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President Ram Nath Kovind launches schemes worth Rs 3,455 crore in Jharkhand
On November 15, 2017, President Ram Nath Kovind launched various schemes and laid the foundation stones of infrastructure projects in Jharkhand. These schemes and projects are to be carried out at an expenditure of Rs 3455 crore. It is to be noted that November 15, 2017 was 17th Statehood Day of Jharkhand.
i.Firstly, he launched Rs 290-crore ‘108 Ambulance’ service in the state. This service will have 329 life support system equipped ambulances which will provide free round the clock service across the state.
ii. Thereafter, President Kovind launched Jharkhand State Government’s JOHAR (Jharkhand’s Opportunities for Harnessing Rural Development) scheme…………………………………………………….Click here to Read more
Malnutrition Responsible for 15% of India’s Total Disease Burden in 2016 – Report
As per ‘India State-level Disease Burden Initiative Report’, child and maternal malnutrition was responsible for 15 per cent of the total disease burden in 2016 across India.
i. The report was released by Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on November 14, 2017.Analysis of disease burden for each Indian state from 1990 to 2016 has been presented in this report.
ii. Eight less developed states – Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh – are referred to as the Empowered Action Group(EAG) states and they receive special development attention from Central Government………………………………………Click here to Read more
5th biennial Hotelivate State Ranking Survey for Tourism – Delhi tops the list
According to the 5th biennial Hotelivate State Ranking Survey for Tourism, Delhi is the top tourist destination of India.Highlights of 5th biennial Hotelivate State Ranking Survey for Tourism:
i. This survey was conducted by hospitality consulting firm, Hotelivate in association with World Travel & Tourism Council-India Initiative (WTTC-II).
ii. States were assessed on eleven parameters, which included state expenditure on tourism, number of branded hotel rooms, aircraft movement, road and rail network and other intangible aspects.
iii. As per the finding of the survey, Delhi, Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat are the top five tourism destination states.
iv. Being a capital city, Delhi scored extremely high on parameters of aircraft movement and hotel rooms, which contributed to its overall top rank.
v. Survey findings revealed that none of the Indian states spent more than 1 per cent of Gross State Domestic Product on tourism.
Venkaiah Naidu inaugurates AP AgTech Summit 2017 in Visakhapatnam
On 15th November 2017, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the three-day Andhra Pradesh AgTech Summit 2017 in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
Andhra Pradesh AgTech Summit 2017:
i. The summit will discuss on innovative ideas, technologies and global best practices to push agricultural transformation in Andhra Pradesh. More than 50 stalls have been set up to showcase latest agriculture technologies and products of companies.
ii. Chief Guest for the Valedictory session on 17 November 2017 will be Bill Gates. This summit is organised by the Andhra Pradesh Government in association with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Dalberg Advisors.
iii. More than 1,500 global leaders from 61 countries including business heads, start-up founders, leading policymakers, progressive farmers, non-governmental organisation (NGOs), agriculture and technology experts attended the summit.
About Confederation of Indian Industry (CII):
♦ Purpose – to create an environment conducive to the growth of industry in India
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ President – Shobana Kamineni
Railways plans to equip all trains with Bio-Toilets by December 2018
On 15th November 2017, an official said that, the target of 100 % completion of installing bio-toilets in the Indian Railway coaches has been advanced to December 2018.
100 % installation of bio-toilets in Indian railways by December 2018:
i. Ravindra Gupta, Member (Rolling Stock), Ministry of Railway said that, the target for 100 % completion of installing bio-toilets in railway coaches has been advanced to December 2018.
ii. He announced this at an event organised to highlight Railway Ministry’s efforts towards a low-carbon pathway and overall sustainable mobility initiatives in the Indian transport sector.
iii. At the event, other senior officials also spoke about the need for increasing role of renewables in the railways to achieve net de-carbonisation.
