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47th Edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2016 held in Goa
i. The 47th Edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), 2016 was held from 20-28 November, 2016 at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee indoor stadium at Talegao on the outskirts of Panaji, Goa.
ii. The festival screened over 300 films including 4 premieres, 6 international premieres, 26 Asian premieres 104 Indian premieres and Oscar-winning entries from nearly 90 countries. The Republic of Korea was the focus country of IFFI 2016.
iii. IFFI 2016 also featured the National Film Archives of India’s (NFAI) exhibition with theme: “Azadi 70 Saal, Yaad Karo Qurbani” (70 Years of Independence, Remember the Sacrifices) to commemorate 70 years of Indian Independence.
iv. South Korean film director and writer, Im Kwon Taek conferred with Lifetime Achievement Award at IFFI 2016
ICICI Bank’s Adopted Akodara Village becomes India’s first Digital Village
i. A tiny village Akodara in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat has become the first Digital Village in India.
ii. The village, located 90 km from Ahmedabad, was adopted by the ICICI Bank under Digital Village project in 2015 that developed it as a digitized village with a rural branch of the bank.
iii. The campaign was committed to connect rural India with high speed internet networks, create a digital infrastructure, and improve digital literacy in the country.
iv. The project was launched in January 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochar to mark 60-year-celebration of the ICICI group’s existence.
v. All 250 households in village and 1,191 populations have savings account in local ICICI Bank branch.
vi. The bank has provided training to villagers to use digital technology to reduce dependence on cash. The villagers’ most important transactions selling agri-produce at the local market or mandi or selling milk at the co-operative society have been made cashless.
vii. The banks also launched other initiatives, like school automation, WiFi connectivity, a village website, a digital screen for commodity prices at the bank branch and skills development workshops for women to learn tailoring and office administration free of cost.
vii. The village has its own website: http://akodara-digitalvillage.in
viii. There’s a community-owned reverse osmosis-based water treatment plant and a WiFi tower for internet connectivity to those who want to subscribe to the service and three micro ATMs — at the gram panchayat, the village-level cooperative society and RO plant.
Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu to head CMs Committee on Demonetisation
i. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has been nominated by the Central Government to head the sub-committee of Chief Ministers of five States constituted to deal with the situation arising out of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes.
ii. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley requested Chandrabab Naidu to head the committee which would study various aspects after demonetization and how it has affected different sections of the people.
iii. Chief Ministers Sivaraj Singh Chauhan (Madhya Pradesh), Nitish Kumar (Bihar), Narayana Swamy (Puducherry) and Manik Sirkar (Tripura) will be the other members. The five-member committee will study the public problems due to demonetization of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency notes and would submit its report to the Centre for taking required steps.
iv. The move aims to stop the Opposition’s attack on the Centre’s demonetization decision. The Opposition organised ‘Jan Aakrosh Diwas’ on November 28 to protest against the move.
Asia’s first cycle highway inaugurated in UP
i. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has inaugurated India’s first and Asia’s longest bicycle highway between Agra and Etawah in UP.
ii. A rally of 90 cyclists from five countries and across India followed the inauguration ceremony at the Lion Safari in Etawah.
iii. The track begins from the lion safari in Etawah. On its way to Agra are tourist destinations like Naugava ka Quila, Raja Bhoj ki Haveli, and Bateshwarnath Temple. It ends at the eastern gate of the Taj Mahal in Agra.
Losar Festival being celebrated in J&K
i. 10 day long festival named Losar festival has begun in Ladakh region of J&K to mark the beginning of New Year in this Himalayan region. Losar is Tibetan word for ‘new year’ and this festival is an important social and religious celebration in Ladakh.
ii. Losar celebrations in the Ladakh district can be regarded as the most elaborate and convoluted of the different social and religious events and festivals of Ladakh.
iii. In India, Losar is also celebrated by Yolmo, Sherpa, Tamang, Gurung, and Bhutia communities residing in different regions in the country.
78 schemes covered under DBT system so far
i. As many as 78 schemes including Jhan Dhan and MGNREGA being implemented by 17 ministries and departments are covered under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system.
ii. The government has decided to introduce DBT system for fertilizer subsidy payments.
iii. It is slightly different from the normal DBT being implemented in LPG subsidy.
iv. Under the proposed system, 100% subsidy on various fertilizer grades shall be released to the manufacturers and importers on the basis of actual sales made by the retailer to the beneficiaries.
