Saturday, 21 November 2015

Current Affairs November 21, 2015

Prime Minister Modi crosses another Twitter milestone, now has 16 million followers
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 20 crossed yet another milestone on Twitter – a million followers within just two months – taking his follower count to over 16 million.
  • On September, 22 this year, Modi had crossed 15 million followers on the social networking site and in just two months he garnered another million followers. He currently has 16.1 million people following him on Twitter.
  • PM Modi, who has an active social media presence across platforms, is currently the second most followed politician in the world after US President Barack Obama.
  • In the last 18 months in power, PM Modi has used Twitter in his diplomatic efforts to reach out to leaders of the world.
  • Prime Minister Modi’s selfie with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was considered the most-powerful selfie in the world. The photo was shared over 5000 times on Twitter and it registered 31.85 million hits on the Chinese micro-blogging site, Weibo.

Modi to raise banking cooperation issue with Singapore Prime Minister
  • During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s forthcoming visit to Singapore, the contentious issue of cooperation in banking will feature prominently in the talks.
  • “The Prime Minister is going to raise this issue strongly seeking establishment of banking channels between both countries under the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA). But, so far they have refused. Now it is up to the leaders to take a call on this,” a top official told BusinessLine.
  • During his bilateral meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Modi is expected to “directly raise” the issue of granting greater market access to Indian banks in Singapore, a proposal that has been pending for over five years, the official added.
  • The proposal on banking cooperation has been hanging fire ever since the second round of review of India-Singapore CECA was initiated in May 2010. The CECA has been in force since 2005.
  • Top Indian banks, such as the ICICI Bank and State Bank of India, have been eyeing a substantial presence in Singapore for over a decade. But they have failed to meet the qualifying standards as Singapore is one of the world’s biggest financial hubs and has stringent standards to adhere to.

Nitish sworn in as Bihar CM; Tejashwi, Tej Pratap also take oath
  • Nitish Kumar took oath as the Bihar chief minister along with 28 ministers, including RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s two sons Tejaswi and Tej Pratap, as the grand alliance government of RJD-JD(U)-Congress was sworn in at a ceremony attended by several top leaders from non BJP parties.
  • Besides Nitish, 12 members each from the RJD and JD(U) and four from the Congress were administered oath as ministers by governor Ram Nath Kovind.
  • Reports suggested that first-time MLA Tejashwi, who was the second person to be sworn in after Nitish at the event held at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan, will be made the deputy chief minister. Nitish took oath as the chief minister for the fifth time.

Second World Congress for Disaster Management held in Visakhapatnam
  • The World Congress for Disaster Management is on its way in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The conference is taking place at the Andhra University Convocation Hall.
  • Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu inaugurated the event on November 19 and the event is scheduled to continue until November 22. Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and Union Minister of State for Home and Disaster Management Kiren Rijiju attended the event to express their views.

WADA suspends Russian anti-doping agency, declares five more nations non-compliant
  • The announcement was made from the WADA Foundation Board meeting in Colorado Springs.
  • “The message from today’s seminal WADA Foundation Board Meeting is clear: there will now be greater focus on strengthening compliance work so that all anti-doping organizations worldwide are held accountable to deliver robust anti-doping programs,” said WADA President, Sir Craig Reedie.
  • “As we have seen from WADA’s immediate response to the Independent Commission’s Report, action is now well underway to right wrongs that exist in anti-doping. Our priority is now on ensuring all our partners are fully compliant and have watertight anti-doping systems that protect clean athletes and reassure sports fans worldwide,” added Reedie. “Make no mistake, we will not rush this process of compliance, we will do it right – the integrity of sport is under threat.”

We must reform to transform: PM Narendra Modi at ASEAN Summit
  • With slew of measures putting back the economy on track, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said reforms are “just a way station” to transforming India and vowed to provide a transparent and predictable tax regime as well as protection to Intellectual Property Rights.
  • Speaking at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, he said government actions in the past 18 months have led to bringing down inflation while at the same time leading to higher GDP growth and foreign investment.
  • “Reform is not an end in itself. Reform for me is just a way station on the long journey to the destination. The destination is the transformation of India,”.

