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Current Affairs Today – November 25 2016

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CAT NovemberINDIAN AFFAIRS

PM Modi Visited Punjab To Mark 350 Birth Anniversary Of Guru Gobind Singh
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Punjab on November 25, 2016 to attend a function marking the 350th birthanniversary of tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh ji at Sri Anandpur Sahib in Rupanagar district.
ii. During the visit Prime Minister  offered prayers at Gurdwara Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib in Anandpur Sahib, the second holiest of Sikh shrines after Amritsar’s Harmandir Sahib or Golden Temple and was presented a ‘siropa’ or robe of honour by the Sikh priests at the historic gurdwara.
iii. During the visit, Mr Modi also laid the foundation stone of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bathinda. Modi was accompanied by Punjab Cm PS Badal, Punjab Deputy CM, Sukhbir Badal, Union Health Minister JP Nadda, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Vijay Sampla and many other Akali leaders.

Potential Hydro Power Projects in Himalayan Glaciers Fears Chances of Floods
i. A study was conducted by Swiss researchers on ‘The impact of climate change in the Himalayas’.
ii. The study analyzed the Himalayan Glaciers and their possible future impact on lives of the people in States across the region.
iii. The study revealed that the ‘potential hydro power projects in the Himalayan region would face chances of increased floods from the formation of new lakes and the expansion of existing ones due to melting glaciers’.
iv. The study was conducted on 129 hydro projects from India.
v. The number of lakes in the Parvati Valley catchment area was 12 lakes in 1989 which increased to 77 lakes in 2014. Similarly in the Beas basin, six lakes (in 1989) had increased to 33 (in 2011).
vi. 441 hydro power projects across India, Nepal, Pakistan and China accounts for 66% of the constructed and the potential projects, and are on possible Glacier Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) area.
vii. If the projects are constructed much closer to the Glaciers then they would have to experience higher flow of water and almost one-third of the dams could be filled with extra water, much more than required, due to melting glaciers.
viii. However if corrective measures are taken like emphasis on extra design or safety features, the problem of flood may be reduced.

Center to Form Committee to Develop Digital Payment Platform for Government-Citizen Transactions 
i. The Central Government has constituted a committee in New Delhi on November 25, 2016 to develop a digital payments option for the payment of all government-citizen transactions to flush out black money and corruption from the country.
ii. The Committee of Officers, headed by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, will identify and operationalise the user-friendly digital payment options in all sectors of the economy, as early as possible.
iii. The committee will also identify various infrastructural bottlenecks affecting the use of digital payment options.
iv. The committee will meet central ministries, regulators, state governments, district administration, local bodies, trade and industry associations and make attempt to estimate costs involved in various digital payments options and take measures to make such transactions between government and citizens cheaper than cash transaction.
v. Members of the Committee of Officers include Department of Financial Services Secretary, Ministry of Finance; Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology; Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion; Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management; MD & CEO, National Payments Corporation of India; Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development; Chairman, National Highways Authority of India, and Adviser, NITI Aayog.

Ministry of Culture Releases Coins on 500th Anniversary of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
i. Shri Narendra Kumar Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Culture released a Commemorative Non-Circulation Coin of Rs.500 and a Circulation Coin of Rs.10 on November 25, 2016, to mark a year-long celebration of “500th Anniversary of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Coming to Vrindavan” .Narendra Kumar Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Culture released a Commemorative Non-Circulation Coin of Rs.500 and a Circulation Coin of Rs.10 on November 25,
ii. Government of India is celebrating the ‘500th anniversary of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Coming to Vrindavan’ since a year by organizing various programmes and Exhibitions on Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s life and teachings in association with Vrindavan Research Institute and ISKCON.
iii. An inaugural function was organized by Vrndavan Research Institute at Vrindavan on 25 November, 2015.
iv. Another function was organized by Vrindavan Research Institute at Mayapur, Nadia, the birth place of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, during 05-07 November, 2016.
v. A Mobile Exhibition was organized named “Shri Chaitanya Prem Rath” which started from Vrindavan on 08 February, 2016 passed through Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Delhi and finally ending back to  Vrindavan.  On 09 March, 2016.
vi. ISKCON, also organized a separate function in Delhi on 28 May, 2016.
vii. Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, a famous Hindi Saint and social reformer was a promoter for the Vaishnava School of Bhakti Yoga.  Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu propagated the worship of Shri Krishna and popularized the chanting of “Hare Krishna Mantra” to all without any discrimination.

