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Current Affairs Today November 9 2017

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Radha Mohan Singh inaugurates three-day Organic World Congress – 2017 in Greater Noida
On 9th November 2017, Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister, Radha Mohan Singh inaugurated the three-day Organic World Congress – 2017 at India Expo Centre in Greater Noida.Radha Mohan Singh inaugurates three-day Organic World Congress – 2017 in Greater NoidaOrganic World Congress – 2017:
i. 1,400 representatives from 110 countries, and 2000 delegates from India participated in the Organic World Congress – 2017. The goal is to move from organic India to the organic world.
ii. The Organic World Congress (OWC) is organized once every three years in a different country. The International Federation of Organic Farming Movements (IFOAM) and Organic Farming Association of India (OFAI) are organizing the event.
iii. One of the highlights of the event is the exhibition of carefully preserved diverse indigenous seed varieties over generations. 55 seeds group from 15 Indian states showcase 4,000 varieties of seeds in the event.
About Organic World Congress – 2017:
♦ Dates – 9 – 11 November 2017
♦ Venue – Indian Expo Centre and Mart, Greater Noida

First ever Nordic-Baltic youth film festival in India
The Nordic-Baltic embassies are set to host the first ever youth film festival of the European nations at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi from 13 – 18 November 2017.
Nordic-Baltic youth film festival 2017:
i. The Nordic-Baltic youth film festival is organized by Nordic-Baltic embassies in collaboration with the India Habitat Centre.
ii. The Nordic-Baltic countries are Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden. They are tied together geographically and historically through trade, culture and many other value systems.
iii. The festival would offer a diverse mix of some of the most celebrated and Oscar nominated movies from the Nordic-Baltic region. Movies would range from action movies to family films to documentaries.
About Nordic-Baltic youth film festival 2017:
♦ Dates – 13 – 18 November 2017
♦ Venue – India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

PM Modi flagged off Bandhan Express & Inaugurates two bridges
‘Bandhan Express’ a passenger train between Kolkata and Bangladesh’s southwestern industrial city of Khulna was inaugurated on November 9, 2017.PM Modi flagged off Bandhan Express & Inaugurates two bridgesMore Details about ‘Bandhan Express’:
i. ’Bandhan Express’ was jointly flagged off (through video conferencing) by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
ii. It is a fully air-conditioned passenger train and will run every Thursday from both Kolkata and Khulna.
iii. ’Bandhan Express’ will cover 172 kms distance between Kolkata and Khulna in four hours. It will have two stoppages, one at Petrapole (on the India side) and other at Benapole (in Bangladesh).
iv. It is the second Indo-Bangla train service after the Maitree Express, which runs between Dhaka and Kolkata.
v. The three leaders also inaugurated two bridges over the rivers Meghna and Titas in Bangladesh to provide an end-to-end immigration facility to ease Dhaka-Kolkata Maitree train services.

Delhi govt signs twin city agreement with Seoul
On November 8, 2017, Delhi Government signed a twin city agreement with the Seoul (South Korea) Metropolitan Government with an objective to strengthen cooperation between two cities in the fields of smart city, e-governance, climate change and transportation.
i. This agreement, referred to as ‘Establishment of Friendship City Relationship’ was signed between Park Won Soon, Mayor of Seoul (South Korea) Metropolitan Government and Delhi and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
ii. It also envisages cooperation in the areas of environment, education, solid waste management, waste water management, public health, culture & tourism, and youth exchange.
iii. The twin city agreement between Delhi and Seoul will come into effect after being approved by Union Government.
iv. It is to be noted that Arvind Kejriwal and Park Won Soon, both received Ramon Magsaysay Award in year 2006.


Chennai included in UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network for Contribution in Music
Chennai has been included in United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO’s) Creative Cities Network for its rich musical tradition.
i. Chennai is the third Indian city to be included in UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network. Jaipur and Varanasi have already featured in the network for their contributions to music and folk arts.
ii. Chennai is one of the 64 cities designated as UNESCO Creative Cities last month. Other cities that were designated last month include Cairo (Egypt), Cape Town (South Africa), Manchester (UK), and Milan (Italy).………………………….Click here to Read more

Bengaluru outranks San Francisco in Confidence to Go Digital
According to a report based on a survey by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), published on November 7, 2017, India’s Silicon Valley – Bengaluru has been adjudged as the best city among 45 cities for the confidence of its businesses in their ability to go digital………………………………….Click hereto Read more
Economist Intelligence Unit’s ‘Confidence to go Digital’ survey – Top 10 cities

