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Current Affairs November 23 2019

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We are here for you to provide the important Recent and Latest Current Affairs 23 November 2019, which have unique updates of Latest Current Affairs 2019 events from all newspapers such as The Hindu, The Economic Times, PIB, Times of India, PTI, Indian Express, Business Standard and all Government official websites.

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

India to host SCO forum of Young Scientists and Innovators 2020
India has been selected to host the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) forum of Young Scientists and Innovators for the year 2020. The decision was taken during the closing ceremony of the “5th Meeting of SCO Member States’ Heads of Ministries and Departments of Science and Technology(S&T) and Permanent Working Group on S&T Cooperation”. The meeting was conducted on November 20-22, 2019 in Moscow, Russia.
India will also be the host of Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) of SCO Member States in 2020. The draft for the SCO roadmap on cooperation between research institutions for 2021-23 will be approved during this meeting.
Key Points:
 i.Indian delegation: Dr. Shekhar C. Mande secretary of DSIR (Department of Scientific and Industrial Research) & Director General (DG) of the CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) led the Indian delegation during the meeting.
 ii.Protocol signed: A protocol of the 5th meeting of ministries and departments of S&T was signed by 8 SCO member state heads.
 iii.The leaders of the member SCO countries approved to host joint competition for SCO Multilateral R&D (Research & Development) projects by the end of 2020.
About Shanghai Cooperation Organisation:
Founded- 19 September 2003.
Headquarters- Beijing, China.
Secretary-General- Vladimir Norov.
SCO members- China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Health Ministry:Gujarat best performer in PMJAY beneficiaries, UP & Bihar ranked worst
On November 22, 2019 the Union health ministry submitted its detail to the Parliament on the no. of beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana scheme which is also known as Ayushman Bharat.  Gujarat was ranked as the best performer in terms of no. of hospital admissions. Gujarat has so far made a million hospital admissions and claimed worth Rs 1,519 crore.
Worst performing states: Bihar and Uttar Pradesh(UP) were ranked as worst performers in terms of no. of beneficiaries, as Bihar reported only 1,20,000 hospital admissions and UP reported 230,000 hospital admissions.

  • Total health claims raised: Health claims worth Rs 7,602 crore were raised across the country under the scheme till November 20, 2019 with nearly 6.2 million admissions country-wide….Click here to Read More

7 crore farmers benefited under PM-KISAN scheme 
The govt has announced that over 7 crore farmers have been benefited under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme.  Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha has mentioned that from 1st of December 2019, the benefits will be given to beneficiaries only on the basis of authenticated Aadhar data under the scheme.
Key Points:
i.Publicity & awareness campaigns have been organised to ensure about the usage of Aadhar based authenticated data.
ii.Uttar Pradesh has the highest no. of beneficiaries under the scheme among all states.
About Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN):
Fact-  The initiative was announced during the 2019 Interim Union Budget of India on 1 February 2019 inorder to provide minimum income support for farmers.
Scheme- the PM-KISAN scheme provides Rs 6000 per year in 3 installments to the farmers.
Established- 1 February 2019.
Ministry responsible-  Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

6 plastic parks approved for implementation: Sadananda Gowda
On November 22, 2019, In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Devaragunda Venkappa Sadananda Gowda informed that the central government has approved setting up of six plastic parks in Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu with 50% funding by centre & another 50% funded by State Government beneficiary industries and by a loan from financial institutions. The plastic park at Tamot Village in Madhya Pradesh is now active.
Key Points:
i.Goal:The central government has set a target to eliminate all single-use plastic in the country by 2022.For which, a three-phase campaign Swachhta Hi Sewa was launched from September 11, 2019 – October 27,2019 to collect and safe disposal of littered plastic.
ii.Infrastructure: The 6 parks will have modern age infrastructure and enabling common facilities through cluster development approach to consolidate and synergize the capacities of the domestic downstream plastic processing industry.
iii. Guidelines: The environment Ministry has provided Standard Guidelines to all Ministries & States on Single-use plastics implementation.
iv.Till now 13,829 tonnes of plastic waste was collected and sent for recycling process and about 1.23 lakh community awareness programmes were undertaken all over India.
About Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers:
Headquarters– New Delhi

Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) plenary session conducted in New DelhiKimberley Process Certification Scheme The Plenary meeting of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) was hosted by India, the founding member and 2019 KP chair, in New Delhi from November 18-22, 2019. KP is a joint initiative involving govt, international diamond industry and civil society to reduce or control flow of conflict diamonds. The meeting was inaugurated by Dr. Anup Wadhawan, Secretary of Commerce industry.
Positions held by Indians:
Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce(DoC), B.B. Swain, has been designated as KP Chair 2019 and Ms. Rupa Dutta, Economic Adviser(EA) of the DoC has been designated as India’s KP focal point.

