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CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
Lok Sabha passes bill to merge Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu
- The Lok Sabha passed the Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (Merger of Union Territories) Bill, 2019.
- The bill, which seeks to merge the two union territories into one, now awaits passage in the Rajya Sabha. The move comes three months after Jammu and Kashmir was divided into two UTs—Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
- Dadra and Nagar Haveli has just one district while Daman and Diu has two.
- For the government to have Minimum Government, Maximum Governance, and considering small population and limited geographical area of both the Union Territories and to use the services of officers efficiently, it has been decided to merge the UTs of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman Diu into a single UT.
HRD Minister launches Kartavya portal
- Union HRD Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ launched the kartavya.ugc.ac.in portal on the occasion of ‘Constitution Day’, as a part of year-long Nagrik Kartavya Paalan Abhiyan being observed throughout the country.
- The portal will be used primarily for holding monthly essay competitions for students as well as other activities like quizzes, debates, poster making, etc pertaining to Nagrik Kartavya Paalan Abhiyan.
- Nagrik Kartavya Paalan Abhiyan will give direction to the youth of the country.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL
UAE and Saudi Arabia sign four memorandums of understanding
- The UAE and Saudi Arabia signed four memorandums of understanding (MoUs) during the second meeting of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council in Abu Dhabi.
- The meeting comes as part of efforts by the two countries to activate all aspects of cooperation that leads to full integration in economy, knowledge and human development, and military.
- The meeting, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, also reviewed seven strategic initiatives.
Saudi Arabia elected to UNESCO’s world heritage committee
- Saudi Arabia was elected to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee for the first time.
- The announcement comes after the Kingdom was elected to the UN heritage body’s executive board for 2019-2023.
- The World Heritage Committee meets once a year, and consists of representatives from 21 member states to the convention elected by the general assembly.
- There are five sites in Saudi Arabia that are currently on UNESCO’s World Heritage List: Al-Ahsa Oasis, Al-Hijr Archaeological Site (Madain Saleh) in AlUla, Al-Turaif district in Diriyah, Historic Jeddah, and rock art in the Hail region.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATES
Assam bans gutka, pan masala containing tobacco-nicotine for one year
- In a move to make Assam a tobacco free state, the state government imposed a complete ban on the sale, manufacture, storage, distribution, transportation and display of gutka, pan masala and chewing materials containing tobacco and nicotine.
- The Assam government has banned the gutka, pan masala and chewing materials containing tobacco and nicotine for a period of one year in the state under Clause (A) of Sub-Section 2 of Section 30 of the Food Safety & Security Act, 2006.
- The prohibition has been made under the regulations of 2, 3 and 4 of the Food Safety & Standards (Prohibitions and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations 2011 of the Food Safety & Standards Act.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
RIL becomes first Indian firm to hit Rs 10 lakh crore m-cap mark
- Reliance Industries (RIL), became the first Indian company to hit the Rs 10 lakh crore market valuation level in intra-day following a spike in its share price.
- The oil-to-telecom conglomerate’s market capitalisation (m-cap) zoomed to Rs 10.02 lakh crore during morning trade on the BSE.
- The company’s stock rose 0.73 per cent to a record peak of Rs 1,581.25 in intra-day trade on the stock exchange.
- Over the past few session, RIL’s market valuation has been hovering near the Rs 10 lakh crore mark. In October this year, its shares hit the Rs 9 lakh crore m-cap level. In August 2018, it became the first Indian company to have crossed the Rs 8 lakh crore m-cap mark.
- TCS is the country’s second most valued firm with a market valuation of Rs 7,79,708.02 crore, followed by HDFC Bank with a market cap of Rs 6,96,494.75 crore, Hindustan Unilever (Rs 4,49,252.62 crore) and HDFC (Rs 3,99,599.38 crore).
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
India Ratings lowers India’s Q2 GDP growth to 4.7%; FY20 forecast at 5.6%
- Indian economy may have slowed for the sixth consecutive quarter in July-September to 4.7 per cent, Fitch group firm India Ratings and Research, as it lowered GDP growth forecast for current fiscal for the fourth time.
- India Ratings and Research has revised its GDP growth forecast for FY20 to 5.6 per cent.
U GRO Capital signs loan co-origination partnership with SBI
- U GRO Capital, a tech-enabled lender to small businesses, has signed a loan co-origination partnership with State Bank of India (SBI) to offer credit at a competitive rate of interest.
