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Current Affairs Today – November 25 2015

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Current Affairs Today Nov 25

INDIAN AFFAIRS

10 New Schemes for Disabled Persons under the National Trust

Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot has announced the launching of Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan (Accessible India Campaign) on Dec 3 next month by the Prime Minister.

  • A nationwide flagship Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) is aimed at to achieve universal accessibility for Persons with Disabilities and to create an enabling and barrier free environment.
  • The number of categories of disability will also be increased from 7 to 19 so that more number of disabled could be brought into the ambit of Government’s new initiatives.

MoU inked to set up Railway Chair on Sustainable Mobility at TERI University

India Railways has inked a MoU to set up a Railway Chair on Sustainable Mobility at New Delhi campus of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) University.

  • The chair would focusand promote research on various aspects including sustainable mobility, green energy and use of energy efficient technology initiatives by the Railways.
  • TERI University would impart best knowledge and its professionals in all aspects of sustainability with a multi-dimensional perspective relevant to railways.

It would also seek to strength the on-going research in railways for sustainable development in order to open new vistas of research in the field of rail transport.

Kerala to organise ‘Orange Day’ campaign to end violence against women

Kerala government organised “Orange Day” campaign to mark the international day for elimination of violence against women as stipulated by the UN General Assembly.

campaign to end violence against women

  • The UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE Campaign, managed by UN Women to end violence against women has marked out the 25th of each month to raise awareness and prevent violence against women and girls.
  • Orange, the bright and optimistic colour is expected to represent a future free from violence against women and girls usually committed by men under the influence of alcohol and drugs

A host of dignitaries, including popular south Indian actress Parvathy and state DGP T P Senkumar, prominent women activists,political leaders and celebrities from the art world are participated in it.

  • Volunteers from student and women’s groups, such as the NSS, Kudumbasree and NSPC also took part.

Key points :

  • Kerala Capital – Thiruvananthapuram
  • Kerala PM – Ommen Chandy

Maharashtra government to launch Gopinath Munde Farmers Accident Insurance Scheme

The Maharashtra government to launch an accident insurance scheme for farmers named after BJP leader late Gopinath Munde, for farmers in the state.

The scheme will be implemented from 2015-16, an official said after the state Cabinet approved a proposal in this regard.

Munde Farmers Accident Insurance Scheme :

  • Each farmer will get Rs two lakhannual insurance cover.
  • The scheme will benefit 1.37 crore farmers in the 10-75 year age group.
  • The government will pay the premium of Rs 27.25 crorefor the scheme.

Clean Maharashtra Fund :

  • The state cabinet has also decided to set up a ‘Swachcha Maharashtra Kosh’ or ‘Clean Maharashtra Fund’ to manage funds for ‘Swachcha Maharashtra Abhiyan”.
  • Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted that Swachh Maharashtra Koshwill be used to achieve the objective of improving cleanliness levels in rural and urban areas.

Key points :

  • Maharashtra CM :Devendra Fadnavis
  • Maharashtra Governor : C. Vidyasagar Rao
  • Maharashtra Capital : Mumbai

Telangana Government declared 231 mandals as drought-hit

The Telangana Government declared 231 out of 443 rural mandals in the State as drought-affected and sought an immediate assistance of Rs.1,000 crore from the Centre for taking up relief measures.The decision was taken after by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar.

Highlights :

  • All the mandals in Mahabubnagar(64), Medak (46) and Nizamabad (36) districts as drought-hit.
  • Other mandals declared as drought-hit include 33 out of 37 in Ranga Reddy, 19 of 57 inKarimnagar, 22 of 59 in Nalgonda, and 11 of 51 in Warangal.
  • However, none of the mandals in Adilabad (52) and Khammam (41) districts made it to the list as the areas recorded good rainfall and the condition of crops was comparably good.

Key points:

  • Telangana CM :Chandrashekar Rao
  • Telangana Governor : E. S. L. Narasimhan
  • Telangana Capital :Hyderabad

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Modi visit to Malaysia & Singapore 2015 – An overview

PM Modi was on four days visit to Malaysia and Singapore for building trade ties and attracting investments to India and to attend the ASEAN-India Summit and 10th East Asia Summit. He also held talks with Prime Minister Najib Razak.