Music maestro Ilayaraja honoured at IFFI
  • Ilayaraja, who was presented with the Centenary Award by Union Minister of Finance and Information and Broadcasting Arun Jaitley, then went on to enthral a somewhat supine audience with a wordless recitation of the Telugu song Ragam rasamiya vedamai.
  • The maestro earlier asked the government to make music “compulsory” in schools which, he felt, would go a long way in curbing violence.
  • This year’s event is the 46th instalment of the IFFI and the 12th in Goa. The annual cinematic carnival, which had travelled all throughout the country earlier, was permanently shifted to Goa in 2003.

UNHCR to be Awarded 2015 Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace
  • Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2015 will be awarded to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
  • The international jury of the prize, headed by Vice President Hamid Ansari, has taken the decision, Secretary, Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust, Suman Dubey.
  • The prestigious award is being given to the Office of UNHCR in recognition of its “immense contributions” in assisting millions of refugees who have fled their houses and for working under difficult circumstances to bring about changes to reduce the flow of refugees.
  • The prize carries a cash award of Rs. 25 lakh and a citation. It was first awarded in 1986.

TCS, Intel launch IoT Centre of Excellence in Hyderabad

  • India’s largest software exporter Tata Consultancy Services has launched a new Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in collaboration with Intel at the TCS Hyderabad Campus.
  • The centre will focus on developing new use cases for various industries and create solution accelerators around Intel technologies for global customers in manufacturing, retail, hi-tech, semiconductors, healthcare and telecom industries, the company said. The primary focus of the centre is to integrate IoT solutions developed by TCS on Intel IoT platforms and to fast-track creation of end-to-end solutions.
  • This collaboration will enable the creation of indigenous and innovative solutions, establish a strong ecosystem of IoT, cloud computing, and a software-defined network. Besides, this will also help in creating new business opportunities, simplify product development, and help customers deal with rapid changes in technology.
  • Intel will provide the new Intel IoT Platform reference architecture for smart and connected things to enable the development of secure and integrated smart solutions.

APEC Leaders Issue Declaration in Manila
  • The Leaders of the 21 APEC member economies concluded their meeting in Manila by issuing the 23rd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting Declaration  Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World: A Vision for an Asia-Pacific Community.
  • The Declaration outlines new commitments for APEC members to take forward over the coming year to build inclusive economies; foster micro, small and medium enterprises’ participation in regional and global markets; build sustainable and resilient communities; invest in human capital development; and enhance the regional economic integration agenda.
  • The Declaration states that while achieving ongoing economic transformation will not be easy, APEC Leaders are confident that APEC members will continue to drive regional and global economic prosperity through quality economic growth, as supported by these collective commitments.
The following annexes accompany the Declaration:
  • APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth
  • APEC Services Cooperation Framework
  • Leaders also issued an Annex to the APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth.
  • Leaders also endorsed the Statement on Supporting the Multilateral Trading System and the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference.
  • Peru will chair APEC throughout 2016 and host the 24th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.

Ashok Amritraj awarded honorary doctorate by a London Varsity
  • Tennis champion-turned Hollywood filmmaker Ashok Amritraj has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of East London for promoting talented moviemakers from across the world, including India.
  • Armitraj has brought over 100 films to life, creating a remarkable USD 2 billion in worldwide revenues, the university said in reference to his honorary doctorate of arts awarded here.
  • Born in Chennai, Amritraj won acclaim as a young man through his achievements on the tennis court and played in every major professional tennis tournament, including Wimbledon and the US Open, and represented India in international competitions.

Delhi student gets Rs. 1.27 cr job offer from Google
  • The tech giant Google has given a whopping Rs. 1.27 crore job offer to a student of Delhi Technological University (DTU).
  • The student, Chetan Kakkar, an alumnus of Springdales School Pusa Road, said that DTU campus has made a great difference to his prospects and that he is excited to join Google.
  • Kakkar is a final year student at DTU’s information technology department. He will move to California to work with Google after he completes his programme next year.
  • He will receive an annual package of Rs. 1,25,74,200 ($1,90,000) after he completes his studies in 2016. Prior to Chetan, the highest offer made to any DTU student so far was Rs. 93 lakh.
  • Kakkar’s parents are teachers at Delhi University. Rita Kakkar is in the faculty of chemistry department and Subhash Kakkar is a teacher of management studies.

