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Current Affairs Today – November 24 2016

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cat-november-24-2016INDIAN AFFAIRS

Andhra Pradesh CM launches Water Distribution Monitoring Portal
i. Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N Chandrababu Naidu has launched the ‘Smart Water Distribution Monitoring’ web portal on November 23, 2016, which will enable the people to track the status of drinking water in the nearby water tanks.
ii. The Water Distribution Monitoring portal can be accessed from the website ourvmc.org.
iii. The portal has Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system that helps in reduction of water wastage as well as ensures uninterrupted water supply to the households.
iv. ourvmc.org is a digital platform to provide information regarding the activities Vijayawada Municipal Corporation in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

Government to open 62 new Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya
Government to open 62 new Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayai. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on November 23, 2016, gave approval for opening of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) in each of the 62 uncovered districts for which an amount of Rs.2,871 crore has been allocated.
ii. States with number of JNV’s that will be opened.

State No. State No. State No.
Chhattisgarh 11 Punjab 2 Rajasthan 1
Gujarat 8 Madhya Pradesh 3 Andaman & Nicobar 1
Delhi 7 jharkhand 2 Vlaharashtra 1
J&K 5 West Bengal 2 Meghalaya 4
Uttar Pradesh 5 Karnataka 3 Tripura 4
Arunachal Pradesh 2 Haryana 1


iii. Initially an amount of Rs.109.53 crore will be allotted for setting up of new JNV’s but from the fiscal year 2017-18 an amount of Rs.2,761.56 crore will be added and the work is expected to be completed by 2024-25.
iv. Near about 35,000 students will be benefitted from these new JNVs, which will provide good quality modern education to the talented children especially from rural areas, besides giving permanent employment to about 2914 individuals.
v. Due to residential and co-educational nature of JNV’s, it is compulsory for all the staff and students to reside in the Vidyalaya campus.
vi. This will provide opportunities to the local vendors for supply of essential commodities such as food, consumables, furniture, teaching material etc along with opportunity for local service providers such as barber, tailor cobbler, manpower for housekeeping and security services etc.

Defence Ministry Released a policy to re-assist blacklisting global defence firms
i. The Union Defence Ministry released new policy ‘Guidelines of the Ministry of Defence for penalties in business dealings with entities’ on November 21, 2016, to relook at the list of the companies that are banned from doing business in India.
ii. Atleast a dozen of global defence firms are presently banned from doing business in India
because of allegations of corruption against them. However, due to such blacklisting, the Indian military is not able to access many of the global products.
iii. This blacklisting policy was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on November 7 and the policy was released by the Defence Ministry on November 21.
iv. New Policy Features:
1.Ban period has been reduced to 5 years from the previous 10 years but the upper ban limit is not specified.
2.It allows doing business with black listed firm for achieving National security only for the purpose of supporting the critical spare and maintenance or if the firm is the only source to support a certain system, but with the approval of the Defence Minister.

Union Cabinet Approved Introduction of New Merchant Shipping Bill, 2016
i. The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the introduction of Merchant Shipping Bill, 2016 in the Parliament on November 23, 2016 in New Delhi.
ii. The Merchant Shipping Bill, 2016 is a revised version of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 and will abolish the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 as well as The Coasting Vessels Act, 1838.
iii. The Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 had been amended 17 times between 1966 and 2014 due to which the number of sections increased to more than 560 but with the introduction of new bill the provisions have been reduced to 280.
iv. The provisions of the new Bill will simplify the law governing the merchant shipping in India and promote ease of doing business, transparency and effective delivery of services in the country.
v. Survey, inspection and certification of vessels, which were scattered in various parts of the existing Act, are placed together to provide for a simplified system for convenience of Indian shipping industry.
The new bill focuses on:
1.Expansion of the Indian tonnage promotion and development of coastal shipping in India,
2.Introduction of welfare measures for seafarers
3.Registration of certain residuary category of vessels not covered under any bill and to make provisions for security-related aspects.

Wangala harvest festival celebrated in Meghalaya
i. Garo tribals People of Meghalaya celebrated the harvest festival of Wangala to marks the end of a period of toil for farmers wanting a good output from their fields.
Wangala harvest festival celebrated in Meghalayaii. On the first day of the festival, the people offer their agriculture produce to the Sun God, while on the second day or Kakkat, they will dance Wangala Dance
iii. This festival is also known as Annual 100-drum Festival.
Meghalaya State Festival :
♦ Bob Dylan Festival and Ahaia Festival.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India Ranks 138 in the Measuring the Information Society Report 2016
i. 2016 edition of the Measuring the Information Society Report was launched on 22 November 2016 during the World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Symposium (WTIS) 2016 held from 21 November to 23 November 2016 in Botswana, South Africa by UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
ii. India has been ranked 138th in global rank Index 2016 with a score of 2.69 while it has been ranked 26th in the Regional Rank Index 2016.
List of top 5 Economies

