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Rs. 113.36 crore released for redevelopment of 6 border states under Border Area Development Programme: MHA
On November 7, 2018, the Home Ministry released Rs. 113.36 crore to 6 border states under the Border Area Development Programme (BADP).
To ameliorate the problems of people living in these isolated locations.
i. The 6 states where the amount was released were: Assam, Nagaland, Sikkim, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.
ii. With this release the total amount released so far during this fiscal to the States having International Border is Rs. 637.98 crore.
iii. Earlier, in September 2018, the centre released Rs.399.24 crore for 10 states along the international borders under this programme.The amount released in 2017-18 was Rs. 1,100-crore.
The BADP covers 111 border districts in 17 states to meet special development needs of border population with a focus on the people living within 50 kilometres of the International Border.
As many as 61 model villages are being developed under the BADP to improve the quality of life for people living near border areas.
Ministry of Home Affairs:
♦ Union Minister: Shri. Rajnath Singh.
♦ Minister of State: Shri. Kiren Rijiju, Shri. Hansraj Gangaram Ahir.
WAPCOS and Doppelmayr MOU for End-To-End Solutions for Passenger Ropeway Projects
On November 7, 2018, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari oversaw the MOU signing of between WAPCOS and Doppelmayr .
For providing end-to-end solutions for passenger ropeway projects.
i. The MoU includes:
- Preparing feasibility studies, detailed project reports, construction, equipment supply, operation and maintenance, etc.
- Enabling development of ropeway projects in various states using globally accepted standards for passenger safety and reliability.
ii. This projects would help in reducing traffic congestion and pollution, development of tourism destinations and employment generation in the country.
i. The government plans to explore hybrid aeroboats that combine land, water and aviation technology and can run on land, water and air at speeds greater than 80 km per hour.
ii.10 National Waterways including Ganga are being developed for transport to carry goods from Varanasi right up to Bangladesh and the North Eastern states of our country on waterways.
iii. He also called for the use of alternate fuels in transport sector like methanol, ethanol and electric sources.
Cable cars and ropeways have already proven to be successful in Bolivia, Vietnam, Switzerland and many other countries.
Ministry for Shipping:
♦ Union Minister: Shri. Nitin Gadkari.
♦ Minister of State: Shri. P. Radhakrishnan, Shri. Mansukh L. Mandaviya.
Doppelmayr, Austria is the world’s largest ropeway manufacturing company with cutting-edge ropeway technologies.
It has set up more than 15,000 ropeway installations across the world.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
♦ Under Government of India.
Faizabad to be known as Ayodhya: Yogi Adityanath
On November 7, 2018, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath renamed Faizabad as Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Ram.
i. The Faizabad district comprises the twin towns of Faizabad and Ayodhya on the banks of the river Saryu.
ii. He also announced a medical college that would be named after Lord Ram’s father in the epic Ramayana, Raja Dashrath. An airport in Ayodhya will be named after Lord Ram.
Lucknow’s Ekana Cricket Stadium renamed after late PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee
On November 7, 2018, UP Governor Ram Naik approved renaming of Ekana International Cricket Stadium in Lucknow in the memory of late PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
i. As per the proposal, the Ekana International Cricket Stadium in Lucknow was renamed as the “Bharat Ratan Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Cricket Stadium“. It has a seating capacity of around 50,000.
ii. It was renamed as a token of acknowledgement towards the late Vajpayee, who represented Lucknow in the parliament for five consecutive times between 1991 and 2009.
iii. This change was done ahead of the India-West Indies T20I international match that will be hosted at the venue for the first time.
iv. This is the second T20I of the ongoing three-match series between India and West Indies.
♦ 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.
‘Mo bus service’ launched in Odisha
On 6th November 2018, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the technology-driven and citizen-friendly ‘Mo bus’ service in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
i. Mo bus service has facilities like: free wi-fi, CCTV surveillance, public information display system and on board announcements.
ii. Mo bus service will cover 9 routes in Bhubaneswar in the first phase. Mo Bus mobile app will also be launched through which passengers can book tickets and find the locations of the vehicle.
iii. Mo bus service has been launched for the residents of Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri. Nearly 300 buses will be launched in 3 phases.
QR-enabled fridge magnets for digital payment of bills launched by NDMC
On November 4, 2018, New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) launched a “smart” initiative to distribute quick response-enabled smiley fridge magnets to its consumers.
This is a collaborative project between: NDMC, a Delhi-based retail tech startup called SignCatch and the Axis Bank for the initiative.
