Current Affairs Last Week – GK Eduwrap – 21-Nov-2016 to 26-Nov-2016

GK Eduwrap Weekly 21-26th Nov




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National – Across the India:



1. India has been elected as the vice chair for 2018 and chair for 2019 of the Kimberly Process Certificate Scheme (KPCS).


Kimberly Process Certificate Scheme

KPCS is a joint initiative of the governments, industry and civil societies to prevent the entry of conflict diamonds from the mainstream rough diamond market.




2. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojana (PMAY-G), flagship housing for all scheme in Agra, Uttar Pradesh.


Under PMAY-G Government aims to provide affordable, environmentally safe and secure pucca house to every rural household living below the poverty line by 2022.




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3. Union textile Minister Smriti Irani launched a scheme of ‘Pehchan’ identity cards to artisans in Ahmedabad.



She also inaugurated thematic handicrafts exhibition.


The upgraded ‘pehchan’ cards were distributed to artisans from five clusters of Gujarat namely Jamnagar, Naroda, Surendranagar, Amreli, and Kalol.




4. India’s longest expressway connecting Agra and Lucknow was inaugurated by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at Bangarmau in Unnao district of UP.


Agra-Lucknow Expressway

The Agra-Lucknow Expressway is six-lane Greenfield expressway having a total length of 302-km. It has a design speed of up to 120 kms. per hour.




5. UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has launched one of his dream projects – the UP-100 Police Emergency Management System.


Under the scheme, Police will reach to help within 15 to 20 minutes after UP-100 is called from any urban or rural area




6. With an aim to promote Manipur as a potential tourist destination, the annual Manipur Sangai Festival this year will be themed ‘Destination Manipur’.


Manipur Sangai Festival

The 10-day-festival seeks to showcase the best of what the state has to offer in terms of art, culture, handloom, handicrafts as well as fine arts.




7. The 13th World Robot Olympiad will be held in India for the first time, with over 2,000 students from 54 countries participating.


This year’s theme is ‘Rap the Scrap’ is in line with ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ of the government.




8. António Costa, the Indian-origin Prime Minister of Portugal will be the chief guest at the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention.


António Costa

The PBD Convention is scheduled to be held from January 7 to 9, 2017 in Bengaluru, Karnataka.




9. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the opening of one Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) in each of the 62 uncovered districts.


jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV)

These JNVs will provide good quality modern education to the talented children prominently from rural areas.

Nearly 35,000 students will be benefitted from these JNVs.




10. The Union Defence Ministry is planning to relook at defence blacklist guidelines for dealing with global defence firms engaged in corruption in arms deals.


Thus, under the recently released new policy called ‘Guidelines of the Ministry of Defence for penalties in business dealings with entities’ the Union Defence Ministry will “re-ascertain” the list of companies banned from doing business in India.




11. The fifth International Tourism Mart has begun in Imphal, Manipur.


 fifth International Tourism Mart

It will be held between 23– 25 November 2016.

The event has been organized by the Union Ministry of Tourism in association with the North Eastern States and West Bengal.




12. IIT Kharagpur is India’s highest-ranked institution features in the Top 100 QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2016- 17.


(IIT) Kharagpur

It’s the only Indian institution other than IIT Bombay to feature in top 100.




13. India has been ranked 138th in the 2016 ICT Development Index out of a total of 175 countries. In 2015, India ranked 135th position.


The index was released as part of the annual measuring the Information Society Report for 2016 of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).




14. The Palampur Assembly Constituency of Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh became the first e-assembly constituency of the country.


Palampur Assembly Constituency

The system will help the residents of the constituency to know about the development works going on by one click on the computer.




15. India hosted the 13th edition of the World Robot Olympiad on the sidelines of the trade fair in New Delhi.


This is for the first time India hosted World Robot Olympiad.


It has been organized by National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the India STEM Foundation (ISF).



16. India became an associate member of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the largest nuclear and particle physics laboratory in the world.



