Monday, 16 November 2015

Current Affairs November 16, 2015



International Day for Tolerance
  • Education Minister Majid Al-Nuaimi, marking Bahrain’s celebrations in the International Day for Tolerance, stressed the ministry’s vision aimed at enhancing the value of tolerance through school activities and curriculums, in line with the directives of Bahrain’s leadership for the advancement of the individual’s freedom and progress.
  • The minister pointed that the ministry has launched a pilot project for schools enhancing citizenship and human rights in four secondary schools. The project comes in implementation of the leadership’s directives in this regard, which reflects HM the King’s interest in bolstering values of tolerance and loyalty to the homeland among all segments of the society.
  • He explained that the pilot project which will be gradually expanded during upcoming period.
  • He added that the project will also be applied in kindergartens. It will focus on highlighting the concept of tolerance and training the kids to conduct it as a behavior in the kindergarten and at home.


‘Low’ stays put over Sri Lanka, sustains heavy rain over TN
  • The hyperactive well-marked low-pressure area has refused to move out of its perch over Sri Lanka/adjoining South-West Bay of Bengal and continues to pump in moisture in a North-Northeast direction into Tamil Nadu.
  • This explains the continued heavy rain over Tamil Nadu. India Met Department is still maintaining a watch for intensification of the ‘low’ into a depression before it impacts the Tamil Nadu coast.
  • Forecasts suggested possibility of continued heavy or even extremely heavy rain for the North Tamil Nadu coast (covering Chennai) for another couple of days from today (Monday).
  • Heavy to very heavy rain will lash South Tamil Nadu, South Interior Karnataka, and Coastal Andhra Pradesh during this period. A high wind alert is valid for Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and South Andhra Pradesh coasts.

‘Hubballi-Dharwad can become IT capital of north Karnataka’
  • The former Chief Secretary of Karnataka and Chairman of Smart Cities India Foundation A. Ravindra has said that the twin cities Hubballi-Dharwad have all the potential to become the IT capital of north Karnataka.
  • Delivering the keynote address at the one day meet of urban planners here on the agenda ‘Urban Planning and IT Solutions for Smart City’, Mr. Ravindra warned the authorities against allowing horizontal development.
  • Only a compact and comprehensive development plan would ensure the development of the twin cities into the next IT capital of the region.
  • Mr. Ravindra said that one needs to have a totally different approach towards the Smart City Project, where active and intensive participation of the citizens was required to facilitate development. Economic development and better quality of life should be major components for the smart city project.

Kempe Gowda Smaranothsava celebrated in Mysuru
  • The Vokkaliga community members have urged the government to celebrate Kempe Gowda Jayanti every year and give emphasis on conserving monuments built by him.
  • It was also resolved by the leaders to seek the establishment of a Kempe Gowda Authority to conduct research into the founder of Bengaluru. These and other resolutions were passed at the Kempegowda Smaranothsava, which was attended by elected representatives cutting across party lines, including former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, JD(S) president H.D. Kumaraswamy, and Chamundeshwari MLA G.T. Devegowda. Pontiffs Nirmalananda Swami of Ari Adichunchanagiri Mutt, and Nanjavadhootha Swami of Spatikapuri Mutt were present.
  • The members resolved to ask the government to rename Bengaluru district as Kempe Gowda district and develop Magadi in Ramanagaram district as a tourist place.

Hindu Mahasabha launches a website for Nathuram Godse
  • Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha launched a website devoted to Nathuram Godse, the Hindutva activist who killed Mahatma Gandhi, in order to commemorate November 15, the day Godse was hanged as ‘Balidan Diwas’.
  • Munna Kumar Sharma, national general secretary of Hindu Mahasabha told The Hindu that It was high time that government of India should stop looking at Godse through the prism of several decades and well entrenched prism of “anti-Hindu propaganda about Godse”.
  • According to him, Godse was the “real hero” of Independence struggle of India, and the website was just a “small homage for his contributions”.
  • To start with Godse’s book “Gandhi vadh kyun (Why did I kill Gandhi) and his brother Gopal Godse’s book ‘Gandhi vadh aur main (Gandhi’s assassination and me)” will be available on the website www.nathuramgodse.in.
  • Hindu Mahasabha organised a puja on the ‘Balidan Diwas’ across its 120 offices in the country.

