08 by CII and Department of Science & Technology to stimulate private sector's investment in R&D.
iv. Proposals from Indian industry will be invited for reimbursement of 50 percent of technology transfer fee or 20 lakh rupees, whichever is lower.
v. Financial support will be provided in acquiring of patent from across the globe based on applications received from MSMEs. Technology/Patent will be licensed to selected companies and the selected companies will get a subsidy of 50 percent of the mutually agreed value or 20 lakh rupees.
141. India ratified Articles of Agreement of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
i. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 18 November 2015 gave its approval for the ratification and submitting of the Articles of Agreement (AoA) of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
ii. India will be the second-biggest shareholder with 8.4 percent, followed by Russia, which will have a 6.5 percent stake.
iii. Establishment of the AIIB will help India and other signatory countries to raise and avail resources for their infrastructure and sustainable development projects. It will enable India to play a prominent role in the governance of a multilateral institution.
iv. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a proposed international financial institution which is focused on supporting infrastructure construction in the Asia-Pacific region.
v. The bank was proposed by China and supported by 37 regional and 20 non-regional Prospective Founding Members, 53 of which have signed the AoA that form the legal basis for the proposed bank.
142. Delhi Government approved Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015
i. The Delhi Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on 18 November 2015 approved the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015. The Bill envisages the establishment of an independent authority to investigate offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. It also covers the Chief Minister’s Office.
i. The bill drafted by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia largely resembles the provisions contained in Uttarakhand Lokayukta Bill, 2011.
iii. The bill prescribes time-bound investigation of offences within six months and states that as far as possible the trial in such cases should be completed in six months. It also allows authorities to provisionally attach assets acquired by corrupt means.
iv. It provides that punishment for any act of corruption cannot be less than six months and a maximum of 10 years. In rarest or rare cases, the corrupt public servant can be sentenced to life imprisonment. It seeks to bring Delhi Police, Delhi Development Authority and municipal bodies under its ambit.
v. The Delhi Janlokpal Bill, 2015 is the newer version of Janlokpal Bill, 2014, that had led CM Arvind Kejriwal to resign in February 2014 after being at the helm of Delhi Government for 49 days. He had resigned after the version 2014 was unable to get through the legislative assembly.
143. Indian cyclists won five medals on the opening day of Track Asia Cup
i. Indian men and women elite cyclists on 18 November 2015 won five medals on the opening day of the Track Asia Cup. The cyclists won one gold medal, three silver medals and one bronze medal at the event held in IG Stadium Complex Velodrome, New Delhi.
ii. India has fielded two additional teams of SAI National Cycling Academy (SAINCA) and Western Indian Team (WIT). However, the medals won by cyclists representing SAINCA and WIT will not be counted in India's medal tally.
iii. Anu clinched a silver medal in the 500m race distance event in the junior women category in a time of 40.093 seconds. Amritha Reghunathan, from SAINCA, won the gold medal in a time of 39.927 seconds.
iv. In women's elite event of 500m race distance, cyclists Deborah grabbed a silver medal in new national record time of 35.77 seconds. She lost to Korea's Kim Wangyeong. Junior women team of Anu and Rajesh Nayana won a gold medal in Team Sprint event with a timing of 39.702 seconds.
144. Nitish Kumar sworn-in as Bihar Chief Minister
i. Senior JDU leader Nitish Kumar was sworn-in as Chief Minister of Bihar for the fifth time on 20 November 2015. The swearing-in ceremony was held at the Gandhi Maidan in Patna.
ii. Governor Ramnath Kovind administered the oath of office and secrecy to Nitish Kumar. He also administered the oath of the office to other council of ministers belonging to RJD, JD(U) and Congress parties.
iii. RJD president Lalu Prasad's sons, first time MLA Tejaswi Prasad Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav, were also sworn in.
iv. In the elections held in five phases from October 12 October and 5 November 2015 Grand Alliance of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Janata Dal (United) (JDU) and Indian National Congress (INC) emerged as the winner of the election with thumping two-third majority. RJD, a part of the grand Alliance with 80 seats emerged as the largest party.
145. TCS, Intel launched Centre of Excellence for IoT in Hyderabad
i. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India's largest software exporter, on 18 November 2015 launched a new Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Internet of Things (IoT) in collaboration with Intel. The CoE is located at the TCS campus in Hyderabad.
ii. Its focus is to integrate IoT solutions developed by TCS on Intel IoT platforms and to fast-track creation of end-to-end solutions. It will augment developing new use cases for various industries for global customers in manufacturing, retail, hi-tech, semiconductors, healthcare and telecom industries.
iii. It will enable the creation of indigenous and innovative solutions, establish a strong ecosystem of IoT, cloud computing, and a software-defined network. It will help in creating new business opportunities; simplify product development and help customers deal with rapid changes in technology.
iv. It refers to a network of internet connected devices which are embedded with electronic sensors and data transmitting technologies. By using the Internet, the data collected by sensors in the IoT devices like cars, power systems and even as small as tooth brushes transmitted to other networked devices and data processing systems.
146. World Economic Forum released Global Gender Gap Report 2015
i. World Economic Forum (WEF) on 19 November 2015 released the Global Gender Gap Report 2015. It ranked 145 economies according to how well they are leveraging their female talent pool, based on economic, educational, health-based and political indicators.
ii. As per the report, the global gender gap across health, education, economic opportunity and politics has closed by only 4 percent in the past 10 years suggesting it will take another 118 years to close this gap completely.
iii. And, out of the 145 countries surveyed, while Iceland topped the Gender Gap Index for the seventh year in a row, India stood at the 108th position.
iv. Top 5 countries with high gender equality are Iceland (1), Norway (2), Finland (3), Sweden (4) and Ireland (5) and five countries with least gender equality are Iran (141), Chad (142), Syria (143), Pakistan (144) and Yemen (145).
v. Among the G20 countries, while India and Saudi Arabia have the lowest rate of labour participation (40 percent), the USA has the highest participation rate that is at around 80 percent.
vi. In Economic Participation and Opportunity segment, India’s performance was one of the lowest (139 rank) among the surveyed countries. While the labour force participation rate among women was 29 percent, it was 83 among men.
147. 23rd APEC Economic Leaders Summit held at Manila
i. 23rd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders Summit was held at Manila, Philippines from 18 November to 19 November 2015. The summit was chaired by Philippines President Benigno S. Aquino III.
ii. The theme of the Summit was Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World. After the conclusion of the summit, the leaders from 21 member-countries issued the 2015 Leaders Declaration titled Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World: A Vision for an Asia-Pacific Community
iii. Peru will chair APEC throughout 2016 and host the 24th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting. The idea of APEC was firstly publicly broached by former Prime Minister of Australia Bob Hawke during a speech in Seoul, Korea on 31 January 1989. Ten months later, 12 Asia-Pacific economies met in Canberra, Australia to establish APEC.
iv. China, Hong Kong, China and Chinese Taipei joined in 1991. Mexico and Papua New Guinea followed in 1993. Chile acceded in 1994. And in 1998, Peru, Russia and Viet Nam joined, taking the full membership to 21.
