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Current Affairs Today – November 23 2016

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The Palampur Assembly Constituency adopts E-Vidhan system, becomes first e-assembly constituency of the country
i. The Palampur Assembly Constituency in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh has adopted E-Vidhan system and became the first e-assembly constituency of the country which, making the House Business paperless.
ii. Brij Behari Lal Butail, the State Assembly Speaker, inaugurated the E-Vidhan system at a function held in Palampur town on November 22, 2016.
iii. The Palampur’s e-constituency is a step toward’s supporting the Government of India’s move of Digital India and include modern techniques in daily business.
iv. The E-vidhan syatem would enable the residents of the constituency to know about the development works going on by one click on computer
v. It would also help to electronically send the data regarding the requirement of funds for different schemes.
vi. The E-vidhan system would be introduced in other 67 constituencies of the state in next six months.

Haryana Government mandates Fitting Auto-Dipper in 4-Wheeled motor Vehicles
i. To ensure safety measure, Haryana government has made it compulsory for all four-wheeler vehicles in the state to install an auto dipper in the vehicles according to the Rule 106 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.
ii. The government has ordered that any vehicle which is not equipped with the auto dippers will not be registered by the registering authorities of the state or any authorized motor vehicle dealer who are authorized for registration.
iii. Besides, the vehicles which are already registered with the registering authorities will also be required to be fitted with the auto dipper which is compatible with the vehicle’s headlamp.
iv. The Auto-Dipper that will be fitted in the vehicles will have to be approved by Transport Department based on the technology under license from National Research Development Corporation or any Government of India undertaking like Vehicle Research and Development Establishment of the Ministry of Defence or Automotive Research Associates of India, Pune or other similar institutes as notified under Rule 124 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.
v. The manufacturer of auto dipper will have to submit the application to the Transport Department declaring that the auto dipper is compatible with headlamps as per AIS: 034 without disturbing the original wiring of the vehicles.
vi. The authorized distributor of the auto dippers will have to attach documents regarding sales, dealer network and service network in the state along with one sample of auto dipper for inspection and verification.

Government approved to buy 12 Dornier surveillance for Rs.2500 Cr
i. PM Modi lead Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) gave its nod to buy 12 upgraded Dornier surveillance aircraft for Indian Navy at a cost of about Rs 2,500 crore on Government approved to buy 12 Dornier surveillance for Rs.2500 CrNovember 23, 2016.
ii. This proposal first get the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) by the Defence Acquisition Council in October 2014
iii. Modified Dornier aircraft Do-228 will be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at its Transport Aircraft Division (TAD) in Kanpur.

Fifth International Tourism Mart Organised In Imphal
i. The fifth edition of International Tourism Mart began in Imphal on November 23, 2016.
ii. The three-day event organized in the capital of Manipur was inaugurated by Chief Minister of the state, Okram Ibobi Singh, and will be held between November 23– 25 2016.
iii. The event has been organized by The Union Tourism Ministry, in association with the Northeastern states and West Bengal.
ivAim: to provide a platform for interaction between buyers, sellers, media, government agencies and other stakeholders, to bring together tourism business unity from overseas as well as all northeastern states and West Bengal.
v. About 57 buyers and delegates from ASEAN countries, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Russia, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, Brazil, South Africa, the UK and the US, along with others are likely to participate in the event.
vi. The International Tourism Mart is an annual event organized in the North Eastern region of the country to highlight the tourism potential of that region in both domestic and international markets. The event is organized annually in the North Eastern States on rotation basis.
vii. Earlier the event took place in Guwahati, Tawang, Shillong and Gangtok respectively.
♦ Union Tourism Minister: Dr. Mahesh Sharma


South Korea & Japan again sign controversial intelligence deal 
i. Japan and South Korea signed a controversial agreement on November 23, 2016 to share defence intelligence on North Korea. In 2012 both counties were signed an intelligence-sharing deal , but Seoul backtracked at the time itself.
ii. The deal was opposed by South Korean opposition parties and activists.North Korea has labelled it as “a dangerous act” and Japan’s “re-invasion”.
Japan :
♦ Capital: Tokyo; Currency: Japanese yen
South Korea :
♦ Capital: Seoul; Currency: South Korean won


Bharti Airtel Starts First Payments Bank Service in Rajasthan
i. Airtel Payments Bank Ltd (Airtel Bank), a subsidiary of the country’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel, started its first pilot banking services in Rajasthan from November 23, 2016.
ii. Aim:  The banking service is aimed at testing systems and processes before a full scale pan Indian is launched.
iii. Any user can open an account with Aadhaar based paperless e-KYC without the requirement of any extra documents simply at any airtel retail outlet . Customer’s Airtel mobile number would be his/her bank account number.
iv. The customers will get a personal accidental insurance of Rs. 1 lakh with every savings account.

