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Important Current Affairs 2nd December 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Barbados parts way with Queen and becomes world's newest republic

• Barbados has become the World’s newest republic, around 400 years after it became a British colony. Barbados is said to have been made a ‘slave society by the British. It first became an English colony in 1625. It gained its independence in 1966.  Barbados, the Caribbean Island nation, removed Queen Elizabeth II as the head of the state.

• Dame Sandra Prunella Mason took over as the President of Barbados. He was selected to become the first president of Barbados in October 2021. He was selected as President of Barbados, at a joint meeting of both the Houses of Parliament of Barbados. His name was announced by Speaker of the House of Assembly, Arthur Holder.

NATIONAL

Kerala Tourism launches STREET project to enhance visitor experience

• Kerala Tourism launched the ‘STREET’ project to promote and take tourism deep into the interiors and rural hinterland of Kerala. The project would help visitors experience the diversity of offerings in these locales. The STREET is an acronym for Sustainable, Tangible, Responsible, Experiential, Ethnic, Tourism hubs.

• The STREET project aims to present the unique identity of the state of Kerala before to travellers. It also offers a huge potential for growth in the tourism sector and would bring in significant changes.

• The project will foster mutually beneficial organic relationships between tourism development and the ordinary lives of people in the state of Kerala.

First Indian Young Water Professionals Programme launched virtually

• The First Edition of the Indian Young Water Professionals Programme was launched virtually. The programme was launched in the presence of the Indian High Commissioner to Australia, Manpreet Vohra; Australian High Commissioner to India, Barry O’ Farrell and Additional Secretary of Ministry of Jal Shakti, Debashree Mukherjee. The program was taken up under National Hydrology Project.

• The India Young Water Professional Programme is unique and different from typical capacity building and training programs. It focuses on the engaged Training and Learning Model.

• 70% of this program is focused on project-based learning by means of Situation Understanding and Improvement Projects (SUIP).

• It also focuses on gender equality and diversity, since sustainable water management can only benefit from the skills and views of all members of society.

• For the first edition of the programme, about 20 participants have been selected, comprising of 10 men and 10 women, from central & state implementing agencies of the National Hydrology Project.

All India Radio gives opportunity to Young India Voices

• All India Radio has decided to begin a new programme called AIRNxt to offer youth a platform to air their voices as part of the ongoing Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations. AIR stations will allow youngsters from local colleges, universities to take part in programming, allowing them to discuss and curate youth-centric shows.

• It added that about 20,000 youth from 1,000 educational institutions will be participating during the next year from every nook and corner of India through 167 AIR stations.

• These shows would encourage the youth to speak about the achievements of the country during the last 75 years of independence and where do they expect the country to reach in various fields.

• This way, the youth can air their big dreams and define the future of India. It is the biggest single theme show on All India Radio involving thousands of youth and hundreds of Educational Institutions across the country. This talent hunt show #AIRNxt will be broadcast in all major Indian languages and dialects.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Lt Gen Manoj Kumar Mago takes over as NDC Commandant

• Lt Gen Manoj Kumar Mago has taken over as the Commandant of National Defence College (NDC), New Delhi. He hails from Ludhiana, was commanding the 10 Corps at Bathinda before being given the assignment at NDC that entails evolving a strategic culture among the country’s senior-most officials of the military, the civilian bureaucracy and the Indian Police Service. Lt Gen Mago, who passed out of Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, was commissioned into the 7th Battalion of the Brigade of Guards in 1984. He later commanded 16 Guards.

OBITUARY

National Award-winning Choreographer Shiva Shankar passes away due to C-19

• The renowned National Award-winning choreographer and actor, Shiva Shankar Master passed away in Hyderabad, Telangana. He was born on 7 December 1948 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He was an Indian dance choreographer, worked in South Indian movies. He received the National Award for ‘Best Choreographer’ for the movie ‘Magadheera’.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Pollution Control Day 2021: 2nd December

• National Pollution Control Day is observed on 2nd December every year. The day is observed as a national pollution control day to commemorate the lives of the people who died in the Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984. The main objective of this day is to educate the people and to make them aware of pollution control acts and industrial disasters. This year will be marked as the 37th national pollution control day. To know more about this day, candidates are advised to read the article below.

• The day is observed in the memory of people who lost their lives in the Bhopal gas disaster. The industrial accident occurred in 1984 when the gas Methyl Isocyanate leaked on the night of December 2–3 and killed thousands.

World Computer Literacy Day 2021:2nd December

• World Computer Literacy Day is observed on 2nd December every year all over the world. The day is celebrated as the world computer literacy day to create awareness and drive digital literacy in underserved communities worldwide. The day promotes technological skills, especially in children and women, and aims to inspire them to learn more and make their work easier by the use of computers. To know, more about the World Computer Literacy day candidates are advised to read the below article.

• The day was originally founded by the Indian computer company NIIT to mark its 20th anniversary in 2001. World Computer Literacy Day was first observed and held in the year 2001 on 2nd December. As mentioned above, the day is celebrated to create awareness and drive digital literacy in underserved communities worldwide.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

Book ‘Democracy, Politics and Governance’ authored by Dr A. Surya Prakash

• Vice President of India, Venkaiah Naidu on the 72nd anniversary of the adoption of the ‘Constitution of India’ released a book titled “Democracy, Politics and Governance” in English and ‘Loktantr, Rajniti and Dharm’ in Hindi at an event in the Central Hall of Parliament, New Delhi. The book was authored by Dr A. Surya Prakash.

