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Current Affairs Today – November 21 2016

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The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill to ban commercial surrogacy introduced in Lok Sabha
i. The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 was introduced by Health Minister J P Nadda  in the Lok Sabha on November 21, 2016 to ban commercial surrogacy.
ii. Aim: to protect women from exploitation and ensure the rights of the child born through surrogacy.
iii. Once the bill is approved  by the Parliament, there will be a complete ban on commercial surrogacy, but altruistic surrogacy will be permitted for couples under who are unfit to produce child but under strict regulations.The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill to ban commercial surrogacy introduced in Lok Sabha
iv. The bill authorize only Indian citizens to take the benefit of surrogacy. But foreigners, NRIs and PIOs are not allowed to seek surrogacy in the country.
v. Single parents, and live-in couples are also not entitled for surrogacy. Couples who already have children will not be allowed to go in for surrogacy, however they would be free to adopt a child under a separate law.
vi. the surrogacy will be allowed only to legally married couples after five years of marriage and with a certificate from a doctor stating that they are medically unfit to produce a child.
vii. Women within the age group of 23 years to 50 years and men aged between 26 to 55 years will be eligible to go in for surrogacy.
viii. The surrogate mother can only be a close relative, like a sister or sister-in-law who is married and has at least one healthy biological child. A woman can be a surrogate only once in her lifetime.

The Indore-Patna Express train derails, worst train accident in six years
i. The Indore-Patna Express train derailed in Kanpur Dehat district of Uttar Pradesh early morning about 3.10am on November 21, 2016.
ii. It is one of India’s worst train accidents in six years with nearly 133 people killed and more than 200 injured when 14 coaches of the express train derailed near Pukhrayan, about 100 km from Kanpur.In 2010, a passenger train crashed into a freight train in Bengal, killing 146
iii. S1, S2, S3 and S4 suffered severe damage while four AC coaches were derailed too.
iv. Railway minister Suresh Prabhu has constituted a high-level commission to investigate the causes of the derailment and promised strictest possible action and compensation for the affected passengers.
v. Prime Minister Modi announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for family of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the seriously injured.
vi. Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced to give Rs 2 lakh while Nitish Kumar  will give Rs 50,000 as compensation.
vii. Chief minister  Akhilesh Yadav  has announced Rs 5 lakh each as compensation to the families of those who lost their lives and Rs 50,000 to the seriously injured and Rs 25,000 for those with minor injuries.
viii. A green corridor was created for the quick movement of ambulances. More than 30 ambulances were pressed into service.Several trains on the Jhansi-Kanpur route were either diverted or cancelled.

Income Tax Department to launch Project Insight in May 2017
i. The income-tax (I-T) department department has signed a contract with L&T Infotech Ltd to launch Project Insight in May 2017 from May 2017.The project will be rolled out in three phases.
ii. Aim of the Project :To effectively utilize the vast amount of information at its disposal more effectively to track tax evaders
iii. This project through implementation of reporting compliance management system, will ensure that third party reporting by entities like banks and other financial institutions is timely and accurate.
iv. It will also set up a streamlined data exchange mechanism for other government departments.

Sangai Festival 2016 begin in Manipur
i. The 10-day-festival ‘Sangai Festival 2016’ inaugurated by Manipur CM Okram Ibobi Singh on November 21 2016. It will continue till November 30 2016
ii. Theme: ‘Destination Manipur’.
iii. Aim: To promote Manipur as a potential tourist destination.
iv. The participants from different Indian states, foreign traders and cultural troupes expected to participated in this festival.
v. A wide range of shows from fashion to rock music, along with activities like boat race and other water sports at Loktak to be held as a part of this festival .
Manipur State Festival :
Lui-ngai-ni Ningol Chakouba, Yaoshang, Gan-ngai, Chumpha, Cheiraoba, Kang and Heikru Hidongba

India’s longest expressway inaugurated in Uttar Pradesh
i. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on November 21, 2016, inaugurated the six-lane Greenfield Agra-Lucknow Expressway at Bangarmau in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh in presence of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
India’s longest expressway inaugurated in Uttar Pradeshii. Just before the inauguration, four Sukhoi jets from Bareilly and four Mirage 2000s from Gwalior landed upon the air strip built on the expressway.
iii. The use of jet aircrafts aimed at testing the quality of the expressway build and also enable Defence Ministry to plan using the highways and expressways as possible landing and take-off strips during any emergency.
ivThe Lucknow-Agra Expressway is India’s longest expressway, with a length of 302-km and its construction has been completed in 23 months.
v. The expressway will reduce travel time between Delhi and Lucknow from nine hours to around five hours.
vi. The Agra-Lucknow Expressway will have an automatic traffic management system to deal with fog and reduce road accidents.
vii. It also has an eight-lane bridge across the river Ganga, which will connect Unnao and Kanpur.