As an associate member, India can take part in meetings of the CERN Council and its committees (Scientific Policy Committee and Finance Committee).




17. Indian Railways will soon introduce Tri-Netra (terrain imaging for diesel drivers infrared, enhanced optical and radar-assisted) system on its trains to reduce train accidents.


Tri-Netra is an advance system is made up of a high-resolution optical video camera, high-sensitivity infrared video camera, and a radar-based terrain mapping system.


These three components will act as three eyes (Tri-Netra) of the Locomotive Pilot.




18. Hundreds of Garo tribals gathered here recently to celebrate the harvest festival of Wangala with much fervor here.


harvest festival of Wangala

The festival marks the end of a period of toil for farmers wanting a good output from their fields.




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International – Across the Globe:




1. Nepal has abruptly cancelled all the agreements with Indian construction firm ILFS to build a USD one billion expressway project, connecting the Nepalese capital with the southern Terai region near the Indian border.




2. China has agreed to import rice, non-basmati and basmati varieties from 17 registered mills in India.


China to import rice from India

These mills are in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.


It is considered as a major breakthrough in India’s efforts to ensure market access for Indian products (especially rice) in China as it is the world’s largest rice importer.




3. Turkey will chair the Energy Club of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in 2017, becoming the first non-SCO country to hold its term presidency.


Earlier, only members of the SCO had assumed the term presidency of the Energy Club.







1. India’s ace shuttler and Olympic silver medallist P.V. Sindhu has won the $700,000 2016 China Open Super Series title in women’s category.


P.V. Sindhu

It was her maiden Super Series Premier title and first post-2016 Rio Olympics title.




2. Kenya’s Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge has won the men’s race in Delhi Half Marathon.


Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa won the women’s title.




3. Gaganjeet Bhullar of India won the $300,000 BANK BRI-JCB Indonesia Open Golf for the second time in his career after closing with a four-under-par 68.


Bhullar also won the event in 2013.




4. Former Liverpool and England football captain Steven Gerrard has announced the end of his playing career.




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Awards & Recognition:



1. The 47th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) began in Goa.



It was inaugurated by Veteran filmmaker Ramesh Sippy in the presence of Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu.


The Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year was bestowed upon Veteran singer P. Balasubrahmanyam.


The Lifetime Achievement Award at IFFI 2016 was bestowed upon legendary South Korean film director and writer Im Kwon Taek.




2. Thailand’s Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn was presented with the first ‘World Sanskrit Award’ for her exemplary contribution to the promotion of the language for the year 2015.


She is noted educator and scholar of Sanskrit and Pali.




3. Prominent Hindi writer Gyanranjan was selected for the honorary Jnangarima Manad Alankaran award 2016.



Gyanranjan is a renowned writer as well as the editor of Pahal Patrika.




4. Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan was awarded the prestigious Mother Teresa International Award by the Mumbai-based NGO Harmony Foundation.




5. Simone Biles introduced her New Book ‘Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance’.


In the Book, she opens about her life, faith, and struggles.


She is the most successful woman gymnast in American history and also the most medaled American gymnast, boasting a total of 14 world championships.




6. The Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize 2016 has been awarded to the senior journalist at the Times of India, Akshaya Mukul for his book ‘Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India’.


Mukul also won the best non-fiction book prize for Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India at the Ramnath Goenka awards.




7. Indian journalist Malini Subramaniam was conferred with the 2016 International Press Freedom Award.


Malini Subramaniam

She has been honored for her reporting from the Naxal-infested Bastar area and for the commitment to a free press.




8. Airtel Payments Bank Limited or Airtel Bank became the first payments bank in the country to launch live banking services in Rajasthan.


The pilot phase of the Airtel bank launched in Rajasthan aims at testing systems and processes ahead of a full-scale pan-Indian launch.




9. The OMQ (Ore, Mines & Quarries) Division of Tata Steel has been conferred with the Aqua Foundation’s Excellence Award 2016 under the category of Sustainable Development in Mining Sector.


