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Current Affairs Today – November 17 2015

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Current Affairs Today 17 November 2015

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Asia Leader’s Meeting & ISDR IAP Meeting for SFDRR

The Asia Leader’s Meeting towards Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia was held in in New Delhi from November 14-17, 2015.

  • Asia Leaders’ Meeting will be followed by 2nd ISDR Asia Partnership (IAP) meeting of 2015 from November 17-19, 2015.

Organizer – United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
Countries Participated – India, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, South Korea and Thailand

Telangana to get First Mega Food Park with 3 Mini parks

Union Minister of Food Processing Industries Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal laid foundation stone of the first Mega Food Park in Lakkampally village in Nizamabad district of Telangana which will give a boost to agro-processing.

  • Ministry of Food Processing Industries has sanctioned 2 more Mega Food Parks to be set up in Khammam & Mahboobnagar districts of Telangana.
  • The mega food park promoted by Smart Agro Food Park Pvt Ltd.
  • Besides Mega Food Park, there will be 3 mini parks to set up at Medchal, Medak and Nalgonda districts of state and will linked with each other.

NFSA, 2013 executed in Odisha covering transgender community

The National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 implemented in 14 of the 30 districts of Odisha that would benefit 93.35 lakh people.

  • The Food supplies and Consumer Welfare department has issued directives to the district administration to monitor the implementation of the NFSA and rectify irregularities if any.

AMRUT plan worth Rs 242 crore for water logging in 25 cities

To tackle the problem of water logging, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Odisha and Mizoram propose to invest Rs 242 crore in construction of storm water drains for discharging flood waters in 25 cities in these states.

  • The works would be undertaken under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) action plans for 2015-16.
  • The five states account for 82 Atal Mission cities.

Food authority challenges lifting ban on Nestle’s Maggi

India’s food safety authority has appealed to the country’s top court against a regional court order overturning a nationwide ban on Maggi instant noodles sold by the local unit of Nestle .

  • Nestle India resumed selling its popular Maggi noodles this month after getting the green light from government laboratories, as mandated by the Bombay High Court in August.

Reason for ban :

  • It contains harmful chemicals which could be dangerous to our health. Maggi contains high amount of monosodium glutamate (MSG) and lead.
  • This shocking revelation came to fore after samples from many parts of Uttar Pradesh were tested in the lab.

Andhra Pradesh to waive Rs 110-crore loans of 25,000 weavers

Andhra Pradesh government decided to waive loans taken by over 25,000 weavers amounting to a total of more than Rs 110 crore. The loan waiver will benefit 25,567 weavers in the state.

  • Decision has been taken by the state Cabinet under the chairmanship of Chief Minister N Chandra Babu Naidu at a meeting held in Vijayawada.

State’s plans for waivers:

  • The loan waiver cheques would be handed over to the beneficiaries in January 2016 on the occasion of Janmabhoomi programme.
  • AP govt is a plan to provide interest-free loans to weavers to promote the traditional handloom sector in the state.
  • Establishment of Textile Park at Yemmiganur to generate employment for handloom weavers.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

2015 – G20 Antalya summit

The 2015 G-20 Antalya summit held on 15-16 November 2015 was the 10th annual meeting of the G-20 heads of government.

Venue – Antalya, Turkey

  • Turkey took the presidency of the G-20 from Australia on 1 December 2014 and now China will preside over the organization in 2016 at Hangzhou.
  • French President Francois Hollande did not attend the event due to the November 2015 Paris attacks and sent Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius as his representative.

India-Bangladesh agreed to share militant information

After reviewing internal security and other cross-border issues by the home secretaries of the two neighbours Nations, India and Bangladesh agreed to share information on militants.

  • Senior Secretary to the Home Ministry Dr Md Mozammel Haque Khan led the Bangladesh side while Indian home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi led his country’s team.

Other agreements:

  •  India- Dhaka cooperation to tackle the crimes like fake Indian currency, cattle smuggling, and illegal infiltration.
  • To end the border killings.
  • Agreement on signing of Land Boundary Agreement.

BUSINESS

GAIL tops among PSUs in Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index

In “Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI)” released by Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)-India, GAIL India Limited has topped the PSUs and third overall.

  • CDLI was released at the Bombay Stock Exchange.
  • GAIL got a score of 98 out of 100, ↑ of 12 points from last year.

A high disclosure score signals that a company provided comprehensive information about the measurement and management of its carbon footprint, its climate change strategy and risk management processes and outcomes.

