Current Affairs Updates - 23 November 2017
New Appointments: National
The information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry on Monday appointed Ira Joshi as the director general (DG) of Doordarshan News, a post which has been vacant ever since former DG Veena Jain retired earlier in August.
- Joshi is currently serving as the director general of Press Information Bureau (PIB) in the national capital.
- A 1984 batch Indian Information Services (IIS) officer, Joshi has previously worked as the additional director general at the publications division and directorate of advertising and visual publicity (DAVP) for two and three years, respectively.
Andhra Bank launched a new scheme "Pattabhi Sitaramayya — Self Business Group" (PS-SBG) for self-help groups (SHGs) to encourage entrepreneurship. It has been introduced to commemorate the 138th birth anniversary of its founder Bhogaraju Pattabhi Sitaramayya, and the Silver Jubilee of the SHG-Bank linkage programme in the country.
- Under the scheme, SHGs having five years of association with Andhra Bank and having successfully completed three credit rotations with good repayment record and an aptitude for entrepreneurship, will be eligible for a loan. Finance in the form of working capital and term loan can be extended to the group or in individual capacity within the group to the extent of 25 lakh without any collateral security on easier terms and conditions, according to a release.
The India Index Services & Products Limited (IISL), an NSE group company, on Monday launched the Nifty SME EMERGE Index that represents 62 per cent of full market capitalisation of all SMEs listed on NSE's SME platform.
- The announcement has been made on the day of ANI Integrated Services Limited becoming the 100th firm to list on the EMERGE platform. This was the same SME, which received a massive 200 times subscription to its IPO earlier this month.
The annual IMD World Talent Ranking states that India has improved its ranking by three notches to 51 globally in terms of ability to attract, develop and retain talent while Switzerland topped the list
- Globally, Europe continues to dominate the rankings, with Switzerland, Denmark, and Belgium being the most competitive countries. Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Sweden and Luxembourg made up the top 10.
India becomes second largest fish producing country in the world: Shri Radha Mohan Singh
- Overall fish production registers an increase of approximately 18.86% in comparison to the last three years & inland fisheries sector registers a growth of 26%: Union Agriculture Minister
- Combining the production of all types of fisheries (capture and culture), the total fish production in the country reaches at about 11.41 million tonnes in 2016-17: Shri Singh
Committed to make India a cashless economy and enhance digital acceptance, Mastercard on Tuesday announced its tie-up with technology company Mswipe to launch Asia's first digital merchant onboarding solution.
- The platform will help increase the acceptance footprint exponentially in India by 2020, as at present, India has around 2.9 million PoS terminals with over 60 million merchants.
- This unique solution to digitally validate and authenticate KYC documents has been developed by Bangalore-based start-up Signzy. Currently, KYC is entrenched in the offline mode where physical documents are collated and submitted for completion, which takes at least three days.
The Federation of Obstetric and Gynecological Societies of India in partnership with MSD for Mothers, MacArthur Foundation and Jhpiego (an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University), launched 'Manyata' - a nationwide movement urging the need for quality care for mothers during and immediately after childbirth when risks of life-threatening complications are the highest.
- The movement was flagged off by Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty and Pankaja Munde, Minister of Rural Development, Women and Child Welfare, Government of Maharashtra.
- Nearly 45,000 women die in India every year during childbirth due to reasons entirely preventable. The movement is based on the premise that culturally in India; pregnancies tend to be focused more about babies than about mothers. A mother's health is critical and equally precious as her child's health and her well-being, our collective responsibility.
Haryana Government’s New Scheme Offers Domestic Power Connections On EMI
- Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has announced a new scheme under which one can pay just Rs 200 and get a domestic power connection in any rural area of the state while the remaining amount can be paid in easy instalments of Rs 100 to Rs 200, an official release said today.
U.S. President Donald Trump spoke on Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the two leaders stressed the importance of the U.N.-led peace process in resolving the Syrian civil war, the White House said in a statement.
