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Current Affairs Today – November 16 2015

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Current Affairs Today 16 November 2015


PM Modi visit to UK – An overview

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Singh Modi was on three days visit to UK from 12 Nov to 14 Nov. During the trip, Modi met UK PM David Cameron, lunched with the British Queen at Buckingham Palace and polished India’s attraction internationally.

  • India, UK PMs attend CEO Forum.
  • NaMo inaugurated Ambedkar memorial & unveiled Basaveshwara statue.
  • 27 deals worth 9.2 billion pounds ($14 billion) have been signed between India and UK.

AMRUT plan for 81 cities worth Rs. 5,748 cr

As per Ministry of Urban Development statement, 81 cities in five states (Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Mizoram) will invest Rs. 5,748 crore to enhance basic infrastructure including water supply and sewerage connections under AMRUT action plans for the year 2015-16.
(Minister of Urban Development – Venkaiah Naidu)

  • Central assistance will be provided to an extent of Rs. 2,440 crore while the rest would be contributed by five state governments and urban local bodies.

New cashless insurance scheme mandatory for Punjab Govt employees

Punjab Govt’s newly notified cashless health insurance scheme has been made mandatory for all govt employees and pensioners.

  • Member enrolment forms regarding this should be submitted till November 30 to the concerned DDOs so that the employees could avail benefits under the scheme.
  • This scheme would be applied equally to the persons availing old pension scheme and new pension scheme.

As per the Punjab Government employees and Pensioner Health Insurance Scheme (PGIPHIS), all the employees would get the annual cashless insurance facility up to Rs 3 lakh from January 1, 2016.

  • PGIPHIS provides the facility of cashless treatment concerning diseases under State service rule-1940 which include day care and on which the OPD medical expenditure accrued is less then Rs 3 lakh per family per year.
  • Under the scheme all the registered beneficiaries can avail the treatment facilities from the hospitals designated by the state government in Punjab, Chandigarh and NCR regions.

AMRIT outlet at AIIMS for selling affordable drugs for cancer & heart diseases

Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Shri J P Nadda instigated the Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) outlet at AIIMs.

  • The project has been launched in a tie-up with government-owned HLL Lifecare Ltd (HLL) which is deputed to establish and run the AMRIT chain of pharmacies across the country.

Aim – To reduce the expenditure incurred by patients on treatment of cancer and heart diseases

  • The AMRIT pharmacy would be selling 202 cancer and 186 cardio-vascular drugs and 148 types of cardiac implants at very affordable prices.
  • Patients can buy medicines and implants at 50 to 60% cheaper prices than the open market from AMRIT outlet in AIIMS.

Based on the outcome of the AIIMS outlet, this initiative will be taken to other central government hospitals and Regional Cancer Centres.

Union Government declares NSCN(K) as terror organization

National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K) has been declared a terrorist organisation under the stringent anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 announced by Home Ministry spokesman.

  • NSCN-K is a group which is allegedly responsible for killing of 18 army personnel in Manipur.

About NSCN-K :

  • The NSCN was established in 1980 with an aim of establishing a sovereign state of Nagalim by unifying all the areas inhabited by the Naga people in Northeast India and Myanmar.Its headquarters in Taga in Myanmar.
  • In 1988, Naga nationalist Military group had split into two factions- NSCN-K led by SS Khaplang (a Myanmarese Naga) and the NSCN-IM jointly led by Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah.
  • This group had signed a peace agreement in March 2001, had withdrawn unilaterally from the ceasefire agreement in March this year.


India & Australia wrapped up N-deal Procedures

India has announced the cessation of a “Civil Nuclear Deal” for buying uranium from Australia after a bilateral meeting held between PM Narendra Modi and Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey.

India has announced the cessation of a “Civil Nuclear Deal” for buying uranium from Australia after a bilateral meeting held between PM Narendra Modi and Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey.

  • With the conclusion of N-deal, India has become the first country to buy Australian yellow cake without being a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.
  • Australia has about 40% of the world’s uranium reserves and exports nearly 7,000 tonnes of uranium annually.

Study of UEA shows India among least “truthful countries”

Researchers from Norfolk-based University of East Anglia (UEA) led a study that people’s honesty varies significantly between countries under which people rate India among the least honest countries along with China, Japan and South Korea.

  • Dr Hugh-Jones presented the findings at the London Experimental Workshop conference, hosted by Middlesex University London.
  • The team examined whether people from different countries were more or less honest and how this related to a country’s economic development.


