Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 06 - NOVEMBER - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 06 - NOVEMBER - 2016
Thursday, 01 December 2016 05:51

 

 

 



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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

06- NOVEMBER - 2016

 

:: NATIONAL ::

CAPITAL’S AIR QUALITY SLIPPED TO ‘HAZARDOUS’ LEVELS

  • Facing its worst spell of persistent smog in nearly two decades, the Capital’s air quality slipped to ‘hazardous’ levels. Low wind speed and high moisture content ensured that the city remained blanketed in thick smog through the day.
  • Pollution levels were the worst in the season so far. PM10 in the range of 900-1700 microgram per cubic metre: standard level is 100 and benzene which is cancer causing agent, were recorded across the city.
  • Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the high levels of smog had turned the Capital into a ‘gas chamber” and blamed stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana for the problem.
  • For the first time perhaps, the three municipal corporations of Delhi closed schools under their jurisdiction, numbering around 1,700, due to the high levels of pollution.
  • While 200-300 microgram per cubic metre is considered very unhealthy, 300+ is considered hazardous.
  • Many people in the city complained of irritation in the eyes and breathing problems because of the smog.
  • Meanwhile, doctors have caution that particulate matter can cause respiratory diseases if one is exposed to unsafe levels for prolonged periods. They have advised people to avoid outdoor physical activities.
  • People with heart or lung diseases, older adults and children have also been advised to remain indoors and keep activity levels low.

GOVT AGREED TO USE RETIRED JUDGES

  • Union government has agreed to a resolution passed by the judiciary in the Chief Justices and Chief Ministers Conference to use the services of retired High Court judges with proven integrity and track record to tackle pendency of cases.
  • The provision to use the services of retired judges is open to the Chief Justices of High Courts under Article 224A of the Constitution with the previous consent of the President as an extraordinary measure to tide over case pile-ups.]
  • Chief Justices will actively have regard to the provision of Article 224A of the Constitution as a source for enhancing the strength of judges to deal with the backlog of cases for a period of two years or the age of sixty five years, whichever is later until a five plus zero pendency is achieved.”
  • ‘Five plus zero’ is an initiative by which cases pending over five years are taken up on priority basis and their numbers are brought down to zero.
  • Accordingly, it was resolved that all High Courts shall assign top-most priority for disposal of cases which are pending for more than five years.
    In High Courts, where arrears of cases pending for more than five years are concentrated shall facilitate their disposal in a “mission mode.”
  • The agreement on the minutes comes at a time when the Executive and the Judiciary are trying to find a common ground on the memorandum of procedure for judicial appointments in High Courts and Supreme Court.
  • The 24 High Courts face a shortage of nearly 450 judges. Nearly three crore cases are pending in courts across India.

BORDER TALKS BETWEEN INDIA AND CHINA TO HAPPEN NEXT YEAR

  • National Security Adviser of India and China agreed to hold the next round of border talks in India next year at a daylong meeting held in Hyderabad.
  • The meeting came against the backdrop of a series of dampeners appearing prominently in the bilateral ties, including the recent stand-off between the two Armies at the border.
  • However, his statement did not carry any reference to the two key issues of India’s concern vis-a-vis China — India’s entry to the NSG and the U.N. ban on Masood Azhar. Both are held up because of China’s tough positioning.
  • The two sides appreciated that 2016 is an important year for bilateral engagement, with President Xi Jinping’s visit to India for the BRICS Summit and PMModi’s visit to China for the G-20 Summit.
  • Both sides agreed to hold the 20th round of Special Representatives talks on the border question in India next year.

BRITISH PM TO COME TO INDIA FOR 1ST BILATERAL MISSION OUTSIDE EU

  • British Prime Minister Theresa May is set to head for New Delhi on her first trade mission, and her first bilateral visit outside the European Union.
  • The visitis taking place under a cloud of uncertainty, with Parliament set to get a say in the process of exiting the EU, and toughening immigration rules governing Indian temporary workers and students.
  • Ms. May is set to arrive in New Delhi on Sunday evening, leading a 40-member business delegation.She is set to hold bilateral talks with the Prime Minister later that day, following meetings with business and investors.
  • She will head for Bengaluru, where a tech summit is also being held. It’s worth noting that the size of delegation is considerably smaller than the over 100 initially expected.
  • Nevertheless, from the Indian perspective a couple of issues cloud the visit.
  • Firstly, there is the issue of Britain’s stance on Pakistan — which is notably different from that of the U.S., which issued a strong statement condemning cross-border terrorism.
  • Whether Ms. May will follow former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron in issuing a strong statement during her visit remains to be seen though for the moment it looks unlikely.
  • Another issue haunting the visit will be visas. Earlier this week, the government announced that a planned tightening of immigration rules — including the raising of salary thresholds for those on an intra-company transfer visa.
  • While these issues will undoubtedly be factored in during the trip, India will also be eager to stress its willingness to work with a post-Brexit Britain, as it attempts to strengthen bilateral relations with nations outside the EU.

