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Punjab govt notifies ban on truckers’ cartelisation
On November 24, 2017, Punjab State Government notified the ‘Punjab Goods Carriages (Regulation and Prevention of Cartelization Rules), 2017’, banning goods carriage operators from forming cartels in the state.
i. This notification is aimed at creating a favourable environment for industries and business houses in the state which will encourage industrial and infrastructural investment.
ii. As per the notification, operators and permit holders of goods carriages have been barred from forming a cartels which deny freedom of choice to prospective consignors and consignees .
iii. Besides, operators should not compel or coerce any other operator to become a member or partner with him and should not stop him to pick up goods from any local areas, towns or cities within the State.
iv. In case of violation of these norms, police recourse and penalty in the form of suspension or cancellation of the permit has been prescribed.
Quick Facts about Punjab:
♦ Capital – Chandigarh
♦ Current Chief Minister – Amarinder Singh
♦ Current Governor – V P Singh Badnore
♦ Important River – Sutlej
President of India inaugurates International Gita Mahotsava-2017 in Haryana
On November 25, 2017, President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the International Gita Mahotsava-2017 in Kurukshetra, Haryana.More Information about International Gita Mahotsava-2017:
i. Gita Mahotsava-2017 will conclude on December 3, 2017.
ii. Mauritius is the partner country and Uttar Pradesh is the partner state for this event.
iii. About 20 lakh people participated in Gita Mahotsav last year, which also included people from 35 countries.
iv. This year, about 25-30 lakh people are expected to participate in this event till December 3, 2017.
v. On November 25, 2017, President Ram Nath Kovind, also participated in Gita Yajna and Gita Poojan ceremonies at Brahma Sarovar and inaugurated an international seminar on Gita at the Kurukshetra University campus.
President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurates two-day conference on National Law Day in New Delhi
On 25th November 2017, President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the 2-day conference on National Law Day in New Delhi.
Two-day conference on National Law Day:
i. This conference is organised by the Law Commission and the Niti Aayog to mark the National Law Day. The National Law Day is celebrated on November 26, the day on which the Constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly in 1949.
ii. There will be four sessions on relevant issues concerning India’s judicial system. These include ‘judicial review and parliamentary democracy – balancing the separation of power’ and ‘appointments to higher judiciary – constraints of collegium system and reforms ahead’.
iii. There will also be sessions on themes like ‘structural reforms for overcoming delays in justice delivery’ and ‘scope of judicial powers, judicial activism’.
iv. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the valedictory address at the end of 2-day of the conference.
About Constitution of India:
♦ Ratified – 26 November 1949
♦ Author – B. R. Ambedkar and Drafting committee of the Constituent Assembly of India
India to help Mauritius on digital locker services
The Government of India will assist Mauritius to develop and set up digital locker services.
India to help Mauritius to set up digital locker services:
i. Ajay Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of electronics and IT, said that, Government of India will assist Mauritius to develop and set up digital locker services, on the sidelines of Global Conference on Cyber Space 2017.
ii. The government will offer technical support and advisory services to Mauritius. The decision was taken during a bilateral meeting during the conference.
iii. DigiLocker is a key initiative of the Indian government under its flagship Digital India program. The free service provides citizens a shareable private space on a public cloud wherein they can store their documents.
iv. The service is aimed at paperless governance. Till now, about 8.87 million registered users have uploaded about 12.14 million documents on the DigiLocker.
About Global Conference on Cyber Space 2017:
♦ Dates – 23 -24 November 2017
♦ Location – New Delhi
♦ Main Theme – Cyber4All: A Secure and Inclusive Cyberspace for Sustainable Development
India conducts major exercise in strategically-located Andaman & Nicobar Islands
India has conducted a major military exercise in the strategically-located Andaman and Nicobar Island archipelago.Military exercise in Andaman & Nicobar Islands:
i. This is expected to help to counter China’s strategic moves in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and ensure security of sea lanes converging towards the Malacca Strait.
ii. The “Defence of A&N Islands Exercise” (DANX), with fighters, heavy-lift transport aircraft, warships, infantry combat vehicles, special forces and regular troops, was conducted from November 20 to 24, 2017 to fine-tune operational drills and synergy among the Army, Navy and Air Force in the region.