About RailTel Corporation of India:
♦ Headquarters – Gurgaon, Haryana
♦ Chairman & MD – R.K. Bahuguna
♦ Services – RailTel Services, Carrier Service-Leased Line, NLD for Voice Carriage, Managed Co locations Enterprise Service (MPLS-VPN), Internet
12th North East Business Summit inaugurated in New Delhi
On 16th November 2017, 12th North East Business Summit, a two day event, was inaugurated in New Delhi.
12th North East Business Summit:
i. The summit aims to explore the scope for business opportunities in the North-Eastern region of India. Focus areas are Infrastructure and Connectivity with Public Private Partnerships, Skill Development, Financial Inclusion, Services Sector Development- Particularly in Tourism, Hospitality & Food Processing.
ii. The Summit is being organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Manipur is the state partner for this event.
iii. The conference includes technical sessions on development of infrastructure and connectivity in North East (NE): Focus on Regional Air Connectivity, Roads & Highways, Skill development in NE & Financing the services sector, Development of Food Processing Industry in NE with focus on Natural Organic and Super Foods from NE and Promotion of Tourism & Hospitality Sector in NE.
About Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC):
♦ Premier body of business and industry in Eastern and North-Eastern India
♦ President – Mr. Shashwat Goenka
♦ Founded in – 1925
Karnataka launches project to install WiFi facilities in gram panchayats
On November 16, 2017, Karnataka State Government unveiled an ambitious project to install Wi-Fi facility in all gram panchayats across the state.
i. During this year itself, Wi-Fi facility will be installed in 2500 gram panchayats.
ii. At Bengaluru Tech Summit 2017, Karnataka Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah stated that the objective of this project is to bridge the digital divide.
iii. Through this project, each and every entrepreneur from the cities and towns across Karnataka, will be provides an opportunity to benefit from the enabling eco-system.
iv. This project is a part of Karnataka State Government’s efforts to strengthen the Information Technology sector in the state.
v. As per data released by Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, 44 per cent of the total investment intentions in India in 2017 are for setting up projects/businesses in Karnataka.
Quick Facts about Karnataka:
♦ Capital – Bengaluru
♦ Current Chief Minister – Siddaramaiah
♦ Current Governor – Vajubhai Vala
♦ Important National Parks – Bandipur National Park, Bannerghatta National Park
NGT pulls up Amarnath Shrine Board for lack of infrastructure for pilgrims
On November 15, 2017, National Green Tribunal (NGT) rapped the Amarnath Shrine Board for not providing proper infrastructure facilities to pilgrims travelling to Amarnath Shrine.
i. NGT has directed the board to submit a status report on the same by first week of December 2017.
ii. Besides, NGT has formed a committee of experts, headed by Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, to recommend an action plan to the board on providing facilities to pilgrims.
iii. In 2012, media reports had claimed that casualties during Amarnath Yatra had gone up due to lack of infrastructure and medical facilities. In wake of these claims, Supreme Court had set up a high-powered committee to recommend measures to prevent casualties.
iv. Based on the recommendations of this committee, Supreme Court had directed Amarnath Shrine Board to improve infrastructure to prevent casualties during the pilgrimage.
v. In context of this news, it is to be noted that just few days ago, NGT has capped the number of pilgrims at Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu & Kashmir at 50000 a day.
Quick Facts about National Green Tribunal:
♦ Established in – 2010
♦ Chairperson – Swatanter Kumar
Nagaland becomes first North East state to launch PoS for electricity bill payments
On 16th November 2017, Nagaland became the first among the North Eastern states to launch Point of Sale (PoS) for electricity bill payment.Nagaland – first North Eastern state to launch PoS for electricity bill payment:
i. The PoS facility was formally launched by State Chief Secretary, Pankaj Kumar, at Kohima Electrical Sub-division-1 in Kohima on 16th November 2017.
ii. Pankaj Kumar said that, the department has been losing around Rs 150 crore annually due to non-payment of bills by consumers and asked the citizens to pay sincerely.
iii. Through the PoS, a consumer can make cashless payment of the electricity bills, which is in line with India’s digitisation. Chief Engineer of Power Department, Khose Sale said that, PoS services will be extended to other major cities and districts of Nagaland.
