Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 15 - NOVEMBER - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 15 - NOVEMBER - 2016
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Saturday, 10 December 2016 05:25

 

 

 



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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

15- NOVEMBER - 2016

:: NATIONAL ::

FOR PUBLIC CONVENIENCE GOVT ANNOUNCED NEW MEASURES

  • The exemption deadline for all those services eligible to accept the old Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes has been extended till the midnight of November 24, the government announced.
  • The waiver of toll tax at 365 plazas on national highways will continue till the midnight of November 18. Car parking charges at all airports will remain suspended till the midnight of November 21.
  • Economic Affairs Secretary said the services exempted include petrol pumps, pharmacies, and utility services among others, and would encompass the private sector as well.
  • The withdrawal limit from ATMs has been increased to Rs. 2,500 but this will apply only to the recalibrated ATMs, Mr. Das said.
  • In this regard, the government has instructed banks to increase the cash holding limit of banking correspondents (BCs) to at least Rs. 50,000 each and to replenish the cash with the BCs multiple times in a day, if needed.
  • The Transport Department has offered a reprieve for vehicle owners who are hard-pressed to pay the motor vehicle tax in the wake of the demonetisation move. The department has agreed to extend the deadline for payment till November 30.

INDIA DECIDED TO DROP REFERENCE TO URI ATTACK IN UN REGARDING AZHAR

  • India has decided to drop any reference to the Uri attack from its proposal to be placed before a United Nations sanctions committee to designate JeM chief Masood Azhar as an international terrorist.
  • China had put a technical hold on this proposal in April this year, which was extended on October 1.
  • Within hours of the attack on the Uri Army camp on September 18, where 18 soldiers were killed, the Director-General of Military Operations Lt. General Ranbir Singh told that the attack was carried out by two terrorists belonging to the JeM.
  • The investigations were then handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is yet to conclude its probe.
  • Intelligence officials, however, have said the modus operandi of the Uri attack had tell tale signs that it was carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba, another Pakistan-based terrorist outfit.
  • Azhar, a resident of Bahawalpur in Pakistan, has been accused by Indian agencies of orchestrating several terror attacks here including the attack at the Pathankot airbase on January 2.

INDIAN CARBON EMISSIONS GREW AT 5.2%

  • While global carbon emission saw “almost no growth” last year, India’s emission grew by 5.2 per cent in 2015, says a study.
  • Global carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels are projected to rise only slightly in 2016, marking three years of slowdown, said the study published in the journal Earth System Science Data .
  • The researchers identified decreased use of coal in China and the U.S. as the main reason behind the three-year slowdown.
  • China, the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2) at 29 per cent, saw emissions decrease by only 0.7 per cent in 2015, compared to growth of more than five per cent per year the previous decade.
  • The U.S., the second biggest emitter of CO2 at 15 per cent, also reduced its coal use while increasing its oil and gas consumption and saw emissions decrease 2.6 per cent last year. The U.S. emissions are projected to decrease by 1.7 per cent in 2016.
  • India contributed 6.3 per cent of all global CO2 emissions in 2015, the study said.
  • Global carbon emissions did not grow last year and the projected rise of only 0.2 per cent for 2016 marks a clear break from the rapid emissions growth of 2.3 per cent per year in the decade to 2013, with just 0.7 per cent growth seen in 2014.
  • The study, however, pointed out that although the break in emissions rise ties in with the pledges by countries to decrease emissions until 2030, it falls short of the reductions needed to limit climate change well below two degrees Celsius.

DELHI’S AIR QUALITY IMPROVED

  • This week started off with better air quality compared to the last, when toxic levels of particulate matter were recorded across New Delhi.
  • The levels of particulate matter were on average two times over the safe limits. While still very harmful, the levels of PM2.5 and PM10 were down from the peaks of up to 16 times the standards in the first week of November.
  • According to SAFAR-India, an air quality monitoring service under the Earth Science Ministry, the average concentration of PM2.5 in the past 24 hours as of 8 p.m. on Monday was 152 micrograms per cubic metre.
  • While this was over two times the standard of 60 micrograms PCM, the advisory was ‘very poor’, down from ‘severe’ last week.

