Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 08 - NOVEMBER - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 08 - NOVEMBER - 2016
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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

08- NOVEMBER - 2016


:: NATIONAL ::

US WILL ELECT THEIR PRESIDENT ON 8TH NOV

  • In whirlwind campaigning across battleground states, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump have the same message to their supporters in the last hours ahead of polling in the U.S.
  • Country is at a crossroads, and their opponent is the worst presidential candidate in history.
  • Hillary Clinton is the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency of the United States, and if she were to win, it would create a constitutional crisis like no other,” Mr. Trump said in Virginia.
  • Thirty-seven million Americans have already voted, and between 70 and 80 million are expected to vote.
  • FBI stood by its earlier decision not to press charges against Ms. Clinton for mishandling classified information have given a boost to the Democrats in the final hours.
  • Multiple opinion polls that appeared also indicate that Ms. Clinton holds a modest but steady lead over Mr. Trump nationally.

WIND HELPED IN LIFTING THE SMOG COVER

  • Sunlight and wind helped lift the smog cover over Delhi slightly during the day, though average pollution levels remained severe.
  • After days of consistently hazardous levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), concentration levels across the city dipped considerably during the afternoon.
  • As per data from the Central Pollution Control Board for R.K. Puram, Anand Vihar, Mandir Marg and Punjabi Bagh monitoring stations, the average PM2.5 level at 5 p.m. was 131 micrograms per cubic metre, or twice the standard of 60.
  • As per SAFAR index, PM levels are expected to decrease after 9th of November.

DELHI GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES MEASURES FOR POLLUTION CONTROL

  • LG chaired a high-level meeting to discuss the situation and directed government agencies to implement immediate steps aimed at mitigating air pollution.
  • In addition to measures such as a week-long lockdown on polluting industries and prohibition of construction and demolition activities in Delhi.
  • Immediate de-registration of diesel vehicles older than 15 years in addition to bans on overloaded and transiting trucks and the use of fire crackers, except during religious functions.
  • The LG emphasized the need to take extraordinary measures and immediate steps to control air pollution in Delhi, which has got compounded because of several factors such as prevailing meteorological conditions, recent use of fire crackers and agricultural crop burning.
  • LG issued directions to all registering authorities and Motor Licencing Officers to start the deregistration of diesel vehicles more than 15 years old in a phased manner aimed at bringing about a reduction of two lakh diesel vehicles.
  • The Municipal Corporation of Delhi was asked to take all measures to control fires at landfill sites, particularly Bhalswa by utilising PWD construction and demolition malba and sludge generated by Delhi Jal Board water treatment plants.

:: INDIA AND WORLD ::

CHINA SAYS IT'S STAND ON NSG INTACT

  • China said there was “no change” in its stand on India’s membership bid which, it has indicated, would be considered only after rules for the entry of non-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty countries are finalised by the elite group.
  • Referring to the November 4 meeting of the NSAs of India and China in Hyderabad, Mr. Lu said China was in close contact with the relevant parties, including India, and has been having constructive dialogue and coordination on this issue.
  • India’s NSA Ajit Doval had held talks with his Chinese counterpart and State Councillor Yang Jiechi in Hyderabad, during which the issue had reportedly figured.
  • The talks were held ahead of the meeting of the 48-member NSG in Vienna on November 11-12, where the group could discuss the two-stage process to admit new members who have not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
  • India and Pakistan, which have applied for NSG membership, have not signed the NPT.
  • The issue had also been discussed between Joint Secretary (Disarmament and International Security) Amandeep Singh Gill and his Chinese counterpart Wang Qun on October 31.

INDIA AND UK AGREED FOR COOPERATION IN COUNTER TERRORISM OPERATIONS

  • The bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his U.K. counterpart Theresa May focused on greater cooperation to counter illegal activities and terrorism.
  • “Our two countries understand the increasingly transnational challenge of terrorism which demands multilateral as well as bilateral cooperation,” said a joint statement issued at the end of bilateral discussion.
  • India and Britain also agreed to hold annual strategic dialogue at the level of Union Home Secretary to jointly deal with issues like terrorism, organised crimes, visa and immigration matters.
  • The security and extradition-related issues came up for discussion during the summit-level meeting in Hyderabad House, where both the delegations signed two MoUs on ease of doing business and intellectual property related issue.
  • However a major difference remained unresolved as Ms May refused to commit on increasing visas for Indian professionals unconditionally.