:: INTERNATIONAL ::

ISLAMIC STATE TAKES RESPONSIBILITY OF TURKEY BOMBING

  • A news outlet linked to the Islamic State (IS) said its fighters staged a bombing that killed 11 people in southeastern Turkey, according to U.S.-based monitors, after Ankara blamed Kurdish militants for the attack.
  • Turkish Prime Minister BinaliYildirim said bombing was carried out by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has regularly targeted security forces since ending a truce in 2015.
  • The attack on a police headquarters in the Kurdish-majority of Diyarbakir left 11 people dead, including two police, and over 100 wounded.
  • The pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) said six of its MPs, including its co-leaders, had narrowly escaped injury in the attack as they were being held in the police complex following their detention overnight.
  • If confirmed, the claim would be the first ever by IS for an attack in Turkey, although it has been blamed over the last year for a series of strikes against Kurdish activists, tourists and on Istanbul airport.

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

FM SAYS DOMESTIC INVESTMENT STILL NEEDS TO PICK UP

  • Domestic investment is the only growth engine that still needs to pick up and banks must recover their loans to help boost private investment, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.
  • He said that a large part of the delay in recovery of loans was due to deliberate steps taken by creditors not to pay their debts on time.
  • “In the bulk of the cases where banks’ dues have to be returned, the defences are frivolous, if not a sham,” Mr Jaitley said.
  • “They are a time-gaining device and therefore the more we are able to delay the procedures, the more we are preventing the recovery, and the more we are preventing that investment from going into more fruitful hands.”
  • “In terms of domestic investment, the situation is still challenging. It is clear the Indian private sector needs to invest. And that is when all engines of the economy will start firing.”
  • The private sector, either impacted by large unutilised capacities, global slowdown, and sectoral stresses caused either by domestic or international factors, slowed down significantly.
  • Their balance sheets got very badly disturbed. And the stressed balance sheets of these companies started impacting the balance sheets of the banks because they were unable to service their loans.
  • New projects worth Rs.44,607 crore were announced in 2015-16, down from the Rs.54, 235 crore worth of announcements seen in the previous year, according to CMIE data.
  • The first half of this financial year, however, has witnessed an improvement, with a 43 per cent increase in the value of new project announcements as compared to the same period in 2015-16.
  • Against this background, there is a dire need to introduce efficiency in the loan recovery process, since litigation, if allowed to continue endlessly, would be to the detriment of the entire economy, the Union Finance Minister said.

CABINET APPROVAL FOR JAL MARY VIKAS PROJECT SOUGHT

  • With contracts worth Rs 2,000 crores already awarded, the Union Shipping Ministry will now seek Cabinet approval for the Jal Marg Vikas project, under which National Waterways-1 is being implemented.
  • The Ministry is also planning a maiden issue of infrastructure bonds worth Rs.1,000 crore in two tranches to fund this World Bank-aided project.
  • The cost has ballooned from Rs.4,200 crore at conception in 2013 to Rs.5,369 crore now. It involves developing a 1,620-km navigable waterway between Haldia and Varanasi.
  • Inland Waterways Authority of India vice-chairman said that many car-makers have already approached the authority to use this waterway to transport their vehicles.
  • Plans were also afoot to move LNG-fuelled vessels and tankers on this stretch. The IWAI plans to procure various types of vessels once they are designed to suit the riverine channel that passes through four states.

:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

SARABJIT SINGH MARWAH BECOMES CANADA'S FIRST SIKH SENATOR

Kolkata-born Sarabjit Singh Marwah became the first Sikh to be appointed to the Canadian Senate.

Toronto-based Marwah is among six people from Ontario who have been appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

About Sarabjit Singh Marwah

Sarabjit Singh Marwah was born in Kolkata in 1952.

He completed his schooling from St Xavier's School. He is an alumnus of Delhi's St Stephen's College and the Delhi School of Economics and holds an MBA degree from the University of California in Los Angeles.

He formerly worked at Scotiabank. He had joined the company in Toronto as a financial analyst in 1978. Rising through the ranks, he went on to become the Chief Financial Officer (COO) of the bank in 1998. In 2002, he was made the bank's senior executive vice president and chief financial officer.

He is one of the founders of the Sikh Foundation of Canada that promotes Sikh culture and art among the diaspora community.

