Current Affairs November 14 2018

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Current Affairs November 14 2018


PM in Varanasi, dedicates projects worth over Rs. 2400 crores
On November 12, 2018, the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, visited Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

i. During his visit, he dedicated, inaugurated or laid the foundation stone of projects worth Rs. 2413 crore.
ii. The following lists the projects inaugurated:

  • an inland port in Varanasi on the Ganga River connecting Uttar Pradesh holy city and Haldia in West Bengal for navigation of large vessels, worth Rs. 5,369.18 crore, with aid from World Bank.
  • Construction of Multimodal Terminal on the River Ganga at Ramnagar,
  • Varanasi Ring Road Phase 1,
  • Construction for four laning of Babatpur-Varanasi Section of NH-56.

iii. He also pointed out that projects worth Rs. 23,000 crore have been approved under Namaami Gange so far.
♦ Headquarters: Noida, UP.
♦ Under Ministry of Shipping.
♦ Chairman: Shri Pravir Pandey.

Constitution of new Boards of Governors for the IIMs as per the IIM Act 2017 approved: HRD Min
On November 13, 2018, Government approved the process of constitution of new Boards of Governors for the IIMs as per the IIM Act 2017.
i. This was announced by Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar.
ii. This process is in accordance with the provisions of the Section 10 of the IIM Act 2017, andhas been approved in consultation with the Ministry of Law and Justice.
iii. According to the Section 10 of the Act,
3 Ex-officio members will select Chairperson,

  • He would lead the further process of constitution of the Boards.
  • alumni from each of the IIMs will be selected , who will normally be the current serving members.
  • In the first meeting of the Board, the regulations for selection of (4)eminent persons and two faculty members would be framed,

iv. This process is expected to be completed before 15th Dec 2018.
Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD):
♦ Union Minister: Shri. Prakash Javedkar.
♦ Minister of state: Shri Upendra Kushwaha, Dr. Satya Pal Singh.

MNRE presented draft Indian Wind Turbine Certification Scheme (IWTCS)
On November 13, 2018, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy prepared a draft of new Scheme called Indian Wind Turbine Certification Scheme (IWTCS).
i. This was done in consultation with National Institute of Wind Energy Chennai.
ii. The draft Scheme comprises of guidelines for the benefit of all the stakeholders from concept to lifetime of wind turbine.
iii. This would benefit:

  • Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)
  • End Users -Utilities, SNAs, Developers, IPPs, Owners, Authorities, Investors and Insurers

Certification Bodies

  • Testing Laboratories.

iv. The draft scheme has been uploaded in the website: .
For further info: Click Here  
Type Certification of wind turbines plays an active role in ensuring that wind turbines in India meet the requirements of requisite IS/IEC/IECRE standards.
Ministry of Power & New and Renewable Energy:
♦ Minister of State (I/C): Shri. Raj Kumar Singh.

Government set up state of-the-art National Data Repository
On November 13, 2018, Government set up a state of -the- art National Data Repository.

i. This was announced by the Union Minister for  Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan at the DG Carbons Roadshow programme in Abu Dhabi.
ii. This will consist of a database of all the geo-scientific data of hydrocarbon resources in the country populated – over 9.3 lakh line kilometres of 2D seismic, 2.8 lakh square km of 3D seismic and 1,717 well data.
iii. This will enable organization and regulation of data for use in future exploration, and development, besides use by R&D and other educational institutions.
iv. It will be wholly funded by Government of India and will be housed with the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons.
v. With this, India has joined the league of countries like UK and Norway which have a National Data Repository for the upstream sector.
Minister for  Petroleum & Natural Gas:
♦ Union Minister (I/C): Dharmendra Pradhan.

Indian Navy – Indonesian Navy Bilateral Exercise – ‘Samudra Shakti.
On November 12, 2018, INS Rana reached the port of Surabaya to participate in the 7-day inaugural edition of Indian Navy – Indonesian Navy Bilateral Exercise ‘Samudra Indonesian.

To strengthen bilateral relations, expand maritime co-operation, enhance interoperability and exchange best practices.
Key Points:
i. The exercise would consist of the following:

  • Starting with a Harbour Phase scheduled from 12 to 15 Nov,
  • a Sea Phase scheduled from 16 to 18 Nov.

ii. It would include operations such as Joint Manoeuvres, Helicopter Operations, Surface Warfare exercise, ASW exercise and Anti-Piracy exercises.
iii. India is represented by : INS Rana of the Eastern Fleet based at Visakhapatnam under the Eastern Naval Command.
The strategic partnership between the two nations was elevated to ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ during the visit of Honourable Prime Minister of India in May 18, 2018.
♦ Capital: Jakarta.
♦ Currency: Indonesian rupiah.

