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CURRENT AFFAIRS --NOVEMBER 21 TO 25 2016

21/11/16
India Beat England in 2nd Test
India bowled England out for 158 to complete a 246-run win in the second Test on the fifth day in Visakhapatnam. Indian captain Virat Kohli was announced as the Man of the Match. India now lead the five-match series 1-0 – the third Test will be played in Mohali. With the win over England, India has now remained unbeaten in consecutive 15 test matches.
NASA Launches Weather Satellite
NASA has successfully launched the “next generation” US advanced weather satellites GOES-R. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R) will reach its final designated orbit in the next two weeks,. GOES-R will provide more accurate and timely forecasts about hurricanes and storms.
Mother Teresa Award for Faraaz
Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain was awarded the Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice for 2016. He was one of the three Bangladeshi hostages killed in the terrorist attack on the Holey Cafe in Dhaka’s Gulshan diplomatic zone on July 1. The award was conferred posthumously by the Harmony Foundation in Mumbai. This is the first time the award has been conferred posthumously.
China Launches Quantum Communication
China has launched a quantum communication line of 712 kilometers in length that is meant to safely transmit sensitive information. It is expected to be extended to 2,000 kilometers soon. The line connecting Hefei, the capital of Anhui Province, and Shanghai, a coastal trade hub. It transmitted a secure video conference between the two cities in one of its first test communications.
Angela Merkel to Stand for Fourth Term
Germany’s centre-right Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced that she will run for a fourth term in office. General elections are expected in Germany next year. Mrs Merkel’s poll ratings have slipped since the height of her popularity but she retains wide support. The chancellor, who has been in office since 2005, is being challenged by the populist right-wing AfD party.
Sri Sri Ravishankar Gets Peace Prize
Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar was honoured with an international peace prize for his efforts in ensuring world peace. Home Minister Rajnath Singh gave away the “Dr Nagendra Singh International Peace Award” to the spiritual leader. The award has been instituted in the memory of Dr Nagendra Singh, first Indian judge at International Court of Justice, Hague
INS Chennai Commissioned into Navy
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar commissioned INS Chennai, the third indigenously designed guided missile destroyer in the Kolkata class, in Mumbai. The shilp was built at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd in Mumbai. INS Chennai is one of the largest destroyers in the Indian Navy’s fleet. The ship is armed with supersonic surface-to-surface BrahMos & Barak-8 missiles.
India Conducts Twin Trial of Prithvi-II
India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile twice in quick succession. This was part of a user trial by the army from a test range at Chandipur in Odisha. The two surface-to-surface missiles have a strike range of 350 km and are capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warhead. The missile is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines.
Govt Launches ‘Pehchan’ Identity Cards
Union textile minister Smriti Irani has launched a scheme of textile ministry ‘pehchan’ identity cards to artisans in Ahmedabad. She distributed ‘pehchan’ cards to artisans from five clusters of Gujarat namely Jamnagar, Naroda, Surendranagar, Amreli & Kalol. The upgraded Pehchan cards for the artisans will be linked with their Aadhar Card numbers as well as their bank accounts.
Film Festival of India Begins at Panaji
The 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2016 begins at Panaji in Goa. Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the festival. Veteran Korean filmmaker Im Kwon Taek will be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the opening ceremony. Polish drama film Afterimage directed by Andrzej Wajda will be the opening film.
PM Launches Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana
PM Modi has launched his flagship housing scheme Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojna in Agra. Designed entirely for the rural masses, the ambitious scheme aims to provide affordable houses to all those living below the poverty line by the year 2022. The scheme aims to provide about 3 cr new housing units countrywide. The PM also distributed allotment letters to 50 beneficiaries of the scheme.
Hull Win the CME Group Tour Championship
England’s Charley Hull has won the CME Group Tour Championship by two shots to earn her first LPGA title. The 20-year-old finished on a tournament record 19 under par to beat South Korea’s Ryu So-yeon. World number one Lydia Ko was tied for 10th, while England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff finished tied for 36th. It Hull’s second title since turning professional in 2013.
Andy Murray win the ATP World Tour Final
Britain’s Andy Murray win his first ATP World Tour Finals title and end 2016 as the world number one. Britain’s Andy Murray beat five-time champion Novak Djokovic to win his first ATP World Tour Finals title and end 2016 as the world number one. The victory also ends Djokovic’s four-year run of success at the tournament and the Serb’s bid to equal Roger Federer’s record of six titles.
