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Current Affairs Today – November 5 2016

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PM Modi inaugurates Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction in New Delhi
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in New Delhi held from November 3-5, 2016 and called on the world community to work united on disaster risk reduction.
ii. Modi outlined a ten-point agenda for renewing efforts towards disaster risk reduction for all development sectors must imbibe principles of disaster risk management
iii.New Delhi Declaration’ and the ‘Asian Regional Plan for Implementation of the Sendai Framework’ adopted at the end of the day.
iv. Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh gave away the prizes for the winners of the short film competitionon the theme of Risk Sensitive Development for Community Resilience.Ms. Meghna Chawla received the prize for the film ‘The Catalysts of Change Adapting to Changing Weather in Ladakh(India)’ .
v. India and UNISDR are agreed to work towards strengthening the capacity of Asian countries in ensuring risk resilient development.

5 Day National Conference on Tropical Parasitology’ held in Puducherry
i. Around 200 representatives  from India and abroad will attend a five day national meet on tropical parasitology began on November 2, 2016 in Puducherry and evolve strategies to improve the perspective on the drug resistance scenario in parasitic diseases
ii. It is hosted by the Department of Microbiology of centrally sponsored JIPMER (Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research) and organised by the Indian Academy of Tropical Parasitology
iii. Conferences series invites all the participants from all over the world to attend ‘2nd International Conference on Parasitology’ during August 2016 in Manchester, UK which include immediate keynote presentations, Oral talks, Poster presentations and Exhibitions.
iv. Parasitology-2016 is to gathering people in education and society interested in parasitology to share the latest trends and important issues closely connected to our field/subject area.
v. The scientific programme of the conference is broad and embraces different research aspects with focus on applied and ecological parasitology, and in particular with a veterinary and medical interest. The conference will include invited speakers, oral presentations, poster session and the young scientist award.

6th Annual Indian Language Festival ‘Samanvay’ held in New Delhi
i.The three day Indian Languages Festival (ILF) Samanvay, focusing on the themes of ‘Language as Public action’ commenced with the noted Gandhian Ela Bhat in New Delhi on November 5 2016.
ii. It focuses on the merging of various idioms, and brings into the festival frame, sessions, workshops, discussions and components from languages such as the arts, music, performance, technology along with the literary.ILF 'Samanvay
iii. ILF Samanvay hopes to exhibit itself as an open interactive space at the crossroads of languages through various types of sequencing, shuffling, churning and harmonising processes, while allowing room for coincidental conjunctions.
iv. It is initiated by the India Habitat Centre, is a one-of-its-kind Indian Languages Festival held annually in New Delhi. The first Samanvay was held in 2011.
v. It was devised in 2011 as an annual celebration of writing in Indian languages. The festival has planned at generating dialogue across Indian languages at various levels and has emerged as the only literature festival dedicated exclusively to Indian languages.

Andhra Pradesh tops World Bank’s energy-saving rankings
i. In ease of doing business Andhra Pradesh ranked no. 1 from the World Bank in India in energy efficiency.The ranking of the states were released in the World Bank’s study report titled – ‘India’s State Level Energy Efficiency Implementation Readiness’.
ii. Andhra Pradesh topped with overall score of 42.01 followed by Rajasthan (41.89), Karnataka (39.34) and Maharashtra (39.29).Kerala, Gujarat, Delhi (UT), Punjab, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh are the other states in the top ten ranking in that order.
iii. Andhra Pradesh topped the list by achieving an energy saving of 1,500 million units (MU) i.e. around 650 MW in two years through use of LED lighting.
iv. State Principal Secretary (Energy and Infrastructure) Ajay Jain told that the state government has launched a new initiative ‘AP Energy Star’, making it compulsory to obtain only five-star rated appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators, ceiling fans and water pump sets in future.