Kotak Mahindra General Insurance receives IRDAI approval to commence business
  • Kotak Mahindra General Insurance announced that it has been granted the certificate of registration (Form IRDA/R3) to commence business as an Indian Insurance company.
  • With this, the company has completed all registration formalities required by the regulators said the company. Kotak General Insurance has received permission to underwrite all classes of General Insurance business (Including Health Insurance).
  • Gaurang Shah, President  Asset Management, Insurance and International Business, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd, “It is a momentous occasion for us at Kotak Mahindra Group to receive the license on the eve of our 30th anniversary. Kotak General Insurance is a 100per cent subsidiary of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd., which makes the Company the only bank promoted general insurance company without a foreign joint venture partner.”
  • Mahesh Balasubramanian is the Chief Executive Officer of Kotak General Insurance. He brings with him over two decades of cross functional experience in financial services. Balasubramanian has spent over a decade with Kotak Mahindra Group. He was an integral part of the team that helped grow the consumer bank and its branch network.
  • At inception, Kotak General Insurance Company Ltd. has been capitalised at Rs. 135 crore.

Srishti emerges Indiana Fide rating chess champion
  • coming city chess player Srishti Pandey reigned supreme in the second Indiana All India FIDE Rating Chess tournament, organized by Nagpur Taluka Chess Association, which concluded at Dr Hedgewar Smarak Samiti Hall, Reshimbagh.
  • After the ninth and final round, three players – Srishti, Pune’s Atul Dahale and Awadh Chaitanya – were tied at 7.5 points each. However, on the application of tie-breaker, Srishti (53.6) triumphed pipping Dahale (53) and Chaitanya (50).
  • Draws ruled the roost in the last round. On the top board, Srishti and Chaitanya settled for a draw. Similarly, Pawan Dodeja and Matta Vinay Kumar split point.
  • Although, Dahale recorded victory over Sai Agni, he could not clinch the crown.
Final standings: 1. Srishti Pandey (7.5, 53.5), 2. Atul Dahale (7.5, 53), 3. Awadh Chaitanya (7.5, 50), 4. Matta Vinay Kumar (7, 53), 5. Vaibhav Jayant Raut (7, 52.5), 6. Kantilal Dave (7, 51), 7. Sauravh Khherdekar (7, 50), 8. Dodeja Pawan (7, 50), 9. Sparsh Khandelwal (7, 46), 10. Devansh Ratti (7, 46).

Eminent bureaucrat RK Trivedi no more
  • Former Gujarat Governor RK Trivedi died here this afternoon after prolonged illness.
  • He was 94.
  • Trivedi, who also served as the Chief Election Commissioner, had a long and distinguished career as a bureaucrat.
  • He breathed his last at his Nirala Nagar residence here, according to the his family.
  • Trivedi was honoured with Padma Vibhushan as a recognition to his services towards the nation.
  • He had joined civil services in 1943 and after serving the state as district magistrates in some districts, he had a long stint at the Centre.
  • Trivedi was made Central Vigilance Commissioner in October 1980 and in June 1982, he took over as the CEC.
  • He was Gujarat Governor between 1986 and 1990.

Jazz pianist Madhav Chari passes away
  • Madhav Chari, one of the India’s leading Jazz pianists died in Chennai. He was 48 and survived by his parents and a brother.
  • Madhav Chari’s life exemplified the belief that the two subjects — mathematics and music — complement each other. In the case of Madhav Chari, music prevailed over all other considerations and he even quit his Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of Illinois to become a full-time pianist.
  • Born and brought up in Kolkata, Madhav Chari spent a part of his life in the US. He returned to Chennai and was living here for the last 15 years. He had performed across the world.
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