  • India on the closing session of the KPCS handed over the KP chair for the year 2020 to the Russian federation. It is also to be noted that India was the previous chair of the KP in 2008.
  • India currently exports $24 billion cut and polished diamonds. A reach of export target of $1 trillion is also expected in the coming years….Click here to Read More

PM Modi addressed Accountants general and deputy accountants general conclave 2019 held in New DelhiPM-at-Conclave-of-Accountants-GeneralPrime Minister (PM) Narendra Damodardas Modi has addressed the 2-day Accountants General and Deputy Accountants General Conclave 2019 held in New Delhi From November 21-22, 2019 based on the theme ‘Transforming Audit and Assurance in a Digital World’. It was held with the aim to consolidate experience and learning, and layout the plan of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department for the next few years.
i.
Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi unveiled the statue of the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi in the office premises of the Controller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in New Delhi.Click here to Read More

Jal Ministry released documentary film “Shikhar se Pukar”to promote ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan’
On November 22, 2019, Union Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat released a short documentary film on Water Conservation named ‘SHIKHAR SE PUKAR’ in New Delhi. The film has been made to promote ‘Jalshakti Abhiyan’ and create awareness about water conservation “Jal Sanrakshan Abhiyan”.
The film is based on the journey of Ravindra Kumar, Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Uttar Pradesh who climbed Everest twice- first in 2013 and again on May 23, 2019. It also gives a glimpse on the significance of Himalaya & picturizes the difficulties and challenges in climbing the highest peak of the world.
Key Points: –
i.The Mountaineer named his expedition as “Swachh Ganga Swachh Bharat Everest Abhiyan 2019” and carried ‘Ganga Jal’ and offered the holy water at the highest peak of the world.
ii.Shri Kumar also presented two books written by him on Mount Everest that was published in 2015.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India ranks 44th in 2019 Nomura’s Food Vulnerability Index
On November 21, 2019, Japanese company Nomura Global Market Research released a report titled “2019 Nomura’s Food Vulnerability Index” (NFVI). The report was about 50 countries, most vulnerable to the food price surge. India ranked 44th in the list out of the total 110 countries taken for analysis.
Report:
i.The top 50 countries reported for 60% of the global population, thus reflects the massive no. of individuals and households being vulnerable.
ii.Nomura ranking: The ranking was based on the exposure in food prices based on 3 components. They were on country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per person share of food in household consumption and net food imports.
iii.Vulnerability creators: Lower per capita GDP, higher share of food in household consumption, high net food imports are some of the factors that lead a country vulnerable to rise in food prices.
iv.Nomura reported 3 potential triggers for rise in food prices. They were weather related shocks, higher oil prices and sharp depreciation in the value of United States(US) dollar.
About Nomura:
Founded- December 25, 1925.
Headquarters- Tokyo, Japan.
President and Chief Executive Officer(CEO)- Koji Nagai.

3-day long 2nd India ASEAN Innotech summit 2019 held in Davao, Philippines2nd India ASEAN InnoTech Summit 2019 A 3-day long 2nd India ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) InnoTech Summit 2019 based on the theme “Accelerating towards innovative development” held from November 20 – 22 2019, SMX Convention Center, Davao, Philippines.
It was organized with the aim to build capacity between the regions and explore various areas of collaboration in the field of science, technology, and innovation, global research and development (R&D), promote partnerships between industry-academia-government & will enhance best practices in financing, strategy, and leadership.
Key Points:
i.Organizer: The summit was jointly organized by the Philippines (DOST-Department of Science and Technology), FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry), and DST (Department of Science and Technology), India.
ii.Partakers: The 10 ASEAN members participating in the summit was Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
iii.Events: An exhibition was showcased wherein the objective was to share experience and best practices in order to promote grassroots India’s innovation in Technologies, with potential implementation in the ASEAN region.The summit also witnessed B2G (Business to Government )meetings with ASEAN delegation of ministers, advisors, and other officials.
iv.Previous edition: The 1st edition of  India ASEAN InnoTech Summit 2018 was held on 29-30 November 2018, The Lalit Hotel, New Delhi.
About ASEAN:
Motto– One Vision, One Identity, One Community
Secretariat –Jakarta, Indonesia
Membership– 10 nations