  • Indian Cultural Centre in Kuala Lumpur would be named after veteran freedom fighter and commander of the Indian National Army Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

India tops in Corporate Responsibility reporting: KPMG

In accordance with Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting 2015 India has been listed among top 10 countries with the highest rate of Corporate Responsibility (CR) information.

  • 79% companies report on CR in Asia Pacific, followed by77% in the Americas and 74% in Europe.
  • The report analysed reporting from 4,500 companies across 45 countries.

147 world leaders to attend Paris climate summit: France

World-Climate-Summit-banner

As per French Govt, 147 heads of state and government will attend a climate summit due to start in Paris next week. The November 30 – December 11 conference is tasked with signing the first-ever truly universal pact to curb global warming, and opens just two weeks after jihadists killed 130 people in the French capital.This would make it one of the biggest gatherings ever of world leaders outside the UN General Assembly in New York.

  • The previous largest climate gathering in Copenhagen in 2009, amassed some 115 world leaders.
  • The conference itself will gather some 40,000 delegates, journalists, observers and exhibitors.

The meeting’s goal is to produce a pact that can limit average global warming to 2 degrees Celsius over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

  • About 170 countries have already filed voluntary carbon-curbing pledges to underpin the future pact but scientists say the aggregate effect falls far short and Earth is on course for warming of about 3 C or more.

690 million children at risk from climate change: UNICEF

Two-weeks before the climate change conference in Paris, UNICEF released a report titled “Unless We Act Now” detailing how millions of children worldwide are at risk from climate change.

  • Approximately 530 million live in flood-prone areas, most of which are found in Asia.
  • Over 300 million of these children live in countries where over half of the population is poverty-stricken.
  • On the other side of the world, about 160 million children belong to are areas suffering from extreme drought, with more than half found in Africa.
  • Around 115 million live in areas where the risks of tropical cyclones are very high.

Several countries already submitted their national plans to help keep the global warming levels to 2 degrees Celsius.

Report Highlights

  • Scientific forecasts in the UNICEF report (PDF) showed that the number of children who will be saved from climate change increases with climate change plans’ level of intensity.
  • Children around the world are already being affected by the amount of CO2 emitted.
  • Worsening weather conditions affect the children through the cause of diseases including diarrhea and malaria.
  • The increasing rate of malnutrition during severe weather conditions also causes much harm.

This causes a vicious cycle that increases the children’s risks of being affected heavily when faced with succeeding predicaments.

Tunisia declares state of emergency after bus blast

Tunisia’s President Beji Caid Essebsi declared a nationwide state of emergency and a curfew in the capital after a bomb attack on a presidential guard bus killed at least 12 people. The most of the agents who were on the bus are dead after the attack in Tunis, which has become a target of jihadist violence since the 2011 revolution.

  • Essebsi, who cancelled a trip to Switzerland  and Carthage Film Festival director Brahim Letaief cancelled the night’s screenings.

Key facts :

  • Two attacks this year claimed by the Islamic State. A state of emergency was imposed after the Sousse killings and later renewed before being lifted at the beginning of October.

Key points :

  • Tunisia Capital :Tunis
  • Tunisia Currency : Dinar
  • Tunisia PM : Habib Essid

BANKING AND FINANCE

Axis Bank, Vistara to launch travel credit card

Private lender Axis Bank has joined hands with Tata-SIA joint venture airline Vistara to launch a travel credit card next year under a strategic partnership.

  • The co-branded travel credit card to be unveiled early next year will offer a host of privileges and benefits to the business and leisure travellers of Vistara, Axis Bank.
  • The country’s third full service airline after national carrier Air India and Naresh Goyal-promoted Jet Vistara last month for the first time breached the one lakh passengers mark since its launch in January this year.

Vistara :
Vistara is a joint venture between Tata Sons Limited and Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA) with Tata Sons holding the majority stake of 51 per cent in the company and SIA holding the remaining 49 per cent.

Key points :

  • Axis Bank Headquarters :Mumbai
  • Axis Bank CEO :Shikha Sharma

BUSINESS

Nielsen launches India’s first digital advertisement measurement system

Global marketing research firm Nielsen has launched India’s first digital advertisement measurement system that will help marketers in the country to find out the return on investment of their campaigns on the internet and mobile platforms.