1Bengaluru, India
2San Francisco, US
3Mumbai, India
4New Delhi, India
5Beijing, China

Hong Kong becomes World’s Top City for International Visits
On 7th November 2017, a report published by Euromonitor International, said that, Hong Kong remains the world’s most visited city by international travelers.Hong Kong becomes World's Top City for International VisitsHong Kong – World’s Top City for International Visits:
i. The report on top 100 city destinations was published by market research firm Euromonitor International. It said that, 25.7 million arrivals are expected in Hong Kong this year, making it the World’s top city for international visits.
ii. The Thai capital Bangkok retains second place, but its popularity has grown faster than Hong Kong’s, with arrivals at 21.3 million.
iii. London is Europe’s top city, in third place with 19.8 million arrivals. The report was authored by Wouter Geerts, Euromonitor’s senior travel analyst. The report highlights the growth in Asian tourism.
About Hong Kong:
♦ Status         – Special administrative region
♦ Currency – Hong Kong dollar
♦ Official languages – Chinese & English

India jumps to 3rd spot in global gaming installs: Unity Tech
On 9th November 2017, Unity Technologies, said that, India is now ranked third in global gaming installs, surpassing Brazil and Russia.
India 3rd spot in global gaming installs:
i. Unity Technologies, said that, the latest market research shows that, India has risen from the 9th position in January 2017 to the 3rd spot in global gaming install rankings.
ii. It has surpassed Brazil and Russia in the global rankings. This is due to a drastic increase in India’s adoption of high-end mobile devices with larger RAM size.
iii. Unity Technologies analysed and studied the ongoing market trends and development in the Indian mobile industry. It said that, in one year, mobile device count with 1GB RAM has grown from 31.6 million to 100 million in October 2017.
About Unity Technologies:
♦ Headquarters – San Francisco, California, U.S.
♦ CEO – John Riccitiello

International Energy Agency (IEA) Ministerial meeting held in Paris
International Energy Agency (IEA) Ministerial meeting was held in Paris, France on 7th and 8th November, 2017.International Energy Agency (IEA) Ministerial meeting held in ParisMore Information about IEA Ministerial Meeting, Paris:
i. Energy security, clean energy technology and government-industry dialogue on investment and digitalization were the key focus areas for this meeting.
ii. Indian delegation to IEA Ministerial Meeting, Paris was led by Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Raj Kumar Singh.
iii. During the course of this event, India signed joint work programmes with IEA and other member countries of IEA viz. Brazil, Chile, Indonesia and Thailand. 
iv. Mr. Raj Kumar Singh also had a delegate level discussion with the French Minister of State for Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Ms. Brune Poirson on the side lines of this event.
v. He also held discussion with US Secretary of Energy, Mr. James Richard Perry  on various issues of Power and New & Renewable Energy.
Quick Facts about International Energy Agency:
♦ Founded in – 1973
♦ Location of Secretariat – Paris, France


SBI releases economic report on oil price hike, impact on CAD
The Economic Research Department of State Bank of India (SBI) has released a report on oil price hike and how unlikely it is to impact the Current account deficit (CAD) and how inflation could stretch fiscal.
SBI economic report on oil price hike:
i. The report is authored by Dr. Soumya Kanti GhoshGroup Chief Economic Adviser of SBI. The report depicts oil price hike and its impact on the Current account deficit (CAD) and inflation.
ii. The report said that, with this rate and assuming oil price reduces to reasonable levels, the Government could receive budgeted Rs 1 lakh crore in small savings in financial year 2018, and would be able to do a buyback of Rs 75000 crore.
iii. It further said that, an average annual one dollar increase in oil price can lead to an increase in oil imports by 1561 million dollars annually.
About SBI (State Bank of India):
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ Chairman – Rajnish Kumar

US grants $500k to promote religious freedom in India, Sri Lanka
The US has announced a grant of nearly USD 500,000 for organisations which can come up with ideas and projects to promote religious freedom in India and Sri Lanka.
US grants $500k to India and Sri Lanka to promote religious freedom:
i. The Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, US, has said that, it aims to reduce religiously-motivated violence and discrimination in India through its USD 493,827 programme.
ii. For Sri Lanka, it aims to ensure that, authorities at all levels of government in Sri Lanka effectively implement national laws and policies protecting religious freedom.
iii. For India, the applying organisation has to come up with proposals to develop and implement early warning systems to prevent large-scale violence and implement conflict mitigation programs between minority and majority groups.
About United States of America:
♦ Capital – Washington, D.C.
♦ Currency – US dollar
♦ President – Donald Trump