Eliud Wins Men’s Delhi Half Marathon
Reigning Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya won the men’s race of Delhi Half Marathon. Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa clinched the women’s title. Kipchoge clocked 59 minutes and 44 seconds to cover the 21.097km distance. Degefa clocked one hour, seven minutes and 42 seconds to clinch the title ahead of fellow Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh and Helah Kiprop of Kenya.
Manavjit Singh Clinches Gold Medal
Former world champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu clinched the gold medal in men’s trap event at the 60th National Shooting Championship for Shotgun in Jaipur. He shot 117 in qualifying to reach the six-man final rounds in fourth spot. He then shot 12 out of 15 birds in the semi-final stage to make it to the gold medal match. He defeated silver winner Raninder Singh to seal the top spot.
Naidu commissions 5 MW Solar power plant
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu commissioned a 5 MW solar power plant on the Polavaram right canal bund at Gollagudem village in West Godavari district. The plant will produce 8.06 million units of power annually. The Centre has extended a capital subsidy of Rs 7.50 crore for this plant. AP has currently has an overall installed capacity of 1000 MW of solar energy.
Mahesh Bhalla Appointed as Chief Mentor
Mahesh Bhalla, former Executive Director of Dell’s Consumer & SMB business in India, has been appointed as Chief Mentor of StartupsClub India. StartUpsClub is the largest community for such ventures in India with over 10,000 plus entrepreneurs on its board. It is an initiative that helps entrepreneurs build an ideal platform to create a conducive environment for starting an enterprise.
Australia’s Boral to Buy Headwaters
Boral Ltd , Australia’s biggest supplier of building materials, said it would buy Headwaters Inc for $1.8 billion in cash. It will double its U.S. presence. The combined entity would become the largest U.S. supplier of fly ash, a key ingredient in concrete. Trump has said infrastructure spending will be a priority and aims to spend $1 trillion over 10 years.
SBI Plans to Raise Rs 5,681 crore
State Bank of India said it proposes to raise Rs 5,681 crore by issuance of preferential shares to the central govt, its majority shareholder. The bank will take fresh approval to raise up to Rs 15,000 crore from various means, including public offer & overseas issuance of shares. The funds raised will help the bank meet global risk norms, Basel III, which will kick in from March 2019.
BSE Opens Regional Office in Shimla
Leading stock exchange BSE opened its regional investor service centre in Shimla. It was part of its efforts to expand its operations and in line with Sebi’s directives. The exchange now has presence in 24 cities across the country. The centre will facilitate query handling, redressal of grievances against trading members and arbitration mechanism.


22/11/16
Egypt Court Overturn Morsi Life Sentence
Egypt’s Court of Cassation overturned a life sentence against deposed President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Court ordered a retrial in the case that revolves around accusations of espionage with Palestinian group Hamas. The court had last week overturned a death sentence against Mursi in a separate case, meaning he no longer faces execution.
Indian-American Felicitated with Award
Azamgarh-born Indian-American philanthropist Frank Islam has been felicitated with the Interfaith Leadership Award. He was honored for his contributions towards the arts and higher education and support of interfaith dialogue. He has been a staunch supporter of causes that promote diversity religious freedom and interfaith dialogue and cooperation.
US to Quit TPP Trade Deal
President-elect Donald Trump said that the US will quit the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal on his first day in the White House. He made the announcement in a video message outlining what he intends to do first when he takes office in Jan. The TPP trade deal was signed by 12 countries which together cover 40% of the world’s economy. TPP aim was to deepen economic ties & boost growth.
Thai Princess Conferred Sanskrit Award
Thailand’s Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn was presented with the first ‘World Sanskrit Award’ for the year 2015. Besides, American linguist and Indologist Prof. George Cardona was also presented with this award for the year 2016. They were bestowed with the award by Vice President Hamid Ansari. The award was instituted by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
Ex-Governor of MP Ram Naresh Yadav Dies
Former Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav passed away. He was a four-time MLA, a member of the Rajya Sabha and the former Governor of Madhya Pradesh. He served as the Madhya Pradesh Governor from August 26, 2011 to September 7, 2016. The veteran Congress leader was also Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister from 1977-79. He was imprisoned for 19 months during the Emergency.
Scientists discover new exoplanet
Scientists have discovered a new ‘super Earth’ type exoplanet named as GJ 536b orbiting a very bright star near to our Sun. The planet was jointly detected by Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) and the Geneva Observatory. The planet has a mass of around 5.4 Earth masses. It is orbiting a star much smaller and cooler than the sun.