  • The Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) system can measure all kinds of display and video ads across all digital platforms except Twitter and YouTube app on mobile phones and tablets.
  •  Social media giant Facebook provides backend support and big data information to help Nielsen.

The new system can measure online advertising audiences, reach and frequency of digital ad campaigns and gross rating points (GRP) of the ads like age group and gender of the audience who viewed the ad.

  • DAR is already operational in more than 12 countries including the US, China, Brazil and France.

Ratan Tata invests in Singapore’s startup Crayon Data

Tata Sons Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata has invested an undisclosed amount in Singapore-based big data company Crayon Data.

  • Crayon, a portfolio company of Jungle Ventures, had previously raised 10 million Singapore dollars in seed and Series, a funding from angel institutional investors like Jungle Ventures and Spring Seeds.
  • Founded in 2012 by Srikant Sastri and Suresh Shankar, Crayon offers a personalisation engine to empower enterprises to deliver ultra-personalised choices to their consumers.

The veteran industrialist Ratan Tata has been aggressively investing in start-ups, ranging from e-commerce firms to cab aggregators.

  • He has invested in firms like Snapdeal, Kaaryah, Urban Ladder, Bluestone, CarDekho, Sabse Technologies, Xiaomi and Ola.
  • Tata, who served as chairman of Tata Sons for over two decades until his retirement in 2012, has also joined some venture capital funds as advisor, including Kalaari Capital and Jungle Ventures in the past year.

APPOINTMENTS

Ex-Gujarat HC judge MR Calla elected President of retired judges body

Justice M R Calla, retired judge of the Rajasthan and Gujarat high courts, has been appointed as the President of Association of Retired Judges of Supreme Court and High Courts of India.

  • Justice Calla was unanimously elected as President of the association for a term of 2 years at the two-day Annual General Meeting of the association.

The other appointments made during the meeting were those of retired high court judges Justices S K Dubey and Bhaskar Rao as Vice Presidents of the association, Justice A K Srivastav was elected as the Secretary General and Justice Fakhruddin was re-elected as its Treasurer.

  • The association, a registered society functioning since 2002, works for the betterment of legal fraternity and deliberates on various legal problems and helps seekers of justice.

Anju Bobby George appointed as Chairperson of TOPS

Former long jump champion Anju Bobby George designated as the chairperson of Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS). She will assume her charge in the first week of December.

Anju Bobby George

  • She will succeed BJP parliamentarian and Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary Anurag Thakur.
  • She will look into the complaints of athletes facing difficulty in getting the requisite support and funding from the government as part of their preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

About Anju Bobby

  • Anju is the only Indian to have won a medal at World Championships (Paris, 2003).
  • She is presently a member of the TOPS identification committee.
  • She had won the silver medal at the World Athletics Championships (Monte Carlo) in 2005. But in 2014, she was declared winner of this Championship after disqualification of Russian Gold Medalist Tatyana Kotova on doping charges.
  • She was awarded with Arjuna award (2003), Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award (2004) and Padma Shri(2004).

About Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)

The TOP Scheme under the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) was formulated with the objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.

  • The focused disciplines of the scheme were Athletics, Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Wrestling and Shooting.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Nuclear-capable Dhanush missile successfully test fired

India successfully test fired one of its nuclear-capable ballistic missiles from a naval ship off the coast of Odisha. The trial was conducted from an undisclosed location, nearly 45 km from Puri and Paradip coast, Balasore, Bhubaneswar. The test was carried out by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Navy.

  • This was second missile test, earlier Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had conducted a developmental trial of interceptor missile Aswin Air Defence (AAD) from Abdul Kalam Island in Bhadrak district.

Japan successfully launches its first commercial satellite

A Japanese rocket lifted off with the national space programme’s first commercial satellite as Tokyo tries to enter a business dominated by European and Russian companies.

Venue : Tanegashima Space Center in southwest Japan.

