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Current Affairs Today – November 8 2016

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Government approved the Blacklisting Policy for Tainted Defence Deals
The government on 7 November approved the policy to blacklist defence companies which are involved in corruption and wrongdoing related to arms purchase.The government has decided to impose heavy fine on the blacklisted companies instead of blanket blacklisting, and complete banning would be the last option with no other choice left.
Other approval of DAC :
i. DAC gave Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) to purchase 83 Tejas Mark 1A aircraft worth Rs 50,025 crore.
ii. DAC gave AoN to purchase 15 Light Combat Helicopter(LCH) for the Indian Army and Air Force at a cost of about Rs 2,911 crore.

Union Government puts NDTV ban on hold
i. The one-day ban on NDTV’s Hindi channel, widely condemned, has been put on hold by Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu. The decision comes after the Supreme Court agreed to hear NDTV’s application for a stay on the ban.
ii. The Indian government ordered the Hindi language news channel to be taken off air for a day as a penalty for its coverage of an attack on Indian soldiers in January and officials had said the channel would go off air on Wednesday.
iii. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said NDTV Hindi revealed strategically sensitive details during the deadly attack on the Pathankot airbase, allegedly carried out by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed group.
iv. The Editors’ Guild of India and opposition politicians condemned the ban, saying it was an infringement on press freedom and demanded the decision be reversed immediately.

President of India Inaugrates Diamond Jubliee Celebration Of ECGC
i. The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inugurated the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations i.e. 60th Anniversary of Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India Limited (ECGC) on November 8, 2016 in New Delhi.President of India Inaugrates Diamond Jubliee Celebration Of ECGC
ii. The President said that the role of an Export Credit Agency (ECA) is of central importance in international trade and investment flows and that a robust, vibrant and well-functioning ECGC can be an enabler for putting the country back on a high export growth path.
ECGC Limited :
♦ The ECGC Limited is a company that provides export credit insurance support to Indian exporters and is controlled by the Ministry of Commerce and owned by the Government of India.
♦ ECGC Ltd, was established in July, 1957
♦ Headquarter : Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Chairman cum Managing Director : Geetha Muralidhar
♦ Minister of State (I/C) for Commerce and Industry : Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman

Construction Banned Near Uttarakhand Glaciers.
i. To protect the 968 glaciers of Uttarakhand spread in the area of 2,857 kma division bench of The Uttarakhand High Court comprising Justices Rajiv Sharma and Alok Singh imposed a complete ban on any type of construction within 2 km radius of major lakes (Bhimtal, Nainital, Khurpatal, Sattal and Naukuchiyatal lakes) of the State and also on any construction within 25 km from the edges of all glaciers in the State.
ii. The High Court bench has also banned the cutting of trees within 5 km radius of the 5 lakes. The bench ordered the Haridwar district police to identify illegally constructed mosque and other religious structures in Haridwar district and remove them within 48 hours after hearing a PIL on the matter.
iii. All the municipal boards and Nagar Panchayats have been ordered to set up sewage treatment plants within 6 months.
iv. Plastic in any form within 20 km of the glaciers and burning of fossil fuel within 10 km from the glaciers has also been banned by the High Court Bench.
Uttarakhand :
♦ Capital  :  Dehradun
♦ Chief  Minister :  Harish Rawat
♦ Governor  :  Krishna Kant Paul.

Army’s Demchok Mission Successfully Completed
i. The Indian Army successfully completed the task of laying an irrigation pipeline for the villagers in Demchok region of Eastern Ladakh.
ii. The project was undertaken under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for the purpose of linking the village with a “hot spring”.
iii. The Chinese troops tried to hinder the laying of the pipeline by putting a fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) hut on the border and claiming that no construction was allowed on the border resulting in three days confrontation ending on 5 November.
iv. However the Indian Army repudiated the claim confirming that the restriction was applicable only on defense based construction.
v. The Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) strengthened the security measures of the area to prevent the Chinese from further protest and the task successfully completed on 6 November.