Vinay Nambiar appointed SpiceJet’s UAE country head

India’s budget carrier SpiceJet has appointed Vinay Nambiar as Country Head UAE, as part of its efforts to focus on international markets. Vinay joins the airline from Arik Air in Nigeria, where he held the position of Vice President for the UAE & Gulf Region.

About SpiceJet :

  • SpiceJetis an Indian low-cost airline headquartered in Gurgaon, India. It is the country’s fourth largest airline by number of passenger carried.
  • SpiceJet connects its network using next generation fleet of 20 Boeing 737 and 1 Airbus A319 aircraft, along with 14 Bombardier Q-400 aircraft.

Nokia appoints Sandeep Girotra designated head for India

Nokia appointed Sandeep Girotra Head of India as part of the planned combination of Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent.

  • Sandeep Girotra will oversee the combined company’s customer operations across India, driving the execution of strategy and ensuring superior customer service, underpinned by a strong focus on innovation and quality.
  • Sandeep Girotra will report to Ashish Chowdhary, Nokia’s Chief Customer Operations Officer.

About Sandeep Girotra :

  • Sandeep Girotra joined Nokia Networks in 1996 and has held a number of different roles in India, heading the region since 2011.
  • In 2010 he served as Head of Sales for Business Solution Networks having been Customer Team Head at IDEA CellularBSE 0.58 % within Nokia Siemens Networks from 2007 to 2009.

United Spirits appoints Sanjeev Churiwala as its new CFO

India’s largest alcoholic beverages company United Spirits has appointed Sanjeev Churiwala as its chief financial officer. Churiwala has moved to United Spirits, a subsidiary of London headquartered Diageo plc, from Ambuja Cements, where he had been the chief financial officer since 2011. He replaces Vinod Rao.

About Sanjeev Churiwala :

  • Churiwala worked with Ambuja Cements, the Indian subsidiary of Switzerland’s LafargeHolcim, for about two decades in diverse roles including finance, business development, project management, commercial perations, business and financial integration.
  • He is a fellow member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Institute of Company Secretaries of India and Institute of Cost Accountants of India, and holds an Executive MBA from the London Business School.

Syed Akbaruddin is India’s next Permanent Representative to UN

Syed Akbaruddin is India’s next Permanent Representative to UNSenior diplomat and former high-profile spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry Syed Akbaruddin has been appointed as India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. He will succeed Asoke Mukerji.

  • As India’s Permanent Representative to the global body in New York, Mr. Akbaruddin’s main task would be to push for India’s bid to gain permanent membership of the UN Security Council as well as to strongly advocate its position on key issues

About Syed Akbaruddin:

  • 1985 batch IFS officer, Mr. Akbaruddin currently serving as an Additional Secretary in MEA.
  • He had served at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Geneva and is considered an “expert” on the West Asia where he had served in various capacities.
  • Akbaruddin was Chief Coordinator of the recently-held Indo-Africa Summit.

Vikas Swarup, author of best-selling novel Q&A which formed the basis for Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire, had replaced Mr. Akbaruddin as MEA spokesperson in April.


Cerebra signs MoU with Echostreams for storage servers

Cerebra Integrated Technologies Ltd (Cerebra) has signed an MoU with US-based Echostreams Innovative Solutions for storage servers.

 MoU :
To manufacture Cerebra branded storage servers and other storage products to serve the India, UAE and Middle East and North Africa(MENA) regions.

  •  Both Cerebra and Echostreams are looking at establishing a joint venture in India, to be focused on sales and marketing of Cerebra-branded products developed by Echostreams.
  • Echostreams will still retain 100 per cent IP ownership on the products built by Cerebra and sold by this JV-entity.


Talwalkars to acquire majority stake in Chennai fitness firm IHPL

Talwalkars Better Value Fitness Ltd (TBVF) one of India’s largest fitness chains has entered into an agreement to acquire strategic stake in Inshape Health and Fitnez Private Ltd (IHPL), a health and fitness center having operations in Chennai.

  • Talwalkars to acquire 51 per cent equity shares from promoters of the company in an all cash deal.

About Talwalkars :
Talwalkars Better Value Fitness Ltd, popularly known as Talwalkars, is India’s largest chain of health clubs. It has 152 Health Clubs across 80 cities in India on a consolidated basis, with over 200,000 member.

  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • CEO: Prashant Talwalkar


Jharkhand introduces “Mobile Governance”

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das introduced ‘Mobile Governance’ as the state marked its statehood day. 15 mobile applications have been introduced to mark the 16th Foundation Day.