CM V Narayanasamy Wins Nellithope Seat
Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy was elected to the Puducherry assembly. Narayanasamy trounced his nearest AIADMK rival by 11,144 votes by securing 18,709 votes. The by-election was held following the resignation of Congress member John Kumar so that Narayanasamy could contest and continue as the Chief Minister. Narayanasamy did not contest the assembly polls of May 2016.
India Becomes Associate Member of CERN
India & European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) signed an agreement making India an Associate Member State of CERN. The agreement was signed by Dr. Sekhar Basu, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission & CERN Director General Dr. Fabiola Gianotti. India’s Associate Membership will strengthen the long-term partnership between CERN and the Indian scientific community.
India Test-Fires Agni-I Missile
India successfully test-fired its indigenously built nuclear capable Agni-I ballistic missile from a test range off Odisha coast, as part of a user trial by Army. The surface-to-surface missile can hit a target 700 km away. It was test-fired from a mobile launcher from the Integrated Test Range at Abdul Kalam Island, Wheeler Island. he missile has already been inducted into the Army.
India’s Longest Expressway Opens in U.P.
Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav inaugurated the six-lane Greenfield Agra-Lucknow Expressway at Bangarmau in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh. Just before the inauguration, four Sukhoi jets from Bareilly & four Mirage 2000s from Gwalior landed upon the air strip built on the expressway. The Lucknow-Agra Expressway is India’s longest expressway, with a length of 302-km.
AIFF will Bid for U-20 World Cup
All India Football Federation President Praful Patel has said that India will bid for the Under-20 FIFA World Cup in the next few years. He said, that the country is keen to host the event at the earliest available opportunity in 2019. India is hosting the Under-17 FIFA World Cup next year. Under-17 global event will help in bidding for the Under-20 FIFA World Cup.
Gaganjeet Bhullar Wins Indonesia Open
Indian Golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar of India has won the 300,000 US Dollar BANK BRI-JCB Indonesia Open for the second time in his career. He also won the event in 2013 & sealed his seventh victory on the Asian Tour & a second title this season. With his win at the BANK BRI-JCB Indonesia Open, Bhullar is now the fifth player win the event twice. Jeev Milkha Singh finished tied second.
Quikr Buys Grabhouse in All-stock Deal
Online classifieds company Quikr India Pvt. Ltd has acquired home rental start-up Grabhouse in an all-stock deal. The two companies didn’t disclose the size of the deal. Grabhouse will continue operations as an independent brand for managed rental homes. In January Quikr acquired realty portal Commonfloor also in an all-stock transaction.
IRCTC, FreeCharge Ink Deal
IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation) has forged an alliance with FreeCharge & MakeMyTrip. It will help people in making faster & easier reservation of tickets. FreeCharge is one of India’s fastest growing online payment entities. Passengers can now pay through their FreeCharge wallet in just 10 seconds, both during tatkal and normal hours while booking their tickets.
Oracle to Buy Web Service Provider Dyn
Oracle announced that it acquired the DNS provider called Dyn. Dyn came into the public eye after it was hit by a large-scale internet attack in Oct that left websites unreachable. It is among a handful of companies operating domain-name systems that help direct traffic across the internet. Its services are crucial cogs in helping internet users reach websites by allowing web addresses.
Google Launched Virtual Exhibition
Google with the help of its cultural arm Google Arts & Culture launched a virtual artwork and exhibition showcasing the achievements of the Indian women in the country. Women in India: Unheard Stories,’ is a collection of over fifty virtual exhibitions with more than 1,800 artworks, photographs and videos. This project is an effort to recognise the impact of Indian women in history.
Novartis Acquire Selexys Pharmaceuticals
Swiss-based pharmaceuticals giant Novartis said it is acquiring Selexys Pharmaceuticals Corp in a deal worth up to $665 million (€627 million). Selexys Pharmaceuticals is a US research lab in blood and inflammatory disorders. Selexys specialises in sickle cell disease, an inherited form of anaemia. The drug, called SelG1, aims at easing the so-called vaso-occlusive pain crises.
Relief for Farmers Ahead of Rabi Season
The Centre has taken more steps to ease the cash flow for farmers after demonetisation of old 500 and 1000 rupee notes. Farmers can now purchase seeds with old 500 rupee notes. This comes on the back of permitting farmers to withdraw up to 25,000 rupees per week from their KYC compliant accounts. Govt has decided to provide 60 days more for repayment of housing, car, farm and other loans.