Manipur hosts WWII Vintage Jeep Rally
i. Manipur Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh flagged off World War II Vintage Jeep Rally from Koirengei Old Air Field as a part of the Manipur Sangai Festival on November 27, 2016.
ii. Objective: To spread a message of peace and reconciliation and evils of war.
iii. Nine vintage jeeps, 30 to 35 motorcycles and cycles were took part in this rally.The participants from Japan and UK were participated in this event.
iv. The rally was organised by the Second World War Imphal Campaign Foundation and Manipur Tourism Forum and the Department of Tourism.
v. The rally will culminate at the India Peace Memorial, Maibam Lotpa Ching.
♦ State Tree – Uningthou
♦ State Flower – Siroi Lily
♦ State Animal – Sangai
♦ State Bird – Nongyeen
Telangana village renamed ‘Kavithapuram’ after CM’s daughter, TRS MP Kalvakuntla Kavitha
i. Villagers of Khanapur in Telangana’s Nizamabad district have renamed their village as ‘Kavithapuram’ after the daughter of CM K Chandrasekhar Rao.
ii. The residents of Khanapur gram panchayat passed the resolution as a “token of reverence” towards TRS MP Kalvakuntla Kavitha, who helped the villagers when they were displaced by the Sri Ram Sagar reservoir on Godavari River
WHO settles India, EU medicine dispute issue.
i. In a meeting on November 24, 2016, the World Health Organisation (WHO) settled a long standing dispute and battle between India and the European Union (EU) about labeling of drugs by clarifying that ‘counterfeit’— will now be used by member States with respect to protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).
ii. This decision to drop the term ‘counterfeit’ and retain ‘falsified’ to describe medicines of inferior quality was taken by a WHO’s technical working group on draft to find a perfect definitions of substandard/spurious /falsely-labelled/falsified/counterfeit (SSFFC) medical products.
iii. Under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the term counterfeit was defined as willful infringement of trademark on a commercial scale. However in reality, counterfeit drugs often have nothing to do with drug quality and substandard medicines.
iv. The major European and US pharmaceutical companies used the term to stop Indian made cheap generic drugs exported to other countries by showing that they were in violation of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). They were using increased enforcement of IP laws as a tool to stop the legitimate trade in high-quality generic medicines between developing countries especially India.
v. The term falsified much clearly describes issues related with public health concerns regarding medicines. It easily describes the false claims regarding what medicines contain or where they are from, which is a bigger public health problem for developing countries.
♦ The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health.
♦ Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
♦ Head: Margaret Chan
♦ Founded: April 7, 1948
Zimbabwe Launches ‘Bond Notes’ To Ease Cash Crunch
i. Zimbabwe launches ‘bond notes’ currency in bid to ease cash crunch.Currency hold its value against the U.S. dollar
ii. The bright green bond notes, introduced by the southern African nation’s central bank to try to ease a shortage of dollars, were accepted by most businesses and black market traders
♦ Capital: Harare
♦ Currencies: United States Dollar, Euro, Botswana pula, Pound sterling, Renminbi, Indian rupee, South African rand
♦ President: Robert Mugabe
Amitabh Bachchan Starrer Pink To Be Screened at UN Headquarters on Special Invitation
i. Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s first Bollywood movie Pink has been invited to screened at United Nations(UN) headquartes in New York, US announced by Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan who plays a lawyer role in the film.
ii. The movie ‘PINK’ was dealt with crime against women and it was released on September 16, 2016
iii. The movie was written by Ritesh Shah and produced by Rashmi Sharma and Shoojit Sircar.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI relaxes withdrawal limits for deposits made in legal tender
i. To encourage people to deposit valid currency notes in banks, RBI on November 29, 2016 allowed bank customers to withdraw the deposits made in current legal tender notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 2000 beyond the current withdrawal limits of Rs. 24,000 per week. For current accounts, the withdrawal limit is Rs 50,000 a week for small traders.
ii. For example, if someone deposits valid legal tenders (Rs 2,000, Rs 500, Rs 100, Rs 50, Rs 20, Rs 10, Rs 5) of Rs 4,000, the withdrawal limit for that person would rise by Rs 4,000 over and above weekly withdrawal limit of Rs 24,000.
iii. The decision is aimed at discouraging hoarding of valid currency notes and increasing its circulation to overcome cash crunch issue of demonetization of old Rs500 and Rs1,000 banknotes.
iv. According to Reserve Bank of India certain depositors are hesitating to deposit their money into bank accounts due to the current limits on cash withdrawals.So it has been decided, on careful consideration, to allow withdrawals of deposits made in current legal tender notes on or after 29 November 2016 beyond the current limits.
v. People have exchanged and deposited about Rs 8.45 lakh crore worth of scrapped Rs. 500 and Rs1,000 banknotes at different banks till 27 November.
