Current Affairs - 16 November 2017
New Appointments: National
Scientist Vijay Prasad Dimri has been appointed as the president of the 36th International Geological Congress (IGC), a global platform for advancement of earth science, to be held in New Delhi in 2020
- The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved Dimri's appointment in place of Shailesh Nayak, the order issued by Department of Personnel and Training said, without citing any reasons.
- Nayak had been the secretary of ministry of earth sciences and also the chairman of earth commission in India.
- India, along with its co-host neighbouring countries -- Bangladesh, Nepal, Srilanka and Pakistan -- won the bid to host the 36th IGC in the National Capital Region from March 2 -8, 2020, according to the website of 36th IGC.
Sidbi and Crisil on Monday joined hands to launch sentiment index named as CriSidEx for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), which will indicate the current state and expected outlook on the sector every quarter.
- Effective policy making is a function of the quality of information at hand and a leading indicator that reflects the business predicament and tidings of the MSME sector is crucial. The index is designed to do exactly that because it will gather real-time, ground-level information directly from the MSMEs,” Crisil managing director and CEO, Ashu Suyash, said in a release.
The Centre has given an in-principle approval to provide an assistance of Rs 10,000 crore to fund 107 irrigation projects in drought-hit Vidarbha and Maratha regions of Maharashtra
- With this approval, the state will receive Rs 10,000 crore for the next two years for the projects from the Centre," the Chief Minister said in a statement issued here.
- The state government had submitted proposals seeking the Centre's assistance to complete the 107 irrigation projects.
Ganga Kumari becomes first transgender to be appointed in Rajasthan Police
- She could have become the country’s first transgender to join the police force, but fate had other plans for 24-year-old Ganga Kumari. Following a protracted two-year battle in the Rajasthan High Court, Kumari became the first transgender to be inducted into Rajasthan Police on Tuesday.
UP tops in mobilising Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan (PMJDY) accounts
- With its area and size of population, Uttar Pradesh tops in opening new PMJDY accounts after demonetisation. In fact, one-fifth of the more than five crore new PMJDY accounts in the Indian banking system came from Uttar Pradesh alone.
- Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal cumulatively added another 2.2 crore new accounts in the last one year.
The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), a platform of 21 countries bordering the Indian Ocean, is to set up a Centre of Excellence in Kochi.
- IORA is a regional forum of countries, tripartite in nature, bringing together representatives of the government, business and academia for promoting co-operation and closer interaction among Indian Ocean-bordering countries. Its headquarters is at Ebene, Mauritius.
- The opening of the IORA Centre of Excellence in Kochi is aimed at facilitating the exchange of research findings and studies in the field of fisheries and ocean studies among its member nations.
The Saudi Ministry of Trade and Industry has listed Yoga under "sports activities", which allows any Saudi citizen to practice or propagate it by getting a licence from the government.
- Saudi Arabia on Tuesday officially approved Yoga as a sporting activity under its Ministry of Trade and Industry. So, anyone who now wishes to practice or teach yoga can do so by applying for and procuring a licence for the same.
- The leadership in Saudi Arabia, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz and the Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, are changing history of Saudi Arabia. The Crown Prince known as MBS launched the new vision 2030 that focuses on development and investing in youth.
China has launched the world’s first all-electric ship, which can travel up to 80km with 2000-tonnes cargo after a two-hour charge. The vessel, manufactured by the Guangzhou Shipyard International Company Ltd, is powered by a 26-tonne lithium battery. It can cruise at the top speed of 12.8 km per hour.
- As the ship do not use fossil fuels, it has zero emission, including carbon, sulphur and PM2.5 and it could be used as a passenger liner or a working ship, state-run Global Times reported.
- On its inaugural run, the vessel was loaded with thermal coal mainly for areas around the Pearl River in Guangdong Province, the report added.
Science & Technologies
The Space Kingdom of Asgardia has launched its first "Asgardia-1" satellite. This so-called ‘virtual nation’ is the pet project of Russian scientist and billionaire Igor Ashurbeyli.