148. University of East London awarded honorary doctorate to Ashok Amritraj
i. Tennis champion-turned Hollywood filmmaker Ashok Amritraj on 19 November 2015 was awarded with an honorary doctorate of Arts by the University of East London. Amritraj was honoured for promoting talented moviemakers from across the world, including India.
ii. Born on 22 February 1956 in Chennai, Amritraj started his career as a tennis player who represented India on an international level. He competed in doubles at Wimbledon and the US Open. He reached the third round of the US Open in 1977. He also gained victories over Paul McNamee and his brother Vijay Amritraj in singles.
iii. His filmography as producer includes movies such as Bringing down the House, Premonition, Machete, Blue Valentine and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. He sat on the board of the Motion Picture and Television Fund (MPTF) for seven years.
149. 7th Central Pay Commission submitted its report; recommended 23.55% hike
i. The 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) headed by Justice AK Mathur submitted its report on 19 November 2015 to the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The commission recommended 23.55 percent hike in pay and allowances of government employees.
ii. The recommended pay revision will come into effect from 1 January 2016. The minimum pay for government employees is recommended to be set at 18000 rupees per month. The maximum pay is recommended to be 225000 rupees per month for Apex Scale and 250000 per month for Cabinet Secretary and others presently at the same pay level.
iii. The increase in pay will be 16 percent, increase in allowances will be 63 percent and increase in pension will be 24 percent. The present system of pay bands and grade pay has been dispensed and a new pay matrix has been designed. Grade Pay has been subsumed in the pay matrix. The status of the employee, determined by grade pay, will now be determined by the level in the pay matrix.
iv. One Rank One Pension proposed for civilian government employees on line of OROP for armed forces. Increase in Military Service Pay and revised pension formula for civil employees including Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and Defence Personnel retiring before 1 January 2016.
v. Military Service Pay (MSP), which is a compensation for the various aspects of military service, will be admissible to the defence forces personnel only.
vi. The 7th Central Pay Commission headed by Justice A K Mathur was set up on 28 February 2014 by then Union Government to revise remuneration of employees and pensioners of central government including Defence and Railways.
150. CCEA approved extension of Indian Development and Economic Assistance Scheme
i. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 18 November 2015 approved extension of Indian Development and Economic Assistance Scheme (IDEAS) for five years from 2015-16 to 2019-20. The extension was approved by the Prime Minister-headed CCEA in view of continued relevance of the scheme.
ii. During the extended period, about 3771 crore rupees will be utilized as part of the scheme. In fact, it was the second extension since its inception in 2005-06. The first extension was granted in 2009-2010 for five years.
iii. IDEAS attempts to promote India's strategic political and economic interest abroad by positioning it as an emerging economic power, investor country and partner for developing countries. The fund is towards payment of Interest Equalization Support on Line of Credits (LoCs) to the lending bank.
iv. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) forwards the proposals for LoC to the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) of the Ministry of Finance. The LoC will be operated through Export Import Bank of India or any other willing bank/ lending agency decided with the approval of Finance Minister.
151. UNHCR chosen for Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2015
i. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was on 19 November 2015 chosen for the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2015.
ii. A decision in this regard was taken by the international jury of the prize, headed by Vice President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari on the occasion of birth annniversary of Indira Gandhi. The UNHCR was chosen for the award in recognition of its immense contributions in assisting millions of refugees in their rehabilitation and resettlement.
iii. It was established on 14 December 1950 by the UN General Assembly with a mandate to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland and operates in 123 countries across the world.
iv. Since its inception, it has helped tens of millions of refugees, returnees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and stateless people. Its ongoing work in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and the Mediterranean region to deal with the European Migration Crisis has been appreciated worldwide.
v. It is the prestigious annual award accorded annually by Indira Gandhi Trust since 1986. It is presented to individuals or organizations in recognition of creative efforts towards promoting international peace, development and a new international economic order.
152. Srishti Pandey won Indiana FIDE Rating Chess Tournament
i. Maharashtra’s chess player Srishti Pandey on 18 November 2015 clinched the second Indiana All India FIDE Rating Chess tournament. The tournament was organised by Nagpur Taluka Chess Association, which concluded at Dr Hedgewar Smarak Samiti Hall, Reshimbagh, Nagpur.
ii. Fourteen years old Pandey shared points with Avadh Chaitanya from Madhya Pradesh playing on the top board and ended with seven and half points each at the end of the ninth and last round of the Swiss-league tournament.
iii. After application of the tie-breaker, top-seed FIDE Master Vinaykumar Matta from Andhra Pradesh settled for the fourth position. Third seed FIDE Master Saurav Kherdekar from Railways was relegated to seventh position.
153. ADB pledges $120 million loan to finance India, Bangladesh electricity link under SASEC Programme
i. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has pledged to provide 120 million dollar loan in order to finance cross-border electricity link between Bangladesh and India under SASEC Programme. In this regard, loan agreement was signed by ADB Country Director Kazuhiko Higuchi and Mohammad Mejbahuddin, Senior Secretary of Bangladesh Finance Ministry.
ii. The loan fund would be used for Second Bangladesh-India Grid Inter connectivity project under the ambitious South Asia Sub-regional Economic Co-operation (SASEC) Programme. The projects under SASEC Programme aim to promote regional prosperity through improved cross-border links in trade, power, road and rail links between India and Bangladesh.
iii. The second project under will double the existing capacity from 500 MW to 1000 MW of the inter-connectivity link connecting power grid at Bheramara in western Bangladesh and the grid of eastern India at Bahrampur (Odisha). It should be noted that the networks under the first project were connected in 2013 and was financed by ADB under the SASEC Programme.
iv. Set up in 2001 to bring together Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka in a project-based partnership. This sub-regional partnership aims to Strengthening regional economic cooperation and boosting trade among member countries.
154. Russia inks deal to build Egypt’s first nuclear plant at Dabaa
i. Russia has signed two agreements with Egypt to finance and build its first nuclear power plant at Dabaa on the Mediterranean coast in the northwest of the country. As per one of the agreement, Russia will extend a loan to Egypt to cover the cost of construction of the nuclear plant which is expected to be completed by 2022.
ii. Russia will grant a 35-year loan to the Egypt which is the Arab world’s most populous country. However in the agreement the loan has been not disclosed as the details of the credit agreement are still under discussion.
iii. Dabaa Nuclear plant will be third-generation plant with four reactors with total capacity of 1,200 MW. On completion the plant will make Egypt a regional leader in terms of civil nuclear technology.
iv. Since 1980s, Egypt has been pursuing its plan to have a peaceful nuclear programme for the production of electricity at Dabaa. But the North African country had frozen its nuclear programme plans after disputes with local residents due to the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.
