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Current Affairs Today - November 11 2015

INDIAN AFFAIRS

GOI eased Foreign Investment norms in 15 sectors

In a bid to boost up investment and speed growth GOI has eased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms for 15 sectors which includes defence, broadcasting, construction, retail trade, agriculture, mining and banking.

  • The government’s decision to lift overseas investment ceilings for these sectors is an apparent move to turn India into a preferred destination for foreign investors.
  • Foreign investments > Rs.5, 000 crore in specified sectors need to approach the foreign investment promotion board for approval i.e. higher than the previous cap of Rs.3, 000 crore.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

IC on Doping in Sports submitted its report to WADA

The Independent commission on doping headed by Richard W. Pound has submitted its report to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on 9 November 2015 in Vienna, Switzerland.

  • On 16 December 2014 WADA instigated 3 members Independent Commission (IC) comprised of Mr. Richard W. Pound, Mr. Richard H. McLaren & Mr. Gunter Younger to investigate the allegations raised from the German documentary named “Top Secret Doping: How Russia makes its Winners”.
  • IC was given with a responsibility to validate the breaches of processes or rules, breach of the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL), breaches of anti-doping rules by athletes, coaches, trainers, doctors and other members.

India Ranks 106th Among 145 Nations in World Giving Index

India is at number 106 in the list of 145 generous nations put on The Charities Aid Foundation’s World Giving Index.The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) World Giving Index, a study based on surveys in 145 countries carried out by Gallup.

Three criteria are used to evaluate this list

  1. The percentage of people who have given to charity
  2. Volunteered their time
  3. Helped a stranger in the last month.

BANKING & FINANCE

China, Pakistan implement of banking service protocol

China and Pakistan have improved collaboration between their banking institutions with the implementation of a banking service protocol .To provide easier financing to the USD 46 billion Sino-Pak economic corridor that passes through PoK.

  • The protocol, part of the service trade agreement for the free trade area (FTA) between the two countries, was signed in April when President Xi Jinping visited Pakistan.

Deal between Emirates Bank & SBI for easier remittances

Dubai headquartered Emirates NBD has announced a partnership deal with Mumbai headquartered State Bank of India to help NRI customers to carry out their remittances instantly and more conveniently.

UAE’s Emirates NBD has joined hands with State Bank of India (SBI) for the DirectRemit 60 seconds remittance platform. It has currently existing tie-ups with HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank in India.

  • The partnership will allow fund transfers to SBI bank accounts across India in 60 seconds at zero fees via online, mobile banking & ATMs.
  • Emirates NBD customers can also transfer money to other banks in India with their remittance being processed within an hour.

With DirectRemit, customers will be able to transfer funds instantly and can also make home loan payments, pay bills, remit insurance premiums or carry out investments.

BUSINESS

Govt invites bids to sell 5% stake in CONCOR

The government has initiated the process of 5% stake sale in Container Corporation of India (CONCOR), which could fetch over Rs. 1,300 crore to the exchequer at current stock price of Rs. 1,414.90.

  • Government holds 80% stake in the logistics company which is under the administrative control of the Railways Ministry.

The government has budgeted to raise Rs. 69,500 crore through PSU disinvestments. Of this Rs. 41,000 crore is to be raised through minority stake sale in PSUs and another Rs. 28,500 crore through strategic sale.

  • CONCOR provides logistics support such as Inland Container Depots, Domestic Container Terminals, transportation by rail and road, warehousing, storage and other value added solutions.

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Google acquires Photo Video editor Fly Labs

To provide better video and photo editing features for its users Google acquired New York based Fly Labs, the photo and video editing Software Company responsible for apps like Flt, Tempo, Crop, and Clips in the iOS App Store.

  • As per Android Authority report, Fly Lab’s apps have been downloaded more than 3 million times from over 150 countries for the last year and a half. Around 20 million videos have been edited using their app.

Fly Labs Apps

  • Fly Lab’s popular app is Tempo. It has slow-motion and time-lapse capabilities. It also lets users adjust their video’s speed of the tempo from slowest to fastest.
  • Another app is the Clips, which allows the users to edit their video on their smartphones.
  • Fly is another app that lets users edit video through gesture controls.
  • The fourth app is Crop, which allows users to shoot videos while holding the smartphone vertically.

Jet Airways to acquire 75 Boeing 737 Max 8 Planes

Naresh Goyal-promoted Jet Airways will acquire 75 fuel-efficient 737 MAX 8 aircraft from US plane maker Boeing. With this purchase Jet Airways will become the first airline in India to take delivery of the 737 MAX planes.

  • 160 seater planes will cost $110 million each.
  • The order includes conversions of 25 Next-Generation (NG) 737s to 737 MAX 8s, as well as options and purchase rights for an additional 50 aircraft

The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM international LEAP-1B engines, advanced technology winglets and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort.

  • In August, IndiGo announced an order for 250 Airbus A320 Neo planes worth $26.5 billion.
  • As per Boeing’s August forecast India will require 1,740 planes over the next 20 years.

Alibaba to acquire Youku Tudou

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd acquired Youku Tudou Inc for about $3.67 billion.Youku Tudou is known as China’s YouTube.

  • Youku Tudou’s American Depositary Shares were up 8.3 per cent at $26.50 in premarket trading on Friday, below the e-commerce giant’s offer of $27.60 per ADS.

About Alibaba :

  • Alibaba Group Holding Limitedis a Chinese e-commerce company that provides  consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services via web portals.
  • It also provides electronic payment services, a shopping search engine and data-centric cloud computing

Alibaba CEO : Daniel Zhang

AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

Indian-origin BAME campaigner conferred with UK’s Point of Light

An Indian Origin community campaigner Muna Chauhan (46) in the UK has been bestowed with “Point of Light” by British Prime Minister David Cameron for her work towards young people and women from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

  • Muna Chauhan recognised as the UK’s 387th Point of Light.