Railways to introduce ‘Tri-Netra’ to check collisions 
i. Indian Railways all set to launch “Tri-Netra(Terrain Imaging for diesel drivers infrared, enhanced optical and radar assisted system)” to check collisions between tracks.
ii. Tri-Netra system is made up of a high-resolution optical video camera, high-sensitivity infrared video camera and a radar-based terrain mapping system
iii. This system will help to reduce train accidents by keeping a record of the track maintenance and will also provide better visibility during foggy days.
iv. It will provides a locomotive pilot a clear view of up to one kilometre on a straight track.
Indian Railways :
♦ Minister of Railways : Suresh Prabhu
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Founded: 1853

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Mumbai Ranked Among World’s Top Trending Tourist Destinations For 2017
i. The Financial Capital of India, Mumbai has been ranked among the World’s top Tourists destinations for 2017.The Booking.com analyzed the top 300 destinations based on growth in search and bookings to find the most upcoming places to visit in 2017.
ii. According to a survey, Mumbai, the entertainment capital of India, has recorded increased volume of tourists and greater than average growth in bookings, as well as the most searched destinations in comparison to last year and is likely to see an increase in domestic and international tourist flow next year.
iii. Besides Mumbai, Reykjavik(Iceland),Cairns (Australia), Savannah (US), Puerto Rico, Kyoto (Japan) and Jericoacoara (Brazil) also ranked among the top spots.
Top 3 destination:

1  Reykjavik, Iceland
2  Cairns, Australia
3  Savannah, US

BANKING & FINANCE

SEBI relaxes norms for Angel Investors
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on November 23, 2016, has relaxed the rules for angel funds in order to boost more investment for new start-ups in the country.
♦ Angel investors are financiers who put money in new companies at the early stage of start-up of companies, mostly in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity.
Relaxed norms
i. The market regulator has raised the total number of angel investors to invest in a start-ups to 200 from 49 and reduced the minimum investment amount to Rs. 25 lakh from the previous Rs. 50 lakhs.
ii. The regulator has allowed angel funds to invest in start-ups that were set up within 5 years before the date of investment, which earlier was 3 years.
iii. The minimum lock-in period has also been reduced to 1 year from previous 3 years.Angel investors will also be allowed to invest up to 25% of their funds in overseas start-ups.SEBI relaxes norms for Angel Investors
iv. The move will provide easy accessibility of funds for entrepreneurs so that they can start new businesses.
SEBI:
♦ It is the regulator for the securities market in India.
♦ Chairman: U.K. Sinha
♦ Headquarter: Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Founded: 12 April 1992

ESAF ties up with FIS for micro finance bank  
i. India’s largest microfinance providers ESAF selected FIS as the bank’s technology partner to launch ESAF’s small finance bank.
ii. The Small Finance Bank was created to serve micro- and small-credit needs for women in parts of India
iii. FIS will provide a fully integrated banking and payments platform through a totally outsourced delivery model, which switchi .
ESAF Microfinance :
♦ Headquarters : Thrissur, Kerala
♦ Founder & CMD : K. Paul Thomas

South Indian Bank launches contactless debit card
i. Kerala based South Indian Bank has launched contactless debit card which is based on Near Field Communication (NFC) technology on November 2, 2016.
ii. Customers can also use this card as contact chip card. If customers use this card at the contactless PoS terminal, the customer simply has to just wave the card on the terminal and the payment is processed wirelessly in a fast and secure manner.
South Indian Bank :
♦ Headquarters : Thrissur City, Kerala
♦ MD and CEO: V.G. Mathew
♦ Tagline: Experience next generation banking