1 South korea 8.88
2 Iceland 8.83
3 Denmark 8.74
4 Switzerland 8.68
5 UK 8.57

QS Graduate Employability Ranking 2017 Ranks IIT Kharagpur Top Institution in India
i. According to the QS Graduate Employability Ranking for 2017, IIT Kharagpur has been ranked as the top institution in the country for the second successive year.
ii. IIT Bombay was also was listed in the top 100 Universities of the World after IIT Kharagpur, and are the only Indian Universities to be placed among top 100 Universities of the World in the ranking list.
iii. Other Indian institutions among the top 300 QS Graduate Employability Ranking are IIT Madras, IIT Delhi and University of Delhi.
The top 3 Universities ranked globally includes:

Rank University Country
1 Stanford University USA
2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) USA
3 Tsinghua University China

Turkey to Chair Energy Club of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) 2017
i. The 2017 Energy Club of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will be chaired by Turkey which is the first non-SCO country to do so.
ii. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey proposed to chair the Energy Club 2017 which was accepted in a meeting on November 22, 2016, by Russia and China and Turkey was elected to chair the Energy Club in 2017.
iii. Before this only members of the SCO chaired the presidency of the Energy Club in turn.
iv. The Turkish Energy Ministry will be the General Secretary of the Energy Club for one year.
Shanghai Cooperation Organization(SCO)
♦ It is a Eurasian political, economic and military organization and also known as Shanghai Pact.
♦ It was founded in 2001 with China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as its full fledged members
♦ Apart from SCO’s original members, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran, Mongolia, Belarus and Sri Lanka are the members of the SCO Energy Club.
♦ The SCO Energy Club brings together some of the world largest energy producers, namely turkey-to-chair-energy-club-of-the-shanghai-cooperation-organisation-sco-2017Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, with the world’s largest energy consumers, such as China and India.
Turkey
♦ Capital: Ankara
♦ Currency: Turkish lira
♦ President: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI doubles the E-wallet Limit to Rs. 20,000
i. The Reserve Bank of India on November 23, 2016 declared to increase the limit of the Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs) from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000 per month and Rs. 50,000 for Merchant Bank to facilitate digital transactions.
ii. The decision was taken to ease the problem faced by the public with the demonetization move of the Government.
iii. With the increment in the limits, consumers can make digital payment for all essential day-to-day items, make bill payments, travel bookings and other payments at over 1 million touch-points of these PPIs spread all across the country.
iv. Consumers can also transfer money to bank accounts up to Rs. 1,00,000 in a month by giving full KYC details.
v. For small and micro businesses, RBI has allowed merchants to accept up to Rs 50,000 in a month using prepaid wallets.
vi. In order to avail this facility small and micro businesses need only provide a self-declaration in respect of their status and details of their bank accounts.
vii. However the decision will be valid only till December 30 after which this decision will be again reviewed by the RBI.
Prepaid Payment Instruments
♦ Prepaid Payment Instruments facilitates purchase of goods and services against the value stored on such instruments.
♦ The prepaid instruments can be issued as smart cards, magnetic stripe cards, internet accounts, online wallets, mobile accounts, mobile wallets, paper vouchers and any such instruments used to access the prepaid amount.

IBBI Notifies regulation Under Bankruptcy Code, 2016
iThe Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board (IBBI) of India on 23 November 2016 notified three sets of regulations directing the eligibility criteria of becoming a professional member IBBI Notifies regulation Under Bankruptcy Code, 2016of an Insolvency Professional Agency or for registering with the IBBI as an Insolvency Professional Agency
ii. The regulation is applicable to
1.Insolvency Professionals,
2.Insolvency Agencies and
3.Model Bye-Laws and Governing Board of Insolvency Professional Agencies.
These regulations were notified under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 and will come into effect from 29 November 2016.
iii. Individuals eligible for registration as an insolvency professional
• Advocates, Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries and Cost Accountants with 10 years’ of practice or employment.
• A Graduate with 15 years of post-qualification managerial experience on passing the Limited Insolvency Examination.
• Any individual who has passed the National Insolvency Examination.
• However, Advocates, Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries and Cost Accountants with more than 15 years of practice experience can register without any examination till 31 December 2016 and such registration shall be valid for a limited period of six months.
• There will be National Insolvency Examination and Limited Insolvency Examination. The syllabus and format of these examinations will be published on the website of the Board at least one month before the examination.
• A limited liability partnership, a registered partnership firm or a company can be recognised as an insolvency professional entity if a majority of the partners or a majority of the whole-time directors are registered as insolvency professionals under the Code.
• An insolvency professional can use the organisational resources of a recognised insolvency professional entity subjected to the condition that the entity as well as the insolvency professional will be liable for all acts of omission or commission of its partners as insolvency professionals
iv. As per the regulations, a company registered under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013, with a minimum net worth of Rs. 10 crore shall be eligible to be an Insolvency Professional Agency.

