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Current Affairs Today – November 12 2015

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Current Affairs Today 12 November 2015


2 members committee to probe DDCA irregularities constituted

New Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal established a two-member committee to investigate alleged irregularities in Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).

  • Committee will consist of Secretaries of Urban Development and Sports departments.
  • Committee has been given 48 hours (by 14 November, 2015) for submission of report to Delhi CM.

Kerala is organising Nation’s first “Global Conference on Gender Equality”

Kerala is hosting the country’s first 3 days global conference on gender equality titled “International Conference on Gender Equality” (ICGE -1) from November 12-14 in Kovalam.

  • The motive behind this conference is to reduce gender inequality in India and increase female work participation rates.
  • ThemeGender, Governance and Inclusion

Government extends tenure of Lahiri Panel by one year

FinMin has extended the tenure of the high level committee to interact with trade and industry on taxation policies by one year and to suggest steps to sort out taxation problem being faced by the trade and industry.

  • Earlier, tenure of the Committee was till 25 November, 2015, is now further extended for one year.

The Committee was set up in November 2014 consists of Sidhartha Pradhan, retired member, Settlement Commission (Income Tax & Wealth Tax) and Gautam Ray, retired DG (Audit) Customs and Central Excise and is headed by former Chief Economic Adviser to the Finance Ministry Ashok Lahiri.

  • The panel will continue to interact with trade and industry on regular basis and recommend measures to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) such as issuing clarificatory instructions and circulars.


IISc made Indian Debut in THE Top 100 World University Ranking

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore has made its debut in Top 100 Universities ranking in Engineering and Technology.

  • Ranking was published by Times Higher Education (THE).
  • Top Three Universities – Stanford University (1st), California Institute of Technology (2nd) & Massachusetts Institute of Technology (3rd).
  • IISc made its entry at 99th spot.

Amazon’s first appearance in 2015 Thomson Reuters top 100 innovators list

E-commerce Company Inc has made its maiden entry in the Thomson Reuters Top 100 global innovators list 2015 by dropping International Business Machines Corp (IBM) from the list.

  • There are 27 companies that are dropped from the 2015 list, including AT&T, IBM, Siemens and Xerox.

Aung San Suu Kyi wins Myanmar elections

Aung San Suu Kyi wins Myanmar electionsThe election commission announced that Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party won the Myanmar election for the pro-democracy crusader and a resounding rejection of military rule.

Highlights :

  • National League for Democracy party needs just three more seats to acquire the 329 seats it needs for a majority in the 664-member, two-house Parliament.
  • The NLD has won 243 seats in the lower house and 83 in the upper house for a total of 326.
  • The military and the largest parties in the upper house and the lower house will each nominate a candidate for president.
  • Suu Kyi has declared that she will become the country’s de facto leader, acting “above the president” if her party forms the next government.

Key points :

  • Myanmar Capital : Naypyidaw
  • Myanmar Currency : Burmese kyat


Govt working on plan to curb NPAs in PSBs

 The government is working on a detailed plan to tackle bad loans at public sector banks that are trimming their ability to lend and stifle private investment. Govt will unveil reform measures before the winter session of Parliament that will starts on November 26.

  • In August, the government had announced “Indradhanush” that included a scheme to deal with non-performing assets (NPAs) and a capital infusion plan of Rs 70,000 crore over four years, starting with Rs 25,000 crore in the current financial year.

The Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC), headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley decided to set up a Resolution Corporation to deal with issues concerning closure of financial companies.

  • Non-performing assets (NPAs) rose to Rs 2.67 lakh crore in March from Rs 2.40 lakh crore a year ago.


IBHFL buys 40% stake in OakNorth Bank

 Indiabulls Housing Finance is going to acquire 39.76 per cent stake in the UKs OakNorth Bank for USD 100 million (about Rs 661 crore).

  • The investment has been approved by the Strategic Investment Committee for Liability Franchise Development headed by K C Chakrabarty. It is constituted for the purpose of creating a practical roadmap to a deposit-taking franchise.

About Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd (IBHFL):
Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd (IBHFL) was incorporated in May 2005 as a subsidiary of Indiabulls Financial Services Ltd.

  • It is registered as a Housing Finance Company and regulated by National Housing Bank.
  • It provides Home loans and Loan against Property to individuals and corporates for purchase or construction of residential property.
  • The Company has the highest long term credit rating of from CARE and Brickwork ratings and AA+ from CRISIL and ICRA.

Ola acquires trip-planning app company Geotagg

Online taxi-booking company Ola has acquired Geotagg, a trip-planning applications company to strengthen its new bus-shuttle service.

  • Ola is investing Rs 120-150 crore to launch its intra-city bus service which is piloting in the Delhi-National Capital Region.

Geotagg was founded by IIT-Madras graduates Akhilesh Koppineni and Krishna Chaitanya to develop e-ticketing applications, fleet management systems, route optimisation systems, and traffic density mapping systems.

  • Geotagg’s technology will help Ola to address issues specific to urban traffic situations such as peak-hour traffic.


Italian diplomat Grandi to be new UN refugee chief

Italian diplomat Grandi to be new UN refugee chiefItalian diplomat Filippo Grandi (58) has been designated as the new UN refugee chief with a responsibility to handle the world’s worst-ever refugee crisis.

  • He will succeed Antonio Guterres of Portugal, who was UN High Commissioner for Refugees since 2005.
  • Grandi, who will take up the job on January 1, 2016.

About Filippo Grandi:

  • He was the head of UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) from 2010 to 2014.
  • He worked for UNHCR in Sudan, Syria, Turkey and Iraq, and led humanitarian operations in Yemen and the Democratic Republic of Congo among other countries.
  • He was also deputy envoy to the UN aid mission in Afghanistan.

