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Govt transferred over Rs 1,600 crore to 48.5 lakh mothers under PMMVY: CDFI
On November 23, 2018, according to Centre for Digital Financial Inclusion (CDFI), the government had transferred over Rs 1,600 crore to 48.5 lakh mothers under Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana through direct benefit transfer.
i. The exact figure is Rs 16,04,66,63,000 and the process have been conceptualized, designed and implemented by CDFI through the PMMVY-CAS (Common Application Software) System.
ii. According to the scheme, which became active from January 1, 2017, Rs 5,000 would be given in three installments to pregnant women and lactating mothers for the first child through Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT).
UN selects Noida, Greater Noida to participate in Global Sustainable Cities 2025 initiative
On 25th November, 2018 the United Nations selected Noida and Greater Noida, twin cities in Gautam Buddh Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh,adjoining NewDelhi to participate in its Global Sustainable Cities 2025 initiative in the “University City” category ahead of Mumbai and Bengaluru which were also under UN’s consideration for the initiative, as the only invitee from India.
The initiative aims to create 25 model cities across the world in five categories that will be fully compliant with the sustainable development goals by 2025.
i. The twin cities have been formally invited to participate in the showcase ‘Race to Sustainability’ among 25 global cities which will be competing with elite university cities such as Cambridge, Palo Alto and Heidelberg.
ii. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, also known as the Global Goals, were adopted in September 2015, by the UN General Assembly.
iii. The UN Global Sustainability Index Institute (UNGSII) is the executing agency for Global Sustainable Cities 2025 initiative.
About UN Global Sustainability Index Institute (UNGSII):
♦ UNGSII Headquarters: Vaduz, capital of Liechtenstein, Europe
♦ UNGSII CEO: Roland Schatz
Gujarat topped in implementing Ayushman Bharat after 2 months of launch: NHA
On November 25, 2018, according to the National Health Agency, after 2 months of launch of Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, Gujarat has emerged as the top performer among the states under the scheme.
i. As of November 23, Gujarat accounts for 26% of the total number of sanctioned hospital admissions under the scheme.
ii. Around 76,000 hospital admissions have been cleared in Gujarat since September 23, Tamil Nadu ranked second at 54,273 and Chhattisgarh third at 53,180 sanctioned hospitals.
iii. One reason behind Gujarat’s success is that it has already been implementing a similar scheme, known as the Mukhyamantri Amrutam ‘MA’ Yojana, since 2012.
iv. Karnataka and Maharashtra rank 4th and 5th closing off the top 5 ranks under the scheme.
v. Although Uttar Pradesh and Bihar accounted for the highest number of beneficiaries, they still rank among the lowest performers so far.
vi. UP had verified 1.18 crore families as beneficiaries and in Bihar the number is 1.09 crore families.
vii. Rs 400 crore has been raised under this scheme so far, of which Rs 350 crore has already been given out by the Centre and states.
viii. And as of November 24, 2018, over 3.4 lakh beneficiaries have been treated under the scheme since its launch in September 23, 2018.
Furthermore, in early November 2018, the finance ministry was asked for an additional fund amounting to Rs 2,000 crore for proper implementation of the scheme for the rest of this financial year.
About Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY):
♦ Launched: September 23, 2018.
♦ The scheme promises health coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family to over 10 crore poor families.
Kartarpur Corridor: Vice President of India laid foundation stone for Sikh pilgrimage route in Punjab
On November 26, 2018, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu laid the foundation stone for the construction of the Dera Baba Nanak-Karatarpur Sahib road corridor in Punjab.
i. The corridor will be developed by the National Highways Authority of India and funded by the Government of India.
ii. Kartarpur Sahib in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province is located across the Ravi River and is about four km from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.
iii. Thus, building of the Kartarpur corridor will connect the India’s border district of Gurdaspur to Kartarpur in Pakistan, through the international border with Pakistan.
i. As part of the celebration of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, founder of Sikhism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 23, said that the Kartarpur Corridor would be built.
ii. It is the place where Guru Nanak is believed to have spent his last 18 years.
♦ Chief Minister: Amarinder Singh.
♦ Governor: V.P Singh Badnore.
♦ National Parks: Abohar WLS, Bir Aishvan WLS, Bir Bunerheri WLS, Bir Bhadson WLS, Bir Dosanjh WLS, Bir Gurdialpura WLS, Bir Mehaswala WLS, Bir Motibagh WLS, Harike Lake WLS, Jhajjar Bacholi WLS, Kathlaur Kushlian WLS, Takhni-Rehampur WLS, Nangal WLS.
