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Current Affairs Today – November 4 2016

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Govt launches Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan to improve health facilities for pregnant women
i. Central Government of India launched the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) —  to provide free health check-ups to pregnant women at government health centers and hospitals.
ii. Under the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan, the pregnant ladies will be given free health check-up and required treatment for free on 9th of every month. The scheme will be applicable for pregnant women to avail in all Government hospitals across the country.
iii. The national programme will provide special free antenatal care to about 3 crore pregnant women across the country in order to detect and prevent high risk pregnancies.
iv. The scheme is applicable only for the pregnant women. The free checkup will take place on 9th of every month.

India, Sweden agree to enhance collaboration in energy sector
i. Power Minister Piyush Goyal with senior government officials from the ministry as well as representatives from industry bodies CII and FICCI went official visit to Sweden from November 1-3 ,2016.
ii. Power Minister Piyush Goyal and Ibrahim Baylan, Swedish Minister for Policy Coordination and Energy have agreed to enhance collaboration in energy sector with special focus on areas such as waste-to-energy, hydropower, smart metering and solar energy
iii. They are also participated in three round tables on green financing and investment, smart grid and energy solutions, smart cities, electro mobility and waste to energy and energy efficient mining and mine automation /optimisation.
Sweden :
♦ Capital: Stockholm
♦ Currency: Swedish krona

Environment Ministry constitutes team for Conservation of Loktak Lake
Anil Madhav Dave, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has constituted a five-member team for conservation and management of Loktak Lake in Manipur.
♦ Team Members : Dr. R Dalwani, S.P. Vashish, Dr H.K Badhola Chandan Singh and Brijesh Sikka
The terms of reference of the team:
i. To review the implementation of works carried out with financial assistance provided by the Central and State governments.
ii. Enumerate the steps required to be initiated for declaring Loktak Lake as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
iii. Identify the steps and actions to be taken to increase the tourism potential of Loktak Lake.
Loktak Lake :
♦ It is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India, located in Manipur.
♦ Keibul Lamjao National Park located at the south western part of the lake. It is the world’s only floating national park.

West Bengal CM distributes 43,000 bicycles to students under ‘Sabuj Sathi‘
i. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee distributed 43,000 bicycles to class eleventh students of state-run, aided and sponsored schools under ‘Sabuj Sathi’ at Jamboni in West Midnapore.West Bengal CM
ii. ‘Sabuj Sathi’ is a project wherein all school-going children in West Bengal will be gifted bicycles by the Government. It was announced by Mamata Banerjee in 2015.
iii. ‘Sabuj’, the word for ‘green’ also implies ‘children’ in Bengali, and ‘sathi’ means ‘companion’, hence ‘Sabuj Sathi’ or ‘children’s companion.’
West Bengal :
The West Bengal assembly has adopted the resolution to rechristen the state’s name on August 2016. It would be known as ‘Bangla’ in Bengali, ‘Bengal’ in English and ‘Bangal’ in Hindi.

Central Government approves to Implement Price Support Scheme 
i. Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has given its approval for implementation of Price Support Scheme(PSS) for procurement of Groundnut in Gujarat during the Kharif season 2016-17
ii. Price Support Scheme for Oil Seeds and Pulses , it was implemented through the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED).
iii. It has directed NAFED and SFAC to initiate the procurement immediately at MSP + Bonus at Rs 4220/Qtl.

Badal launched health awareness campaign Aware & Care
i. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal implemented the state government’s programme of ‘Aware and Care’ by flagging off 100 Information Education Communication (IEC) mobile vans.
ii. The basic aim of rolling out these vans was to inform people about the diseases like cancer, hepatitis-C, cervical cancer and the preventive measures to be taken to cure the patients suffering from these diseases in the early stages.
iii. This programme would also aim at creating awareness amongst the people about the diseases like dengue, chicken guniya, malaria with the focus on percepting them about personal hygiene and cleanliness of surrounding areas.
iv. The state government would soon launch a scheme to provide free medicines to the people through special chemist shops being started in the villages across the state.

Food Security Act implemented : Ram Vilas Paswan
i. The National Food Security Act, which implemented an act to subsidise food grain for about 810 million people, now covers the whole country, more than three years after it was formally notified.
Food Security Actii. Kerala and Tamil Nadu have also rolled out the NFSA from November. With this, now the Act has been implemented in all the States and Union Territories was announced by Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan .
iii. This would limit an expenditure of Rs.1.4 lakh crore annually — more than the 2016-17 budgeted food subsidy of about Rs .1.35 lakh crore.
iv. Kerala’s average food grain offtake has been around 1.4 million tonnes per year, while that of Tamil Nadu has been around 3.6 million tonnes per year. This would be preserved irrespective of the beneficiaries identified under the Act.
v. Under the law, which was passed by Parliament in 2013, the government provides 5 kg of highly subsidised food grain per person every month at Rs 1-3 per kg.