India’s first rural skate park formed in Bundelkhand
i. Janwaar is a sleepy little village in rural Bundelkhand, and is one of 57 hamlets located in the moderate zone of the Panna National Tiger.
ii. Started by Ulrike Reinhard, a German who has lived and worked in the US, Janwaar Castle is rural India’s first skate-park for children, where they are also taught languages, music, dance, painting, 3D modelling, and general life-skills.
iii. The park is a place for unrestricted fun, but has two strict ground rules. Rule number one: girls first. And rule number two: no school, no skateboarding
iv. The children from both the caste today, withholding any sort of caste barricades, skate barefoot. There has been a visible positive change in the village now.

Govt to open Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Kendra in every Parliamentary Constituency
i. The Centre has planned to open Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Kendra in every to offer skill training to the people and make them employable.
ii. Mr. Rudy told that the check placements of people through fake certificates or by sell, an Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas YojanaInternational Placement Centre under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana has been begun. He told that the placement Centre would impart requisite skill for getting employment abroad.
iii. The government is also starting Driver Training Institute in every district of the country to offer driving skills of high standard. He also told that the government has set a aim of providing skill training to one crore people in the next three years.
iv. Union Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy announced this during his participation on in the Public Speak Programme of All India Radio.


China Adopted CyberSecurity Law
i. China adopted a new Cybersecurity Law, which Human Rights Watch(HRW)  told that a regressive measure that strengthens censorship, surveillance, and other controls over the Internet.
ii. The Wall Street Journal announced that the new law is also planned at tightening and centralizing state control over technology equipment, “raising concerns among foreign companies operating in the country.”
iii. China’s state-run radio called it a law to prohibit “online activities that are attempts to remove the socialist system, split the nation, undermine national unity, advocate terrorism and extremism“.
iv. The government would take measures to ‘monitor, defend and handle cybersecurity risks and threats originating from within the country or overseas sources, protecting key information infrastructure from attack, intrusion, disturbance and damage,’the law reads.
v. China also passed a law that bans film content deemed harmful to the “dignity, honour and interests” of the country. It also encourages the promotion of “socialist core values”.
Great wall of China :
♦ This was initiated by Qin Shi Huang of the Qin dynasty and it was finally completed during the Ming dynasty’s rule in the 17th century.


RBI issued Clarifications on Hedging for External Commercial Borrowings
i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued clarifications on hedging of currency for external commercial borrowings (ECBs) in a notification on its website.
ii. The ECB borrower will be required to cover both principal as well as coupon payments through the hedges done, starting from the day of borrowing.
iii. The hedging period will be for the entire life of the liability with a minimum one-year rollover option, ensuring that the total exposure is not unhedged at any point of time.
iv. The borrower has to hedge in such a manner that the projected cash flows match the expectation of the borrowers irrespective of the fluctuations in the foreign currency.

Government Of India And Asian Development Bank (ADB) signs $48 million loan to improve Assam’s power distribution.
i. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $48 million loan deal on 7 November 2016 to help Assam improve its electricity power distribution system.
ii. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) had approved a loan of $300 million for the Assam Power Sector Investment Program in July 2014. This $ 48 million is the second tranche loan of the full $ 300 million loan. The first tranche loan of $50 million was signed in February 2015.
iii. The project will help Assam to improve the efficiency of its Power Distribution System, expand and improve medium voltage network, reduce power losses by around 3% and Assam & ADBimprove electricity service to end users. The project is expected to be completed by December 2019.
Asian Development Bank :
♦ Headquarter : Manila, Philippines
♦ President : Takehiko Nakao
♦ Total member countries :67
♦ Established : December 1966

UCO Bank to raise Rs 271 crore equity from LIC
i.UCO Bank told that it would raise Rs.271 crore from Life Insurance Corporation of India in preferential allotment of equal shares at Rs.37.74 apiece.
ii. Uco Bank is one of the many money lender which are placing shares with LIC on preferential basis to carry government stake and raise public stocks.
iii. The special of 7.17 equal shares would raise LIC’s stake in Uco Bank to 14.5%from 10.38% at present, the bank told in a notice to National Stock Exchange
iv. On the aim of preferential allotment of shares to LIC, the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer R K Takkar informed shareholders that the bank requires capital for meeting Basel III norms and also to comply with the minimum public shareholding norms.
UCO Bank :
♦ Headquarters: Kolkata
♦  CEO: Ravi Krishan Takkar