Festivals celebrated in Nagaland:
♦ Sekrenyi – Angami tribe
♦ Moatsu, Tsungremong – Ao tribe
♦ Tsukhenyie, Sekrenyi – Chakhesang tribe
♦ Kundanglem, Nuknyu Lem – Chang tribe
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi inaugurates “Hunar Haat” in New Delhi
On 15th November 2017, Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi inaugurated the fourth edition of ‘Hunar Haat’ at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
i. ‘Hunar (skill) Haat’ is a platform created by the Minority Affairs Ministry to offer employment and market opportunities to artisans and craftsmen from minority communities.
ii. At the fourth edition of Hunar Haat works of artisans belonging to minority communities and Tihar Jail inmates are kept on display. This will continue till27 November 2017.
iii. At the Hunar Haat artisans’ exquisite pieces of handicraft and handloom works like cane, bamboo and jute products of Assam; Tussar, Geeja and Matka silk of Bhagalpur (Bihar) and traditional jewellery from Rajasthan and Telangana are on display.
About Ministry of Minority Affairs:
♦ Established in – 2006
♦ Purpose – apex body for the central government’s regulatory and developmental programmes for the minority religious communities in India
♦ Minister of Minority Affairs – Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
Climate Change Performance Index 2018 – India ranks 14th, Sweden ranks highest
India has ranked 14th out of 56 nations and European Union on Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2018 released by environmental organisation Germanwatch. This marks an improvement from its 20th rank in CCPI 2017
i. China, which is one of the highest GHG emitting country, ranks 41st.Similar to last year’s rankings, top three rankings are still unoccupied as no country has adhered to commitments made in 2015 Paris Climate Accord that aims to keep the average global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
ii. The bottom three countries in the index are Korea (58), Iran (59) and Saudi Arabia (rank 60)………………………Click here to Read more
4th Global Conference on Sustained Eradication of Child Labour, Argentina
Plenary session of 4th Global Conference on Sustained Eradication of Child Labour was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on November 15, 2017.More Information about 4th Global Conference on Sustained Eradication of Child Labour:
i. This Conference was jointly organised by Government of Argentina and International Labour Organization (ILO).
ii. While delivering the country statement at this conference, Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi stated that Indian Government is fully committed to continue working to eliminate child labour.
iii. Ms. Gandhi highlighted the specific provisions of amendment in the Child Labour Act of 1986, provisions of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, National Food Security Act 2013 and Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guaranty Act 2005 which are direct and indirect steps taken by Indian Government in this direction.
iv. Ms. Gandhi also provided information about Child helpline (Childline-1098), which is the world’s biggest facility to rescue children in distressed situation.
BANKING & FINANCE
BSE Institute sets up India’s first in-house Block Chain Lab in Mumbai
BSE Institute Limited (BIL), a wholly owned subsidiary of BSE Limited has signed an Memorandum of Understanding with DLT Labs to set up the India’s first state-of-the-art Block Chain Lab in Mumbai.
More information about BIL’s Block Chian Lab:
i. Objective behind signing this MoU is to provide knowledge driven, in class education and training in the field of financial technology, with a special emphasis on Block Chain.
ii. Both the entities expect Block Chain to be the next big disruptive financial technology.
iii. All students of BIL, who have enrolled for classroom training as well as online training will be able to access this Block Chain Lab.
iv. Block Chain technology has multiple utility in various sectors including global supply chains and financial transactions.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Kevin Lilliana of Indonesia won Miss International 2017
On 14th November 2017, Indonesia’s Kevin Lilliana was crowned Miss International 2017 by the Philippines’ Kylie Verzosa at the Tokyo Dome City Hall in Japan.Kevin Lilliana – Miss International 2017:
i. The coronation night was held at the Tokyo Dome City Hall in Japan. This is the first Miss International title for Indonesia.