Some of the Indian military exercises:
♦ Exercise TROPEX – inter-service military exercise involving all of the services of the Indian Armed Forces
♦ INDRA – bi-annual military exercise conducted by India and Russia
♦ SIMBEX – annual bilateral naval exercise conducted by the Indian Navy and the Republic of Singapore Navy
Assam to celebrate ‘Lachit Divas’ in different state capitals
On 24th November 2017, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said the Assam government would celebrate ‘Lachit Divas’ at various state capitals in India from next year.
i. ‘Lachit Divas’ is celebrated to promote the ideals of Lachit Borphukan – the legendary general of Assam’s history. Sarbananda Sonowal took part in the Lachit Divas celebration at the statue of Lachit Borphukan at Brahmaputra riverfront on 24th November 2017.
ii. He said, the first countrywide celebration of ‘Lachit Divas’ would take place in New Delhi followed by state capitals such as Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kolkata in a phased manner.
About Lachit Borphukan:
♦ Status- Commander-in-Chief of the Ahom army
♦ Died – 1671
♦ Known for – Leadership as an Ahom General in 1671 Battle of Saraighat
Global University Employability Ranking 2017 – IISc ranks 29th in the World
Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has ranked 29th among the top 150 universities on Global University Employability Ranking 2017 published by Times Higher Education.
i. This ranking has been designed by HR consultancy Emerging, is conducted by research institute Trendence and published by Times Higher Education………………………………….Click here to Read more
Global University Employability Ranking 2017 – Top 10:
|1||California Institute of Technology|
|4||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|5||University of Cambridge|
Myanmar, Bangladesh sign deal for return of Rohingya Muslims
On November 23, 2017, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a memorandum of understanding on the return of Rohingya Muslims who fled the Rakhine state in Myanmar to escape a military crackdown.Information about Rohingya Crisis and Bangladesh-Mynamar Repatriation Deal:
i. Since August 2017, nearly 600000 Rohingya people fled Myanmar to the neighbouring Bangladesh after army started an operation in response to an attack by Rohingya militants.
ii. Myanmar has now accepted to repatriate these Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh and a deal in this regard has been signed by Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.H. Mahmud Ali and Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw.
iii. Myanmar will start the repatriation process in two months. A joint working group to oversee the process will be formed comprising of foreign secretaries of both the countries.
iv. While negotiating the deal, Bangladesh had sought the involvement of UN agencies to verify proper resettlement of repatriated refugees. However, this proposal was rejected by Myanmar in the final deal.
U.S., South Korea to hold joint air force drill “Vigilant Ace”
The air forces of South Korea and the United States will hold ‘Vigilant Ace’ a joint drill from 4th – 8th December, 2017.
More Information about ‘Vigilant Ace’:
i. ‘Vigilant Ace’ between air forces of United States and South Korea is held at periodic intervals to simulate wartime defenses.
ii. Nearly 12000 U.S. personnel, including U.S. Marine Corps and Navy troops will participate in the upcoming edition of ‘Vigilant Ace’ along with South Korean troops.
iii. 230 aircrafts including F-22 stealth fighters will be flown at eight U.S. and South Korean military installations.
iv. The objective of this drill is to enhance interoperability between U.S. and South Korean forces and increase the combat effectiveness of air forces of both nations.
v. This drill will be held in the backdrop of North Korea’s threats to develop and deploy nuclear missiles.
Ayodhya Mahotsav to be held in South Korea next year
‘Ayodhya Mahotsav’, depicting the cultural heritage of the temple town, would be held in Seoul and Gimhe cities of South Korea in 2018.
i. In return, a ‘Korea Festival’ will be held in Lucknow and Ayodhya. An in-principle decision in this regard was made during the meeting of the Uttar Pradesh government and a delegation from South Korea led by Mayor of Gimhe city, Kim Wonman.
ii. People in South Korea believe that 2,000 years ago, an Ayodhya princess had married a Korean king Kim Suro. At present, their descendants are members of the “Crock Clan” and had built a memorial in Ayodhya.
iii. During the meeting, it was also decided that Agriculture department of UP government will receive technical support from South Korea for research in rice production.