Assam govt inks MoU with Civil Aviation Ministry for Regional Connectivity Scheme
i. Chief Minister Sonowal and Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airport Authority of India under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS).
ii. He also requested to make Guwahati Airport as a world class airport
iii. According to MoU, the Assam government shall reduce VAT to 1% or less on Aviation turbine fuel (ATF) at RCS Airports.
iv. The Assam Government will provide free land for the development of heliports in Diphu and Haflong
Points to remember :
♦ Maharashtra becomes first state to sign MoU with Centre under RCS
♦ First flight under the regional air connectivity scheme will take off in early January 2017

India and Venezuela sign deals to increase oil production worth $1.45 billion
i. Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro and Executive Director of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Narendra Kumar Verma signed oil production deals worth $1.45 billion in Caracas, Venezuela on November 4, 2016.
ii. Aim :  To increase oil production.
iii. The agreement comes amid a severe economic crisis in Venezuela and it is a way to boost oil production, pay off debts and increase the country’s oil income.
India and Venezuela sign deals to increase oil production worth $1.45 billion i. Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro and Executive Director of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Narendra Kumar Verma signed oil production deals worth $1.45 billion in Caracas, Venezuela on November 4, 2016. ii. Aim :  To increase oil production. iii. The agreement comes amid a severe economic crisis in Venezuela and it is a way to boost oil production, pay off debts and increase the country’s oil income. iv. According to the deal PDVSA plans to increase production at Petrodelta, which is now 40 percent owned by Delta Petroleum, from 40,000 barrels per day to 110,000. Venezuela : ♦ Capital: Caracas ♦ Currency: Venezuelan bolívariv. According to the deal PDVSA plans to increase production at Petrodelta, which is now 40 percent owned by Delta Petroleum, from 40,000 barrels per day to 110,000.
Venezuela :
♦ Capital: Caracas
♦ Currency: Venezuelan bolívar


President Pranab Mukherjee 3-day state visit to Nepal
i. President Pranab Mukherjee is on a three-day state visit to Nepal from November 2 to 4, 2016. The is visit is first by an Indian Head of State in 18 years. The President’s visit is seen as an extension of “intensive engagement” by India with Nepal, which adopted its democratic Constitution last year.
ii. The Kathmandu University conferred an Honorary Doctorate on the President of India.
iii. He also announced that from 2017 onwards, Nepali students will have the opportunity to pursue graduate and post-graduate courses in Indian Institutes of Technology on a regular basis.
iv. He had offered special worships to the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu and the Janaki Temple in Janakpurdham.

Latvia becomes first Baltic Sea country to link with China’s OBOR
i. Latvia has become the first country in the Baltic Sea area to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to link up with China’s One Belt and One Road (OBOR) Initiative.
The MoU was ratified after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s meeting with his Latvian counterpart Maris Kucinskis in Riga (capital of Latvia). It was Chinese Premier’s first visit to the European Union country.
iii. The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, also known as The Belt and Road(abbreviated B&R), One Belt, One Road (abbreviated OBOR) or the Belt and Road Initiative is a development strategy and framework, proposed by Chinese paramount leader Xi Jinping.
iv. It focuses on connectivity and cooperation among countries primarily between the People’s Republic of China and the rest of Eurasia, which consists of two main components, the land-based “Silk Road Economic Belt” (SREB) and oceangoing Maritime Silk Road” (MSR).
Latvia :
♦ Capital: Riga
♦ Currency: Euro

India-Bangladesh joint military exercise SAMPRITI-2016 to commences
i. India and  Bangladesh defence cooperation, a joint military training exercise SAMPRITI 2016 is being started at Tangail in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 05 to 18 November 2016.
ii. Exercise SAMPRITI is an important bilateral defence cooperation effort between India and Bangladesh and will be the sixth edition of the exercise which is hosted alternately by both countries.SAMPRITI-2016
iii. The SAMPRITI 2016 will simulate a scenario where both nations are working together in a Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism environment under the UN Charter.
iv. The exercise curriculum is progressively planned in which the participants will initially get familiar with each other’s organizational structure and tactical drills.
v. It will reach the end with a final validation exercise in which troops of both armies will jointly practice a Counter Terrorist Operation in a controlled and simulated environment.