NABARD sanctions Rs 21,000 crore to district cooperative banks
i. NABARD has sanctioned Rs. 21,000 crores to the District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) to help farmers in Rabi agricultural seasons.
NABARDii. The DCCBs will disburse loans to farmers through the network of Primary Agricultural
Cooperative Societies (PACS). Government has chosen DCCB for loan disbursal because 40% of the small-scale farmers go to co-operative banks.
iii. The move has been taken to minimize the effect of demonetization effect on farmers. The government had already made provisions for accepting old denomination Rs 500 and RS 1000 notes at govt.-approved centres for purchase of seeds.
Further loans will be provided by NABARD as per requirement.
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)
♦ Headquarter: Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Established: 1982(on the recommendations of B.Shivaraman Committee)
♦ Chairman: Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala

Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam Berhad inks deal with Ramco for ERP integrated solution
i. Brunei’s largest bank Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam Berhad has signed a deal with India’s Ramco Systems to integrate its business processes across HR and enterprise resource planning functions with Ramco Systems’ Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
ii. The scope of engagement includes finance and accounting, inventory and procurement, as well as core HR functions, time and attendance, payroll, training and recruitment.
Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam :
♦ It is an Islamic Bank in Brunei.
♦ Established in 2005 with the merger of Islamic Bank of Brunei and Islamic Development Bank of Brunei.


Global Wealth Report shows rise in household wealth of India and rising disparity
i. The 7th Global Wealth Report, issued by the Credit Suisse Research Institute says that global wealth has risen by 1.4% i.e USD 3.5 trillion to USD 256 trillion. However in India the household wealth has decreased by 0.8% i.e $26 billion to $3,099 billion in 2016.
ii. Even though India has 0.8% decrease in household wealth in terms of Dollar, in its own currency (INR) the wealth in India increased by 5.1% in 2016. The difference in both data is due to adverse currency exchange movements.
iii. Personal wealth in India is dominated by real assets. These real assets is 86% of the total household asset in India.

China to Import Rice from 17 registered mills in India
i. China has confirmed its decision to import rice from 17 registered mills in India to ensure market access to Indian products in China.
ii. China will import both basmati and non-basmati rice from the mills located in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
iii. China is the world’s largest rice importer but India’s non-basmati rice did not get access to Chinese market as the item failed to meet Chinese norms on quality, health and safety.
iv. China feared of the possibility of the transportation of Khapra beetle (or cabinet beetle) pest along with Indian non-basmati rice.
v. However, after numerous requests from the India, Chinese officials from Administration of Quality Supervision,Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) visited India in September to inspect 19 rice mills registered with the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO).
vi. NPPO is the Indian government agency for inspecting the mills and granting certificates on plant health for export purposes. To export to nations including China, it is mandatory that Indian rice exporters are registered with NPPO.
vii. The NPPO assisted its Chinese Inspectors during the inspection for pest-risk analysis and plant quarantine purposes to ensure that the non-basmati consignments from India will be pest-free, safe and of good quality.
viii. AQSIQ grants approval for imports of a wide range of products and controls inspections, quality controls and has a great power in decision making.

BHEL commissions 93 MW power plant at Hazira for RIL
i. BHEL commissioned a second unit of the 4×93 MW steam turbine-based captive power plant (CPP) for Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on November 23, 2016 at Hazira in Gujarat.
ii. From this BHEL has added 600 MW capacity in its CPP segment in the current fiscal till date.Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) in Chhattisgarh
iii. It also planned for commissioning 3 units (two at Hazira and one at Dahej) during the current financial year.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ CEO: Atul Sobti
♦ Founded:1964


Barack Obama Presents the Presidential Medals of Freedom
i. President Barack Obama awarded the United States highest civilian award Presidential Medal of Freedom’ to 21 outstanding actors, musicians, athletes and innovators who inspired him over the years on November 22, 2016 in the White House East Room.
ii. Mr. Obama has given more Presidential Medals of Freedom than any previous President of the nation. He has awarded about 114 individuals with the honorary award
iii. It recognizes those people who have made an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private achievements.