ii. Kevin Lilliana is 21 years old. She is a model. She has won the crown beating 68 candidates from across the world.
iii. All candidates competed in the national costume, swimsuit and evening gown competitions before the Top 15, Top 8, and Top 5 were selected.
iv. Following special awards were also given:
1.Miss National Costume: Natsuki Tsutsui (Japan)
2.Miss Perfect Body: Amber Dew (Australia)
3.Miss Best Dresser: Kevin Lilliana (Indonesia)
About Miss International 2017:
♦ Date – 14 November 2017
♦ Presenters – Tetsuya Bessho, Amy Ota
♦ Entrants – 69
Ambani family tops Forbes list of Asia’s Richest Families
On 15th November 2017, Forbes said that, India’s Ambani family has topped the Forbes list of Asia’s Richest Families for the first time with a net worth of$44.8 billion, up $19 billion from the previous year.
Ambani – Asia’s richest family:
i. The collective wealth of Asia’s 50 richest families on the list is a record $699 billion. The 2nd position was secured by, South Korea’s Lee family with $40.8 billion wealth. Hong Kong’s Kwok family ranks 3rd with a net worth of $40.4 billion.
ii .For the third time, India enjoys the biggest presence on the list, with 18 families. Hong Kong follows with nine families on the list.
iii. The second richest family in India is the Premji family (Rank 11; $19.2 billion net worth), followed by the Mittal family (Rank 14; $17.2 billion).
About Mukesh Ambani:
♦ Occupation – Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries
♦ Age – 60
♦ Awards – Othmer Gold Medal, Global Leadership Award, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Businessman of the Year etc.
Baahubali: The Beginning wins big at Nandi awards; Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan win NTR honour
On 14th November 2017, the Andhra Pradesh government announced Nandi Awards of the year 2014, 2015 and 2016. Baahubali won fourteen awards and Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth were the winners of NTR honour.Nandi Awards:
i. Nandi Awards are considered Andhra Pradesh’s most prestigious honour. The main ceremony is scheduled to be held in December 2017.
ii. Baahubali has become the only film to collect fourteen awards in different categories. The Baahubali team collected awards for the best film, director, supporting actress, villain, cinematographer, playback singer (male), music, choreographer, fight master, dubbing and special effects.
iii. Ramya Krishnan was named the Best Supporting Actress for her role as Sivagami in Baahubali. Rana Daggubati, who played Bhalladeva in Baahubali, won the best villain award.
iv. Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan won the NTR National Award for the year 2014 and 2015, respectively.
About Nandi Awards:
♦ Presented by – Film, Television and Theatre Development Corporation
♦ Sponsored by – Government of Andhra Pradesh
♦ Presented in four categories: Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Copper
Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) bags ADI PEC Excellency in Energy Awards 2017
On 13th November 2017, the Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) bagged the ADI PEC (Abu Dhabi Intl Petroleum Exhibition and Conference) Excellency in Energy Awards 2017 as runner-up, in Abu Dhabi.
APMDC – ADI PEC Excellency in Energy Awards 2017:
i. The ADI PEC (Abu Dhabi Intl Petroleum Exhibition and Conference) Excellency in Energy Awards 2017 has honoured the APMDC as the winner for the second position in the category of “social contribution in country value.”
ii. The Managing Director Venkaiah Chowdhary of APMDC said that, APMDC was given the award for setting new benchmarks in the particular area which would further boost the performance of the corporation.
iii. The award was received by T. Venkatesh, General Manager (Marketing) on 13th November 2017, in Abu Dhabi.