• This book is a collection of articles about the social, political, and economic issues that impacted India’s politics and governance. Dr A. Surya Prakash is a Vice Chairman, Executive Council of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, and also a veteran journalist.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

India1 Payments deploys over 10,000 White Label ATMs

• India1 Payments has crossed a milestone on deploying 10000 white-label ATMs, which was called as “India1ATMs”. India1 Payments is IPO-bound and is promoted by the Banktech Group of Australia. It was formerly known as BTI Payments. India1 ATM has become the second-largest white label ATM brand on semi-urban and rural areas. With the deployment of 10000 ATMs, India1 Payments has become the largest player in this segment.

• The Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) which are set up, owned and operated by non-bank entities are known as “White Label ATMs” (WLAs). Non-bank entities which are incorporated in India, under the Companies Act 1956, are allowed to run WLAs. Non-bank entities are allowed to set up WLAs across India, after getting authorisation from the apex bank, under the Payment & Settlement Systems (PSS) Act, 2007.

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Important Current Affairs 1st December 2021

INTERNATIONAL

South Korea hopes to build sustainable floating city by 2025

• South Korea is soon going to get the world’s first floating city, to deal with the problem of floods due to rising sea levels. The floating city project is a joint effort by the UN Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habit) and OCEANIX. The city will be built off the coast of Busan in South Korea and is likely to be completed by 2025.

• The floating city will have ‘flood-proof infrastructure’ and comprise several man-made islands to eliminate the risk of flooding. The self-sufficient city will be specifically designed to withstand natural disasters like tsunamis, floods, and Category 5 hurricanes.

Merriam-Webster chooses vaccine as the 2021 word of the year

• The American publishing company Merriam-Webster has chosen the word “vaccine” as its 2021 Word of the Year. Merriam-Webster is America’s most trusted online dictionary for English word definitions, meanings, and pronunciation. It has been declaring the word of the year since 2008. The word “vaccine” saw a 601 percent increase in definition lookups over the year, compared to 2020.

NATIONAL

First ever Aharbal Festival held in Kulgam 

• Kulgam district administration and the Department of Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir organized the 1st ever Aharbal Festival at Kulgam, J & K to promote tourism in Kashmir, particularly at the Aharbal waterfall. Aharbal falls, also known as “Niagara Falls” of Kashmir, is a hill station in the southwestern part of Kashmir Valley in the Jammu and Kashmir.

• The department organized the 1st ever Lolab festival, a one-day festival at Chandigam Lolab in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, J&K, and Doodhpathri Festival, a 3-day tourism festival at Budgam, J&K, to promote Doodhpathri as an attractive tourist destination.

IISF 2021: Science Film Festival To Be Part Of 4-Day Event In Goa From December 10

• The 7th edition of the four-day India International Science Festival (IISF) is scheduled to be held in Panaji, Goa, from December 10 to 13, 2021. The festival theme in 2021 is “Celebrating Creativity in Science, Technology and Innovation for Prosperous India”. The first IISF was held in New Delhi in 2015.

• The Goa-based National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, is the nodal agency to organise IISF 2021. The festival will be organised jointly with the Departments of Atomic Energy (DAE), Science and Technology (DST), Biotechnology (DBT), and Space (DoS) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

UAE’s Ahmed Al Raisi elected Interpol president for 4-year term

• The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) has elected Inspector General Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi (United Arab Emirates) as its President for a 4-year term at the 89th Interpol general assembly meeting held in Istanbul, Turkey. He replaces Kim Jong Yan from South Korea.

• In the final round, the UAE candidate received 68.9 per cent of votes cast by member countries. As president, Al Raisi’s role during his four-year term will be to chair meetings of the executive committee which supervises the implementation of decisions taken at the General Assembly.

OBITUARY

Stephen Sondheim, Titan of the American Musical, Is Dead at 91

• Veteran composer and lyricist, Stephen Joshua Sondheim has passed away at the age of 91 in Connecticut, United States (US). He received 8 Tony Awards, a Special Tony Award 2008 for lifetime achievement in the theatre. He also received a Pulitzer Prize (‘Sunday in the Park’), and an Academy Award for the song ‘Sooner or Later’. Also won several awards like eight Grammy Awards, Presidential Medal of Freedom 2015, etc.

 IMPORTANT DAYS

BSF Raising Day 2021: December 01

• The Border Security Force (BSF) is celebrating its 57th Raising Day on 01 December 2021. BSF was formed on December 1, 1965 as a unified central agency after the Indo-Pak and India-China wars for ensuring the security of the borders of India and for matters connected therewith. It is one of the five Central Armed Police Forces of the Union of India and stands as the world’s largest border guarding force. BSF has been termed as the First Line of Defence of Indian Territories.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

Book “Indian Innings: The Journey of Indian Cricket from 1947” authored by Ayaz Memon

• A book titled ‘Indian Innings: The Journey of Indian Cricket from 1947’ authored by Ayaz Memon released. It is an anthology of Indian Cricket and marked several insights of Indian cricket of the last 70 years. The book has covered the era of veteran cricketers K N Prabhu to P N Sundaresan and Dicky Rutnagar to Ramachandra Guha and Suresh Menon, those years of famous victories consist of experiences about World Cups, various Test cricket, etc.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

HSBC India launches recycled PVC plastic credit card

• HSBC India has launched India’s 1st credit card made from recycled PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) plastic. The cards have been introduced in partnership with global cards manufacturer IDEMIA to gradually eliminate single-use PVC plastic. The cards are made from 85 per cent recycled plastic and each card will save 3.18gm of plastic waste in addition to helping lower overall carbon emission.

