November 2015

As we started our site from july, So current affairs from previous month shall be posted in a single post month-wise.

Current Affairs: November 2015:

NATIONAL:

  • Union Government has announced Draft Aviation Policy 2015 aimed at popularizing air travel among the people in the country.
    • Aims to improve air connectivity among the smaller cities and aims to bring India to 3rd position from the current 10th position in the global aviation sector.
  • Archeologist N. Mishra who did excavations at the world heritage site of Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh and the 6,000-year-old site of Balathal in Rajasthan, passed away.
  • India was placed at 7th position in world’s most valuable nation brands report among the 100 assessed nations.
  • Indian Railways has launched Vikalp scheme to facilitate waitlisted passengers to get an alternative train accommodation.
    • No extra charges, but need to opt for scheme while booking
  • Facebook has partnered with the state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) for setting up 100 wi-fi (Wireless Fidelity) sites in rural India.
  • Hero MotoCorp patriarch Brijmohan Lall Munjal passed away in New Delhi.
  • Supreme Court has ruled that a daughter’s right to ancestral property does not arise if the father died before Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 came into force in 2005. The Judgment invalidates any retrospective effect of Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005.
  • All India Radio’s (AIR’s) Programme on child labour titled Nilkkam Ivarkkoppam has won the first prize at the 2015 Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) Prize ceremony.
  • Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Indian Premier League (IPL) Sundar Raman has resigned from his position.
    • Why: name came up in IPL Spot fixing Scandal.
    • Trivia: Supreme Court appointed Mudgal Committee to look into IPL Spot fixing scandal.
  • Maharashtra Government has approved APJ Abdul Kalam Amrut Yojna scheme to provide one full hot cooked nutritious food to pregnant, lactating women in the tribal areas.
  • Justice T S Thakur (63) will be next Chief Justice of India. His name has been recommended by current CJI Justice Dattu.
  • National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned age-old agricultural practice of straw burning in pollution-ravaged New Delhi and 4 northern western states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
    • Straw is burn bi-annually by farmers post harvesting crop.
  • As on 31.10.2015, cumulative capacity of about 38 GW of grid-interactive renewable energy capacity has been installed in the country. The Government has up-scaled the target of renewable energy capacity to 175 GW by the year 2022 which includes 100 GW from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from bio-power and 5 GW from small hydro-power.
  • Union Cabinet has given its nod Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojna (UDAY) for financial restructuring of debt of power distribution companies.
    • How: Allows power DISCOMs in selected states to convert their debt into state bonds as well as roll out number of measures to improve efficiency at power plants.
  • CCEA hikes MSP for major Rabi crops including wheat, gram and pulses
    • Important is: That CCEA (Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs) Chaired by PM, looks into MSP of wheat, gram and pulses.
  • Union Government has launched three gold related scheme viz:
    • Gold Monetization Scheme (GMS),
      What: Give option to resident Indians to deposit their precious metal and earn an interest on it. Tagline: Earn, while you secure.
    • Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme (SGBS)
    • What: To reduce demand of physical gold seeks to shift part of physical gold in form of bars and coins for investment into Demat (Dematerialised) gold bonds. These gold bonds are interest bearing and will be payable in terms of grams of gold. Scheme tagline: Invest wisely. Earn Safely.
    • Indian Gold Coins (IGC):
    • What: Gold coins that bear national emblem Ashok Chakra on one side and Mahatma Gandhi’s engraved image on the other side.
    • Denomination 5/10 Grams.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee launched Impacting Research Innovation and Technology (IMPRINT) India to boost research in the country. The initiative is a joint venture of Indian Institute of Science (IISC) and Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).
    • Objective: Identify areas of immediate relevance that requires innovation in the society and perform direct scientific research in the identified areas.
  • Every year 9th November is celebrated as the National Legal Services Day (NLSD) in India to spread awareness for ensuring reasonable fair and justice procedure for all citizens. Lok Adalats are organized on this day throughout the nation. National Legal Services Day (NLSD) was first started by Supreme Court of India in 1995 to provide help and support to poor and weaker sections of the society.
  • Indigenously developed Communication satellite GSAT-15 of Indian Space Research Organisation was successfully launched from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana.
    • GSAT-15 carried 24 communication transponders in Ku-band along with GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) payload operating in L1 and L5 bands. It is the 3rd satellite to carry GAGAN payload after GSAT-8 and GSAT-10 which already are providing navigation services from orbit.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Bill, 2015 or Haryana Cow Protection Bill, 2015. Thus, with the presidential assent the bill has come into force in the form of a law (Act). It completely bans cow slaughter, sale of beef and beef products in Haryana. It also has provisions for rigorous imprisonment and penalty for violators.
  • Annual Hundred Drums Wangala Festival has begun on a cultural fervor at Asanang near Tura town in Meghalaya.
    Post-harvest festival of garo tribes of NE.
  • Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has opened country’s first Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) outlet at AIIMS in New Delhi to sell drugs at highly discounted rates.
  • Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has declared Naga militant outfit National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) formally known as NSCN (K) as a terrorist organization.
    • Union Government signed peace accord with NSCN (IM) – (Isak-Muivah)
  • Union Government has approved Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) Action Plans for 81(later 102) cities in 5 states with total project outlay of 5,748 crore rupees.
    5 states are Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand & Odisha

