Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 17 - NOVEMBER - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 17 - NOVEMBER - 2016
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Saturday, 10 December 2016 05:29

 

 

 



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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

17- NOVEMBER - 2016

 

:: NATIONAL ::

SC CRACK DOWN ON ONLINE PRE-NATAL SEX DETERMINATION ADVERTISEMENTS

  • The Supreme Court directed the Central government to constitute a nodal agency to monitor and trigger search engines to crack down on online pre-natal sex determination advertisements.
  • A Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra ordered that the nodal agency should receive complaints about illegal online advertisements under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act of 1994.
  • It should communicate the tip-offs to online search engines like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, which would delete these advertisements within 36 hours of getting the information.
  • “We direct the Union of India to constitute a nodal agency which would give advertisements on TV, radio and in newspapers, that if anybody comes across anything which identifies a girl or a boy.
  • “Once it is brought to the notice of the nodal agency, it shall inform the search engines and they, after receiving the information, are obliged to delete it within 36 hours and inform the nodal agency,” the court said.
  • It said this interim arrangement would continue till it took a final decision on the continued existence of online sex selection ads.
  • The court was hearing a petition filed in 2008 by Dr. Sabu Mathew George in the background of increasing instances of female foeticide.
  • The petition contended that pre-natal sex determination tests continue with impunity despite being made illegal in 1994.

ADVISOR TO PAK PM WILL TRAVEL TO INDIA FOR HEART OF ASIA CONFERENCE

  • Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said he will travel to India to attend the Heart of Asia Conference on Afghanistan in December.
  • He said the trip could be a “good opportunity” to “defuse” the tension. The conference will be held in Amritsar on December 3.
  • Mr. Aziz would be the first senior Pakistani official to visit India since the September 10 Uri attack, blamed on Pakistan-based militants. The attack led India to pull out of the SAARC Summit planned in Pakistan in November.
  • Mr. Azizi, however, said it was not yet confirmed whether or not he would meet his Indian counterpart on the sidelines of the conference.
  • He said the U.S. President-elect Donald Trump would deserve the Nobel prize if he resolved the Kashmir issue.

SHARP FALL REPORTED IN PROPERTY PRICES

  • Registration authorities report a sharp fall in revenue in leading real estate markets in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana and Tamil Nadu in the first week after demonetisation.
  • Some small developers in Bengaluru, a segment that makes up an estimated 12 per cent of the market, have reportedly cashed in on the Centre’s decision, making sales in “old currency”, to be regularised using loans later.
  • The real estate sector expects a drop in land price by up to 30 per cent in bigger cities and cheaper housing loans in the coming months.
  • In the “hot” property market of Haryana’s Gurugram, the government’s decision on removing Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 500 notes has adversely hit transactions. The number of conveyance and sale deeds dropped by over 50 per cent.
  • In all, 723 documents were registered from November 1, but the number dropped to 332 over the past one week.
  • Before the currency removal, over 90 per cent registrations involved cash for stamp duty. “Few people used Real Time Gross Settlement or demand draft,” he added.
  • Apartment prices in Mumbai have not dropped since November 8, but land prices could fall by 30 per cent. Luxury apartments could also cost 30-35 per cent less. In the long term, medium and affordable housing is expected to get cheaper.
  • Bengaluru’s massive real estate sector has seen a churn. The normal volume of property registrations at 1,800 a day is now a low 200, a senior revenue official says.

:: INTERNATIONAL ::

AFTER TRUMP’S WIN, MERKEL COULD BECOME THE NEW LEADER OF WORLD

  • The shock election of Donald Trump as U.S. President has forced greater responsibility for defending Western values and interests onto German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s shoulders.
  • While the last decade has been defined by Britain, France, Germany and the U.S. showing a largely united front on issues ranging from NATO affairs to defence of basic freedoms, the coming four years may present a more fragmented picture.
  • Ms. Merkel, after 11 years at the helm, now looks increasingly like the only bulwark of stability and liberal freedom among Western allies.
  • Rather than visit Britain, a natural stop for any U.S. leader given the two countries’ special relationship, U.S. President Barack Obama is travelling on Wednesday to Berlin on his last official trip to Europe.
  • Ms. Merkel (62) does not have Mr. Obama’s oratorical flourishes but her voice is increasingly forceful on the world stage. She put her fluent Russian to good use in mediating in the Ukraine conflict with Vladimir Putin.
  • When most other European countries were busy shutting their doors to refugees fleeing war in predominantly Muslim countries, she let in nearly 900,000 people last year — a stance that Mr. Trump branded “insane”.

:: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ::

INDIGENOUSLY DEVELOPED DRONE, RUSTON-2 HAD A SUCCESSFUL FLIGHT

  • Rustom-2, indigenously developed drone for surveillance and attack, had a successful first flight.
  • The first prototype of the pilotless or unmanned combat air vehicle was flown for about 10 minutes in the morning at the new second test range of the Defence Research & Development Organisation at Challakere, about 200 km from here.
  • It met the necessary test specifications, according to sources. This is part of a series of routine tests being conducted on the UAV over the past few months.
  • Ostensibly more tests on more prototypes of Rustom-2 would be conducted before its production mode and users are known.

NASA HAS RENEWED ITS SEARCH FOR ANTARCTIC METEORITES

  • NASA has renewed its search for Antarctic meteorites to help learn more about the primitive building blocks of the solar system and answer questions about Earth’s neighbours like the Moon and Mars.
  • NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Smithsonian Institution (SI) recently renewed their agreement to search for, collect and curate Antarctic meteorites in a partnership known as Antarctic Search for Meteorites Programme (ANSMET).
  • The signing of this new joint agreement advances the programme for an additional decade, replacing an earlier agreement signed in 1980, NASA said.
  • Since the U.S. began searching for meteorites in Antarctica in 1976, the ANSMET programme has collected more than 23,000 specimens, dramatically increasing the number of samples available for study from the Moon, Mars and asteroids.
  • Among them are the first meteorites discovered to come from the Moon and Mars, and the well-known ALH 84001 Martian meteorite, which helped renew interest in Mars exploration in the 1990s. Meteorites are natural objects that fall to Earth from space and survive intact so they can be collected on the ground or on ice. Antarctica provides a unique environment for the collection of meteorites, because the cold desert climate preserves meteorites for long periods of time.

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

BANKS TO GAIN THE MOST FROM DEMONETISATION

  • Banks stand to gain the most from the demonetisation efforts due to the impetus it provides for people to enter the formal banking system, according to Moody’s Investors Service.
  • The demonetisation scheme could result in bank deposits increasing by about 1-2 per cent once the volatility subsides.
  • Moody’s points out that studies have shown that first-time users of banking systems tend to keep using them once they start.
  • “Therefore, we expect a material proportion of the first-time or very infrequent users to become more sticky customers of the banks.”
  • This could benefit banks through an increase in low-cost deposits, although this benefit may not be apparent in the short-term, the note added.
  • Although banks have seen a sharp increase in their deposit levels over the last few days, this is likely to reverse once cash availability increases and restrictions on cash withdrawals go back to normal.
  • Once this volatility subsides and stability is achieved, possibly around three months from now, we estimate that bank deposits will increase by around 1-2 per cent compared to what they would have been without the demonetisation scheme.
  • “The government move has meant that a large proportion of the population will have to access banking channels at least once, so as to convert their existing holdings into the new legal tender,” the note added.

MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE HAS RETAINED ITS POSITIVE OUTLOOK ON INDIA

  • Moody’s Investors Service has retained its positive outlook on India, the company said, predicting a continued reform push and lowering of debt levels.
  • “The positive outlook denotes Moody’s expectation that, over time, India’s credit metrics will likely shift to levels consistent with a Baa2 rating,” Moody’s Investors Service said in a note.
  • “In particular, the outlook reflects our expectation that continued policy reform implementation will allow balanced growth to support a reduction in the government debt burden, currently a constraint on India's rating.”
  • Moody’s further said that a number of policies have already been put in place to moderate inflation and limit the current account deficit.
  • However, Moody’s said that private investment had still not picked up, despite the government’s efforts, which shows the limited effectiveness of government policy in this regard.
  • Moody’s pointed out that there are several factors bolstering India’s up-gradation to a higher rating, including its size, growth potential, and increase in income levels.
  • “GDP per capita in India was 11 per cent of the U.S. levels on a Purchasing Power Parity basis in 2015 - still well below the level in other Baa-rated sovereigns,” the note said.
  • “But this level marks an increase from 6.6 per cent of U.S. levels in 2005 and 9.2 per cent in 2010.”
  • Moody’s also pointed out that India had several constraints that could keep its credit rating where it was, such as income and consumption levels remaining vulnerable to external shocks like a poor monsoon, for example.
  • The high debt levels of the government also play a part in weakening India’s position, the note added.