• The card was launched as a part of a new program launched by HSBC Group to introduce sustainable cards across all its global locations to support its global commitments to sustainability and a net-zero in its operations by 2030.

LIC gets RBI approval to hike stake in KMB to 9.9%

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given its approval to Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) to raise its stake in private lender Kotak Mahindra Bank to 9.99 per cent. Currently, LIC holds 4.96% stake in the private lender. Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited has received an intimation from LIC stating that the RBI had granted its approval to LIC, for increasing its holding in the Bank up to 9.99 per cent of the paid-up equity share capital of the Bank.

• The approval of the central bank will be valid for one year. As per RBI norms, prior approval of the RBI is required to increase the stake in private banks beyond 5 per cent.

• LIC is one of the biggest institutional investors in India’s stock market and has a stake in a number of private and public sector banks. LIC has a stake in as many 24 scheduled commercial banks, data from Capitaline shows.

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Important Current Affairs 30th November 2021

NATIONAL

Skyroot successfully test fires India's first privately developed cryogenic rocket engine

• Skyroot Aerospace, a space technology startup based in Hyderabad, has successfully test-fired Dhawan-1, India’s first privately developed fully cryogenic rocket engine. This will power the upper stages of its upcoming Vikram-2 orbital launch vehicle. The rocket engine Dhawan-1 is named after Satish Dhawan, an Indian rocket scientist.

• Dhawan-1 is a completely ‘Made-in-India’ cryogenic engine, developed using 3D printing with a superalloy. The engine is fuelled by liquefied natural gas and liquid oxygen—a high-performance, low-cost, and clean rocket fuel.

SPORTS

Saurav Ghosal beats top seed Miguel Rodriguez to become 1st Indian to win Malaysian Open squash championships

• Indian Squash star, Saurav Ghosal has scripted history as he has become the first Indian squash player to win the Malaysian Open Championships. The second-seeded Ghosal beat Miguel Rodriguez of Colombia 11-7, 11-8 and 13-11 in the men’s singles final in Kuala Lumpur to win the 2021 Malaysian Open Squash Championships title. On the other hand, the women’s singles title of the 2021 Malaysian Open squash championships has been won by Malaysia’s Aifa Azman.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Naomi Kawase appointed as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador

• UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, has appointed Japanese film director Naomi Kawase as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Cultural and Creative Industries. Ms Azoulay named Naomi Kawase in recognition of her commitment to culture and creativity at the service of the development of more just societies, especially for girls and women, and of her support for the Organization's objectives.

• Committed to the representation of women in the film industry in Africa, Ms Kawase, on Thursday took part in UNESCO’s conference on Diversity and Gender Equality in African Cinema. In 2020, she launched the UNESCO-Nara Residency with the Organization, opening up new creative and production opportunities for ten young African women filmmakers.

• Considered the “filmmaker of human relationships,” Naomi Kawase’s work draws on her personal experience to blend fiction and documentary. In 2007, she won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival for her film The Mourning Forestand in 2013 served on the Jury of the 66th edition of the Festival. She is also the official film director of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. 

Sanjay dutt signed as Arunachal Pradesh Ambassador

• The Arunachal Pradesh Government has signed Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt as brand ambassador and award-winning filmmaker and branding expert Rahul Mittra as brand advisor on the occasion of their golden jubilee celebrations, marking the 50th year of the naming of the state.

• This announcement was made by Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Assembly Speaker Pasang Sona Dorjee at a packed function in the presence of both Sanjay Dutt and Rahul Mittra, who arrived from Mumbai by chartered flight to Dibrugarh and then by helicopter to the picturesque valley of Mechuka in the afternoon on Monday.

Indian-origin executive Parag Agrawal is new CEO of Twitter after Jack Dorsey steps down

• Indian-origin technology executive, Parag Agrawal has been appointed as the new CEO of Twitter after the social media giant’s co-founder Jack Dorsey stepped down. He is now the youngest CEO in the S&P 500 elbowing Meta Platform Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg. However, Agrawal is 37 and the same age as Mark Zuckerberg.

• Parag joined Twitter 10 years ago when there were fewer than 1,000 employees. He has been behind every critical decision that helped turn this company around. He’s curious, probing, rational, creative, demanding, self-aware and humble.

• Parag did his undergrad at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay. Following this, he went on to do his masters from Stanford University. He completed his PhD in Computer Science from the same place in 2012.

Hero Motocorp appoints former SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar to the board

• Two-wheeler major, Hero MotoCorp announced the appointment of former chairman of State Bank of India (SBI) Rajnish Kumar as an independent non-executive director on the board of the company. Kumar completed his three-year term as chairman of SBI in October 2020. He is currently serving as an Independent Director on the Boards of many other companies including HSBC, Asia Pacific, L&T Infotech, and is also the Non-Executive Chairman of Resilient Innovations (BharatPe).