IDFC Bank partners MobiKwik for co-branded virtual Visa prepaid card
On November 8, 2017, IDFC Bank entered into a strategic partnership with digital payments solution company MobiKwik to launch a co-branded virtual Visa prepaid card for customers of MobiKwik.IDFC Bank partners MobiKwik for co-branded virtual Visa prepaid card More Information about IDFC Bank – Mobikwik co-branded virtual Visa prepaid card:
i. By next week, IDFC Bank – Mobikwik Visa virtual pre-paid card facility will be available to all MobiKwik users on Android as well as iOS platform.
ii. To use the co-branded pre-paid card, the Mobikiwk user need not be a customer of IDFC Bank.
iii. This tie-up will enhance the brand visibility of IDFC Bank as Mobikwik’s current user base stands at 65 million.
iv. From Mobikwik’s perspective, this tie-up will extend the buying power of Mobikwik’s users at more locations.
Quick Facts about IDFC Bank
♦ Founded in – October 2015
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Founder, MD & CEO – Rajiv Lall

IRDA makes linking of Aadhaar with insurance policy mandatory
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) has announced that linking of Aadhaar number to insurance policies is now a mandatory requirement under Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017. 
i. This norm of linking Aadhaar number to insurance policies will apply to new customers as well as existing policy holders.
ii. Besides, it will apply not only to life insurance policies but also to general insurance policies.
iii. Insurance industry experts believe that this norm will be helpful during claims settlement.
iv. Aadhaar Number-Insurance Policy linkage will help in establishing the unique identity of the claimant thus reducing fraudulent claims. Moreover it will also increase the speed of settlement.
Quick Facts about IRDA:
♦ Founded in – 1999
♦ Headquarters – Hyderabad
♦ Current Chairman – T S Vijayan

Dubai based Emirates NBD bank begins operations in India
United Arab Emirates (UAE’s) second largest bank, Emirates NBD has started operations in India by opening a branch in Mumbai.
More Information about Emirates NBD bank’s Indian operations:
i. Emirates NBD, has a plan to invest USD 100 million capital into its Indian operations over a period of time.
ii. The Mumbai branch is Emirates NBD’s fifth international branch outside of its UAE.
iii. Emirates NBD’s Mumbai branch will offer a range of services to corporate, institutional clients and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
iv. It will not only offer trade finance, treasury services, bilateral and syndicated loans but will also cater to NRI (non-resident Indian) customers looking for cross-border wealth management solutions.
Quick Facts about Emirates NBD Bank:
♦ Founded in – 2007
♦ Headquarters – Dubai, UAE
♦ Current Chairman – Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum


China to shut down steel plants for 5 months to curb Beijing winter pollution
A report by non-governmental environmental organisation Greenpeace has stated that, China will either shut down or reduce operations at several steel plants for the next 5 months to reduce pollution in Beijing.China to shut down steel plants for 5 months to curb Beijing winter pollutionChina to shut down steel plants to curb pollution:
i. A number of steel plants in northern China, which usually faces heavy to severe winter pollution every year, will be shut down before Christmas as part of the green strategy.
ii. The new measures will come to effect in mid-November 2017, and will continue through the winter. This move aims to cut wintertime particulate pollution by 15%.
iii. The the five-month shutdown of steel factories is temporary. But the plan aims at a new joint environmental protection bureau covering Beijing and two surrounding provinces to enforce industrial emission norms.
About China:
♦ World’s most populous country
♦ World’s second-largest state by land area

Adani Power inks PPA with Bangladesh Power Development Board
Adani Power has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Adani Power (Jharkhand) has inked long-term pact with Bangladesh Power Development Board to supply electricity from its upcoming 1,600 MW plant at Godda in Jharkhand.
i. Adani Power (Jharkhand) Limited has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for net capacity of 1,496 MW with Bangladesh Power Development Board for 25 year.
ii. Adani Power (Jharkhand) will set up a new 1,600 MW (2X800 MW) ultra— supercritical, coal based power plant at Godda, Jharkhand.
Quick Facts about Adani Power:
♦ Founded in – August 1996
♦ Headquarters – Ahmedabad, Gujarat
♦ Current CEO – Vineet Jain

Government doubles import duty on wheat to 20%
On November 8, 2017, Indian government doubled the import duty on wheat to 20 per cent to restrict cheap shipments and thereby provide price support to farmers in the ongoing Rabi season.
i. This decision has been taken as government wants to give positive price signal and encourage farmers to grow wheat in more area.
ii. Moreover, Indian Government wants to avoid wheat growers to shift to other crops due to low prices owing to excess supply available at cheaper rates.
iii. Indian government has also imposed import duty of 50 per cent on peas to curb cheaper shipments from countries like Canada.
iv. Moreover, quantitative restrictions have been placed on import of other pulses like tur to boost domestic prices.