ICICI Bank to convert 100 villages into digital in 100 days
i. Mumbai based ICICI Bank announced to transform 100 villages into ‘ICICI Digital Villages’ in 100 days to enable villagers go in cash less banking and payments transactions.
ii. People from 100 villages will be able to open bank accounts using Aadhar-based e-KYC and make cashless payments to retail stores through a unique SMS/USSD-based mobile solution.
iii. According to the plan, ICICI bank will provide vocational training to 10,000 villagers in first 100 days and offer them credit linkages so that the villagers can start their own business ventures
iv. The bank is taken step to resolve the ongoing currency issue after the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes along with the introduction of new notes.
ICICI Bank :
♦ Headquarters : Mumbai
♦ Founded: June 1994, Vadodara
♦ MD and CEO: Chanda Kochhar
Morgan Stanley lowers India’s growth forecast by 40 bps to 7.3% for FY’17
i. American Morgan Stanley has lowered its growth forecast for FY’17 to 7.3% from 7.7% earlier on account of currency replacement programme.
ii. As global growth accelerates to 3.4% in 2017 from 3% in 2016, Morgan Stanley expect India’s exports to support overall recovery in 2017 after being a drag in 2016.
iii. 2018 will be first year of recovery in private capacity expansion after six years of a weak trend.
Indus Towers to invest Rs 100 crore to set up 500 new sites across India
i. The telecoms tower provider Indus Towers planned to invest Rs 100 crore in India to set up 500 new sites within a year. Out of 500 sites, 100 sites are already setup in 50 by the company.
ii. The new tower is constructed in a way that it looks like a palm tree or an electric pole – and are powered through electricity, with battery storage as back up
iii. The sites which vary from 3 meters to 30 meters cost up to Rs 30 lakh each, can also be used for charging electric vehicles.
Government approves 6 new SEZs for IT, biotech
i. Union government lead by PM Narendra Modi has approved six proposals from four developers to set up new special economic zones (SEZs) IT and biotechnology across Telangana, Haryana and Karnataka .
ii. The decision was taken by the Board of Approval (BoA), headed by Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia during the board meeting on November 9, 2016
iii. The four developers are Vaxenic India, EON Kharadi Infrastructure, GAR Corporation and KRC Infrastructure.
iv. The board has also given additional time to six developers and units to implement their projects.
Special Economic Zones :
♦ A special economic zone (SEZ) is an area in which business and trade laws differ from the rest of the country.
♦ Aims : To increased trade, increased investment, job creation and effective administration.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Stripe’s co-founder, John Collison, is world’s youngest self-made billionaire
i. As per the report of Forbes, the co-founder brothers of Stripe Inc., Patrick Collison and John Collison, are officially the world’s youngest self-made billionaires after a fresh funding round nearly doubled their San Francisco-based company’s valuation to US $9.2 billion
ii. The Company raised $150 million from CapitalG, which is an investment division of Google parent company Alphabet, and General Catalyst Partners.
iii. In July 2015, a fundraising round had valued the company at $5 billion which means the company has experienced a growth of $4.2 billion in just over a year.
iv. Prior to the latest funding round, the Collisons owned about 30% of Stripe, However after the $150 million investment, FORBES estimates that each brother owns at least 12% of the company.
v. At the tender age of 26, John Collison, Stripe’s president, is now the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. Brother and CEO Patrick Collison, 28, is also on this exclusive list of self-made billionaires that are under the age of 30.
vi. Snapchat co-founder Bobby Murphy, 28, is the other person on this list.
♦ Stripe Inc., which is based in San Francisco operates in over 25 countries and allows both private individuals and businesses to accept payments over the Internet
♦ Stripe processes online payments for clients including Lyft, Kickstarter and Wish and for each transaction, Stripe takes 2.9% of the transaction plus an additional 30%.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Susan Kiefel become Australia’s first woman highest ranking judge
i. A former law firm receptionist Susan Kiefel is appointed as Australia’s first woman Chief Justice of Australia on November 29, 2016 by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. She will replace Justice Robert French
ii. Kiefel will become the 13th Chief Justice of Australia and the senior judge on the seven-judge bench
iii. She became the first woman judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland state in 1993. She is currently one of three women on the High Court bench and the longest serving judge after French.