India increased its financial contribution to UNRWA: Mahesh Kumar
On November 13, 2018, India increased its financial contribution to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
i. This was announced by First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Mahesh Kumar at the UN General Assembly Fourth Committee meeting on the UNRWA.
ii. It was increased five-fold to the agency’s core budget, from one million dollars in 2016 to five million dollars in 2018.
iii. India is also committed to contribute five million dollars in 2019.
United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA):
♦ The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which was established by the UN General Assembly seven decades ago, looks after the welfare of 5.4 million Palestine refugees.
♦ Headquarters: Jerusalem.
♦ Commissioner-General: Pierre Krähenbühl.

Kochi signed MoU with Vilnius for urban planning
On November 13, 2018, Kochi Corporation and Vilnius signed a memorandum of understanding of cooperation in Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania.

i. The MOU was signed by:

  • Kochi Corporation delegationand
  • opposition leader K.J. Antony to Vilnius.

ii. It was signed as a part of the European Union (EU) project ‘International Urban Cooperation’,
iii. The MOU consists of cooperation in:

  • Urban planning,
  • Corporate planning,
  • Transport,
  • Solid water management and water management.

iv. The delegation held discussions on urban development policies, cultural heritage, democratic administrative system and modern technologies of both cities.
v. According to the MOU, in January  2019, the Vilnius team will visit Kochi to identify more areas of cooeperation between the two cities.
♦ Capital: Vilnius.
♦ Currency: Euro.

MoS Ayush laid foundation stone for All India Institute of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy in Goa
On November 13, 2018, Union minister of state for Ayush Shripad Naik laid the foundation stone for the All India Institute of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy at Dhargal, North Goa.

i. The project will be a medical hub and will contribute to research due to its proximity to the biodiverse Western Ghats and the sea.
ii. The institute will house a 100-bed hospital, outpatient department and a research centre; and offer postgraduate and PhD courses
iii. It will also boost tourism in Goa by offering various short-term courses on yoga and naturopathy.
Other News:
i. This was a part of the 2-day he International Conference on Yoga for Public Health that was held in at Kala AcademyPanjim.
ii. It was organized by the Ayush ministry.
♦ Chief Minister: Manohar Parrikar.
♦ Governor: Smt. Mridula Sinha.
♦ National Parks: Cotigao Wildlife sanctuary, Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Bondia Wildlife Sanctuary, Netravali Wildlifr Sanctuary, Dandeli National Park, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park.

UP cabinet approved renaming of Faizabad as Ayodhya
On November 13, 2018, the Uttar Pradesh government presided over by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath approved renaming of Faizabad and Allahabad divisions as Ayodhya and Prayagraj respectively.

i. Prayagraj division will comprise Prayagraj, Kaushambi, Fatehpur and Pratapgarh districts, while Ayodhya division will include Ayodhya, Ambedkarnagar, Sultanpur, Amethi and Barabanki districts.
ii. Earlier, the government renamed the Mughalsarai Railway station, another historic spot, as Deen Dayal Upadhyaya junction.
iii. Furthermore, in August 2018, the UP government had sent a request to the Centre to rename the airports in Agra, Bareilly and Kanpur.
The Centre has given consent to the renaming of at least 25 towns and villages across India in the past 1 year.
Uttar Pradesh:
♦ Chief Minister: Yogi Adityanath.
♦ Governor: Ram Naik.
♦ National Parks: Dudhwa National Park, Philibit Tiger Reserve , Sandi Bird Sanctuary.
♦ Uttar Pradesh has 23 wildlife sanctuaries across 27 districts covering over 5,000 sq km.


2-day annual meeting of WEF Global Future Councils begins in Dubai
On November 13, 2018, the 2 day 3rd annual meeting of World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Future Councils concluded in Dubai, UAE.

Experts to identify new ideas and models that can be applied to critical global challenges.
Key Points:
i. This year’s Annual Meeting theme is: Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
ii. Comprising 38 distinct councils, the community of Global Future Councils covers subject areas like:
Global financial system, geopolitics, cities and urbanization, cybersecurity and the bio-economy.
iii. Ideas generated at the meeting will be adopted and integrated into the programme of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, in January 2019.
iv. 3 new councils were introduced:
Biodiversity and the Bio-economy, which aims to protect nature through innovative technology and business models,
New Social Contract, whose mandate is to rethink the future of work, education and gender parity,
Advanced Energy Technologies, which has been charged with developing ways to accelerate global energy transition.
World Economic Forum:
♦ Headquarters:Cologny, Switzerland.
♦ Founder and Executive Chairman Professor Klaus Schwab.
♦ President: Børge Brende.