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI expands SNRR account to popularize domestic rupee abroad
On November 23, 2019, India’s Central Bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) took steps to expand the scope of Special Non-Resident Rupee Accounts (SNRR) and popularize the domestic currency abroad by allowing overseas Indians to open such accounts for rupee denominated external commercial borrowings (ECBs), taking trade credits and trade (Export/ Import) Invoicing in India, and business-related transactions outside the International Financial Service Centre (IFC), all in rupees.
In addition to this, the current 7 years time period of SNRR account has also been removed by RBI, in consultation with the central government.
Key Points:
i.
The regulations regarding re-export of unsold rough diamonds from special notified zone of Customs without export declaration form (EDF) formality was also modified by RBI. Only after being satisfied with the bona-fides of the transaction , the Banks will allow such import payments.
About SNRR account:
Any person who lives outside India and has a business interest with India can open a SNRR account with a bank for bona fide and not earn any interest. This account can be transacted in rupees.
Opening of SNRR accounts by Pakistan and Bangladesh nationals and entities incorporated in Pakistan and Bangladesh requires prior approval of Reserve Bank.
It is operated as non-interest earning account, while an NRO (Non Resident Ordinary) account can earn interest. The balances in SNRR is repatriable, while NRO account are non-repatriable (except for current income and to the extent permissible for NRIs- Non Resident Indian / PIOs- Persons of Indian Origin).

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

India’s GDP growth to be lower at 4.7% in Q2 quarter FY2020: ICRA
On November 21, 2019, An Indian independent credit rating agency,ICRA (originally named Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Limited) has projected India’s GDP(Gross Domestic Product) growth to be 4.7 % in the second quarter (Q2 – 1 April – 30 June) of FY -Fiscal Year 2020 due to weak industrial production. The rating agency also forecasted a further decline in gross value added (GVA) and is expected to be 4.5 % for the quarter ending September of FY20.
Key Points:
i.India’s GDP and GVA stood at 5% and 4.9 % in the Q1 quarter. However, sectors such as agriculture and services may be able to maintain the growth rate recorded in the first quarter of FY 2020.
ii. Earlier, an American credit rating agency,Moody’s Investors Service reduced India’s GDP estimate for 2019 by 5.6% . As per Moody’s, government measures have failed to address the weakness of consumption demand.
iii.GVA is the measure of the value of goods and services produced in an area, industry or sector of an economy,while GDP is a monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced in a specific time period.
About ICRA:
Founded
-1991
Headquarters –Gurugram, Haryana
Chairman– Dhruba Narayan Ghosh    

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATION  

Devendra Fadnavis sworn in as the 18th CM and Ajit Anantrao Pawar as the 9th Deputy CM of MaharashtraDevendra Fadnavis takes oath as Maharashtra CM On 23rd November 2019, Devendra Gangadharrao Fadnavis,49 has been pledged as the 18th Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Ajit Anantrao Pawar,60 has been pledged as the 9th Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra by the Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari for a 5-year term. Devendra Fadnavis has been appointed for the second term while Ajit Pawar’s post of deputy CM was lying vacant since 2014.
Key Points:

i.Davendra Fadnavis was the former Chief Minister of Maharashtra from 31 October 2014 – 12 November 2019 and he belongs to BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party).
ii.Ajit Pawar was the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra from 10 November 2010 – 26 September 2014 and he belongs to NCP (Nationalist Congress Party).
About Maharashtra:
Capital – Mumbai
Language – Marathi
Governor – Bhagat Singh Koshyari

