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Current Affairs November 2 2018

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Cabinet Approvals on November 1, 2018

  • On November 1, 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved renaming of Jharsuguda Airport, Odisha as“Veer Surendra Sai Airport, Jharsuguda”.
  • On November 1, 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved moving a Resolution for amendment in the first Assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA)…………………………Click here to Read more

Cabinet Approvals with Foreign Countries on November 1,2018

  • Cabinet approved Agreement between India and Morocco on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters
  • Cabinet approved 2 MoUs between India and the Russian Federation cooperation in transport education and in the field of railways
  • Cabinet approved MoU between India and Korea for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism…………………..Click here to Read more

MHA approved Rs.194.44 crore Safe City Project for Lucknow under Nirbhaya Fund
On November 1, 2018, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has approved a Safe City project for Lucknow at a total cost of Rs.194.44 crore.
i. The project would be implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with Centre and State sharing the funding in 60:40 ratio, under the Nirbhaya Fund Scheme.
ii. This is a part of MHA’s plans to implement Safe City projects in 8 selected cities, under Nirbhaya Fund. These cities are:
Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Lucknow.
iii. The projects are to be implemented in consultation with Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of  Urban Development, Ministry of Electronic and  Information Technology, respective Municipal & Police Commissioners of the cities and civil society organizations.
iv. For Lucknow, The Safe city proposal will be implemented by Uttar Pradesh Police.
About The Safe City Project:
i. Features of the project include the following:

  • Setting up an Integrated Smart Control Room;
  • Setting up Pink Out-posts (exclusively administered by Women police) for facilitating ease of filing complaint by women;
  • Pink Patrols of Women police;
  • Setting up Women Help Desks in all Police Stations with Counsellors;
  • Augmentation of existing Asha Jyoti Kendra;
  • Implementing Safety measures in buses, including Cameras;
  • Improving Street Lighting in identified Hot Spot areas;
  • Setting up Pink Toilets;
  • Integration of Women power-help line with single Emergency number ‘112’
  • Gender sensitization awareness campaigns.

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.

Location tracking devices, emergency buttons mandatory for new public service vehicles: MORTH
On October 31, 2018, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways mandated that all new public service vehicles except auto rickshaws and e-Rickshaws, registered on and after 1st January 2019 to be equipped with Vehicle Location Tracking ( VLT )with emergency buttons.
To ensure safety of passengers especially women.
Key Points:
i. In case of older public service vehicles –those registered upto 31st December,2018, the respective State/ UT Governments will notify the date by which these vehicles have to install Vehicle Location Tracking Device and Panic Buttons.
ii. Command and Control Centres will be setup by the State or VLT manufacturers or any other agency authorised by the State Government.
iii. These will act as interface to state emergency response centre, the transport department or Regional Transport Offices, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
iv. They will also provide feed to the VAHAN data base or the relevant data base of the State with regard to the over speeding, device health status.
v. The details of each VLT device will be uploaded on the VAHAN database by the VLT device manufacturer.
vi. Every year, VLT device manufacturers will get their devices tested after first certification from the testing agencies referred to in rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.
vii. Furthermore, the State or Union Territories will publish Internet Protocol address (IP address) and Short Message Service Gateway (SMS gateway) details of their respective emergency response system where VLT devices will send the emergency alerts on press of emergency button.
Ministry of Road Transport & Highways:
♦ Union Minister: Shri. Nitin Gadkari.
♦ Minister of State: Shri. Mansukh L. Mandaviya.
♦ Secretary: Shri. Yudhvir Singh Malik.

First-ever India-US Dialogue on Intellectual Property held in New Delhi
On October 31, 2018, the first ever India-US Dialogue on Intellectual Property was held in New Delhi.

First-ever India-US Dialogue on Intellectual Property held in New DelhiObjective:
To deepen bilateral strategic cooperation on IP policy.
Key Points:
i. The dialogue was launched by US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) and FICCI in partnership with the US-India Business Council.
ii. It was decided to be convened annually, alternating between New Delhi and Washington, DC.
iii. The main topics of discussion were:
patent filing, regulatory landscape, copyright and infringement, technology transfer, and enforcement.
iv. It would help identify solutions, and also share technical knowledge and expertise.
Formed in 1975 at the request of the US and Indian governments, the US-India Business Council is a business advocacy organisation comprised of 350 top-tier US and Indian companies advancing US-India commercial ties.
US-India Business Council:
♦ Headquarters: Washington D.C.
♦ President: Nisha Biswal.

