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Current Affairs Today November 18 2017

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

Punjab Cabinet approves scheme to compensate acid attack victims
On November 17, 2017, Punjab State Cabinet approved ‘Punjab Victim or Their Dependents Compensation Scheme’which stipulates to provide minimum compensation of Rs three lakh to an acid attack victim.
i. Every year, Punjab State Government’s department of home affairs and justice, will allocate a separate budget to the department of legal and legislative affairs to provide compensation under this scheme.
ii. As per the order of Supreme Court, the state government would provide a minimum compensation of Rs three lakh each to the victims of acid attack. In case of death of such victim, the family will be provided an assistance of Rs. 5 lakh………………………………………….Click here to Read more

Delhi govenment to form ‘Mahila Suraksha Dals’ to curb crimes against women in national capital
On 17th November 2017, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia said that, the Delhi government would form “Mahila Suraksha Dals” (women protection groups) to curb crimes against women in the national capital.
Mahila Suraksha Dals (MSD):
i. Manish Sisodia said that, the government would constitute these teams in coordination with the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW).
ii. DCW chief Swati Maliwal said as a pilot project, the MSDs would be formed at three places, which were prone to crimes against women, and then it would be expanded across Delhi.
iii. These MSDs will comprise representatives of the local community, both men and women, besides civil defence volunteers, and will work at the grassroot-level to address the issue of women’s safety.
iv. The teams will sensitise the people about crimes against women and also help them report such incidents to the police.
About Delhi Commission for Women (DCW):
♦ Purpose – investigate and examine all matters relating to the safety and security of women under the constitution and other laws in Delhi
♦ Chairperson – Swati Maliwal

Health Ministry introduces Daily Drug Regimen for treatment of Tuberculosis
The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has recently announced the launch of daily regimen for TB patients across the country under the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP).

Daily Drug Regimen for treatment of Tuberculosis:
i. The Health Ministry has been providing the thrice weekly regimen for the treatment of tuberculosis (TB). It has now decided to change to daily drug regimenusing Fixed Dose Combinations (FDC) for treatment.
ii. The daily FDC anti-TB drugs will be made available to private pharmacy or at private practitioners to dispense to TB patients who seek care in private sector, free of cost.
iii. The Health Ministry will take this forward to all major hospitals and professional medical associations to expand the access to daily FDC to all TB patients.
iv. The salient features of this treatment strategy are:
1.Use of Ethambutol in continuation phase for all patients
2.Drugs to be given daily
3.Fixed Dose Combination (FDC) tablets to reduce pill burden
4.Child friendly formulations as dispersible tablets
5.Use of Information Technology (IT) enabled treatment adherence support system
About Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP):
♦ Launched – 1993
♦ Vision – TB free India
♦ Aim – to achieve Universal Access to TB control services

SARTTAC Steering Committee meeting held in New Delhi
On 17th November 2017, an interim meeting of the Steering Committee of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Center (SARTTAC) was held in New Delhi.
SARTTAC Steering Committee meeting:
i. The SARTTAC Steering Committee meeting was held to assess the Center’s activities and to review the Fiscal Year 2018 Work Plan.
ii. Officials from all 6 member countries attended, together with the Development Partner representatives (the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, and USAID), and IMF staff.
iii. The Committee endorsed the FY 2018 work plan. The next Steering Committee meeting will take place in Sri Lanka in May, 2018.
It also approved a new work area in Government Finance and Public Debt Statistics, where members have expressed strong demand, and work is underway to plan future technical assistance and training.
About South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Center (SARTTAC):
♦ First IMF Regional Capacity Development Center to fully integrate training and technical assistance activities
♦ Inaugurated in – February 2017
♦ Location – New Delhi

24th meeting of the Asia Pacific Regional Space Agency (APRSAF-24) forum held in Bengaluru
On 14 – 17 November 2017, the 24th Session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-24), was held in Bengaluru.24th meeting of the Asia Pacific Regional Space Agency (APRSAF-24) forum held in BengaluruAPRSAF-24:
i. The theme for the 24th Session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-24) was ‘Space Technology for Enhanced Governance and Development’.
ii. The event was co-organisedby India’s Department of Space (DOS), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
iii. The General Co-chairs were Mr. A. S. Kiran Kumar, Secretary of DOS & Chairman of ISRO and Ms. Mami Oyama, Deputy Director General, Research and Development Bureau, Japan.
iv. A S Kiran Kumar and JAXA director Naoki Okumurasaid that, ISRO and JAXA have begun exploring the possibility of combining forces for a joint lunar mission.
About Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF):
♦ Established in – 1993
♦ Purpose – to enhance space activities in the Asia-Pacific region
♦ Working groups – Space Applications, Space Technology, Space Environment Utilization, and Space Education