Iceland, the safest and South Africa the least to visit: Report by Which? Travel
On November 13, 2018, according to a report by Which? Travel, Iceland is the safest country to visit.
About the Report:
i. It ranked 20 of the most popular destinations around the world for its safety.
ii .The data was compiled after considering several factors like crime rates, the likelihood of terrorist attacks, natural disasters and health concerns.
iii. It was extracted from reports of:

  • World Economic Fund on crime rates,
  • The World Risk Report on natural disasters,
  • The NHS Fit For Travel website on health and
  • The Foreign Office’s assessments of the risks of terrorism.

i. Iceland topped the charts with the lowest risk of a natural disaster as well as crime rates.
ii. It was followed by UAE, Singapore, Spain and Australia in the top 5.
iii .South Africa came last owing to a high risk of crime, health and terrorism.
iv. Turkey was ranked the second most dangerous preceded by Thailand, India, and Mexico.
For further details: Click Here
♦ Headquarters: UK.

RCEP trade ministers meet held in Singapore
On November 12, 2018, the 2-day meeting for trade Ministers of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership began in Singapore.
i. Indian delegation will be headed by : Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Shri. Suresh Prabhu.
ii. Singapore is the current chair of the ASEAN countries and so it is hosting the summit.
iii. This ministerial meeting will be followed by RCEP Leaders Summit on November 14, 2018.
Other News:
On the sidelines of the RCEP meeting, Shri. Prabhu held meetings with trade ministers of various other countries like : Japan, New Zealand, China and Singapore.
About RCEP:
♦ The RCEP is a pact that aims to cover goods, services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, competition and intellectual property rights.
♦ Member countries: 10-ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and its six FTA partners (Australia, New Zealand, India, China, Japan and Korea)
♦ It has a collective GDP of $22.5 trillion.
♦ Founded: 2012.


Amnesty International strips Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi of ‘Ambassador of Conscience’ Award
Amnesty International has withdrawn ‘Ambassador of Conscience’ Award, from Myanmar Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi, accusing her of supporting human rights abuses by not taking efforts to stop violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority.

Key Points:
i. Amnesty International awarded Ambassador of Conscience Award, which is a human rights award, to Aung San Suu Kyi in 2009.
ii. On 11th November 2018, 73-year old Aung San Suu Kyi was informed of the withdrawal of this award.
iii. She has been withdrawn from various international honours because of the Rohingya issue that started in August 2017.
iv. Over 7,00,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar’s western border into Bangladesh following Myanmar military’s attack which was done in response to Rohingya insurgent attacks on the security forces.
v. Myanmar military has been accused of launching a campaign of killings, rape and arson.
About Amnesty International:
♦ Type – non-governmental organization focused on human rights
♦ Based in – England

Elvis Presley among recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
On 10th November 2018, 7 people including Elvis Presley were announced as recipients of Presidential Medal of Freedom, by the White House, United States.
Key Points:
i. The 7 seven recipients of Presidential Medal of Freedom are:

  • Orrin Hatch– one of the longest-serving Senators in American history
  • Miriam Adelson– doctor
  • Alan C Page –jurist, athlete, and philanthropist
  • Roger Staubach– football player
  • Elvis Presley– Rock and Roll singer
  • Antonin Scalia– one of the greatest Supreme Court justices in American history
  • George Herman “Babe” Ruth– baseball player

ii. Elvis Presley is awarded the medal posthumously for his contribution to American culture.
iii. Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor of the United States of America. The recipients will be awarded the medal on 16th November 2018.
About United States:
♦ Capital – Washington, D.C.
♦ Currency – United States dollar
♦ National language – English
♦ President – Donald Trump

Dr. Martha Farrell received lifetime achievement award for her contribution in social work
On November 13, 2018, Late Dr. Martha Farrell was honoured with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the 6th Indian Social Work Congress in New Delhi.
i. She was recognized for her lifelong work towards gender equality, women’s empowerment and prevention of sexual harassment at workplace.
ii. In 1991, she co-founded Creative Learning for Change, an NGO for students, teachers and facilitators in non-formal settings.
iii. In 2014, she published the first Indian book on the subject, “Engendering the Workplace: Gender Discrimination and Prevention of Sexual Harassment in Organizations”.


