Daily Current Affairs Updates–22nd November 2016:
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Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu has inaugurated a multimedia exhibition on the theme of ‘Aazadi 70 Saal, YaadKaroKurbani’ to commemorate 70 years of India’s Independence and its depiction through films. The multimedia exhibition has been organised by National Film Archives of India, NFAI at the International Film Festival of India, IFFI in Goa.
Haryana Government in November 2016 made the fitting of auto-dippers mandatory in four-wheel transport vehicles as a road safety measure. It was done in accordance with the terms of Rule 106 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989. The State Transport Department informed that no four wheeled transport vehicles would be registered by the Registering authorities or authorized dealers unless the auto-dippers compatible with head lamps are fitted.
i. India was placed at the 20th rank among the 58 countries on the 2017 Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI). The index was released by Germanwatch, an independent German NGO and Climate Action Network Europe The CCPI is an instrument designed to enhance transparency in international climate politics. It is list of countries doing the most to combat climate change.
ii. It aims to put social and political pressure on those countries which have, up until now, failed to take ambitious action on climate protection. The index evaluates and compares the climate protection performance of 58 countries on the basis of standardised criteria. These 58 countries together are responsible for about 90% of global energy-related CO2 emissions.
i. India will start getting financial information of accounts held by Indians in Swiss banks on automatic basis from September 2019, a move that will help fight the menace of black money stashed abroad. CBDT Chairman Sushil Chandra and Deputy Chief of Mission of Swiss Embassy in India Gilles Roduit today signed the 'Joint Declaration' for the implementation of Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) between the two nations.
ii. "As a result, it will now be possible for India to receive from September, 2019 onwards, the financial information of accounts held by Indian residents in Switzerland for 2018 and subsequent years, on an automatic basis," the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
Amid the cash crunch following demonetisation, the RBI on Monday said that small borrowers would get an additional 60 days to repay their credit. Borrowers with housing, car, farm, and other loans of up to ₹1 crore from banks and finance companies would be eligible for this. Further, this is applicable to loans payable between November 1 and December 31.
i. Government auditor CAG today said I-T department has provided "irregular" tax benefits to infrastructure companies without verification, which have cost the exchequer over Rs 4,500 crore. Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) did not have any established mechanism to assess the impact of revenue foregone on account of deductions under Section 80 IA on the economy and industrial growth of the country, it said.
ii. The Income Tax department has "irregularly" allowed deductions to various companies engaged in infrastructure business which have tax effect of Rs 4,524 crore, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said. This included Rs 1,766.74 crore tax benefit availed by Reliance Ports & Terminals Ltd for construction of captive jetties at Port Sikka in Bihar.
iii. The other major companies that availed of such benefits include JSW Energy (Rs 340 crore), Reliance Infrastructure (Rs 51.88 crore), Tata Power (Rs 36.99 crore) and Gujarat Fluro Chemicals (Rs 22.75 crore).
Nepal has terminated all agreements with Indian construction firm Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (ILFS) to build a 76-km long expressway project worth $1 billion, connecting Kathmandu with the southern Terai region near the Indian border. ILFS said that the expressway would have reduced the travel time from Kathmandu to Nijgadh (around 136 km) to under an hour
Pankaj Patel, chairman and managing director of Cadila Healthcare, has been elected as the President of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) for 2017. Patel is also on the advisory committees and academic councils of several educational institutions. He will take over from HarshavardhanNeotia, Chairman of AmbujaNeotia Group, during the next FICCI annual general meeting.
Zak Brown appointed as Executive Director of McLaren Technology Group
i. The McLaren Technology Group on 21 November 2016 announced the appointment of Zak Brown as its Executive Director. Brown is chosen for the position after Ron Dennis was forced out as Chairman and Chief Executive of McLaren in November 2016.
ii. Zak Brown is a former professional racing driver. He is the founder and CEO of Just Marketing International, the world’s largest motorsport marketing agency.In 2013, CSM Sport & Entertainment acquired JMI, which was founded in 1995.
i. Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Princess of Thailand, on 21 November 2016 was conferred with the first World Sanskrit Award. She was honoured for her exemplary contribution for the promotion of Sanskrit language for the year 2015.
ii. On the other hand, American linguist and Indologist Professor George Cardona was also honoured with the award for the year 2016. Princess Sirindhorn and Professor Cardona were bestowed with the award by Vice President Hamid Ansari at a function held in New Delhi.The World Sanskrit Award was instituted by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
The Infosys Science Foundation (ISF) has announced the winners of the Infosys Prize 2016 in the categories of Engineering and Computer Science, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences.