CHINA CRITICISED INDIA-JAPAN NUCLEAR AGREEMENT

  • China obliquely criticised the India-Japan agreement on nuclear energy, pointing out that all countries were entitled to peaceful use of atomic energy so long as they followed “the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.”
  • China maintains the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which India has not signed, is essential to prevent the spread of atomic weapons.
  • In a separate statement, the Foreign Ministry commented on the November 11 meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in Vienna.
  • The meeting, which discussed the two-step intergovernmental process to address the issue of non-NPT states’ participation, follows India’s bid to become a full member of the 48-nation NSG.
  • China has so far opposed India’s membership, citing the need for common criteria for all non-members, including Pakistan.
  • The statement said the Vienna meeting was held to discuss the “technical, legal and political aspects of non-NPT states’ participation in the NSG,” in accordance with the mandate adopted in June during the grouping’s meeting in Seoul.
  • The meeting was a maiden attempt since the NSG’s inception in 1975 to formally take up non-NPT states’ participation “in an open and transparent manner.”
  • India has underscored that NPT membership is not essential for joining the NSG, as was the case with France. Therefore, India’s NSG bid should be de-linked from the criterion of NPT membership.

:: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ::

WORLD COULD CROSS 1.2C WARMING ABOVE PRE-INDUSTRIAL LEVELS IN 2016

  • The world is likely to cross 1.2°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels in 2016, coming dangerously close to breaching the 1.5°C warming level, which is an ambitious target to stay safe from the worst impacts of climate change.
  • In a preliminary assessment provided by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in its ‘Status of the Global Climate in 2016’ report, the global UN weather agency warned that 2016 will be the hottest year on record.
  • The Paris Agreement last year had adopted 2°C as the absolute threshold for staying within safe global warming levels.
  • However, 1.5°C was set as an ambitious target, especially bearing in mind the fate of small island countries such as Haiti or Maldives that are threatened with submergence due to sea-level rise and extreme weather events.
  • Global temperatures for January to September 2016 have been about 0.88°C above the average (14°C) for the 1961-1990 reference period, which WMO uses as a baseline.
  • The WMO report outlined the major weather events associated with increasing global warming levels in 2016.
  • The most significant, in terms of casualties, was Hurricane Matthew affecting Haiti and parts of the U.S. Typhoon Lionrock caused destructive flooding and heavy casualties in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
  • In total, there have been 78 tropical cyclones globally in 2016 as of October 31, close to the long-term average, the report said. The Yangtze basin in China had its most significant summer floods since 1999.
  • Sri Lanka experienced flooding and landslides in Sri Lanka in mid-May leaving many dead or displaced.
  • Above-normal seasonal rainfall in the Sahel led to significant flooding in the Niger River basin, with the river reaching its highest levels in about 50 years in Mali.

CLOSEST SUPER MOON TO EARTH SEEN IN DECADES

  • Skygazers headed to high-rise buildings, ancient forts and beaches to witness the closest “supermoon” to Earth in almost seven decades, hoping for dramatic photos and spectacular surf.
  • The unusually big and bright Moon appeared at its most impressive just as night fell over Asia, but astronomy enthusiasts were able to see Earth’s satellite loom large anywhere in the world shortly after sunset, depending on the weather.
  • The phenomenon happens when the Moon is full at the same time as, or very near, perigee — its closest point to Earth on an elliptical, monthly orbit. It appeared at its most impressive at 7.22 p.m. (IST).
  • It will be the closest to Earth since 1948 at a distance of 356,509 km, creating what NASA described as “an extra-supermoon.”
  • From India to Australia, skygazers and photographers sought the best viewing spots in the region where the phenomenon was visible first, hoping that cloudy skies and the perennial pollution that blight many Asian cities would not spoil the fun.