30 banks join mobile-based national funds transfer system
i. According to National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), 30 private and foreign banks were joined the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to allows money transfer between any two bank accounts by using a mobile phone.
ii. This 30 banks can download the app from Google Play Store on their Android phones
iii. This app will enables customers to make online as well as offline payment to merchants from their bank accounts, without any details.
iv. UPI Project had started with 21 banks in August 2016.Earlier this month, five new banks including SBI, Allahabad Bank, Bank of Baroda, HDFC Bank and IDFC Bank joined with NPCI’s UPI.
National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) :
♦ The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) was set up in 2009
♦ Aim :  To allow all Indian citizens to have unrestricted access to e-payment services.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
♦ MD & CEO: AP. Hota

YES Bank, Gujarat Roadways join hands to digitise bus travel payments
i. Maharashtra based YES Bank, announced a partnership with Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) on November 24, 2016 to digitise payment of bus tickets for Gujarat People.
ii. Yes bank will install over 125 points of sale (PoS) terminals to facilitate booking through credit and debit cards at all GSRTC bus stops. The location of these terminals will support the ‘less-cash’ economy envisaged by the Centre.
iii. It will cover all municipal corporation locations and multiple cities of Gujarat.
Yes Bank :
♦ Headquarters: Maharashtra
♦ Founded: 2004
♦ MD & CEO:  Rana Kapoor

BUSINESS

Talcher Thermal Power Station Generates highest electricity in single day
i. Talcher Thermal Power Station of NTPC on November 23, 2016 generated 11.496 Million Units of electricity at 104.13% capacity utilization which is the highest single day generation among all power stations.Talcher Thermal Power Station
ii. The station had topped the national ranking for Highest Capacity Utilization among all power stations of the country during 2015-16.
iii. The power station has an installed capacity of 460 MW, four units of 60 MW and two units of 110 MW each.
iv. First 60 MW unit of the station was set up on 7th February 1968 in the state of Odisha.Talcher Thermal was taken over by NTPC from Orissa State Electricity Board in the year 1995.he station shall celebrate its 50th year of operation in 2017.
v. After becoming a part of NTPC, the station has witnessed transformation in the areas of Human Resources, Socio-Economic and Ecological Environment in its area through  CSR initiatives. Station has won several awards for its safety practices in these years.

Government to Impose Safeguard Duty on Steel Imports
i. Government of India has imposed a safeguard duty on import of certain steel products effective from effect from November 23, 2016 till May 22, 2019
ii. Aim: to ensure fair trade and protect domestic manufacturers from cheap imports.
iii. The safeguard duty has been imposed on import of hot rolled flat sheets and plates of alloy or non-alloy steel (excluding hot rolled flat products in coil form).
iv. The duty rate would be calculated after deducting the value of the goods and the anti-dumping duty payable when the import price is below USD 504 per ton.
v. The duty imposed would be 10% upto November 22, 2017 and will
gradually reduce to 8% between November 23, 2017 and November 22, 2018 while to  6% during the period from November 23, 2018 to May 22, 2019  2019
vi. The decision was taken after the Indian steel makers JSW Steel, Essar Steel, and Steel Authority of India had seeked safeguard measures against cheap imports flooding local markets and pressuring margins with the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Australia’s former women’s captain Karen Rolton inducted into the ICC’s Hall of Fame
i. Australia’s former women’s captain Karen Rolton has been inducted into the ICC’s Hall of Fame on November 24, 2016 at a ceremony during the dinner break on the opening Karen Roltonday of the third day/night Test between Australia and South Africa.
ii. Rolton was presented with a personalised cap by ICC Chief Executive David Richardson
iii. She has become the 81st player to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame and the sixth woman to receive the award.
iv. Rolton is the first out of the four legendary cricketers who will be formally inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame this season.
v. The other three are Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka, Australia’s Arthur Morris and England’s George Lohmann.
vi. The ICC Cricket Hall of Fame recognizes the achievements of the legends of the game from cricket’s long and illustrious history. It was launched by the International Cricket Council (ICC) of Dubai on 2 January 2009, in association with the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA).