Emerging Trends in Aviation Engineering and Logistics (AVIAMAT – 2018) held in New Delhi
On November 1, 2018, a two day seminar on ‘Emerging Trends in Aviation Engineering and Logistics’ (AVIAMAT-2018) concluded at Air Force Auditorium, Subroto Park, in New Delhi .

Emerging Trends in Aviation Engineering and Logistics
i. It was organized by the Indian Air Force and Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa delivered the key note address.
ii. The focus of the seminar was usable emerging and futuristic innovative aviation technologies.
iii. It saw participation of aviation experts from three services, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) and start ups from the private sector.
iv. Important topics of discussion were:

  • Path Breaking Aviation Engineering Technologies,
  • Indigenous Development of Innovative Technologies,
  • Emerging Trends in Aviation Fuel Management,
  • Emerging Trends in Aviation Training and
  • Evolving Technologies in Military Aviation Sensors.

Rs 229.05 Crore release of central share from State Disaster Response fund (SDRF) to Andhra Pradesh approved by Centre
On October 31, 2018, the Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh approved release of 2nd installment of Central Share of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) in advance for the year 2018-19, to help the State in providing relief measures to the affected people.
i. The amount approved was Rs. 229.05 crore.
ii. The first installment for the same amount was released to Andhra Pradesh in June 2018.
iii. This is a part of the release for the effect of cyclone TITLI that landed in Andhra Pradesh on October 11, 2018.
iv. As per report by IMCT(Inter-Ministerial Central Team), further assistance will be provided from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).
Government of India constituted an Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) immediately based on appeal from Government of Andhra Pradesh on 22nd October 2018.  IMCT has visited cyclonic storm ‘Titli’ affected areas in the State from 24th to 26th October 2018.
Andhra Pradesh:
♦ Chief Minister: N Chandrababu Naidu.
♦ Governor: E.S.L Narasimhan.
♦ Capital: Amravati.
♦ National Parks: Sri Venkateswara National Park, Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Papikonda National Park.

Second edition of the Navy Commanders’ Conference of 2018 held in NewDelhi
On October 31, 2018, the 3-day 2nd edition of the Navy Commanders’ Conference of 2018 commenced in Newdelhi.
i. The themes for this conference were: ‘Optimisation’ and ‘Emerging Technologies’.
ii. The Hon’ble Defence Minister would address the Navy Commanders in the conference.
iii. This is a part of PM Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’ (SAGAR) and providing an environment of stability and peace in the IOR.
iv. Discussions regarding challenges and threats to maritime security and new ideas and concepts took place.
v. Utilising emerging technologies such as Big-Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve the overall efficiency was also discussed.
vi. For better response to emerging situations in IOR, the Navy had adopted the ‘Mission-based Deployment’ philosophy and the ‘Maintenance-to-Operations’ transition cycle.
Defence Ministry:
♦ Union Minister: Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman.
♦ Minister of State: Dr. Subhash Ramrao Bhamre.
♦ Defence Secretary: Sanjay Mitra.
♦ Chief of Naval Staff: Admiral Sunil Lanba.


K J Alphons presides over the Program and Budget Committee meeting of UNWTO
Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism, K. J. Alphons along with senior officials attended the 109th session of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive Council in Manama, Bahrain from 30th October to 1st November 2018.

Key Points:
i. The UNWTO Executive Council discussed various topics related to the development of global Tourism sector.
ii. K. J. Alphons chaired the ‘Programme and Budget Committee’ meeting of UNWTO. He announced that for the first time, UNWTO had a surplus budget and most of the arrears due have been paid.
iii. India will be the chair of Programme and Budget Committee of UNWTO Executive Council till 2021.
iv. He also met the Secretary-General of UNWTO, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili. They discussed about involving UNWTO in developing tourism and establishing Global Public Private Partnerships.
v. The next UNWTO Executive Council will be held in Bahrain.
About United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO):
♦ Secretary-General – Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili
♦ Headquarters – Madrid, Spain


