Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 19 - NOVEMBER - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 19 - NOVEMBER - 2016
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Saturday, 10 December 2016 05:31

 

 

 



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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

19- NOVEMBER - 2016

 

:: NATIONAL ::

AFTER GOVT INITIATIVES QUEUES REDUCED IN THE BANK

  • Bank branches saw orderly queues following restrictions imposed by the government, but chaos at ATMs continues with most of them running out of money .
  • Despite the government announcement allowing withdrawals of Rs 2.5 lakhs for weddings, hapless people were running from pillar to post to avail of the scheme.
  • Bank branches are unable to dispense this amount in absence of operational guidelines from RBI.
  • Similarly people are visiting their branches with the gazette notification allowing relaxation of limits being provided to farmers but to no avail.
  • This being the marriage season, people thronged the bank branches with all possible evidence for marriage and their identity proof to get the much-needed cash.
  • There were reports of heated exchange from various parts of the country while lining up for the cash.
  • All banks today served only their respective customers and did not exchange old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from customers of other banks.
  • However, this restriction was not applicable on senior citizens as they are allowed to visit any bank branches to exchange the defunct notes.
  • There was no let-up in the queues outside ATMs in Mumbai while those opting for bank withdrawal had a smoother run as banks offered exchange service of scrapped currencies only to their respective customers.

CENTRE GOVT SENT TEAMS ACROSS THE COUNTRY FOR ASSESSMENT

  • The Union Government announced that a team of officials from the Centre was being rushed to different States for a spot assessment of the situation arising out of the demonetisation.
  • Respective teams from each assigned State would submit a report to the government on how exactly the decision of the Prime Minister is being implemented.
  • They would, of course, identify the bottlenecks in the system so that whatever course correction is required from New Delhi can be applied.
  • The official said that the Centre is ready to look at demands from various quarters, be it the State governments or the industry and commerce circles to see how best the ‘pain’ could be minimised.

PM SAYS TIMES ARE CHANGING, DON'T COME IN ITS WAY

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi quoted from Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan’s iconic The times they are a-Changin’ in a veiled reference to the political situation in the country as he addressed the Global Citizen Festival.
  • “Back in 2014, I had enjoyed attending the Global Citizen Festival in the beautiful Central Park of New York. However, this time, my schedule did not permit me to come in person,” Mr. Modi said in a video address.
  • “So to quote from one of Dylan’s transformative anthems which holds as much meaning today as it did when it was first sung in the 1960.
  • Come mothers and fathers, throughout the land, and don’t criticise, what you can’t understand. Your sons and your daughters, are beyond your command.
  • Your old road is rapidly agin’ Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand, for the times they are a-changin’, ” Mr. Modi said.
  • “Elders must learn from these words of wisdom,” he said. “We better get out of the way as indeed the times they are a-changing,” added the Prime Minister.
  • The Global Citizen Festival is focused on creating an impact in areas of education, equality, and clean water and sanitation.
  • The festival, launched in 2012, partners with the Global Poverty Project, a movement aiming to end extreme poverty by 2030.

:: INTERNATIONAL ::

US PRESIDENT LIMITS OIL EXPLORATION IN ARCTIC

  • U.S. President Barack Obama declared portions of the Arctic off-limits for oil exploration for the next five years, dealing a blow to Republican efforts to expand fossil fuel extraction.
  • The decision means new oil and gas exploration leasing in the Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea will not be considered until after 2022.
  • The U.S. government made a similar announcement in March, when it removed the Atlantic Ocean from the five-year road map.
  • Environmental groups hailed decision as historic and coming at a key moment, as President-elect Donald Trump has promised to expand drilling for oil and to revive the American coal industry.
  • The decision will protect wildlife migration routes, crucial feeding grounds, seafloor habitats and the larger Arctic marine ecosystem, said the Pew Charitable Trusts.

DALAI LAMA ON A VISIT TOMONGOLIA

  • The Dalai Lama met with Buddhist worshippers during a four-day visit to Mongolia, despite Beijing’s strident demand that he be barred from entering the country.
  • China is “firmly opposed to the anti-China separatist activities by the Dalai Lama in any country, in any name, and in any capacity”, Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
  • The People’s Republic further demanded that Mongolia “not allow the visit by the Dalai Lama and do not promote any facilitation for the separatist activities by the Dalai clique.”
  • Home to devout Buddhists but heavily dependent on trade with China, Mongolia has tried to avoid angering its giant neighbour, which views the Nobel Peace Prize winner as a devious separatist bent on breaking apart China.
  • But the spiritual leader has pressed more for Tibetan autonomy rather than outright independence.
  • Mongolia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs TsendiinMunkh-Orgil said that the Dalai Lama’s visit had no connection with the government.
  • Hundreds of monks and worshippers waited hours in biting temperatures for a glimpse of the 81-year-old Tibetan.