About ADI PEC (Abu Dhabi Intl Petroleum Exhibition and Conference) Excellency in Energy Awards 2017:
♦ Dates – 13 – 16 November 2017
♦ Hosted by – Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)
♦ Venue – Abu Dhabi
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
RBI Governor Urjit Patel appointed to BIS Advisory Board
On 15th November 2017, RBI Governor Urjit Patel was appointed to the Financial Stability Institute Advisory Board of the Bank of International Settlement (BIS).Urjit Patel – Financial Stability Institute Advisory Board:
i. Bank of International Settlement (BIS) is a global financial organisation owned by major central banks from across the world. The Financial Stability Institute (FSI) of the BIS assists financial sector authorities worldwide in strengthening their financial systems.
ii. The Advisory Board will provide strategic advice to help the FSI continue to meet its mandate in a way that is responsive to the changing needs of its key stakeholders around the world.
iii. Members of the FSI Advisory Board would include Urjit Patel, William Dudley, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, central bank governors in Brazil, South Africa, Japan, and other top bankers from across the world.
About Bank for International Settlements (BIS):
♦ Location – Basel, Switzerland
♦ General Manager – Jaime Caruana
♦ Established in – 1930
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
R.K. Singh launches ‘Saubhagya’ Web-Portal – a Platform for Monitoring Universal Household Electrification
On 16th November 2017, R.K. Singh, Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, launched the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana – ‘Saubhagya’ Web Portal.
Saubhagya Web Portal:
i. The Saubhagya portal can be accessed at http://saubhagya.gov.in. This is a platform for monitoring household electrification progress.
ii. Through this online platform every State would feed in the current status of progress of electrification works, hence enabling the creation of a system of accountability for the State utility.
iii. All States have been asked to announce the schedules of the village camps to be held and create awareness among the people about the one-stop facility for getting electricity connections.
About Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana – Saubhagya:
♦ Purpose – to ensure electrification of all willing households in India in rural and urban areas
♦ Total outlay – Rs. 16, 320 crore
♦ Target – household electrification by the 31st of December 2018
Govt advances BS-VI fuel roll out in Delhi to cut pollution
On November 15, 2017, Union Petroleum Ministry announced that Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) fuel will be introduced in Delhi from April 1, 2018, much ahead of the earlier deadline of 2020.Information about BS-VI fuel roll out in Delhi
i. BS-VI – equivalent to Euro-VI grade, is the cleanest fuel. Thus, advancing its introduction will help to curb air pollution in Delhi that has reached alarming levels.
ii. Earlier, Government had decided to leapfrog straight to BS-VI emission norm complaint petrol and diesel from April 2020 from current BS-IV grade.
iii. BS-VI grade fuel contains 10 parts per million (ppm) of sulphur as against 50 ppm in BS-IV fuels.
iv. This decision will have direct implications for auto manufacturers because if BS-VI compliant vehicles are not rolled out by next year and the existing BS-IV engine operates on the new BS-VI fuel, it will not lead to any reduction in pollution.
France named as host of 2023 Rugby World Cup
On 15th November 2017, France was announced as the surprise host of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
France – host of 2023 Rugby World Cup:
i. Ireland got eight votes in the first round, compared to 18 for France and 13 for South Africa. In the second round, France won by 24 votes to 15.
ii. Ireland’s bid was rated as the weakest of the three nations in contention by World Rugby’s technical review group. Its report said that, South Africa was itspreferred candidate.
iii. It was the first time the Board’s recommendation has been ignored and the decision was immediately followed by questions over the selection process and the point of running a transparent evaluation process.
About World Rugby:
♦ World governing body for the sport of rugby union
♦ Headquarters – Dublin, Ireland
♦ Members – 102 Member Unions, 17 Associate Member Unions
♦ Chairman – Bill Beaumont
Former SC Judge Justice V Khalid Passes Away
On 15th November 2017, retired Supreme Court judge V. Khalid died in Kannur.