12th International Conference of Society of Petroleum Geophysicists held in  Jaipur
12th Biennial International Conference & Exposition of Society of Petroleum Geophysicists (SPG) -India started in Jaipur, Rajasthan on November 17, 2017. This conference will continue till November 19, 2017.
Highlights of 12th Biennial International Conference & Exposition of Society of Petroleum Geophysicists (SPG) India:
i. The conference was inaugurated by Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan.
ii. Theme of the conference was “Energy trough Synergy”.
iii. Mr. Pradhan also released a special issue of SPG’s half yearly journal, ‘GEOHORIZON’.
iv. Several experts from the petroleum sector addressed the session on the first day of the conference.
About Society of Petroleum Geophysicists, India:
♦ Formed in – August 1992
♦ Headquarters – Dehradun, Uttarakhand
♦ Affiliated to – Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) USA, European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers (EAGE) – Netherlands & Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists (ASEG), Australia.

Karnataka assembly passes SC/ST promotions bill
On November 17, 2017, Karnataka State Legislative Assembly passed ‘Karnataka Extension of Consequential Seniority to Government Servants Promoted on the Basis of Reservation (To the posts in the Civil Services of the State) Bill 2017’.
Information related to Karnataka SC/ST promotions bill:
i. Prior to introduction of this bill, Supreme Court had struck down Karnataka Govt.’s provision for providing reservation in promotion for SC/ST employees. This decision of Supreme Court was passed in response to a civil appeal filed in 2011.
ii. Supreme Court had struck down the provision citing that inadequacy of representation, backwardness and overall efficiency should be determined through proper exercise before providing such reservation.
iii. In wake of this decision, Karnataka State Government formed a committee led by Additional Chief Secretary Ratnaprabha to collate scientific, quantifiable and relevant data. This committee confirmed the backwardness of SC/STs, inadequacy of their representation in the state civil services and that the overall efficiency of administration has not been affected because of reservation in promotions.
Quick Facts about Karnataka:
♦ Capital – Bengaluru
♦ Current Chief Minister – Siddaramaiah
♦ Current Governor – Vajubhai Vala
♦ Important National Parks – Bandipur National Park, Bannerghatta National Park

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

New global effort launched to end TB by 2030 – WHO
World Health Organization (WHO) Global Ministerial Conference “Ending TB in the Sustainable Development Era: A Multisectoral Response” was held on 16th and 17th November, 2017 in Moscow, Russia. During this conference, delegates from 114 countries agreed to take urgent action to end tuberculosis (TB) by 2030.New global effort launched to end TB by 2030 - WHOi. During the conference, the delegates promised to strengthen health systems in their respective countries and improve mass access to TB prevention and care.
ii. In a bid to close gaps in implementation of programmes to combat TB and carry out related research, delegates agreed to mobilize sufficient and sustainable financing through domestic and international investments…………………………………..Click here to Read more

Qatar named as World’s Richest Country according to IMF’s GDP data
As per rankings released by business magazine ‘Fortune’, Qatar is World’s Richest Country in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Per Capita.
i. GDP Per Capita is a measure of the total output of a country computed by dividing gross domestic product(GDP) by the number of people in the country. In theoretical terms, higher per capita GDP results in to a higher standard of living………………………………………..Click here to Read more
Richest Countries in the World – Top 15

Rank Country GDP Per Capita
1 Qatar $124930
2 Luxembourg $109190
3 Singapore $90530
4 Brunei $76740
5 Ireland $72630

IFFCO retains global seat in International Cooperative Alliance
Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) has retained the prestigious seat of the Director on Global Board of International Co-operative Alliance (ICA).
i. This is the second time in a row that IFFCO has retained the seat of the Director on Global Board of ICA.
ii. IFFCO’s candidate, Aditya Yadav retained his position on the ICA’s Board of Directors, by securing 627 out of 696 votes. Candidates from Japan, US, Canada, UK, Australia, Italy and Brazil were also contesting for this post.
iii. Voting took place at ICA’s Global Conference and General Assembly 2017, that was held from November 14 to 17, 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
iv. It is to be noted that IFFCO has leaped up to 105th place from 155th in World Cooperative Monitor which ranks top global 300 cooperatives.
Quick Facts about International Cooperative Alliance (ICA):
♦ Established in – 1895
♦ Headquarters – Brussels, Belgium
♦ Current President – Ariel Guarco, Argentina

