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Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates India’s first World Food fair
On November 3, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated ‘World Food India’ 2017 in New Delhi.
Highlights of ‘World Food India’ 2017:
i. India is hosting World Food Fair for the first time.
ii. This three-day-long event (from 3rd-5th November, 2017) has been organised by Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries under the leadership of Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
iii.On November 4, 2017, over 800 kg khichdi (a traditional Indian dish) will be prepared live at ‘World Food India’ 2017 in a bid to create world record and popularise it as brand India food globally.
iv. Around 7000 stakeholders including Ministerial delegations from a number of countries, global investors and business leaders of major food companies will attend this event.
v. Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) worth USD 11 billion are expected to signed during the course of this event.
President of India inaugurates 21st World Congress of mental health, calls for fighting stigma
On November 2, 2017, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the 21st World Congress of Mental Health in New Delhi.More information about 21st World Congress of Mental Health:
i. 21st World Congress of Mental Health has been organised by the World Federation for Mental Health in partnership with Caring Foundation and other institutions.
ii.This is the firt time, World Congress of Mental Health took place in India.
iii. As per National Mental Health Survey 2016, nearly 14 per cent of India’s population required active mental health interventions.
iv. In India, 22 centres of excellence in the field of mental health are being built under National Mental Health Programme. Besides, District Mental Health Programme is already being administered in 517 of the approximately 650 districts in India.
India offers to share real-time maritime data
India has made an offer to 10 Indian Ocean littoral States to share intelligence of maritime movements in the Indian Ocean on real-time basis.
i. Information which India intends to share is pertaining to movement of commercial traffic as well as intelligence.
ii. The information will not have much utility for conventional military purpose, but will help to deal with non-traditional threats arising at sea.
iii. Information would be collated at Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) located outside New Delhi. IMAC is Indian Navy’s nerve centre for coastal surveillance and monitoring.
iv. Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba mentioned that 10 littoral states that were present at Goa Maritime Conclave (GMC) have received this proposal very positively.
World’s highest motorable road constructed in Ladakh
Border Roads Organisation (BRO) under Union Ministry of Defense has constructed the world’s highest motorable road (at 19300 feet) in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.Facts related to World’s highest motorable road constructed in Ladakh:
i. This road passes through Umlingla Top at a height of over 19,300 feet.
ii. It is a 86km long road connecting Chisumle and Demchok villages, located 230 Kms from Leh.
iii. From strategic perspective, this road will facilitate troop movement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.
iv. This road has been constructed under BRO’s ‘Project Himank’. BRO’s ‘Project Himank’ started in 1985, to construct and maintain roads and related infrastructure in Leh-Ladakh region.
v. Construction of roads like Khardung La at an altitude of 17,900 ft and Changla Pass at 17,695 ft in Leh are the other feats accomplished under ‘Project Himank’.
All 4 wheel Motor Vehicles sold after 1st December 2017 to be fitted with FASTags
On 2nd November 2017, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways notified that, all four-wheel motor vehicles sold on or after 1st December, 2017, will have FASTags fitted on them by the manufacturer of the vehicle or its authorised dealer.
FASTags on all 4 wheel Motor Vehicles:
i. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued a Gazette Notification regarding this. All four-wheel motor vehicles sold on or after 1st December, 2017, will have FASTags fitted on them by the manufacturer of the vehicle or its authorised dealer.
ii. In case of vehicles that are sold as drive away chassis without wind screen, FASTag will have to be fitted by the vehicle owner before it is registered.
iii. Amendments have been made to the relevant sections of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 in this regard.
About Ministry of Road Transport and Highways:
♦ Minister of Transport – Nitin Gadkari
♦ Ministers of State for Transport – Pon Radhakrishnan, Mansukh L. Mandaviya
India slips 21 slots on WEF Gender Gap index 2017
India has ranked 108th out of 144 countries on Global Gender Gap Index 2017 released by World Economic Forum (WEF). This year’s rank marks a drop by 21 places as compared to previous year’s ranking………………….Click here to Read more
Global Gender Gap Index 2017 – Top 10 Countries:
7th Asia Ministerial Energy Roundtable held in Bangkok
On 1st -3rd November 2017, the 7th Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable (AMER7) was held in Bangkok, Thailand.7th Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable (AMER7):
i. The Government of Thailand hosted the 7th Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable (AMER7). It was co-Hosted by the United Arab Emirates.
ii. Theme for AMER7 was ‘Global Energy Markets in Transition: From Vision to Action’. AMER7 started with a Welcome Reception on 1st November 2017. The Roundtable took place on 2nd November 2017. Site visits took place on 3rd November 2017.
iii. India is the current chair of International Energy Forum (IEF) which is promoting the AMER. The Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan participated in the AMER7.
iv .He spoke on “Natural Gas: Overcoming Market and Policy Hurdles to the Golden Age of Gas”. Energy Ministers from Saudi Arabia, Russia, UAE, Thailand, Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Brunei also participated in the AMER7.
About Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable (AMER7):
♦ Host – Thailand
♦ Date – 1-3 November 2017
♦ Venue – Bangkok, Thailand
‘Fake news’ named word of the year 2017
‘Fake news’ has been named the word of the year by Collins dictionary due to its widespread use around the world in recent times.
Popularity of ‘Fake News’:
i. As per UK-based Collins dictionary, there was 365% surge in usage of “fake news” in the last 12 months.
ii. Fake News has been defined as “false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting”.
iii. It has been popularised by incumbent US President Donald Trump. He has repeatedly used this word to criticise specific media reports against him.
iv. Besides Trump, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and UK Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn too have included the word ‘Fake News’ in their speeches.
v. “genderfluid” (defined as not identifying exclusively with one gender rather than another), “gig economy” (the term for a system of casual, unstable employment sought through firms like Uber) and “antifa” (abbreviation of anti-fascist) are some the other words shortlisted for 2017.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI asks large borrowers to obtain 20-digit Legal Entity Identifier unique code
On November 3, 2017, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a notification, directing corporate borrowers having exposure of Rs 5 crore and above to mandatorily obtain 20-digit Legal Entity Identifier (LEI).
i. LEI is a 20-digit global reference number that uniquely identifies every legal entity/organisation that is party to a financial transaction, in any country.
ii. Tracking borrowers through LEI is one of the risk management measures adopted by RBI in wake of huge accumulated non-performing assets in Indian Banking system……………………………...Click here to Read more
Yes Bank signs MoU with Government for Rs 1,000 crore financing
On 3rd November 2017, Yes Bank signed a MoU with the government to provide Rs 1,000 crore financing for food processing projects.Yes Bank signs MoU with Government:
i. Yes Bank said that, the funding will be provided to around 100 food processing projects with an average size of Rs 10 crore each.
ii. Focus would be on projects across backend infrastructure, cold chain creation of new processing units, expansion of existing units, forward linkages and food processing clusters in various locations in India.
iii. The MoU was signed amid the ongoing three-day World Food India being organised by the Food Processing Ministry.
About Yes Bank:
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ Managing Director & CEO – Rana Kapoor
AU Small Finance Bank gets RBI nod for Scheduled Commercial Bank
AU Small Finance Bank has received an approval from Reserved Bank of India (RBI) to operate as Scheduled Commercial Bank and has thereby been included in the Second Schedule of Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
i. On acquiring the status of Scheduled Commercial Bank, AU Small Finance Bank will now be able to do borrowing and lending with RBI under Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) and Marginal Standing Facility (MSF).
ii. Now, it can even issue Certificate of Deposits (CDs) on competitive interest rates in market to get liquidity.
iii. This approval will also enable AU Small Finance Bank to acquire government business.
iv. It is to be noted that AU Small Finance Bank started its operation in April 2017 and has attained the status of a scheduled commercial bank within just seven months time.
Quick Facts about AU Small Finance Bank:
♦ Headquarters – Jaipur
♦ Current Managing Director and CEOL Sanjay Agarwal
India tops domestic air passenger traffic in September, China second: IATA
According to global airlines’ grouping IATA, India’s domestic aviation sector grew the fastest and India topped the domestic growth chart again in September as the country registered double-digit growth for 37 consecutive months.i. In September, India recorded a growth of 15.5% while the global demand stood at 5.7%.
ii. Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs) is a measure of demand.
iii. India and China continued to lead all markets with double-digit annual traffic increases while results were mixed elsewhere. Capacity rose 4.7 per cent and load factor slipped 0.4 percentage points to 82.2%.
iv. The international passenger demand for September climbed 5.7% compared with the year-ago period.
v. According to the IATA global passenger traffic data for July, India’s domestic demand revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) was the second highest amongst major aviation markets like Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Russia and the US.
♦ Abbreviation – International Air Transport Association
♦ Headquarters – Montreal, Canada
♦ CEO – Alexandre de Juniac
US approves $1 billion deal to service Qatar’s F-15 fighter jets
On November 1, 2017, United States (US) Government approved a $1.1 billion deal to service Qatar’s F-15 fighter jets despite the ongoing diplomatic stand-off between Qatar and its neighbouring countries.
i. In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut all diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar accusing it of supporting terrorism across the region.
ii. These countries that have placed an embargo on Qatar are allies of United States. Thus US supported its allies when the embargo was placed on Qatar in June 2015.
iii. However, US Government has recently approved the deal to service Qatar’s F-15 fighter jets and build them ground facilities as Qatar hosts one of the largest US military bases in the Middle East.
iv. The maintenance and ground facilities will also bring in improved cyber security services, force protection services, mission critical computer resources and support services.