OBITUARY

Geoffrey Johnson, Tony-Winning Casting Director, Dies at 91

• Tony-winning casting director Geoffrey Johnson died Friday at the age of 91.

• Johnson died in his sleep of respiratory failure at the Henry J. Carter Specialty Hospital in New York, his rep said.

• With his business partner Vincent Liff, Johnson helped cast long-running Broadway shows Cats, Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera. The casting firm they co-founded, Johnson-Liff, cast Broadway shows such as The Elephant Man, Dreamgirls, Miss Saigon and Kiss of the Spiderwoman.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare 2021 : 30th November

• The United Nation recognised Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare is held every year on November 30. The day marks a tribute to the victims of chemical warfare, as well as to reaffirm the commitment of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the elimination of the threat of chemical weapons, thereby promoting the goals of peace, security, and multilateralism.

• The first Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare was held in 2005. The history of the serious efforts to achieve chemical disarmament that culminated in the conclusion of the Chemical Weapons Convention began more than a century ago. Chemical weapons were used on a massive scale during World War I, resulting in more than 100,000 fatalities and a million casualties.

NCC celebrates its 73rd Raising Day on 28th November 2021

• The National Cadet Corps (NCC), the youth wing of the Indian Armed Forces and the largest uniformed youth organisation in the world, is observing the 73rd anniversary of its raising on November 28.  NCC day is celebrated every year on the 4th Sunday in November. NCC day is observed throughout the country. The raising day is being celebrated all over the country with cadets participating in marches, blood donation camps and social development programmes.

• The NCC was formed on 15th July 1948. NCC is also the largest uniformed youth organisation in the whole world. The NCC headquarters is located in New Delhi. Headquarters is now open for school and college students. It is a voluntary “Tri-service Organisation”. This organisation includes the army, the naval and the wings.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

Book ‘Bangladesh Liberation @ 50 years: ‘Bijoy’ with Synergy, India-Pakistan war 1971’ by MM Naravane

• General MM Naravane released a book ‘Bangladesh Liberation @ 50 years: ‘Bijoy’ with Synergy, India-Pakistan war 1971’, a compilation of personal accounts of the war by veterans from India and Pakistan. The book is an amalgamation of historical and anecdotal accounts of the 1971 War and comprises authors from both India and Bangladesh. Mostly who fought the war.

• The event was organized by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) at the India International Centre (IIC), Delhi to commemorate 50 Years of India-Bangladesh Friendship as well as the decisive victory in India- Pakistan War 1971.

• An award ceremony was also conducted. The ‘Scholar Warrior Award’ was awarded by the former COAS (Chief of Army Staff) of Bangladesh, Bir Protik to Brigadier Narender Kumar for his outstanding contribution as a warrior and in the field of research.

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Important Current Affairs 29th November 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Indian , Maldives and Sri Lanka hold first ever Colombo security conclave

• The ships and aircraft of the Indian Navy participated in the first-ever Colombo Security Conclave (CSC) Focused Operation to enhance maritime security in the Indian Ocean region, along with Sri Lanka and the Maldives, a statement from the Indian Navy said on Sunday. The two-day conclave concluded on Sunday.

• During the conclave, exercises were conducted between the lead maritime security agencies of India, Maldives and Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean region.

Petr Fiala appointed as the Prime Minister of Czech Republic

• Petr Fiala has been sworn in as the new Prime Minister of the Czech Republic by President Milos Zeman. Fiala, 57, heads the three-party coalition Together (Civic Democratic Party, Christian Democrats, TOP 09 party), which garnered 27.8% of the vote in early October. Fiala succeeds Andrej Babis. The alliance narrowly defeated the ANO movement led by billionaire Babis. The centrist group of the Mayors and Independents and the left-wing Pirate Party joined with Fiala’s coalition to remove Babis, who had served as prime minister since 2017.

NATIONAL

Delhi deputy cm Manish Sisodia inaugurates 'Smart Urban Farming Expo'

• Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia inaugurated the two-day Smart Urban Farming Expo on Saturday, which is being organised by the Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi (DDC), in partnership with Urban Gro, Indian Society Of Agricultural Engineers (ISAE) and Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI).

• India’s first specialised urban farming fair is being organised in Thayagaraj Stadium, INA, Delhi, on November 27-28 to start a movement towards mass adoption of urban farming in the capital. The expo includes sessions on the new frontiers of urban agriculture, its associated technical horti-engineering, business, economic, social and environmental aspects.

Indian Railways is constructing the tallest pier railway bridge of the world in Manipur

• The Indian Railways is constructing the tallest pier railway bridge of the world in Manipur. The ambitious project of the Railways in Manipur is part of the Jiribam-Imphal railway line, which ultimately is part of a new broad gauge line being constructed to connect the northeastern state with the rest of the country. Currently, the tallest pier bridge record is held by 139-metre high Mala-Rijeka viaduct built at Montenegro in Europe.

Cherry Blossom Festival 2021 celebrated in Meghalaya

• The three-day Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival 2021 was inaugurated by Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Conrad K Sangma, and Ambassador of Japan to India, Satoshi Suzuki. It was celebrated from November 25 to 27. The festival was held in two venues, Ward’s Lake and Polo Grounds in Meghalaya. The annual festival coincides with the actual blooming of the cherry blossom flowers. It is also known as the Prunus Cerasoides, these flowers underline the Himalayas and cover the east and west Khasi hills.