Fitch rates IDBI Bank’s Long-Term IDR At BB+, VR at ccc
On November 1, 2018, Fitch ratings affirmed IDBI Bank’s long-term issuer default rating (IDR) at ‘BB+’ and its viability rating (VR) at ‘ccc’.
i. The IDR ratings reflects expectation of a moderate probability of extraordinary state support given the bank’s market position, systemic importance and linkages to the state.
ii. The agency also expects the bank’s core capital buffers to improve by FY19.
iii. It also removed the lender’s VR from ‘rating watch evolving’.
iv. This reflects better visibility of IDBI Bank from its stake sale to LIC.
v. In August 2018, IDBI received Rs 2,100 crore as part of the stake sale and intents to receive another Rs 20,000 crore of fresh equity by March 2019.
i. The government is diluting its 79 per cent stake in IDBI Bank to below 51 per cent, while LIC plans to raise its shareholding in IDBI Bank to 51 per cent from 14.9 per cent.
ii. The bank’s non-performing loan (NPL) ratio stood at 31 per cent in June.
♦ Headquarters: New York City, US.
♦ CEO: Paul Taylor.
IDBI Bank:
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai.
♦ Founded: 1964.
♦ MD & CEO: Mr. Rakesh Sharma.


India jumps 23 places to 77th in ease of doing business ranking: World Bank
On October 31, 2018, according to the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2019 report, India has shot up by 23 spots to reach the 77th position among 190 nations in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking.

India jumps 23 places to 77th in ease of doing business rankingi. India is now recognized as among top ten improves for the 2nd consecutive year and has ranked first among South Asian countries compared to 6th rank in 2014.
ii. In 2017, India progressed 30 positions to reach the top 100.
iii. From 2014 to 2018, India moved from the 142nd place in the index to the 77th spot.
iv. According to the report, India has improved on six of the 10 parameters on starting and doing business in a country. This include: ease of starting a business, construction permits, getting electricity, getting credit, paying taxes, trade across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.
v. It also improved its doing business score to 67.23, from last year’s 60.76.
vi. India and neighbouring China are among the top 10 improvers this year.In the last two years the India has climbed 53 notches, a performance matched in the past only by Bhutan.
About other countries:
i .New Zealand topped the charts followed by Singapore, Denmark, Hong Kong, China and Republic of Korea as top 5.
ii. China has moved up from its previous rank of 78 to 46th place.
iii. Among the neighbours, Pakistan is ranked 136, Sri Lanka is at 100th rank, Nepal at 110, Bangladesh at 176th and Bhutan at 81st.
iv. Among the other BRICS nations, Brazil at 109th Russia stands at 31South Africa at 82nd.
For further information: Click Here
World Bank:
♦ Membership: 189 countries.
♦ Headquarters: Washington D.C., USA.
♦ Secretary-General: Jim Yong Kim.
♦ CEO: Kristalina Georgieva. partnered with Accrivis to enable data integration using blockchain
On October 31, 2018, partnered with Accrivis Network Pvt. Ltd., a data integration platform provider, to implement blockchain solutions for secure purchase of insurance.
i. It would simplify the process of selling and buying insurance in a secured manner and will also help address consumer queries and complaints in a time-bound manner.
ii. The technology will make the data indisputable and time-stamped for reliability, which will result in highly secure, more efficient and transparent exchange of information using a single network.
iii. The tie-up will enable to explore multiple use-cases of blockchain technology.


Harsimrat Kaur Badal confers ‘Swachhta’ awards
On 31st October 2018, Union Minister of Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal distributed ‘Swachhta’ awards on the last day of Swachhta Pakhwada.
Key Points:
i. Harsimrat Kaur presented awards for cleanliness to Mega Food Parks and Cold Chain Units for maintaining, promoting and encouraging Swachhta Culture.
ii. The ‘Swachhta’ award winners are as follows:

  • First prize – M/s. Patanjali Food and Herbal Park (P) Ltd. in Haridwar
  • Second prize – Satara Mega Food Park (P) Ltd., Satara District, Maharashtra
  • Third prize – Pagro Frozen Foods Pvt.(P) Ltd. (Cold Chain Project) in Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab

iii. Winners were selected by National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management based on Swachhta Audit conducted on 11 Mega Food Parks and 11 Cold Chain Units.
iv. A 15-day observance of cleanliness campaign by Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries came to an end with this Swachhta Pakhwada


Air Marshal Pradeep Padmakar Bapat VSM takes over as the Air Officer-in-Charge Administration of IAF
On 1st November 2018, Air Marshal Pradeep Padmakar Bapat VSM took charge as Air Officer-in Charge Administration (AOA) of Indian Air Force.

