Current Affairs 18th November 2017 (18/11/2017)

National Current Affairs

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Bangladesh counterpart, Sheikh Hasina, and the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Ms. Mamata Banerjee have jointly inaugurated a series of connectivity projects between the two countries. These included the second Bhairab and Titas Railway Bridges; and the International Rail Passenger Terminus at Chitpur in Kolkata. The dignitaries also flagged off the inaugural of the Bandhan Express between Kolkata and Khulna.
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the creation of National Testing Agency (NTA) as an autonomous and self-sustained premier organization to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions. The NTA chaired by an eminent educationist will initially conduct those entrance examinations which are currently being conducted by the CBSE. Other examinations will be taken up gradually after the NTA is fully geared up. The entrance examinations will be conducted in online mode at least twice a year.
  • The National Green Tribunal has came down heavily on the Delhi government for announcing the odd-even scheme starting November 13 as a measure to battle rising pollution levels in the National Capital Region. In a statement, the NGT said the apex court never asked for imposition of this scheme and slammed the Arvind Kejriwal led government for not taking significant steps to check pollution in
  • President Ram Nath Kovind has said there is a need to generate awareness among masses about organ donation. Addressing an event at Rashtrapati Bhawan, Mr Kovind said, the process of organ donation should be simplified. He said, organ donation is greatest service to the humanity. The President said people should be encouraged to donate organs.
  • The Supreme Court has refused to pass an interim stay on the Ordinance allowing kambala, the traditional buffalo slush track race. However, the apex court has agreed to examine the Constitutional validity of the Ordinance.
  • Indian government has committed to provide 100 non-Indian students full scholarship if they study Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) in any of the public deemed universities across India.
  • The famous Banaganapalle mangoes of Andhra Pradesh and Tulaipanji rice of West Bengal are among the seven commodities that have been granted Geographical Indication (GI) this fiscal year by the Indian patent office.
  • Researchers have discovered a new species of ant in the Western Ghats, recognized as one of the world’s ‘hottest hotspots’ of biological diversity. The new species is named Tyrannomyrmex alii (or T. alii).
  • The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has released the Paradise Papers, a global investigation that reveals the offshore activities of some of the world’s most powerful people and companies.
  • The successful test flight of “NIRBHAY” missile was recently conducted by the DRDO. It was successfully test fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur, Odisha.
  • Chennai has been included in the list of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network for its rich musical tradition. Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the inclusion of the Tamil Nadu capital which is steeped in multi-layered history.
  • Sri Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangam has bagged an award of merit from UNESCO for protecting and conserving cultural heritage, thus becoming the first temple from Tamil Nadu to grab the prestigious honour from the UN body.

International Current Affairs

  • US President Donald Trump has hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he has worked to bring people together. Talking in Vietnam Mr. Trump said India has achieved astounding growth.
  • Syrian troops have declared victory over Islamic State in the eastern town of Albu Kamal, the terror group’s last major stronghold in the country. The Syrian military, backed by Shia fighters from Iraq, said it has reclaimed the border town of Albu Kamal from ISIS, clearing the terrorists from their last key redoubt on the Iraqi border.
  • India has been re-elected as the member of the UNESCO’s executive board, its top decision making body. The election was held at the 39th session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in Paris.
  • India has pledged an additional USD 100 million towards the UN partnership fund, significantly scaling up its support to sustainable development projects across the developing world.
  • Scientists have detected dust belts around Proxima Centauri, a finding that indicates the presence of an elaborate planetary system hosted by the closest star to the solar system.
  • World Immunization Day was observed on November 10. This day is celebrated to make people aware about the importance of getting timely vaccinations against vaccine preventable diseases.

Business & Economy Current Affairs

  • The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has announced major changes in the new national law, reducing tax rate on a wide range of products.  After the Council’s meeting in Guwahati, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, tax on 178 items have been reduced to 18% from 28% and only 50 items now remain in the highest tax slab of 28%.
  • Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister has spelt out a clear road map for stepping up skill development, job creation; enhanced investment in the social sector – including for Health and Education and boosting infrastructure financing. It formulated far reaching recommendations to guide the evolving framework for the Fifteenth Finance Commission, including the incentivization of States for achieving Health, Education and Social Inclusion outcomes. The Council is also evolving the design of a new Economy Tracking Monitor, linking economic growth indicators with social indicators for last mile connectivity.
  • The country industrial output rose 3.8 per cent in September this year. Factory output measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production had increased 5 per cent in September last year, and 4.5 per cent in August this year. Data released by the Central Statistics Office showed that manufacturing sector output rose 3.4 per cent in September; electricity generation also increased 3.4 per cent, while mining sector output jumped 7.9 per cent.
  • The RBI has asked banks to provide doorstep banking facilities to senior citizens of more than 70 years of age and divyangs by 31st of December this year. Banks have been directed that senior citizens and specially-abled persons, including the visually impaired, should be provided basic services like pickup of cash and instruments against receipt, delivery of cash against withdrawal from accounts, delivery of demand drafts, etc.
  • The government has said India Post Payments Bank will become operational in all 650 districts of the country by April next year. They will facilitate financial inclusion.
  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has amended its Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process Regulations to ensure that as part of due diligence, prior to approval of a Resolution Plan, the antecedents, credit worthiness and credibility of a Resolution Applicant, including promoters, are taken into account by the Committee of Creditors.

Sports Current Affairs

  • Mary Kom has won the gold medal in the Asian Boxing Championships in the Light Flyweight category, defeating DPR Korea’s Kim Hyanf Mi. This is Mary Kom’s sixth medal in the Asian Women’s Boxing Championships and fifth gold medal, having won four gold medals and one silver medal in previous editions of the tournament.
  • India has won the women’s Asia Cup hockey title defeating China. With this, India also qualified for next year’s World Cup as Continental champion.

Leave a Comment