155. Walmart offers entrepreneur development programme for women
i. Walmart India today announced an entrepreneur development programme for women, a move to encourage women owned businesses (WOBs) in the supply chain. This will include softer payment terms for them in their first year of empanelment with Walmart India.
ii. Speaking at the launch of Andhra Pradesh Rural Inclusive Growth Project on Thursday, Krish Iyer, President & CEO, Walmart India, said, “Andhra Pradesh will be one of the first states in India where we will start an entrepreneurial programme for women in collaboration with Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty. Under this programme, we will guide and advise aspiring women entrepreneurs in starting modern Kirana stores in their communities.”
iii. As an ongoing commitment to empowering women around the world and helping WOBs succeed and grow, Walmart has committed to source $20 billion from women for its US business and double sourcing from women in international markets, the statement said.
iv. Wal-Mart India Pvt Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walmart Stores Inc., owns and operates 21 Best Price Modern Wholesale stores in 9 states across India. The company plans to open 50 more stores by 2020.
v. Walmart has also trained 17,891 women with life skills in India through its Women in Factories (WiF) training programme. Launched in 2011, WiF is working toward empowering 60,000 women working in 150 factories that supply products to retailers in Bangladesh, Central America, China, and India.
156. AAI signed MoU with IL&FS to bolster overseas expansion
i. Airports Authority of India (AAI) on 20 November 2015 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IL&FS Global Financial Services to spread its wings overseas. IL&FS Global Financial Services is a subsidiary of infrastructure giant IL&FS.
i. Through this tie-up, AAI aims to go global from local, considering its expertise and capabilities in airport development and operation and management. The authority will get an opportunity to identify airport development opportunities in Middle East, Africa regions as well as in CIS countries.
iii. Over a period of time, AAI has developed more than 60 airports in metro and non-metro cities in India.
iv. Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS) is one of India's leading infrastructure development and finance companies.
157. Rajasthan Government signed 295 MoUs attracting 3.3 lakh crore rupees investment
i. Rajasthan Government on 20 November 2015 signed 295 MoUs attracting about 3.3 lakh crore rupees investment during the Resurgent Partnership Summit 2015. With this, a task force will be formed to get the projects implemented in a time-bound manner.
ii. It aims to provide around 239694 lakh jobs in the state. The Energy sector got MoUs worth 190000 crore rupees followed by Petroleum with 77657 crore rupees worth MoUs. Infrastructure got MoUs worth 17038 crore rupees while Manufacturing sector of the state fetched MoUs worth 11760 crore rupees.
iii. Roads and Highways fetched 10000 crore rupees MoUs. Tourism was allotted with 5783 crore rupees MoUs, Medical and Health with 4752 crore rupees MoUs, Agriculture with 2402 crore rupees and Education got 1807 crore rupees MoUs. Besides, award of sanctions in roads and highways got MoUs worth 25446 crore rupees.
iv. Adani Group Chief Gautam Adani announced to investing 10000 crore rupees in the state over the next four years. Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla committed to invest 7000 crore rupees in the cement sector.
v. Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group announced plans of 6000 crore rupees investment in the solar sector. Hero Motocorp Chairman Pawan Munjal announced to set up state of the art R&D centre in Jaipur besides pledging further investment in solar energy.
158. Harshavardhan Neotia elected as President of FICCI
i. Harshavardhan Neotia, Chairman of Ambuja Neotia group, was on 20 November 2015 elected as the President of industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) for the year 2016.
ii. Neotia will succeed the current FICCI President Jyotsna Suri, Chairperson and Managing Director of Bharat Hotels Ltd, during the chamber's AGM in December 2015.
iii. Currently, Neotia is the Senior Vice President (VP) of FICCI. He is also a member of the Rajasthan Chief Minister's Advisory Council and West Bengal Chief Minister's Core Committee on Industry.
iv. Harshavardhan Neotia is the Chairman of Ambuja Neotia Group that covers the entire spectrum of the Real Estate industry including housing, hospitality, health care and education. In 1999, Neotia was conferred with Padma Shri for his outstanding initiative in social housing.
159. Rajasthan, South Australia signed Sister-State Agreement
i. Rajasthan and South Australia on 20 November 2015 signed the historic Sister-State Agreement to boost export and investment opportunities between the two states.
ii. The agreement was signed by South Australia Trade and Investment Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in Rajasthan.
iii. The sister-state relationship between South Australia and Rajasthan is based on a two-way exchange of research, policy and technical capabilities. The agreement provides partnership opportunities across key sectors where South Australian business will offer services and product support.
iv. The expertise of South Australia in sustainable water management will also play a critical role to further improve water access and security for businesses and communities in Rajasthan.
v. In November 2015, the South Australian Government released research showing that 65000 South Australian jobs are linked to international exports. It showed export jobs are not just limited to traditional export sectors like agriculture but also to services, health care, communications, transport.
160. UN Security Council approved French-sponsored resolution urging action against ISIS
i. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on 20 November 2015 unanimously adopted a French-sponsored resolution 2249 (2015) calling all nations to take all necessary measures to prevent and suppress the terrorist acts of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other extremist groups.
ii. It mentions that ISIS group constitutes a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security and expresses its determination to combat it by all means. It unequivocally condemns in the strongest terms the horrifying terrorist attacks carried out by the Islamic State in Sousse, Tunisia and Ankara, Turkey in 2015.
iii. It urges UN member states to intensify their efforts to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters in Iraq and Syria and to prevent and suppress the financing on terrorism. It is the 14th terrorism-related resolution adopted by the UNSC since 1999.
iv. However, the resolution does not constitute an authorisation for military action because it is not drafted under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter which is the only way the United Nations can give a green light to the use of force.
v. The resolution was adopted by UNSC a week after ISIS extremists had launched a coordinated barbaric gun and bomb assault in Paris (France) on 13 November 2015 that killed 130 people.
161. Francois Hollande to be Chief Guest at 2016 Republic Day celebrations
i. French President Francois Hollande will be the Chief Guest at the 67th Republic Day parade of January 26, 2016. The announcement might have been finalised during the talks between French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and his counterpart Sushma Swaraj and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi.
ii. The visit of Mr. Hollande to New Delhi for the mega event will be symbolic. It would also send a strong message of a worldwide solidarity among the democratic countries against terrorism of the Islamic State (IS) which had staged barbaric attacks on November 13, 2015 in Paris.
iii. Mr. Francois Hollande would be the 5th highest dignitary from France to be Chief Guest of Indian Republic Day parade after Prime Minister Jacques Chirac (1976), President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (1980), President Jacques Chirac (1998) and President Nicolas Sarkozy (2008).
iv. With this invitation, France now holds distinction of being the guest of honour for the maximum five times of Indian Republic Day parade followed by Bhutan (four times); Mauritius and USSR/Russia (three times each).
162. Swachh Delhi Abhiyan launched in Delhi
i. A special cleanliness drive, Swachh Delhi Abhiyan has been launched in the national capital Delhi to remove debris and garbage lying in various localities. The drive was launched by Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and shall continue in New Delhi till the end November 2015 month.
ii. Launched as part of Union Government’s flagship Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. It is being undertaken up by the Union Government, Delhi government and all the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi.
iii. Under the campaign, 3 municipal bodies in Delhi will clear the garbage and the concrete waste will be lifted by the Public Works Department (PWD) of Delhi government.
iv. Earlier, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had launched a special mobile application to give a push to the drive. Using this app and appilication people can send photographs of debris and garbage lying in their areas so that the concerned agencies could take steps to remove them.