About GAIL:
GAIL Limited is the largest state-owned natural gas processing and distribution company in India. GAIL has been conferred with the Maharatna status on 1 Feb 2013, by the Government of India.
Establishment – 1984
Headquarter – New Delhi
Chairman & MD – Shri B. C. Tripathi
Subsidiaries – GAIL Gas, BCPL and GAIL Global (Singapore) Pte Ltd

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGN

Zarine Daruwala quits ICICI Bank to join Standard Chartered

Zarin Daruwala quits ICICI Bank to join Standard CharteredICICI Bank’s head of corporate banking division Zarine Daruwala has quit the Mumbai based lender to join UK base Standard Chartered as its India CEO.She will be replaced by Vishakha Mulye.

About Zarine Daruwala :

  • Daruwala has been with the bank since June 1989 working in different roles from corporate to rural banking and even mergers and acquisitions.
  • She joins Standard Chartered at a time when the UK lender has been besieged by rising non performing loans from companies in India.

Key points :

  • ICICI Headquarters : Vadodara, Gujarat.
  • ICICI Chairman : Mr. M. K. Sharma
  • ICICI MD & CEO : Mrs.Chanda Kochhar

Hrushikesh Senapaty joins as NCERT Director

Professor Hrushikesh Senapaty has joined as director of National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).He was the head of Regional Institute of Education (RIE), Bhopal.

About  Hrushikesh Senapaty:

  • Senapaty joined Regional Institute of Education, Bhopal in 1997 as associate professor in education and its principal in 2012.
  • He is an UNESCO expert on ICTE from India. He has more than 25 years of experience in teaching, training, research and extension activities.
  • He has also worked on integration of ICT into Constructivist Theory of Learning to bring a paradigm shift in the Teacher Education practices.

About NCERT :

  • TheNational Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is an organisation set up by the Government of India in 1961 and its headquarters located at Sri Aurbindo Marg in New Delhi, 
  • It is formed to assist and advise the central and state governments on academic matters related to school education.

Former IPL COO Sundar Raman becomes RIL- Sports CEO

Former IPL COO Sundar Raman becomes RIL- Sports CEOFormer Indian Premier League Chief Operating Officer Sundar Raman will join the Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) as its Chief Operating Officer – Sports.

  • He will be responsible for consolidation and integration of RIL’s sports portfolio including its Foundation activities in Sports.

About RIL:

  • Reliance Industries Limited (RIL)is an Indian conglomerate holding company and owns businesses across India engaged in energy, petrochemicals, textiles, natural resources, retail and telecommunications.
  • Reliance is the second-largestpublicly traded company in India by market capitalization and the second largest company in India as measured by revenue after the government-controlled Indian Oil Corporation.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

International fellowships awarded to 5 Indian startups

Five Indian tech startups have been bestowed by the 3rd edition of the Next Big Idea Contest. It was jointly hosted by the Government of Ontario, Canada, Zone Start-ups India, Bombay Stock Exchange Institute and Amazon Web Services.

Winners

  • Bengaluru based Lightmetrics Technologies Private Limited and Packal
  • Delhi based Neuron and Swift File Transfer
  • Thane based Survelytics

ACQUISTIONS & MERGERS

Apollo Tyres acquires Reifencom 

Apollo Tyres  has acquired German tyre distribution major Reifencom GmbH for 45.6 million euros (around Rs 301 crore) announced by vice-chairman and MD Neeraj Kanwar.

  • The buy will enable Apollo Tyres improve its mix of distribution channels in Germany and Europe while helping in increasing the visibility of Apollo and Vredestein tyres in the offline and especially the fast-growing online retail space.
  • Reifencom GmbH presence in six countries: Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Denmark.

Key points :
Apollo Tyres CEO : Onkar Singh Kanwar

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

NASA to grow flowers in space for first time

Growing flowers first in ‘Veggie growth system‘ will provide knowledge on cultivating plants in space.It is the first time that a flowering crop will be grown on the orbiting laboratory

  • NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren activated the Veggie plant growth system and its rooting “pillows” containing Zinnia seeds on the space station.

Veggie growth system :  

  • The Veggie system was developed by Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC) in Madison, Wisconsin, and tested at Kennedy.
  • Lindgren will turn on the red, blue and green LED lights, activate the water and nutrient system to Veggie, and monitor the plant growth.
  • The Zinnias will grow for 60 days, which is twice as long as the first and second crop of Outredgeous red romaine lettuce that grew on the space station.
  • During the growth cycle, the LED lights will be on for 10 hours and off for 14 hours in order to stimulate the plants to flower.
  • Growing tomato plants on the space station is planned for 2017,

Key points :

  • NASA  Headquarters : Washington, D.C.
  • NASA Administrator : Charles Frank Bolden

SPORTS

2015 BWF world junior championship

The 2015 BWF World Junior Championships was held in Lima, Peru from 4 – 15 November 2015 as the 17th tournament of the BWF World Junior Championships.