Rs 50,000/week Withdrawal from Overdraft
The Reserve Bank said overdraft and cash credit account holders can now withdraw up to Rs 50,000 in a week. Earlier, current account holders were allowed to withdraw up to Rs. 50,000 in cash, in a week. Accordingly, holders of current/overdraft/cash credit accounts, which are operational for the last three months or more, may now withdraw up to Rs. 50,000 in cash, in a week.
RBI Permits Withdrawal for Wedding
RBI has said that banks can disburse 2 lakh 50 thousands rupees to members of public who have a wedding in their family on or before December 30, 2016. It said that withdrawal can be made by either of the parents or the person getting married. RBI has asked banks to fully verify that the amount proposed to be withdrawn is to be used for payment to persons who do not have a bank account.

23/11/16
Storm Otto Turns into Hurricane
Storm Otto became a hurricane off the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. The US-based National Hurricane Center said, with additional strengthening expected over the next couple of days. It said that the storm was gaining maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (121 km/h). It is anticipated to approach the coasts of Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
Obama Hits 1,000 Mark for Commutations
US President Barack Obama has shortened sentences for 79 more people and has surpassed the 1,000 mark for commutations granted during his presidency. President Obama has commuted more sentences than the past 11 presidents combined. Most of those who have received clemency are non-violent drug offenders. Obama has been calling for years for phasing out strict sentences for drug offenses.
South Korea Approves Deal with Japan
South Korea President Park Geun-hye approved a military intelligence-sharing pact with Japan. It is aimed at countering the North Korean threat. Currently, Japan and South Korea use Washington as an intermediary when sharing intelligence on North Korea. But South Koreans are wary of cooperating too closely with Japan, which ruled Korea as a colony for 35 years until the end of World War II.
BBC’s 100 Most Influential Women -1
BBC’s 100 Women unveiled its chosen list of inspirational women for 2016. From amongst 100 globally chosen women, the list also includes five Indians- Bollywood actress Sunny Leone , Mallika Srinivasan, Neha Singh, Saalumarada Thimmakka and Gouri Chindarkar. Mallika Srinivasan is the CEO of Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd (TAFE) & also known as the ‘Tractor Queen of India’.
BBC’s 100 Most Influential Women -2
Sunny Leone is a leading Indian film actress & model. Gouri Chindarkar was one of the first children in India to experience a unique learning experience now known as ‘School in the Cloud.’ Neha Singh is a actor and writer, founded a movement to encourage women to walk the streets in Mumbai to defy harassment. Saalumarada Thimmakka is a environmentalist who has planted more than 8,000 trees.
Portuguese PM to be Chief Guest
António Costa, the Indian origin prime minister of the Republic of Portugal will be the chief guest at the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD). PBD Convention will be held from January 7 to 9, 2017 in Bengaluru. The Portuguese PM has accepted an invitation from PM Modi. Surinam Vice president Michael Ashwin Satyandre Adhin will be the Special Guest at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD).
Mukul Wins Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize
Senior journalist at the Times of India Akshaya Mukul has been awarded the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize 2016. He has been awarded for his book Gita Press & the Making of Hindu India. The jury member comprising of Samanth Subramanian, Mahesh Rao & Janice Pariat described the book to be “eyeopening and captivating”. The Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize was set up in 2008 to encourage authors.
Carnatic Musician Balamuralikrishna Dies
            Veteran Carnatic musician Dr M Balamuralikrishna passed away. The singer is credited with pioneering and engineering distinguished styles, having created his own Ragas. He caught the nation’s attention in Doordarshan’s iconic music video ‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara’ in the eighties. He was conferred the Padmavibhushan, the second highest civilian honour in the country, in 1991.
Acclaimed Physicist MGK Menon Dies
Professor MGK Menon, an acclaimed physicist has passed away. He had played a prominent role in the development of science and technology in the country over the last five decades. He had headed the Indian Space Research Organisation in 1972 as its Chairman. He served as a Minister of State for Science and Technology and Education in the V.P Singh government.
Indian Woman Wins Top Bravery Award
India’s first female Merchant Navy captain Radhika Menon has become the first woman to be awarded by the IMO for her exceptional bravery. She received her medal and certificate of commendation at an awards ceremony at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) headquarters. She was awarded for the dramatic rescue of seven fishermen from a sinking fishing boat in tumultuous Bay of Bengal.