BUSINESS

German based BSH Household Appliances Group opens technology centre in Bengaluru
i. Europe’s largest manufacturer of home appliances, BSH Household Appliances Group has opened India’s first technology centre at Adugodi in Bengaluru on November 25, 2016.
BSHii. This centre will help BSH to further develop localised technologies for the Indian market and to become the heart of product development for the Asia Pacific region as well as emerging countries in South America and Africa.
Key people :
♦ Chairman of the Management Board and Chief Executive Officer, BSH Household Appliances Group : Dr Karsten Ottenberg
♦ MD & CEO of BSH Household Appliances Manufacturing Pvt Ltd : Gunjan Srivastava

Airbnb signs MoU with Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA) to boost rural tourism
i. The world’s largest online homestay marketplace Airbnb signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA) on November 23, 2016 to promote tourism in rural areas.
ii. This initiative will begin in Gujarat and later expand to other states.
iii. As per MoU, Airbnb and SEWA will train SEWA members on home sharing, hospitality and amenity standards, and responsible hosting practices.
iv. Airbnb will use its digital platform to create awareness of SEWA homes to its community of international and domestic guests.
Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA) :
♦ Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) is a trade union based in Ahmedabad, India
♦ Founder : Ela Bhatt
♦ Founded : 1972

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Manoj Bajpayee Awarded Best Performance Award at 10th Asia Pacific Screen Award
i. Bollywood actor Manoj Bajpayee on November 24, 2016 won the Best Performance Award by an Actor at the 10th Asia Pacific Screen Awards, held in Brisbane.
ii. The event was hosted by Australian actor David Wenham and presenter Anjali Rao.
iii. Manoj was awarded for his role as Professor Siras in “Aligarh”, directed by Hansal Mehta, a powerful and personal drama based on true events.Manoj Bajpayee Asia Pacific Screen Award
iv. Besides, Nawazuddin Siddiqui also received a Special Mention in the Best Performance category for his role in Anurag Kashyap’s “Raman Raghav 2.0”.
v. In addition to the main awards, a jury grand prize special mention award was also given to eight-year-old Sunny Pawar from India for his role of young Saroo Brierley in “Lion” directed by Garth Davis.
About Asia Pacific Screen Awards
♦ The Asia Pacific Screen Awards is the highest award for films in Asia Pacific region and was given in 2007 for the first time.
♦ The awards is organized by the international cultural initiative of the Brisbane City Council, Australia to honor films, actors, directors, and cultures of the Asia-Pacific region.
♦ Winners of the awards are determined by an international jury and films are judged on cinematic excellence.
♦ The 2016 edition of the awards marked the 10th year of the awards in recognizing and promoting cinematic excellence and cultural diversity of the world’s fastest growing film region comprising of 70 countries.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Nalanda University Chancellor  George Yeo resigns from post
i. The Chancellor of Nalanda University resigned his post on November 25, 2016.He was taken this decision because of autonomy in the university.
ii. The university Board was reconstituted by President Pranab Mukherjee as its Visitor on November 21. He also approved giving temporary charge of Vice Chancellor to current VC Gopa Sabharwal’s whoes one-year extension expired on November 24, 2016.
Nalanda University Chancellor George Yeo resigns from postiii. The new governing board will be a 14-member body which will be chaired by the chancellor. It will also comprise vice-chancellor, along with five members nominated by India, China, Australia, Laos PDR, and Thailand.
iv. Former revenue secretary NK Singh was a member of the Nalanda Mentors Group.
Nalanda University :
♦ Nalanda University is located in Rajgir, Bihar. The University began its first academic session on September 1, 2014
♦ It was proposed by  A. P. J. Abdul Kalam in 2006
♦ The Nalanda University Bill, 2010 was passed on 21 August 2010 in Rajya Sabha and 26 August 2010 in Lok Sabha.