List of Winners:
1. Prof. KaivanMunshi for Social Sciences: Munshi, Professor at Faculty of Economics at the University of Cambridge (UK) has been recognised for his deep analysis of the multifaceted role of ethnic groups and caste-based communities in the process of economic development.
2. Prof. SunitAmrith for Humanities: Amrith, a Professor of History at Harvard University (US), was awarded for his excellent contribution to the history of migration, environment and international public health.
3. Dr. Gagandeep Kang for Life Sciences: She was awarded for her ground-breaking contribution to understanding the natural history of rotavirus and other infectious diseases prevalent both in India and abroad.
4. Prof. AkshayVenkatesh for Mathematical Sciences: A professor in Department of Mathematics at Stanford University (US), Verma has been awarded for his enormous contribution to the modern number theory.
5. Dr. Anil Bhardwaj for Physical Sciences: Bhardwaj, Director of Space Physics Laboratory at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, has been recognised for his exceptional work in Planetary Science and Exploration including detection and delineation of the nature and origin of planetary x-rays.
6. Prof. V. Kumaran for Engineering and Computer Science: Kumaran, a Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, was awarded for his exemplary work in complex fluids and complex flows, especially in transition and turbulence in soft walled tubes and tubes that play an important role in cardio-vascular and pulmonary health.
i. Captain RadhikaMenon on 21 November 2016 was bestowed with the 2016 International Maritime Organization (IMO) Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea at IMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom.
ii. Menon was honoured with the prestigious award for her role in the rescue of seven fishermen from a sinking fishing boat in the Bay of Bengal in June 2015. With this, Captain Menon became the first female to receive the IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
India on 21st November became an Associate Member of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), the world's largest nuclear and particle physics laboratory. CERN's Director General said that India's membership will open opportunities for Indian industries to participate directly in CERN projects. As a member nation, CERN requires India to make an annual contribution of approxRs. 77 crore.
Ride-hailing app Ola on Tuesday launched a new car entertainment platform 'Ola Play' that allows passengers to listen to their choice of music. The feature is aimed at attracting mostly business travellers who use Ola Prime. Third-party developers can also develop apps for Ola Play; with entertainment, shopping and tourism apps to be among the first to be featured.
i. India today successfully test-fired its indigenously built nuclear capable Agni-I ballistic missile from a test range off Odisha coast, as part of a user trial by Army. The surface-to-surface missile, which can hit a target 700 km away, was test-fired from a mobile launcher from the Integrated Test Range at Abdul Kalam Island, Wheeler Island. The missile has already been inducted into the Army.
ii. Describing the trial as successful, defence officials said, the trajectory of the trial was tracked from its launch till the missile hit the target area with accuracy. Agni-I missile is equipped with sophisticated navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision.
iii. Weighing 12 tonnes, the 15-metre-long Agni-I is designed to carry a payload of more than one tonne. Its strike range can be extended by reducing the payload. The last trial of Agni-I was conducted successfully on 14th March this year from the same base.
BOOKS AND AUTHORS
i. Senior journalist AkshayaMukul on 21 November 2016 won the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize 2016 for his book Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India. The judges, authors Samanth Subramanian, Mahesh Rao and Janice Pariat, chose Mukul’s book for its “eye-opening and captivating exploration into a parallel literary culture that can often feel at a great remove from English-speaking metropolitan India”.
ii. Mukul had also won the best non-fiction book prize for Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India at the RamnathGoenka awards. However, he boycotted the event. The Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize was set up in 2008 to encourage authors from the sub-continent.
Ram NareshYadav, former Governor of Madhya Pradesh, passed away on 22 November 2016. aged 89 at a hospital in Lucknow after a prolonged illness. The veteran Congress leader had served as Madhya Pradesh Governor between August 2011 and September 2016. He was also Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister between 1977 and 1979.
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