  • Participants – China, Malaysia, Chinese, Taipei, Indonesia, India, Japan, Thailand
  • India has bagged one silver medal while China won a total of 7 medals overall which includes 4 gold medals.

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson retires from international cricket

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson retires from international cricketOn the last day of the 2nd Test of the 2015-16 Trans-Tasman Trophy Test series at Perth, Australian cricket player Mitchell Johnson announced his retirement from international cricket. He is a left-arm fast bowler and left-handed batsman.

  • He is Australia’s fourth-highest Test wicket-taker with 590 international wickets which includes 313 in 73 matches and 239 one-day wickets.
  • He was awarded the International Cricket Council’s “Cricketer of the Year” award in 2009 and 2014 as well as “Test Player of the year” in 2014.
  • Johnson had a good record against England with 87 wickets in 19 Tests at an average of 25.81.
  • Had taken most wickets (37) in the 2013–14 Ashes series.

FIFA banned Nepal football Chief for 10 years for corruption

FIFA banned Nepal football Chief Ganesh Thapa for 10 years for corruptionFIFA  banned Nepal’s football chief Ganesh Thapa for 10 years and the president of the Laos federation for two years for bribery.Thapa stood down as a football chief one year ago amid an investigation into accusations that he embezzled millions of dollars during his 19-year tenure.

  • He committed various acts of misconduct over several years, including the solicitation and acceptance of cash payments from another football official.
  • He had specifically been bribed over elections for the FIFA executive committee in 2009 and 2011.

Key points :

  • FIFA Headquarters : Zürich, Switzerland
  • FIFA president : Joseph Sepp Blatter

IAAF provisionally suspended Russia from World Track and Field Events

According to the World Anti-Doping Agency commission report IAAF leaders are decided to suspend the Russian federation for an indefinite period that could include next year’s Olympics in Brazil announced by IAAF President Sebastian Coe at an emergency meeting of his 27-member council.

About IAAF :
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is the international  governing body for the sport of athletics. It was founded on 17 July 1912 at its first congress in Stockholm, Sweden and it has been headquartered in Monaco.

  • Membership : 214 member federations
  • President : Sebastian Coe

OBITUARY

Singer Pithukuli Murugadas passes away

Devotional singer Pithukuli Murugadas passes awayNoted Tamil devotional singer Pithukuli Murugadas (95) died in Chennai due to brief illness. He was a writer, lyricist and music composer.

  • Brahmananda Paradesiyar, a saint, named him “Pithukuli” (a spiritual person) and Swami Ramadas (head of Aanandashram in Kanjangad) in Kerala, added the title Murugadas meaning “the servant of Lord Muruga”.

About Pithukuli Murugadas:
Pithukuli Murugadas was born as Balasubramanian in Coimbatore and learnt bhajans from his grandfather Gopalakrishna Bagavathar.

  • He participated in freedom struggle in 1936 and was severely beaten up by police and lost vision in his left eye completely.
  • He started his musical career in 1947 and written and composed thousands of devotional songs.
  • He performed in Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nepal, Sri Lanka, South Africa and the USA.
  • He was recipient of Kalaimamani, Sankeerthana Samrat and Thyagaraja awards.
  • Founder of Sri Jyothir Maya Devi Charity Trust in Chennai which used to instruct organizers of his musical programmes to feed the poor in lieu of his fee.

Former RAW chief Shankaran Nair passes away

Former chief of the country’s external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) K. Shankaran Nair(94) passed away.

About Shankaran Nair:

  • K. Shankaran Nairwas part of the Intelligence Bureau and was later inducted into Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in 1968.He succeeded R N Kao, as the chief of RAW in 1977.
  • Mr. Nair played a crucial role restructuring RAW in 1980 after Indira Gandhi returned to power. He was later appointed as India’s High Commissioner to Singapore in 1986 and served till 1988.
  • Mr. Nair wrote his memoirInside IB and RAW: The rolling stone that gathered moss in 2008.

VHP leader Ashok Singhal passes away

Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal(89) passed away in Gurgaon.

  • A bachelor and an RSS pracharak all his life, Singhal, adopted an aggressive style in the “kar sewak” campaign in the build up to the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December, 1992.
  • He pitchforked the organisation in the Ayodhya Ram temple movement and sought to internationalise it by recruiting supporters and organising branches world wide.