Natalie Portman has been awarded Israel’s 2018 Genesis Prize
On 7th November 2017, organisers announced that, Natalie Portman has been awarded Israel’s 2018 Genesis Prize in recognition of her commitment to social causes and deep connection to her Jewish and Israeli roots.Natalie Portman has been awarded Israel’s 2018 Genesis PrizeNatalie Portman – 2018 Genesis Prize:
i. The Genesis Prize is granted each year to a person recognised as an inspiration to the next generation of Jews through professional achievement and commitment to Jewish values. It consists of $1 million cash.
ii. Natalie Portman is an Oscar award winning actress. She was born in Israel and moved to the United States as a young girl. She won the 2011 Best Actress Academy Award.
iii. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to present the award to Ms. Portman at a ceremony in Jerusalem in June 2018.
About Genesis Prize:
♦ Inaugurated in – 2014
♦ Instituted by – Israeli prime minister’s office, Genesis Prize Foundation & chairman’s office of the Jewish Agency


Ravinder Singh elected first Sikh mayor of US city
Ravinder Singh Bhalla has become the first ever Sikh mayor of New Jersey’s Hoboken city.
i. He is the first Sikh to hold elected office in New Jersey.
ii. Within days of being associated with “terrorism” in a flyer during the run up to the mayoral election, Ravinder Singh Bhalla has become the first Sikh mayor of Hoboken city of New Jersey in the US.
iii. Bhalla was supported by the current Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who as a surprising decision announced not to go with the re-election in the month of June.
iv. Bhalla, who has been in the city council for more than seven years, claimed the victory at Moran’s Pub on Garden Street yesterday with dozens of his supporters, as well as his friends and family.
v. Bhalla, who is better known as Ravi Bhalla, graduated from UC Berkley and did his masters degree from London School of Economics and received a law degree from Tulane University.
♦ Capital – Trenton
♦ Largest city – Newark
♦ Population – Ranked 11th
♦ Largest Metro – New York metropolitan area

Indian Origin Priti Patel resigns as British Minister
On 8th November 2017, Britain’s first Indian-origin Cabinet Minister Priti Patel resigned as International Development Secretary due to controversies over her unauthorised secret meetings with Israeli politicians.Indian Origin Priti Patel resigns as British MinisterPriti Patel resigns as International Development Secretary:
i. Priti Patel’s resignation is followed by controversies around a dozen undisclosed meetings she had with other Israelis, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for which she had been forced to apologise.
ii. She is a 45 year old Gujarati-origin politician. She was promoted as secretary of state in the department for international development in 2016.
iii. She was among the most active supporters of Brexit and had supported the ‘Vote Leave’ campaign in the lead in favour of Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU).
About Priti Patel:
♦ Occupation – British Politician
♦ Political party – Conservative Party


India s Second Technology and Innovation Support Center in Chennai
India’s second Technology and Innovation Support Center (TISC) will be set up at the Centre for Intellectual Property Rights (CIPR) in Anna University, Chennai.
More Information about India s Second Technology and Innovation Support Center:
i. To set up this Center, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry has signed an Institutional agreement with Anna University.
ii. This center will be set up under the World Intellectual Property Organizations (WIPO) Technology and Innovation Support Center (TISC) program. 
iii. WIPO’s TISC program provides access to locally based, high quality technology information and related services to innovators in developing countries.
iv. TISC will serve as a platform for sharing knowledge and best practices for capacity building, generation and commercialization of Intellectual Properties.
v. Anna University which will host this centre Anna University has been accredited with 6th rank among Universities by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) of Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.