Tata Steel

The award was given away at an international conference, organized on sidelines of ‘Water: Smart Solutions for Growing India’ in New Delhi.




10. Indian boxer M C Mary Kom is all set to get ‘Legends Award’ from the International Boxing Association (AIBA) on its 70th anniversary on December 20.


M C Mary Kom

An Olympic bronze medalist and a five-time world champion, Mary Kom is also Rajya Sabha MP now.




11. Indian actor Manoj Bajpayee has won the best performance award by an actor at the 10th Asia Pacific Screen Awards beating Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who was awarded a special mention in the same category.


Bajpayee won the award for his performance as Professor Siras in “Aligarh” directed by Hansal Mehta.


Nawazuddin won the award for his role in Kashyap’s “Raman Raghav 2.0″




Mergers & Acquisitions:



1. Vodafone Business Services (VBS), the enterprise arm of Vodafone India, announced its tie-up with Google Cloud to offer G Suite.



Vodafone enterprise customers can conveniently and securely access G Suite in a pay-peruse, software as a service (SaaS) model, the company said in a statement.




2. Chinese technology company Lenovo has partnered with Paytm to ensure hassle-free cashless transactions that will benefit laptop buyers who are facing cash crunch after demonetization.


Lenovo has also collaborated with Pine Labs to allow smooth conversion of transactions into EMI.




Appointments & Resignations:



1. The State Bank of Mauritius (SBM) Group has appointed Siby Sebastian as the Chief Executive Officer for its India operations.


Siby Sebastian

Sebastian has over 20 years of banking experience and has joined SBM Group from ICICI Bank.




2. Pankaj Patel, Zydus Cadila CMD has been elected president of industry body FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) for 2017.


Pankaj Patel

He will take over Ambuja Neotia Group Chairman Harshavardhan Neotia after he completes his term next month.




3. Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu of Nigeria was re-elected by acclamation today for a second three-year term as President of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).




4. Pankaj Patel was elected as the President of FICCI for the year 2017.


He will take over after incumbent Ambuja Neotia Group Chairman Harshavardhan Neotia completes his term in December 2016.




5. US President Donald Trump has named Indian-American Governor of South Carolina State, Nikki Haley for the high-profile post of US ambassador to the United Nations.


Nikki Haley

She becomes the first Indian-American to be appointed to a Cabinet-level post in any US administration.




6. The Union Government has appointed Yudhvir Singh Malik as the Chairman of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).


He will succeed outgoing chairman Raghav Chandra who has been moved as secretary to the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.




7. Upma Chowdhary was appointed as new Director of Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) at Mussoorie.


She will be the 23rd director and first woman director of LBSNAA. She will replace Rajeev Kapoor.




8. The Chancellor of Nalanda University, George Yeo, resigned citing that earlier he was assured of the University’s autonomy but now things had changed.


George Yeo

Yeo was appointed Chancellor in July 2015.




9. The Tata Steel board has sacked Cyrus Mistry as chairman and replaced him with OP Bhatt, an independent director.


He has earlier worked as SBI chairman. However, Mistry remains a director of Tata Steel.




10. Naspers-backed PayU India has announced the appointment of Maneesh Goel as its new chief financial officer.




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Economics & Banking GK:



1. 16 of 22 public sector banks skipped paying dividends to Government in fiscal 2015-16 due to the issue of mounting bad loans.



It has led to a 67% decline in government receipts to Rs. 1,444.6 crore.




2. RBI has proposed the opening of Islamic window in conventional banks for the gradual introduction of Sharia-compliant or interest-free banking in the country.


In this regard, RBI has also prepared a technical analysis report and submitted to the Union Finance Ministry for its consideration.




3. As per a report on global wealth published by Credit Suisse, the total quantum of wealth in India is rising but the disparity between rich and poor is also rising.


The report says that the uneven growth has left 96% of the adult population in India at the base of the wealth pyramid with wealth below $10,000.