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

U.K. SOUGHT EARLY RESOLUTION OF CAIRN AND VODAFONE

  • The U.K. sought an early resolution of the Indian Government’s disputes with Cairn and Vodafone on retrospective taxation and raised concerns over “tax uncertainties” in India while New Delhi took up Britain’s “curbs” on visas for work and studies.
  • The India-U.K. Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) discussed these tax and visa-related issues, Commerce and Industry Minister told.
  • The U.K. team was led by its Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox.
  • India raised the issue of the lack of a bilateral totalisation (or social security) agreement with the U.K. to do away with dual social security taxation.
  • As there is no India-U.K. totalisation agreement, Indian companies, including from the IT sector, have to shell out huge amounts to the U.K. Government towards social security, with no benefit or prospects of refund.
  • The U.K. extended support to India’s proposal for a ‘Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) for Services’ at the World Trade Organisation (WTO)-level.
  • The India-U.K. CEO Forum, an group of business leaders from both the countries, proposed the setting up of an Advanced Material & Manufacturing Technology Centre in India.
  • Once established, the centre will be at the forefront of the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ programmes, the industry body said.

CABINET TO TAKE A CALL ON PSU GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANIES

  • The Cabinet is likely to take a call on the final contours of listing of PSU general insurance companies this month, a Finance Ministry official said.
  • The Ministry had last week circulated a draft Cabinet note for inter-ministerial consultations on the listing of four public sector general insurance companies. “The Cabinet nod for PSU general insurers is likely this month,” an official said.
  • These companies are New India Assurance Company, National Insurance Company, Oriental Insurance Co and United India Insurance Co. Listing of PSU general insurance was announced in the Budget 2016-17 by Finance Minister.
  • Last year, the government allowed foreign insurance players to raise their stake in their joint venture to 49 per cent.

:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

GOOGLE TIES UP WITH ASI FOR VIRTUAL TOUR OF MONUMENTS

Google tied up with Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for 360 degree virtual tour of 280-odd monuments across the country.

Out of 280 monuments, 30 are in West Bengal. Some of the major monuments are Taj Mahal, Victoria Memorial and the ruins of Hampi.

Recently, Google also launched an array of products in India like offline view of maps, live traffic alerts and inclusion of unknown places on the maps by local guides.

About Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

• The  Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), under the Ministry of Culture, is the premier organization for the archaeological researches and protection of the cultural heritage of the nation.

• The prime concern of ASI is to maintain the ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance.

• It regulates all archaeological activities in the country as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.

• It also regulates Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.

FIRST WORLD TSUNAMI AWARENESS DAY OBSERVED

The First World Tsunami Awareness Day was observed across the world. The theme for the year is Effective Education and Evacuation Drills.

In December 2015, the United Nations General Assembly designated 5 November as World Tsunami Awareness Day.

Significance of the World Tsunami Awareness Day

The significance of the day to tsunami awareness can be traced back to the year 1854. A villager in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, was concerned about an impending tsunami after a high-intensity earthquake on 5 November 1854. He set up a fire to rice sheaves on the top of a hill. Fellow villagers, who went atop to put off the fire, were saved even as a tsunami destroyed their village down below. This was the first documented instance of a tsunami early warning.

To commemorate that day of “Inamura no Hi” (the burning of rice sheaves), a resolution was jointly proposed by 142 countries including Japan as a follow up of the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The United Nations designated the 5th November as World Tsunami Awareness Day.

The observance of the day will help to spread awareness among people across the world in matters related to the dangers of tsunami.

It will also stress on the importance of early warning systems in order to mitigate damage from the often devastating natural hazard.

It also aims at reviving traditional knowledge about tsunamis.

Awareness raising activities will be organized throughout the Conference through thematic events, exhibitions, and distribution of awareness materials.

6TH INDO-BANGLA JOINT MILITARY EXERCISE SAMPRITI COMMENCES

Indo-Bangla joint military training exercise SAMPRITI commenced at Tangail, Dhaka.

This is the sixth edition of the exercise which is hosted alternately by both countries. The exercise is an important bilateral defence cooperation endeavour between the two countries.

Highlights

• The exercise will simulate a scenario where both nations are working together in a counter insurgency and counter terrorism environment under the UN Charter.

• The participants will initially get familiar with each other’s organizational structure and tactical drills during the exercise.

• Subsequently, the training will advance to joint tactical exercises wherein the battle drills of both the armies will be practiced.

The training will culminate on 18 November 2016 with a final validation exercise in which troops of both armies will jointly practice a counter terrorist operation in a controlled and simulated environment.

PETRA KVITOVA WINS 2016 WTA ELITE SINGLES TROPHY

Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova won the 2016 WTA Elite Singles Trophy. She defeated Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-2 to grab the title at Zhuhai, China.