Uber joins forces with NASA to develop flying taxis
On 9th November 2017, Uber unveiled a partnership with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to develop flying taxis priced competitively with standard Uber journeys.
Uber partners with NASA for flying taxis:
i. Uber has also announced that, Los Angeles will join two other previously revealed “UberAIR” pilot schemes in Dallas Fort-Worth, Texas, and Dubai.
ii. The first demonstration flights are expected in 2020 and will move into commercial operations by 2023, with plenty of time for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
iii. The flights will have a pilot during initial flights. But it could be automated in the future. An UberAir journey would take three times less time than the same journey by car.
About Uber:
♦ Global transportation Technology Company
♦ Headquarters – San Francisco, California
♦ CEO – Dara Khosrowshahi


Musa paramjitiana: New species of wild banana discovered in Andaman and Nicobar
A new species of wild banana named ‘Musa paramjitiana’ has been discovered in Andaman and Nicobar islands.Musa paramjitiana - New species of wild banana discovered in Andaman and NicobarMusa paramjitiana:
i. The new species of wild banana has been named after Paramjit Singh, director of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI). This discovery has been published in the Nordic Journal of Botany.
ii. The species was found in North Andaman’s Krishnapuri forest, 6 kilometres away from human habitation.
iii. The plant grows to a height of nine metres and bears an edible, sweet-and-sour tasting fruit that is boat-shaped and has numerous bulb-shaped seeds.
iv. Its conservation status has been declared as ‘Critically Endangered’. As, it has been spotted in only two locations on the islands so far, each with 6 to 18 plants in a clump.
About Andaman and Nicobar Islands:
♦ Capital – Port Blair
♦ Lieutenant Governor – Devendra Kumar Joshi


Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy win National titles
On 8th November 2017, Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy won titles in Senior National Badminton Championship 2017, in Nagpur.
Senior National Badminton Championship 2017:
i. Saina Nehwal, a former world number one, defeated PV Sindhu, the Olympic and World Championship silver medallist by 21-17, 27-25 in the finals of women singles. Saina won the women’s singles title.
ii. HS Prannoy defeated Kidambi Srikanth by 21-15, 16-21, 21-7 in the men’s singles finals. HS Prannoy won the men’s singles title.
iii. Also, Ashwini Ponnappa won two titles – mixed doubles with Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and women’s doubles with N Sikki Reddy.
About Senior National Badminton Championship 2017:
♦ Edition – 82nd
♦ Location – Nagpur


Actor Karin Dor dies at 79
Karin Dor, who played the red-haired villainess Helga Brandt in the 1967 James died on 06thNov 2017 in a nursing home in Munich.
i. Dor became popular in the 1960’s for playing heroines in Karl May and Edgar Wallace films but is best remembered for playing an assassin sent to kill James Bond, played by Sean Connery – in 1967 film You Only Live Twice.
ii. Karin also appeared in the Alfred Hitchock movie Topaz in 1969 as Juanita de Cordoba. She also starred alongside Christopher Lee in The Invisble Dr, Mabuse in 1962.
iii. Enjoying a decade in this industry, the actress appeared in US TV dramas such asIt Takes A Thief, Ironside and the FBI, as well as theatre productions from the age of 17.
iv. Karin was married three times. The latest husband of hers’ was a stunt director and actor George Robotham, from 1988 until his death in 2007.
Karin Dor
♦ German Actress
♦ Born – 22nd Feb 1938
♦ Died – 6th nov 2017


Uttarakhand celebrates its 17th formation day
On 9th November 2017, Uttarakhand celebrated its 17th formation day.
Uttarakhand formulation day:
i. Uttarakhand was formed on 9th November 2000 as the 27th state. It was separated from Uttar Pradesh.
ii. Numbers of events were organized across the state to celebrate the 17th formulation day. The main event was held at Police line in Dehradun, where ceremonial parade was presented by Uttarakhand police.
iii. Governor K. K. Paul reviewed the ceremonial parade at Police line. He praised the law and order situation in the state. He also honored police personnel for rendering excellent service to the state.
About Uttarakhand:
♦ Capital – Dehradun
♦ Governor – Krishan Kant Paul
♦ Chief Minister – Trivendra Singh Rawat

Legal Service Day – November 9
On 9th November 2017, Legal Service Day was observed all over India.Legal Service DayLegal Service day:
i. Legal Services Day is celebrated every year on 9th of November in all states and authorities of India. At this day variety of legal literacy camps and functions are organized at many places in New Delhi.
ii. This day was first coined by the Supreme Court in the year 1995 to offer help and support to the weaker and poor group of sections of people which may be women, disabled persons, Scheduled Tribes, children, Scheduled Castes, human trafficking victims and natural calamities victims.
iii. People from government as well as non government organizations take part in the functions and camps related to the Legal Services Day.
About Supreme Court of India:
♦ Location – New Delhi
♦ Current Chief Justice – Dipak Misra