Highlights of H-IIA:

  • The launch of the H-IIA rocket was originally scheduled at 3:23 pm(0623 GMT), but was delayed by roughly 30 minutes because a small ship unexpectedly came near the space station.
  • H-IIA carried TELSTAR 12Vcommunications and broadcasting satellite for Canadian satellite operator Telesat.
  • Japan wants to become a major player in the satellite launching business. It has tried to improve the H-IIA rocket to cut the cost of each launch to make its programme competitive.

US scientists breed GM mosquitoes using a gene editing method called Crispr to resist malaria infection

US scientists found a new way to resist malaria said that they have bred a genetically modified (GM) mosquito that can resist malaria infection.

  • The scientists put a new “resistance” gene into the mosquito’s own DNA, using a gene editing method called Crispr

Crispr :

  • When the GM mosquitoes mated their offspring inherited the same resistance.In theory, if these mosquitoes bite people, they should not be able to pass on the parasitethat causes malaria.
  • They took a type of mosquito found in India  Anopheles stephension which to experiment.
  • The University of Californiateam published the report in PNAS journal reports.

Key facts :

  • About 3.2bn people almost half of the world’s population are at risk of malaria.

ENVIRONMENT

New species of tree frog named Ghatixalus magnus discovered in Western Ghats

A new species of tree frog was discovered and another species of bush frog was rediscovered in the Western Ghats.The discovery published in the latest issue of International Taxonomic Journal Zootaxa.

  • It is a joint effort by a team comprised Robin Abraham, a researcher from the University of Kansas, USA and a researcher of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram.

Ghatixalus magnus 

The team discovered a new species of Rhacophorid tree frog of the genus Ghatixalus. The new species is named Ghatixalus magnus after its large size making it the biggest known tree frog from the Western Ghats.

Raorchestes flaviventris:

The team has also rediscovered a frog that had been evading for the past many decades. Raorchestes flaviventris is a species of rhacophorid bush frog described from the Western Ghats by George Albert Boulenger in 1882.

China building world’s largest animal cloning factory

China joint venture with Korea to build the world’s largest animal cloning factory in Tianjing China is set to save thousands of animals from extinction.

The 31.3 million dollar commercial facility is a follow up on the technique which made Dolly the Sheep, the first cloned mammal from Scotland on the 1996.

Highlights :

  • The plant in the TianjingEconomic and Technological Development Area which is a government sponsored business development park will clone animals which like pet dogs, beef cattle and racehorses.
  • The cloned animals will be mostly used commercial services and improving the quality of livestock.
  • The centre will produce 100,000  cattle embryosa year initially, eventually increasing to 1 million said by Xu Xiaochun, board chairman of Boyalife.

OBITUARY

Long standing football administrator TR Govindrajan dies

Govindarajan

R. Govindarajan(90) one of the long-standing and distinguished football administrators of the State, passed away.TRG served in Tamil Nadu Football Associationas Secretary for 24 years.

About TR Govindrajan:

  • TRG was the first Secretary of Madras Football Association.
  • As a referee, he officiated in all important tournaments in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. He was a National referee from 1958.
  • He was a match commissioner referee’s instructor and examiner of All India Football Federation (AIFF) and officiated in Santosh Trophy, National Football league and other National Championships.
  • He was the member of the AIFF Referees Board Committee for more than a decade and he was the President and Secretary of TFA’s Referees Board.

Famous Hindi writer Mahip Singh passes away

Writer, columnist and journalist Mahip Singh(85) passed away at a private hospital in Gurgaon after a brief illness, family members said.

About Mahip Singh :

  • Singh was born on August 15, 1930 in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Collection of his first short stories ‘Subah ke Phool‘ was published in 1959.His famous novels include ‘Ye Bhi Nhi’,Abhi Shesh Hai’ and ‘Bich ki Dhoop‘.Nearly he published 20 stories.
  • He had been editing literary magazine ‘Sanchetna‘ for the past 45 years. He established Bhartiya Lekhak Sangathan in 1978.
  • He was honoured by the central and state governments and various literary organisation for his contribution to literature.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

The United Nations General Assembly has designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women .One of the aims of the day is to highlight that the scale and true nature of the issue is often hidden.

Objective : To raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence.

Theme : ‘Orange the World’ campaign kicks off efforts to end violence against women and girls’.