India ranked 20th on Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2017
i. India has been ranked 20th on Climate ChangePerformance Index (CCPI) 2017 according to Germanwatch and Climate Action Network Europe Publication.
ii. Positive trends are seen as well among emerging economies of G20 like India (rank 20), Argentina (36) and Brazil (40), which all improved their ranking.
iii. In terms of climate policy, India, Sweden, Luxembourg, Norway, and Germany managed to hold their positions.
iv. Canada (55), Australia (57) and Japan (60) are in the bottom group rated very poor in the index while Japan once again dropped two places as national experts criticize their government for a very poor climate policy.

India’s Natioal Park in National Geographic ‘Best of the World List 2017’
i. National Geographic Traveler magazine announced its annual Best of the World list in 3 categories such as Cities, Nature, or Culture.
ii. The list highlights 21 places which includes
Anchorage(USA), Baja California National Marine Parks(Mexico), Banff, Alberta(Canada), Canton Uri(Switzerland), Cartagena(Colombia), Central India’s National Parks, Chengdu(China), Cradle of Humankind(South Africa), Ecuador’s Cloud Forests, Finland, Georgia(USA), Guadeloupe Islands, Hamburg(Germany), Kauai, Hawaii(USA), Madrid(Spain), Malta, Marrakech(Morocco), Moscow(Russia), Papua New Guinea, Seoul(Korea) and Via Dinarica(Western Balkans)

2016 Economic Leaders’ Week held in Lima,Peru
i. 2016 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit or the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week which started on 14 November 2016 came to an end on 20 November 2016 in Lima, Peru. The theme of the meet was “Quality growth and human development.”
ii. The aim of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit is to bring the 21 member countries of APEC together and discuss about economic growth, international trade policies and improvement of life conditions.2016 Economic Leaders' Week
iii. The week celebration was held in four parts:
1.14-15 November : APEC Concluding Senior Officials’ Meeting (CSOM)
2.17-18 November : APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM)
3.18-19 November : APEC CEO Summit
4.20 November : APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) – The meeting was chaired by President of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.
With the conclusion of the week with APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) the leaders of the 21 APEC nations adopted a Declaration on advancing quality growth and human development. The declaration has two annexure attached: Lima Declaration on Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) and APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap (2016-2025).
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) :
♦ It is a group of 21 nations of Asia-Pacific region which together work in the direction of liberalizing trade and investment, facilitate business and promote economic cooperation, achieve prosperity among member economies.
♦ Founded: 1989
♦ Headquarter : Singapore
♦ Executive Director, the APEC Secretariat, Singapore : Dr Alan Bollard

World’s first Bollywood-themed park opens in Dubai,UAE
i. World’s first Bollywood theme park was inaugurated in Dubai on 17 November 2016. The name of the park is Bollywood Parks, and it is a part of Dubai Parks and Resorts (DPR) which is the “largest integrated theme park resort” of Dubai.
ii. The visitors on the inauguration day were greeted by performers dancing on Bollywood music.The 157,935 square metre Bollywood Parks has 16 cinematic rides, 6 themed ­restaurants and a choice of 30 live shows based on bollywood blockbusters.
iii. Rajmahal Theatre the biggest attraction of Bollywood Parks has a capacity of 856 seats. This theatre has all the important collections of  ancient Indian cinema with new-age technology.
iv. Sholay: The Hunt for Gabbar Singh ,Don: The Chase , Don: The Chase, Mumbai Express , Mughal-e-Azam, Mumbai Express, Rajmahal Theatre are some of the attractions of the park.
v. General manager of Bollywood Parks : Thomas Jellum
vi. Dubai Parks and Resorts complex:  It is a part of DXB Entertainments PJSC and is located at Dubai, UAE. It has 3 parks namely Mationgate, Bollywood Parks and Legoland. Raed Kajoor Al Nuaimi is the CEO of DXB Entertainments PJSC


Islamic Banking or Sharia banking to be opened in India
i. The RBI has planned to open “Islamic window” in conventional banks
ii. Aim: Gradual introduction of Sharia-compliant ( interest-free banking) in the country.
iii. The Centre and RBI are taking steps to introduce Islamic banking to make financial Islamic Banking to be opened in Indian banksinclusion available to those sections of the society that are neglected due to religious reasons.
iv. Islamic or Sharia banking is a finance system based on the principles of not charging interest, which is prohibited under Islam. Conventional Bank on the other hand earn their money by charging interest and fees for services.
v. Due to various complexities of Islamic finance and various regulatory and supervisory challenges involved in the matter as well as Indian Banks have no experience in such field so, it will be introduced for some time in early stage.
vi. In the initial stage, some simple products that are similar to conventional banking products will be introduced as per the government’s notification and later after gaining some work experience, full fleged Islamic banking may be introduced.


