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Cabinet Approvals on November 22, 2018
- Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the extension of the term of the Commission examining the issue of Sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes (in the Central List) for six months beyond 30th November, 2018 and till 31st May 2019.
- Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2018 for regulation and standardization of education and services by allied and healthcare professionals.
- On November 22, 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the setting up of Medical College at Silvassa in the Union Territory (UT) of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
- Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the expansion of scope of mandatory packaging norms under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987………………….Click here to Read more
Cabinet Approvals with Foreign Countries on November 22, 2018
- On November 22, 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Tajikistan on Cooperation on Youth Matters valid for a period of five (5) years.
- Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved Agreement on Cooperation in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation between India and Uzbekistan.
- Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Atal Innovation Mission, India and Fund “Talent and Success”, Russia for promotion of science & technology.
- On November 22, 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved MoU between India and Mauritius on Consumer Protection and Legal Metrology……………………………Click here to Read more
IIM Calcutta Innovation Park and ICC signed MoU for energizing startup ecosystem in East and Northeast India
On November 21, 2018, the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) signed a memorandum of understanding with the IIM Calcutta Innovation Park to help facilitate incubation of start-ups primarily in the Eastern and North Eastern states.
ii. This will help start-up entrepreneurs access ICC’s member network.
iii. IIM Innovation Park is currently incubating 40 startups with almost half from Bengal. It will further add 10 more by the end of this fiscal.
iv. The company has in the last two years selected 25-odd start-ups for incubation. Most of these start-ups are revenue generating and have reported a cumulative turnover of Rs. 50 crore in FY18.
Institution’s Innovation Council, innovation cell for higher education institutions launched by HRD Ministry in New Delhi
On November 22, 2018, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar launched the Institution’s Innovation Council through video conferencing at the AICTE headquarters in New Delhi.
i. The objective of this initiative is to encourage, inspire and nurture young students by exposing them to new ideas.
ii. More than 1000 Higher Education Institutions have already formed IICs in their campuses to promote innovation.
Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath launched Month-long Nari Sashaktikaran Sankalp Abhiyan or Women Empowerment campaign in Lucknow
On November 20, 2018, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched month-long Nari Sashaktikaran Sankalp Abhiyan or Women Empowerment campaign in Lucknow.
i. It is aimed to empower women in the state through various programmes including education, self-employment, health, cleanliness, nutrition.
ii. For the awareness of the campaign, women officers and female staff of the state government will go door-to-door in villages to educate women about the schemes.
♦ 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.
India ranked 5th in the list of most vacation deprived nation in the world: Expedia
On November 22, 2018, Expedia Vacation Deprivation Report 2018 stated that India is among the most vacation deprived nation in the world ranking 5th among the 19 surveyed countries.
i. It ranked 5th in the table after Japan, Italy, Australia, New Zealand.
ii. India is followed by United States and Malaysia.
iii. As per data, 53 per cent of Indians take fewer vacation days than they get.
iv. 35 per cent don’t take leave as work schedule does not allow for vacation.
v. 68 per cent of Indians have ended up cancelling their vacation due to work.
vi. In terms of occupations, workers in the food & beverages, heath, and retail industries were found to be most vacation deprived while those employed in the real estate sector were least deprived.
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Saudi, UAE Announced USD 500 Million In Aid To Yemen
On 20th November, 2018 Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), announced $500 million in aid to the war torn Yemen in response to the dismal humanitarian conditions. The country is on the brink of famine after the long war which continued since 2015, when Saudi Arabia and the UAE intervened in the Yemen to support Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi after the Iranian-aligned Houthi rebel group took over the capital Sanaa.
i. General supervisor of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Centre for Humanitarian Relief and Works, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabi’ah along with Reem al-Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation announced the program at a joint press conference in Riyadh.
ii. The aid will support 10 to 12 million Yemenisto address the humanitarian need in the sectors of food and nutrition through the United Nations, international, regional and local organizations.
About Saudi Arabia
♦ Capital: Riyadh
♦ Currency: Saudi Riyal
About United Arab Emirates (UAE)
♦ United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital: Abu Dhabi
♦ United Arab Emirates (UAE) currency: Dirham
Australia and Poland join US rejection of UN migration pact
Australia and Poland refused to sign a UN pact on migration because the agreement would undermine their existing immigration policies. A draft of the agreement, which is not legally binding, was finalized in 2017 after more than a year of work. The United Nations decided to come up with a global compact on migration in 2016, in the wake of the crisis in the Mediterranean, which has seen thousands of migrants die while attempting to cross into Europe.
i. The pact lays out 23 objectives to open up legal migration and better management of migratory flows as the number of people on the move worldwide has increased to 250 million (3 % of the world’s population).
ii. It is due to be adopted next month although the United States and a handful of conservative governments in Israel, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic have rejected the pact.