ICC Nullifies Ball Tampering Allegations
Allegations of ball tampering leveled against Indian Test captain Virat Kohli by a British tabloid did not hold much ground as per the specific clauses in the ICC’s Rules and Regulations. There has been no complaint filed by the visiting team. As per ICC regulations on ball tampering, if a team wants to lodge a complaint it has to be done within five days of the completion of the Test match.
Kohli Attain to Career High Test Ranking
Virat Kohli has jumped up to a career-high fourth position in the ICC Test Players Rankings. He shot up 10 places after a man-of-the-match performance in the Vizag Test against England. He is currently top-ranked in T20 Internationals and has also held the top position in One-Day Internationals. He has never moved above 10th place in Tests.
Pankaj Patel Elected Ficci President
Zydus Cadila CMD Pankaj Patel has been elected president of industry body Ficci (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry)for 2017. He will take over once the incumbent Ambuja Neotia Group Chairman Harshavardhan Neotia completes his term next month. FICCI is an association of business organizations in India. It is the largest, oldest & the apex business organisation in India.
Indian Wealth Falls 0.8% to USD 3 trn
India’s household wealth has fallen by USD 26 billion to USD 3 trillion in the current year. According to the ‘Global Wealth Report’ compiled by Credit Suisse Research Institute, wealth in the country in dollar terms went down by 0.8 per cent (USD 26 billion) to USD 3.099 trillion in 2016. The report noted that while wealth has been rising in India, not everyone has shared in this growth.
RBI Doubles PPI Limit to Rs 20,000
The RBI has doubled the limit of semi-closed Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs) to Rs 20,000 to facilitate digital transactions. RBI has introduced additional measures by way of special dispensation for small merchants. Balance in such PPIs cannot exceed Rs 20,000 at any point of time. The merchants can transfer funds from such PPIs to their own linked bank accounts up to Rs 50,000/month.
Khan Mkt World’s 28th Costliest Location
National capital’s upscale Khan Market has slipped two position to world’s 28th most expensive retail location. Monthly rentals at Khan market stood at Rs 1250 per sq ft annually. New York s Upper 5th Avenue continued to remain the world s most expensive retail location. In India, the three most expensive retail micro-markets are located in Delhi-NCR.
No USSD Charges for Mobile Banking
Telecom operators have decided to waive off charges for Mobile Banking services till 31st of next month. It will facilitate use of electronic banking facility &reduce difficulty to the common man. It will help people with smart phones to access electronic banking facility. At present,a charge is being levied by telecom operators for the mobile banking,which is commonly known as USSD charge.
PepsiCo To Buy KeVita
PepsiCo Inc said it would buy health beverage maker KeVita Inc, in an effort to diversify its soft drinks business and tap health conscious consumers. California-based KeVita offers more than two dozen flavors of probiotic drinks. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction, which is set to close over the next couple of months.
L&T Sheds 14,000 Employees
Larsen & Toubro has shed 14,000 employees, or 11.2% of its total workforce, in one of the biggest corporate retrenchment exercises in recent times. The step was an attempt to “right size” its strength in the face of business slowdown. Digitisation of operations also caused redundancies that led to downsizing. L&T has been facing challenges with customers deferring orders.
India,Switzerland Sign Joint Declaration
India & Switzerland signed a Joint Declaration for implementation of Automatic Exchange of Information. The Joint Declaration was signed by Chairman of CBDT Sushil Chandra & Deputy Chief of Mission of Swiss Embassy in India, Gilles Roduit. It will make possible for India to receive the financial information of accounts held by Indian residents in Switzerland for 2018 and subsequent years.

24/11/16
Turkey to Chair Energy Club of SCO
Turkey will chair the Energy Club of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in 2017. With this, it became the first non full member country to be the chairman of a club in the organisation. The SCO Energy Club brings together some of the world largest energy producers. The members of SCO cover some 36% of the world’s electricity, 23% of natural gas & 60.2 % of coal production.
Archaeologists Uncover 7000-yr Old City
In Egypt, archaeologists have unearthed a city dating back more than 7,000 years, containing houses, tools, pottery and huge graves. The discovery was made by an archaeological mission of Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry. The city lies by River Nile, close to the Temple of Seti the First in Abydos. Abydos is a place of many temples, and a capital in an early period of ancient Egyptian history.