China opens world’s coolest library
China has opened the world’s coolest library in the Binhai Cultural District in Tianjin, China.
China – world’s coolest library:
i. The library has been designed by Dutch design firm MVRDV in collaboration with the Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute (TUPDI). It covers33,700 square meters.
ii. It is a five-story library. It can hold up to 1.2 million books. It took three years to complete the construction.
iii. It has been dubbed “The Eye of Binhai”, as it has a giant spherical auditorium in the middle that looks just like a giant eye.
Largest libraries of the world:
♦ British Library – United Kingdom
♦ Library of Congress – United States
♦ Library and Archives Canada – Canada
♦ New York Public Library – United States

BANKING & FINANCE

RBL Bank opens all women branch in Chennai
On November 17, 2107, private sector RBL Bank inaugurated an all women branch in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.RBL Bank opens all women branch in ChennaiMore Information about RBL Bank’s All-Women branch in Chennai:
i. The all-women branch in Chennai will be managed by eight women and will offer all products and services across liability and assets.
ii. This initiative is RBL Bank’s  efforts in encouraging gender equality.
iii. Currently, RBL Bank has 246 branches and 389 ATM across India. It serves 3.54 million customers.
Quick Facts about RBL Bank:
♦ Founded in – 1943
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Current CEO – Vishwavir Ahuja

Moody’s Investors Service upgrades ratings of nine PSUs
On November 13, 2017, Moody’s Investors Service upgraded ratings of nine Indian public sector firms.
i.Ratings of BPCL, HPCL, IOC and Petronet LNG Ltd (PLL) was upgraded to Baa2 from Baa3. This was on account of India’s sovereign rating upgrade.
ii.ONGC’s rating, which was already higher than the sovereign rating, has also been upgraded to Baa1 from Baa2.
iii.NTPC, NHPC, National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and GAIL India are other PSUs for which the rating has been upgraded to Baa2 stable.
iv.Moody’s ratings upgrade of these PSUs was in line with India’s local and foreign currency issuer ratings being upgraded to Baa2 from Baa3 with the outlook being changed to stable from positive.
v. Besides, rating of four financial institutions – Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM India), HDFC Bank, Indian Railway Finance Corporation Limited (IRFC) and State Bank of India (SBI) – has also been upgraded to Baa2.
Quick Facts about Moody’s Investors Service:
♦ Founded in – 1909
♦ Headquarters – New York, US

Centrum Capital acquires First Rand microfinance business
In a bid to kick-start its lending operations focused on retail and small & medium enterprises (SMEs), Centrum Capital has acquired South Africa-based First Rand Bank’s (FRB’s) microfinance business in India.Centrum Capital acquires FirstRand microfinance businessi. Centrum is a non-banking finance company (NBFC) which has already received a microfinance institution (MFI) licence from the Reserve bank of India (RBI).
ii. As FRB already has a Rs 200-crore loan book, around 70,000 customers and a staff strength of over 300 people, its acquisition will provide a ready-made platform for Centrum to foray in micro finance business.
iii. Key focus area for Centrum Microcredit will be to provide loans to unserved and underserved borrowers operating small businesses in semi-urban areas.
iv. Besides, the microfinance client base will also be tapped in for cross selling Centrum’s other financial products/services.
Quick Facts about Centrum Capital:
♦ Founded in – 1997
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Current Executive Chairman – Jaspal Bindra

PNB, ACE tie-up for farm machinery financing
Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Action Construction Equipment Ltd (ACE) have tied up for augmenting tractors/agricultural implements financing to the farmers across India through PNB’s branch network.
PNB and ACE tie-up:
i.MoU regarding the tie-up was signed by B.M.Padha, Corporate General Manager, Priority Sector & Financial Inclusion Division, PNB and Ashok Kumar Tomar, COO, ACE(Agriculture Division) in the presence of Tirlochan Singh, Country Head, Retail Finance, ACE and other dignitaries.
ii. This tie-up will enable PNB to facilitate the availability of quality farm machinery equipment to its farmer base at an in,.terest rate of 9.2 % per annum.
iii. Ashok Kumar Tomar informed that farmers can avail ACE farm machinery financed through PNB at discounted price.
iv. This tie-up will enable ACE to tap into PNB’s branch network and customer base and further strengthen its presence in India.
About Action Construction Equipment Ltd (ACE):
♦ Chairman & MD – Vijay Agarwal
♦ Products – Mobile Crane, Tower Crane, Crawler Crane, Backhoe & Loader, Concrete Placing Boom, Road Equipment, Forklift Truck, Agri Equipment