♦ Capital: Canberra
♦ Currency: Australian Dollar
♦ Poland capital: Warsaw
♦ Poland currency: Polish złoty
♦ International Organization for Migration headquarters: Le Grand-Saconnex, Switzerland
BANKING & FINANCE
Ujjivan Small Finance Bank launches personal loan facility for salaried individuals
Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ujjivan Financial Services Limited introduced a new personal loan scheme for salaried individuals. By this offer, it became the first small finance bank to introduce this type of facility.
i. The 14 tier I and tier II locations where the product will be launched are Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Surat, Mumbai, Mysuru, Ankaleshwar, Coimbatore, Kochi, Chennai and Vadodara.
ii. Personal loans starting from Rs 50,000up toRs 15 lakhs will be offered to salaried professionals who are earning a monthly salary above Rs 15, 000.
iii. Key features of the product include, loan without any collateral or deposit of any asset and its attractive interest rate with complete digital processing. However the credit history of the individual will be considered while passing the loan.
iv. To pay EMI, a flexible time frame of 12 to 60 months will be provided by the bank.
About Ujjivan Small Finance Bank
♦ Headquarter: Bengaluru, Karnataka.
♦ MD & CEO: Samit Ghosh
Paytm partners with LIC for insurance premium payments
Softbank-backed, digital payments service provider, Paytm (One 97 Communications Limited) has partnered with the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) to offer online insurance premium payments on its platform.
i. A simpler and faster method of premium payments will be offered through the Paytm app with the freedom of paying premium through debit card, credit card, net banking and Paytm Wallet, besides availing the benefit of several deals and offers.
ii. Life insurance sector in India is the biggest in the world in terms of policy count with about 360 million policies. It is expected to increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12-15 % over the next five years. The insurance market is also expected to quadruple over the next decade from its current size of US$ 50 billion.
About Paytm and LIC
♦ Paytm Chief Executive Officer: Vijay Shekhar Sharma
♦ Paytm Headquarter: Noida
♦ Life Insurance Corporation Chairman: V.K. Sharma
♦ Life Insurance Corporation Headquarters: Mumbai
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
3rd Sayaji Ratna Award received by Film superstar Amitabh Bachchan
On November 20, 2018, film star Amitabh Bachchan was awarded the third Sayaji Ratna Award in Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara for his social contribution to pay off the loans of several farmers from Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.
ii. The first 2 recipients of the award were: Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy and industrialist Ratan Tata.
About the Award:
♦ It was established in the memory of erstwhile Baroda ruler Sayajirao Gaekwad III in 2013 by the Baroda Management Association to mark the 150th birth anniversary of the ruler.
Designers of ‘Urban wind turbine’ O-Wind Turbine, Nicolas Orellana of Chile and Yaseen Noorani from Kenya, won 2018 International James Dyson award
On November 21, 2018, the prestigious International James Dyson award 2018 was won by Nicolas Orellana of Chile and Yaseen Noorani from Kenya for their innovative design ‘Urban wind turbine’ called O-Wind Turbine.
ii. It is a sphere shaped object with vents that spins and converts the power of the wind into electricity.
iii. This can either be used as a direct source of power or it can be fed into the electricity grid.
WCCB won Asia Environment Enforcement Awards for combating trans-boundary environmental crime
On 21st November, 2018, the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) was selected for the Asia Environmental Enforcement Award 2018, for its outstanding contributions in combating the trans-boundary environmental crime by United Nations Environment program. WCCB is a statutory multi-disciplinary body established by the government under the Environment Ministry to combat organized wildlife crime in the country.
i. This is the second time in a row that the awards are being given by UN Environment to India.
ii. WCCB’s enforcement officer RS Sharath was also selected for Asia Environmental Enforcement Awards 2018 under the individual category.
iii. The award ceremony was held at Bangkok, Thailand.
♦ Union Environment Minister: Dr. Harsh Vardhan
♦ United Nations Environment Programme Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya.
Professor S.P. Ganguly conferred the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle, highest recognition to be given to a foreigner by Mexico
On November 19, 2018, for the first time, the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest civilian honour given to a foreigner by Mexico, was awarded to Professor Shyama Prasad Ganguly in the India International Center (IIC).He was the first Indian Academician to receive such honour.
i. The award was in recognition of his “outstanding work in the study and dissemination of the Spanish language and Mexican culture”.
ii. He is a Hispanist who has headed the Centre for Spanish and Latin American Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University five times.
Manipal Academy of Higher Education won silver in the International Green Apple Award for environmental best practice 2018
On 22nd November, 2018, the Manipal Academy of Higher Education won silver in the International Green Apple Award for evironmental best practice 2018 at a ceremony held at the Houses of Parliament in London. The award was received by Derrick I. Joshua, Assistant Director, Environment Sustainability, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE).
i. Green Manipal ,the award winning project of MAHE was selected among the 800 global nominations which competed to pick the greenest individuals, companies, councils and communities.
ii. MAHE’s winning paper will be published in the leading international work of reference on environmental best practice called The Green Book.
iii. MAHE now will have 100 trees planted in their name as part of the United Nations Billion Trees Initiative. And can participate in the Green World Awards 2019.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Joyce Msuya appointed as acting Executive Director of UNEP
On 22nd November, Tanzanian biologist Joyce Msuya has been appointed as acting Executive Director of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) after the resignation of Erik Solheim.
i. Erik Solheim resigned from the post of Executive director of UNEP following an internal audit report that said he had gobbled up $500,000 in unnecessary and budgeted travel expenses in just 22 months.
ii. Msuya had previously worked with World Bank and she is consistently advocating for conservation of the planet.
iii. UNEP is the leading global environment authority that works with wide range of partners including UN entities, international organization, national government and non-governmental organizations to promote sustainable development of global environment.