Caitlyn Jenner wins Transgender Champion Award

Caitlyn Jenner wins Transgender Champion AwardAmerican GLAMOUR’s Women of the Year awards has conferred Reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner (66) with Transgender Champion award.

About Caitlyn Jenner

  • 1949 born was known as Bruce before her transition and is a retired athletic champion.
  • Jenner won the gold medal for decathlon at the Montreal Summer Olympics.
  • She appears on reality TV programs Keeping Up with the Kardashians & I Am Cait.
  • Jenner’s company, Bruce Jenner Aviation, sells aircraft supplies to executives and corporations.
  • Jenner also served as the business development vice president for a staffing industry software application known as JennerNet.

Manipal University wins FICCI Higher Education Awards 2015

Manipal University has won two prestigious FICCI Higher Education Awards 2015 at the Indo – Africa summit in New Delhi. Manipal University is the highest ranked comprehensive private deemed university in the QS BRICS and QS Asia rankings.

  • The awards are university of the year for demonstrating overall excellence and significant contribution in past academic year for faculty employed, student training, research studies, improved technology for education delivery, employability, governance and infrastructure.

FICCI Higher Education Awards :

  • The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is an association of business organizations in India. Established in 1927.
  • It is the largest, oldest and the apex business organisation in India. It is a non-government, not for profit organisation. FICCI draws its membership from the corporate sector, both private and public, including SMEs and MNCs.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

GSAT-15: India’s Telecom Satellite instigated by European rocket

GSAT 15, Nation’s latest communications satellite was instigated successfully by the European Ariane 5 VA-227 launch Vehicle on November 11 from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana in South America. It was launched into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).

  • GSAT-15 is the 19th payload launched by European Space Agency “Arianespace” for ISRO.
  • Indian satellite GSAT-15 is intended to deliver telecommunications services that will provide more bandwidth for Direct-to-Home television and VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) services.
  • Its design also dedicated navigation-aid and emergency services.

Largest Coast Guard offshore patrol vessel Samarth commissioned

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has commissioned the Coast Guard’s latest and largest offshore patrol vessel, Samarth at Vasco Da Gama, Goa. It is the first in a series of six 105m offshore patrol vessels being built by Goa Shipyard.

Features
Samarth has an impressive displacement of 2450 tonnes and is fitted with sophisticated technology, sensors, navigation, communication and weapon systems.

  • It has a maximum speed of 23 knots and has an endurance of 6000 nautical miles at economical speed.
  • Samarth will have on-board one twin-engine helicopter and 5 high-speed boats.
  • It is also capable of carrying pollution response equipment to contain any oil spill at tea

Uses
Samarth will be extensively used on the Western Seaboard and its base would be Goa. Samarth will also be utilised extensively for duties on Exclusive Economic Zone.

AIDS preventive medicine from Dec in Sonagachi

Asia’s largest red light districts  Sonagachi in Kolkata will roll out an experimental project for providing HIV-preventive medicine to sex workers from December. It will be the first such initiative in the country.

The project received clearance from the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and Union Health Ministry and is likely to commence in December.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis :

  • ‘Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis’ (PrEP) is a regular medicine given to an HIV-negative sex worker who engages sexually with an HIV-positive person.
  • PrEP has the potential to bring down the HIV risk factor by 60-70 per cent among high-risk groups such as sex-workers.
  • The medicine is designed to prevent sex workers from contracting HIV infections, The project is to be financed by the Melinda Gates Foundation.

Union Health Minister : Jagat Prakash Nadda

ENVIRONMENT

Cyclone Megh strikes Yemeni island

Cyclone Megh has killed 14 people on Yemen’s Socotra island the second rare tropical storm to hit the Arabian Peninsula country.Yemeni island is located 350 kilometres off the Yemeni mainland.

  • Heavy rain and strong winds also took Socotra’s port out of service and caused extensive damage to the island’s roads, 80 percent of which became impassable.
  • Cyclone Megh caused panic and prompted appeals for help for residents on Socotra, already badly battered by last week’s cyclone Chapala.

SPORTS

Pakistan veteran Younis retires from ODI cricket

Pakistan veteran Younis retires from ODI cricketPakistan’s veteran batsman Younis Khan (37) has announced his retirement from one-day international cricket after match with England. This match was his 265th and final match in the format and brought to an end a 15-year ODI career.

  • He became the first Pakistani batsman to score 9000 Test runs besides hitting 31 centuries.
  • In Test cricket, he averages 53.94 in 104 matches.
  • Younis made his debut against Sri Lanka in February 2000, scored 7,240 runs from his 264 ODI matches, with 7 centuries and 48 half-centuries.

OUE Limited new title sponsor of Singapore Slammers

Singapore listed integrated property developer OUE Limited named as the new title sponsor of the Singapore Slammers for a three-year term.

  • The OUE Singapore Slammers is one of the five teams competing in the second edition of the Coca-Cola International Premier Tennis League (IPTL).
  • Singapore will host the final leg of the competition from December 18-20 to determine who will be the league champion for 2015.

Executive Chairman of OUE Limited : Dr Stephen Riady.

OBITUARY

Former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt dies

Former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt dies

Former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt(96) who guided West Germany through economic turbulence and Cold War tension in the 1970s and early 1980s has died.

About Helmut Schmidt :

  • Schmidt was elected chancellor by politicians in May 1974 .
  • Schmidt, who had served as finance minister from 1972 to 1974.Among his lasting legacies is the euro currency, launched in 1999.
  • Schmidt and former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing laid the foundations for the currency in 1978-79, setting up the European Monetary System (EMS) and an embryonic joint currency known as the ECU.

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