Chinese Buddhist pilgrim and scholar Xuan Zang stayed in Vijayawada to study Buddhist scriptures
i. Chinese Buddhist pilgrim and scholar Xuan Zang stayed a pair of years in Bezawada (the old name of Vijayawada) to copy and study the Abhidhammapitakam, the last of the three pitakas (Pali for baskets) constituting the Pali canon, the sacred writtings of Theravada Buddhism
ii. The writings of Xuan Zang about his travels in India are report of the life of the people in the 7th century. The Chinese government has used his work to establish that the relationship between India and China is 1,400 years old.
iii. Xuan Zang travelled to Andhradesa to visit the Viharas at Amaravathi and Nagarjunakonda around 640 C.E. It is popularly believed that he stayed at Amaravathi for a couple of years to study the Abhidhammapitakam.
iv. British chronicler and collector of Kistna Gordon Mackenzie in his manual written in 1883 recorded that Xuan Zang in his writing spoke about the kingdom of Anta-lo (Andhra) with its capital Ping-ki-lo (Vengi) and in Dhanakacheka (Dharani Kota).


Paris climate change agreement entered into force
i. The Paris agreement on climate change entered into force, marking the first time that governments have agreed legally binding limits to global temperature rise.
ii. The aim of more than two decades of often complex international negotiations on combating climate change – was hailed by nations and observers around the world.
paris-agreementsiii. Under the agreement, all governments that have signed the agreement, which includes the US, China, India and the EU, now carry an duty to hold global warming to no more than 2C above pre-industrial levels.
iv. Countries have put forward commitments on decreasing carbon emissions under the agreement, but a report found those promises would see temperature rises significantly overshoot the threshold, with 3C of warming. Environmental groups urged governments to do more.
v. The Paris Agreement (French: Accord de Paris) is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020.


First titanium project begins test production in Odisha
i. The plant one and only in the country and the first titanium project of India being established by Saraf Group in Ganjam district of Odisha started its test production, , would be ready for inauguration in the next few months.
ii. In the first phase, Saraf group has invested 350 crore rupees in this titanium project, which will produce titanium slag. Its raw material, ilmenite would be procured from Odisha Sands Complex (OSCOM), a unit of Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL) in Ganjam district of Odisha as well as a private company which has its unit in Srikakulam of adjoining Andhra Pradesh.
iii. The titanium plant will be ready for inauguration in the next few months and is expected to generate 36,000 tonne of titanium slag and 20,000 tonne of pig iron per year.

Government cancels FCRA licenses of over 11k NGOs
i. Central Government has canceled the three licenses of over 11,000 NGOs under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) for failing to apply for their renewal within the deadline.
ii. The validity of FCRA registration of these NGOs had earlier been extended until October 31 by a home ministry order of March this year.
iii. The Home Ministry released a list of all NGOs that failed to honour the deadline, stating that their licence was deemed cancelled from first of this month.


Saudi Arabia Awards Water Prize to Eight Scientists at UN Headquarters
Saudi Arabia has awarded eight scientists the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water at the United Nations headquarters in New York .
About the Winners :
1.Creativity Prize: The team of Dr. Rita Colwell (University of Maryland at College Park) and Dr. Shafiqul Islam (Tufts University, USA).
2.Creativity Prize: Dr. Peter J. Webster (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA).
3.Surface Water Prize: Dr. Gary Parker (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA).
4.Groundwater Prize: Dr. Tissa H. Illangasekare (Colorado School of Mines, USA).
5.Alternative Water Resources Prize:  The team of Dr. Rong Wang & Dr. Anthony G. Fane (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore).
6.Water Management and Protection Prize: Dr. Daniel P. Loucks – (Cornell University, USA).

Indian-origin researcher Shamik Chowdhury won the German Green Talent award
i. Shamik Chowdhury, a PhD student in environmental engineering from the National University of Singapore was among 25 scholars awarded for their innovative green ideas by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Indian-origin researcher Shamik Chowdhury wins the German Green Talent awardii. Chowdhury’s research was based on green synthesis of 2D graphene nanosheets and their self-assembly into advanced 3D macrostructures for sustainable urban development.
iii. Aim: To make a city life more sustainable through green technologies that will be based on renewable raw material.
iv. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research abbreviated BMBF, is a cabinet-level ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany. It is headquartered in Bonn, with an office in Berlin. The Ministry provides funding for research projects and institutions, regulates nuclear energy, and sets general educational policy. It also provides student loans in Germany.

Meryl Streep considered for Golden Globes lifetime award
i. Meryl Streep, considered as the finest actress of her generation, would get the Golden Globes lifetime achievement award at the annual ceremony in January was announced by the organizers.
ii. She was last nominated for a Golden Globe back in 2015 for her work in Into the Woods.
iii. Mary Louise “Meryl” Streep was born June 22, 1949 is an American actress and singer. Cited in the media as the “best actress of her generation. Streep is particularly known for her versatility in her roles, transformation into the characters she plays, and her accent adaptation.
iv. The 67-year-old New Jersey native will be bestowed with the Cecil B. DeMille award in recognition of her forty years in the industry.
v. She has always taken roles with strong female leads, creating art by showing vulnerability and acting truth on the big screen. Simply put, she is a pioneer, having paved the way for women in television, film and stage