United Nations Environment Programme
♦ Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya
♦ Parent Organization: United Nations
Whatsapp appoints Abhijit Bose as India head, to set up team in Gurugram
Facebook-owned Messaging Company WhatsApp has appointed Abhijit Bose, co-founder and CEO of Payment device maker Ezetap as the head of WhatsApp India.
ii. Indian government is building pressure on WhatsApp to curb spreading of fake news. WhatsApp appointed Komal Lahiri as its first Grievance Officer for India to address the issues.
Hockey captain Manpreet signed up with Adidas
On November 20, 2018, Indian men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh inked pact with Adidas.
ii. He was conferred the Arjuna Award earlier in 2018.
UN Environment Chief Erik Solheim Resigns
On 20th November 2018, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Erik Solheim resigned following an internal audit report that said he had gobbled up $500,000 in unnecessary and budgeted travel expenses in just 22 months.
Tanzanian biologist Joyce Msuya had been appointed the New Executive Director of UN Environment Programme on 22nd November 2018 after resignation of former Norwegian Environment Minister, Erik Solheim.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Neighbourly app launched in Bengaluru, Delhi to gather information about a neighbourhood: Google NBU
On November 22, 2018, Google’s Next Billion Users (NBU) team announced the national roll-out of its Neighbourly app in Delhi and Bangalore.
ii. The full-fledged app offers services in 8 vernacular languages and is a targeted app with a geographic radius between 1 to 5 km.
iii. The initial phase was tested in Mumbai, followed by Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mysuru, Vizag, Kochi and Coimbatore,
iv. Henceforth more Indian cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, and Kolkata would be covered.
IIT-Hyderabad researchers developed smartphone-based system to detect adulteration in milk
On November 20, 2018, researchers, headed by IIT Professor Shiv Govind Singh, at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad, developed smartphone-based system to detect adulteration in milk.
i. This could be done by using an indicator paper that changes colour according to acidity which further can be incorporated with algorithms on a smartphone to accurately detect the colour change.
ii. The team will extend the research to study the effects of mobile phone cameras and lighting on detection efficiency.
iii. The research paper was published in the November 2018 issue of the Food Analytical Methods journal.
♦ Capital: Hyderabad.
♦ Chief Minister: K.Chandrashekhar Rao.
♦ Governor: E.S.L. Narasimhan.
♦ National Parks: Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park, Mahaveera Harina National Park, Mrugavani National Park.
Mohammed VI-B: Morocco launches its second earth observation satellite
On 21st November 2018, Arianespace launches Morocco’s second earth observation satellite named Mohammed VI-B, developed by Thales Alenia Space and Airbus from French Guiana.
i. Morocco’s first satellite named Mohammed VI-A was launched on 8th November 2017 by Vega rocket from Kourou space center.
ii. Mohammed VI-B is the second satellite of Morocco’s ambitious space program- the first in Africa. The satellite is named after Mohammed VI, King of Morocco who launched this ambitious space program in 2013.
iii. The satellite will be used for mapping, Agricultural monitoring, land surveying, monitoring changes in the environment and desertification as well as border and coastal surveillance.
♦ Capital: Rabat
♦ Currency: Moroccan dirham
LI NING BWF WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP 2018: Lakshya Sen (Indian) won bronze in men’s single event
From 12 to 18 November 2018, LI NING BWF World Junior Championship was organized at Markham, Canada in which India’s top Junior Shuttler Lakshya Sen won the bronze medal in Men’s Single event.
i. Lakshya Sen lost 22-20, 16-21, 13-21 to Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn in the semi-final of the men’s single junior championship on 17th November 2018.
ii. Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn won the Men’s single title by defeating Japanese player Kodai Naraoka in the Finals.
iii. It is India’s only medal in this year’s championship. Saina Nehwal is the only Indian player who had won Gold at BWF World Junior Championship which held in the year 2008 .
iv. DI Zijian and WANG Chang won Men’s double title.
Africa Industrialization Day (AID) celebrated on Novmeber 20
November 20, 2018 was celebrated as the “Africa Industrialization Day” by the United Nations General Assembly.
ii. It focused on the context of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III).
iii. It was first established in 1989 by UNGA to raise awareness about the importance of Africa’s industrialization and the challenges faced by the continent.
iv. The 2018 Africa Industrialization Day was celebrated at United Nations Industrial Development Organization(UNIDO)’s headquarters in Vienna, with an event organized by UNIDO with the support of the United Nations Office of the Secretary-General, the UN Economic Commission on Africa (UNECA), and the African Union Commission (AUC).
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO):
♦ Headquarters: Vienna, Austria.
♦ Director General: Li Yong.