To facilitate digital payment of utility bills.
i. This technology has been developed by: SignCatch – an IT and services company.
ii. Initially, NDMC aims to give the magnets to 25,000 of its electricity and water consumers across Lutyens’ Delhi.
iii. NDMC will provide separate magnets to its consumers’ doorstep for both electricity and water bills.
iv. The customers can stick these magnets on their refrigerators at home and use their smartphones to scan the QR Code on the magnet to pay their bills instantly.
i. The magnets are personalized and each customer will have a unique QR Code mapped to their consumer account number.
ii. The QR Code will redirect the consumers to their current bill with an option to pay using any of the digital payment channels active with NDMC like credit/debit cards, net banking, wallet, and UPI.
i. These magnets would be extremely useful in cases where a consumer misplaces the pending paper bills.
ii. These will reduce collection costs and expedite revenue realization.
♦ Chief Minister: Arvind Kejriwal
♦ Deputy CM: Manish Sisodia.
♦ Governor: Shri. Anil Baijal.
♦ National Parks: National Zoological Park, Chilla National Park, Sultanpur National Park.
UNESCO world heritage site in Delhi:
Red fort, Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb.
BANKING & FINANCE
HDFC Bank hiked deposit rates; Bank of Baroda raised lending rate
On November 7, 2018, HDFC Bank raised interest rates on deposits by up to 0.5 per cent for various tenors.
Similarly, Bank of Baroda hiked lending rates by 0.1 per cent.
i. HDFC Bank will further bring about changes in interest rate on deposits below Rs 1 crore for various tenors.
ii. Bank of Baroda announced that the 1-year MCLR is applicable irrespective of the total home loan amount and is available for a tenure of up to 30years
iii. Following shows the changed interest rates for various tenors for the 2 banks :
|Tenors||Changed Interest rate in percent|
|FD for 1 year||7.3|
|FD for 3-5 years||7.25|
|FD for 5-8||6.5|
|FD for 8-10||6.5|
|BANK OF BARODA (MCLR rates)|
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai.
♦ MD: Aditya Puri.
♦ Tagline: We Understand your world.
♦ Founded: August 1994.
Bank Of Baroda:
♦ Headquarters: Vadodara, Gujarat.
♦ MD & CEO: P.S. Jayakumar.
♦ Tagline: India’s International Bank.
World Bank, Centre and Andhra govt signed an MOU to $172 million loan to make farming viable in Andhra Pradesh
On November 7, 2018, the Central and Andhra Pradesh governments and the World Bank have signed the loan agreement for $172.20 million.
To enhance agricultural productivity, profitability, and climate resilience of poor and marginalised farmers in Andhra Pradesh.
i. The agreement for the project was signed by:
- Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance,
- P S Raghavaiah, State Project Director, APIIATP on behalf of the Government of Andhra Pradeshand
- Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank India.
ii. The $172.20 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 6-year grace period, and a maturity of24 years.
iii.This will benefit the Andhra Pradesh Integrated Irrigation and Agriculture Transformation Project (APIIATP) and over 200,000 families of poor and marginalised farmers.
iv. Features of the project are:
To work with 1000 Small-Scale Community-Based Irrigation (SSCBI) systems spread over an area of 90,000 hectares (ha), covering over 1000 villages across 12 most climate vulnerable districts of Andhra Pradesh.
v. The project will improve the capacity of Farmer Producers Organizations to operate as sustainable, market-oriented, agri-enterprises.
♦ Chief Minister: N Chandrababu Naidu.
♦ Governor: E.S.L Narasimhan.
♦ Capital: Amravati.
♦ Parks: Sri Venkateswara National Park, Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Papikonda National Park.
♦ Membership: 189 countries.
♦ Headquarters: Washington D.C., USA.
♦ Secretary-General: Jim Yong Kim.
♦ CEO: Kristalina Georgieva.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
India pledged contribution of $13.36 mn for UN agencies, development activities
On November 7, 2018, 1st Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN, Mahesh Kumar, on behalf of India pledged contributions of USD 13.36 million for the various UN agencies and development activities.
i. This pledge was taken during the 2018 United Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities at the UN Headquarters in New York, USA.
ii. About 19 countries pledged a total of USD 425.69 million at the Pledging Conference, reflecting an increase from the 2017 amount of USD 398.98 million.
iii. The break-up of the contribution is as follows:
- USD 4.5 million to the UN Development Programme,
- USD 5 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Near East,
- USD 1.92 million to the World Food Programme,
- USD 790,000 to United Nations Children’s Fund,
- USD 500,000 to UN Population Fund,
- USD 150,000 to UN Commission on Human Settlements Programme,
- USD 100,000 each to UN Voluntary contribution for Financial and Technical Assistance for the implementation of Universal Periodic Review,
- USD 100,000 to UN Environment Programme and
- USD 100,000 to UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
India is separately processing contribution for Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Torture and UN Volunteers.