Sunny Leone named in BBC’s list of 100 most influential women 2016
i. The famous Bollywood Actor Sunny Leone and 4 other Indian women have been named in the BBC’s list of 100 most influential women 2016.
Sunny Leoneii. BBC has been presenting this list for the past 4 years and focuses on women who have made outstanding contribution in their respective fields.
iiiSunny Leone (Karenjit Kaur Vohra), 35, is a Canadian and also a leading Indian film actress and model.
The other four Indian includes
1.Gouri Chindarkar: 20-year-old computer engineering student from Sangli Maharashtra, was one of the first children in India to experience a unique learning experience presently known as ‘School in the Cloud’.
2.Mallika Srinivasan : 57, CEO of Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd (TAFE), also known as the ‘Tractor Queen of India’  has grown her family company into the third largest tractor manufacturer in the world.
3.Neha Singh: 34-year-old actor and writer, founded a movement to encourage women to walk the streets in Mumbai to defy harassment.
4.Saalumarada Thimmakka: The oldest woman on the BBC 100 women list, Saalumarada Thimmakka ,105-year-old environmentalist from Karnataka  has planted more than 8,000 trees in 80 years.
v. The list also includes some high profile women including singer-songwriter Alicia Keys; US gold medal winning gymnast Simone Biles and French politician Rachida Dati.

Malini Subramaniam conferred with International Press Freedom Award
i. Malini Subramaniam, an Indian journalist has been conferred with the International Press Freedom Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists(CPJ) for her reporting from the Naxal-hit Bastar area, in Chhattisgarh.
ii. Three more journalist were also honoured including Oscar Martinez of El Salvador, Turkey’s Can Dundar and  Abou Zeid of Egypt.
iii. The four brave journalists have taken great risk to their life to report to their societies and the global community about critical news events
iv. Subramaniam, a reporter of the news website Scroll reported on abuses by police and security forces, sexual violence against women, the jailing of minors, the shutdown of schools, extrajudicial killings, and threats against journalists in the Bastar region in Chattisgarh.
v. Martinez investigated into the killings of eight gang suspects by police for which see received death threats and also forced to flee El Salvador.
vi. Dundar was arrested on November 26, 2015 and sentenced 5 years imprisonment, after publishing an article alleging the government intelligence service sought to send weapons to Syrian rebel groups
vii. Zeid has been jailed since August 14, 2013, on charges of weapons possession, illegal assembly, murder and attempted murder though he denied all charges.
viii. The CPJ International Press Freedom Awards honor journalists or their publications around the world who show courage in defending press freedom despite facing attacks, threats, or imprisonment.


Government appoints Yudhvir Singh Malik as new Chairman of NHAI 
i. Former Haryana cadre IAS officer, Yudhvir Singh Malik is appointed as the Chairman of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on November 23, 2016. He will replace Raghav Chandra.
Yudhvir Singh Malikii. The current chairman Raghav Chandra has been appointed as secretary of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) :
♦ NHAI was created through the promulgation of the National Highways Authority of India Act, 1988.
♦ Dr. Yogendra Narain was the first Chairman of NHAI.
♦ The NHAI has the mandate to implement the National Highways Development Project (NHDP).


Sun Pharma to acquire 85% stake in Russia’s Biosintez for $60 million
i. The largest drug firm of India, Sun Pharma, has entered into an agreement with Russian pharma company JSC Biosintez to acquire 85.1 percent equity stake in the Russian firm for $60 million.
ii. Out of the total deal value of around $60 million, $24 million will be given for acquiring 85.1 percent equity stake in the Russian firm while the remaining $36 million will be  assumed as Russian company’s debt.
iii. The transaction is however subjected to the approval of the Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service and other closing conditions and is expected to be completed by end of 2016,
iv. This acquisition will enable the Drug Major to use local manufacturing capability to serve the Russia pharmaceutical market more effectively,”
v. JSC Biosintez is a Russian pharmaceutical company which is engaged in manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical products in Russia and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) with annual revenues of approximately $52 million for 2015.
Sun Pharmaceutical :
♦  It is an Indian multinational pharmaceutical company that manufactures and sells pharmaceutical products primarily in India and the United States.
♦ Headquarter: Mumbai, Maharashtra,
♦  Founded: 1983
♦  CEO: Dilip Shanghvi