Pradeep Padmakar Bapat VSM takes over as the Air Officer-in-Charge Administration of IAFKey Points:
i. Air Marshal Pradeep Padmakar Bapat VSM succeeds Air Marshal HN Bhagwat AVSM VM who retired on 31 October 2018.
ii. Air Marshal PP Bapat was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in the Administrative Branch on 28 May 1983. He was commissioned as a Fighter Controller.
iii. Earlier, he carried out the responsibilities of Director General (Works & Ceremonials).
iv. He was awarded ‘Vishisht Seva Medal’ by President of India in 2014. He represented Madhya Pradesh twice in National Cycle Polo tournament.
v. He was Manager of Air Force Cycle Polo team for 3 years. He was made Manager to Indian Cycle Polo team by Cycle Polo Federation of India during last Tri-series tournament between India, Pakistan and Nepal held at Jodhpur.

Lt General PC Thimmaya assumed charge as General Officer Commander-in-Chief of ARTRAC
On 1st November 2018, Lieutenant General PC Thimmaya took charge as the 21st General Officer Commander-in-Chief of Shimla-based Army Training Command (ARTRAC) facility.
i. He was earlier posted as the Commandant of Army War College in MHOW, Madhya Pradesh.
ii. He passed out from the Indian Military Academy (IMA) with the Sword of Honour in 1981.
iii. He has officiated as Military Observer in United Nations Angola Verification Mission. He has received the Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM).

Shri S. S. Deswal appointed as DG, ITBP; to hold additional charge of DG, SSB
On October 31, 2018, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved the appointment of Shri S. S. Deswal, as Director General, Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

Shri S. S. Deswal appointed as DG, ITBP; to hold additional charge of DG, SSBi. He took charge from Shri R K Pachnanda, the outgoing DG of ITBP.
ii. Shri Deswal will also hold the additional charge of the post of DG, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).
Indo Tibetan Border Police:
♦ It is one of the five Central Armed Police Forces of India.
♦ Founded: 24 October 1962.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
♦ Motto: Shaurya – Dridhata – Karm Nishtha.
♦ Under Ministry of Home Affairs.

Lt Gen P S Rajeshwar appointed as 12th Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to Chairman, COSC
On October  31, 2018, Ministry of Defence announced the appointment of Lt Gen P S Rajeshwar as the 12th Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to Chairman, COSC.

Air Marshal Pradeep Padmakar Bapat VSM takes over as the Air Officer-in-Charge Administration of IAFi. Prior to this, he was Director General (Perspective Planning) at the Integrated HQ, Ministry of Defence.
ii. On assuming command, he paid homage to the martyrs at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate and accorded the Tri-Services Guard of Honour at the South Block lawns.
iii. He has 38 years of experience and has commanded an Artillery Regiment during Operation Parakram, an Infantry Brigade at the Line of Control, a Counter Insurgency Force in Jammu and Kashmir.
Integrated Defence Staff:
The organisation has representation from all three services, MEA, DRDO and DoD and Def (Finance).

Mary Kom named as brand ambassador of 10th AIBA Women’s World Championship
On 30th October 2018, Olympic bronze medalist boxer MC Mary Kom was named as the brand ambassador of the 10th edition of AIBA Women’s World Championship, which will be held from November 15-24, 2018, in New Delhi.

Mary Kom named as brand ambassador of 10th AIBA Women's World ChampionshipKey Points:
i. Boxing Federation of India (BFI) also launched the logo and anthem of the 10th AIBA Women’s World Championship.
ii. The logo depicted “fire and women’s empowerment”. Theme of the anthem was: “Make some noise, scream and shout! We are here to knock you out!!!”
iii. Near 300 pugilists from 70 countries across 10 weight categories will take part in the tournament.
About Boxing Federation of India (BFI):
♦ President – Ajay Singh
♦ Objective –development and promotion of Olympic-style boxing in India

Mahendra Singh Foundation Inc appoints Aishwarya Sharma as their India brand ambassador
Mahendra Singh Foundation (MSF), a New York based organization, has appointed Aishwarya Sharma as its India brand ambassador for #takethepowerback project.
Key Points:
i. Aishwarya Sharma has a blog named Figuramoda where she speaks on various topics through her fashion blog posts. She is a fashion activist.
ii. The project #takethepowerback aims to provide girls who were affected by violence, Acid Attack and Rape, with a platform to re-define themselves.
iii. Through this project, MSF will help these women achieve their life’s mission, which they desired to pursue before becoming a victim.
About Mahendra Singh Foundation (MSF):
♦ Founder and President – Monica Mahendra Singh
♦ Based in – New York, US
♦ Mission – End violence against women, Acid Attack and Rape


Qatar to host World Corporate Games in 2019
Qatar will host the 23rd edition of the World Corporate Games between 6 and 9 November 2019.