Axis Bank launched a new credit card for online shoppers
i. India’s third largest private sector bank Axis Bank has announced its partnership with Flipkart to launch ‘Axis Bank Buzz Credit Card’.
ii. The Buzz credit card is a contactless payment solution that offers various benefits to enhance customers’ online shopping experience, while they enjoy the best discounts and offers.
iii. Axis Bank Buzz Credit Card powered by Flipkart is specifically designed to provide to the significantly growing and popular online shopping segment in India.
iv. Through the newly launched credit card, the bank would offer bouquet of benefits like welcome benefit of Rs.1000 worth Flipkart Voucher, exclusive discount of 5 % at Flipkart throughout the year and accelerated reward points to ensure a good online shopping experience.
v. Further, the customer is also entitled to get Flipkart vouchers of up to Rs.7000, which will be linked to the purchases made through the card.
Axis Bank :
♦ CEO: Shikha Sharma
♦ Managing Director Chairperson: Dr. Sanjiv Misra Director (Part Time)
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai

MOU on Defence Salary Package Signed between Indian Army and Corporation Bank
i. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Indian Army and Corporation Bank on the Defence Salary Package.
ii. The signing formalities was chaired by the Adjutant General, Lt Gen Rakesh Sharma, and was attended by top officials of Corporation Bank headed by Mr. Gopal MurliBhagat, Executive Director.
iii. The MoU is adapted to suit the requirements of serving soldiers, pensioners and families and includes free / concessional services including free drafts, free cheque books, free funds transfers to any bank in India through RTGS / NEFT, free ATM cards, Unlimited transactions on all ATMs including that of other Banks.
iv. Some important attributes of the MoU include Personal Accident Insurance Coverof Rs.5 & 10 lacs, Air Insurance Coverof Rs.5 to 50 lacs and Term Life Insurance Cover of Rs.5 & 10 lacs. All the facilities are also increased to the pensioners except Term Life Insurance Cover.
Corporation Bank :
♦ Headquarters: Mangalore
♦ CEO: Jai Kumar Garg


Yatra Signed MoU With Uttarakhand To Promote Homestays
i. India’s branded network of hotels, Yatra has ratified a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB) to systematize and promote accommodation in Uttarakhand and develop tourism infrastructure.Yatra Signed MoU With Uttarakhand To Promote Homestays
 ii. In first phase of this association, OYO has systematize 15 accommodationindicated with UTDB. The standardization process, will be followed by listing and marketing these properties on OYO’s well-established channels.
iii. OYO wouldgrasp its expertise in transforming and standardizing hospitality real-estate units and make local accommodation better equipped to suit the need of visitors and tourists.
iv. Under this agreement, Stayzilla will support verification procedures and jointly boost accommodation across Uttarakhand. All homestays registered with UTDB will receive technological and operational support to run the homestays.
v. Stayzilla and UTDB will jointly conduct education and training sessions for UTDB registered accommodation on best practices such as online usage, content management, operations and expense management. The company lists over 500 verified in the region.

Adani Commissioned 100 MW Solar Plant In Punjab
i. Infrastructure company Adani Enterprises Ltd announced that it commissioned India’s largest tracker-based solar power plant at Bhatinda in Punjab.The 100 megawatt plant is also the largest solar project in Punjab.
ii. Tracker plants are those with equiped panels that keep tracking the sun as it moves across the sky. Compared to fixed panels, tracking panels generate 30-35% more energy.
iii. This plant would be India’s biggest horizontal single axis tracker plant at a single location.The annual energy yield is expected to be approximately 88,000 Mwh.
iv. Adani said the Bhatinda project was finished with an investment of around Rs 640 crore.The technology used for beginning this plant includes poly crystalline silicon PV modules and horizontal single- axis tracker.