    • Under AMRUT, Union Government provides an assistance of 50 % of project cost for cities with a population of up to 10 lakhs each and 1/3 of project cost for cities with a population of above 10 lakhs each. Rest of the project cost is borne by the states and urban local bodies.
    • Funds shall be used to enhance basic infrastructure including water supply and sewerage connections.
  • Union Cabinet chaired has approved setting up of a National Resource Facility for Bio-medical Research (NARF) at Genome Valley in Hyderabad, Telangana.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has decided to pay a production-linked subsidy of Rs 4.50 per quintal directly to sugarcane farmers in the current crushing season.
    • (Important is who decides production subsidy: ie CCEA)
  • Tata Steel has commissioned the first phase of its integrated steel plant at Kalinganagar steel plant in Jajpur district of Odisha. Largest green-field project of the country.
  • The second World Congress on Disaster Management (WCDM) took place in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been chosen for the prestigious 2015 Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development.
  • Union Government has launched the Technology Acquisition and Development Fund (TADF) under the National Manufacturing Policy (NMP), 2011.
    • Will facilitate Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) to acquire clean, green and energy efficient technologies.
  • Harshavardhan Neotia has been elected as the President of industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
  • Assam new railine: Silchar-Lumding broad gauge rail line – inaugurated.
  • Uttar Pradesh government’s ambitious Clean UP, Green UP initiative has earned itself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Under state government’s green drive initiative 10 lakh saplings were planted in one day within a span of eight hours on November 7, 2015 at 10 locations in the state.
  • HRD Ministry has constituted a 13 member expert committee on Sanskrit in its attempt to revive interest in the ancient Indian classical language Sanskrit. It will be headed by former chief election commissioner (CEC) N Gopalaswami.
  • The deadline for completion of flagship Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) for rural connectivity through all- weather roads from 2022 to 2019.
  • Every year on 25th November is observed as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) across the world.
  • Every year 26 November is being observed as National Milk Day (NMD) to mark birth anniversary Father of the White Revolution Dr.Verghese Kurien.
  • Delhi Assembly Delhi (Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services) Amendment Bill, 2015 aimed at providing citizens with time bound delivery of Government services.
  • Liquor consumption prohibited now in Bihar (latest), Gujarat (1958), Nagaland (1989), Manipur (1991) and Kerala (2014) and Union Territory of Lakshadweep.
  • Union Government has decided to advance the date for implementation of Bharat Stage (BS) V (2019) and BS VI emission (2012) norms for four-wheelers in order to reduce vehicular air pollution from road transport sector.
  • BS: Bharat Stage norms
  • Presently: BS-IV = Euro 4 issued from 2015 (63 cities till 1 April 2015)
  • Committee on BS norms: Saumitra Chaudhri Committee
  • Tribal Advisory Council (TAC) has been established in the States having Scheduled Areas namely Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana. Besides, two other States viz, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, have also set up TAC.
  • Part B of the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution provides for establishing a TAC in each State having Schedule Areas and also in any State having Schedule Tribes but not Schedule Areas.
  • The Central Statistics Office (CSO) in Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation releases the estimates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
  • Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare launched the injectable Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV). This injection will be given along with 3rd doseof Oral vaccines that are already given.