Kantar's 2021 edition of India's most purposeful brands

• According to Kantar’s BrandZ India 2021 report, Amazon, Tata Tea and Asian Paints emerged as the most purposeful brands in India across technology, FMCG, and non-FMCG categories respectively. In technology ranking Amazonleads the index followed by Zomato, YouTube, and Google, and Swiggy jointly in 4th place.

• While Asian Paints topped the non-FMCG rankings, Samsung and Jio ranked jointly in the 2nd position, followed by MRF. The FMCG category rankings saw Tata Tea topping the chart, Surf Excel in 2nd position.

Assam CM launches Assam Micro Finance Incentive and Relief Scheme 2021

• Assam government on Sunday rolled out the microfinance loan waiver scheme to give relief to 24 lakh women in the state.

• Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma launched the Assam Micro Finance Incentive and Relief Scheme, 2021, at Collegiate HS School, Tezpur in Sonitpur district.

• Himanta Biswa Sarma ceremonially distributed cheques of Rs 25,000 to five women beneficiaries during the programme.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Vivek Johri Appointed as the chairman of CBIC

• Senior bureaucrat Vivek Johri has been appointed as the chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), an order issued on Sunday by the personnel ministry said. Johri, a 1985-batch Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Indirect Taxes) officer, is currently working as the member in the board.

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

Bajaj Allianz ties up TropoGo to distribute ‘drone insurance’ products

• Bajaj Allianz General Insurance announced its partnership with deep-tech startup TropoGo for the distribution of a drone Insurance product. With this Bajaj Allianz General Insurance becomes the 4th insurer to offer drone cover. HDFC Ergo was the first insurer to launch a drone insurance cover in June 2020, followed by ICICI Lombard in August 2021, and Tata AIG last month.

• The drone insurance product will cover Damage to the Drone and Payload it carries Third Party Liability, BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) Endorsement, and Night Flying Endorsement.

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Important Current Affairs 28th November 2021

INTERNATIONAL

WHO classifies new C-19 variant B.1.1.529 as Omicron

• World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified the new C-19 variant B.1.1.529 as Omicron. New C-19 variant B.1.1.529 was first reported to WHO from South Africa on 24 November 2021. According to WHO, the strain may spread more quickly than other forms. It has a large number of mutations. WHO said that preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant as compared to other variants. WHO also said that current PCR tests continue to successfully detect the variant.

• The classification puts Omicron into the most-troubling category of C-19 variants, along with the globally-dominant Delta, plus its weaker rivals Alpha, Beta and Gamma.

• Apart from South Africa, Omicron has been detected in Israel in a person coming from Malawi; Botswana; Belgium and Hong Kong.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Mountaineer Harshwanti Bisht becomes first women President of Indian Mountaineering Foundation

• Noted mountaineer from Uttarakhand, Harshwanti Bisht has earned the distinction of being elected the first woman president of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF). The 62-year-old Bisht won 60 out of a total of 107 votes to get elected to the coveted post. It is for the first time that a woman has been elected as the president of the IMF, which was founded in the year 1958.

• Bisht, 62, who hails from a village named Sukai in Pauri district, says promoting mountaineering and other adventure sports, and bringing more women into the field will be among her priorities.

• Bisht, who has been honoured with the Arjuna award for her achievements in the field of mountaineering, said there was a time when Uttarakhand used to be at the top when it came to adventure sports like mountaineering but the scenario has changed in recent years.

• Bisht, who did a course in mountaineering from the Uttarkashi-based Nehru Institute of Mountaineering in 1975, scaled the Nanda Devi peak in 1981 which earned her the Arjuna award. She was also a member of an expedition team to Mount Everest in 1984.

• A professor of economics, Bisht recently retired as the principal of PG College, Uttarkashi.

OBITUARY

National award winning choreographers shiva shankar passed away

• National Award-winning choreographer K Sivasankar dies due to C-19 related complications at the age of 72 on Sunday. 

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People November 29th 2021

• The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is an UN-organized day held every year on November 29. The day aims to educate the public on the question of Palestine and support a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is observed to mark the anniversary of resolution 181, wherein the Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine on November 29, 1947.

• In 1977, the General Assembly called for the annual observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. On that day, in 1947, the Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine. This date, which was chosen because of its meaning and significance to the Palestinian people, is based on the call by the United Nations General Assembly for an annual observance of the resolution on the partition of Palestine.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Sixth BRICS film festival awards announced at IFFI

• South African Film Barakat by Director Amy Jephta and Russian Film The Sun above Me Never Sets by Director Lyubov Borisova has shared the Best film Award in the Sixth edition BRICS Film Festival. For the first time the BRICS Film Festival was held alongside the 52nd International Film Festival of India in Goa during November 20-28, 2021. 

• The awards were given to these films for their brilliant cinematic portrayal of human emotions and magnificent storytelling on screen.

• Commenting on the excellence of the films and the talents, Rahul Rawail, BRICS Jury Chairperson, said, “The Jury this year had some very able people and what we realized during the process was that though we are of different cultures, when we watch the films, we are all the same. That is the way this world should be.”