163. UP Government’s Clean UP, Green UP initiative earns place in Guinness Book
i. Uttar Pradesh government’s ambitious Clean UP, Green UP initiative has earned itself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Under state government’s green drive initiative 10 lakh saplings were planted in one day within a span of eight hours on November 7, 2015 at 10 locations in the state.
ii. This new record has surpassed the earlier record for plantation of maximum number of tree that was 8 lakh 50 thousand trees in a single day. The certificate for UP Government’s record-setting performance was awarded to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at the function held in Saifai in Etawah district.
iii. On the eve of state government’s ‘Clean UP, Green UP’ initiative Chief Minister himself had planted peepal plant at Maudaha dam in Hamirpur district. The initiative was executed through coordinated efforts of state forest, irrigation departments along with Noida and Greater Noida Authority.
iv. Apart from CM, large number of women, teachers, students, armymen, villagers and others had planted sapling of sheesham, pakar, neem, kanji, imli, aonla, bargad, arjun, chilbil and peepal at different pre-decided spots across state.
164. Supersonic interceptor AAD missile successfully test fired
i. Indigenously developed supersonic Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile was successfully test fired from the Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast.
ii. The supersonic interceptor missile was launched after getting signals from tracking radars. The missile moved through the trajectory path and destroyed the incoming electronically prepared target missile in mid-air at an endo-atmospheric altitude. During the test, the kill effect of the interceptor missile was analysed from data collected by multiple tracking sources.
iii. The interceptor AAD missile has been indigenously developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under Ballistic Missile Defence Programme.
iv. AAD missile is capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile at lower (endo-atmospheric) altitude, giving full-fledged multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system to country.
v. It is a 7.5-meter tall and single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile. It is equipped with a navigation system along with a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator.
vi. It also has its own mobile launcher, sophisticated radars and independent tracking system to secure data link for interception and homing capabilities.
165. ASEAN leaders sign declaration for launching ASEAN Economic Community
i. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders have signed a declaration for launching ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) which would be similar to European Union (EU)-style regional economic bloc.
ii. In this regard, Kuala Lumpur declaration on the establishment of the AEC was signed by the leaders of 10-nation grouping chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at its 27th Summit held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was signed in front of world leaders including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
iii. AEC would make ASEAN a single market with a free flow of goods, capital and skilled labour in the region. Integrate Southeast Asia’s diverse 10 economies which has combine population of 620 million people and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.4 trillion US dollars.
iv. Abolish tariffs on imports within the bloc member countries and promote the liberalization of service industries such as retailing and tourism. Calls for more free movement of and skilled labour within the region including of doctors, architects and others with special skills.
v. Apart from this AEC, ASEAN leaders also adopted the declaration on “ASEAN 2025, forging ahead together”. The ASEAN 2025 document charts the path for building AEC over the next 10 years.
166. Mahatma Gandhi International Centre inaugurated in Matale by Sri Lankan President
i. The President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena on 22 November 2015 inaugurated the Mahatma Gandhi International Centre (MGIC) inaugurated in Matale. The Indian High Commissioner YK Sinha was also present at the inauguration ceremony.
ii. The center was inaugurated as a tribute to the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi to humanity and the continuing relevance of his principles and philosophy to mankind.
iii. The centre was built at a cost of over 4 crore rupees. The Centre consists of an auditorium, library, meditation centre and a conference hall. It was funded under the Indian government's Development Cooperation Partnership with Sri Lanka.
iv. It will provide a platform to reinforce the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and promote harmony among different communities. It will enrich the lives of people through meditation and yoga and can also be used as a resource centre for cultural activities. It will also help the youth to enhance their knowledge in various fields through seminars, workshops and conferences.
167. Swati Dandekar appointed Executive Director to Asian Development Bank by Obama
i. Indian-American politician Swati Dandekar was on 20 November 2015 nominated as executive director to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) with ambassadorial rank by US President Barack Obama.
ii. Dandekar, 64, will succeed Robert M Orr, who has held the position since 2010. Dandekar will serve as one of 12 international directors and hold the title of ambassador.
iii. Obama announced his intent to nominate Dandekar to this top US position in Asian Development Bank (ADB) along with other key administration appointments and nominations.
iv. Swati Dandekar was the first-ever Indian-American to be elected to Iowa House of Representatives in 2003. She was the first Indian-born American citizen to win a state legislature seat in the United States. She served in the Iowa House and Senate from 2003 to 2009 until she was appointed to the Iowa Utilities Board in 2011.
v. She was also member of the Iowa Senate from 2009 to 2011. She received a Bachelor of Science from Nagpur University and a Post-Graduate Diploma from Bombay University.
168. Djokovic became 1st player to win ATP World Tour Finals for 4th consecutive time
i. World number one Novak Djokovic on 22 November 2015 won the season-ending ATP World Tour finals. In the title clash played in London, Djokovic defeated third seed Roger Federer, in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.
ii. With this, he also became the first player to win ATP world tour finals for the fourth consecutive time. He also surpassed Ivan Lendl's 1987 feat, when he had won his third straight Tour Finals title in New York.
iii. Overall, this was the fifth time that Djokovic won this tournament. He ends the year with 11 titles, including three Grand Slams, taking his total to 10 majors.
iv. Besides, in the Doubles, the eighth seeded Indo-Romanian team of Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea has ended as runner up. They lost to the second seeded Dutch-Romanian team of Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau, 6-4, 6-3.
v. Bopanna was appearing in his second season-end Finale, having reached the final with Mahesh Bhupathi in 2012.
169. India Juniors won 8th Men's Junior Asia hockey cup by defeating Pakistan
i. India’s junior men’s hockey team on 22 November 2015 lifted the 8th Men’s Junior Asia hockey cup. In the finals played at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium in Kuantan, Malaysia, India defeated arch rivals Pakistan 6-2.
ii. Harmanpreet Singh was the top scorer with four goals, Armaan Qureshi and Manpreet chipped in with a goal each. For Pakistan, the two goals were scored by Muhammad Yaqoob and Muhammad Dilber.
iii. Both nations have reached the final of Asia’s Premier Junior tournament six times in the last 27 years and on 22 November 2015 India and Pakistan squared off once again for the fourth time.
iv. Korea defended a 2-1 lead against Japan till the end to clinch the bronze medal. This was third bronze for medal for Koreans in the 27-year history of the Junior Asia Cup.