4. The Union Government has allowed NABARD to disburse Rs 21,000 crore to help cash-starved farmers to sow Rabi crops.



The money will be disbursed by NABARD to District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) which will enable them to pass on grant funds to the primary agriculture cooperatives.




5. The Union Government has imposed safeguard duty on import of certain steel products to protect domestic manufacturers from cheap inbound shipments.


It was imposed by the Revenue Department on steel products like hot rolled flat sheets and plates of alloy (excluding hot rolled flat products in coil form) or non-alloy steel.




6. YES Bank, the fifth largest private sector bank, has announced a partnership with Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) to digitize payment of bus tickets for its customers.


YES Bank

 For this, the bank will install over 125 points of sale (PoS) terminals to facilitate booking through credit and debit cards at all GSRTC bus depots.




7. The Union Government has constituted a new committee to form a strategy to expedite the process of transforming India into a cashless economy.


The committee will be headed by Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.


It has been tasked with identifying various bottlenecks affecting access to digital payments.




8. The Telangana government along with IDFC Bank took the initiative to enable cashless transactions to ease the “change” problem.



Those, who are shopping for vegetables were issued coupons worth Rs 5, Rs 10 and Rs 20 so that the vendors don’t suffer a loss




Bills – New & Amendments:



1. The Union Cabinet has approved an introduction of the Merchant Shipping Bill, 2016 in the Parliament.


Merchant Shipping Bill 2016

The bill is a revamped version of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.


It seeks to repeal Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 as well the Coasting Vessels Act, 1838.



Memorandum of Understanding (MoU):



1. India and Switzerland signed a Joint Declaration for implementation of Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) in respect of accounts of Indians held abroad.


Under the pact, both countries will start collecting data in accordance with the global standards in 2018 and exchange it from 2019 onwards.




2. Colombian Government signed a revised peace agreement with the country’s largest rebel movement, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).


Colombian Government

The revised document was signed between President Juan Manual Santos and FARC leader Rodrigo Londono in Bogota, the capital city of Colombia.




Science & Technology:



1. The twin trial of surface-to-surface nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile was successfully conducted by the India Army from a test range at Chandipur in Odisha.



During the test, two Prithvi-II missiles in salvo mode were successfully test-fired in quick succession from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR).




2. Scientists developed Zika replicon system, a novel tool to replicate the Zika virus by stripping it of the genes that make the virus infectious.


The Zika replicon system is considered as an advance novel tool that may pave the way for development vaccine to fight Zika virus.




3. China launched world’s longest super-secure quantum communication line connecting Hefei, the capital of Anhui province to Shanghai, the country’s financial hub.


communication line

The super-secure quantum communication line is 712-km in length.


It boasts of ultra-high security making it impossible to wiretap, intercept or crack the information transmitted through them.




4. NASA successfully launched highly advanced geostationary weather satellite Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R).


The satellite will boost the US’s weather observation capabilities, leading to more accurate and timely forecasts, watches and warnings.




5. Scientists have discovered a new ‘Super-Earth’ type exoplanet named as GJ 536b orbiting a very bright star near to our Sun.


The planet was jointly detected by Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) and the Geneva Observatory.




6. INS Chennai, a Kolkata-class stealth Guided missile destroyer ship was commissioned into Indian Navy’s combat fleet by Defence minister Manohar Parrikar in Mumbai, Maharashtra.


INS Chennai

It is the largest-ever warship to be built in India.


It is third and last Kolkata-class guided-missile destroyers built under Project 15A.




7. The indigenously built nuclear capable Agni-I ballistic missile was successfully test-fired from a test range off Odisha coast, as part of a user trial by India Army.


It was test-fired from a mobile launcher from the launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island).




8. Andhra Pradesh Government launched the ‘Smart Water Distribution Monitoring’ web interface.


Smart Water Distribution Monitoring

The monitoring portal is a part of from where it can be accessed.