Japanese film 'Ring Wandering wins Golden Peacock Award at IFFI

• Japanese director Masakazu Kaneko’s Ring Wandering, which explores Tokyo’s wartime past, bagged the coveted Golden Peacock Award at the closing ceremony of the 52nd edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), in Goa on Sunday.

• The Ring Wandering, which captures the story of a labourer and an aspiring manga artist, whose search for bones to complete his art piece unearths war-time memories, won the top honour in the International Competition section for being a “beautifully photographed combination of fantasy and manga-inspired reality, reflecting a fascination with the echoes of the past reverberating in present-day Japanese society”.

RANKING

Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) prepared by government

• The government think tank Niti Aayog has released the first-ever Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) to measure poverty at the national, State/UT, and district levels. As per the inaugural index, Bihar has been adjudged as the state with the highest level of multidimensional poverty. 51.91 per cent of the state’s population are multidimensionally poor.

• Jharkhand is at second position with 42.16 per cent of the state population as multidimensionally poor. This is followed by Uttar Pradesh at 37.79 per cent, Madhya Pradesh (36.65 per cent) and Meghalaya (32.67 per cent) in the top five poorest states.

• Meanwhile, Kerala (0.71 per cent), Goa (3.76%), Sikkim (3.82%), Tamil Nadu (4.89%) and Punjab (5.59 %) are the top 5 lowest poverty states across India.

• Kottayam in Kerala is the only district that registered zero poverty across the country as per the index.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Reserve Bank Imposes Rs 1 Crore Penalty on SBI for Violating Norms

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a monetary penalty of Rs 1 crore on the State Bank of India (SBI), for violating subsection (2) of section 19 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. SBI held shares in the borrower companies of an amount exceeding 30 per cent of the paid-up share capital of those companies.

• As per Sub-section (2) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, no banking company can hold shares in any company, as pledgee, mortgagee or absolute owner, of an amount exceeding 30 per cent of the paid-up share capital of that company or thirty per cent of its own paid-up share capital and reserves.

Hindujas planning to raise stake in IndusInd Bank to 26% after RBI hike cap on promoter holding

• Reserve Bank of India had formed an Internal Working Group (IWG) in June 2020, to review the extant guidelines on ownership and corporate structure for Indian private sector banks. The IWG had 5 members with Shrimohan Yadav as the convenor. The Internal Working Group (IWG) had made 33 recommendations to RBI. Now RBI has accepted 21 recommendations out of these 33.

• The initial lock-in requirements will continue as a minimum of 40 per cent of the paid-up voting equity share capital of the bank for the first five years.

• The cap on promoters’ stake in the long run of 15 years has been raised from 15 per cent (earlier) to 26 per cent of the paid-up voting equity share capital of the bank.

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Important Current Affairs 27th November 2021

INTERNATIONAL

‘NFT’ is Collins Dictionary Word of the Year

  • Collins Dictionary has named the term ‘NFT’ as the Word of the Year 2021. NFT is the acronym for “non-fungible token. As per Collins Dictionary, NFT is defined as “a unique digital certificate, registered in a blockchain, that is used to record the ownership of an asset such as an artwork or a collectible.” Collins English Dictionary is published by HarperCollins in Glasgow.

EAM S. Jaishankar represented India in 20th SCO Council of Heads of Government

  • The External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar led the Indian delegations at the 20th Meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Heads of Government (CHG). The meeting was held in Nur-Sultan in virtual format under the chairmanship of Kazakhstan. The SCO-CHG meeting is held annually to deliberate on a range of pressing regional issues with focuses on the trade and economic agenda of the bloc and to approve its annual budget.
  • The meeting was attended by the heads of government of the SCO member states, observer states and secretary-general of the SCO. The executive director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), Turkmenistan and other invited guests are also expected to attend the meeting. India is actively engaged in various SCO activities/dialogue mechanisms in the region as well as other multilateral cooperation within the SCO framework.

NATIONAL

National Family and Health Survey: India has more women than men

  • All three radical findings are part of the summary findings of the fifth round of the National Family and Health Survey (NFHS), which were released by the Union health ministry. India now has 1,020 women for every 1000 men, is not getting any younger, and no longer faces the threat of a population explosion. According to NFHS-3, conducted in 2005-06, the ratio was equal, 1000: 1000; it went down to 991:1000 in 2015-16 in NFHS-4. This is the first time, in any NFHS or Census, that the sex ratio is skewed in favour of women.
  • The improved sex ratio and sex ratio at birth is also a significant achievement; even though the real picture will emerge from the census, we can say for now looking at the results that our measures for women empowerment have steered us in the right direction. To be sure, NFHS is a sample survey, and whether these numbers apply to the larger population can only be said with certainty when the next national census is conducted, although it is very likely that they will in the case of many states and Union territories.

Army chief General M M Naravane on Thursday observed military exercise 'Dakshin Shakti'

  • Army chief General, M M Naravane has observed the military exercise ‘Dakshin Shakti’ being held here with the Army and the Air Force taking part in it. The exercise began in the deserts of Jaisalmer. T-72, T-90 as well as Vijayanta tanks of the Army and the IAF’s Dhruv and Rudha helicopters, and the Jaguar fighter aircraft participated in the joint exercise.
  • The drill aims to establish the best coordination among the wings of the armed forces, space technology and artificial intelligence. General Officer-in-Commanding of the Army’s Southern Command, Lieutenant General JS Nain, JOC Battle X Division Major General Ajit Singh Gehlot were also present at the exercise.