India elected as the Vice Chair of Kimberely Process Certificate scheme 2018
i. An announcement has been made by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) on November 19, 2016, to elect India  as the vice chair for the year 2018 and chair for the year 2019 of Kimberly Process (KP) Certificate Scheme.
ii. The announcement was made at the KP Plenary Meeting which was recently held in Dubai.
iii. KP is a joint initiative of the governments, industry and civil societies to  prevent trade in “conflict diamonds“.
iv. These are the rough diamonds used by political groups to finance wars against legitimate governments.
v. India is founder member of Kimberley Scheme of United Nations for import/export of rough diamonds to ensure that conflict diamonds are not traded. The scheme is administered through the Department of Commerce.
vi. No import or export of rough diamonds shall be permitted without this certificate.The chair of this international body is selected by rotation among its members.

Google launched Virtual Exhibition on Iconic Indian Women
i. Google with the help of its cultural arm Google Arts & Culture launched a virtual artwork and exhibition on November 19, 2016, showcasing the achievements of the Indian women in the country.
ii. ‘Women in India: Unheard Stories’, is a special project consisting  of about 50 artworks and virtual exhibitions on the life of Indian women in history from past 2,500  years and from 26 cultural institutions across the country with more than 1,800 artworks, Google launched Virtual Exhibition on Iconic Indian Womenphotographs and videos, captures the stories of India’s unsung heroines ranging from goddesses to leaders, artists and doctors.
iii. Luisella Mazza, Head of Operations at Google Cultural Institute said that the project is an effort to recognize the impact of Indian women in history and their impact on culture and also inspire women and leaders of the future.
iv. Google Arts & Culture was created by the Google Cultural Institute to experience art, history, culture and other wonders of the world from over a thousand organizations worldwide.
v. Users can experience the historical exhibits that shows the stories from as early as the 1st century BC, along with the Indian Museum in Kolkata, on Saktirupena as well as how the Mother Goddess has been depicted in Indian art across millennia.The collections can also be explored on the web, iOS and Android.

Chandrababu Naidu commissions 5 MW solar power plant in West Godavari village
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu commissioned a 5 MW solar power plant on the Polavaram right canal bund at Gollagudem village in West Godavari district on November 21, 2016
About Solar Power Plant :
i. The plant was set up at a cost of Rs 37.58 crore in 37 acres. It will produce 8.06 million units of power annually.
ii. India’s first solar park with a capacity of 250 MW in Anantapuramu district in Andhra Pradesh, few months before
iii. Now the overall installed capacity of solar energy is 1000 MW.


Mahesh Bhalla Appointed As Chief Mentor Of StartupsClub India
i. Mahesh Bhalla was appointed as Chief Mentor of Bengaluru based StartupsClub India.He was the former Executive Director of Dell’s Consumer & SMB business in India
ii. He has 20-years experience  and also held leadership positions across various companies including Uber, India.
StartUps Club :
♦ StartUpsClub is the largest community for such ventures in India with over 10,000 plus entrepreneurs on its board
♦ Headquarters : Bengaluru
♦ Founders : Salma Moosa and Vivek.


India conducted Twin Trail of Prithvi-II missile in Odisha
i. A successful test firing of two nuclear capable Prithvi-IImedium-range ballistic missiles, was conducted by the Indian Armed Forces on November 21, 2016, back-to-back in quick succession, as part of training exercise, from a defence testcenter Chandipur in Odisha.
ii. The two surface-to-surface missiles were mounted on two Mobile Tatra Transporter-erector Launchers (MTL) and launched from the launching complex-III (LC-III) of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur.
iii. The first missile was fired at about 9.37 AM and the second one at 9.38 AM.Both the medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs) have a strike range of around 350 km and a tendency to carry about 500 kg to 1,000 kg of weapons.
iv. The missiles have been randomly chosen from the production stock and the launch activities were carried out by the specially formed strategic force command (SFC) and monitored by the scientists of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of training exercise.

Destroyer ship ‘INS Chennai’ commissioned into Indian Navy
i. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar commissioned ‘INS Chennai’, the third indigenously built guided missile destroyer in Kolkata class on November 21, 2016.
ii. ‘INS Chennai’ was built at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd in Mumbai; the ship’s construction brings an end to the crucial Project 15A of Indian Navy.
INS CHennaiiii. ‘INS Chennai’ is one of the largest destroyers in the Indian Navy’s fleet and also the final destroyer ship in this class.
iv. The overall length of the ship is 164 meters and displacement of over 7,500 tons,
v. The ship is armed with supersonic surface-to-surface BrahMos missiles and Barak-8 long range surface-to-air missiles.
vi. ‘INS Kolkata’, was first ship in this class that was commissioned on August 16, 2014 while the second was ‘INS Kochi’ which was commissioned on September 30, 2015.
vii. INS Chennai will be under the operational and administrative control of Flag Officer
Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command.
viii. Before being assigned to the Western Fleet the INS Chennai will undergo certain additional sea trials of the systems deployed on it.