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

S.S.MUNDRA COMMITTEE TO LOOK FOR FASTER RECALIBRATION OF ATM’S

  • Automated teller machines (ATM) are still unable to cope with the huge demand for cash and consequently running dry.
  • A Special Task Force has been formed under the chairmanship of S.S. Mundra, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), to speed up the process of recalibration of these machines to dispense the new denomination notes.
  • The move comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took stock of the situation evening with top central bank and government officials.
  • Representatives from the Finance and Home ministries, RBI, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and HDFC Bank and the National Payments Corporation of India, will be its members.
  • Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs said in New Delhi that the Task Force will draw up an action plan and ensure its implementation for quick recalibration of the ATMs to enable them to dispense the new Rs.500 and Rs.2,000 notes.
  • The new series of Rs.2,000 and Rs.500 notes has already been issued by the central bank.
  • However, each and every ATM machine in the country needs to be physically visited by the ATM operators for recalibration of the new notes which are of a smaller size.

ECONOMIC GROWTH COULD REACH DOUBLE DIGIT BY DEMONETISATION

  • While the government’s demonetisation drive will likely negatively impact the economy in the short term, it could help over the longer term propel economic growth into double-digit levels as more of the informal economy becomes formal.
  • Another benefit from the drastic currency step could be a reduction of banks’ non-performing assets, a critical constraint that is holding up the flow of bank credit for private sector investment in the country.
  • “It will lead to a contraction of output as well in the short run, so there will be an impact on GDP.”
  • “However, in the long run, say within two years, this move combined with the Goods & Services Tax legislation will help in a pick-up, and take the country's growth to double-digit levels,” said Girish Vanvari, Partner and Head, Tax, KPMG in India.
  • “The NPAs of banks will go down as the cash coming in will lead to higher CASA (current account, savings account), in turn declogging the system. Foreign investors have welcomed this as a bold move, and in the right direction.”
  • Looking a little deeper at the sectoral impact, the view is that the demonetisation move will hurt growth in cash-heavy sectors like real estate, gold and jewellery.
  • Kotak Institutional Equities was of the view that the consumption of high-value items like jewellery or real estate will get impacted as these have been popular with those having unaccounted income or wealth.
  • The overall economic impact would include a likely appreciation of the rupee, a sharp slowing in inflation, the banking system getting a boost and real estate prices falling about 20-25 per cent before stabilising.
  • Stocks would benefit the most due to the gradual shift from physical assets to financial assets, it added.

:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

JACKIE CHAN RECEIVES HONORARY OSCAR AT 8TH ANNUAL GOVERNORS AWARDS

Action movie star, writer, director and martial artist Jackie Chan was awarded the honorary Academy (Oscar) Award for his extraordinary achievements in the movies.

With this, Chan became the first Chinese actor in history to receive the prestigious honour.

In September 2016, the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science voted to present the award to Jackie Chan, Anne V Coates, Lynn Stalmaster and Frederick Wiseman.  Coates is a British editor; Stalmaster is a Casting Director and Wiseman is a Documentary Maker.

Academy Honorary Award

The Academy Honorary Award was initiated in 1948 for the 21st Academy Awards.

The award was previously referred to as the Special Award.

It is given by the discretion of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

It is given to commemorate motion picture achievements that are not covered by existing Academy Awards.

Prior winners of competitive Academy Awards are not excluded from receiving the Honorary Award.

The Honorary Award is presented at the Annual Governors Awards.

2016 LIKELY TO BE HOTTEST YEAR ON RECORD: WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced that the year 2016 is very likely be the hottest year on record. It stated that 2016 will likely surpass the previous hottest year, 2015.

It was mentioned in the WMO’s preliminary assessment provided in its Status of the Global Climate in 2016 report.

Earlier in July 2016, the WMO had announced that Carbon dioxide concentrations passed the symbolic milestone of 400 parts per million in the atmosphere in the ongoing year.

Key highlights of the report

The preliminary data from 2016 reveal that global temperatures are 1.2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The temperatures from January 2016 to September 2016 have been around 0.88° Celsius higher than the 14°C baseline set from 1961 to 1990.

The rise in temperatures for the first months of the year was driven by a strong El Nino during 2015 and 2016.