Siddharth Tiwari joined BIS as Chief Representative for Asia, Pacific
On November 13, 2018, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) announced appointment of Siddharth Tiwari as Chief Representative for Asia and the Pacific.

i. He succeeded Eli Remolona, who was Chief Representative of the Asian Office from 2008 to 2018.
ii. Prior to this, he served as the Executive Secretary to the G20 Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance.
iii. He also is a veteran of the International Monetary Fund.
♦ Headquarters: Basel, Switzerland.
♦ Chairman: Jens Weidmann.

Arnab Goswami among 4 new members of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Society
The Centre has appointed 4 new members to the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) Society.
Key Points:
i. The new members of NMML society are:

  • former journalist Ram Bahadur Rai, who is the chairman of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts
  • former Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar
  • journalist Arnab Goswami
  • Bharatiya Janata Party MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, who is the president of Indian Council for Cultural Relations

ii. These members have been appointed for a term till April 26, 2020, or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
iii. They replace 3 previous members and one member who had resigned. Pratap Bhanu Mehta had resigned in 2016.
iv. The other 3 members who have been replaced are: economist Nitin Desai, retired bureaucrat B.P. Singh and professor Udayon Misra.
About Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML):
♦ Set up – 1966
♦ President – Narendra Modi
♦ Objective – to manage Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML)

Vodafone appoints Sanjiv Ahuja as a non-executive director
On 9th November 2018, Vodafone Group appointed Sanjiv Ahuja as a non-executive director with immediate effect.
Key Points:
i. Sanjiv Ahuja is the Chairman of Tillman Global Holdings, which was founded by him in 2013.
ii. He was Chief Operating Officer and President of Telcordia Technologies. He held various roles in Orange Telecommunications namely Chief Operating Officer, Chief Executive and Chairman.
iii. He was CEO and Chairman of wireless broadband companies LightSquared and Augere.
iv. He also founded and chaired Eaton Towers, a telecom infrastructure company, in Africa.
v. He was on the boards of Telenor ASA, Network Appliance, Cadbury Schweppes and Williams Sonoma.
About Vodafone Group:
♦ Chairman – Gerard Kleisterlee
♦ Registered Office – England


ISRO invites foreign experiments for 2023 Venus mission
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has issued an announcement of opportunity (AO) to international space scientists to propose their scientific payloads to be carried on its mission to Venus planned for 2023.

Key Points:
i. This AO has a specific objective to identify important science experiments that are in line with the pre-selected proposals from India.
ii. Proposals will be accepted till December 20, 2018. Payload capacity of the proposed satellite will be around 100 kg with 500W of power.
iii. The satellite’s proposed highly inclined orbit around Venus is expected be around 500 Km X 60,000 km.
iv. Planned payloads from India:

  • S-Band synthetic aperture radar (SAR)
  • Advanced radar for topside ionosphere and subsurface sounding
  • Ultraviolet (UV) imaging  spectroscopy telescope
  • Thermal camera
  • Cloud monitoring camera
  • Venus atmospheric spectro polarimeter
  • Airglow photometer
  • Radio occultation experiment
  • Ionospheric electron temperature analyser
  • Retarding potential analyser
  • Mass spectrometer
  • Plasma wave detector

About Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO):
♦ Chairman – K. Sivan
♦ Headquarters – Bengaluru

NASA to send organs-on-chips to space
NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has planned to send tissue chips or organs-on-chips, to the International Space Station (ISS) to test their response to stress, drugs and genetic changes.
Key Points:
i. The tissue chips are small devices containing human cells in a 3D matrix. They are made of flexible plastic. They have ports and channels to provide nutrients and oxygen to the cells inside them.
ii. This “Tissue Chips in Space” initiative will help to understand the role of microgravity on human health and disease.
iii. NASA is planning the investigations in collaboration with: Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes for Health (NIH).
iv. The 1st phase will have 5 investigations. An investigation of immune system ageing will be launched on the SpaceX CRS-16 flight, in 2018.
v. 4 investigations on lung host defence, the blood-brain barrier, musculoskeletal disease and kidney function, will be launched on SpaceX CRS-17 or subsequent flights.
vi. Four more projects are scheduled for launch in 2020: 2 on engineered heart tissue, 1 on muscle wasting and 1 on gut inflammation.