♦ Headquarters: New York, USA.
♦ Secretary-General: Antonio Guterres.
♦ Member states: 193.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Anupam Kher conferred with ‘Distinguished Fellow’ award by US think-tank
On November 3, 2018, Veteran actor Anupam Kher was honoured as a ‘Distinguished Fellow’ by IndiaGlobal, a leading think-tank that works on issues concerning non-resident Indians.
i. The fellowship was given at the 3rd IndiaGlobal Summit was held at the prestigious MIT Sloan School of Management in Boston.
ii. The event was facilitated by MIT Sloan India Business Club.
iii. He is a former chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).
Samay Godika Wins Breakthrough Junior Challenge for 2018
Samay Godika won the fourth annual “Breakthrough Junior Challenge” for 2018, a global science video competition.
i. Samay Godika is 16 years old. He is a native of Boston. He now lives in India and studies at the National Public School-Koramangala in Bengaluru.
ii. He submitted a video in the life sciences category on circadian rhythms for the US-based Breakthrough Junior Challenge.
iii. He will receive $400,000 (nearly Rs. 2.92 crore) in educational prizes for himself, his teacher and his school.
iv. He will receive a $250,000 college scholarship. His ninth and tenth grade science teacher Pramila Menon will get $50,000. His school will receive an advanced science lab worth $100,000.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
India re-elected as a Member of the ITU Council for another 4-year term (2019-2022)
On November 7, 2018, India was re-elected as a Member of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Council at the elections of the council held during ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2018 at Dubai, UAE.
i. India would be the Member of ITU Council for 4 more years (2019-2022).
ii. India secured the 3rd rank among the 13 countries , by getting 165 votes, from the Asia-Australasia region.
iii. Globally, it ranked 8th among the 48 countries.
Recently, ITU decided to set up the ITU South Asia Area Office and Technology Innovation Centre in New Delhi.
♦ India has been an active member of the ITU since 1869.
♦ It has been regular member of the ITU Council since 1952.
♦ Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
♦ Secretary-General: Houlin Zhao.
Citigroup appoints John Dugan as its new chairman
Citigroup has appointed John Dugan, a former comptroller of the currency, as its new chairman.
i. John Dugan is 63 years old. He will succeed Michael O’Neill, who will retire at the end of 2018.
ii. John Dugan has been on Citi’s board for more than a year. He was comptroller of the currency from 2005 to 2010.
iii. He had served as counsel to the Senate banking committee and as an official at the Treasury department. He also served on the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision from 2007 to 2009.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
NASA’s Hubble Space telescope spots Cosmic Smiley among colourful galaxies
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s Hubble Space telescope has spotted a formation of galaxies that look like a smiling face in the sky.
i. The image of galaxies looking like a smiling face was captured with Hubble telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).
ii. The image shows galaxies of all shapes, colours and sizes, many of them belonging to galaxy cluster SDSS J0952+3434.
iii. Below the centre, there is a formation of galaxies that looks like a smiling face. Two yellow-hued blobs are at the top similar to an arc of light.
iv. Hubble telescope captured the image inorder to understand how new stars are brought to life throughout the cosmos.
About NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration):
♦ Administrator – Jim Bridenstine
♦ Headquarters – Washington, D.C., US
Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum wins first WTA title in the L&T Mumbai Open in Mumbai
On 4th November 2018, Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum won her first WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) title by winning the singles title in the L&T Mumbai Open at the Cricket Club of India courts, in Mumbai.
i. Luksika Kumkhum defeated Russia’s Irina Khromacheva 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the final and won the singles title of the L&T Mumbai Open. She won $20,000 and 160 WTA points. Total prize money of the tournament was $125000.
ii. In the Doubles, Natela Dzalamidze and Veronika Kudermetova of Russia won the title by defeating Bibiane Schoofs of Netherlands and Barbora Stefakova of Czech Republic 6-4, 7-6(4).
BOOKS & AUTHORS
“Notes of a Dream: The Authorized Biography of A.R. Rahman” by Krishna Trilok was launched
On 3rd November 2018, Oscar award winning musician A.R. Rahman’s biography “Notes of a Dream: The Authorized Biography of A.R. Rahman” was launched in Mumbai.
i. The biography has been written by author Krishna Trilok. It has been launched in association with Landmark and Penguin Random House.
ii. The biography narrates the journey of A.R. Rahman and unveils parts of his creative and personal life that are not known to many people.
International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict – 6 November
On 6th November 2018, International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict was observed all over the world.
i. When: In 2001, the United Nations General Assembly declared November 6 as the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. This is an annual observance.
ii. Why: This day aims to create awareness about the damaging effects of war and armed conflict on the environment.