PepsiCo to Acquire Probiotic Drinks Maker KeVita
i. PepsiCo Inc. announced to acquire probiotic and kombucha beverage maker KeVita Inc on November 22, 2016.Pepsico
ii. Aim: To diversity the portfolio to tilt more heavily toward beverages that are in the health and wellness space of the grocery aisle at a time
iii. PepsiCo was paying $200 million to KeVita Inc expand its “health and wellness offerings.”
PepsiCo Inc
♦ PepsiCo, Inc. is an American multinational food, snack and beverage corporation headquartered in Purchase, New York
♦ Founders: Donald M. Kendall, Herman Lay


Tianlian I-04 Data Satellite successfully launched by China
i. China has successfully launched its 4th data satellite, Tianlian I-04, on November 22, 2016.
Aim: To provide a global network that will provide data relay, measurement and control services for Chinas manned spacecraft, space labs and space stations as well as nation’s Earth-orbiting resources satellites.
ii. The satellite was launched at 11:24 pm Beijing time, on a Long March-3C carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest Sichuan province.
iii. The satellite is developed by the China Academy of Space Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.
iv. Tianlian I-04 data satellite’s launch was the 241st mission of China’s Long March series of rockets.
v.The first data relay satellite launched by China was, the Tianlian I-01, in April 2008.The second satellite Tianlian I-02 was launched in July 2011, and the third Tianlian I-03 was launched in July 2012.
vi. According to the Xichang Satellite Launch centre, 10 or more satellites will be launched by next year.
♦ President: Xi Jinping
♦  Currency: Renminbi
♦  Capital: Beijing


The 13th World Robot Olympiad(WRO) to be held for the first time in India this year
i. The 13th World Robot Olympiad(WRO) will be held at the India Expo Mart, Greater Noida , India from 25 to 27 November 2016. The theme for the event this year is ‘Rap the Scrap’. This year a new robot football game named WRO Football has been included in the Olympiad.
ii. Over 2,000 students from 54 countries will participate in the event and find scientific ways using robotic technology to reduce, manage and recycle waste produced from daily use.
iii. The event will be organized by India STEM Foundation (ISF) in collaboration with the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) under the aegis of Ministry of Culture.
iv. At the 12th World Robot Olympiad-2015 that was held in Doha, Qatar, Indian students won three medals. The theme last year was ‘Robot Explorers’
About WRO
♦ The official name of the WRO is now World Robot Olympiad Association Ltd.
♦ Headquarter: Singapore
♦ Chairman : Mr. KingHui Law (Malaysia)


Renowned Hindi & Bhojpuri writer Dr Viveki Rai passes away
i. Renowned Hindi and Bhojpuri litterateur Dr Viveki Rai passed away on November 22, 2016 in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. He was 92.
ii. Rai took part in the freedom movement and he also wrote several articles and columns in magazines and news papers
iii. He wrote about fifty books of stories, essays and novels. His novel Sonamati recognized as one of his best literary work.
iv. He was awarded with Yash Bharti in 2006 by UP government for his literary contribution.

Former ICRA CEO Pranab Choudhury passed away
i. Former Chief Executive of ICRA Ltd, Pranab Kumar Choudhary passed away on November 23, 2016. He was 69.
ii. Choudhary was the chairman of Peerless Securities Ltd.He retired from ICRA in January 2015 as the vice chairman and group CEO.
iii. He was a director on the boards of several companies including ONGC, Tata Capital Financial Services Ltd and Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels Ltd and Peerless General Finance & Investment Company Ltd
ICRA Ltd :
♦ ICRA Limited (ICRA) is an Indian independent and professional investment information and credit rating agency
♦ It was a joint-venture between Moody’s and various Indian commercial banks and financial services companies.
♦ Headquarters: Gurgaon
♦ Established: 1991.
♦ CEO : Naresh Takkar

Eminent physicist and ex-ISRO chief Prof MGK Menon passes at 88
i. Professor MGK Menon, an eminent physicist, who had made significant contribution in the development of science and technology in the country over the last five decades, died on November 22, 2016 in New Delhi.
Acclaimed physicist and ex-ISRO chief Prof MGK Menon dies at 88ii. He was 88 years and suffering illness since few days. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
iii. He was the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation in 1972 and the Director of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) at the age of 35 years.
iv. Menon had earlier served as a minister of state for science and technology and education in the V P Singh government as well as Secretary in the Departments of Science and Technology and Environment in the Union government.
v. Menon received Padma Vibhushan award for his scientific work in cosmic rays, particle physics and distinguished himself with investigations in the field.