MakeMyTrip ties up with Ministry of Civil Aviation to promote

  • MakeMyTrip partnered with the Ministry of Civil Aviation to promote regional air connectivity through the UDAN scheme. MakeMyTrip will now power UDAN flights on the ‘AirSewa portal’ and market them on its platform to promote its services. The Govt. has identified 21st October as UDAN Day, the day on which the scheme document was first released. Under Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN 4.1 the Civil Aviation Ministry has approved 78 new routes. So far, 766 routes have been sanctioned under the UDAN scheme.

MP to get cyber tehsil, first in the country: Narottam Mishra

  • Madhya Pradesh Cabinet has approved the proposal to create cyber tehsils in the state of Madhya Pradesh. After this, MP will become the first state in the country to have a cyber tehsil. Cyber Tehsil will make the mutation process easy and people from anywhere in the state can avail of its benefit. With this, the process of conversion will become convenient in the cases of undisputed land.
  • The Home Minister of Madhya Pradesh also informed that the Cabinet has decided to launch ‘Urja Saksharta Abhiyan’ from November 25 to make citizens energy literate. Schools, colleges and the general public will be connected with this campaign. Madhya Pradesh will become the first state to run India’s energy literacy campaign on a big scale.

INS Vela, fourth Scorpene-class submarine, commissioned into Indian Navy

  • Indian Navy has commissioned indigenously builtScorpene-class submarine Vela at Mumbai’s Naval Dockyard. INS Vela is the fourth in Project 75 series, following Kalvari, Khanderi, and Karanj. It is expected to further boost Indian capability to defend and secure its strategic sea lanes. It was built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd in collaboration with M/s Naval Group of France.
  • The submarine possesses advanced stealth and combat capabilities. Attacks from Vela can be carried using torpedoes and tube-launched anti-ship missiles at the same time, be it on the surface or underwater.
  • The previous version of Vela was commissioned in 1973 and it was in service for 37 years. It was decommissioned in 2010. Captain Anish Mathew, the commanding officer of INS Vela, told news agency ANI on Wednesday that the submarine has an indigenous set of batteries and an advanced communication suite of indigenous make.

Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, launched Project SWADESH

  • The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurated Project SWADESH. The project SWADESH is a first of its kind large-scale multimodal neuroimaging database designed specifically for the Indian population. The unique brain initiative has been developed by the DBT-National Brain Research Centre (DBT-NBRC), Gurgaon, Haryana.
  • SWADESH brings big-data architecture and analytics for various neurological diseases under one platform.
  • It will enable the researchers in conducting multimodal brain studies to understand and manage Alzheimer’s disease and several neurological disorders.
  • NBRC is the only institute in India dedicated to Neuroscience Research and Education.

Important Days

National Organ Donation Day 2021:27th November

  • In India, the ‘National Organ Donation Day’ is observed every year on 27 November since past 10 years. The day aims to promote awareness and recognize the selfless contribution made by deceased donors to healthcare and mankind re-instill our faith in humanity. 2021 marks the 12th National Organ Donation Day. It is organised by the National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • Organ donation is retrieving a donor’s organ like heart, liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, and pancreas after the donor is deceased and then transplanting into another person who is in need of an organ.

OBITUARY

Legendary Poet Sananta Tanty passes away

  • Sahitya Akademi Award-winning, Eminent Assamese poet, Sananta Tantyhas passed away. Some of his works include Ujjwal Nakshatrar Sondhanot, Moi Manuhar Amal Utsav, Nizor Biruddhey Sesh Prastab, and Moi. He won the Sahitya Akademi Award (Assamese) in 2018 for his collection of poems titled “Kailoir Dinto Amar Hobo”.
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Important Current Affairs 26th November 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Kuwait's Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid has been reappointed prime minister

  • Sheikh Sabah Al Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah has been appointed the new Prime Minister of Kuwait. Sheikh Sabah also served as Kuwait’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Envoy at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) from 1995 to 1998. He has also been awarded with the Order of King Abdulaziz of First Class in 1998 by Saudi Arabia.
  • Kuwaiti Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah issued an order on behalf of the emir, appointing Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah to form a new government and provide a list of names for approval.

NATIONAL

Defence Minister virtually inaugurated 5th World Congress on Disaster Management

  • The fifth edition of the World Congress on Disaster Management (WCDM) was virtually inaugurated by the Union Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh. The event has been organised at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi campus from November 24-27, 2021. The theme of the 5th WCDM is Technology, Finance and Capacity for Building Resilience to Disasters in the Contexts of Covid-19.
  • World Congress on Disaster Management is a unique initiative of Disaster Management Initiatives and Convergence Society (DMICS) Hyderabad to bring researchers, policymakers and practitioners from around the world on a common platform to discuss various challenging issues of disaster risk management. The first WCDM was held in 2008 in Hyderabad and inaugurated by Dr A P J Abdul Kalam.

Narendra Modi approved extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana

  • Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) for another four months. The Phase V of the PMGKAY scheme will be operational from December 2021 till March 2022. Under the scheme, all the beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) receives food grains @ 5 kg per person per month.