The extreme ocean heat by the El Nino had contributed to coral reef bleaching and above-average sea-level rise.

The temperatures in many parts of Arctic Russia were 6°C to 7°C above the long-term average.

Many other Arctic and sub-Arctic regions in Russia, Alaska and northwest Canada were at least 3°C above average.

If the projections about 2016 turn out to be correct, then 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have been this century. The year 1998 was the other one.

NARINDER BATRA ELECTED AS INTERNATIONAL HOCKEY FEDERATION’S PRESIDENT

Narinder Batra, chief of Hockey India was elected as the new president of International Hockey Federation (FIH) at the 45th FIH Congress held in Dubai. Amoung 118 voters, only 110 voted while eight chose not to vote.

With the win, Batra became the 12th president of FIH and the first non-European to take over the post in the International body’s 92-year-old history.

Key Highlights of the win

• The voting was conducted in a secret ballot. Each voter was given a tablet with a unique password to cast their vote.

• With 68 votes, Batra won an overwhelming majority.

• His competitors-Ken Read from Australia and David Balbirnie from Ireland received 30 and 29 votes respectively.

• In his new position, Batra succeeds Leandro Negre from Spain, who served as the president of FIH since 2008.

About Batra

• He became the president of Hockey India in 2014

• He was the main brain behind the successful Hockey India League (HIL), which brings together hockey stars from across the world.

• He has changed the face of Indian Hockey by getting more revenue. Under his leadership the income of Hockey India has gone up from 500,000 US Dollars to 14 million US Dollars.

• During his tenure, he has also ensured that India hosts at least one major International tournament every year.

With this appointment, Batra joins the league of other acclaimed Indians who rose to lead notable International sport organizations like Jagmohan Dalmiya and Sharad Pawar, both of whom served as president of International Cricket Council (ICC), N Ramachandran who was President of World Squash Federation and Janardhan Singh Gehlot, who served as the President of International Kabaddi Federation.

Batra’s four-year term begins effective immediately. He will be expected to work closely with FIH’s outgoing CEO Kelly Fairweather and then with interim CEO David Luckes, FIH Director of Sport until newly appointed CEO, Jason McCracken takes over on 1 February 2017.

INDIA AND ADB SIGN 500 MILLION US DOLLAR LOAN TO BUILD COUNTRY'S LONGEST RIVER BRIDGE ACROSS GANGES RIVER

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a 500 million US dollar loan to build a 9.8 km long road bridge across the Ganges River. This will be India’s longest river bridge.

Along with ADB’s loan and 900000 US dollar in technical assistance to improve bridge operation and management, the Bihar Government will provide support equivalent to 215 million US dollar.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of December 2020.

Key highlights of the proposed river bridge

The proposed bridge will improve transport connectivity between North and South Bihar. It will also improve the link between Patna and the surrounding areas.

It will cover both channels of the Ganges River and will also serve as an alternate route to the existing Ganga Bridge.

The project will also build viaducts, embankments, and toll and service facilities. It will link to national highway networks.

The bridge will significantly reduce travel time to Patna from the surrounding regions, in particular north Bihar. It will eventually ease access of people to state’s administrative and social services.

It is expected that the bridge will benefit over 9 million people.

The bridge will also turn out to be of great help for the inhabitants of Raghopur Diara River Island who will gain year-round road access. At present, the 250000 inhabitants of the island rely on boats and a seasonal pontoon bridge as their only links to Patna.

The bridge will use state-of-the-art engineering techniques and will be the first of its kind in India.

The height and length of the bridge have been designed to minimize impacts on the river itself. It will also ensure that the bridge is able to withstand climate-related stresses such as a rise in the water level.

INDIA, ISRAEL INKED TWO AGREEMENTS ON WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND AGRICULTURE

India and Israel inked two agreements in the field of water resources management and agriculture. The agreements were inked after the delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in New Delhi.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin is on an eight-day visit to India (from 14 November to 21 November 2016). This was his first ever visit to India and first by any Israeli President in past two decades. The last and first President of Israel to visit India was Ezer Weizman in 1997.