Venus Williams was the defending champion for the title. However, she chose not to participate despite qualifying for the edition.

About Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova is a Czech professional tennis player.

She turned professional in 2006.

She has won nineteen career singles titles including two Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon.

She is also an Olympic bronze medallist, having won the medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

She reached her career-high ranking of world no. 2 on 31 October 2011 and is ranked world no. 13 by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) as of 31 October 2016.

About WTA Elite Trophy

The WTA Elite Trophy is the secondary year-end professional women's tennis tournament on the WTA Tour.

The singles event features 12 players (11 of them ranked from 9th to 19th on the final table of the WTA ranking, and one wildcard).

The inaugural edition was held in 2015, offering 2.15 million US dollar in prize money.

The WTA Elite Trophy replaces the smaller WTA Tournament of Champions which was played 2009–14.

Zhuhai, China, hosts the Elite Trophy for the first five years until 2019.

LOST ANCIENT RIVER CHANDRABHAGA FOUND IN ODISHA

Scientists from Indian Institute of Technology (Kharagpur) claimed to have found evidence confirming the existence of a mythical Indian river, Chandrabhaga.  The discovery came in the first week of November 2016.

This is the second among such findings. In October 2016, KS Valdiya led expert committee had found that Saraswati River did exist.

KS Valdiya led expert committee finds Saraswati River did exist

About River Chandrabhaga

• The ancient river is said to have flowed about 2 kilometers away from the Konark Sun Temple in Odisha, a UNESCO world heritage site, built by King Narasimhadeva I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty in 1255 CE.

• The river holds an important position in ancient Indian literature. Most mythical stories around Konark including pictorial presentations like palm-leaf drawings, sketches and old photographs indicate towards its presence close to the temple.

However, other than these mentions there is no visible trace of the river around the temple. Scientists decided to go by what little information they had to validate its existence.

About the Discovery

• The first step to the find was an analysis of satellite data: Scientists used images from US satellites- Landsat and Terra and from NASA Space Shuttle Endeavour’s ‘Radar Topography Mission’ in 2000.

• Satellite imagery and Google Earth image together combined showed a ‘sinusoidal’ trace, characteristic of a typical palaeochannel passing north of the Sun Temple, extending approximately parallel to the coast.

What is a palaeochannel?

• The term effectively means remains of an inactive river/ stream, which has been either filled or buried by younger sediment.

• Field analysis reveals that palaeochannel is characterized by swampy lands covered with water hyacinth plants.

• Surface profiling using ‘ground penetrating radar’ also further confirmed its existence as it showed the existence of a V-shaped subsurface river valley.

• It can be traced till Tikarpada village, near the banks of Kadua River.

• A geological map shows heavy alluvium deposit in the area- another typical characteristic of rivers.

• Several patches of water bodies have also been seen at various locations along the channel and a swampy area, believed to be a part of the ancient river has been reserved by the Odisha Government for the ritualistic holy bath during Magha Saptami.

What does this discovery mean for the state?

• Demarcation of pockets of freshwater zones within a dominantly saline water environment

• It may also lead to a rise in drinking water concern along Odisha’s coast.

INDIA RISES TO SECOND SPOT ON GLOBAL BUSINESS OPTIMISM INDEX: IBR REPORT

Grant Thornton released its International Business Report 2016. The report ranks India at the second position on the global business optimism index during the third quarter (July-September 2016).

During the April-June 2016 period, India was ranked at the third position after being on top for two consecutive quarters.

Indonesia took the top spot, with the Philippines coming in third.

Highlights for India

•    The report says, the improvement in the optimism ranking in the recent past clearly reflects that the reform agenda of the government and its efforts on improving the climate for doing business are having an impact.

•    It says that the ranking rides on the recent policy reforms and Goods and Services tax (GST), which is expected to become reality soon.

•    The ranking was also complimented by the rise of employment expectations.

•    India came into light in the global economy due to the programmes and initiatives along with its focus on building relationships with all major economic powers.

•    About 59 per cent of the respondents have voted in favour  ofthe growth prospects.

•    In terms of revenue expectations, India slipped to third position from top in the previous quarter.

•    In context of revenue, about 85 percent respondents have voted in favour of increase in revenue.

Concern areas

•    The report says that there are still concerns around creating jobs for the millions of young people entering the workforce every year and the issue of corruption. 
International Business Report (IBR) was prepared on the basis of a quarterly conducted global business survey of 2500 businesses across 36 economies.

 

 

 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 10 December 2016 12:06