President Pranab Mukherjee Inaugurates 35th IITF
  • President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday (14 November) inaugurated the 35th India International Trade Fair (IITF) 2015 in New Delhi.    Speaking on the occasion, Mukherjee said that IITF 2015 presents an ideal platform for the global fraternity which has a shared interest in trade relations to enhance peace and prosperity.
  • The IITF protect and promote India’s cultural heritage through collaboration amongst Government, industry, and artisans, craft persons and weavers. The ITPO has taken several initiatives this year to improve facilities offered to visitors, he added.   This year Afghanistan has been the ‘Partner Country’ and Bangladesh as the ‘Focus Country’ in IITF 2015.
  • Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has also been roped-in to sell the entry tickets from Monday to Friday for business delegates and later on for the general public from 19 to 27 November.

e-rickshaws to criss-cross Hyderabad soon
  • Battery run e-rickshaws have arrived to cut the city loose from smothering vehicular pollution.
  • Like in New Delhi, the Road Transport Authority in Hyderabad has decided to introduce these rickshaws which run inducing minimal emissions. But like every good deed, there were hurdles that the authorities had to overcome before taking this e-leap.
  • As permissions from Central Institute of Road Transport is required to run new vehicle models, the authorities had to wait for the required permits to get the green wheels hit the road.
  • Now, three agencies have come forward to supply the rickshaws imported from China and deployed in New Delhi.

India, Australia seal N-deal procedures
  • India announced on Sunday that the procedures for a civil nuclear agreement with Australia for supply of uranium from it had been completed following a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart, Malcolm Turnbull, on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit here.
  • External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup tweeted that the two Prime Ministers had announced the completion of the procedures. No official statement from Australia was immediately available.
  • “PM Modi thanked PM Trunbull and described the nuclear agreement as a milestone and source of trust and confidence,” Mr. Swarup tweeted.
  • Last month, speaking to presspersons in Delhi, Australian Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb said the Australian Parliament was expected to ratify the nuclear cooperation agreement that the two countries had signed in September 2014.
  • Australia has about a third of world’s recoverable uranium resources and exports nearly 7,000 tonnes of it a year.
  • Following the conclusion of the agreement, India will be the first country to buy Australian uranium without being a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

Paris terror attacks: Skype, Google offer free calls to France
  • In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, tech companies and brands across the world have changed their logos to display to show solidarity with the citizens of  France.
  • The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Friday’s attacks on a stadium, a concert hall and Paris cafes that left 129 people dead and over 350 wounded, 99 of them seriously.
  • Twitter, YouTube, Micromax Mobile in India are some of the top tech brands that have shown their support for Paris. Twitter and YouTube’s logos now have the French flag branding, and the YouTube landing page says, ‘We stand with Paris.’
  • Google also extended support for Paris by announcing free calls to France via Hangouts. In a Google + post, the company wrote, “We’re thinking of you, Paris. No fees on calls to France, via Hangouts.
  • #ParisAttacks.” Skype also announced that “all domestic & international Skype calls to landlines & mobiles in France” will be free for the next few days.

PM Modi, Fadnavis inaugurate Ambedkar’s memorial in London
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday inaugurated B R Ambedkar memorial in London.
  • Maharashtra government has decided to transform the house where Ambedkar lived in London into an international memorial cum research centre.
  • The 2050 sq ft property on King Henry’s Road in London is a three storeyed structure where Ambedkar lived while pursuing his studies (DSC) in London School of Economics in year 1921-22. Ambedkar, a scholar also wrote papers on economics during this period.
  • In a simple ceremony that marked unveiling the statue of Ambedkar in the courtyard, Modi and Fadnavis recalled the immense contribution made by Ambedkar to empower the socio-economically backward sections in the society. Modi after visiting the London House of Ambedkar said, “Ambedkar’s message of equality and justice continues to resonate.” Maharashtra CM who accompanied Modi took him around the house. The chief minister had requested the prime minister to visit Ambedkar’s London House when he had come for bhoomi pujan of Ambedkar’s grand memorial at Indu Mills in Mumbai a couple of months ago.