170. Pankaj Advani clinches 15th world title
i. India’s most successful cueist Pankaj Advani added another feather in his cap by winning the IBSF World Snooker Championship after battling past his Chinese opponent Zhua Xintong in the final to take his world title count to 15. Advani, 30, once again mesmerised the green baize to prevail over the teenage sensation 8-6 in the best-of-15 final at Sunrise Crystal Bay resort.
ii. The victory for Bengaluru’s ‘Golden Boy’ comes just after he clinched the IBSF Billiards crown in September. He is also the first person in history to take the short (6-Red) and the long snooker format in the same calendar year.
iii. India’s poster of cuesport, who led 5-2 in the first session, looked unstoppable against his talented opponent even after the break, but was tested by the 18-year-old cueist in a match which saw top snooker at display. Leading 6-2 after the break, Advani’s march was halted by Xintong when he pulled back two frames to give the champion cueist a taste of his own medicine.
171. Urban Development Minister launched portal for small traders’ e-lala
i. Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu on 23 November 2015 inaugurated ‘e-lala’, an e-commerce portal of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) in New Delhi. The e-lala initiative is aimed at promoting the interests of 5.77 crore small businesses in the context of rapid expansion of e-commerce in the country.
ii. E-lala will enable physical stores to have their own online stores enabling them to retain their customer base besides additional source of growth in business. E-lala, a city and location based portal, seeks to promote business-to-business and trader-to-customer transactions in a city.
iii. It seeks to eliminate middlemen and resulting in reduced cost of goods and services. With the emerging global threat from e-commerce to small traders, e-lala initiative will address the problem with proper outreach and marketing strategies.
iv. E-lala's distinctive features include a specialty corner promoting unique products associated with each city. It carries an inquiry corner enabling consumers post their enquiries for a particular product which will be responded to in 24 hours. It carries an artisan’s corner enabling artisans and entrepreneurs display their products.
v. Online shoppers in the country are expected to increase from 34 million in 2014 to 100 million in 2016 and e-commerce has grown manifold from 3600 crore rupees in 2011 to 53000 crore rupees in 2015.
172. Rishi Gour appointed as Country President of Sodexo India On-site Services
i. Rishi Gour was on 23 November 2015 appointed as Country President of Support services company Sodexo India On-site Services with effect from 1 September 2015.
ii. Gour joined Sodexo in 2011 and has since then worked towards the brand's promise of delivering quality of life services to over 400 corporate, education and healthcare clients. Prior to joining Sodexo, Gour was associated with WNS Global Services, Accenture and CITIL across various functional areas.
iii. He has a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from IIT-Varanasi and a Post-Graduate degree in Management from IIM Ahmedabad.
iv. Sodexo India On-site Services is a leading provider of services that impact the Quality of Life of clients and their employees in the corporate segment and remote sites, patients and visitors in the healthcare segment, and students and faculty in the education segment.
v. Sodexo is considered a strategic partner to its clients and delivers more than 40 different food and facilities management solutions across 1200+ sites through its 40000 employees who touch the lives of 1 million consumers daily.
173. SEBI signed MoU with Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission on bilateral cooperation
i. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on 22 November 2015 signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) on bilateral cooperation and technical assistance.
ii. The MoU was signed by UK Sinha, Chairman, SEBI and Dr M Khairul Hossain, Chairman, BSEC at Dhaka, Bangladesh. This MoU will further facilitate training and technical assistance program between the two jurisdictions.
iii. The MoU seeks to promote further development of economic links and cooperation between the two signatories. It aims at enhancing investor protection and creating conditions for an effective development of securities markets in the two countries.
iv. In the past, SEBI has been actively engaging with the securities market regulators in the SAARC region. Till date, SEBI has signed 20 bilateral MoUs with a number of countries. India and Bangladesh both are signatories to the multilateral MoU of International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
174. Marathi actor Prashant Damle selected for Dinanath Mangeshkar award
i. Noted Marathi actor Prashant Damle was on 23 November 2015 selected for the Master Dinanath Mangeshkar Award. He will be conferred with the award by Lata Mangeshkar in April 2016 on the occasion of the death anniversary of Master Dinanath.
ii. He was chosen for the award for his outstanding contribution in the field of theatre, film and music. The announcement was made by Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar at the 100th show of Damle's Marathi play Karti Kaljat Ghusli. Hridaynath was the chief guest for the 100th show of the the Marathi play.
iii. He is a leading actor of the Marathi theatre and has acted in numerous Marathi dramas, movies and television serials for over 33 years. He has been associated with Marathi Theatre since 1983 and till date has performed in 26 different plays and variety of roles.
iv. In the journey of performing arts, he has been honoured with many prestigious awards. Till date he has 4 Limca Book Records by his name. He has also performed in 37 Marathi Feature Films and 24 marathi serials.
v. Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar award was instituted in 1999 in the memory of Dinanath Mangeshkar, father of Lata Mangeshkar. The prestigious annual award is given to personalities from Marathi and Hindi theatre, music and films.
175. Kuldip Nayar honoured with Ramnath Goenka Lifetime Achievement Award
i. Kuldip Nayar, a veteran journalist, columnist and author was honoured with Ramnath Goenka Lifetime Achievement Award on 23 November 2015. He was awarded for his contribution to journalism. He was conferred with the award at the eighth edition of the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Excellence awards ceremony held in Delhi.
ii. The award for the years 2013 and 2014 was handed over by Information and Broadcasting minister Arun Jaitley, who also handed several awards in different categories to over 56 journalists for their exceptional reportage in print as well as broadcast media.
iii. Kuldip Nayar is former editor of Indian Express. For leading a protest against the excesses of the administration during the Emergency (21-month period in 1975–77), he was jailed under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA). At the time of emergency, he was a Urdu press reporter.
iv. Some other awardees includeed Prakash Kardaley Memorial Award for Civic Journalism (2014), Prakash Kardaley Memorial Award for Civic Journalism (2013),
176. Michael Keating appointed as Special Representative for Somalia and Head of UNSOM
i. The Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 23 November 2015 announced the appointment of Michael Keating of United Kingdom as Special Representative for Somalia and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).
ii. Keating will succeed Nicholas Kay, who will complete his assignment in December 2015. Kay was associated with UNSOM for over the past two and a half years.
iii. Keating along with him brings an extensive experience in supporting political and peace building transitions, as well as leading complex humanitarian and recovery programs in Afghanistan, the Middle East, and Africa.
iv. While being Associate Director of Chatham House since 2012, he concurrently served as Senior Advisor to the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Syria. He was Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary.
177. Joint Statement on enhanced Malaysia-India Strategic Partnership released
i. The Prime Minister of Malaysia Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 23 November 2015 released the Joint Statement on enhanced Malaysia-India Strategic Partnership during Narendra Modi's official visit to Malaysia.
ii. The dialogue mechanisms at Ministerial and Official level between both the sides also provided a framework to harness the full potential of the Strategic Partnership established between the two countries in October 2010.
iii. Both the leaders acknowledged the contribution made by Malaysia and India in promoting growth, economic development and stability in the Asia–Pacific region. Both the Prime Ministers also witnessed the signing of one Agreement on Cultural Exchange Programme for 2015-2020.