Nikki Haley Chosen as U.N. Ambassador
Donald Trump has named South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as US Ambassador to the UN. Ms Haley is the first non-white female cabinet-level official appointed within the Trump administration. She is the daughter of Indian immigrants and had been a vocal critic of Mr Trump. She has been characterized as a rising star within the Republican party and is the youngest Governor in the US.
Honour for Software Writer on Apollo
Margaret Hamilton who wrote software for the Apollo space missions has been given the US highest civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was one of 21 people awarded the medal by President Barack Obama. It is almost 50 years since her initial work on the Apollo 11 moon mission. Mrs Hamilton’s pioneering software helped land the lunar module and its crew on the Moon in 1969.
China Launches Tianlian I-04 Satellite
\           China has successfully launched its 4th data satellite, Tianlian I-04. The satellite was launched on a Long March-3C carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest Sichuan province. The satellite will provide data relay, measurement and control services for Chinas manned spacecraft, space labs and space stations as well as nation’s Earth-orbiting resources satellites.
Well known Director K Subash Dies
Director K Subash, known for directing Tamil film “Chathriyan” and penning the story of Shah Rukh Khan’s “Chennai Express” has passed away. He has a number of hits under his belt, but was particularly known for the blockbuster “Chathriyan”,. He had worked in a number of Hindi films also, penning the story for superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s “Chennai Express” and “Housefull 3”.
Malini Honoured with Press Freedom Award
Indian journalist Malini Subramaniam has been conferred with the International Press Freedom Award for her reporting from the Naxal-infested Bastar area. She is one of the four journalists felicitated by the annual award. She was honoured by the Committee to Protect Journalists along with El Salvador’s Oscar Martinez and Turkey’s Can Dundar.
Government Appoints New NHAI Chairman
The govt has appointed Yudhvir Singh Malik as the Chairman of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). Malik was earlier posted as special secretary in Niti Aayog. The outgoing chairman Raghav Chandra has been moved to the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes as secretary. NHAI is entrusted with the task of implementing National Highways Development Project (NHDP).
Upgraded Jaguar DARIN III Receives IOC
The upgraded Jaguar DARIN III twin-seat aircraft has received Initial Operation Clearance, IOC. It is a significant milestone for the country’s military aviation sector. Three DARIN I Standard Jaguars have been upgraded to DARIN III Standard by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited,HAL. The aircraft is now equipped with world class avionics system.
Naidu Launches Water Monitoring Portal
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu formally launched the ‘Smart Water Distribution Monitoring’ web interface. Through this interface people can check the status of drinking water in the water tanks nearby. The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system helps in reduction of water wastage as well as ensure seamless supply to the households.
World Robot Olympiad to Be Held In India
The 13th World Robot Olympiad will be held in India for the first time. The World Robotic Olympiad is an event for science, technology and education which brings together young people from across the world. This year’s theme ‘Rap the Scrap’ is in line with ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’. The event will be organised jointly by NCSM under the aegis of Ministry of Culture from Nov 25.
BHEL Commissions RIL Plant
BHEL has commissioned a 93 MW steam turbine-based captive power plant (CPP) for Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) at Hazira in Gujarat. This is the second unit of the 4×93 MW steam turbine-based CPP. BHEL is also setting up a 3×93 MW steam turbine-based CPP for RIL at Dahej in Gujarat. With the commissioning,BHEL has so far commissioned two units each at the Hazira and Dahej projects.
3 Insolvency Regulations Issued
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India has come up with three regulations covering insolvency professional agency & insolvency professionals. The notified norms pertain to Insolvency Professionals, Insolvency Agencies and Model Bye-Laws and Governing Board of Insolvency Professional Agencies. Advocates, chartered accountants company secretaries can serve as insolvency professionals.
Zee Buys Anil Ambani’s TV, Radio
Reliance Capital has divested its 100% stake in its television broadcasting business & 49% in its radio business to Zee Group for an enterprise value of Rs.1,900 cr. The Anil Ambani company said the move is in line with its plan to exit non-core businesses to trim debt. The radio broadcasting business, operated by Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd, holds 45 operational licences & 14 new licences.
Sun Pharma to Buy Russian Firm Biosintez
Sun Pharma has announced the acquisition of Biosintez, a Russian company making & marketing pharmaceutical products. Sun Pharma picked up 85.1% of the company for US$ 24 million & also the debt of approximately US$ 36 million as part of the transaction. Biosintez is a Russian pharmaceutical company focusing on the hospital segment. It has annual revenues of approx US$ 52 million for 2015.