He has also served on the boards of many famous Canadian institutions such as the Toronto Star, the Toronto International Film Festival, the C.D. Howe Institute, the Royal Ontario Museum, the United Way Campaign and the Hospital for Sick Children.

PM NARENDRA MODI PRESENTS RAMNATH GOENKA AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented the Ramnath Goenka Awards for Excellence in Journalism at a function in New Delhi.

The honour acknowledges exceptional work across 28 categories in print, broadcast and online journalism in English, Hindi and regional languages.

Ramnath Goenka was an Indian newspaper publisher. He launched The Indian Express and created the Indian Express Group with various English and regional language publications.

Complete list of winners

Award

Winner

Prakash Rakesh Kardaley Memorial Award for Civic Journalism

Christin Mathew Philip (The Times of India)

Uncovering India Invisible

Print: Ashwaq Masoodi (Mint)

Broadcast: Sarada Lahangir (Kalinga TV)

Hindi

Print: Santosh Kumar (India Today)

Broadcast: Sanjay Nandan (ABP news), Syeda Afifa Khatoon (NEWS24)

Regional Languages

Print: Firos Khan M (Madhyamam Daily), Nileena Atholi (Mathrubhumi)

Broadcast: Pramod Shastri G (TV9)

Sports Journalism

Print: Devendra Pandey (The Indian Express)

Broadcast: Sanjeeb Mukherjea (CNN-IBN)

Reporting from J&K and the Northeast

Print: Esha Roy (The Indian Express) and Maddipatla Rajshekhar (Scroll.in)

Broadcast: Shubhajit Sengupta (CNN-IBN)

Environmental reporting

Print: Pritha Chatterjee, Aniruddha Ghoshal (The Indian Express)

Broadcast: Sushil Chandra Bahuguna (NDTV India)

Business and Economic Journalism

Print: Khushboo Narayan (The Indian Express) and Rajeev Dubey (Business Today)

Broadcast: Archana Shukla (CNBC TV18)

Foreign Correspondent covering India

Print: Victor John Mallet (Financial Times)

Investigative reporting

Print: Maneesha Pandey, Sandeep Pai (Newslaundry)

Broadcast: Ganesh Suratchand Thakur (ABP news)

On-the-spot reporting

Print: Nayantara Narayan (Scroll.in)

Broadcast: Aamir Rafiq Peerzada, Rakesh Solanky (NDTV)

Feature writing: Shamik Bag (Mint), Sreedevi TV (Malayala Manorama)

Reporting on Politics and Government

Print: Ashutosh Bhardwaj (The Indian Express)

Broadcast: Halimabi Abdul Kureshi (IBN Lokmat)

Photo Journalism

Burhan Kinu (Hindustan Times)

Commentary and interpretative writing

Anna MM Vetticad (BLink), Pramit Bhattacharya (Mint)

Books

Author: Akshaya Mukul (Non-fiction)

Book: Gita Press & The Making of Hindu India

Publication: Harper Collins

Sanjiv Sinha Memorial Award for Excellence in Reporting

Aditi Vatsa (The Indian Express)

Priya Chandrashekar Memorial Award for Excellence in Editing

Saikat Kumar Bose (The Indian Express)

INDIA INVITED TO JOIN RUSSIA’S FAST REACTOR RESEARCH PROJECT

Russia invited India to join in developing next-generation nuclear reactors and participate in its fast reactor research project, known as MBIR (Russian acronym).

The information was given by ROSATOM’s project manager, Alexander Zagornov, who was in India for the opening of the company’s south Asia regional centre. ROSATOM is the nuclear corporation of Russia.

This multipurpose reactor is a type of reactor in which nuclear fission chain reaction is sustained by fast neutrons. This project is coming up at the International Research Center in Dimitrovgrad, located in the Ulyanovsk region.

Purpose of MBIR research reactor project

•    The MBIR’s design includes three independent loops, which can be used to test different coolants like gas. Lead, molten salt and others. The facility will help in conducting material testing research in those different environments.

•    Its main purpose is to conduct a large number of reactor studies of Generation 4 nuclear systems, including the fast neutron reactor with closed fuel cycle, as well as small and medium power thermal neutron reactors.

•    The new technological platform is being created for nuclear energy, which will be based on the closed fuel cycle with fast neutron reactors.

•    This closed fuel cycle involves recycling the nuclear waste as new fuel.

•    It essentially signifies research on a sodium-cooled Generation 4 fast reactor to design an advanced fast neutron reactor for use in nuclear power plants.

•    These types of reactors, also known as a fast reactor, are a type in which the nuclear fission chain reaction is sustained by fact neutrons. This type of reactors don’t need neutron moderator like normal water.