India, China agree to maintain high-level exchanges
i.  India and China have agreed to maintain the pace of their high-level exchanges in counter- terrorism and other fields.
ii.  National Security Advisor(NSA) Ajit Doval and Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi, concluded their discussions in Hyderabad.
iii. The two sides agreed to maintain the pace of high-level exchanges in political, economic, defence and counter- terrorism fields.


USAID and RBL Bank Announce $75 million in Loan Guarantee for clean energy
i. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Mumbai-based RBL Bank announced a new loan portfolio guarantee that will facilitate up to $75 million for lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating in off-grid, solar rooftops, and energy efficiency sectors.
ii. This guarantee, the first of its kind between USAID and an Indian private sector bank, will support innovative solutions and business models to improve access to clean energy sources for electricity.
iii. India needs more than USD 100 billion in energy investment per year until 2040 to meet its need for electricity.
iv. The U.S. Government supports the Government of India’s goal of providing 24×7 power to all Indian households by 2020 and lowering of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030.


MNRE issue bidding guidelines for setting up 1000 MW Wind Power Projects 
i. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) provided Guidelines for transparent bidding process for implementation of Scheme for setting up of 1000 MW Wind Power Project connected to inter-state transmission system (ISTS).
ii. The power projects would be selected through open competitive bidding followed by e-reverse auction and the capacity to be bid out could be over 1,000 MW, if there is demand from buying entities. The implementing agency Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has already floated a document for selection of bidders under the Scheme.
iii. Discoms of non-windy State and UTs and also the bulk consumers of any State/UTs who intend to buy 10 MW or more can buy wind power under the Scheme
iv. Bidders will be permitted to offer for a minimum capacity of 50 MW and a maximum of up to 250 MW. The selected bidder will be required to injected wind power at ISTS interconnection points.
v. The guidelines also contain provisions related to pass-through of GST impact, part commissioning, efficiency in generation and performance monitoring.

CII launches unique platform ‘Startup Mentorship Circle’
i. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) launched ‘Startup Mentorship Circle‘ in Mumbai CII launches unique platform ‘Startup Mentorship Circle'to mentor startups, connect them to the global marketplace and their think-tanks for them to scale up and succeed in an exponential way on November 5, 2016
ii. Startup Mentorship Circle is truly a strong eco-system for nurturing innovation and startups to drive sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities.
iii. This mentorship was conducted by senior leaders from companies such as Hindustan Unilever, Siemens, Itz Cash Card.

Abbott to set up innovation hub in Mumbai, India
i. Global drug maker Abbott is setting up an innovation and development center (I&D) in Mumbai to develope new drug formulations, new indications, dosing, packaging and other differentiated offerings.
ii. The centre will act as a “hub” and ship products to at least 30 countries that will further develop the products to suit local needs .It will also have a pilot scale plant.
iii. Abbott has its existing innovation and development centres in Chile and Columbia. 


Taylor Swift Is the World’s Highest-Paid Woman in Music for 2016 : Forbes
Taylor Swift has topped Forbes magazine’s list of the highest-earning female solo artists in music, with more than twice the income of the second-placed artist, Adele.
Forbes top 5 List :

1. Taylor Swift $170m
2. Adele $80.5m
3. Madonna $76.5m
4. Rihanna $75m
5. Beyoncé $54m

Haryana govt conferred award for e-governance
i. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley awarded the Haryana government was conferred with the award for outstanding work in the field of e-governance at the ‘State of the States Conclave 2016’ in New Delhi.Haryana govt conferred award for e-governance
ii. Principal Secretary of CM, Rakesh Gupta received the award on behalf of Haryana government.
iii. The award was presented to aprreciate the work done in the field of e-governance in the past two years in Haryana.
iv. Under ‘One-State One-View’ initiative, an integrated SRDB (State Residents Data base) has been created. It  will ensure de-duplication of records. Linking data of each citizen with Aadhaar has enabled the state government in identifying those 6.25 lakh consumers.