Theme : Mobile Governance’ .

Other Initiatives :

  • To facilitate quick clearance for industries, the state has introduced ‘Advantage Jharkhand Portal’, the country’s first single window portal.
  • For setting up Food Processing Industry through this medium, MoU worth Rs 880 crore has been signed and land is being identified for entrepreneurs.
  • To give the private sector an equal footing in the process of developmental of the state, Das said Jharkhand Industrial Park Policy, 2015 has been implemented.
  • Mukhya Mantri Jan Van Yozana’ (plantation) has been inaugurated. Under this scheme, farmers would be given 50 per cent grant for plantations, he said, and expressed hope that it would take a shape of people’s movement.

Key points :

  • Jharkhand CM : Raghubar Das
  • Jharkhand Governor : Droupadi Murmu
  • Jharkhand Capital : Ranchi


Starc breaks magical pace barrier      

Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc just bowled a fascinating spell of fast bowling and delivered one of the fastest deliveries in International cricket. The left-arm pacer clocked a speed of 160.4 kmph while bowling to New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum.

  • Starc was consistently bowling over 150 kmph and making it difficult for Kiwi batsmen. Mitchell Starcis the newest member of the 160 club, and a world record is within reach if his need for speed continues to grow.

160 club Members :

  • Jeff Thomson (160.4 kmph)
  • Shaun Tait (160.7 kmph)
  • Tait and Brett Lee (161.1 kmph)
  • Shoaib Akhtar 161.3 kmph

Manipur to get exclusive Sports University

Manipur is all set to get an exclusive Sports University. The land transfer formalities are nearly complete and shortly the foundation stone will be laid for construction of the multi-crore university campus.

  • It was announced by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh during a function organised to celebrate the Manipur’s “Ningol Chakkouba”

Manipur has a literacy rate of over 79% which is higher than the average all-India literacy rate. But, in spite of this, its per capita income is lower than the average per capita income at all-India level.

  • Under Non-Lapsable Central Pool Resources (NLCPR), 84 projects costing about Rs. 849.79 crore and under North Eastern Council (NEC), 79 projects estimated at Rs. 671 crore are in progress.

Nico Roseberg wins 2015 Brazilian Grand Prix title of F1

Nico Roseberg wins 2015 Brazilian Grand Prix title of F1Nico Rosberg beat Lewis Hamilton to win the Brazilian Grand Prix. It was the 30-year-old German’s second consecutive triumph following his Mexican Grand Prix win. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was secured third position.

  • Nico Rosberg sealed his place as runner-up in 2015 Formula One world championship after Brazilian Grand Prix win ahead of his Mercedes teammate and newly-crowned three-time champion Lewis Hamilton.
  • It was Rosberg’s fifth win of 2015 and the 13th of his career.


Noted Children’s Book Writer Kamala Laxman passes away

 Kamala Laxman, a noted writer of children’s books and wife of iconic cartoonist and creator of the Common Man R.K. Laxman, passed away. She was 88.

  • She was commissioned by the India Book House in the 1970s to pen the Thama stories and tales of Tenali Raman, Krishnadeva Raya’s witty prime minister.
  • The Tenali Raman stories were later memorably serialised and telecast on Doordarshan.

About Kamala Laxman:
Born in Chennai, Ms. Laxman studied in St. Thomas’ Convent and later graduated from Delhi’s Indraprastha College. She completed her interior decoration course from Sir J.J. School of Arts in Mumbai.

  • Laxman became her husband’s bulwark after the cartoonist suffered a series of debilitating strokes in 2003 and 2010 that left Laxman paralysed and incoherent of speech.


International Day for Tolerance

The International Day for Tolerance is an annual observance declared by UNESCO  to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance. It is observed on 16 November.

  • Many educators use the theme of this day to help students in classrooms or in lecture theatres understand issues centered on tolerance, human rights and non-violence.

National Press Day

National Press Day observed November 16 every year  on the subject ‘Transparency in Public Affairs: The role of the Press‘ will be held at various levels in the Centre, States and UTs.

  • The Day symbolises free and responsible media in the country and is observed every year by holding seminars, symposia, workshops, debates and discussions on topics related to the Press
  • The main celebrations in Delhi will be inaugurated by Justice M N Venkatachaliah, Former Chief Justice of India where Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar, Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and PCI Chairman Justice Markandey Katju would be present.