Some of the festivals in Uttar Pradesh:
♦ Lath mar Holi – neighbouring towns of Barsana and Nandgaon near Mathura
♦ Lucknow Mahotsav – Lucknow
♦ Taj Mahotsav – Agra
BANKING & FINANCE
FSDC Sub-Committee headed by Urjit Patel reviews financial events of country
On November 23, 2017, Sub-Committee of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) reviewed major global and domestic developments which could have a bearing on India’s financial stability.
i. Sub-Committee of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) is headed by incumbent RBI Governor, Urjit Patel.
ii. Recommendations of the committees on FinTech and digital innovations, Stewardship Code and recommendations of shadow banking implementation group were also discussed at the meeting……………………………………….Click here to Read more
JM Financial gets NHB nod for home finance arm
Financial services firm, JM Financial has received certificate of registration from the National Housing Bank (NHB) for carrying out housing finance activities through its subsidiary JM Financial Home Loans.
i. While announcing the results for fiscal 2016- 2017, management of JM Financial had said it would enter the affordable mortgage segment along with a property brokerage.
ii. Currently, services offered by JM Financial include investment banking, broking, institutional equity sales, wealth management and asset reconstruction among others.
iii. It already has two non-banking arms, one of which is focused on real estate lending and the other is into credit business. Both these arms have combined asset of around Rs 12000 crore.
S&P retains India’s sovereign rating at ‘BBB-‘; maintains stable outlook
On November 24, 2017, rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) kept its sovereign rating for India unchanged at ‘BBB-‘, with outlook for the nation as ‘stable’.Observations on S&P’s latest ratings:
i. BBB- rating is the lowest investment grade and just one notch above junk status.
iiS&P stated that India’s sizable fiscal deficit, low per capita income and high government debt do not warrant a sovereign rating upgrade as of now.
ii. However, it praised the recent reforms undertaken by Indian Government and expects Indian economy to grow strongly during 2018-2020.
iv. S&P’s ’Stable’ outlook for India indicates sound external account position.
v. It is to be noted that, last week another rating agency, Moody’s had upgraded India’s sovereign ratings to Baa2 with outlook for the nation as ‘positive’. Moody’s cited recent economic and institutional reforms by Modi Government as the primary justification for this upgrade.
Axis Bank launches blockchain-based international payment service
Private sector bank, Axis Bank has launched an instant international payment services using RippleNet (Ripple’s enterprise blockchain technology solution).
i. This facility is currently available for Axis Bank’s retail customers in India to receive payments from the UAE-based Rak Bank.
ii. Axis Bank’s corporate customers in India can also use this facility to receive payments from Standard Chartered, Singapore.
iii. RippleNet is referred to as world’s only enterprise blockchain solution for global payments. It connects banks, payment providers, digital asset exchanges and corporates for enabling seamless experience to send money globally.
Quick Facts about Axis Bank:
♦ Founded in – 1993
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Current MD & CEO – Shikha Sharma
♦ Tagline – ‘Badhti ka naam zindagi’
NPPA caps prices of 51 essential medicines
On November 24, 2017, India’s drug pricing regulator, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) capped prices of 51 essential formulations, including those used for the treatment of cancer and heart conditions.i. Reduction in prices for these essential formulations is in the range of 6-53%.
ii. Oxaliplatin (injection 100mg), used for colon or rectal cancer treatment, Japanese encephalitis vaccine and measles rubella vaccine are some of the drugs for which the ceiling prices have been capped.
iii. Besides, NPPA has notified ceiling prices of 13 formulations and has revised prices for 15 formulations.
iv. NPPA is authorised to fix ceiling price of essential medicines of Schedule I under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO) 2013.
Quick Facts about National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA):
♦ Formed in – 1997
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Responsible for – fixation/revision of prices of pharmaceutical products, enforcement of provisions of DPCO and tracking prices of controlled and decontrolled drugs.