178. Argentina's president-elect Macri promises an end to divisive politics
i. Mauricio Macri has upended Argentina's political establishment by defeating the ruling leftist party, in power for more than 12 years, in Sunday's election.
ii. Mr. Macri, the scion of an influential family and a former president of a popular soccer clubs, tapped into a groundswell of support among voters fatigued by the abrasive leadership of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
iii. "The plan is to govern for everyone," he said, adding that he would seek cross-party dialogue. “Progress,” he said in his victory speech hours earlier, "will not be the result of one enlightened person," alluding to President Kirchner and other past leaders seen as centralizing power in the presidency and diminishing the role of other branches of the government.
iv. Macri won with 51.4 percent of the vote in Sunday's runoff election, beating Daniel Scioli, who ran as Kirchner's successor. Macri has promised market-oriented reforms to revive the economy. These could include a currency devaluation, lower energy subsides, and easing protectionist policies like currency controls. He is also likely to distance Argentina from Latin America's hard-left governments like that of Venezuela.
179. Noted labour economist T.S. Papola passes away
i. Noted labour economist Dr. T.S. Papola passed away in New Delhi. He was 74. He had served as an advisor with the erstwhile Planning Commission of Union Government for eight years from 1987 to 1995.
ii. Papola was specialised in labour and employment, industrial economics, development planning, regional development and enterprise development. Papola had over 4 decades of experience in teaching, research and advisory assignments.
iii. He had taught at the various universities in India and abroad including in University of Lucknow and Bombay, Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad) and University of Cambridge, UK.
iv. Papola had served as Chairman and Member of several State and National level bodies including the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). He also had worked in consultative and advisory capacities with multiple international organisations such as UNCTAD, ILO, UNIDO, UNDP and UNICEF.
180. HRD Ministry sets up exclusive panel on Sanskrit promotion
i. The human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has constituted a 13-member expert committee exclusively on Sanskrit in its attempt to revive interest in the ancient language.
ii. Headed by N Gopalaswami, the former chief election commissioner (CEC) and now Chancellor of Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth in Tirupati, the committee has been asked to recommend measures to integrate the study of the ancient language with other disciplines such as physics, chemistry, mathematics, medical science and law, suggest changes in Sanskrit education in schools and universities and recommend ways to impart Sanskrit education through modern tools.
iii. The committee is also tasked with charting out an action plan to develop the language in the next 10 years.
iv. This is the second committee set up by the Smriti Irani-led ministry on Indian languages. Although the first panel’s broader brief included promotion of classical languages, the second one is exclusively dedicated to Sanskrit. Notified on November 18, the committee is expected to submit its report in three months.
181. Foodpanda ties up with IRCTC
i. Food ordering portal Foodpanda has tied up with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) for order and delivery of food to the passengers. IRCTC is Indian railways’ catering, tourism and online ticketing platform.
ii. Passengers can now order meals of their choice through foodpanda’s aggregator model from a wide variety of cuisine options. To ensure that food reaches consumers in the best condition, foodpanda will deploy its own delivery fleet to fulfil all deliveries.
iii. The service will be initially launched at the New Delhi Railway station post and then it will be rolled out in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune and Chennai.
iv. Customers will have the choice to order meals at least 2 hours in advance of the travel. Delivery of food will be aligned to the train arrival time at the station and consumers can pay for the order in advance online or make on the spot cash payment as per their convenience, the company said in a statement.
182. Nuclear-capable Dhanush missile successfully test fired from warship Subhadra
i. The nuclear-capable Dhanush ballistic missile was successfully test fired from warship Subhadra, off the Puri coast of Odisha in the Bay of Bengal. The test was conducted by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and it was a perfect mission as the missile hit the target point with high degree of accuracy.
ii. One of the five missiles indigenously developed by the DRDO under its strategic Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). The surface-to-surface missile is a naval variant of Prithvi-II missile and can carry both conventional as well as a nuclear payload of 500 kg.
iii. The missile has a length of 8.53 meters and is 0.9 meter wide. It is single-stage, liquid propelled which can hit both land and sea-based targets upto strike range of 350 kms. The missile already has been inducted into the armed Services. Naval variant of the missile was first successfully tested in 2012.
183. Writer, Journalist Mahip Singh Passes Away
i. Writer, columnist and journalist Mahip Singh passed away at a private hospital in Gurgaon today after a brief illness, family members said. He was 85.
ii. According to his family members, Singh was admitted to the hospital on November 16 when he faced problems in breathing and he took his last breath at around 1 pm today. His last rites would be performed tomorrow.
iii. Singh is survived by wife, two sons and a daughter. Singh was born on August 15, 1930 at a village in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh. His family later shifted to Kanpur.
iv. Collection of his first short stories 'Subah ke Phool' was published in 1959 and later on more than 20 short stories collections were published. His famous novels include 'Ye Bhi Nhi', Abhi Shesh Hai' and 'Bich ki Dhoop'. He had been editing literary magazine 'Sanchetna' for the past 45 years. He established Bhartiya Lekhak Sangathan in 1978.
184. Japan successfully launches its first commercial satellite
i. Japan has successfully launched its first commercial satellite on 24 November 2015 as part its national space programme. Japanese H-IIA rocket carrying Canadian TELSTAR 12V communications and broadcasting satellite for operator Telesat was successfully lifted off from Tanegashima Space Centre (TSC).
ii. With this, Japan is entered into the commercial satellite launch business which is mainly dominated by European and Russian companies.
iii. The first commercial satellite launch was overseen by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Japan is aiming to become a major player in the commercial satellite launching business which is worth 2.5 billion dollars a year.
iv. India had launched its first commercial satellite successfully in 2007 using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) carrying Italian satellite AGILE for space exploration.
185. 2019 new deadline for completion of PMGSY
i. Union Government has reduced the deadline for completion of flagship Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) for rural connectivity through all- weather roads from 2022 to 2019. The annual allocation of the Central release for PMGSY works during year 2015-16 also has been increased by 5,000 crore rupees.
ii. With this, the total Central allocation to states under PMGSY would now be 15,100 crore rupees. By providing enhanced financial allocation through a modified funding pattern in the PMGSY scheme, Government is seeking to accelerate the implementation of rural connectivity.
iii. It is also considering giving financial incentives to the states achieving the targets allocated to them under the PMGSY. Government also has accepted the recommendation of the Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Rationalization of Centrally Sponsored on modified sharing pattern.
iv. The sub group has recommended that fund sharing pattern of PMGSY between the Centre and States for all states will be in the ratio of 60:40. But for all land locked 8 North Eastern states and 3 Himalayan states, the fund sharing pattern of PMGSY between the Centre and States will be in the ratio of 90:10.