SPORTS:

  • Sania Mirza (India) and Martina Hingis (Switerzerland) has won the 2015 BNP Paribas World Tennis Association (WTA) Finals Women’s double category.
  • New Zealand won the 2015 Rugby World Cup for record third time by defeating Australia.
  • Ace Indian shooter, Heena Sidhu has won Gold medal in 10 metre Air Pistol event in women’s category at 13th Asian Shooting Championships held in Kuwait.
  • Shuttler Saina Nehwal has won silver medal at 2015 China Open Superseries Premier Badminton tournament
  • Indian cueist Pankaj Advani won the 2015 IBSF World Snooker
  • World number one Novak Djokovic from Serbia has become the first tennis player to win the ATP World Tour Finals for record fourth consecutive time.
  • Young Indian shuttler Siril Verma has won silver medal at the prestigious 2015 BWF World Junior badminton
  • Former world long jump champion Anju Bobby George was appointed as the Chairperson of Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) by Union Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs.
    TOPS is formulated under the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) with an objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects sportspersons for 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.

    • The focused disciplines under this scheme are Boxing, Athletics, Badminton, Archery, Wrestling and Shooting.
  • Australia and New Zealand created history by playing first day-night Test match at the Adelaide Oval Cricket Stadium with a pink Kookaburra ball.
  • Andy Murray led Great Britain have won the 2015 Davis Cup for first time since 1936
  • Indian boxer Shiva Thapa has attained second rank in the latest international rankings of boxing in the 56-kilogram category.

DEFENCE:

  • Captain Krishna Swaminathan has assumed charge as the second Commanding Officer (CO) of Indian Navy’s new and formidable aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.
    • INS Vikramaditya is a Kiev class aircraft carrier which was commissioned by Russian Navy in 1987 under the name Baku and later was rechristened as Admiral Gorshkov.
  • BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was successfully test fired from on board of guided missile destroyer INS Kochi off the western coast.
  • Brahmos Fact file:
    • Stage: 2 Stage (1: Solid Propellent, 2: Liquid ramjet)
    • Range: Upto 290 Km
    • Operates on Fire & Forget principle: Once target is set & fired, it searches its own route to hit target.
    • Operation Altitude: 10 meter to 1 Km
    • Warhead: Conventional (Other is Nuclear) 200- 300 Kgs.
    • Speed: Supersonic (2.8 Mach -3 Mach)
    • Accuracy: 1m
  • The fast patrol vessel (FPV) of Aadesh-Class of Indian Coast Guard, ICGS Arinjay was commissioned in Kochi, Kerala.
    • Shall be used for guarding coastline.
  • Indigenously developed supersonic Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile was successfully test fired from the Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast.
    • Abdul Kalam Island formerly Wheeler Island.
    • Advanced Air Defence interceptor also called as Ashwini (probable) Ballistic Missile Interceptor Single Stage, Solid fuel
    • Range : 150 -200 KM
    • Modified Surface to Air Missile
    • Defence system as used to destroy incoming missile
  • The nuclear-capable Dhanush ballistic missile was successfully test fired from warship Subhadra, off the Puri coast of Odisha in the Bay of Bengal.
    • Dhanush is, surface-to-surface missile and is a naval variant of Prithvi-II missile. It can carry both conventional as well as a nuclear payload of 500 kg.
  • Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) co-developed by India and Israel was successfully test-fired for the first time from an Israeli Naval Platform.
    • Also called as BARAK-8

INTERNATIONAL:

  • India has signed two keys Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with Indonesia
    • MOU 1: New and Renewable Energy sector:
    • MOU 2: Cultural Exchange programme for three years from 2015 to 2018.
  • International Indigenous Terra Madre- 2015 kicked off in Shillong, Meghalaya with theme The Future We Want: Indigenous Perspectives and Actions.
    • What it is about: 100 tribes from 58 countries will participate and share their songs, folklores, dance, dress and food systems.
  • President of Maldives Abdulla Yameen has declared state of emergency for 30 days on grounds of threat to national security.
    • Why: The former President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed, who belongs to the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) was convicted of charges of using the military to arrest a senior judge when in office and was sentenced for 13 years of jail term. Now his supporters organize mass rally and disrupt peace.
    • In Nov itself:
    • Maldivian Parliament Majlis has voted overwhelmingly to impeach Vice President Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor.
    • Why: Charged with plotting to assassinate the President Yameen Abdul Gayoom
  • Justin Trudeau of Liberal Party has sworn in as 23rd Prime Minister of Canada ending 10 years of Conservative rule. 4 Indians in Cabinet:
  • Harjit Sajjan: Defence Minister
    Amarjeet Sohi: Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.
  • Navdeep Bains: Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
    Bardish Chagger (lady): Minister for Small Business and Tourism.
  • Union cabinet approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with Belgium for cooperation in development of new and renewable energy technologies.
  • Union Cabinet approved signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Colombia to strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism.
  • France is set to deploy its largest warship (aircraft carrier) named Charles de Gaulle (R91) in order further boost its operations against Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq.
  • The seventh edition India-Russia Joint Military Exercise ‘Indra-2015’ has begun in Bikaner district of Rajasthan.
  • World Health Organization (WHO), a U.N. health agency has officially declared Sierra Leone Ebola-free.
  • Every year 10th November is being observed as World Science Day (WSD) for Peace and Development to demonstrate the importance of science in our daily life.
    • The theme of 2015 WSD is Science for a Sustainable Future.
    • India Science day is 28th Why 28th Feb: Sir C.V. Raman discovered Raman effect on 28th Feb 1928. The theme of the year 2016 is on “Scientific Issues for Development of the Nation“.
  • The 68th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has declared year 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (IYP). It was launched under the slogan ‘nutritious seeds for a sustainable future’.
  • India and China have signed two agreements including one in the field of water resources on sharing hydrological data on Sutlej River and other on cultural agreement.
  • RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has been appointed as vice-chairman of the board of directors of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).
    • BIS: International Financial Organization with BIS 60 central banks as its members, accounting for 95% of world gdp. Head Office: Basel, Switzerland
  • Pakistan and China kicked off their ambitious 46 billion US Dollar China- Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC)
    • Connect: Xinjiang region in China to the Gwadar port in Pakistan by means of highways, airways and railways and also deploy pipeline to transport oil and gas.
    • Passes through PoK.
  • Economist Subir Gokaran has been appointed as an Executive Director on the board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the recently acquired Ambedkar memorial by Maharashtra Government at King Henry’s Road in London, United Kingdom.
  • India and Australia have sealed Nuclear-deal procedures for supply of uranium fuel to India.
  • Senior Indian diplomat Syed Akbaruddin has been appointed as India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations at New York.
  • 2015: G-20 Summit at Antalya, Turkey.
  • Russia’s newest defence satellite dubbed as EKS Kosmos-2510 was successfully launched into space. It is an early warning system and will detect enemy missile heading towards Russian territory.
  • China’s Tianhe-2 supercomputer has emerged as the world’s most powerful supercomputer system for the 6th consecutive time.
    • 2nd: US Energy Department – Titan
    • 3rd: Sequoia from IBM
    • Update in June 2016: the fastest supercomputer in the world is the Sunway TaihuLight, with a Linpack benchmark of 93 petaFLOPS(PFLOPS).
    • Speed of Super Computer is measured in PetaFlops/ Second (PFlops/S). where FLOPS is floating-point operations per second.
  • Syrian woman journalist Zaina Erhaim won the prestigious 2015 Reporters without Borders Prize for her defence of press freedom.
  • The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has unanimously adopted a Resolution 2249 (2015), calling on all nations to re-double and co-ordinate action to prevent further attacks by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other extremist groups.
  • 10 day state of emergency was delcared in the Mali by President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita following terrorist attack in country’s capital city Bamako.
  • India-born Swati Dandekar has been appointed as the United States director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
  • Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders have signed a declaration for launching ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) which would be similar to European Union (EU)-style regional economic bloc.
    • Kaula Lampur declaration signed.
    • ASEAN: 10 Members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
    • Motto: “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”
  • China is building the world’s biggest animal cloning factory to recreate sniffer dogs, racehorses, pets and beef cattle in Tianjin, north-eastern China
  • US drugs giant Pfizer Inc. has finalized a deal to buy Ireland based Allergan for 160 billion dollars making it the biggest pharmaceuticals merger deal in history of healthcare sector.
  • India and Singapore have signed a joint declaration envisaging a Strategic Partnership to elevate bilateral relations of both countries.
  • Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) have signed a MoU on bilateral cooperation and technical assistance.
  • SEBI Chairman: UK Sinha
  • India was ranked 141 on a Global Peace Index (GPI) for year 2016 out of 163 countries. Published by the Sydney (Australia) based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) since 2007
  • Saudi Arabia has allowed women to vote and become candidates in local elections for the first time in the history of male dominated country.
  • Nikita Sergeyevich Mikhalkov, the world renowned film maker from Russia will be conferred upon, the Lifetime Achievement Award during the closing ceremony of the 46th International Film Festival of India.
  • Government of Nepal and Government of India have entered into an MoU on 24.8.2015 for the construction of Raxaul (India)-Amlekhgunj (Nepal) Petroleum Products Pipeline to provide efficient supply of petroleum products.

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