GOVT STARTS THE PROCESS OF RECALIBRATION

  • The uphill task to physically recalibrate each and every one of the almost 2.5 lakh automated teller machines (ATM) in the country to enable them to dispense the new Rs.500 and Rs.2,000 denomination currency notes started.
  • It signalled customers may have to contend with a longer wait to withdraw cash as banks shut many of the ATMs to complete the recalibration.
  • The task force for reactivation of ATMs headed by Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor S.S. Mundra, met on Tuesday and instructed banks on how to go about the ATM recalibration process.
  • According to officials present at the meeting, banks have been asked to recalibrate 12,500 ATMs every day.
  • The ATM maintenance companies have been asked to follow a specific route that has been decided by the task force so that they can cover different banks’ ATMs that are in close vicinity.
  • While the task of completing the entire process of recalibrating almost 2.5 lakh ATMs may take some time, banks have been told to focus on completing the task in the top 30 cities by the end of this month.
  • ATMs have been dispensing only Rs.100 notes since the ban on the old series of Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 was imposed, and were running out of cash in 2-3 hours.
  • The government has also said that the pain behind non-functional ATMs could continue for some time to come. The government is now focussing on restocking offsite ATMs as well, he added.

:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

INDO-CHINA JOINT MILITARY EXERCISE HAND IN HAND 2016 BEGINS

The sixth India China joint training exercise Hand- in- Hand 2016 commenced at the parade ground in Aundh Military Camp, Pune. The exercise will terminate on 27 November 2016.

The joint exercise intends to acquaint both the Armies with each other’s operating procedures in the backdrop of counter terrorism environment.

The Opening Day parade was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Li Guanghua, Commanding Officer of People’s Liberation Army.

Key highlights of the exercise

The primary aim of the exercise is enhancing confidence and trust between the two armies, which may be called upon to grapple with anti terrorism operations under the UN mandate.

The conduct of joint military exercises is also an important step to uphold the values of Peace, Prosperity and Stability in the region.

The Opening Ceremony was followed by both the contingents displaying their weapons, which included assault rifles, grenade launchers and other equipment.

The Ceremony concluded with a display of India martial arts of Kalyaripattu, Khukri dance and Malkhamb by soldiers of Indian Army and a massed martial arts display by the Chinese contingent.

The 13-day exercise is focused upon training on crossing of obstacles, special heliborne operations, firing of various weapons, handling and neutralization of improvised explosive devices and conduct of cordon and search operations in insurgency and terrorism environment.

CRPF FOR FIRST TIME DEPLOYS WOMEN COMMANDOS FOR ANTI-MAOISTS OPERATIONS

In a first, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) deployed a team of 135 women commandos in anti-Naxal operations in Jharkhand.

The 135 women commandos belong to the 232 battalion’s Delta company. At present, they are undertaking operations under the guidance of the CRPF’s 133 battalion near Khunti on the outskirts of Ranchi.

Key highlights

The 135 women commandos will be equally capable of neutralising Naxals in par with men commandos.

They hold expertise in carrying out all types of anti-Maoists operations and will play important role in tackling women Naxals.

They have been trained in several case studies and carry out their operation in a perfect manner.

They are also equipped with modern weapons and software to assist them in executing their plan.

About Central Reserve Police Force

The Central Reserve Police Force is India's largest Central Armed Police Forces.

It functions under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

Its primary role lies in assisting the States/Union Territories in police operations to maintain law and order and counter insurgency.