Goldman Forecasts Deceleration in GDP
Goldman Sachs has forecast a deceleration in India’s GDP growth to 6.8 per cent this fiscal due to demonetisation. The liquidity shortage would be a significant constraint on domestic activity, which in turn would affect GDP growth. The currency reform should help to move economic activity into formal channels, accelerate financial inclusion, and increase government revenue.
Nabard to Allocate ₹21000 cr
The National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has been asked to sanction Rs. 21,000 crore to district cooperative banks. It aims to fund the crop loan demands of small and marginal farmers. About 40 per cent of the credit needs of farmers is taken care of by such banks. Banks have also been advised to make cash available to district cooperative banks.
Airtel Launches Payments Bank
Bharti Airtel has announced the launch of the first payments bank (Airtel Payments Bank Ltd) as a pilot in Rajasthan. The pilot project will run in 10,000 Airtel retail outlets in Rajasthan. Airtel Payments Bank is the first one to launch the services out of the 11 companies that got licenses last year. Payments banks can accept a restricted deposit that is currently limited to ₹1 lakh.
SBI Slashes Bulk Deposit Rates
The SBI slashed bulk deposit rates by up to 1.9 percent, taking advantage of the surge in deposits following demonetization. The reduction in deposit rate by the country’s largest lender may be precursor to a lending rate cut. SBI has reduced interest rates on bulk deposits ranging between Rs 1-10 crore. Earlier this month, the SBI had cut fixed deposit rates for less than Rs 1 crore.
SEBI’s Allows 200 Investors in a Scheme
SEBI has eased the regulations governing investment in angel funds. Considering the recommendations SEBI decided to increase the upper limit of number of angel investors in a scheme to 200 from 49. It also allows these funds to invest in start-ups up to five years old. Earlier, angel funds could invest in start-ups which were between zero and three years old.

25/11/16
Improving Health Indicators In India
The country has demonstrated reduction in key health indicators such as Infant Mortality Rate, Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR), Under 5 Mortality Rate. Further, the annual average pace of decline in MMR (for the period 1990 to 2013) was much faster in India (4.5%) as compared to global rate (2.6%). Additionally, mortality due to various diseases has reduced too.
Demonetisation lead to long-term gains
Rating agencies, Moody’s Investor Service & Standard & Poor’s have given the thumbs-up to the government’s decision to demonetise high-value currency notes, but warned of short-term pain. Moody’s Investor Service said demonetisation would boost tax revenue and hasten fiscal consolidation in the longer run. The move will weigh on GDP growth for a few quarters, dampening government revenues.
Tribals celebrate Wangala festival
Hundreds of Garo tribals gathered to celebrate the harvest festival of Wangala with much fervour in Meghalaya.The festival marks the end of a period of toil for farmers wanting a good output from their fields. Dressed in their traditional fineries, farmers of the tribe gathered together to dance in honour of Saljong, the spirit of the Sun and fertility.
Sugar output may drop by over 7%
India’s sugar production could decline by over 7% to 23.26 million tonnes next marketing year due to poor rains in Maharasthra and Karnataka. The sugar output is estimated to fall for the second straight year in 2016-17 marketing year because of drought in major growing states. India, the world’s second largest sugar producer after Brazil, is estimated to have fallen to 25.1 million tonnes.
100 killed in suicide truck bomb attack
A suicide truck bomb killed about 100 people, most of them Iranian Shia pilgrims, at a petrol station in the city of Hilla 100 km south of Baghdad, Iraq. Islamic State, which considers all Shias to be apostates, claimed responsibility the attack in an online statement. The group is also fighting off a U.S.-backed offensive on its stronghold Mosul, in northern Iraq.
New drug to suppress allergies, asthma
Barry Marshall, a microbiology professor from the University of Western Australia (UWA), who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 2005 for stomach ulcer research, is working on the new drug. Still in its initial stage, the the drug can be taken as tablets, capsules, liquids or powder. The medication, named Immbalance, aims to suppress an overactive immune system.
MP has world’s oldest rock art
The petroglyph rock art at Daraki-Chattan near Bhanpura in Mandsaur district is the “world’s oldest rock art” & is almost 2 to 5 lakh years’ old. The successful expedition from November 2 to 23 was led by Rock Art Society of India Secretary General Prof Giriraj Kumar along with Australian scientist Robert G. Bednarik. Mr. Bednarik is the topmost rock art scientist in the world.