Young Syrian Hadi Abdullah Named Journalist Of The Year By Press Watchdog
i. Hadi Abdullah, Syrian freelance journalist was awarded with ‘Reporters without Borders (RSF)-TV5 Monde prize’ on November 8, 2016 for reporting from some of the most hazardous places in Syria’s five years old war.
ii. Hadi Al Abdullah (born on 8 May 1987) is a Syrian citizen journalist and activist who belongs to a lower-middle-class family.
iii. The 29 year old was nominated in journalist category and the award was presented in Strasbourg on behalf of the World Forum for Democracy, a meeting organized by the Council Of Europe.


Vinod Rai designated chairman FTAC, Kerela.
i. Former Comptroller and Auditor General of India Vinod Rai has been appointed as the chairman of the Fund Trustee and Advisory Commission (FTAC), Kerela.
Vinod Rai designated chairman FTAC, Kerela.ii. The appointment took place in a board meeting of Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) under the Chief minister and Chairman, Pinarayi Vijayan.
iii. Mr Rai would be responsible to ensure proper utilization of the funds of KIIFB as well as protecting the interest of the investors.
iv. The board also appointed two other members of FTAC comprising former Deputy Governor, RBI, Usha Thorat, and Prakash Bakshi, former chairman of NABARD


First LNG Fuelled Bus in the Country launched by Shri Dharmendra Prdhan in Kerela.
i. India’s first liquefied natural gas(LNG)-driven bus was launched in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala by Shri Dharmendra Pradhan(Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas)
ii. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan  and Shri Dharmendra Pradhan jointly flagged off the pilot run of the LNG bus on the occassion of the 4th meeting of the Group of First LNG Fuelled Bus in the Country launched by Shri Dharmendra Prdhan in Kerela.Ministers(GoM), set up by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
iii. The LNG bus is a joint effort of Petronet LNG Limited (PLL), Indian Oil Corporation Ltd and Tata Motors Ltd.
iv. Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) has formed an expert committee to form regulations for installation of LNG Fuel tank and dispensing stations
v. LNG is an environmentally friendly fuel with less number of Nitrogen and Sulphur atoms and particulate matters, as compared to petrol and diesel. Carbon emission is also lesser than Diesel. Hence LNG powered transportation system will help India meet its COP21 commitment.
Petronet LNG Limited
i. It is a joint venture company promoted by the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOC) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL).
ii. Petronet LNG Limited has set up the country’s first LNG receiving and re-gasification terminal at Dahej, Gujarat, and another terminal at Kochi.


Young Rishabh Pant hits fastest hundred in Indian FC cricket
i. Delhi’s young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant entered into the record books as he scored the fastest ever hundred by an Indian in a first-class game by hitting a 48-ball ton against Jharkhand in a Ranji Trophy encounter.
ii. Pant dominatedpublic interest as he became the second wicket-keeper batsman to win triple-century in first-class cricket. Playing against Maharashtra in a Group B match of the ongoing Ranji Season, Pant achieved the historic feat at the iconic Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
iii. Pant scored 308 runs from 326 balls before being stumped by VishantMore. Rishabh slammed42 fours and 8 sixes during his remarkable innings.
iv. The previous record of fastest hundred was in 56 balls, one of which was scored by former Tamil Nadu and India batsman VB Chandrasekhar during the 1988-89 Irani Trophy.


U.S. first female Attorney-General Janet Reno passes away.
Janet Renoi. Janet Reno, the first woman to be appointed as Attorney General of US, passed away as a consequence of Parkinson’s disease. She was 78.
ii. She died at her longtime home in Miami-Dade County, Fla.
iii. She served as Attorney General under President Bill Clinton and earned praise for her insensitiveness and independence, at the same time also faced criticism for some high-profile controversies.


International Day of Radiology – November 8 2016
i. The fifth International Day Of Radiology observed worldwide on November 8.The day marks the importance of radiology in diagnosis of severe diseases like cancer.
ii. The day also marks the 121th anniversary of the discovery of x-rays in 1895.
iii. This year International Day Of Radiology theme is ‘Breast Imaging’