Philippines to host APEC leaders’ summit after two decades
  • For the first time in nearly two decades, it is the Philippines’ turn to host Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders for the region’s most high-level business event.
  • From Monday (Nov 16), leaders of economies which account for nearly half of the world’s trade and about 57 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) will arrive in the city for the summit.
  • The first time the Philippines hosted the summit was in 1996, when then-President Fidel Ramos vowed to help develop an action plan on facilitating free trade in the region.
  • This year, under the theme of “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World”, Manila will push for inclusive growth, highlighting the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which account for more than 97 per cent of businesses in APEC economies.

India, Australia seal N-deal procedures
  • India announced on Sunday that the procedures for a civil nuclear agreement with Australia for supply of uranium from it had been completed following a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart, Malcolm Turnbull, on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit here.
  • External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup tweeted that the two Prime Ministers had announced the completion of the procedures. No official statement from Australia was immediately available.
  • “PM Modi thanked PM Trunbull and described the nuclear agreement as a milestone and source of trust and confidence,”.
  • Last month, speaking to presspersons in Delhi, Australian Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb said the Australian Parliament was expected to ratify the nuclear cooperation agreement that the two countries had signed in September 2014.
  • Australia has about a third of world’s recoverable uranium resources and exports nearly 7,000 tonnes of it a year.

Cameron announces 2017 as the UK-India Year of Culture
  • Prime Minister David Cameron announced 2017 as the UK-India Year of Culture to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Indian independence, on the first of day Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day visit.
  • The Year of Culture 2017 will see an exciting festival of events celebrating the vibrant cultural history of the two countries, when top UK institutions will partner Indian counterparts.
  • “The great partnership between India and the UK extends beyond economic ties to the boards of The Bard and the beaches of Bollywood. We have some of the best cultural exports in the world – and it’s about time we celebrated this, together.”
  • To mark the start of this cultural pairing, the British Library will be digitising 200,000 pages of their South Asian archives. Two Centuries of Indian Print will be part of a major programme to make the wealth of Indian printed books held by the British Library dating from 1714 to 1914 accessible to anyone around the globe.
  • Madame Tussauds – whose Bollywood figures are some of the most popular in London – has also announced its first Indian venture in New Delhi, scheduled to open in 2017. Parent group Merlin is set to invest £50m in India over ten years, rolling out other UK favourites  such as SEA LIFE aquariums and LEGOLAND Discovery Centres across Indian cities.

Mittal calls upon G20 leaders to commit to Internet access for all
  • Bharti Enterprises Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Sunil Bharti Mittal urged world leaders to commit and invest in developing digital infrastructure to deliver a brighter and more prosperous future to their citizens.
  • Speaking at the B20 – G20 session at the ongoing G20 Summit in Turkey, immediately following the inaugural address by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Turkey, Mr. Mittal said the Internet can become the cornerstone of a more inclusive global economic growth.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is attending the G20 Summit, has outlined ‘Digital India’ as one of the key priorities for his Government.

Tata Steel gets green nod for sand mining in West Bengal

  • Tata Steel has received green clearance for mining of mineral sand, used in coal production, from the riverbed of Gowai in Purulia District, West Bengal with a proposed production capacity of 0.2 million tonnes (MT) per annum.
  • The company said it requires three million tonnes (MT) of sand annually for its coal production of 1.91 MT from five coal mines in Jharia coalfields. The sand dunes of Gowai river will significantly meet its requirement for stowing and stabilisation of the mines.
  • “The Environment Ministry has given environment clearance to the Tata Steel’s proposal for mining of mineral sand with proposed production capacity of 0.2 million tonnes per annum in the mine lease area of 44.10 hectare in Purulia district, West Bengal,” a senior official said.
  • The capital cost of the project is Rs. 20 lakh.