PETROTECH- 2016
PETROTECH-2016, India’s flagship biennial hydrocarbons event, is being organized at New Delhi under the aegis of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas during December 5 -7, 2016. It will be inaugurated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister. The Conference will also host a CEOs Conclave, an exclusive pre-event programme on women in the Hydrocarbon Industry, and a Yuva Urja Forum for students.
Movie’s section for Visually-Impaired
Three films viz., Gandhi, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Dhanak are screened at the 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) for children with disabilities. This is done through audio-description under the Accessible India Campaign (Sugayama Bharat Abhiyan). This was done in collaboration with UNESCO and Saksham NGO. Saksham, a Delhi based NGO.
Allama: Indian Entry for ICFT UNESCO
At 47th IFFI, ‘Allama’, a film by T.S. Nagabharana, about the journey of a 12th century metaphysician, will compete for the International Council for Film, Television and Audio-visual Communication UNESCO Gandhi Medal. ICFT Paris in collaboration with UNESCO will award the film that best reflects the Gandhi ideals. This competition section shall have 8 films including ‘Allama’.
Taiwan to export $500-m textile products
The Taiwan Textile Federation (TTF) is bullish on domestic textile sector and is looking to export textiles products worth around $500 million to India in the next five years. India is a very dynamic market with lot of potential and scope for Taiwanese companies. For over 10 years, the TTF had been organising buyer-seller meet in India and has been quite successful in it.
Nabard to provide 880 cr to cooperatives
With a view to assist farmers in Haryana, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development will provide credit support of Rs 880 crore to district central cooperative banks. The amount has been made available for the current rabi season. In addition, NABARD has made provision of an additional credit limit of Rs 1,850 crore to ensure that the DCCBs do not face liquidity crunch.
Indian Army pounds Pakistan posts
The Indian Army inflicted “significant damage” on Pakistan army posts and forward locations by conducting “punitive” fire assaults across the LoC. This was done to exact revenge for the beheading of one of its soldiers in the Macchil sector of Jammu and Kashmir. The ferocity of the fire assaults was such that the Pakistan DGMO was forced to call his Indian counterpart.
Unaccounted deposits to attract 60% tax
The union cabinet is understood to have approved amendments to the income-tax laws, clarifying the tax liability on deposits of cancelled Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in bank accounts after the November 8. Taxes on unaccounted deposits may be levied at the rate of up to 60% (30% tax plus 30% penalty). This is higher than the 45% levied under the income disclosure scheme that closed on Sept 30.
23 places you can still use old notes
The government has stopped over the counter exchange of old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 from 24th midnight. Government has permitted various exemptions for certain transactions and activities wherein payment could be made only through old Rs. 500 notes till the midnight of 15 December 2016. This includes payments towards pre paid mobile top-up, Purchase from Consumer coopeative stores etc.
India may impose curbs gold holdings
The Centre may impose curbs on domestic holdings of gold as PM Modi intensifies a fight against black money. Gold premiums in India jumped to two-year highs last week as jewellers ramped up purchases on fears the government might restrict imports after withdrawing higher-denomination notes from circulation. The move has already started to disrupt cash-based gold smuggling.
Peru declares state of emergency
Peru has declared a state of emergency in 7 districts in the north of the country where forest fires have killed two, injured four and burnt nearly 12,000 hectares of land. Wildfires have spread to 11 regions across the country. Peru’s environment minister, Elsa Galarza, said a special brigade of firefighters had been deployed to the worst-affected areas in the north.
Iceland govt challenges Iceland for name
The government of Iceland has launched legal action against its namesake British grocery chain. The island of Iceland is challenging Iceland Foods’ exclusive ownership of the European-wide trademark registration for the word Iceland. The Icelandic government’s legal challenge at the EU-IPO seeks to invalidate this registration on the basis that ‘Iceland’ is exceptionally broad and ambiguous.
Costa Rica and Nicaragua evacuated
Hurricane Otto strengthened to a category two storm as it made landfall on the sparsely populated Caribbean border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The US National Hurricane Center said Otto hit land near the town of San Juan de Nicaragua with winds of 110 mph around midday local time. A 7-magnitude quake also strikes near El Salvador as hurricane Otto makes landfall.
Arctic ice melt can start climate change
Arctic scientists have warned that the increasingly rapid melting of the ice cap risks triggering 19 “tipping points” in the region that could have catastrophic consequences around the globe. The Arctic Resilience Report found that the effects of Arctic warming could be felt as far away as the Indian Ocean. Sea ice is at the lowest extent ever recorded for the time of year.

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