Using this portal, people can check the status of drinking water in the water tanks nearby




9. China successfully launched its fourth data satellite named Tianlian I-04.


The satellite will join its three predecessors to achieve global network operation.




10. The upgraded Jaguar DARIN III twin-seat aircraft received Initial Operation Clearance (IOC).



It is considered as a significant milestone for the country’s military aviation sector.


The satisfactory completion of IOC was announced by Deputy Chief of IAF, Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria who had flown the aircraft at HAL airport in Bengaluru.




11. State-run power equipment maker BHEL commissioned a 93 MW steam turbine-based captive power plant (CPP) at Hazira in Gujarat for Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL).


93 MW steam turbine-based captive power plant

This is the second unit of the 4×93 MW steam turbine-based CPP, being set up by BHEL for RIL at Hazira.




12. Indian Navy’s seventh landing craft utility (LCU) L-57 was launched by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE) in Kolkata, West Bengal.


LCU L-57 is the largest ship of this kind built anywhere in the world.


It is the seventh vessel in the series of eight LCU Ships being designed and built by GRSE for the Indian Navy.




13. Scientists from the Czech Republic have developed a model of a functioning human lung using 3D printing and other technologies.


a model of a functioning human lung

It has received three patents for its modeling.


The model was developed by the research group from the Brno University of Technology.


It can be used to simulate problems like asthma or other chronic diseases and their treatments.




Important Dates:



1. The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (IDEVAW) is observed every year across the world on 25th November.


Observance of this day seeks to raise awareness about violence against women and girls, end the violence against the women.


2016 Theme was “Orange the World – raise funds to end violence against women”.




2. The Samvidhan Diwas (Constitution Day) of India is being observed on 26th November to spread awareness of Indian Constitution.


Samvidhan Diwas

On this day in 1949, the constitution of India was adopted and came into force on 26th January 1950 marking the beginning of a new era in the history of free India.




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1. Legendary vocalist, playback singer, and composer Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna passed away due to age-related geriatric problems in Chennai. He was 86.


Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna

He was considered as a doyen of classical music.


During his long musical career, he had excelled as a prominent Carnatic vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, playback singer, composer, and actor.


He received awards like Padma Vibhusan (1991), Mahatma Gandhi Silver Medal from UNESCO (1995), France’s Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.




2. Veteran Congress leader and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Ram Naresh Yadav passed away at SGPGI Lucknow after a prolonged illness.




3. Renowned Hindi and Bhojpuri litterateur Dr. Viveki Rai passed away in a Varanasi hospital after an illness.




4. Renowned scientist Mambillikalathil Govind Kumar Menon, who spearheaded many scientific and development missions passed away. He was 88.


Menon became the director of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai in 1966 at the age of 38.


He also headed the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for nine months in 1972.




5. Cuba’s former president and leader of the Communist revolution Fidel Castro passed away due to old age. He was 90.


 Fidel Castro

He was commander in chief of the 1959 Cuban revolution 1959 and had successfully built a communist state on the doorstep of the United States during Cold War.




6. Eminent Journalist and intellectual Dileep Padgaonkar passed away in Pune, Maharashtra after a brief illness. He was 72.


Padgaonkar along with Prof. Radha Kumar and Information Commissioner Prof. M M Ansari were part of the three-member interlocutors’ team chosen by the Union Government in 2010 to design a road map for peace in strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir.




7. Russian aircraft designer and co-creator of the MiG-29 fighter jet Ivan Mikoyan passed away. He was 89.


Ivan Mikoyan

He had the majority of his career as a leading engineer at the ‘MiG’ Aircraft Corporation’s design bureau, which was founded by his uncle Artyom Mikoyan.




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Important Abbreviations Used in this Article



Abbreviations Full Form
KPCS Kimberly Process Certificate Scheme
PMAY-G Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojana
NCSM National Council of Science Museums
CERN European Organization for Nuclear Research
AIBA International Boxing Association
SBM State Bank of Mauritius
FICCI Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry
LBSNAA Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration
FARC Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
GOES-R Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R




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