Reliance General Insurance inks bancassurance pact with YES Bank
Reliance General Insurance, a subsidiary of Reliance Capital, has signed a comprehensive bancassurance-corporate agency agreement with YES Bank.
Reliance General Insurance & YES Bank – bancassurance pact:
i. YES Bank with its network of 1,040 branches across all 29 States and seven Union Territories will enable Reliance General Insurance to reach a large base of retail and MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) clients.
ii. This is the first partnership signed by YES Bank since the open-architecture norms under the corporate agency regulations were introduced by the IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) in April 2016.
iii. Rana Kapoor, MD, YES Bank, said that, with this alliance, we remain committed to use our pan-India branch network to capitalise on the immense opportunities in the Indian bancassurance market.
About Reliance General Insurance:
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ CEO – Rakesh Jain
♦ Founded – 17 August 2000

BUSINESS

NEA, CTGC sign Joint Venture Pact to construct West Seti Hydropower Project
Nepal Electricity Authority, NEA has signed a joint venture agreement with China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC) to construct 750 MW West Seti hydropower Project.NEA, CTGC sign Joint Venture Pact to construct West Seti Hydropower ProjectNEA, CTGC sign Joint Venture Pact:
i. The joint venture agreement was signed at Kathmandu by NEA Executive Director Kulman Ghising and representatives of China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC). 
ii. He said that estimated cost of the project will be 1.8 billion US dollars. CTGC will have 75% stake in the joint venture and NEA will hold remaining 25%.
iii. The project will be completed in 79 months after starting of construction work. West Seti project will be spread over Baitadi, Bajhang, Dadeldhura and Doti districts of Nepal. The initial agreement with CTGC was signed in January 2017.
About China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC):
♦ Chinese state-owned power company
♦ Headquarters – Beijing, China
♦ Founded – 27 September 1993

Karnataka, Intel’s Mobileye tie up for “Automotive Safety Innovation” project
The Karnataka government has partnered with Intel company Mobileye to launch a project for automotive safety called “Automotive Safety Innovation”, which will create a repository of road and traffic information.
Automotive Safety Innovation:
i. As part of this project, multiple vehicles fitted with cameras and other sensors would be covering several areas around Karnataka to build the repository over the next 9 months.
ii. Priyank Kharge, Minister for IT, BT and Tourismsaid that, this repository can be used to develop and validate artificial intelligence technologies that can learn and analyse data of road conditions and assist drivers to make informed decisions for higher safety.
iii. The vehicles will also carry Mobileye Collision Avoidance Systems that would identify potential accident zones also known as “Grey Spots”, in addition to real-time warnings to the driver.
iv. These Grey Spots will provide the State authorities with sufficient information to improve infrastructure for road safety.
About Mobileye:
♦ Headquarters – Jerusalem
♦ Key people – Amnon Shashua
♦ Founded – 1999
♦ Industry – Automotive Autonomous Cars

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Bhaskar Bhat, Saurabh Agrawal elevated to Tata Sons board
Tata Sons has elevated Group Chief Financial Officer Saurabh Agrawal and Titan Company Managing Director Bhaskar Bhat to its board.Bhaskar Bhat, Saurabh Agrawal – Tata Sons board:
i. Bhaskar Bhat is currently heading Titan. He has helped the company drive brand value and a market cap of $10 billion. Tata Sons said that, Saurabh Agrawal brings deep capital market knowledge and valuable cross industry experience to the group.
ii. The Tata group, comprising over 100 independent operating companies, has operations in more than 100 countries across six continents.
About Tata Sons:
♦ Founder – Jamsetji Tata
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ Chairman – Natarajan Chandrasekaran

Anand Rajeshwar Baiwar takes charge as SEBI executive director
On 17th November 2017, markets regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) said that, Anand Rajeshwar Baiwar has taken charge as an executive director.
Anand Rajeshwar Baiwar – SEBI executive director:
i. Anand Rajeshwar Baiwar is an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officerof the 1990 batch. He assumed charge as SEBI executive director on 16 November 2017.
ii. Prior to this assignment, he was working as an income tax commissioner in Kolkata. He is a graduate in engineering as well as law.
iii. He holds Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM, Bangalore and is also a chartered financial analyst from ICFAI, Hyderabad.
iv. SEBI had also promoted two senior employees – Amarjeet Singh and Nagendraa Parakh as executive directors in July 2017.
About ICFAI (Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India):
♦ Type – non-profit society with the objective of providing training in finance and management
♦ Established – 1984
♦ Location – Hyderabad, Telangana