Upma Chowdhary Named First Woman Director Of LBSNAA
i. Former IAS officer Upma Chowdhary was appointed as the Director of Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) at Mussoorie.She will replace Rajeev Kapoor.
ii. She is the first woman director of LBSNAA. She would be the 23rd director and first woman director of the prestigious academy, imparting training to officers of civil services.
Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA):
♦ The Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) is a research and training institute on public policy and public administration in India.
♦ Headquarters : Mussoorie, Uttarakhand
♦ Established: 1959

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Seventh Landing Craft Utility Ship Launched at GRSE
i. Indian Navy launched the seventh ship of the LCU MK IV project, LCU-L57 on 24 November 2016 at a ceremony at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE), Kolkata.
ii. Chairman & Managing Director of GRSE Ltd, Rear Admiral AK Verma (Retd), commenced the welcome of the ceremony, which was followed by inaugural of the ship by the Chief Guest Dr. Subhash Ramarao Bhamre , Hon’ble Raksha Rajya Mantri.Seventh Landing Craft Utility Ship Launched at GRSE
iii. This is the largest ship of this kind built anywhere in the world. The ship is cost effective, fuel efficient and best suited for protection of island territories of Andaman and Nicobar in the Bay of Bengal as well as Lakshadweep islands in the Arabian Sea.
iv. The ship will be extremely useful for joint operations carried out by the Indian Navy and Indian Army for ensuring maritime security and protection of remote islands
v. It also has a capability to transport two tanks or four special vehicles and 160 Army troops for landing in remote areas.
vi. LCU-L57 is the seventh vessel in the series of eight Landing Craft Utility Ships being designed and built by M/s GRSE for the Indian Navy.
vii. The ship can be deployed for multirole activities like beaching operations, humanitarian and disaster relief operations and evacuation from distant islands.

Food Bars being developed by NASA for Deep Space Mission
iNASA Scientists are developing a variety of food bars for the astronauts in  the Orion spacecraft so that they can eat breakfast during their travel beyond the Moon to explore deep space destinations.
ii. When astronauts explore deep space destinations, they require a robust diet to keep them healthy and sharp.
iii. Orion has limited room inside it to accommodate the supplies and food that the astronauts require during their missions and cannot rely on resupply to deliver what astronauts need, so the Orion crew needs to take everything they need with them.
iv. The aim of food bars is to save some space in the spacecraft by reducing the packaging and storing of food and developing a single calorically dense breakfast substitution for Orion astronauts.
v. A number of food bars in the spacecraft will help astronauts to select a variety of flavors like orange, cranberry or barbeque nut for their breakfast. For lunch and dinner also Orion astronauts will be able to select from similar items and have a food warmer to help them prepare their meals.
vi. The food bars being developed by NASA’s Human Research Programme have been tested by crew members inside HERA, the agency’s three-story habitat designed to give similar condition as in exploration scenarios.
NASA:
♦ The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research
♦ Headquarter: Washington, D.C.
♦ Founded: July 29, 1958
♦ Administrator: Charles Bolden

ENVIRONMENT

Hurricane & Earthquake simultaneously attacked Central America
i. Two natural disasters including a powerful hurricane and an offshore earthquake hit the Central America simultaneously on November 24, 2016 in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Costa Rica.
ii. Initially 175 km per hour destruction storm, Hurricane Otto, hit Nicaragua’s southern Caribbean coast.
iii. An hour later, an earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.0 hit El Salvador in the Pacific Ocean. It was felt also in Nicaragua’s capital Managua and in Costa Rica.
iv. No immediate reports of damage or casualties was reported. However, a tsunami alert was issued for Pacific coasts, and El Salvador.
v. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega declared a national emergency after facing a hurricane and powerful tsunami.

SPORTS

Arunachal Government renames Chief Minister’s Trophy for Football and Volleyball after martyred Hangpan Dada.
i. The Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Pema Khandu, on November 24, 2016, adopted a decision to rename the Chief Minister’s Trophy for Football and Volleyball (men’s and women’s) after martyr Hangpan Dada.
ii. The decision was taken during the State Development Council (SDC) meeting convened under his chairmanship
iii. The state-level trophy for football and volleyball, both in men and women categories, would now be called as Hangpan Dada Memorial Trophy.
iv. The troph, had been launched at Sangay Lhaden Sports Academy at Chimpu in November 2013 by the then Chief Minister NabamTuki.
v. Havildar Dada, who died in Kupwara on May 27, 2016 after killing three terrorists, was awarded Ashok Chakra on the eve of Independence Day by President Pranab Mukherjee.