Cyclonic storm ‘GAJA’ over West central and adjoining East central & South Bay of Bengal
Tamil Nadu, Puducherry coast, South Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and Kerala have been alerted of Cyclonic storm ‘GAJA’.
Key Points:
i. On 13th November 2018, the Cyclonic storm GAJA over West central and adjoining East central and South Bay of Bengal moved west-northwestwards with a speed of 12 kmph.
ii. It moved nearly 690 km east-northeast of Chennai and 790 km east-northeast of Nagappattinam, Tamil Nadu.
iii. It is expected to move west-southwestwards and intensify into a Severe Cyclonic Storm. It is expected to weaken gradually on 15th November and cross Tamil Nadu coast between Pamban and Cuddalore as a Cyclonic Storm.


Czech Republic beats defending champion U.S. and win Fed Cup 2018 (tennis)
On 11th November 2018, Czech Republic won the 2018 Fed Cup Trophy for the 6th time in eight years, in Czech Republic.
Key Points:
i. Czech Republic defeated defending champion United States 3-0 in the final and won the 2018 Fed Cup.
ii. It was the first victory for Czech Republic against United States, since Czech Republic was created after separation from Czechoslovakia in 1993.
iii. U.S. has won 18 Fed Cups so far. Lucie Safarova and Helena Sukova of Czech Republic were awarded the Fed Cup Commitment Awards.
About Fed Cup:
♦ Type – international women’s tennis competition
♦ Launched – 1963

West Indies tour of India 2018
From 4th October to 11th November 2018, the international cricket team of West Indies visited India and played 2 Test matches, 5 One Day Internationals (ODIs) matches and 3 Twenty20 International (T20I) matches.
Test Series:
i. India won the Test Series 2-0 against West Indies. Prithvi Shaw was named the man-of-the-series.
ii. Prithvi Shaw who is 18-year-old finished the series with 237 runs. He became the 15th Indian to score a Test century on debut.
iii. The first Test match was played in Rajkot from October 4 to 8, 2018. Second Test match was played from October 12 to 16, 2018, in Hyderabad.
ODI Series:
i. India won the ODI Series 3-1 against West Indies. Virat Kohli won his 7th Man of the Series award in ODIs.
ii. He has equaled the record of Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh. Virat Kohli scored 453 runs and finished as the highest-run getter of the series.
iii. The matches were held at Guwahati, Visakhapatnam, Pune, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram from 21st October to 1st November 2018.
T20 Series:
i. India won the T20 Series 3-0. Kuldeep Yadav was named the Man of the Series.
ii. The matches were held at Kolkata, Lucknow and Chennai, on 4th, 6th and 11th November 2018.


Veteran sports journalist Roshan Lal Sethi passes away
On 10th November 2018, sports journalist Roshan Lal Sethi died following a long term illness, at his residence in Delhi.
i. He was 81 years old. In 1964, he started his career as a sports journalist with Motherland newspaper. Till 1975, he was associated with it as sports editor.
ii. He also worked with the Indian Express, Hindustan Times, National Herald, Navbharat Times and Sandhya Times.


World Antibiotic Awareness Week (Nov 12-18)
On November 12, 2018 marks the commencement of World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) that would conclude in November 18, 2018.

i. It is observed to increase global awareness of antibiotic resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public.
ii. For 2018, the World Health Organization has developed a range of materials for WAAW in all UN languages to help countries reflect their unique priorities.
iii. It would consist of multi-day messaging campaign focusing on 5  “focus” days of tailored social media messaging around each of the Objectives.
iv. According to this, Ministries of Health will participate in WAAW 2018 by marking all or just some of these “focus” days by speaking up on social media.
v. 2 key messages are to be reflected in WAAW 2018. They are:

  • Think twice. Seek Advice.
  • Misuse of Antibiotics puts us all at Risk.

For Further Information: Click Here
♦ Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
♦ Director-General: Tedros Adhanom.

World Pneumonia Day – November 12
On 12th November 2018, World Pneumonia Day was observed throughout the world.

Key Points:
i. When: In 2009, the first World Pneumonia Day was observed as a joint effort by various organisations.
ii. Why: This day aims to create awareness about pneumonia and focus the efforts to protect, prevent and treat pneumonia.
iii. Pneumonia is one of the major causes of deaths in children under 5 years of age. It is a lung infection caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites.

World Kindness Day – November 13
On 13th November 2018, World Kindness Day was celebrated all over the world.
Key Points:
i. When: In 1998, World Kindness Day was introduced by the World Kindness Movement, which is a coalition of various kindness NGOs. World Kindness Day is observed annually on November 13.
ii. The World Kindness Movement was formed at a conference in Tokyo, Japan, in 1997. Over 28 countries are members of this movement.
iii. World Kindness Day highlights good deeds in the society, and stresses on the importance kindness as a binding factor between members of the society

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