- The collaboration will use GRO Capital’s technology platform ‘GRO- Xstream’ to provide in-principle loan approval within 60 minutes.
- U GRO Capital is focusing on entering into co-origination partnerships with larger banks or NBFCs. Loan co-origination is a key component in the company’s three-pronged liability strategy involving balance sheet lending, an off-balance sheet model including assignments and securitization to create a truly hybrid lending model.
- U GRO Capital had entered into its first loan co-origination partnership with Bank of Baroda in October this year.
- U GRO Capital had earlier raised about $140 million from a diversified set of global private equity investors such as NewQuest, ADV Partners, PAG and Samena Capital and public market investors such as Abakkus, PNB Metlife and multiple Indian family offices.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS
Sundram Fasteners’ Suresh Krishna gets ‘Quality Ratna’ award
- CII Institute of Quality, in its 27th Quality Summit held in Bengaluru, bestowed India’s first ‘Quality Ratna’ award to Suresh Krishna, Chairman, Sundram Fasteners Ltd.
Manisha Kulshreshtha wins 28th Bihari Puraskar
- Noted writer from Rajasthan, Manisha Kulshreshtha, was awarded the 28th Bihari Puraskar for 2018 for her novel ‘Swapnapash’.
- The award is presented by the KK Birla Foundation and is for writers of Rajasthani origin. It is given annually to an outstanding work in Hindi or Rajasthani published in the past 10 years.
- She is known for her works like ‘Shigaf’, ‘Shalbhanjika’ and ‘Panchkanya’.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BOOKS AND AUTHORS
Christopher Paolini’s first science fiction novel titled “To Sleep in a Sea of Stars”
- Bestselling American author Christopher Paolini’s next, which will also be his first science fiction novel, will be published by Pan Macmillan.
- The book, titled “To Sleep in a Sea of Stars”, published under Macmillan’s Tor imprint, will be Paolini’s departure from his much loved four-book fantasy series, “Inheritance Cycle”.
- The book will be published in September 2020.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SUMMITS AND CONFERENCE
47th All India Police Science Congress begins in Lucknow
- The 47th All India Police Science Congress (AIPSC) is being organised in Lucknow. The chief guest for the event is a former cop and Puducherry LG Kiran Bedi.
- The venue of the 2-day AIPSC is the Signature Building in the new Police headquarters.
- Uttar Pradesh is hosting this event after 22 years.
- Police officials from every state of the country are participating in the Police Science Congress. The Congress will focus on challenges in policing, and five other related topics.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: RANKING
India has 96 universities ranked, including 20 brand new entries in QS World University Rankings: Asia 2020
- India has 96 universities ranked, including 20 brand new entries in the QS World University Rankings: Asia 2020. The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) leads nationally at overall 34th place, and it is followed by IIT Delhi (IITD) in the 43rd place and by IIT Madras (IITM) in the 50th position.
- Overall for the second consecutive year, the National University of Singapore stands top among Asia’s best universities. It is followed by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and the University of Hong Kong, China.
- Only Mainland China is more represented than India, with 118 featured universities. Among these, 4 stands in the top 10 list.
- Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) reported 8 Indian universities are placed among the top 100.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SPORTS
Jon Rahm won 2019 DP World Tour Championship
- Jon Rahm won the 2019 DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. This is his second title in three years. The award has crowned him as European Number One on the final day at Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
- Rahm shot four-under 68 to reach 19-under 269. He defeated Tommy Fleetwood to clinch the title.
Weightlifter Jhili Dalabehera To Get Prestigious Ekalabya Puraskar
- Odia Weightlifter Jhili Dalabehera, who has brought laurels for Odisha and the country in several national and international events, will receive the prestigious Ekalabya Puraskar for the year 2019. The annual award is instituted by IMPaCT, the charitable wing of Indian Metals & Ferro Alloys (IMFA).
- Apart from Dalabehera, two other sportsperson- hockey player Namita Toppo and Footballer Jabamani Tudu will also receive citation awards for their outstanding achievements in their respective fields.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: OBITUARY
Cartoonist Sudhir Dhar Passes away
- Renowned cartoonist Sudhir Dhar, whose works have graced several newspapers in a career spanning 58 years passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest.
- Dhar began his career with The Statesman in 1961, after which he moved toHindustan Times. His cartoons have also appeared in The Independent, The Pioneer, Delhi Times, New York Times, Washington Post and Saturday Review,among others.