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

N V Srinivasan appointed as Indo-American Chamber of Commerce President
i. NVS and Associates Managing Partner, N V Srinivasan is elected as its National President of Trade body Indo-American Chamber of Commerce for the period 2016-17 by the committee of the Chamber during the meeting held in Mumbai.
ii. Other Appointments: Bhasin and Company Managing Partner Lalit Bhasin and entrepreneur Vasant Subramanyan were elected as Executive Vice-Presidents respectively.
IACC :
♦ The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC-USA) is a non-profit organization serving the Metro Detroit area and beyond.
♦ Established in 1968

Indian-American Nikki Haley picked by Donald Trump as US Ambassador to UN
i. The US President-elect Donald Trump on November 23, 2016 appointed Nikki Haley of South Carolina to serve as US ambassador to the United Nations.
ii. With this she will become the first Indian-American to be appointed to a cabinet-level post in the US administration.Indian-American Nikki Haley picked by Donald Trump as US Ambassador to UN
iii. Haley (Nimrata “Nikki” Randhawa) 44-year-old daughter of Indian immigrants is the first minority and female governor to serve as Governor of South Carolina since 2011 and the youngest current governor in the United States.
iv. With her appointment to the top diplomatic post in UN, Haley would replace Samantha Power.
v. She would also be the first ever Indian-American Cabinet rank official in any administration.

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Zee group to buy stake in Reliance TV channels and radio business for 1890.4 crore
i. Reliance group has entered into a deal with Zee group to sell its 100% stake in TV channels and sell 49% stake in radio business to Zee group. The total deal will cost Rs 1890.4 crore($283 million) to Zee group.
ii. Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) which is a entity under Zee group, will acquire 100% stake in the Reliance Group’s General Entertainment TV business. For this ZEEL will pay Rs 298.4 crore to Reliance group. Tv channels includes Big Magic and Big Ganga, and four other TV licences.
iii. On the other hand the news media company Zee Media Corporation (ZMCL) will buy 49% stake in the radio business Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd(RBNL).This deal is worth Rs 1,592 crore.
iv. Due to regulatory rules of rabio business ZMCL will be able to acquire only 49% stake. RBNL operates 45 FM radio stations, and it has 14 stations in non-operational condition which was acquired last year by Reliance group.
v. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of year 2017.

ENVIRONMENT

Archaeologists uncover 7000-year old city in Egypt
i. Egypt Archaeologists have uncovered an ancient Egyptian city and 15 graveyard that belongs 5300 BC announced by antiquities minister Mahmoud Afifi
ii. The city and cemetery was discovered about 400 metres from the Temple of Seti I in the ancient city of Abydos which was founded by predynastic rulers in southern Egypt.
Egypt :
♦ Capital: Cairo
♦ Currency: Egyptian pound
♦ President: Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

SPORTS

Indian boxer Neeraj Goyat ranked 35th in World Boxing Council(WBC) Ranking
i. 24 year old Indian professional boxer Neeraj Goyat has made a place in World Boxing Council (WBC) rankings. Currently he is ranked at 35th spot in the welterweight category. He is the first Indian boxer to enter into the ranking.
ii. The win of Indian boxer over Australia’s Ben Kite in mid-October 2016 to retain WBC welterweight Asia title has made way for his entry into the leader-board. Neeraj has an overall record of winning 8 matches in 12 fights.
iii. Neeraj Goyat is now aiming for WBC international title which will clear his way to entry to Neeraj Goyat retained WBC Asia welterweight titletop 15. On entry in top 15, Neeraj can take part in world title matches also.
iv. Amir Khan of Great Britain is presently on the top stop in welterweight category.
About World Boxing Council
♦ Headquarters: Mexico City, Mexico
♦ President: Mauricio Sulaimán
♦ Founded : 1963

OBITUARY

Renowned Pakistani mountaineer Hassan Sadpara passes away
i. Renowned mountaineer Hassan Sadpara passed away in Rawalpindi, Pakistan
ii. Sadpara was the only Pakistani, who have climbed six of the world’s tallest mountains including Mt Everest (8848m), K2 (8611m), Gasherbrum I (8080m), Gasherbrum II (8034m), Nanga Parbat (8126 m) and Broad Peak (8051m).
iii. He was the second Baltistani to have summited all five of the 8000m peaks of Pakistan after Nisar Hussain.

Writer of Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Chennai Express’ K Subash dies
i. Tamil film-director K. Subaash passed away in Chennai on November 23, 2016. He was 57
K Subashii. Subaash is best known for directing Tamil film Chathriyan and penning the story of Shah Rukh Khan’s Chennai Express and Housefull 3.
iii. He started his career as an assistant to Mani Ratnam in 1987 Tamil film Nayagan, and a year later he made his directorial debut with Prabhu-starrer Kaliyugam.He also directed Vijayakanth-starrer Tamil actioner “Sathriyana” in 1991.
iv. He directed nearly 20 films with last one was Hindi action film ‘Insan‘.