It came into existence as the Crown Representative's Police on 27 July 1939.

After the Independence of India, it became the Central Reserve Police Force on enactment of the CRPF Act on 28 December 1949.

With 235 battalions and various other establishments, it is considered country’s largest paramilitary force and has a sanctioned strength of 308862 personnel.

DRDO SUCCESSFULLY CARRIES OUT MAIDEN FLIGHT OF UAV RUSTOM-II

The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) successfully carried out maiden flight of TAPAS 201 (RUSTOM – II), a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

The test flight took place from Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) at Chitradurga, a newly developed flight test range for the testing of UAVs and manned aircraft.

Highlights of TAPAS 201 (RUSTOM – II)

• It was designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), the Bangalore-based premier lab of DRDO.

• It is the first R&D prototype UAV which got the certification and qualification for the first flight from the Center for Military Airworthiness & Certification and Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance.

• It will carry out the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) roles for the three Armed Forces with an endurance of 24 hours.

• It is capable to carry diverse combinations of payloads like Medium Range Electro Optic (MREO), Long Range Electro Optic (LREO), Electronic Intelligence (ELINT), Communication Intelligence (COMINT) and Situational Awareness Payloads (SAP).

• The data link for the UAV was developed by Defence Electronics Application Laboratory (DEAL) of DRDO.

SSP CHAWRASIA WINS 2016 RESORTS WORLD MANILA MASTERS

Indian golfer SSP Chawrasia won his first Asian Tour title outside the country. He won the 1 million US dollar Resorts World Manila Masters.

Chawrasia birdied the 18th play-off hole twice to emerge victorious over Sam Chien of the United States and Malaysia's Nicholas Fung.

The 2016 Resorts World Manila Masters was Chawrasia's fourth Asian Tour triumph and his first one outside India.

About SSP Chawrasia

Shiv Shankar Prasad Chawrasia turned professional in 1997.

He went on to win eight titles on the Indian Tour and finished second twice in the Indian Open.

In February 2008, he won the inaugural Indian Masters, which was a part of the 2008 European Tour.

In February 2011, he won his second European Tour event winning the 2011 Avantha Masters in New Delhi.

About Resorts World Manila Masters

The Resorts World Manila Masters is a golf tournament on the Asian Tour.

It was played for the first time in November 2013 at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club in Manila, Philippines.

Thailand’s Natipong Srithong was the winner of the 2015 Resorts World Manila Masters.

PATEL MOST COMMON INDIAN SURNAME IN UK

According to a newly released Oxford Dictionary, Patel is one of the most common Indian surnames in the United Kingdom.

In one of the largest studies of its kind, the Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland put together the origins of nearly 50000 surnames.

About the Study

• The study was conducted by research team including linguists, historians, lexicographers and expert advisers.

• It included detailed analysis of published and unpublished British and Irish records dating right from 11th Century to the 19th Century. Previously, untapped medieval and modern sources were also referred like tax records, church registers and census returns.

• The final result revealed that around 100000 Indians in the UK bear the surname Patel, as recorded in 2011 census.

• There were some other Indian surnames that found a place in the new Dictionary like ‘Chakrabarti’.

• Each entry specifies the frequency of the name for present day and 1881, its main location, its origin or language and an explanation supported by historical evidence.

On a whole, the study found that around 40000 family names were native to Britain and Ireland and remaining belonged to diverse immigrants who settled in the region way back in the 16 century including Indians, French, Dutch, Jews, Korean, Japanese, Chinese and African.

5 most common Indian surnames in UK

• Patel (101463 bearers): Status name for Hindu and Parsi name for a village headman.

• Singh (56446 bearers): Originally a name used by Hindu Kshatriya; it is now adopted by several different communities.

• Kaur (35595 bearers): Derived from Sanskrit word ‘kumari’, which means daughter or girl, the name is commonly used by Hindu and Sikh women.

• Shah (31312 bearers): It stands for both, Persian royal king or a Gujarati merchant.

• Miah (19327 bearers): It is derived from a Muslim title of respect, from Urdu ‘mian’ for sir, used to address an older man.

 

 

 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 10 December 2016 08:52
 

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