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

25 PERCENT OF COUNTRY’S ATM’S HAVE BEEN RECALIBRATED

  • About 25 per cent of the country’s automated teller machines (ATMs), or 47,000, have been recalibrated since the exercise began, to enable them to start dispensing the new Rs.500 and Rs.2000 denomination bank notes.
  • The task force for reactivation of ATMs which was set up under the chairmanship of the Reserve Bank of India deputy governor S.S. Mundra has been tracking the recalibration process on a daily basis.
  • Banks were asked by the task force to recalibrate 12,500 ATMs every day.
  • The recalibration is taking place in two phases. One, at the central switch of a particular bank and two, at the ATM level.
  • Companies that maintain the teller machines equip them with cassettes that are configured according to the thickness and size of the new series notes.
  • The new notes are smaller than the ones that were withdrawn.The task force aims to recalibrate all the ATMs in at least the top 30 cities of the country by the end of this month. The country has a total of 2.2 lakh ATMs.
  • The process of supplying currency notes from the printing presses has been speeded up and, at times, they are airlifted to reach the destination.
  • The presses, which are now predominantly printing Rs.500 denomination notes, are working in two shifts.
  • Priority has been given to the printing of Rs.500 denomination notes now as we have adequate number of Rs.2000 notes.

PNB CMD SAYS THAT PANIC AND ANXIETY AFTER WITHDRAWAL OF NOTES HAS FADED

  • The panic and anxiety that followed in the immediate wake ofdemonetisation announcement had largely died down, PNB CMD said. She added that improved supply of Rs.500 notes would further ease the pressure.
  • “A person who would have earlier withdrawn Rs.5,000 was now withdrawing double that because of the uncertainty and the anxiety,” Ms. Ananthasubramanian.
  • PNB had accepted Rs.47,000 crore of deposits since the demonetisation announcement on November 8, Ms. Ananthasubramanian said.
  • CASA (current account savings account) deposits have surged. This gives an opportunity to revisit deposit rates. It will also have an impact on lending rates, but first deposit rates should come down.
  • The banker also said that PNB had recorded 68.47 lakh transactions for the exchange of Rs.2,514 crore worth of notes since November 8.
  • The government has allowed families celebrating weddings to withdraw Rs.2.5 lakh each from the groom’s and bride’s side. However, banks were yet to act on the move as guidelines were still awaited.
  • The PNB chief said although the focus of the bank was on receiving deposits, disbursing cash and making ATMs functional, normal banking activities continued.
  • State-run oil marketing companies on Thursday announced a tie-up with State Bank of India to allow bank account holders to withdraw up to Rs.2,000 from petrol pumps equipped with SBI point-of-sale machines.
  • In light of the cash crunch, the RBI had authorised banks to release soiled Rs.100 notes as well as Rs.10 coins to the public, Ms Ananthasubramanian said.

:: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ::

INDIA-NORWAY BEGAN PROJECT TO UNDERSTAND GLOBAL WARMING RESPONSE ON ANTARCTIC

  • An Indo-Norwegian project to understand the response of Antarctic ice shelves to the global warming has begun in the less-studied areas of East Antarctica, especially theDronning Maud Land (DML).
  • This area is characterised by loosely-connected ice shelves along the 2000-km-long coast. Ice shelves of East Antarctica are poorly understood when compared to the West Antarctica region.
  • Climatologists are increasingly worried about the large uncertainties in the future Antarctic contribution to the global sea-level rise since the Antarctic contribution to the climate changes has increased significantly during the past two decades.
  • Under the project, mass-balance, dynamics, and climate of the DML coast, MADICE, geophysical field measurements, ice core drilling, ice-sheet modelling and satellite remote sensing-based studies will be conducted to understand the future Antarctic contribution to the global sea-level rise.
  • Under the MADICE, research will be conducted during 2016-17 and 2017-18 Antarctic field seasons.
  • The scientific programme, jointly funded by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, India and the Research Council, Norway, has NCAOR and the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) as the partnering research institutions.
  • The researchers will try to better understand the current status and dynamics of ice shelves in Dronning Maud Land to decipher its response to the future climate change.
  • Studies on the mass balance and long-term evolution of the Antarctic ice rises and assessment of its impact on the Antarctic ice-shelf stability and ice-sheet loss too will be carried out.
  • Attempts will also be made to reconstruct the recent changes in Antarctic climate using ice cores and its possible teleconnections to global climate.
  • Each field campaign will include over-snow traverse and camping over ice shelves for nearly two months. Maitri, India’s Antarctic research station, will serve as the logistic support base.

WHO SAYS ZIKA VIRUS HAS BEEN CURTAILED TO A LARGE EXTENT

  • The World Health Organization announced that the Zika virus outbreak, linked to deformations in babies’ heads and brains, no longer poses a world public health emergency, though it warned that the epidemic remains a challenge.
  • Brazil, the epicentre of the outbreak, has however refused to downgrade the risk, while experts swiftly lashed out against the world health body’s decision.
  • While Zika causes only mild symptoms in most people, pregnant women with the virus risk giving birth to babies with microcephaly — a deformation that leads to abnormally small brains and heads.
  • It can also cause rare adult-onset neurological problems such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), which can result in paralysis and even death.
  • In the outbreak that began in mid-2015, more than 1.5 million people have been infected with Zika, mainly in Brazil, and more than 1,600 babies have been born with microcephaly since last year, according to the WHO.
  • The UN’s global health agency declared the Zika epidemic a global health emergency in February 2016.
  • Earlier this year, researchers warned that at least 2.6 billion people, over a third of the global population, live in parts of Africa, Asia and the Pacific where Zika could gain a new foothold, with 1.2 billion at risk in India alone.
  • In most cases worldwide, people have been infected with the virus by mosquitoes, though some have contracted the disease through sexual contact.
  • The WHO was careful yesterday not to dismiss the risk still posed by the virus, which has been detected in 73 countries worldwide, mainly in Latin America and the Caribbean.

:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

AL NAHYAN GRANTED MOTHER TERESA INTERNATIONAL AWARD

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

Shaikh Abdullah, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, was conferred with the award for his contribution in promoting peace and stability in the West Asia.

He is responsible for establishing institutions that protect youth from being radicalised and indoctrination from terrorist groups and people who look forward to propagating violence against innocent people.

Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain, a Bangladeshi hostage who was killed in the terrorist attack on the Dhaka’s Holey Café on 1 July 2016, was the another recipient of the award. He was posthumously awarded the Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice for 2016. He was awarded because he refused to leave behind his friends who were from other countries. This is the first time when the award was conferred posthumously.

The 2016 Mother Teresa Awards were conferred recipients on 20 November 2016 at JW Marriott, Mumbai.

Mother Teresa Awards

The Mother Teresa Awards are conferred on individuals and organisations that promote peace, social justice and equality. It is also conferred on those, who aim at encouraging the cause of justice and peaceful coexistence while providing an impetus for society to imbibe these values.

This international award was introduced in 2005 in the memory of late Mother Teresa.

Key recipients of the award are Malala Yousufzai (Nobel laureate of Pakistan), Dalai Lama (Nobel laureate and Tibetan leader), Medecins Sans Frontieres (an international humanitarian-aid non-governmental organization (NGO) and it is also known as Doctors Without Borders), Dr Mahathir Mohammed (former Prime Minister of Malaysia), and Baroness Caroline Cox (the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords) among others.

INDIA ELECTED AS VICE CHAIR OF KIMBERLY PROCESS CERTIFICATE SCHEME 2018

India was elected as Vice Chair of Kimberly Process Certificate Scheme (KPCS) 2018 and as the Chair for 2019 of KPCS. The announcement was made during the KP Plenary Meeting 2016 at Dubai.

Earlier, this position of KP Chair was held by India in 2008.

India's position in Kimberly Process Certificate Scheme

• The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme imposes widespread requirements on its members to enable them to certify shipments of rough diamonds.

• India is one of the founding members of Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).

• The Department of Commerce under Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry administers the scheme.

• The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) is the Import and Export Authority within the meaning of Section IV(b) of the Scheme.

CLIMATE CHANGE PERFORMANCE INDEX 2017 RELEASED

Germanwatch and Climate Action Network Europe released the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2017. The CCPI confirms that there is a boost for renewable energy and positive developments in energy efficiency.

The index ranks India at the 20th position and says that countries like India are making efforts in fields of renewable and energy efficiency.

Highlights of CCPI 2017

• It says that the historic Paris Agreement that was reached in 2015 has helped in encouraging the trends in switching towards the renewable energy, but the revolution in switching at the global level is very slow.

• Policy side: The index says that many countries lack in ambition in switching towards the renewable energy.

Results of the CCPI 2017

• Morocco: Morocco, the host for the COP 22, was ranked at 8th position. The index says that due to its investments in renewable energy and mid and long-term targets, Morocco continued its upward trend. It is the frontrunner in Africa.

• Emerging Economies: They improved their improvement in 2017 CCPI by showcasing positive trends in shifting towards the renewable energy. Ranks of few emerging economies are India (20), Argentina (36) and Brazil (40).

Countries rated as Very Poor: Rank of Countries that were rated as very poor include Canada (55), Australia (57) and Japan (60). They were ranked in the bottom group.

• Ranks of the world’s two largest emitters are USA (43) and China (48).

• France, which was ranked at the fourth place, leads the list for the first time. It was ranked fourth for the diplomacy that helped in enabling the Paris Agreement in 2015.

• France is followed by Sweden (5) and the United Kingdom (6).

Concern Area: The top three positions in the CCPI 2017 were left empty because no big emitter is acting in line with the 1.5 to 2°C limit.

About European Union Members

The latest index suggests that many countries of European Union like Germany, United Kingdom, Sweden and Denmark may drop from their leading role in renewable energy development. It will occur as

• Several EU member nations have decreased its investments in the renewable energy and energy efficiency.

• They have questioned the all-ready agreed mitigation targets

• They also failed to set the policy framework to deliver on their short-term goals.

About CCPI

• It is a tool that was designed to enhance transparency in international climate politics.

• It is based on standard criteria, in which the Index evaluates and compares the climate protection performance of 58 countries. These countries are together responsible for more than 90 percent of global energy related to Carbon Dioxide emissions.

 

 

 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 10 December 2016 08:28
 

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