Telangana CEO Dr Rajat Kumar inaugurated five-day exhibition on ‘Our Vote- Our Future’ in Hyderabad
On November 26, 2018, Telangana Chief Electoral Officer Dr Rajat Kumar inaugurated a five-day exhibition on “Our Vote- Our Future” in Hyderabad.
i. This exhibition was organized by the Regional Outreach Bureau of Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
ii. It aims to increase the polling percentage at least 10 per cent.
iii. 46 panels of photos were displayed depicting election process to prepare Telangana for polling which is going to be held on 7th December 2018.
Yogi Adityanath gave nod for construction of 221-meter tall Ram statue in Ayodhya
On November 26, 2018, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath unveiled the finalized details for the construction of a 221-metre long statue of Lord Ram in Ayodhya.
i. The height of the Ram statue would be 151 metres, its overhead umbrella would be 20 metres while the pedestal would be 50 metres.
ii. The combined height of the structure would thus be 221 metres, making it the world’s tallest statue.
iii. The statue will be made of bronze and will house a “modern museum” which will have history of Ayodhya and the entire “Ikshvaku Vansh” right from King Manu to the present status of “Ram Janmabhoomi”.
70-feet tall second highest statue of Lord Buddha unveiled at Rajgir in Nalanda district in Bihar by CM of Bihar
On November 25, 2018, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar unveiled a 70-feet tall statue of Lord Buddha at Rajgir in Nalanda district, Bihar.
He also inaugurated a three-day Rajgir Mahotsava.
i. This is the second tallest statue of Buddha in the country.
ii. The statue is made of 45,000 cubic foot pink sandstone and has been installed above a 16-metre radius pedestal in the middle of Lake Ghora Katora.
Also approving the Sikh community’s desire, clearances for construction of “Gurudwara” near “Guru Nanak Shital Kund”.
♦ Chief Minister: Nitish Kumar.
♦ Governor: Lalji Tandon.
♦ National Parks: Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Pant (Rajgir) Wild Life Sanctuary, Udaipur Wild Life Sanctuary, Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Wild Life Sanctuary, Kaimur Wild Life Sanctuary.
♦ Festivals: Chatth Puja, Sama-Chakeva, Ramnavami, Makar-Sankranti, Bihula, Madhushravani, Basant Panchami, Shivratri, Raksha Bandhan, Holi, Durga Puja, Deepawali.
Overview of President Ram Nath Kovind’s 7-day maiden visit to Vietnam & Australia
On November 24, 2018, the President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind, along with the first Lady Savita Kovind and other dignitaries, concluded his 7-day maiden official visit to ASEAN country of Vietnam and Australia.
3-day Visit to Vietnam (November 18-20, 2018):
- On November 19, 2018, President Ram Nath Kovind addressed the Vietnam-India Business Forum in Hanoi, Vietnam
- They discussed review of implementation of the Line of Credit of US Dollars 100 million for building high-speed patrol vessels for Vietnamese Border Guards was done.
- After the meeting between the Presidents of the India and Vietnam, 4 agreements were signed in the fields of communications, education and trade and investment.
- The 2 sides reaffirmed mutual support for their respective candidatures as non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council –Viet Nam for the term of 2020 – 2021 and India for the term of 2021 – 2022.
4-day Visit to Australia (November 21-24, 2018)
- President also delivered his address at the Australian Financial Review India Business Summit in Sydney.
- In the meeting, President conveyed India’s decision to contribute additional AUD 10 million matching funds over the next 4 years towards Australia India Strategic Research Fund.
- President welcomed Prime Minister Morrison’s proposal of “India Economic Strategy To 2035” to increase the Australian investment from current AUD 10 billion to 100 billion by 2035.
- As part of President Kovind’s visit, 5 agreements have been concluded between India and Australia…………….Click here to Read more
World’s first underground luxury hotel opened in Shanghai, China
On November 20, 2018, world’s first ever underground luxury hotel named- The InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland- opened in Songjiang district, southwest of Shanghai, China.
i. It houses 18 storeys with 16 of them below the ground.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu presented Sri Sathya Sai Award For Human Excellence-2018 on November 23
On 23rd November 2018, The Vice President of India Shri M Venkaiah Naidu, presented the 3rd Sri Sathya Sai Award for Human Excellence that recognizes individuals, who are doing tremendous work to uplift the society in various parts of the world, at a gathering in the event World Youth Meet held in Bangalore.
i. The awards are presented under seven categories – health, education, women and child welfare, environment, music and fine arts, unity of religion and sports. The award is instituted by Prashanthi Balamandira Trust and the jury consisted of 14 eminent personalities from across various fields.
Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), first PSU, won CII-Exim Bank Business Award in Bengaluru
On November 24, 2018, Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) won the CII-Exim Bank Business Excellence Award, for being a role-model organization, at the Quality Summit held in Bengaluru.
i. The Summit was organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
ii. The company’s Bengaluru complex is the first state-run undertaking to be recognized as a role-model organization by the CII.
iii. 3 other BEL units at Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, Chennai in Tamil Nadu and Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh received Platinum recognition for business excellence
iv. These 4 units account for 80 per cent of the company’s business and employees.
About the Award:
i. The award is the highest recognition in the CII-Exim Bank Award for Business Excellence, instituted by the CII and the Export-Import Bank of India to enhance the competitiveness of India Inc.
ii. CII recognizes organizations at three levels — Gold Plus, Platinum and Award at the highest.
iii. An Award winning organisation is declared as role model for excellence demonstrated by it in: smart strategy implementation and good management practices.
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru.
♦ Chairman and Managing Director: M.V. Gowtama.
Shilpa Shetty Kundra leads India to set new Guinness World Record with plankathon for 60 Seconds
On 25th November, 2018 bollywood actor and fitness enthusiast Shilpa Shetty Kundra led India to achieve a new title on the Guinness World Records as 2,353 people held the abdominal plank position for 60 seconds simultaneously at the Armed Forces Medical College ground in Pune. The record was made under the ‘Bajaj Allianz Life Plankathon’ event which was organised by Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company for promoting good health.
i. The participants set a new Guinness World Records feat for ‘Most people holding the abdominal plank position’ together for one minute by breaking the earlier record created by China where 1,779 people held a plank for one minute.
ii. The record breaking Bajaj Allianz Life Plankathon was the finale event to the company’s very successful ‘#36SecPlankChallenge’ campaign in which individuals challenged their friends, family, and colleagues on social media to hold a plank for 36 seconds.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Easyfone launches STAR, India’s first mobile phone for kids
The feature phone maker Easyfone launched “Easyfone Star”, India’s first mobile phone for kids to help them be safer and connected to parents at Rs. 3490.
i. eNovus enterprises is the maker of the Easyfone brand. The Phone comes with a lot of safety features which is never seen in India before. Some of the feature of the phone includes restricting calls to only pre-configured numbers, GPS which allows parents to track their child and SOS key which allows children to get quick help in emergency.
RIMES terms Titli cyclone ‘rarest of rare’
UN registered organization,The Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) has termed the Cyclone “Titli” which hits the Coast of Odisha in October as rarest of rare.
i. The 45-Nation International Organisation on disaster warning, RIMES stated that the Cyclone is rarest of rare in more than 200 years of cyclone track history. More than 60 people were died and thousands of the people were affected by the Cyclone.
Andaman & Nicobar Islands home to tenth of India’s fauna species: ZSI
According to a publication by the Zoological Survey of India titled ‘Faunal Diversity of Biogeographic Zones: Islands of India’, the Andaman & Nicobar Islands which comprises only 0.25% of country’s geographical area is home to 11,009 fauna species thereby putting the numbers of fauna species found in the Island to more than 10% of the country’s total fauna species.
i. The presence of a large number of species in such a small area makes the Andaman and Nicobar Islands one of the richest ecosystems and biodiversity hot spots in India.
ii. Among the 46 terrestrial mammalian species found, three species have been categorised as Critically Endangered — Andaman shrew (Crocidura andamanensis), Jenkin’s shrew (C. jenkinsi) and Nicobar shrew (C. nicobarica). Five species are listed as Endangered, nine species as Vulnerable, and one species as Near Threatened, according to the IUCN.
iii. 344 species of birds are found only on the islands. Many of these bird species are placed in the IUCN Red List of threatened species under the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA).
iv. Another unique feature of the islands’ ecosystem is that 555 species of scleractinian corals (hard or stony corals) are found in the island.
v. Recently, the Government of India relaxed the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) norms for some foreign nationalities notified under the Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order, 1963, to visit 29 of its inhabited islands, till December 31, 2022 triggering increased anthropogenic pressures over the islands’ ecosystem.
About Andaman & Nicobar Islands:
♦ Total Islands, islets and rocky outcrops: 572
♦ Capital: Port Blair
♦ Lieutenant Governors: Devendra Kumar Joshi
♦ Particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs) — Great Andamanese, Onge, Jarawa, Sentinelese, Nicobarese and Shompens.
Syed Modi International 2018 (20 Nov to 25 Nov)
From 20th to 25th November 2018, Badminton World Federation (BWF) Organized Syed Modi International Badminton Championship at the Babu Banaras Das Indoor Stadium in Lucknow, India with the total prize of $150,000. Syed Modi International is HSBC BWF World Tour Super 300 tournament named in the memory of the 1982 Commonwealth Games men’s singles Champion Syed Modi.