B Nagabhushana Reddy concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Benin    
i. Indian IFS officer B Nagabhushana Reddy has been concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Benin with residence in Abuja (Nigeria)
ii. Currently he is working as the Ambassador of India to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Benin :
♦ Capital: Porto-Novo
♦ Currency: West African CFA franc
♦ President: Patrice Talon

Bishwadip Dey concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to the Commonwealth of Dominica    
The IFS officer Bishwadip Dey, High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has been concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to the Commonwealth of Dominica with residence in Port of Spain.
Dominica :
♦ Capital: Roseau
♦ Currency: East Caribbean dollar

Kamala Harris set to become first Indian-American US Senator
Kamala Harris set to become first Indian-American US Senatori. Kamala Harris, California’s Attorney General, is on the cusp of becoming the first Indian- American Senator in the US Congress
ii. According to a report, 55 per cent early voters chose Harris, 26 per cent backed Sanchez and 14 per cent said neither.
iii. Harris, who was born in Oakland, California, is the daughter of an Indian mother who emigrated from Chennai in 1960 and a Jamaican American father.

Twitter India MD Parminder Singh resigns
i. Twitter’s India and South East Asia’s Managing Director Parminder Singh has resigned after Rishi Jaitly exit from twitter
ii. He will be replaced by Maya Hari and the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region will be handled by Benjamin Ampen.
Twitter :
♦ CEO: Jack Dorsey
♦ Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States


NASA satellites break Guinness World Record
i. Magnetospheric Multiscale mission (MMS) has set the Guinness World Record for highest altitude fix of a GPS signal at 70,000 kilometres above the surface of the Earth by NASA( National Aeronautics and Space Administration)
ii. It is operating in a highly elliptical orbit around Earth, the four MMS spacecraft incorporate Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements into their precise tracking systems.
iii. Earlier this year, MMS achieved the closest flying separation of a multi-spacecraft formation with only 7.2 km between the four satellites.Magnetospheric Multiscale mission (MMS)
iv. When the satellites are closest to Earth, they move at up to 35,405 km per hour, making them the fastest known operational use of a GPS receiver.
Magnetospheric Multiscale mission (MMS)  :
♦ The Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS) is an unmanned space mission to study the Earth’s magnetosphere, using four identical spacecraft flying in a tetrahedral formation. The spacecraft were launched on 13 March 2015 .
♦ The mission uses four individual satellites that fly in a pyramid formation to map magnetic reconnection, a process that occurs as the sun and Earth’s magnetic fields interact.


Indian Women Win First ACT Title After Deepika’s Late Strike
i. The Indian women’s hockey team The Indian registered a 2-1 victory over China to claim the women’s Asian Champions Trophy title in Singapore
ii. Hockey India announced a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh each for the players and chief coach Neil Hawgood. It also announced Rs 1 lakh for the other support staff of the team.
iii. A cash award for Rs 1 lakh was announced for Deepika, the highest Scorer of the tournament.


First World Tsunami Awareness Day – November 5 2016
i. The First World Tsunami Awareness Day was observed on November 5, 2016 in the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016.
ii. The 5th of November was designated as World Tsunami Awareness Day (WTAD) by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2015 to focus on education and evacuation drills.
iii. 2016 Theme: “Effective Education and Evacuation Drills

Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2016 
i. 5th annual global celebration of Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Week observed from 31 October to 6 November, 2016.
ii. 2016 Theme Media and Information Literacy: New Paradigms for Intercultural Dialogue.
iii. Sixth Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) Conference and the First General Assembly of the Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL), taking place November 2-5, 2016 in São Paulo, Brazil ahead of the Global MIL Week 2016.Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2016
iv. The primary focus of information literacy has been research skills.Media literacy, a study that emerges around the 1970s traditionally focuses on the analysis and the delivery of information through various forms of media.
v. The study of Information Literacy has been increased to include the study of Media Literacy in many countries like UK, Australia and New Zealand. The term Information and Media Literacy is used by UNESCO