Lakshmi Vilas Bank goes digital, rolls-out credit cards
  • Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) has recently introduced its co-branded credit card in association with SBI Card, marking old private sector lender’s entry into credit card business. While Visa SimplySave variant will offer a credit limit up to Rs.2 lakh, VisaPlatinum will extend up to Rs.5 lakh. The bank seeks to target its 10,000 CASA customers as also other categories to boost its credit card business.
  • The bank has also tied-up with Cigna TTL Health Insurance Company to offer health insurance schemes. LVB has also begun to embrace digital initiatives in tune with customer requirements.
  • The bank reported a net profit of Rs.45 crore in the quarter ended September 30, 2015, against Rs.31.50 crore in a year-ago period.

Jayant Sinha to meet public sector bank CEOs every 45 days

  • Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Finance, is planning to meet Chief Executives of State-run banks every 45 days to take stock of various performance parameters and discuss evolving issues.
  • The move comes at a time when public sector banks are witnessing increasing pressure on asset quality, which is eroding their capital and profitability. In addition, progress made by banks in beefing up compliance and corporate governance, will also be reviewed.
  • This meeting is in addition to the meeting with the Union Finance Minister, which takes place every quarter, primarily to review the quarterly performance of banks.
  • The move is in line with several initiatives of the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to improve the health of the public sector banks.

Government relaxes FDI norms across 15 sectors
  • The Centre announced ‘Big Bang’ Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) reforms, easing norms across 15 sectors including defence, banking, construction, single brand retail, broadcasting and civil aviation.
  • This is aimed at boosting the investment environment and bring in more foreign investments in the country.
  • It also comes a day before the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK where he would have had to otherwise face tough questions on his government’s major initiatives to spur foreign investment.

GSAT-15 set for launch by European rocket
  • India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-15 is scheduled for launch on board an Arianespace rocket from the space port of Kourou in French Guiana on the morning of November 11.
  • The launch of GSAT-15 with its co-passenger Arabsat-6B for Arabsat, Saudi Arabia, is planned at 0304 Hrs IST, by Ariane-5 VA-227 launch vehicle.
  • Weighing 3,164 kg at lift-off, GSAT-15 is a high power satellite being inducted into the INSAT/GSAT system. It carries a total of 24 communication transponders in Ku-band as well as a GPS-aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) payload operating in L1 and L5 bands, ISRO said.
  • GSAT-15 is the third satellite to carry the GAGAN payload after GSAT-8 and GSAT-10, which are already providing navigation services from orbit. It also carries a Ku-band beacon to help in accurately pointing ground antennas towards the satellite, it added.
  • GSAT-15 will be the 19th payload launched by Arianespace for ISRO.
  • Arabsat-6B, to be renamed BADR-7 once in orbit, will be the ninth satellite orbited by Arianespace for use by the operator Arabsat, based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

‘INS Vishwakarma to Enhance Navy’s Make in India Vision’
  • Shipwright School, a premier technical establishment of the Indian Navy, was commissioned as Indian Naval Ship Vishwakarma by Navy Chief Admiral RK Dhowan at a formal ceremony held at the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) in Visakhapatnam.
  • The school is the alma mater for several naval architect officers, shipwright officers and sailors of the Indian Navy.
  • Admiral Dhowan expressed confidence that the commissioning of INS Vishwakarma would enhance the Navy’s in-house design and maintenance capabilities. This would go a long way transforming the Indian Navy to a designer’s and builder’s Navy in keeping with the ‘Make in India’ vision, he added.
  • On the occasion, the Chief of Naval Staff highlighted Navy’s commitment and resolve towards Make in India. “The Indian Navy is equipped with technologically advanced warships, which have been designed in-house by the Navy’s own Warship Design Organisation and constructed by several Indian shipyards.