On 25th November 2018, India’s 24 years old Sameer Verma won the Men’s single title by defeating China’s Lu Guangzu in the final to retain the title.
One of the India’s greatest Badminton player, Saina Nehwal missed an opportunity to get Gold after her defeat against China’s Han Yue in Women’s Singles event. She has to satisfy with Silver Medal.
India’s Satwiksairaj and Rankireddy got silver medal in the Men’s double event. They were defeated by Indonesia’s Men’s Pair of Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto in the finals.
In the Women’s double event India continues its good performance as India’s Women’s pair Ashwini Ponnappa and Reddy N. Sikki won Silver. They missed an opportunity of Gold with the defeat against Malaysia’s Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean in the finals.
India’s pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa has to settle with Bronze medal in the mixed double event.
i. China’s Ou Xuanyi and Feng Xueying defeated Indonesia’s Rinov Rivaldy and Pitha Haningtyas in the final and won the Gold Medal in Mixed Double event.
ii. Indonesia’s Rinov Rivaldy and Pitha Haningtyas won the Silver Medal in the Mixed double event of Syed Modi Internation 2018 held in Lucknow.
ICC bans West Indian Shannon Gabriel
On 23rd November 2018, International Cricket Council (ICC) banned West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel for the second test match against Bangladesh when he was found guilty of shoulder barging against Bangladesh’s Imrul Kayes.
i. Shannon Gabriel got 2 demerit points after the incident which takes place in the eighth over of Test match against Bangladesh. He had accumulated five demerit points within the 24-month period.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton wins Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
On November 25th 2018, five-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton signed off the season in style and kept the Mercedes dominance by winning at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix — the 21st and final race of the 2018 F1 calendar at the Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi.
i. The title is his 11th win of this year’s campaign and overall 73rd career win and is now 18 wins away from Michael Schumacher’s all-time record.
ii. The Briton became the first driver to score more than 400 points in a season with a final tally of 408.
Iii. Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari and Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer were at 2nd and 3rd postion in the race.
iv. Other wins of Lewis Hamilton in 2018 are: Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Spanish Grand Prix, French Grand Prix, German Grand Prix, Hungarian Grand Prix, Italian Grand Prix, Singapore Grand Prix, Russian Grand Prix, Japanese Grand Prix and Brazilian Grand Prix.
About Abu Dhabi:
♦ Abu Dhabi: Capital of United Arab Emirates (UAE)
♦ UAE currency: Dirham
Kannada actor, former minister Ambareesh passes away aged 66
On 24th November 2018, Veteran Actor and Politician MH Ambareesh who was popularly known as “Rebel Star” died following lung and Kidney infection at the age of 66 in Bangalore.
i. MH Ambareesh made his big screen debut in 1972 with the cut film “Naagarahaavu”. Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy paid tribute to the veteran actor and politician.
ii.He had served as the Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting from 2006-2007 under former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
69th Constitution Day or National Law Day observed across India
On 26th November 2018, Constitution day which is also known as the Samvidhan Divas and National Law day was celebrated across the country to mark the day on which the Constitution of India was adopted. While the adoption of the Constitution took place on November 26, 1949, it came into effect on January 26, 1950.
i. On November 19, 2015 during the year-long celebration of the 125th birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar, the Union Government declared November 26 as the Constitution Day in a gazette notification.
ii. Constitution Day is not a public holiday and schools, universities and other cultural and educational institutions are advised to observe the day by disseminating information on the Constitution through quizzes, debates, extempores, etc.
iii. This year for the first time, the Constitution in Braille will be collectively produced by the Buddhist Association for the blind and the Saavi Foundation and Swagat Thorat for the benefit of those who are visually challenged.
iv. A rally was also flagged-off from Amaravati as a part of ‘Bharata Rajyanga Gowrava Yatra’, in which 69 vehicles covered 500 kilometres to mark 69th Constitution Day and reached Rajamahendravaram on 26th November evening.
India marks 10th anniversary of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks; US announces reward for information on 26/11 perpetrators
On 26 November 2018, India marked 10th anniversary of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in which 166 people were dead over 300 people were injured. India’s President, Shri Ram Nath Kovind paid tribute to the victims of the terror attacks.
i. 10 terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba were involved in the Mumbai attacks which lasted for 10 days.
ii. US Announced a reward of $5 million for those who will help to finds the people involved in the Attack.
National milk day – 26 November
National Milk Day is celebrated in the memory of Dr. Verghese Kurien who was the architect of the “Operation Flood”, which was launched by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in year 1970.
i. It is the programme which led India to become one of the largest producer of Milk and now India is self sufficient to meet its dairy needs. 26th November is the birthday of father of white revolution Dr. Verghese Kurien.