Sibi George accredited as the next Ambassador of India to the Principality of Liechtenstein
Sibi George has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Principality of Liechtenstein.
Sibi George – Ambassador of India to the Principality of Liechtenstein:
i .Sibi George is an Indian Foreign Service Officer (IFS) of 1993 batch. He is presently Ambassador of India to Switzerland. His residence is in Berne, Switzerland.
ii .He has been concurrently appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Principality of Liechtenstein. He is expected to take up the assignment shortly.
About Principality of Liechtenstein:
♦ Capital – Vaduz
♦ Currency – Swiss franc
♦ Prime Minister – Adrian Hasler

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

INS Sarvekshak reaches Dar-Es-Salaam for hydrographic survey
INS Sarvekshak, a hydrographic survey ship of Southern Naval Command has arrived in Dar-es-Salaam Tanzania for undertaking joint- Hydrographic Survey along with the Tanzanian Navy.INS Sarvekshak reaches Dar-Es-Salaam for hydrographic surveyINS Sarvekshak reaches Dar-Es-Salaam:
i. The joint survey will be conducted with the Naval personnel of Tanzania who have been trained in India in National Institute of Hydrography, Goa.
ii. During the survey, training of Tanzanian Naval personnel will also be undertaken on advanced hydrographic equipment and practices.
iii. INS Sarvekshak is a specialised survey ship of the Indian Navy presently based at Kochi. It is fitted with state-of-the-art survey equipment like Deep Sea Multi beam echo sounder system, Side Scan Sonars and a fully automated digital surveying and processing system.
iv. In addition, the ship carries an integral Chetak helicopter which would be extensively deployed during the survey.
v. The ship is second ship of the Darshak class of ships. It has 15 officersand 175 sailors and is presently commanded by Captain Peush Pawsey.
About Dar-Es-Salaam:
♦ Former capital and largest city in Tanzania
♦ Largest city in East Africa by population
♦ Located on the Swahili coast

SPORTS

India to host Asia Cup of Road Racing with National Championship
On 18 and 19 November 2017, Round 3 of FIM Asia Cup of Road Racing (ACRR) will be held at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, India.
FIM Asia Cup of Road Racing (ACRR):
i. Top bikers from Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Nepal, Taiwan and India will participate in round three of the FIM Asia Cup of Road Racing (ACRR) at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida.
ii. India will be represented by Sai Rahil Pillarisetty and Israel Vanlalhruaizela, who are fourth in the standings after the first two rounds in Thailand and Taiwan. They have accumulated 28 points, 23 points behind the leaders from Philippines (5 points) and Thailand (25 points).
About FIM Asia Cup of Road Racing (ACRR):
♦ Sport  – Motorcycle sport
♦ Founded – 1996
♦ Classes – three open-make classes and one mono-brand developmental classes

Sushil Kumar, Geeta Phogat win gold in 62nd National Wrestling championship
Sushil Kumar and Geeta Phogat bagged gold medal at the 62nd National Wrestling championship in Indore.Sushil Kumar, Geeta Phogat win gold in 62nd National Wrestling championship62nd National Wrestling championship:
i. Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar won a gold medal in men’s 74 kilogram freestyle competition.
ii. Geeta Phogat won a gold medal in the 59 kg category of women’s wrestling. India’s single woman Olympic medal winner Sakshi Malik won gold medal in the 62kg category of women’s wrestling.
iii. Geeta’s husband Pawan Kumar also finished on top in 86kg category. This is the first tim e Indore has hosted the National Wrestling Championship.
About 62nd Senior National Wrestling Championship:
♦ Dates – 15 – 17 November 2017
♦ Venue – Khel Prashal, Indore, Madhya Pradesh
♦ Participants – 800 wrestlers, 100 coaches and 50 technical officials

Wrestler Sandeep Yadav banned for four years for failing dope test
Wrestler Sandeep Tulsi has been handed a four-year ban by the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel of the NADA.
Sandeep Yadav banned for four years:
i. Wrestler Sandeep Yadav is from Sonepat. He has tested positive for
methandienone, an anabolic steroid. The tests were conducted on 25 June 2016.
ii. Sandeep Yadav’s sparring partner and roommate Narsingh Yadav was also ousted from the Olympics in 2016 and given a four-year ban for failing a dope test after Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) overturned the clean chit given to him by the NADA.
About NADA (National Anti-Doping Agency):
♦ Purpose – national organisation responsible for promoting, coordinating, and monitoring the doping control program in sports in all its forms in India
♦ Director General – Navin Agarwal