♦ Current Chairman – Bhupendra Singh
Government doubles incentives rates for garments, made-ups to 4 percent
Under Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS), Central Government has doubled incentive rates for export of readymade garments and made-ups to 4 percent from 2 per cent earlier.
Revision of Incentives for Garments and Made-ups:
i. This decision has been taken to boost shipments of readymade garments and made-ups.
ii. Readymade garments and made-ups are labour intensive sub-sectors of textile sector. Thus encouraging its exports through incentives would lead to more production, which would eventually generate employment opportunities.
iii. Incentives to be paid under this initiative are estimated to be Rs 1143.15 crore for 2017-18 and Rs 685.89 crore for 2018-19.
iv. The new incentive rates will be applicable with effect from November 1, 2017 and will continue till June 30, 2018.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Lionel Messi receives his fourth European Golden Shoe award
On 24th November 2017, Lionel Messi received his fourth Golden Shoe award for leading all of Europe’s leagues in scoring last season, in Barcelona.Lionel Messi – Golden Shoe Award:
i. It is the fourth time Lionel Messi has received the Golden Shoe Award, drawing him even with Cristiano Ronaldo as the award record-holders.
ii. Messi was presented with the trophy by teammate Luis Suarez, who won the award in 2015-16. Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets also attended the ceremony in Barcelona.
iii. Messi, Ronaldo, and Suarez have shared the prize for the past nine years. The Golden Shoe is awarded by European Sports Media, an association of European sports newspaper and magazines.
About Lionel Messi:
♦ Argentine professional footballer
♦ Current team – Barcelona
♦ Awards – FIFA World Player of the Year, FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, Copa America Best Young Player, Best International Athlete ESPY Award etc.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
N Sambasiva Rao appointed as Andhra Pradesh DGP
On 24th November 2017, the Andhra Pradesh government appointed 1984-batch IPS officer N Sambasiva Rao as Andhra Pradesh DGP (Director General of Police).
N Sambasiva Rao – Andhra Pradesh DGP:
i. N Sambasiva Rao has been holding the DGPs post as “full additional charge” since July 23, 2016, while his actual position was DGP (Coordination).
ii. He is due to retire on December 31. As a regular DGP, he could continue in the post for a full two-year term as per a state law.
iii. Chief Secretary Dinesh Kumar issued a one-line government order transferring and posting Sambasiva Rao as the DGP with immediate effect. The order did not specify whether Rao will hold the post for two years or till December 31.
Some of the festivals of Andhra Pradesh:
♦ Ugadi – New Year’s Day for the Hindus of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana
♦ Tirupati Ganga Jatara – annual Folk festival of Tirupati
♦ Godavari Maha Pushkaram – Great Worship of the Godavari River
Justice Satrughana Pujahari sworn in as Madras High Court judge
On 23rd November 2017, Justice Satrughana Pujahari was sworn in as a Judge of the Madras High Court by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee.
Justice Satrughana Pujahari – Madras High Court judge:
i. Justice Satrughana Pujahari had been transferred from the High Court of Orissa to the Madras High Court by a notification dated November 14, 2017.
ii. Satrughana Pujahari was born on September 24, 1960, at Subalaya, Sonepur, in Odisha. He completed his LLB from Lal Lajpat Ray Law College in Sambalpur in 1986.
iii. He joined as second additional district and sessions judge, Ganjam, at Berhamapur in 2003. He worked as principal secretary to Government of Odisha, law department. He was elevated to the Bench of Orissa high court as an additional judge in 2013.
About High Court of Odisha:
♦ Established – 1948
♦ Location – Cuttack, Odisha
♦ Chief Justice – Vineet Saran
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
China successfully launches remote sensing satellites
On November 25, 2017, China successfully launched remote sensing satellites for conducting electromagnetic probes and other experiments.i. These Satellites were launched on a Long March-2C rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern Sichuan. However, number of satellites launched has not been specified.
ii. Just few days ago, China had launched three remote sensing satellites to improve observation capability to promote commercial use for the remote sensing industry.
iii. Those satellites were carried by a Long March-6 rocket developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.