GJ 536b – ‘Super Earth’ found orbiting nearby star
i. Scientists from the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of La Laguna (ULL) have discovered a new ‘super Earth’ planet GJ 536 b with a mass around 5.4 times that of the Earth.
ii. It is a very bright star near to our Sun. Its short orbital period of 8.7 days 
iii. A cycle of magnetic activity similar to that of the Sun has been observed, but with a shorter period of three years.

Zika Replicon System to boost Zika Vaccine development
i. Researchers from University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston,Texas in collaboration with Southwest University in Chongqing, China, and the University of Leuven in Belgium created a tool for studying the Zika virus.
ii. The tool named “Zika Replicon System” creates a versions of the Zika virus that are stripped of genes (Simpler form of Zika virus) that make them less infectious from the original virus, so that researchers can work safely.
Replicons are those part of genes that can replicate on their own. The new Zika replicon system has deleted some of the genes that give the virus its structure. Hence making it less dangerous.
iii. The Replicon System has been described by the team in the journal named EBioMedicine and it will be useful for vaccine development of Zika virus.
iv. Zika virus (ZIKV) is a member of the virus family Flaviviridae and the Flavivirus genus. The virus gets its name from Zika Forest of Uganda where the virus was first isolated in 1947.


Andy Murray beats Novak Djokovic to win ATP World Tour Finals, seals rank one for year 2016
i. Andy Murray(Britain) beats Novak Djokovic(Serbia) to win his first Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title held in London, Great Britain. Murray defeated Djokovic 6-3 6-4 on 20 November 2016.
Andy Murray beats Novak Djokovic to win ATP World Tour Finals, seals rank one for year 2016ii. With the win Andy Murray sealed the rank 1 for the year 2016 as this was the last indoor tennis tournament of the year.
iii. With the victory Murray ended the 4 years victory streak of Novak Djokovic in the ATP World Tournament. (2012-2015). Roger Federer has the record of winning highest number of Finals in the ATP tournament which equals to 6.
iv. This victory was the 24th consecutive win for Andy Murray and the title was 5th consecutive title for him. This year he has claimed 9 title in singles tournament.

Gaganjeet Bhullar defeats Jeev Milkha Singh to win Indonesia Open
i. Gaganjeet Bhullar of India won the Indonesia Open on November 21, 2016 with a four-under-par 68 in Jakarta for the second time in his career.Before this, Bhullar won the event in 2013.
ii. This was his seventh Asian Tour victory and a second title of this season with a 16-under-par 272 total at the Pondok Indah Golf Course.
iiiJeev Milkha Singh of India, a two-time Asian Tour No. 1 made second place with 17th hole to finish on 72.
iv. Thailand’s Danthai Boonma (67), Panuphol Pittayarat (68) and Tour rookie Johannes Veerman (69) of the United States also shared second position with Singh on 275s.
vi.Bhullar is now the fifth player after Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, Frank Nobilo of New Zealand, Frankie Minoza of the Philippines and Lu Hsi-chuen of Chinese Taipei to win the Indonesia Open twice.

India to bid for hosting 2019 Under-20 World Cup
iAll India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel has indicated that India will bid for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in 2019 to be hosted in India.
ii. The AIFF has expressed interest to FIFA Competitions Committee several times to host Under-20 at the earliest available opportunity in 2019, which will further give a boost to India’s grassroots initiatives.
iii.  AIFF insisted India is keen to host the elite junior tournament to continue the momentum built by hosting the under-17 World Cup, which will be hosted by six Indian cities in 2017.
iv. The progress made and publicity generated since winning the rights to host the Under-17 World Cup will encourage the continued development of the next generation of footballers.
FIFA: The Fédération Internationale de Football Association :
♦ The Football Association is the international governing body of association football, futsal and beach soccer.
♦ President: Gianni Infantino
♦ Headquarter: Zürich, Switzerland
♦ Founded: May 21, 1904,
♦ The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is the organisation which manages the game of association football in India.
♦ President‎: ‎Praful Patel
♦ Headquarters‎: ‎Dwarka, Delhi, India


World Television Day – November 21 2016
i. World Television Day is celebrated every year on November 21st 2016 to mark the World Telivision Day - November 21 2016date on which the first World Television Forum was held in 1996.
ii. The day was observed in order to give recognition of the increasing impact television has had on decision-making by bringing various conflicts and threats to peace and security to the world’s attention
iii. The day recognizes that television plays a major role in presenting different issue that affect people.