Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 20 - NOVEMBER - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 20 - NOVEMBER - 2016
Saturday, 10 December 2016 05:33

 

 

 



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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

20- 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 ::

UNIVERSAL CHILDREN’S DAY OBSERVED ON 20 NOVEMBER

20 November: Universal Children’s Day

Universal Children’s Day was observed across the globe on 20 November 2016. The day is observed with an aim to promote the ideals and objectives of the United Nation’s Charter and the welfare of the children of the world.

20 November is the day when UNGA adopted the declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959. On 14 December 1954, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) recommended all countries should institute a Universal Children’s Day, which will be observed as a day of the worldwide fraternity to understand children.

20 November also marks the day on which, in 1989, the UNGA adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Convention that ratified international human rights treaty also sets out a number of righst for children. These children rights include the right to life, to education, to health, to play, the right to family life as well as to be protected from violence, and not to be discriminated, and to have their views heard.

NASA LAUNCHES NEXT GENERATION WEATHER SATELLITE GOES-R

The National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) launched the highly advanced geostationary weather satellite Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R).

The Satellite was launched by NASA on behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It was launched on board of Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Highlights of the Satellite

• It will boost the weather observation capabilities of the US, leading to more accurate and timely forecasts, watches and warnings.

• It will be into the operations within a year after undergoing testing and validation of new instruments including the first operational lightning mapper in geostationary orbit.

• Its primary instrument Advanced Baseline Imager will provide images of Earth’s weather, oceans and environment with 16 different spectral bands.

• It is also first satellite to carry a lightning mapper instrument to geostationary orbit.

• It will photograph lightning activity throughout Western Hemisphere about 200 times every second.

• It will monitor the sun and relay crucial information to forecasters so they can issue space weather alerts and warnings.

• It will also be a part of the Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) System, an international satellite-based search and rescue network operated by NOAA.

Background
There are four satellites in the GOES series: GOES-R, GOES-S, GOES-T and GOES-U, which will extend NOAA’s geostationary coverage through 2036 and GOES-R is the first among these four new advanced weather satellites managed by NOAA.

NOAA manages the GOES-R Series Program through an integrated NOAA-NASA office. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland oversees the acquisition of the GOES-R series spacecraft and instruments.

OLYMPIC CHAMPION ELIUD KIPCHOGE WINS DELHI HALF MARATHON

As expected, Eliud Kipchoge, Kenya’s reigning Olympic marathon champion bagged the winner’s title in Delhi Half Marathon on 20 November 2016. While he was declared winner in men’s category, Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa claimed the women’s title.

Kipchoge, who won the gold medal at Rio Olympics in August 2016, is considered to be one of the greatest marathon runners of all times.

Key Highlights of the race

• The race was flagged off by Union Sports Minister, Vijay Goel and Adille Sumariwalla, President of Athletics Federation of India and Council member of IAAF. The race witnessed participation from nearly 34000 people spread across different categories.

• Kipchoge completed the 21.097km course in 59:44, unable to beat the course record of 59:06 set by Ethiopia’s Guye Adole in 2014.

• While Ethiopia’s Yigrem Demelash came in second with a very close timing of 59:48, Augustine Choge from Kenya finished third with 60:01.

• In the women’s category, while winner Degefa finished first with a timing of 1:07:42, fellow Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh came in second with a timing of 1:07:52 and Kenya’s Helah Kiprop came third with 1:08:11.

• Kenya’s reigning half marathon world champion Peres Jepchirchir also participated in the race. She came in fifth with a timing of 1:08:28.

• The women’s record of 1:06:54 set by Mary Keitany of Kenya in 2009 also remained unbeaten this time.

• Both the men’s and women’s winners were awarded 27000 US Dollars.

• Amoung Indian men, G Lakshmanan came first with a timing of 1:04:34 and among the women, Monika Athare finished first with a timing of 1:15:34.

• Mohd Yunus (1:04:38) and Man Singh (1:04:40) came second and third amoung Indian men while amoung women, Sanjeevani Jadhav (1:15:35) came second and pre-race favourite Swati Gadhave (1:17:43) finished third.

About Eliud Kipchoge

• This was Kipchoge’s first competitive race after his win in the Olympics.

• It is his second time in India. He was previously here to participate in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, where he won silver in a 5000m race.

• His personal best time in full marathon stands at 2:03:05, only third fastest behind Dennis Kimetto (2.02.57) and Kenenisa Bekele (2.03.03).

RADHIKA MENON AWARDED IMO AWARD FOR EXCEPTIONAL BRAVERY AT SEA

Captain Radhika Menon was bestowed with the 2016 International Maritime Organization (IMO) Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea at IMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom.

Menon was honoured with the prestigious award for her role in the rescue of seven fishermen from a sinking fishing boat in the Bay of Bengal in June 2015.

With this, Captain Menon became the first female to receive the IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea.

Who is Radhika Menon?

Radhika Menon is the Master of the oil products tanker Sampurna Swarajya.

She is the first woman captain in the Indian Merchant Navy.

She was nominated for the award by the Government of India for the rescue of all seven fishermen from the fishing boat Durgamma.

About IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea

The annual bravery Award was established by International Maritime Organisation.

It was established to provide international recognition for those who, at the risk of losing their own life, perform acts of exceptional bravery, displaying outstanding courage in attempting to save life at sea or in attempting to prevent or mitigate damage to the marine environment.

The recipient of the Award is invited to a special ceremony at IMO to receive a medal and a certificate citing the act of exceptional bravery performed.

In 2015, the Award was given to United States’ Christopher Leon.

 

 

 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 10 December 2016 08:09