Haryana government signs Rs 20,000 crore worth MoU for logistics parks
On 2nd November 2017, the Haryana government signed a MoU with Verbind, an integrated trade facilitation services organisation, to set up a logistics and trading hub in Haryana.Haryana signs MoU with Verbind:
i. As per the MoU, Haryana government will facilitate Verbind to obtain permissions, registrations, approvals and clearances with reference to the projects from relevant departments.
ii. The logistics and trading hub is expected to attract investment of Rs 20,000 crore. The hub will be constructed over an area of 600 acres near Gurugram.
iii. This public-private project is expected to generate employment for six lakh people. The Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation(HSIIDC) will be the nodal agency for the project.
♦ Capital – Chandigarh
♦ Governor – Kaptan Singh Solanki
♦ Chief Minister – Manohar Lal Khattar
CBDT signs 7 more unilateral APAs with taxpayers
Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has signed seven unilateral advance pricing agreements (APAs) with Indian taxpayers during October 2017.
Details about APAs signed by CBDT during October 2017:
i. 7 unilateral APAs signed by CBDT in October 2017, pertain to sectors like FMCG, semi-conductor, information technology, travel and leisure, office furniture and engineering.
ii .Including these 7 agreements, CBDT has so far entered into 184 APAs, out of which 171 are unilateral and 13 are bilateral. 32 APAs (2 bilateral and 30 unilateral) have been signed in 2017-18 itself.
iii. Objective of APA scheme is to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and setting the prices of international transactions in advance.
iv. This scheme is aimed at reducing litigation and foster a non-adversarial tax regime.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Mukesh Ambani becomes Asia’s richest person
On 1st November 2017, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries, overtook China’s Hui Ka Yan and became Asia’s richest person with a total wealth of$42.1 billion.Mukesh Ambani – Asia’s richest person:
i. According to Forbes’ real time billionaire’s list, Mukesh Ambani has been named as Asia’s richest person. His personal wealth rose by $466 million, due to 1.22 % rise in shares of Reliance Industries on 1st November 2017.
ii. On the same day, wealth of China Evergrande Group’s Chairman Hui Ka Yan fell to $40.6 billion.
iii. Globally, Mukesh Ambani occupied the 14th position on Forbes’ real time billionaire’s list. This list is based on the value of person’s stock holding and assets on a real time basis.
About Mukesh Ambani:
♦ Occupation – Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries
♦ Age – 60
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Nasir Kamal appointed as Additional Director General of BSF
On 2nd November 2017, Home Ministry announced that, Nasir Kamal has been appointed as Additional Director General of Border Security Force (BSF).
Nasir Kannal – Additional Director General of BSF:
i. The competent authority has appointed Nasir Kamal, IPS Officer (UP:86) as Additional Director General of Border Security Force (BSF).
ii. His appointment is for a period of four years from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
About Border Security Force (BSF):
♦ Motto – Duty Unto Death
♦ Director General – K.K Sharma
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
ONGC gets government nod for acquiring HPCL
On 1st November 2017, the Cabinet approved ONGC for acquiring majority 51.11 % stake in HPCL (Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited).ONGC gets approval to acquire stake in HPCL:
i. ONGC’s acquisition of 51.11 % stake in HPCL is in line with the government’s plan to create an integrated energy major with businesses spread across the hydrocarbon value chain.
ii. The government’s 51.11% stake in HPCL is sold to ONGC for an amount of Rs 26,000 crore to Rs 30,000 crore. The government has set the deadline to complete the ONGC-HPCL deal in the current financial year.
iii. ONGC had appointed Citigroup and SBI Cap as advisors in regard to the deal. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas had appointed Protocol for valuation of HPCL.
About Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC):
♦ Products – Petroleum, natural gas, and other petrochemicals
♦ Chairman & MD – Shashi Shankar
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Indian Army releases Integrated Quarter Master Package Software Application
On 2nd November 2017, Integrated Quarter Master Package (IQMP) software application was released to the Indian Army by the Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Sarath Chand, in an event at South Block, New Delhi.
Integrated Quarter Master Package (IQMP):
i. IQMP is a web based software developed by Army Software Development Centre in association with TCS (Tata Consultancy Services). The application automates various logistics related functions of an Army Unit.
ii. The application will replace existing applications such as ‘Vastra’ and ‘Quarter Master Package’. The application is capable of sharing information and data with other software applications in the domain of logistics management.
iii. It will play an important role in achieving automation of Indian Army and is a milestone towards ‘Digital Army’ in line with the ‘Digital India initiative’ of the government.