Quick Facts about China:
♦ Capital – Beijing
♦ Currency – Renminbi
♦ Current President – Xi Jinping
♦ Important Rivers – Yangtze, Yello River
New species of gecko discovered in Andhra Pradesh after 5-year study
A new species of gecko named ‘Hemidactylus sushilduttai’ was found in the Eastern Ghats in northern Andhra Pradesh.
i. The reptile, Hemidactylus sushilduttai is endemic to the Eastern Ghats in northern Andhra Pradesh. It was identified as a different species after a five-year study.
ii. It is named after eminent herpetologist Sushil Kumar Dutta from Odisha, as Hemidactylus sushilduttai. It is also called as Dutta’s Mahendragiri gecko.
iii. The species was identified from few areas in northern Mahendragiri range and scattered coastal hills in northern Andhra Pradesh.
v. The discovery report was published in November 2017 in the taxonomy journal Zootaxa. It was a collaborative effort between scientists from Indian and international institutions.
About Zoological Survey of India:
♦ Formation – 1916
♦ Purpose – Animal taxonomy and conservation
♦ Headquarters – Kolkata
Ritu Phogat clinches Silver medal in Under-23 Senior World Wrestling Championship in Poland
India wrestler Ritu Phogat (48kg) clinched the silver medal in the Under-23 Senior World Wrestling Championship at Poland.Ritu Phogat – Silver medal in Under-23 Senior World Wrestling Championship:
i. Ritu Phogat lost against Turkish Wrestler Demirhan in the gold medal clash and settled for a silver medal. She is 23 years old. She had won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship in 2016.
ii. In quarterfinal, Ritu defeated Bulgarian Wrestler Selishka 4-2 points before defeating Chinese Wrestler Jiang Zhu 4-3 points in the semifinal.
iii. Ritu had won the National championship in Indore this month. She also won a bronze medal at the Asian Championships in May 2017.
About Senior U23 World Championships:
♦ Dates – November 21 – 26, 2017
♦ Location – Poland
Rajasthani folk singer Mangi Bai Arya passes away
On 24th November 2017, Rajasthani Maand folk singer Mangi Bai Arya passed away following a heart attack in Udaipur.
Death of Mangi Bai Arya:
i. Mangi Bai Arya was 88 years old. She had learnt singing from her father Kamlaram Arya, an eminent classical singer of his times.
ii. She died of heart attack. She had contributed significantly in taking Maand to the national and international levels.
iii. She has won several awards, including the Kendriya Sangeet Natak Akademy Award. The Directorate Akashvani had graded Mangi Bai Arya as an A grade artist.
About Sangeet Natak Akademi:
♦ National level academy for performing arts set up by the Government of India
♦ Formation – 1952
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
Communal Harmony Campaign Week from November 19 to 25, 2017
On 19 -25th November 2017, the National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH) observed the Communal Harmony Campaign and Fund Raising Week.
Communal Harmony Campaign Week:
i. Programmes were organized by different stakeholders including educational institutions, public sector enterprises, Government agencies, NGOs and voluntary organizations, etc. during the Communal Harmony Campaign Week. This is done to promote Communal Harmony and National Integration.
ii. As a part of the Communal Harmony Campaign Week, the Flag Day was celebrated on 24th November 2017.
iii. This occasion is also utilized to generate financial support for destitute children affected by communal, caste, ethnic or terrorist violence.
iv. Publicity material like Flag stickers, wrappers, posters, brochures, pamphlets etc. were dispatched to about 1.24 Lakh units for marking National Flag Day all over India.
About National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH):
♦ Secretary – Awadh Kumar Singh
♦ Vision – India free from communal and all other forms of violence where all citizens especially children & youth live together in peace & harmony
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – November 25
On 25th November 2017, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women was observed all over the world.International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women:
i. The theme for International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2017 is ‘Leave no one behind: end violence against women and girls’.
ii. The United Nations General Assembly has designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
iii. The objective of the day is to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence etc. One of the aims of the day is to highlight that, the scale and true nature of the issue is often hidden.
About UNiTE to end violence against women initiative:
♦ Launched – 2008
♦ Launched by – UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon
♦ Aim – preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls around the world