Young Indian lawyer gets elected into UN’s top body of legal experts
i. Marking another milestone in the progress of India, a young Indian lawyer Aniruddha Rajput has won a seat in the hotly-contested United Nations (UN) General Assembly elections for membership its top body of legal experts, garnering the highest number of votes in the Asia-Pacific group.
ii. Aniruddha Rajput(33) is among the 34 individuals elected by the General Assembly as members of the International Law Commission, the UN organ tasked with the progressive development of international law and its codification.
iii. A practicising lawyer of India’s Supreme Court, Rajput is also the first Indian nominee chosen from outside a close circle of lawyers of the Ministry of External Affairs.
iv. An alumnus of the London School of Economics and Political Science, Rajput was member of an expert group appointed by the Law Commission of India to study and comment upon the Model Bilateral Investment Treaty 2015 of India, according to his profile submitted to the UN

Equitas SFB ropes in R Ashwin as brand ambassador
i. Tamil Nadu based private sector bank Equitas Small Finance Bank has roped in Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin as its brand ambassador for its products and services through advertising campaigns and other promotional programmes.
ii. This was announced by PN Vasudevan, MD at Equitas Small Finance Bank.
Ravichandran Ashwin :
♦ Tamil Nadu hailed Aswin is an Indian international cricketer.
♦ He is the fastest Indian bowler to reach the 50, 100, 150 and 200-wickets mark in Test cricket and currently holds the No. 1 position in the ICC test bowlers’ ranking.

Actor Ranveer Named Indian Ambassador For Switzerland Tourism
i. Bollywood Actor Ranveer Sing was named the first Indian ambassador for promoting 2017 Switzerland Tourism’s campaign- “Nature wants you back“.Actor Ranveer Named Indian Ambassador For Switzerland Tourism
ii. He was in a long vacation in Switzerland three months back.The actor is now looking forward to visiting Switzerland in winter early next year.
Switzerland :
♦ Currency: Swiss franc
♦ Capital : Bern

Eicher Polaris appoints Pankaj Dubey as CEO
i. Eicher Polaris, a 50:50 joint venture between Eicher Motors and Polaris Industries Inc, has appointed Pankaj Dubey as its Chief Executive Officer.
ii. Dubey, who is also the Managing Director of Polaris India Ltd, will assume the position of CEO of Eicher Polaris Pvt Ltd with immediate effect.


China successfully launched heavy-lift carrier rocket Long March – 5
i. China’s powerful new heavy-lift rocket glided on its first flight bringing the nation one step closer to building its own space station in Earth orbit.
China Satelliteii. Witnessed by hundreds, the rocket took off from the new Wenchang launch center in China’s southernmost province of Hainan, after being transported by sea from North China’s Tianjin.
iii. The rocket is particularly wider at five meters in diameter and capable of a payload of 25 tons in low earth orbit, more than double China’s previous rockets’ payload.
iv. After the Long March-5, China is planned to launch a series of 20-ton rockets, including the Long March-5, 6 and 7 was stated by Wang Xiaojun, Long March-7commander-in-chief.
v. The Long March-5 applies 247 new core technologies, the intellectual property rights of which are owned by China, including non-toxic environmentally friendly fuel and a highly stable control system, representing a landmark in the country’s carrier rockets.

Japan launches next-generation geostationary meteorological satellite Himawari-9
i. Japan launched a next-generation geostationary meteorological satellite “Himawari-9.
ii. Aim: To further improve weather services in the Asia-Pacific region.
iii. Himawari-9, is Japan’s ninth geostationary weather observatory since the first satellite in the Himawari, or sunflower, series launched in 1977.


MP girl Nuzhat Parveen inducted into Indian cricket team
i. Madhya Pradesh’s 20-year-old Nuzhat Parveen aka Khushboo inducted into Indian cricket team.
ii. she became the first woman from the Rewa division to get selected in the Indian cricket squad.
iii. She could make her debut in T-20 against the West Indies on November 18. Nuzhat has also been also selected for the remaining two matches.


Iconic Pakistani TV producer Yawar Hayat Khan passes away
i. Yawar Hayat Khan, well known producer and director of Pakistan Television (PTV) has died. He was 73.
ii. He worked in PTV Lahore for about 40 years

Gandhiji kin, ex-NASA scientist Kanubhai passed away
i. Kanu Ramdas Gandhi is a 87 old years, an ex-NASA scientist, and lies critical in a charitable hospital here, with little monetary resources and virtually nobody to care for him.
ii. Ahmedabad-based Dhimant Badhia, an old friend and grandson of a close associate of Gandhi arranged for small monetary help for the poor health of Kanu, and recently donated Rs.21,000 ($315) from his personal resources.Gandhiji kin, ex-NASA scientist Kanubhai passed away
iii. The Radhakrishna Temple is providing great service. They got him admitted to the Shiv Jyoti Hospital nearby and are taking care of his 90-year old wife, Shivalaxmi Kanu Gandhi, who is practically deaf and suffers from other old age-related problems.
iv. Kanu later worked with NASA and the US Defence Department on wing structures fighter aircraft, while Shivalaxmi was a professor and researcher at the Boston Biomedical Research Institute.