Benefits of fast-neutron reactors

•    These fast-neutron reactors may help in solving the major ecological problem of reprocessing and deactivation of the accumulated radioactive waste.

•    The closed fuel cycle will lead to the solution of the five key problems and they are safety, competitiveness, shortage of fuel, reprocessing and re-fabricating the used nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. It will also be helpful in enforcing non-proliferation of fission materials and weapons technologies.

NASA COMPLETES CONSTRUCTION OF JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) completed the construction of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) after more than 20 years of hard work.

This largest-ever space telescope is expected to launch in 2018 following the in-depth testing.

Highlights of the Telescope

• The telescope has 18 large mirrors that will collect infrared light, sheltered behind a tennis-court-size sun shield.

• It is considered as the successor to NASA's iconic Hubble Space Telescope.

• It is a 8.8 billion US dollars worth space observatory built to observe the infrared universe like never before.

• Earth's atmosphere glows in the infrared, so such measurements can't be made from the ground. Hubble emits its own heat, which would obscure infrared readings.

• It can run close to absolute zero in temperature and rest at a point in space called the Lagrange Point 2, which is directly behind Earth from the sun's perspective. That way, Earth can shield the telescope from the sun's infrared emission, and the sun shield can protect the telescope from both bodies' heat.

• The telescope's infrared view will pierce through obscuring cosmic dust to reveal the universe's first galaxies and spy on newly forming planetary systems.

• It will also be sensitive enough to analyze the atmospheres of exoplanets that pass in front of their stars, perhaps to search for signs of life.

• It will be able to see a bumblebee a moon's distance away both in reflected light and in the body heat the bee emitted.

• Its mirrors are so smooth that if you stretched the array to the size of the US, the hills and valleys of irregularity would be only a few inches high.

Background
The project is led by NASA but supported by international partners, including the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

The telescope was originally scheduled to launch in 2014 at a cost of about 5 billion US dollars, but a series of setbacks and budget constraints delayed and nearly canceled the project.

The telescope's testing at Goddard will ensure that it can withstand the shaking and loud noise of a rocket launch. Then, it will be moved to Texas, where its focus will be tested, and then to California for some final assembly.

The full telescope, with a 21.3-foot (6.5 meters) mirror assembly, is too large to launch fully extended, so the telescope will be carefully furled during launch and will have to unfold over the course of two weeks once it's in the air.  By six months after launch, the telescope will be ready to begin doing science.

KRISTALINA GEORGIEVA APPOINTED AS CEO OF IBRD & IDA OF WORLD BANK

Kristalina Georgieva was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group with effect from January 2017.

Her appointment was confirmed by the World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. IBRD and IDA are the lending arms of the World Bank.

About Kristalina Georgieva

• Georgieva is a Bulgarian national and has held multiple positions at the World Bank Group between 1993-2010 focusing on economics and sustainable development.

• In her last role at the bank she served as Vice President, Corporate Secretariat, the interlocutor between the World Bank Group’s senior management, its Board of Directors and its shareholder countries.

• After leaving the World Bank Group in 2010, she played an important role in shaping the agenda of the European Commission as a Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid.

• In her current role as European Commission Vice President for Budget and Human Resource, she is in charge of the European Union's 175 billion US dollars budget and 33000 staff.

• She also served as co-chair of the United Nations Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing, where she secured a more effective system to meet the needs of vulnerable people.

DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL TO HONOUR REKHA WITH A LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Indian actor Rekha will be honoured by the upcoming Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Rekha will be honoured for her 40-year career and participation in more than 180 films.

About Rekha

Indian actor Rekha is acknowledged as one of the finest actresses in Hindi cinema.

She started her career in 1966 as a child actress in the Telugu film Rangula Ratnam. However, her film debut as a lead happened with the movie Sawan Bhadon.

She was often panned for her looks and it was not until the mid-to-late 1970s that she got recognition as an actress.

She has acted in over 180 films in a career spanning over 40 years.

Apart from mainstream cinema, she also appeared in parallel cinema.

She has won three Filmfare Awards, two for Best Actress and one for Best Supporting Actress, for her roles in KhubsooratKhoon Bhari Maang and Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi respectively.

Her portrayal of a classical courtesan in Umrao Jaan won her the National Film Award for Best Actress.

In 2010, she was honoured with the Padma Shri by the Government of India.

About Dubai International Film Festival

The Dubai International Film Festival is the leading film festival in the region.

It was incepted in 2004.

The festival has served as an influential platform for Arab filmmakers and talent at an international level, by spearheading the cinema movement in the region.

It is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

It is a not-for-profit cultural event, presented and organised by Dubai Entertainment & Media Organization.

 

 

 

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Last Updated on Monday, 12 December 2016 04:21
 
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