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS       

Muthoot Finance acquired IDBI’s MF business for Rs 215 crore
muthoot finance & IDBI MutualOn November 22, 2019 Kerala-based gold loan non-banking financial company Muthoot Finance (MFIN) has entered into an agreement with IDBI bank (Industrial Development Bank of India) in acquiring its Mutual Fund (MF) business for Rs 215 crore. With this acquirement Muthoot Finance’ foray gets into Rs 26-trillion MF space.
Other acquirements:

The MFIN will also acquire a 100% stake in both IDBI Asset Management Company(AMC) and IDBI MF trustee company by the end of February 2020.
Key Points:
i.IDBI has been selling its non-core assets in order to ease pressure on the balance sheet. Previously in January 2019, the Life Insurance Corporation(LIC) has acquired a 51% stake in IDBI Bank.
ii.As per market regulator SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India), an entity cannot hold more than 10% in more than one MF. The MFIN deal will help LIC avoid legal issues with Sebi.
About Muthoot Finance:
Founded- 1939.
Headquarters- Kochi, Kerala.
Managing Director(MD)- George Alexander Muthoot.

 SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Microsoft rolled out ‘K12 Education Transformation Framework’ in India
On November 21, 2019 American multinational technology company Microsoft has launched “K-12 Education Transformation Framework” in India. The framework is about facilitating digital transformation of schools in India. It was launched during the “2nd edition Microsoft Education Days” conducted by Microsoft in Gurgaon, Haryana. The framework comprises of 4 pillars. They are Leadership and policy, modern teaching and learning, intelligent environments and technology blueprint.
Aim: The aim of the framework is to provide educational leadership, govt decision-makers, teachers, learners, the tool to achieve integration of technology in a powerful and productive way.
Key Points:
i.So far, the framework has been adopted to over 50 countries.
ii.The programme will offer a series of workshops under the 4 pillars of the framework.
About Microsoft:
Founded- April 4, 1975.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)- Satya Nadella.
Headquarters- Washington, United States(US).

NDv2:NVIDIA’s World’s largest GPU-accelerated cloud-based supercomputer
On November 21 2019, NVIDIA announced the World’s Largest GPU (graphics processing unit)-accelerated cloud-based supercomputer named NDv2 on Microsoft Azure. NDv2 is a supercomputer that has been built to handle most demanding Artificial intelligence (AI) and its High-Performance Computing (HPC) application.
Key Points: –
i.NDv2 allows the customer for the first time to rent a whole AI supercomputer on demand from their desk, and match the competencies of large-scale, on premises of supercomputers which could take some months to deploy.
ii.It is ideal for complex AI, machine learning and HPC workloads and it is cost efficient over traditional CPU based computing. It uses up to 800 NVIDIA V100 Tensor Core GPUs interconnected on a single Mellanox InfiniBand backend network.
iii. On a pre-release version Microsoft and NVIDIA engineers used 64 NDv2 instances cluster to train BERT, a popular conversational AI model, in roughly three hours.
iv.NVIDIA is planning to release GPUDirect Storage in the first half of 2020.
About NVIDIA
Fact- It designs Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) for the gaming and professional markets, as well as System on Chip units (SoCs) for the mobile computing and automotive market.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Jensen Huang
Headquarters-  Santa Clara, California, United States (US)

ENVIRONMENT

‘Avian botulism’ killed 18,000 Migratory Birds at Sambhar Lake: Government Report
On November 21, 2019, The Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh confirmed Avian botulism is the reason behind the mass mortality of 18,000 migratory birds from Northern Asia, at Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan. Botulism is a natural toxin produced by bacterial strain which affects the nervous system of birds, leading to paralysis in their legs and wings, Avian botulism is also known as Clostridium botulin which is commonly found in the soil, river, and seawater.
Key Points: –
i.Investigation regarding the sudden death of birds was requested to Minister of Environment, Forests and climate (MoEFCC) Prakash Javadekar by Rajasthan  Chief Minister (CM) Ashok Gehlot
ii.Animal Husbandry Minister Lal Chand Kataria reported that the rescue centers established near the lake treated 735 birds, of which 368 are alive and 36 were dead. The dead birds include the Northern Shoveller, Brahminy Duck, Pied Avocet, Kentish Plover and Tufted Duck, among others.
iii. Sambhar lake- It is located in Jaipur district of Rajasthan, which is India’s biggest saltwater lake, spreading 190 to 230 Sq.km. Every year the lake will host approximately 2-3 lakhs of birds, which includes about 50,000 flamingos and 1,00,000 wade.
About Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI): –
Fact-It is India’s premier advanced research facility in the field of veterinary medicine and allied branches.
Formed-  December 9,1889
Director- Raj Kumar Singh