Death of V Khalid:
i. Justice Khalid was 95 years old. His last rites were performed at the Juma Masjid. He had served as judge in the Kerala High Court and as Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
ii. He is survived by wife and daughter. He began his career as a lawyer at the Kannur munsiff court in 1948 and moved to the Thalassery bar in 1949.
iii. He served at the District Court at Thalassery till 1964 and then he moved to the High Court. After retirement, he had served in many government bodies.
Some of the of Chief Justices of various High Courts:
♦ Odisha High Court – Dipak Misra
♦ Punjab & Haryana High Court – J. S. Khehar
♦ Jammu & Kashmir High Court – T. S. Thakur
♦ Karnataka High Court – H. L. Dattu
Legendary Hindi Poet Kunwar Narain passes away at 90
On 15th November 2017, eminent Hindi poet and Jnanpith awardee Kunwar Narayan passed away at his home in New Delhi.Death of Kunwar Narain:
i. Kunwar Narayan was in coma since July 4 after suffering from brain haemorrhage. He died on 15th November 2017 at his home in New Delhi.
ii. He was cremated at Lodhi crematorium. He was born on 9 September 1927 in Uttar Pradesh’s Faizabad. Kunwar Narayan was known for his poetry, stories and critiques.
iii. His first poetry collection was “Chakravyuh”. It is considered as a landmark in Hindi literature. His other works include Atmajayee, Apne Samne, Koi Dusra Nahi, and In Dinon.
About Kunwar Narain:
♦ Occupation – Hindi Poet
♦ Awards – Jnanpith Award, Padma Bhushan, Premchand Award, Kabir Samman, Vyaas Samman, Shalaka Samman, Tulsi Award, Hindustani Akademi Award, Sahitya Akademi Award etc.
World Philosophy Day – November 16
On 16th November 2017, World Philosophy Day was celebrated all over the world.
World Philosophy Day:
i. World Philosophy Day was introduced in 2002 by UNESCO (the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). In 2005 the UNESCO General Conference declared that World Philosophy Day would be celebrated every third Thursday of November.
ii. The Dvaita Philosophy Resource Centre (DPRC), Manipal University, celebrated the World Philosophy Day 2017 with a special seminar. The seminar was on “The intellectual duties of the King: An Indian perspective”.
iii. World Philosophy Day celebrates the importance of philosophical reflection, and encourages people all over the world to share their philosophical heritage with each other.
About Manipal University:
♦ Location – Manipal, Karnataka
♦ Chancellor – Ramdas M Pai
♦ Established – 1956
International Day for Endurance or Tolerance – November 16
On 16th November 2017, International Day for Endurance or Tolerance was observed all over the world.International Day for Endurance or Tolerance:
i. The International Day for Tolerance is observed every year on 16 November. It was declared by UNESCO in 1995 to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance.
ii. In 1995, to mark the United Nations Year for Tolerance and the 125th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, UNESCO created a prize for the promotion of tolerance and non-violence.
iii. The UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence rewards significant activities in the scientific, artistic, cultural or communication fields aimed at the promotion of a spirit of tolerance and non-violence. The prize is awarded every two years on 16 November.
About UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization):
♦ Member states – 195
♦ Associate members – 10
♦ Observers – 2 Permanent observers, 10 intergovernmental organizations with Permanent Observer Missions
National Press Day – November 16
On 16th November 2017, National Press Day was observed in India.
National Press Day:
i. National Press Day is symbolic of a free and responsible press in India. This was the day on which the Press Council of India started functioning in 1966.
ii. The Press Council is a moral watchdog to ensure that if the press maintain the high standards expected from this powerful medium and also that it was not affected by the influence or threats of any extraneous factors.
iii. Since the year 1997 Seminars have been organized by the Press Council on the occasion of National Press Day.
About Press Council of India:
♦ Chairman – Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad
♦ Members – 28
♦ Funded by – revenue collected by fees levied on the registered newspapers