Current Affairs Updates - 11th and 12th November 2017
New Appointments: International
Qatar appointed women named as Hessa al-Jaber, Aisha Yousef al-Mannai, Hind Abdul Rahman al-Muftah and Reem al-Mansoori to one of its most important consultative bodies, the Shura Council, for the first time in the country’s history
- The announcement comes as Qatar continues to deal with the impact of the worst and most bitter diplomatic crisis in the Gulf for years, which has seen the emirate politically and economically blockaded by neighbouring countries.
- Qatar has attacked the five-month long blockade as being a “humanitarian” issue and, accordingly, Thursday’s announcement may have been prompted by the dispute.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) prohibited non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) from outsourcing key functions such as internal audit, investment portfolio management, loan sanction, and know-your-customer compliance.
- The regulator listed 10 types of risks arising out of outsourcing that the NBFCs need to mitigate. “Some key risks in outsourcing are strategic risk, reputation risk, compliance risk, operational risk, legal risk, exit strategy risk, counter-party risk, country risk, contractual risk, access risk, concentration and systemic risk,” RBI said.
The government has decided to give proxy voting rights to over 25 million non-resident Indians (NRIs) spread across the world, attorney general KK Venugopal told the Supreme Court on Friday.
- The Election Commission of India had already recommended that the government take necessary steps to amend the law for NRI voters. It had prepared a report titled ‘Exploring Feasibility of Alternative Options for Voting by Overseas Electors’ and presented it to the court in October 2014.
Passengers flying out of Goa, Pune, Nagpur and Trichy will no longer need to get their hand bags stamped "security checked", taking the number of Indian airports where this practice has been stopped to 23 in four phases since earlier this year.
- For the fifth phase, Airports Authority of India (AAI) has identified 27 airports under Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) cover to examine how hand bag stamping can end there too by providing the infrastructure required to do so by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).
Veteran Test opener Gautam Gambhir was on Friday named a government nominee in the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) managing committee and he has made it clear that he would do his bit to “restore glory days” of the much-maligned association.
- The 36-year-old Gambhir has played 58 Tests, 147 ODIs and 37 T20 Internationals. He has been the top scorer in finals of two World Cups (2007 T20 and 2011 50-over) that India won.
India is the first country to partner with social networking site Facebook on disaster response.
- Addressing an event on disaster management, Rijiju said technology can be leveraged in providing quick response and information to people in times of need.
- Rijiju said the world is moving towards partnerships, where people are proactively partnering with the government in responding to disasters.
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved creation of National Testing Agency (NTA) as a Society registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act, 1860, and as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions.
- The NTA would initially conduct those entrance examinations which are currently being conducted by the CBSE.
- Other examinations will be taken up gradually after NTA is fully geared up.
Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal chaired a meeting to explore the feasibility of introducing First Responder Vehicles (FRVs) to tend to medical emergencies in the Capital during the crucial ‘golden hour’.
- The L-G was informed that to meet the requirement of medical assistance in congested areas and also to tackle congested roads during peak traffic hours, there is a need to deploy FRVs [two-wheelers] to complement and supplement existing ambulances.
K Chandrashekhar Rao Declares Urdu Second Official Language in Telangana
- In this latest move, Chief Minister KCR has asked all government offices starting from the Chief Minister’s Office to District Collectorate, to receive all petitions in Urdu as well.
- All competitive examinations will also be conducted in Urdu.
- Not just making Urdu an official language, earlier the CM had announced that minorities’ development and welfare will be among the top priority programmes being implemented by the state government.
India’s re-election as member of UN educational, scientific and cultural organization (UNESCO) executive board that was held at the 39th session of the general conference of in Paris
- The election was held at the 39th session of the general conference of UNESCO in Paris, he said. “The news is quite significant and indicates the position of India globally. The executive board is the top decision- making body, so it is an important achievement,” the official of the UNESCO India office said.