OBITUARY

Nikanth Khadilkar, senior journalist passed away at 85 in Mumbai khadilkarOn 22nd November 2019, senior journalist Nikanth Khadilkar died at Lilavati, a private hospital after a brief illness in Suburban Bandra in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Nikanth Khadilkar was the owner, editor, and publisher of Marathi newspaper – ‘Navakal’ for 27 years and was popular for his editorials and books.
Key Points:

i.Books written by Nikanth Khadilkar: 

  • Practical Socialism: Musings from a tour of Russia
  • Majhi Citraphita: Towvarsa (i.e.Towers)

ii.He is also the father of India’s famous chess champions also called as the ‘Khadilkar sisters’, Vasanthi Khadilkar Unni, Jayashree Khadilkar Pande and Rohini Khadilkar. Three of them have the title of Women International Master (WIM) and are the winners of Indian Women’s Championship.
About Navakal:
Founded – 1923
Language – Marathi
City – Mumbai
Publisher – Nikanth Khadilkar

Shaukat Kaifi former actor and writer passed away at 91shaukat-azmiOn 22nd November 2019, former actor and writer Shaukat Kaifi died at Juhu, Mumbai. Shaukat Kaifi was an Indian theater artist and film actor and her husband was an Urdu poet and film lyricist Kaifi Azmi. Shaukat Kaifi and Kaifi Azmi were key associates in the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) and Progressive Writers Association (IWA). She was born in Hyderabad, Telangana.
Key Points:

i.She is best known for her work in M.S Sathyu’s ‘Garm Hava’, Muzaffar Ali’s ‘Umrao Jaan’, Sagar Sarhadi’s ‘Bazaar’ and Mira Nair’s Oscar-nominated film ‘Salaam Bombay’, she has also written an autobiography, ‘Kaifi and I’.
ii.Shaukat Kaifi’s daughter Shabana Azmi is an Indian actor and nominated Member of Parliament and also a Goodwill Ambassador of UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund).
About UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund):
Head – Dr. Natalia Kanem
Headquarters – New York, United States
Formation – 1969

BOOKS & AUTHORS

‘The Third Pillar’ – a business book written by Raghuram Govind Rajan former 23rd Governor of RBI (Reserve Bank of India)raghuramRenowned author, professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and former 23rd Governor of the RBI (Reserve Bank of India),Raghuram Govind Rajan, has written a book named ‘The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind’. The book is a reflection on the present state of the World in the views of the trinity of Markets, State and Community as the three pillars of the Society and how the first two have moved ahead leaving the third behind. The book has been published by Penguin Press.
Key Points:

i.Raghuram Rajan was the Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
ii.Books written by Raghuram Rajan:

  • I Do What I Do
  • Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy
  • Co-authored – Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists and The Squam Lake Report: Fixing the Financial System

iii. He was awarded the Financial Times-Goldman Sachs prize for best business book for the book Fault Lines in 2010.
About IMF (International Monetary Fund):
Formation – 27th December 1945
Headquarters – Washington D.C, U.S
Parent Organization – United Nations

STATE NEWS

Amaravati included in Indian map as the capital of Andhra PradeshartamaravatiOn November 22, 2019, The Survey of India, India’s central engineering agency in charge of mapping and surveying has released an updated map of India with Amaravati as the capital of Andhra Pradesh (AP). The decision comes after the political storm between TDP(Telugu Desam Party) and the ruling YSR (Yeduguri Sandinti Rajasekhara Reddy) Congress Party.
Key Points:
i.Amaravati had been missing from the previous map released by the Centre On November 2, 2019, which showed Hyderabad as common capital of Telangana & Andhra Pradesh.
ii.The state of AP was bifurcated in the year 2014 and while it was initially decided that Hyderabad would serve as the common administrative capital for a period of 10 years.
About Andhra Pradesh:
Governor– Biswabhusan Harichandan
Chief minister-Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy
National Parks-Sri Venkateswara National Park ,Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Papikonda National Park.

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