Qatar to host World Corporate Games in 2019Key Points:
i. This event will be an opportunity for corporations throughout the world to exhibit their competitiveness through sports.
ii. This is the first time the World Corporate Games will be held in the Middle East. It will be organized by Sports for Life.
iii. This event takes place every one to two years. The last edition was held in Houston, US in 2017.
iv. Nearly 8,000 international and local participants will take part. It will be the first time, the World Corporate Games will have eSports and mindsports.
v. It features both individual and team competitions for women and men of all ages and abilities. It is an all-inclusive event with paragames for various categories.
About World Corportate Games:
♦ Founder – Maureen Johnston
♦ Founded – nearly 30 years ago
♦ Aim – to bring together, the local, regional and international business sporting community

India and 6 other SAFF countries pull out of Saudi-led SWAFF
On 30th October 2018, India and 6 other members of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) pulled out of Saudi Arabia led-South West Asian Football Federation (SWAFF) with immediate effect.
Key Points:
i. Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan are the other SAFF countries that removed ties with South West Asian Football Federation (SWAFF) during the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
ii. Former SAFF President Adel Ezzat was made president of SWAFF. He later decided to contest against Sheikh Salman Al Khalifa for position of AFC President in the April 2019 elections.
iii. Sheikh Salman Al Khalifa is the current President of AFC. India and 6 other SAFF members have pulled out of SWAFF in support of AFC President Sheikh Salman Al Khalifa.
About South West Asian Football Federation (SWAFF):
♦ Formed – August 2018
♦ President – Adel Ezzat
♦ Vice-president – Subrata Dutta

Azhar Ali announces retirement from ODIs
On 1st November 2018, senior Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali announced his retirement from limited overs cricket in order to concentrate on Test cricket.

Azhar Ali announces retirement from ODIsi. He is 33 years old. He has played 53 ODIs (One Day International). He played his last ODI against New Zealand in January 2018.
ii. In ODIs he had an average of 36.90 and strike-rate of 74.45. He stepped down as captain of the ODI team in 2017.
iii. He had scored a triple century in Test cricket in the UAE in 2016 and a double hundred in Australia in 2017.


NMCG & UN Habitat organize a policy dialogue – Urban Cafe: ‘River for Habitat’ on World Cities Day 2018
On 31st October 2018, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) partnered with United Nations (UN) Habitat and organized a policy dialogue named ‘Urban Cafe: River for Habitat’ in New Delhi, on World Cities Day 2018.
Key Points:
i. Experts discussed on the following topics:

  • association of rivers with cities and economy
  • various facets of our daily lives
  • challenges to maintain healthy river ecosystems and ways to deal with them
  • river and river basins should be seen as national capital or asset
  • developing an Urban River Plan from where the river enters the city and where it exits
  • importance of ghats – the ghats connect river to the people and enhance safety of the river and people
  • public participation in restoring our river ecosystems

ii. Some of the speakers were:

  • Upendra Prasad Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation
  • Director General, NMCG, Rajiv Ranjan Mishra
  • Sanjeev Sanyal, Principal Economic Advisor, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance
  • Mr. Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative in India
  • Hitesh Vaidya, Country Manager, UN-Habitat India

Madhya Pradesh celebrates its 63rd Foundation Day – November 1
On 1st November 2018, Madhya Pradesh celebrated its 63rd Foundation Day.
i. Madhya Pradesh was founded on November 1, 1956. Now it is the second largest state of India in terms of size with an area of 3 Lakh 8 thousand sq. km.
ii. The foundation day was celebrated in all the districts of Madhya Pradesh. The theme for this year’s celebrations was: the heritage of MP.
iii. Special events were held at Ravindra Bhavan. Folk dances like Dhimariya, Badhai, Naurata, Akhada, Matki and Gudumbajan were performed.