♦ Capital: Canberra
♦ Currency: Australian dollar
Lt General AK Bhatt appointed as new DGMO, Lt General Ranbir Singh promoted to GOC 1 Corps
i. Indian Army appointed Major General AK Bhatt as new Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) while promoted Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh to General Officer Commanding of Strike 1 Corps.
ii. The new DGMO, Lt Gen AK Bhat, is a recently promoted Gorkha officer.
Myntra appoints Ajit Narayanan as its new CTO
i. Indian fashion e-commerce marketplace company Myntra’s chief technology and product officer Shamik Sharma has moved into an advisory role. He will replaced by SVP Ajit Narayanan.
ii. Prior to this, Narayanan was working as the head of engineering at Myntra.
♦ Flipkart-owned fashion platform Myntra headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
♦ Founders: Mukesh Bansal, Vineet Saxena, Ashutosh Lawania
♦ Founded: 2007
Cipla appoints Ireena Vittal as independent director
i. Indian multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company Cipla is appointed Ireena Vittal as an independent director on its board on November 29, 2016. It will effect from December 1, 2016.
ii. Vittal has experience in management consulting and is recognised as a thought leader for consumer-facing companies in emerging markets.
iii. Prior to this she worked with McKinsey, Nestle and MaxTouch. She has also served government and public institutions to design and implement solutions core to India’s development, such as inclusive urban development and sustainable rural growth.
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Cognizant to acquire Mirabeau BV to expand digital expertise
i. American multinational corporation Cognizant will acquire Mirabeau BV for an undisclosed amount to expand Cognizant’s digital business capabilities in the Netherlands and across Europe.
ii. The 15-year old digital firm Mirabeau specialises in verticals like travel and hospitality, financial services, retail, and B2B sectors. Its clients includes brands such as KLM, ING, Air France, Maxeda, MoneYou, LeasePlan.com, and Transavia.
iii. It has 260 specialists will become part of the Digital Business practice at Cognizant, which has a majority of its workforce in India.
Pankaj Advani claims bronze medal at IBSF World Snooker Championship
i. Fifteen-time world champion Pankaj Advani suffered a 2-7 loss in the semifinals against Andrew Pagett of Wales to settle for a bronze medal at the IBSF World Snooker Championship
ii. He is the only player in the world to compete at the world championship level in both sports and be successful in all the formats of both billiards and snooker.
IBSF World Snooker Championship:
♦ The IBSF World Snooker Championship (aka World Amateur Snooker Championship) is the premier non-professional snooker tournament in the world.
♦ Venue: Doha, Qatar
♦ Winner: Soheil Vahedi
♦ Runner – up: Andrew Pagett
Tony winning-actor Fritz Weaver dies at 90
i. American Actor Fritz William Weaver who is is well known for his films like “Fail-Safe” and “The Day of the Dolphin“has passed away in New York, USA. He was 90
ii. Weaver received his Tony in 1970 for his performance as strict Catholic boarding school teacher Jerome Malley in Robert Marasco’s long-running thriller “Child’s Play”.
iii. He has worked in television, earning an Emmy nomination in 1978 for portraying a Jewish doctor sent to Auschwitz in the NBC miniseries “Holocaust“. He was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2010.
iv. He also appeared in the 2013 HBO telefilm “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight” and in the features “The Cobbler” (2015) and “The Congressman” (2016).
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Penguin acquires Sunita Narain’s book on India’s Green Movement
i. Penguin India has acquired Sunita Narains “Conflicts of Interest: My Journey through Indias Green Movement“, a personal account of one of India’s foremost environmentalist experts.
ii. The book includes an “environmental manifesto” in which Narain lays out a blueprint for the direction India must take, if it is to deal with the exigencies of climate change and environmental degradation.
iii. The book also discusses how corporate lobbies and political interests often scuttle effective resolution of environmental issues.
International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
i. The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is a UN-organized observance. Events are held at the United Nations headquarters in New York, as well as at the United Nations offices at Geneva and Vienna.
ii. It is generally held on November 29 each year to mark the anniversary of resolution 181.