- The general conference consists of the representatives of the states members of the organisation. It meets every two years, and is attended by member states and associate members, together with observers for non-member states, intergovernmental organisations and non- governmental organisations (NGOs), according to the UNESCO.
Ayurvedic AIIMS will be set up in Haryana’s Panchkula to promote Ayurveda in the state
- From an older time, India has an enriched tradition Ayurveda. In an era when allopath dominates medical science, still, then Ayurveda prevails as a very pure form of medical science. Hence Haryana government is working hard to promote AYUSH as well as allopathy, Unani and natural systems of medicine. In order to promote Ayurveda in the state, Ayurvedic AIIMS would be set up over 20 acres of land in Panchkula.
The International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) has approved a USD 30 million soft loans for phase four of the North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project for Upland Areas (NERCORMP).
- NERCORMP is a livelihood and rural development project under the North Eastern Council, covering several districts in Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
- "Seeing the success story of NERCORMP, the IFAD, under the leadership of Rasha Omar, has recently approved a soft loan of USD 30 million for NERCORMP IV," North Eastern Council secretary Ram Muivah said here.
The GST Council decided to raise Composition Scheme threshold to Rs 2 crore. The Council, which held its 23rd meeting in Guwahati, decided that there will be no inter-state taxes and input tax credit for composition dealers.
- Only 50 items, mostly demerit, sin and luxury goods will be in the top 28 per cent tax bracket. Meanwhile, West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra said aggregate revenue loss for Centre due to GST stood at Rs 60,000 crore and revenue loss for states is at Rs 30,000 crore.
US President Donald Trump and other world leaders are to address the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit in Vietnam, with trade and growth high on the agenda.
- Mr Trump has vowed to correct a huge trade imbalance with China and Japan. China yesterday said it will lower market entry barriers to some sectors, during Mr Trump’s visit to Beijing.
- Talks between Mr Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are yet to be confirmed at the summit in Danang. Apec brings together 21 economies – the equivalent of about 60% of the world’s GDP.
Emirates NBD, the UAE's second-largest lender, has started operations in India with an aim to invest USD 100 million capital into its Indian operations
- The Mumbai branch marks the bank's fifth international branch outside of its UAE network.
- The branch will offer a range of services to corporate, SME and institutional clients including trade finance, treasury services, bilateral and syndicated loans in addition to supporting NRI (non-resident Indian) customers looking for cross-border wealth management solutions.
Priti Patel, Britain’s first Indian-origin Cabinet Minister resigned as International Development Secretary on Wednesday evening, as the political crisis engulfing the British government intensified.
- Ms. Patel’s resignation came after an intense day at Westminster amid further revelations about Ms. Patel’s dealings with senior Israeli politicians and a visit to Israel during a “family holiday” over the summer.
- Accusations and counter allegations about the extent to which Downing Street knew of her visit and subsequent policy proposals also ensued.
Science & Technologies
Uber has unveiled a partnership with NASA that will see it develop flying taxis priced competitively with standard Uber journeys.
- Uber wants to “explore other collaboration opportunities with NASA” with a view to open “a new market of urban air mobility,” it added.
- The flights will have a pilot during initial flights, but could be automated in the future, spokesman Matthew Wing confirmed to AFP.
Adani Power inks power purchase agreement with Bangladesh Power Development Board to supply electricity from its upcoming 1,600 MW plant at Godda in Jharkhand.
- Adani Power said on Wednesday its arm 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.
- The company’s wholly-owned subsidiary Adani Power (Jharkhand) Limited has signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) for net capacity of 1,496 MW with Bangladesh Power Development Board for 25 years, Adani Power said in a BSE filing today.
Summit /Conference / Events / Host
The 23rd edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), India's second oldest film festival, rolls back into the eastern metropolis on Friday, welcoming world cinema, attracting the finest of talents and embracing fresh cinematic experiments.
- Beginning with a star-studded inaugural on Friday, the gala event, hosted by the West Bengal government, will screen an assemblage of 143 films spanning 53 countries under 16 different categories till November 17.
Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh will inaugurate the three-day Organic World Congress – 2017 being organized at India Expo Centre in Greater Noida. It will see the participation of 1,400 representatives from 110 countries, and 2000 delegates from India.
- Congress (OWC) is organized once every three years in a different country and this time it is being organised in India. The last edition of the Organic World Congress took place in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2014. The International Federation of Organic Farming Movements (IFOAM) and OAFI are organizing the event where 55 seeds group from 15 Indian states will showcase 4,000 varieties of seeds.
Nordic-Baltic Embassies are all set to host the first ever Nordic- Baltic youth film festival in Delhi in collaboration with India Habitat Centre from 13- 18 November 2017. Nordic-Baltic countries (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden) are tied together geographically and historically through trade, culture and many common yet diverse value systems.
- This platform offers a great opportunity for Nordic Baltic countries to reflect on the similarities and appreciate their differences. It will also prove to be a platform to enhance people-to-people relations and share the thrill, excitement and experience of watching films together.
The second meeting of the Economic Advisory Council chaired by Bibek Debroy to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday spelt out a clear road map towards skill development, job creation; enhanced resource investment in the social sector- including for Health and Education and for boosting Infrastructure financing.
- The meeting of the council chaired by Bibek Debroy formulated recommendations to guide the evolving framework for the Fifteenth Finance Commission, including the incentivisation of states for achieving health, education and social inclusion outcomes.
- The council, however, is also evolving the design of a new economy tracking monitor, linking economic growth indicators with social indicators for last mile connectivity.
Awards & Honours
Embarking on an ambitious mission to empower Indian youth with skill training and employability, the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) hosted the National Entrepreneurship Awards 2017 marking the completion of three glorious years of its inception today.
- The awards were conferred in the august presence of Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs Shri Arun Jaitley, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Ambassador of Japan to India Shri Kenji Hiramatsu, Secretary MSDE Dr K.P Krishnan and Managing Director & CEO, ICICI Bank Ltd Ms Chanda Kochhar.
- Congratulating all the entrepreneurs recognized by MSDE this year and highlighting the challenges of limited job creation capacityMinister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Shri Arun Jaitley said, “India has a much younger population versus other advance economies. This is a huge opportunity for us to scale up and skill our workforce and reap our demographic dividend and service economies.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been named as the recipient of the Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice, 2017 as an acknowledgement of its exceptional work worldwide.
- The UNHCR provides humanitarian aid to innumerable people internally displaced by conflicts and helping stateless people all over the world, said Harmony Foundation Chairman Abraham Mathai, which has instituted the only official award in memory of Mother Teresa, who attained sainthood in September 2016.
Eminent classical singer late Girija Devi will be honoured with the prestigious Sumitra Charat Ram Award for Lifetime Achievement on November 17
- The award will be presented by Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs) to the thumri maestros daughter, Sudha Datta, at Kamani Auditorium.
- "It is with a heavy heart that we are presenting this award posthumously. She sang at the Kendras Shriram Shankarlal Music Festival only in March this year and little did one know that her words that time would be prophetic," Shobha Deepak Singh, director Sriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra (SBKK), said.
Sports: Awards & Honours
Roger Federer has been selected by fans as ATPWorldTour.com Fans’ Favourite presented by Moet & Chandon for a 15th straight year, and voted by fellow players as the winner of the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award and Comeback Player of the Year.
- I had a good year on and off the court," he said. "I tried to represent the game in the best possible way, but I am by far not the only guy. There are so many guys who carry themselves so, so well on and off the courts; same as Fans’ Favourite, there are so many guys who are super popular, so in a way I feel like I could share these trophies with everybody, but of course I’m very grateful to take them today."
- This marks the 13th time and seventh year in a row that he has been recognised with the Sportsmanship Award – he also won it six straight years from 2004-09 – and the first time he has won the Comeback Award.