Daily Current Affairs Updates–16th November 2016:
i. The International Day for Tolerance was observed globally on 16 November 2016. The Day aims at educating masses about the need for tolerance in society and helping them understand the negative effects of intolerance. In order to mark the day and the 125th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, UNESCO instituted a prize in 1995 for the promotion of tolerance and non-violence.
ii. The prize, named as the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence, rewards significant activities in the fields of scientific, artistic, cultural or communication aimed at the promotion of a spirit of tolerance and non-violence.
iii. In 2016, the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence was awarded to Federal Research and Methodological Center for Tolerance Psychology and Education (Tolerance Center) of Russia..
i. Today is National Press Day. The day, observed on 16th November, is symbolic of a free and responsible press. It was on this day the Press Council of India started functioning as a moral watchdog to ensure that the press maintain high standards and is not fettered by any influence or threats.
ii. Today is also the Golden Jubilee of the Press Council. On the occasion, Prime Minister NarendraModi will confer excellence in journalism awards, including 'Raja Ram Mohan Roy Award' to veteran journalist S Nihal Singh. Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and Minister of State for I&B RajyavardhanRathore will also attend the event in Delhi.
Maharashtra has become the first state to adopt the Fly Ash Utilization Policy. The state cabinet yesterday approved a policy for 100 percent use of fly ash generated from thermal power plants and biogas plants for construction activities. Mr. Fadnavis said that fly ash will be used to make bricks, blocks, tiles, wall panels, cement and other construction materials.He added that this policy will save soil excavation and aid construction of low-cost housing.
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister NarendraModi has approved constitution of 'special committee for inter-linking of rivers' in compliance with a 2012 Supreme Court order. Government says the move will help in monitoring precious projects to be carried out under its National Perspective Plan, 1980. An official statement said, status-cum-progress report of the special committee will be submitted bi-annually to Cabinet to facilitate faster and appropriate decisions in the interest of the country.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday launched a programme to provide free electricity connection to about 50 lakh households above the poverty line. The "HarGharBijliLagataar" programme, which aims to supply power to every household in the state in the next two years, is a part of the CM's "seven resolves" during the Assembly polls.
Government has decided to declare Islamic Research Foundation floated by preacher ZakirNaik as an unlawful organisation under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Sources said, the Cabinet has banned the NGO for five years and asked security agencies to keep a strict watch on its activities.
Few months ago, Naik came in the centre of controversy following reports that militants involved in Dhaka terror attack were inspired by his provocative speeches. Since then, there has been demands for action against the preacher
i. The Railway said tickets worth five thousand rupees and above will not be refunded over the counter in cash. In a circular Railway said, people who booked such tickets will have to file a TDR (ticket deposit receipt) and get the refund through cheques or ECS.
ii. A TDR has to be filed after surrendering the original ticket. TDR has to be filed within prescribed time limit for cancellation of ticket across the counter as per refund rules. Passenger must also show the PAN card or Aadhaar card to the counter clerk.
i. Haryana Cabinet, which met under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister ManoharLal has approved the proposal of the Public Works (Building and Roads) Department for construction of two-lane road connecting Faridabad-Jassana-Chirsi-Manjhawali-Sheikpur in Haryana and Atta Gujran to Greater Noida Expressway in Uttar Pradesh including four-lane bridge over River Yamuna.
ii. Giving this information a government spokesman said that with the completion of the project, there will be a reduction of 40 kms distance between Faridabad and Greater Noida. A total of 40.915 acres of land would be required, by way of negotiation, for the project and a total compensation of over Rs 41.95 crore would be given to the people in the villages of Manjhawali, MojmabadMajraSheikhpur and Sheikhpur.
i. Over 20 countries, including Brazil and France, signed the framework agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) an initiative that is the brainchild of Prime Minister NarendraModi. The framework agreement of ISA was opened for signatures on the sidelines of CoP22 to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change at Marrakech, in Morocco. India's Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said, with the legal framework in place ISA will be a major international body headquartered in India.
The Framework Agreement will be kept open as many more countries are expected to join the ISA in the coming weeks. ISA is an alliance of 121 solar resource-rich tropical countries lying fully or partially between two tropics and who are also UN members.It was jointly launched by Prime Minister NarendraModi and French President Francois Hollande at the CoP21 in Paris last year where representatives from around 70 countries participated
Millions of tourists and business people visiting Europe will have to complete an online security check before arrival, if an EU plan to tighten controls on foreigners who do not need visas wins approval. The system, which the bloc's executive European Commission is likely to back today, would check people's identity documents and residence details against a variety of EU security and crime databases.