186. I-T dept launches PAN-based litigation management system
i. Aimed to reduce lengthy proceedings and time taken in litigation, the Income Tax department has activated a PAN—based online system which enables the taxman to access cases in their jurisdiction on a click, amongst a building database of over 5 lakh appeals and 1.50 lakh judgments.
ii. The new facility is part of the National Judicial Reference System (NJRS), an electronic repository of cases under the direct taxes category or income tax pending in legal forums like the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), Authority for Advanced Ruling (AAR), various High Courts and the Supreme Court.
iii. The tax department is on a spree to ensure more and more number of people and taxpayers in the country use the PAN card. It has recently launched a business application software which uses PAN to track all the transactions and financial records of an individual and entity across the country.
iv. Authorities working in the resource management wing of the NJRS database said the facility will also be made fully accessible for taxpayers in the near future so that they can check the status of their appeals on this portal.
v. According to official records accessed by PTI, the database has over 1.5 lakh orders and judgments and data of over 5 lakh appeals (pending and disposed) of ITAT, HCs and the Supreme Court was hosted for use till now.
187. Karnataka launches 'Tourist Mitras'
i. The Department of Tourism, Government of Karnataka, along with the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) and the State Home Department, today launched in Bangalore ‘Tourist Mitra’, a 175-member friendly force, to reinforce smooth and secure experiences for visitors to the state’s tourist spots.
ii. The launch was inaugurated by R.V. Deshpande, Minister for Large & Medium Industries and Tourism, Government of Karnataka
iii. In the first phase of the project, 175 home guards underwent three weeks of lectures followed by practical training for a month before stationing them across select destinations 13 districts.
iv. The training includes imparting basic language skills, lectures by senior tourism and police officers and efforts are also underway to teach the guards conversational skills in Russian, Chinese, French and German languages.
v. The ‘mitras’ will have both static and patrol duties in the tourist locations. Presently, they will be on a 12-hour duty and there would be special helplines as per the needs of the relevant districts.
188. Operation Inherent Resolve to tackle ISIS
i. US military operation for the intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) was in news in fourth week of November 2015. It came into news after the Paris terror attack on 13 November 2015 in which about 130 people were killed and several were injured.
ii. OIR is the US military operation name for the intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), including both the campaign in Iraq and the campaign in Syria. Effective 22 September 2015, III Corps is responsible for Combined Joint Task Force- Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR).
iii. There was news that French President Francoise Hollande wants to draw Russia closer to the 65-nation coalition against ISIS. He looked forward to link Russia in the 65-nation coalition after Paris attack, the foreign ministers of Russia and US stated that they would explore closer counterterrorism cooperation.
iv. Both the countries differ in their approach. On the one hand, Russia wants to achieve these objectives in the order presented. On the other hand, US want to achieve the objective simultaneously and think that these objectives are complementary to each other.
189. India-Singapore signed 10 agreements on mutual co-operation
i. India and Singapore on 24 November 2015 signed 10 agreements on mutual co-operation. These include Defence, Civil Aviation, National Planning and cyber Security.
ii. The agreements were signed in presence of Prime Minster of Narendra Modi and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Narendra Modi was on a two-day visit to Singapore (23 November to 24 November 2015).
iii. Agreement on the Extension of Loan of Artifacts to the Asian Civilisations Museum of Singapore Executive Programme on Cooperation in the Fields of the Arts, Heritage, Archives and Library for the Years 2015-2018.
iv. Operationalisation of the Technical Agreement on Sharing White Shipping Information was signed between the Indian Navy and the Singapore Navy signed on 21 July 2015.
v. Different MoUs signed are
MoU on Cooperation in the area of Cyber Security
MoU in Civil Aviation
MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Planning
MoU on Cooperation to Combat Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substance and their Precursors
190. Union Government announced 10 New/Revised Schemes for Disabled Persons under the National Trust
i. Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot on 24 November 2015 announced the launching of 10 new/revised schemes for the disabled persons in New Delhi.
These schemes were launched under the National Trust for the welfare of persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities.
ii. The list of the schemes are:
DISHA: Early Intervention and School Readiness Scheme
VIKAAS: Day Care Scheme
SAMARTH: Respite Care Scheme
GHARAUNDA: Group Home for Adults Scheme
NIRAMAYA: Health Insurance Scheme
SAHYOGI: Caregiver training scheme
GYAN PRABHA: Educational support Scheme
PRERNA: Marketing Assistance Scheme
SAMBHAV: Aids and Assisted Devices Scheme
BADHTE KADAM: Awareness and Community Interaction Scheme
iii. he also announced to increase the number of categories of disability from 7 to 19, so that more number of disabled could be brought into the ambit of Government’s new initiatives.
iv. Further, a new website http://thenationaltrust.gov.in/content/ for the National Trust was launched. This new website is made disabled friendly, more interactive. Registration of NGOs and paying donations can be done in the website itself.
191. 10th East Asia Summit held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
i. The 10th East Asia Summit (EAS) was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The year’s summit held under the theme Our People, Our Community, Our Vision. It was the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the East Asia Summit.
ii. The summit was chaired by the Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak and attended by the Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member States, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Korea, Russia and the United States of America.
iii. The 2005 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the Establishment of the EAS. The 2010 Ha Noi Declaration on the Commemoration of the 5th Anniversary of the EAS. The 2011 Declaration of the EAS on the Principles for Mutually Beneficial Relations
iv. The commitments emphasised the role of the EAS as a Leaders-led forum for strategic dialogue and cooperation on political, security and economic issues of common regional concern with the aim to promote peace, stability and economic prosperity in East Asia. The 11th East Asia Summit will be held Lao PDR in 2016. 9th East Asia Summit was held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on 13 November 2014.
192. Anju Bobby George appointed Chairperson of Target Olympic Podium Scheme
i. Anju Bobby George, the former long jump world champion, was on 24 November 2015 appointed as the chairperson of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS). She will be assuming the charge in the first week of December 2015.
ii. Her appointment was approved by the Union Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs. The post of the chairperson was lying vacant after the resignation of Anurag Thakur, the BJP parliamentarian and Secretary, Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI).
iii. She is presently a member of the TOPS' identification committee, which also includes national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand and former Indian cricket captain Rahul Dravid.
iv. Anju from Kerala was the first Indian athlete who won the bronze medal in the World Athletics Championships held in Paris in 2003.
v. In 2005, she with a jump of 6.75 meters had won a silver medal at the Monte Carlo World Athletics Championships. However, in 2014, she was declared winner of Monte Carlo Athletic Championship by the IAAF following disqualification of Gold Medalist Tatyana Kotova of Russia for doping.
vi. The TOP Scheme under the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) was formulated with the objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games. The focused disciplines of the scheme were Athletics, Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Wrestling and Shooting.
193. Ministry of Railways, TERI University signed MoU to set up Railway Chair on Sustainable Mobility
i. The Ministry of Railways and TERI University on 23 November 2015 signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up Railway Chair on Sustainable Mobility at the premises of TERI University.
ii. The MoU was signed by Rajiv Seth, Vice Chancellor, TERI University and Manoj Pandey, ED of Training and Man Power, Ministry of Railways. The Chair would focus and promote research on issues of sustainable mobility, use of energy efficient technology and green energy initiatives.
iii. It will be called Indian Railways Chair for Sustainable Mobility. It will focus on research in various aspects of railways that emerged as a crucial mode of transport to achieve sustainable development in the country. It will aim for imparting knowledge and enriching professionals in all aspects of sustainability with a multi-dimensional perspective relevant to Indian Railways.
iv. The tenure of the Chair would be one year initially, extendable upon review. Annual funding for the Chair will be 20 lakh rupees. A Chair Professor would be appointed, who will be a nominee of the Ministry of Railways and will be selected by the Chairman, Board of Management of TERI University.