- In the more than hour-long phone call, Trump and Putin also agreed to explore ways to cooperate in the fight against militant groups such as Islamic State, the statement said. In addition, the two leaders discussed how to achieve peace in Ukraine and the need to keep pressure on North Korea to end its nuclear program, it said.
Science & Technologies
ISRO Satellite Centre Director Mylswamy Annadurai recently revealed the space agency's plans to launch 'Aditya-L1', the first Indian mission to study the Sun, by the year 2020.
- He also added that the space organisation is planning to launch four more important satellites in the next three months and is working to launch 70 satellites in the next three years.
- According to ISRO, the Aditya-1 mission was conceived as a 400kg class satellite carrying one payload, the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) and was planned to launch in a 800 km low earth orbit.
NASA has completed the first test of its Mars 2020 mission's parachute-testing series and the Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE).
- The Mars rover mission set to launch in 2020 will seek signs of ancient Martian life by investigating evidence in place and by catching drilled samples of Martian rocks for potential future return to Earth, according to NASA.
China today launched three remote sensing satellites -Jilin-1 04, Jilin-1 05 and Jilin-1 06 -- designed to improve observation capability to promote commercial use for the remote sensing industry.
- It was the third launch of the Jilin-1 satellite family, a remote sensing system of more than 60 satellites developed by Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co., Ltd, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
- The system will be used for wide imaging, video imaging and multispectral imaging. Remote sensing data will serve administrations and commercial customers.
Defence & Railway
In a major milestone, the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile was on Wednesday successfully test fired for the first time from the Indian Air Force’s frontline Sukhoi-30 MKI combat jet, significantly bolstering the country’s aerial prowess.
- The armed forces are now capable of launching the Brahmos, which has a strike range of around 290 km and is described as the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile, from land, sea and air, completing the tactical cruise missile triad for the country.
- The defence ministry said the missile hit a sea-based target in the Bay of Bengal from the combat jet.
Summit /Conference / Events / Host
A two-day conference of all Commanders of Eastern Air Command commenced on Tuesday at Shillong, where issues pertaining to security are being discussed. Air Force Station, Chabua was awarded the 'Pride of EAC' Trophy, for standing best in overall performance and Air Force Station, Laitkor Peak was awarded the 'Best Non-Flying Station'.
- Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa interacted with the Commanders and exhorted them to put in efforts to upgrade the operational infrastructure and capability of eastern zone.
Shri J P Nadda inaugurates ‘1st World Conference on Access to Medical Products and International Laws for Trade and Health in the Context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’
- Highlighting the importance of transparency between regulatory authorities and pharma sector, Shri Nadda stated that the coordination between the National Regulatory Authorities and pharmaceutical sector will enable launch and registration of new health technologies. He further said that the dialogue on role of competition in competitive pricing and discussion on related WTO agreements influencing health should lead to a larger umbrella of suggested policy options for the government.
A total of 51 countries will participate in the 13th Asia-Europe Foreign Ministers' Meeting, opening on Monday in Myanmar's capital city of Nay Pyi Taw.
- According to diplomatic sources, the Rohingya crisis will be included in the bilateral meetings, to be held on the sidelines.
- The crisis has worsened since the Army launched an operation in August against the Muslim minority in the western state of Rakhine in response to attacks on police posts by Rohingya militants from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army. At least 400 people have been killed and some 300 villages have been razed in the military operation.
Sports: Awards & Honours
Indian women Boxers started their campaign on a winning note in the opening bouts at the AIBA Women's Youth World Boxing Championships at Guwahati after Astha Pahwa entered quarterfinals while Shashi Chopra made the last-16 stage.
- Astha beat Bulgaria’s Melis Yonuzova in the opening round of 69 kg Category to reach the quarterfinal. Shashi defeated Uzbekistan opponent Rakhmatova Durdonakhon in her opening round of 57kg category.