The 2016 World Internet Conference will kick off today in the eastern Chinese town of Wuzhen. The three-day event is expected to be attended by delegates from more than 120 countries, including 8 top foreign leaders.In the meantime, business leaders from well-established Chinese internet companies such as Baidu, Tencent, and Lenovo, will also be present. Delegates will be discussing the creation of an online community of shared destiny which features innovation. The China-sponsored event is the third one of its kind following two previous conferences in 2014 and 2015.
Africa's first fully functioning cycle-share scheme has been launched in Marrakech, Morocco to curb urban congestion and boost sustainable transport. The idea, initiated by French bike company Smoove, further seeks to revive Marrakech's biking culture. About 300 cycles named 'Medina bikes' after the city's ancient centre, will help transport cyclists between 10 hubs.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today approved a $500 million loan to build a bridge across India’s Ganges River. The 9.8 kilometer (km) road bridge in the northeastern state of Bihar will be India’s longest river bridge and will provide vital transport links between the northern and southern parts of the state and with neighboring Nepal.
“The new bridge will make it easier for people to move between jobs and markets, particularly for poorer communities in the north wishing to travel to the state capital, Patna, just south of the river,” said Dong Kyu Lee in ADB’s South Asia Department who is leading the project. “In all, the bridge is expected to benefit over nine million people.”
i. RBI’s deputy governor N S Vishwanathan has reiterated that March 2017 still stands as the deadline for banks to clean up their balance sheets. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of Infrastructure Finance summit in Mumbai, Mr. Vishwanathan said that increment in stressed assets is coming down.
ii. Meanwhile, addressing the Summit, Mr.Vishwanathan said structuring of infrastructure financing has to be precise as these projects have long gestation periods. He informed that bad loans in the infrastructure sector are close to 16-17 per cent of the total advances.
COMMITTEES IN NEWS
SS-Mundra-task-force Following the existing problem in which the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are failing to cope with the huge cash demand of people, Reserve Bank of India on 14 November 2016 constituted an eight-member task force to re-calibrate all ATMs. The eight-member task force, led by RBI deputy governor SS Mundra, will comprise officials from banks, NPCI, Department of Currency Management, Department of Payment and Settlement System and home and finance ministries.
Terms of Reference of the Task Force is
1. Expeditious reactivation of all ATMs in a planned manner
2. Any other matter connected to the above
i. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan named a new ambassador to Israel today, reciprocating a move by the Israelis a day earlier a decision which is being seen as a step towards restoring diplomatic relations between the two countries. Israel and Turkey said in June they would normalise relations - a rapprochement driven by the prospect of Mediterranean gas agreement as well as mutual apprehension over security risks in the West Asia.
ii. Mr. Erdogan told at a conference in Ankara before leaving on an official visit to Pakistan that they are appointing as ambassador to Israel, Kemal Okem, who is prime minister's foreign affairs adviser. Yesterday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman said EitanNa'eh, presently deputy ambassador in London, had been appointed ambassador in Ankara.
The Board of Tata Global Beverages on 15 November 2016 voted to remove Cyrus Mistryas the Chairman of the company. The Board voted to appoint Harish Bhat as the Chairman of the company. Bhat is the Non-Executive Director on the board of the company.This is the second time that Mistry is shown the doors out from a Tata entity. Earlier, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) had replaced him with IshaatHussain as the Interim Chairman.
Bhat had joined the Tata Group in 1987 under Tata Administrative Services (TAS). He earlier worked as the Chief Operating Officer of Titan. He is also the author of a book titled Tata Log: Eight Modern Stories From A Timeless Institution.
Air New Zealand has been named the best airline in the world for the fourth consecutive year by AirlineRatings.com in its Airline Excellence Awards. It was followed by Qantas and Singapore Airlines at the second and third place respectively. Cathay Pacific Airways and the Virgin Group airlines have completed the top five, ranking fourth and fifth respectively.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Netherlands-based doctors have performed the first-ever brain implant on a 58-year-old woman paralysed by Lou Gehrig's disease, enabling her to communicate in day-to-day life via a speech computer. The disease-caused nerve degeneration had left her with control only over her eyes. The implant enabled her to control the computer using brain signals, spelling out messages at two letters per minute.
Debbie Hockley, former captain of the New Zealand women's cricket team, has become the first-ever female head of a Test-playing nation's cricket board. The 54-year-old was appointed as New Zealand Cricket's President at the Board's Annual General Meeting in Christchurch on Wednesday. Hockley represented the NZ women's team in 19 Tests and 118 ODIs through a 21-year-long career.
Mritul, a 13-year-old boy from Kerala, set the world record for the longest distance covered in freestyle swimming after covering over nine kilometres in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu on Monday. The 13-year-old was given a target of 7 kilometres but he went on to cover 9.2 kilometres in three hours through 368 laps, which consisted more than 22,000 strokes.
For More Daily Current Affairs Updates - Click Here