194. Sunil Kanoria appointed as President of ASSOCHAM
i. Sunil Kanoria was on 25 November 2015 appointed as the President of The Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM). Kanoria has succeeded Rana Kapoor, Yes Bank Managing Director and CEO.
ii. Kanoria has an impeccable record as an expert in the field of finance. He has been instrumental in bringing over 34000 crore rupees of consolidated assets under SREI which became one of the first NBFCs to get listed on the London Stock Exchange.
iii. Kanoria is the Vice Chairman of reputed non-banking finance company SREI Infrastructure Finance Limited. He is also the joint Managing Director of SREI BNP Paribas, a joint-venture between SREI Infrastructure Finance Limited and BNP Paribas Leasing Group, France.
iv. He is currently a council member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) as a nominee of the Union Government. He conceptualized the brand Quippo, the country's largest infrastructure equipment rental company.
v. He has been associated with several industry associations - Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC), Hire Purchase and Lease Association, Kolkata (HPLA), Merchants' Chamber of Commerce, Kolkata (MCC) and Federation of Indian Hire Purchase Association (FIHPA).
195. National Milk Day observed in India
i. The National Milk Day (NMD) was on 26 November 2015 observed across India to mark 94th birth anniversary of the Father of the White Revolution Dr Verghese Kurien. The idea of observing National Milk Day was first mooted by Indian Dairy Association (IDA) in 2014 on the lines of World Milk Day that is observed on 1 June every year under the aegis of UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
ii. The first NMD was observed on 26 November 2014 by all Indian diary sector majors including National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), IDA along with around 22 state level milk federations.
iii. Dr. Verghese Kurien is also known as the Milkman of India and the architect of Operation Flood, the idea that transformed India from a milk-deficit country into the world’s largest milk producer. He founded around 30 institutions of excellence (like AMUL, GCMMF, IRMA, NDDB) which are owned, managed by farmers and run by professionals.
iv. Kurien was pioneer in establishment and success of the Amul brand of dairy products. Under his chairmanship, Amul achieved key invention of milk powder processed from buffalo milk. In 1963, he received Ramon Magsaysay Award and in 1989, he was named for the World Food Prize by World Food Prize, USA.
196. International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women observed
i. International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women was observed across the world on 25 November 2015. The day is observed to raise awareness about violence against women and discuss solutions that would work for women community.
ii. The observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women will be marked by organisation of an event called Orange the world: End violence against women and girls across the world.
iii. The event is being organized under the UN Secretary General’s Campaign called UNiTE to End Violence against Women. As part of the event, 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence Campaign will be held from 25 November 2015 to 10 December 2015 (Human Rights Day).
iv. The 16 Days of Activism Campaign will see coming together of governments, UN agencies, civil society organizations and individuals from all countries of the world to step up efforts to end violence against women and girls.
v. The Day was observed in India by lighting the iconic India Gate in orange colour, as a part of global Orange the World event. The event was organised by UN Women Indian along with UNFPA India, UNDP and UN in India as part of the United Nations global campaign that is set to continue till 10 December, designated as the UNs Human Rights Day.
197. 26th November: Constitution Day
i. The ‘Constitution Day’ of India is being observed on 26th November to spread awareness of Indian Constitution and its architecture Dr. B R Ambedkar.
ii. On the day in 1949, constitution of India was adopted which came into force on January 26, 1950 marking the beginning of a new era in the history of free India.
iii. 2015 Constitution Day is the first edition of this day and part of year-long nationwide celebrations of 125th birth Anniversary of Dr. B R Ambedkar, Chairman of the Drafting Committee of Constituent Assembly. Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) is the nodal Ministry for celebration of Constitution Day.
iv. It has organised number of activities on the occasion of the first Constitution Day in order to spread awareness the supreme law of the country and living document which makes the government system work effectively.
198. India successfully test-fires nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile
i. India today successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile, which has a strike range of 350 km, as part of a user trial by the army. The missile test was carried out from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near here at 1210 hrs.
ii. The surface-to-surface Prithvi-II missile is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines. It uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target.
iii. The downrange teams on board a ship deployed near the designated impact point in the Bay of Bengal monitored the terminal events and splashdown, they said.
iv. Inducted into India’s armed forces in 2003, Prithvi-II, the first missile to be developed by DRDO under India’s prestigious IGMDP (Integrated Guided Missile Development Program), is now a proven technology.
v. Such training launches clearly indicate India’s operational readiness to meet any eventuality and also establishes the reliability of this deterrent component of the country’s strategic arsenal, they said. The last user trial of Prithvi-II was successfully conducted on February 19, 2015, from the same test range in Odisha.
199. Nitish announces liquor ban in Bihar from April 1
i. Bihar will go dry from April 1, 2016, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The Chief Minister made the announcement — a part of his election pledge — at an official function to mark Prohibition Day here. He said the poorest of the poor had been consuming liquor, badly hitting their families and their children’s education.
ii. Increasing liquor consumption was also a major cause for domestic violence, particularly against women, and had contributed to a rise in crimes. “Women are suffering more than anyone else due to increasing liquor consumption,” he said.
iii. An official at the Chief Minister’s office said Mr. Kumar took the decision after a high-level meeting with officials here. In July, Mr. Kumar had declared that prohibition would be imposed if he retained power in the assembly elections. Bihar Excise and Prohibition Minister Abdul Jalil Mastan had earlier said that the state government would soon take steps to impose a liquor ban.
iv. The decision is expected to derail the government’s financial health. The excise department went into an overdrive in 2007 following a new policy and started issuing licences for marketing liquor across the state. The revenue collection of excise department registered a more than 10-fold jump, from Rs.319 crore in 2005-06 to Rs.3,650 crore in 2014-15.
200. ISB to host Angel Summit in Hyderabad on Nov 28
i. Angel Hub is holding the first edition of The Angel Summit at the Indian School of Business (ISB) campus in Hyderabad on November 28. The day-long meet would have several women entrepreneurs and executives speaking on their experiences in building enterprises, raising funds and managing the entities.
ii. “Women from various fields such as business, art, technology and cinema will discuss issues to foster awareness, inspiration and turn ideas that matter into action,” Sita Pallacholla, founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Angel Hub, has said.
iii. About 20 start-ups, mostly founded or managed by women entrepreneurs, would pitch in their ideas to angel and venture capital funds. A panel discussion on ‘Be The Captain of Your Own Ship – Rising in Leadership Roles and Staying On Top’ would focus on the challenges involved in building businesses and growing up the executive ladder.
Daily GK -- November 2015 -- 101 to 200 = useful for ibps clerks main Reviewed by sambasivan srinivasan on 7:26:00 PM Rating: