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NITI Aayog’s 1st National MPI 2021: Kerala has Lowest Poverty while Bihar has Highest
About NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog:
Establishment– January 1, 2015
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
CEO– Amitabh Kant
>>Read Full News
Govt Constitutes 5-member Panel for timely Completion of Central Vista Projects
On 25 November, 2021, The union government formed a five-member Central Vista Oversight Committee, which was headed by former Finance Secretary Ratan P Watal, to ensure faster delivery of projects being executed under the Central Vista redevelopment plan.
Deputy CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) P K Tiwari, former director of L&T (Larsen and Toubro) Shailendar Roy, IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Delhi professor Mausam and others.
i.The ‘Central Vista Oversight Committee’ will ensure and provide impetus to various agencies and stakeholders for coordination.
ii.The committee will ensure continuous monitoring of the execution of projects of Central Vista with respect to timely completion.
Kamladityya Construction Pvt Ltd- constructing the vice-president enclave
L&T Limited- given tender for the construction and maintenance of the first three buildings of the Common Central Secretariat under the Central Vista redevelopment project.
Tata Projects Limited- constructing a new parliament building.
Shapoorji Pallonji and Company Limited– the work for redevelopment work of the Central Vista Avenue from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.
About Central Vista redevelopment project:
i.The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) proposed a Central Vista redevelopment project in 2019.
ii.The project envisages-
- Constructing a triangular Parliament building next to the existing one.
- Constructing Common Central Secretariat.
- Revamping of the 3-km-long Rajpath — from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.
- North and South Block to be repurposed as museums.
About the Design:
- Parliament House building was designed by both Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker.
IGSTC launches ‘WISER’ – 1st of its kind Programme for Women in R&D field
- The program was launched in the presence of Dr. Tessy Thomas, DRDO (India), Dr. Muthayya Vanitha, ISRO (India) & Dr. Nisha Mehndiratta, DST (India) along with Dr. Nicola Marsden, University of Applied Sciences Heilbronn & Petra Lucht, Technical University Berlin (Germany).
i.WISER is the first-of-its-kind programme that enables gender equality and women’s participation in Science and Technology and offers 20 scholarship awards per year.
- IGSTC supports the awardees with a maximum of 39 Lakh from the Indian side and EUR 48000 from Germany side.
ii.It supports women scientists holding regular or long term research positions in academia or research institutes or industries through lateral entry.
iii.This initiative will be in addition to the ongoing flagship 2+2 programme of India with Germany.
i.IGSTC was established in 2010, with Headquarters at Gurugram, Haryana as a joint initiative by India’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), government of Germany.
ii.IGSTC fosters innovation through the Indo-German R&D network including industrial research partnership in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode.
About Department of Science and Technology (DST)
Secretary – M. Ravichandran
Established – 1971
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Dr Jitendra Singh virtually chaired the 9th BRICS Science & Technology Ministers Meeting
ii.The Indian side called to improve the ranking of BRICS in the Global Innovation Index by strengthening cooperation in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).
iii.In this regard, all the member states have adopted the BRICS innovation Action Plan 2021-24, BRICS STI Declaration 2021 and Calendar of BRICS STI Activities 2022 which will act as a roadmap for cooperation.
About BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa):
2021 Chair– India
Theme for India’s Chairship– ‘BRICS @ 15: Intra-BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus’
>>Read Full News
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu Addressed the Retreat Session of the 2-day 13th ASEM Summit
The Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu, led the Indian delegation and addressed the Retreat Session of the two-day 13th Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit.
- The summit was held on November 25 and 26, 2021, in virtual format, from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, themed on ‘Strengthening Multilateralism for Shared Growth’.
- The Vice President had made interventions in the Plenary Session of the Summit. He mentioned India’s contribution in the fight against COVID-19.
- The summit is hosted by Cambodia as it is the current chair of the group.
- The ASEM agenda for 2021 Prioritises issues related to strengthening multilateralism, post-pandemic socio-economic recovery and development and other regional and global issues of common interest and concern.
Key Facts about ASEM:
i.ASEM, which was established in 1996, is an informal platform for political dialogue and cooperation between the countries in Asia and Europe to exchange views on regional and global issues and strengthen cooperation in a wide range of areas.
ii.It brings together 53 partners (51 partner countries and 2 organisational partners (European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)) and makes it the biggest international leaders’ gathering after the United Nations General Assembly.
- The 13th ASEM summit marks the 25th anniversary of the ASEM process. The 12th ASEM Summit took place in Brussels on 18-19 October 2018.
- India’s participation at the 7th ASEM summit (which was held in 2008) marks the first summit-level participation from India.
iii.The ASEM Summit is a biennial summit that is being held alternating between Asia and Europe to set priorities for cooperation between Asia and Europe on political, economic, financial, social, cultural and educational issues.
iv.The countries in ASEM represent 65 percent of the global GDP, 60 percent of the global population, 75 percent of global tourism and 55 percent of global trade.
About Ministry of External Affairs (MEA):
Union Minister – Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (Constituency – Gujarat)
Minister of State – VMuraleedharan (Constituency – Maharashtra), Meenakashi Lekhi (Constituency – New Delhi, NCT of Delhi), Rajkumar Ranjan Singh (Constituency -Inner Manipur, Manipur)
WHO Designates New COVID-19 Strain, Named ‘Omicron’, as Variants of Concern
Currently designated VOCs are, Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (P.1), Delta (B.1.617.2), and Omicron (B.1.1.529).
i.Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution(TAG-VE), formally called the Virus Evolution Working Group reviews the data on the covid-19 variant, B.1.1.529.
ii.The TAG-VE has advised the WHO to designate Omicron as VOC, based on the evidence presented indicative of a detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology.
About Omicron (B.1.1.529):
i.B.1.1.529 variant was first reported from South Africa on 24th November 2021 and the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on 9 November 2021.
ii.The variant announced by scientists in South Africa has also been detected in Belgium, Israel, Botswana, Denmark and Hong Kong.
Current SARS-CoV-2 PCR diagnostics can detect this variant and several labs have reported that for one widely used PCR Test, 1 of 3 target genes is not detected, this is called S gene dropout or S gene target failure and this test is used as the marker of this variant.
Definition of Variants of Interest(VOI):
- VOI is a SARS-CoV-2 variant with genetic changes which is known to affect virus characteristics like transmissibility, disease severity, immune escape, diagnostic or therapeutic escape.
- It is also identified to cause community transmission or multiple COVID-19 clusters, in multiple countries with increasing relative prevalence alongside an increasing number of cases over time, or other apparent epidemiological impacts to suggest an emerging risk to global public health.
Definition of VOC:
VOC is a variant that meets the definition of VOI and through a comparative assessment, has been demonstrated to be associated with one or more of the following changes,
- Increase in transmissibility or detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology
- Increase in virulence or change in clinical disease presentation
- Decrease in effectiveness of public health and social measures or available diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics.
Dr S Jaishankar to attend 20th Summit of SCO Council of Heads of Government
Dr. S. Jaishankar, Union Minister of External Affairs represented India at the 20th Summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Heads of Government (CHG) was held on 25th November 2021 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan under the Chairmanship of Kazakhstan
- The SCO CHG meeting is held annually and focuses on the trade and economic agenda of the Organization and to approve its annual budget.
- The summit is held annually, with a focus on the trade and economic agenda of the Organization and to approve its annual budget.
SCO was founded in 2001 by the Presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan at a summit held in Shanghai, China
India and Pakistan became SCO’s permanent members in 2017.
BANKING & FINANCE
Exim Bank commits $100 million loan for Covid vaccines in FY22
- The bank is also targeting financing of $7 billion of project exports over the next five years through the funds received from the central government in the National Export Insurance Account (NEIA).
i.Two Hyderabad-based companies, Bharat Biotech and Biological E Ltd, are involved in the development of Covid-19 vaccines.
- While Bharat Biotech has developed Covaxin, Biological E has developed Corbevax that is currently undergoing Phase-3 trials.
ii.India is on track to achieve its exports target of $400 billion of merchandise goods in FY22 where the pharma sector is expected to be a major contributor.
iii.EXIM bank has a borrowing of $2.25 billion through International bonds in 144A – Reg S format.
EXIM Bank $250-million credit line for Africa
The bank is extending a $250-million credit line for Africa. Out of this, $150 million is for the African Exim Bank and $100 million to Africa Finance Corporation. They can use it for any imports from India including procurement of vaccines.
RBI Accepted 21 out of 33 Recommendations of the IWG on Private Banks
- Background: On June 12, 2020, RBI has set up a 5-member IWG headed by the Central Board Director OF RBI, Prasanna Kumar (PK) Mohanty.
- RBI has accepted the IWG’s suggestion to increase the cap on promoters’ paid-up voting equity share capital of the bank to 26 percent from the current 15 percent.
- The initial paid-up voting equity share capital/ net worth required to set up a new universal bank was increased to Rs 1000 crore (from present Rs 500 crore); for new Small Finance Bank (SFBs) was increased to Rs 300 crore (from present Rs 200 crore); for UCBs (Urban Co-operative Banks) transiting to SFBs was increased to Rs 150 crore (from present Rs 100 crore).
- RBI has discarded the recommendation of allowing Payments Bank (PB) that is intending to convert into SFBs to a track record of 3 years of experience as PB. RBI continues to retain the 5-year conversion cap for payments banks wishing to be an SFB.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Establishment – April 1, 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar
>>Read Full News
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
AMTRON Signs MoU to set up cyber intelligence centre of excellence
- The occasion was presided over by Chairman, AMTRON, R.N. Kalita; Division President, South Asia and Country Corporate Officer, Nikhil Sahni; MD, I-Sec, Amita Singh and MD, AMTRON, M.K. Yadava.
i.The cybersecurity threats have been steadily increasing and become a concern for all Government organisations, financial institutions or business bodies.
ii.The Cyber COE provides intelligence services to the Government of India, state governments within India, Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) within India, and corporations within India against cyber security threats.
iii.This step strengthens the National Cyber Defence Mechanism that improves overall security services and increases vigilance on any cyber threats or frauds.
iv.The Master Card supports AMTRON with relevant training and knowledge for the Cyber COE.
Executive Chairman – Ajay Banga
CEO – Michael Miebach
Headquarters – New York, United States.
Chairman – Ramendra Narayan Kalita
Established – 1984 (1st software launch- 1989)
Indian Oil, BPCL & HPCL Launches Model Retail Outlet Scheme
Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) launched the Model Retail Outlet Scheme and a Digital Customer Feedback Program named Darpan@petrolpump.
- The scheme was inaugurated by Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Housing and Urban Affairs.
Aim – To enhance service standards to serve around 6 Crores consumers everyday and to benchmark Retail Outlet standards for ensuring standardized customer facilities.
i.The scheme involves a 5 Level evaluation process of over 70000 retail outlets in the country upon core services, facility parameters and standard of customer amenities.
ii.The Retail Outlets have been divided into 4 categories based on sales performance, facilities offered and their percentage of digital transactions at the point of sale.
iii.A unique, real time digital customer feedback program, darpan@petrolpump will enable customers to give valuable feedback.
Top performers will be awarded the ‘Shresth’ and ‘Uttam’ given by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the ‘Rajya Sarv Pratham’ awards by the respective Oil Companies.
About Indian Oil
Chairman – Shrikant Madhav Vaidya
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
About Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL)
Chairman & Managing Director – Mukesh Kumar Surana
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
About Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL)
Chairman & Managing Director – Arun Kumar Singh
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
DBT-NBRC, Haryana Developed SWADESH, World’s 1st Multimodal Brain Imaging Data & Analytics
Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Science and Technology has inaugurated the SWADESH, the world’s 1st Multimodal Brain Imaging Data and Analytics.
- Project SWADESH was developed by the Department of Biotechnology– National Brain Research Centre (DBT-NBRC), a deemed university for brain research, Haryana.
i.SWADESH is a unique brain initiative, which focuses on certified neuroimaging, neurochemical, neuropsychological data and analytics that are made accessible to researchers for managing brain disorders.
ii.This is the first large scale multimodal neuroimaging database designed for the Indian population with big-data architecture and analytics for various disease categories under one platform.
To strengthen Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research and to assist the scientific community to come up with promising treatments.
SWADESH is a comprehensive platform for multimodal neuroimaging data, quality control and data analytics.
- Data acquisition.
- Big Data management and analytics framework.
- Visualization and applications.
i.The project SWADESH proposes a big-data architecture that can manage and analyze 6 modules (neurodegenerative, neuropsychiatric, neurodevelopmental, COVID-19-related disorders, other disorders, and healthy subjects.).
ii.The project is supported by JAVA-based workflow environments and Python and it is backed by a dedicated storage system, it provides quality control, data analysis reports, and data backups.
iii.This facilitates the integration of multi-site data and collaborative research across the globe.
iv.At present SWADESH has data of 500 AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients, 70 Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients, 600 healthy old individuals and 800 healthy young individuals in the control group.
Clinical research tools developed through SWADESH:
DBT-NBRC has developed several clinical research tools developed through SWADESH which includes, GAURI, NINS-STAT, KALPANA, PRATEEK, Stimulus Timing Integrated Module (STIM), BHARAT.
About National Brain Research Centre (NBRC):
National Brain Research Centre (NBRC) is an autonomous institute funded by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under the Ministry of Science and Technology.
It is the only institute in India dedicated to neuroscience research and education.
Director-in-Charge– Pravat Kumar Mandal
Location– Gurugram, Haryana.
In a First, Meghalaya Launches Drone AquilaX2 to Deliver Medicines
Meghalaya launched a pilot of India’s 1st Medicine Delivery via e-VTOL (Virtual take off and landing ) Drone AquilaX2. The drone delivers medicines to remote primary health centers (PHC).
- The drone was launched in the West Khasi Hills district, 25 km away from the district headquarter.
i.This is a unique project that will transform the healthcare supply chain to a hard-to-reach population.
ii.The drone covered a distance of 25 Kilometers in less than 25 minutes from Nongstoin to Maweit PHC.
iii.The technology support was provided by the innovation team Tech Eagle, Smart Village Movement in collaboration with the State Health department.
Governor – Satya Pal Malik
National Parks – Balphakram National Park, Nokrek Ridge National Park
Wildlife Sanctuaries – Baghmara Pitcher Plant Wildlife Sanctuary, Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary, Siju Wildlife Sanctuary, Narpuh Wildlife Sanctuary
Veteran Broadway Composer Stephen Sondheim Passed Away
Veteran composer and lyricist Stephen Joshua Sondheim passed away at the age of 91 in Connecticut, United States (US). He was born on 22 March 1930 in New York City, US.
- He started playing piano at the age 7 years since then his musical journey started.
- Famous albums: West Side Story (1961), Stavisky(2012)
- Songs: Finale (1970), No One Is Alone.
i.He is a recipient of a Special Tony Award 2008 for lifetime achievement in the theatre. Also won several awards like eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom 2015 etc. He received an Academy Award for the song ‘Sooner or Later’.He received 8 Tony Awards.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Ayaz Memon Authored a Book Titled “Indian Innings: The Journey of Indian Cricket from 1947”
A book titled ‘Indian Innings: The Journey of Indian Cricket from 1947’ authored by Ayaz Memon released. It is an anthology of Indian Cricket and marked several insights of Indian cricket of the last 70 years.
- The book has covered the era of veteran cricketers K N Prabhu to P N Sundaresan and Dicky Rutnagar to Ramachandra Guha and Suresh Menon, those years of famous victories consists of experiences about World Cups, various Test cricket etc.
- Several controversies related to cricket such as the match-fixing issue, the Greg Chappell saga, the Lalit Modi affair and more are covered.
He is a cricket journalist, columnist and author who writes on sports, politics and social issues.
Books: Wills Book of Excellence on One-Day Cricket, Yuvraj Singh: Power Elegance, M S Dhoni: Captain Cool, Virat Kohli: Reliable Rebel etc.
VP Venkaiah Naidu Released a Book “‘Democracy, Politics and Governance’ Authored by Dr.A.Surya Prakash
On 26 November 2021, the Vice President (VP) of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu on the 72nd anniversary of the adoption of the ‘Constitution of India’ released a book titled “Democracy, Politics and Governance” in English and ‘Loktantr, Rajniti and Dharm’ in Hindi authored by Dr. A. Surya Prakash at an event in the Central Hall of Parliament, New Delhi.
i.This book is a collection of articles about the social, political and economic issues that impacted India’s politics and governance.
ii.The book also deals with constitutional issues, the working of parliament, the system of justice, the executive and the media governance in India.
iii.Dr A. Surya Prakash is a Vice Chairman, Executive Council of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library and also a veteran journalist.
Other Books- ‘Public Money, Private Agenda: The Use and Abuse of MPLADS’(2013) and
‘What Ails Indian Parliament? An Exhaustive Diagnosis’ (1995)
National Organ Donation Day 2021 – November 27
The National(Indian) Organ Donation Day is annually observed across India on 27th November to create awareness about the importance of organ donation and to recognise the contributions made by the organ donors.
The day also aims to encourage organ donation among the citizens.
- 27th November 2021 marks the observance of the 12th National Organ Donation Day.
- National Organ Donation Day has been celebrated since 2010.
The day is annually organised by the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO), a National level organization set up under the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
About National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO):
Director– Rajneesh Sahai
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
>>Read Full News
Kerala Tourism Launches ‘STREET’ project for Experiential Tourism
Kerala Tourism, Department of Tourism, Kerala launches the project STREET, to promote and take tourism deep into the interiors and rural hinterland of Kerala. STREET is an acronym for Sustainable, Tangible, Responsible, Experiential, Ethnic, Tourism hubs.
The project was formed by the Responsible Tourism Mission and it was inspired by the ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’ slogan of The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
- themes planned as a part of the project: Green street, cultural street, village life experience street, experiential tourism street, agri-tourism street, water street and art street.
- 1st Phase: the project will be implemented in Kadalundi in Kozhikode, Thrithala and Pattithara in Palakkad, Pinarayi and Ancharakkandi in Kannur, Maravanthuruthu and Manchira in Kottayam, Valiyaparamba in Kasaragod, Kanthalloor in Idukki and Chekadi in Wayanad.
Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)
|S.no||Current Affairs 28 & 29 November 2021|
|1||NITI Aayog’s 1st National MPI 2021: Kerala has Lowest Poverty while Bihar has Highest|
|2||Govt Constitutes 5-member Panel for timely Completion of Central Vista Projects|
|3||IGSTC launches ‘WISER’ – 1st of its kind Programme for Women in R&D field|
|4||Dr Jitendra Singh virtually chaired the 9th BRICS Science & Technology Ministers Meeting|
|5||Vice President Venkaiah Naidu Addressed the Retreat Session of the 2-day 13th ASEM Summit|
|6||WHO Designates New COVID-19 Strain, Named ‘Omicron’, as Variants of Concern|
|7||Dr S Jaishankar to attend 20th Summit of SCO Council of Heads of Government|
|8||Exim Bank commits $100 million loan for Covid vaccines in FY22|
|9||RBI Accepted 21 out of 33 Recommendations of the IWG on Private Banks|
|10||AMTRON Signs MoU to set up cyber intelligence centre of excellence|
|11||Indian Oil, BPCL & HPCL Launches Model Retail Outlet Scheme|
|12||DBT-NBRC, Haryana Developed SWADESH, World’s 1st Multimodal Brain Imaging Data & Analytics|
|13||In a First, Meghalaya Launches Drone AquilaX2 to Deliver Medicines|
|14||Veteran Broadway Composer Stephen Sondheim Passed Away|
|15||Ayaz Memon Authored a Book Titled “Indian Innings: The Journey of Indian Cricket from 1947”|
|16||VP Venkaiah Naidu Released a Book “‘Democracy, Politics and Governance’ Authored by Dr.A.Surya Prakash|
|17||National Organ Donation Day 2021 – November 27|
|18||Kerala Tourism Launches ‘STREET’ project for Experiential Tourism|