- The Asgardia-1 satellite, which is about the size of a loaf of bread, launched on 12 November and contains half a terabyte of data. It holds the foundations of the project – the nation’s constitution, its national symbols, and data from its 115,000 citizens. It was launched from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia aboard a Cygnus spacecraft on an Orbital ATK Antares rocket.
- The Cygnus craft will dock with the International Space Station on 14 November to perform its primary mission of delivering supplies to the astronauts there. After about a month, it will undock and fly higher above Earth, where it will release Asgardia’s satellite into orbit.
Scientists from city-based National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) will build the country's first offshore desalination plant about 40km from the Chennai coast with a capacity of about 10 million litres of water per day.
- A detailed project report for the plant, which is estimated to cost ?2,000 crore, has been submitted to the Centre for approval. Designed and built by NIOT scientists, the plant will come up off the shores of Ennore.
Application / Portal
Power Minister R K Singh today launched a National Power Portal (NPP), "http://npp.Gov.In.", a centralised platform for collation and dissemination of Indian power sector information.
- The NPP would be a single point interface for all power sector apps launched previously by the power ministry, the ministry said in a statement.
- The NPP is a centralised system for the power sector which facilitates online data capture/input (daily, monthly, annually) from generation, transmission and distribution utilities.
Schemes / Programme
In Jharkhand, on the occasion of State Establishment-Day today President Ramnath Kovind inaugurated JOHAR scheme worth one thousand five hundred crore rupees. The World Bank aided JOHAR (Jharkhand’s Opportunities For Harnessing Rural Growth) scheme is aimed at doubling the income of two lakh rural poor.
- The President who arrived in Ranchi today attended the main function at Morahabadi ground as Chief Guest where properties worth five thousand crore rupees are being distributed among 35 thousand beneficiaries.
- He would also give appointment letters to 254 doctors, 363 teachers and 24 college Principal and start free Ambulance service. Besides this, 57 lakh families would be given Health Insurance Scheme, covering two and a half crore people. Laying on foundation stones for two flyovers and two smart roads of Ranchi are also planned from Morahabadi. The President will attend a function at Yogda Satsang Ashram later today.
Summit /Conference / Events / Host
The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) under the aegis of Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology organizing the Asia Pacific Computer Emergency Response Team (APCERT) Conference from November 12-15, 2017 in New Delhi. This is the 15th Conference of APCERT and first ever conference in India and South Asia and is expected to be attended by 21 economies. The conference theme is "Building Trust in the Digital Economy".
- This will be inaugurated by Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon'ble Minister of Electronics & Information Technology, and is expected to be attended by over 300 cyber security professionals from the Asia Pacific region, USA, Europe, Industry, Academia, Government and Media.
- This conference would cover contemporary topics around strategies of CERTs, Technology and Instruments for building trust in digitally evolving economies and best practices for handling cyber security in mobile and social media.
Awards & Honours
On the occasion of Children's Day, the President Ram Nath Kovind presented the National Child Awards 2017; Anand Kumar, the man behind the Super 30 programme which he started in Patna, Bihar has been awarded Rashtriya Bal Kalyan Award for this year.
- He was awarded this honour today on Children’s Day and President Ram Nath Kovind felicitated the teacher who guided, taught and mentored many underprivileged students from Bihar to crack the prestigious IIT JEE examination. Anand Kumar has been awarded for his contributions in the field of teaching and education. He has been invited by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University to speak on his path-breaking effort in providing guidance and mentorship to economically backward students to crack the extremely tough and highly prestigious IIT JEE exams.
Sports: Awards & Honours
Aditi Ashok has qualified for the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship on the LPGA, becoming the first from the country to play in the prestigious meet.
- The 19-year-old prodigy is one of the eight rookies to make it to the Tour Championships in what is one of the strongest fields in women’s golf.
- Meanwhile, Aditi has succeeded in keeping her LPGA card for 2018 after a sterling rookie season.