About Tata Consultancy Services (TCS):
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ Chairman – Natarajan Chandrasekaran
♦ CEO & MD – Rajesh Gopinathan
Western Railway’s RPF launches app for women’s safety
The Railway Protection Force (RPF) of Western Railway (WR) has launched a mobile application ‘Eyewatch Railways’ for the security of women commuters travelling between Churchgate and Virar suburban railway stations, in Mumbai.Eyewatch Railways:
i. The free app, ‘Eyewatch Railways’ was developed by RPF of Western Railway in collaboration with Eyewatch Technologies Pvt Ltd. It is available on Google Playstore and App Store.
ii. This app helps women commuters in times of emergency, to immediately send out their location, video and audio. It can be instantly viewed on the emergency response control centre at the RPF Control room at Mumbai Central.
iii. The RPF would would immediately send a RPF personnel from the nearest station to help the Women Commuters.
About Railway Protection Force (RPF):
♦ Purpose – protecting railway passengers, passenger area and railway property of the Indian Railways
♦ Director General – Mr Dharmendra Kumar
Indian naval ships Tir and Sujatha pay goodwill visit to Sri Lanka
Indian Naval Ships Tir and Sujatha and the Indian Coast Guard ship Sarathi arrived at the Colombo port on 02nd Nov 2017 on a goodwill and training visit.
i. The two Indian naval ships are on afive-days goodwill visit to Sri Lanka to participate in the training exercises in a bid to share professional expertise and strengthen India-Srilanka friendship.
ii. The ships’ crews will also take part in a series of friendly sports events and community service activities organised by the Sri Lanka Navy during their stay in the country,
iii. The Commanding Officers of the visiting Indian ships Captain D J Revar, Commandant Pankaj Agrawal and Commander KB Singh called on Sri Lankan Navy’s Commander Admiral Niraja Attygalle at the Western Naval Command Headquarters and both the teams had cordial discussions on matters of mutual interest and exchanged mementos to mark the occasion.
iv. The Defence Advisor attached to the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka, Captain Ashok Rao was also present on the occasion.The visit took place to increase the military ties with Sri Lanka.
♦ Founded – 1612
♦ Anniversary – 4th Dec (Navy Day)
♦ Chief – Admiral Sunil Lanba
World’s longest living dolphin in captivity dies at Japan aquarium
On 31st November 2017, Nana, a female bottlenose dolphin, died at the Shizuoka Prefecture aquarium, in Japan.World’s longest living dolphin in captivity dies:
i. Dolphin Nana recently broke a national record of staying captive at the aquarium for 15,666 days, or 42 years and 11 months.
ii. Officials at the Shizuoka Prefecture aquarium organised the ceremony in her honour, where a special residence certificate was awarded in her name.
iii. Nana was captured off the coast of Ito in 1974. She had lived at the aquarium since then. She had given birth to eight calves and also had taken part in dolphin shows.
♦ Capital – Tokyo
♦ Currency – Yen
♦ Prime Minister – Shinzo Abe
New Orangutan Species Found, becomes Endangered right after discovery
On 2nd November 2017, a new species of orangutan ‘Pongo tapanuliensis’ was discovered in the Sumatra island of Indonesia, which has become the world’s most endangered great ape.
i. The species, called ‘Tapanuli orangutan’, lives in the Batang Toru forest on Sumatra island of Indonesia. They are only 800 in number totally. This has made them the most endangered great ape in the world.
ii. The findings have been published in the journal Current Biology. The new Orangutan species has been given the scientific name Pongo tapanuliensis.
iii. Tapanuli orangutan has cinnamon-coloured fur. It has a prominent moustache. The Tapanuli orangutan species became isolated about 10-20,000 years ago.
iv. It is under severe threat from mining, agricultural encroachment, illegal logging and a proposed hydroelectric dam.
♦ Capital – Jakarta
♦ Currency – Indonesian rupiah
♦ President – Joko Widodo
India’s K Srikanth achieves career-best World No 2 ranking
On 2nd November 2017, Kidambi Srikanth secured a career-best ranking of World No. 2, after jumping two places in the latest BWF (Badminton World Federation) ranking.Kidambi Srikanth World No 2:
i .Kidambi Srikanth has reached five finals and clinched four titles so far this year. He has 73,403 points that is 4527 point away from World Champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, who tops the ranking list.
ii. Kidambi Srikanth is 25 years old. He hails from Guntur, Andhra Pardesh. He had clinched back-to-back titles at Indonesia and Australia and then at Denmark and France.
About BWF World Ranking:
♦ Objective – official ranking of the Badminton World Federation for badminton players who participate in tournaments sanctioned by Badminton World Federation