Points of discussions during the delegation level talks were

• Enhancing agricultural productivity and efficiency.

• Boosting research and innovation linkages.

• Employment of applications of science and technology for the benefit of the two societies.

• Forging strong trade links and investment ties.

• Building defence ties to secure people of the two nations.

• Enhancing people to people ties through greater cultural and tourism linkages.

• Promotion in educational exchanges, which will allow students of the two nations to study in each other’s country, to bridge the bilateral partnership.

Apart from this, Israel also supports India’s candidature in a reformed UN Security Council. The two leaders also noted the strength of the growing defence partnership. They agreed on the need to make it more broad-based in production and manufacturing.

Besides, the two nations also agreed to enhance their cooperation against the growing threat of terrorism and radicalization. The two leaders, who recognised terrorism as a global challenge that knows no boundaries, agreed that its time when the international community must act with determination against terror networks and states that harbour them.

Earlier, President Reuven Rivlin was given a ceremonial welcome in the forecourts of Rashtrapati Bhawan. Prior to that, Rivlin paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.

India-Israel relations

India, who voted against the Partitioning of Palestine plan of 1947and voted against Israel's admission to the United Nations in 1949, officially recognised Israel as a state on 17 September 1950. Relations between the two nations, India and Israel, refer to the bilateral ties between them. They share an extensive economic, military and strategic relationship.

In 2017, the two countries will celebrate 25years of the establishment of full diplomatic relations. They established the diplomatic relations in 1992.

In terms of military relationship, India is the largest buyer of Israeli military equipment. The military business between the two nations between 1999 and 2009 was worth about 9 billion dollars. Israel is the second-largest defence supplier to India. At present, Russia is the largest supplier.

In terms of trade relations, India is the third-largest Asian trade partner of Israel. Overall, India is also the tenth-largest trade partner of Israel.

LEWIS HAMILTON WINS BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX

Lewis Hamilton beat against all odds to secure first position at the recently concluded Brazilian Grand Prix 2016 in Interlagos circuit, Sao Paulo. Heavy downpour made the race one of the wettest ever.

Poor visibility made the race even more challenging for the racers. Hamilton proved he is legendary by mastering the conditions and continuing to maintain his lead, while many of his competitors crashed out.

Key Highlights of the Race

• Hamilton finished first, followed by his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in second position and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in third position.

• Safety car was deployed five times and the race was red flagged twice.

• Romain Grosjean, Haas driver lost control of his car and crashed even before the race began. Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson crashed five laps after the race began.

• Race Director Charlie Whiting waved the red flag for the first time when Kimi Raikkonen suffered a frightening crash.

• The race restarted after 35 minutes of stoppage time. It was however stopped for the second time on the 29th lap when Whiting saw reports of heavy rain and then was restarted after a delay of 27 minutes.

• Two-time Brazilian Grand Prix winner and home hero Felipe Massa’s final race ended when he crashed near the pit entry on lap 47. In a teary moment, he received a standing ovation from the crowd.

• Jenson Button, McLaren-Honda driver finished last.

• Though Hamilton displayed superb skills on the racetrack, it was Max Verstappen, whose performance was truly phenomenal. Verstappen, who slipped to 16th from 2nd position, made up 13 places in just 16 laps with masterful passes.

About Hamilton’s feat

• With the win, Hamilton now has nine wins, same as Nico Rosberg.

• This was Hamilton’s third straight win this year and the first at the venue after 10 previous attempts.

• The win takes Hamilton’s total tally to 52 surpassing Alain Prost’s 51, which makes him the second most successful racer of all times after Michael Schumacher, who has 91 wins to his name.

• In spite coming second, Nico Rosberg can still claim his maiden world championship title by finishing in the top three at the next Grand Prix held at Abu Dhabi on 27 November 2016.

• Hamilton would have to win the next grand prix and hope for Rosberg to finish fourth or even lower in order to claim the world title.

 

 

 

 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 10 December 2016 09:12
 

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