P.V Sindhu climbs to 9th spot in BWF Badminton rankings, Saina slips 5 positions
i. P.V Sindhu has been ranked 9th in the latest BWF World Badminton Women ranking. She SINDHU_1448075gjumped 2 positions from 11th rank to reach 9th spot. While former world number 1 Saina Nehwal, slipped 5 places to reach 11th spot in the ranking.
ii. On 20 Novmber 2016, P.V. Sindhu defeated Sun Yu of China to win the China Open Super Series title which gave her entry into the top 10 ranking. Presently Sindhu is the top Indian shuttler in the ranking with 64794 points two places ahead of Saina who has 63,719 points as on 25 November 2016.
iii. The ranking has been topped by Olympics gold medal winner Carolina Marin of Spain. Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand is on 2nd spot.

Maha Haddioui becomes the first Arab professional golfer to play in Ladies European Tour
i. Maha Haddioui a golfer from Morocco turned professional golfer in 2011. She is the first professional golfer from Arab region who will play in the Ladies European Tour in the Qatar Ladies Open 2016 to be held between 23 November 2016 and 26 November 2016 in Doha, Qatar
ii. 108 golfers from around the world have taken part in Qatar Ladies Open 2016 from various countries including New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan, Morocco and several nations across Europe.
iii. In December of 2012, she becomes the first Moroccan and Arab professional golfer to reach the
European Tour. At Rio Olympics 2016, she finished at the last spot in women’s golf.
iv. India’s 18-year-old Aditi Ashok who turned professional this year in 2016 has also taken part in the tournament.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

Nalini Sriharan’s autobiography, “Rajiv Gandhi assasin, hidden truths, Priyanka meeting Nalini” Released.
i. An autobiography of Nalini Sriharan, titled “Rajiv Gandhi assasin, hidden truths, Priyanka meeting Nalini” was released on November 24, 2016 by MDMK founder Vaiko in Chennai in the presence of various pro-Tamil leaders including VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan.
ii. The book features the life of  Nalini Sriharan, a convict serving life term in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.The book has been compiled and penned by journalist and writer Pa Ekalaivan.
iii. The book explains the circumstances from Nalini’s point of view which led to her involvement in the case, and the hardships and torture she went through inside the prison and her surprise meeting with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in the Vellore Central Prison in 2008.
iv. The book was written in Tamil titled “Rajiv Kolai: Marikapatta Unmaigalum Priyanka Nalini Santhippum, and then translated in English.
v. MDMK founder Vaiko while releasing the book said it should be translated into other languages and reach all the nations where Tamil speaking people live. “The book has all the qualities for being made into a movie”.
vi. Thol Thirumavalavan, president of VCK, said that the book confirmed three things, Ekalaivan is a fine writer, the seven people accused in the case were innocent and state violence is cruel.”

OBITUARY

Former Editor of Times of India Dileep Padgaonkar passes away
i. Veteran journalist and a well-known author and former editor of Times Of India, Dileep Padgaonkar died at a private hospital in Pune on November 25, 2016 the age of 72.Former Editor of Times of India Dileep Padgaonkar passes away
ii. He had been unwell for some time and was admitted to a hospital on November 18 following a heart attack. Later, he suffered diabetes and kidney-related problems.
iii. Born in Pune and educated at St Vincent High School and Fergusson College in Pune, he went to France and studied for a doctorate at the University of Paris-Sorbonne.
iv. Padgaonkar began his career in journalism at the age of 24 as the Paris correspondent of The Times of India and later in 1988, he was appointed the editor.

Freedom Fighter Bhikari Charan Mohanty Passes Away
i. Eminent freedom fighter Bhikari Charan Mohanty passed away in Bhubaneswar,  Odisha. He was 94
ii. Mohanty is a close associate of Badachana Gandhi and he was imprisoned twice during Quit India Movement.
iii. He was known among the freedom fighters for his revolutionary songs and Mohaty’s last performance were performed at Krushnanagar village in Jajpur district.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
i. Every year on November 25, 2016 is celebrated as the International Day for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against WomenElimination of Violence Against Women to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world
ii. Aim: To highlight that the scale and true nature of the issue is often hidden.
iii. It is also a remind the obligations and the responsibility we all must own at both the private and the public level to ensure that every woman, every girl, in all corners of the world lives in a world free of violence and fear.