ISRO’s GSAT-17, GSAT-18 launch in 2016-17
  • ISRO’s telecommunication satellites GSAT-17 and GSAT-18 have been planned to be launched from French Guiana in 2016—17.
  • “ISRO has chosen Arianespace to launch telecommunication satellites GSAT-17 and GSAT-18. The two satellites will be launched by Ariane 5 launch vehicles at the Guiana Space Centre, Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana in 2016-2017,” Arianespace said in a statement.
  • The two satellites weighing each 3,400 kgs, at the time of launch were designed, assembled and integrated by ISRO.
  • “The 34-year-old partnership between Arianespace and ISRO has gained new momentum with the signature of the GSAT-17 and GSAT-18 launch contracts,” Arianespace, Chairman and CEO, Stephane Israel.
  • Soon after the successful launch of GSAT-15 from French Guiana yesterday, ISRO Satellite Centre Director Mayilsami Annadurai said two telecommunication satellites have been planned for launch by Ariane vehicle during next year.

Aussie paceman Starc bowls fastest-ever Test delivery
  • Australia’s Mitchell Starc bowled the fastest delivery ever measured at a test match when the fourth ball of his 21st over at the WACA on Sunday was clocked at 160.4 kilometres per hour.
  • The left-arm paceman fell just short of joining the “100 miles per hour” club as the speed of the yorker, which was dug out for no run by New Zealand’s Ross Taylor, translates into the imperial scale at 99.67 mph.
  • The recording of the speed of deliveries is a relatively recent development in the long history of cricket and an inexact science given the lack of uniformity in the speed gun technology utilised.
  • A delivery from Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar in a one-day international against England in South Africa in 2003, which was measured at 161.3kph, is the fastest on record.

India’s Saina Nehwal loses China Open final
  • Top seed and defending champion Saina Nehwal went down in yet another final this year, losing the women’s singles summit clash of the $700,000 China Open Superseries Premier to reigning Olympic champion Li Xuerui in straight games.
  • Sixth seed Xuerui, who won here in 2012 and 2013, needed only 39 minutes to beat World No.2 Saina 21-12, 21-15 at the at the Haixia Olympic Sports Center.
  • With this victory, the World No. 7 extended her domineering record to 10-2 against the Indian, having won the last six encounters between them. Xuerui took home $52,500 for her title win while Saina, whose last victory against Xuerui came in 2012, was rewarded $26,600.
  • This was Saina’s fifth final of the year. She won twice at the India Grand Prix Gold and India Open Superseries but has lost every summit clash since then.

Nico Rosberg wins Brazilian Grand Prix with frustrated Hamilton second
  • Lewis Hamilton denied he has lost his competitive edge since winning his third world championship after again finishing second best to his team-mate, Nico Rosberg, this time at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
  • Hamilton has twice been comfortably beaten by Rosberg since he secured the title with victory in Austin at the end of last month. Rosberg won even more emphatically than he had done in the previous race in Mexico.
  • Starting from pole his fifth in a row  he controlled the race throughout and finished 7.70sec ahead of Hamilton. It was his fifth win of the season, the 13th of his career and it secured second place in the drivers’ championship.

Children’s books author Kamala Laxman passes away
  • Kamala Laxman, a noted writer of children’s books and wife of iconic cartoonist and creator of the Common Man R.K. Laxman, passed away on Saturday evening here. She was 88.
  • Ms. Laxman, the legendary caricaturist’s second wife, was five years younger than her husband and also happened to be his niece.
  • Incidentally, R.K. Laxman’s first wife was also known as Kamala, the renowned Bharatanatyam danseuse and movie star, who began her career as Baby Kamala and then was later known as Kumari Kamala. They were divorced in 1960.
  • Ms. Kamala Laxman is survived by her son Srinivas, a retired journalist, her daughter-in-law Usha and granddaughter Rimanika.

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