I S Jha appointed CMD of Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd

State-run transmission utility Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) appointed I S Jha as its Chairman and Managing Director with effect from November 10, 2015.

  • The CMD was on board of state transmission utilities of Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, governing board member of CPRI and member of board of governors of Indian Institute of Forest Management.

About I S Jha:
I S Jha was the Director Projects since 2009 and was also holding the additional charge as CMD of the company.

  • He is also a member of several prestigious professional bodies including Institute of Engineers (India), Power Engineering Society of IEEE in USA and CIGRE, France.

Subir Gokaran appointed Executive Director at IMF

Subir Gokaran appointed Executive Director at IMFFormer RBI Deputy Governor Subir Gokarn was  appointed as an Executive Director on the board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced by by Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. will replace Rakesh Mohan.

IMF Executive Board :

  • Gokarn will represent India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan on the Washington-based IMF’s Executive Board.
  • The Board is composed of 24 Directors, who are appointed or elected by member countries or by groups of countries, and the Managing Director.
    The grouping of India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan would be represented by Gokarn with a total casting vote of 2.8 per cent. This includes more than 2.3 per cent for India.

Key points :

  • RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan was Chief Economist at IMF.
  • IMF Headquarters : Washington, D.C, US
  • IMF MD : Christine Lagarde

Govt appoints Christopher Thomas arbitrator in Cairn tax case

The government appointed  Singapore-based lawyer Christopher Thomas as its arbitrator for resolving the Rs 10,247 crore tax dispute with London-listed Cairn Energy before PM Narendra Modi began his UK visit.

  • Cairn has already named former Bulgarian minister Stanimir A Alexandrov as its arbitrator in the tax dispute arising from a 2006 internal business reorganisation.

About Arbitral Tribunal :

  • Anarbitral tribunal is a panel of one or more adjudicators which is convened and sits to resolve a dispute by way of arbitration.
  • The two arbitrators will now have to appoint a neutral presiding judge of the three-member Arbitral Tribunal.


Oldest known stars discovered at the heart of Milky Way

The oldest known stars of the time when the universe was just 300 million years old have been discovered by astronomers near the centre of the Milky Way galaxy. These stars formed before the Milky Way and the galaxy formed around them.

  • The stars are pure but contain material from an even earlier star, which died in an enormous explosion called hypernova*.
  • The oldest of these stars is a red giant named SMSS J181609.62 -333218.7 which was discovered in the galactic bulge, about 25,000 light-years away.

SBI to launch mobile wallet ”Batua” for feature phone users next month

Mumbai headquartered State Bank of India is all set to become the first bank to launch mobile wallet service for feature mobile phone, dubbed “Batua”. It will be available to existing as well as non-SBI customers.

  • The application will be available on Java-enabled mobile phones.
  • Post-launch customers can log into download “Batua” on their desktop and load the app on their phone

The bank also launched its mobile wallet SBI Buddy for smart phone by which customers can send money, book movies, flights, hotels as well as use the mobile wallet for shopping while customers using Batua will only be able to load, pay and receive money.

  • The bank is also planning to launch another version of Batua for very basic phones which does not offer internet access and does not entail downloading any app.

Environment Minister Launches New Website on Climate Change

Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri Prakash Javadekar has launched a new website in Pune.The website has been created especially for the purpose of putting up India’s stands and efforts till Paris Summit. The website includes our Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)

Website :

Features of website

  • It contains over 300 GB of data in films, reports and pictures. The thrust is to provide rich content in the form of short films to engage the audience and retain their interest in going through all the material presented;
  • The website offers an integrated platform to all social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter etc. It contains links to, tracks and displays the social media channels in real time.
  • Designed to reach out to the whole of India, the device neutral platform enables browsing from all devices, including mobile phones.
  • The site also provides links to activities and initiatives of all ministries related to climate change.
  • A coordinated plan with the Ministry of External Affairs is being worked out for joint promotion of the website to all foreign viewers in the run-up to CoP21.


13th Asian shooting championship – Overview

The 2015 Asian Shooting Championships is being held in between November 1 and November 12. This tournament is an Asian qualifying tournament for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. However, this qualification event lost its Rio Olympics’ qualification status when the IOC suspended Kuwait NOC for government interference.

Venue : Kuwait

Top 5 Ranks 

1 South Korea49
2 China37
3 India35
4 Iran16
5 Kazakhstan4


American musician Allen Toussaint dies at 77

American musician Allen Toussaint dies at 77American musician Allen Toussaint(77) known for songs like “Working In The Coalmine” and “Southern Nights”, has died of a heart attack in Spain.

About Allen Toussaint :

  • The pianist-songwriter was born in New Orleans and he worked as a producer for the New Orleans-based Minit Records in 1960 .
  • He created his own recording studio in 1973 with fellow songwriter Marshall Sehorn, called Sea-Saint Studio.
  • He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Awards :

  • Toussaint has received the Recording Academy Trustees Award at the 2009 Grammy Awards.
  • In 2013 the musician was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama at a ceremony in Washington.


India celebrates Public Service Broadcasting Day

All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan channels joined by others celebrated the Public Service Broadcasting Day (PSBD) on November 12. In the memory of the first and only address by Mahatma Gandhi on All India Radio (AIR) in 1947.

  • Words which he spoke on that day became a treasure for Akashvani and a snippet of the speech is played on November 12 every year as a mark of respect, a tribute to Bapu who is also called the saint of Sabarmati.

Purpose : The primary purpose of public broadcasting is for speaking to and engaging countrymen as a citizen. Often, commercials and ads are avoided in public broadcasting.

A special function was organized at Broadcasting House in new Delhi .