PM Modi lays foundation stone of Jewar Airport

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the Foundation Stone of Noida International Airport at Jewar in Uttar Pradesh. The Jewar airport is the second international aerodrome in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR). It is the fifth international airport in Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh has now become the state with the highest number of international airports in India.
  • The airport has been developed by Zurich Airport International AG over 1,330 acres of land area.

Finance Minister launched Tejasvini & Hausala schemes

  • Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman has launched two schemes named ‘Tejasvini & Hausala schemes’ of J&K Bank for girls. Under 18-35 years of age to start their businesses and ‘Shikhar & Shikara’ schemes of Punjab National Bank (PNB) for development of tourism in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
  • Tejaswini Scheme in the course of the credit score outreach programme in Jammu. The scheme goals to offer monetary help as much as Rs 5 lakh to younger ladies for establishing gainful self-employment ventures, suited to their expertise, aptitude & native situations. Tejasvini scheme focuses on offering monetary help of Rs. 5 lakh to ladies between 18-35 years for beginning their enterprise.

India’s nominee elected to executive committee of Interpol

  • Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special director Praveen Sinha was elected the delegate for Asia in the executive committee of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) following a tough contest involving China. In the election, four contestants were China, Singapore, South Korea and Jordan. India’s National Central Bureau (NCB-India) reached out to its counterparts around the world to campaign for this election. The elections were held in Istanbul, Turkey during the ongoing 89 INTERPOL General Assembly.
  • Interpol is the world’s largest international police organization with a National Central Bureau in all 195 member states. It has seven regional bureaus all over the world. It was formed in 1923. Its motto is connecting police for a safer world. It is headquartered in Lyon, France. Kim Jong Yang is its President.

37th edition of India-Indonesia CORPAT is being held in the Indian Ocean

  • The 37th edition of India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) is being held in the Indian Ocean region from 23-24 November 2021. CORPAT is held twice in a year to ensure safety and security. It was conducted for the first time in 2002. Indigenously built Indian Naval Ship (INS) Khanjar and Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft is participating in the CORPAT. Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Sultan Thaha Syaifuddin, (376) is participating from Indonesia.

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

Venkaiah Naidu to lead Indian delegation at ASEM summit

  • The 13th edition of the ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Summit has been organised on November 25 and 26, 2021. The Summit is being hosted by Cambodia as ASEM Chair. The theme of the two-day ASEM Summit is Strengthening Multilateralism for Shared Growth. The Indian delegation is being led by Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu through the virtual platform.
  • The ASEM Summit will bring together countries in Asia and Europe to exchange views on regional and global issues and strengthen cooperation in a wide range of areas.
  • ASEM grouping have 51 member countries and two regional organisations — the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

OBITUARY

Book “Contested Lands: India, China and the Boundary Dispute” by Former Army Officer Maroof Raza

  • Former Army Officer Maroof Raza has authored a new book titled “Contested Lands: India, China, and the Boundary Dispute”. The book features the history of India’s boundary making with Tibet and China and analyses the current India-China boundary contestation stemming from interpretations of history in the post-colonial period.
  • Maroof Raza’s other books: Kashmir’s Untold Story (co-authored with Iqbal Chand Malhotra), Shourya Gatha: Bharat Ke Veer Senani (co-authored with Lt. Col. Sheodan Singh),War Despatches 1971 (co-authored with Brig B.S. Mehta).

  

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

HDFC Bank to tap into Equitas SFB’s customer base with co-branded credit card

  • Equitas Small Finance Bank (SFB) partnered with HDFC (Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited) Bank to launch its new co-branded credit cards. Through this partnership, Equitas SFB will utilize the HDFC bank’s reach in the credit card market and also to provide its customers a better banking ecosystem.
  • The credit card can be availed in two categories. The first category is the ‘Excite Credit Card’ which offers a credit limit from Rs 25,000 to Rs 2 lakh and the second category is the ‘Elegance Credit Card’ which offers a credit of over Rs 2 lakh.

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Important Current Affairs 25th November 2021

NATIONAL

All India Radio and Doordarshan win multiple awards at ABU

• Doordarshan and radio show by All India Radio has received multiple awards at ABU – UNESCO Peace Media Awards-2021 at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. The awards were given by UNESCO in collaboration with Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union under the ‘Together for Peace’ initiative.

• ‘Ethical and Sustainable Relationship with Nature’ award: AlR’s ‘Living on the edge – The coastal lives’

• Living Well with Super-Diversity category: Doordarshan’s programme ‘DEAFinitely Leading the Way.

SPORTS

Tashkent to host 2025 Asian Youth Para Games

• The 5th edition of the Asian Youth Para Games 2025 will be hosted by Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, and the approval given by the Asian Paralympic Committee’s (APC) Executive Board. For the first time, ‘Asian Youth Games 2025’ and ‘Asian Youth Para Games 2025’ will be hosted in the same city & in the same venues.

Tamil Nadu wins 3rd Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy title

• In cricket, Tamil Nadu has lifted the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy defeating Karnataka after chasing 152. Batsman M. Shahrukh Khan smashed a dramatic last-ball six to help Tamil Nadu defend the T-20 title with a thrilling four-wicket win in the summit clash in Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi. This is the third time that Tamil Nadu has won the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament, having previously won it in 2006-07 and 2020-21. The side had also made it to the finals in the 2019-20 season and ended up suffering a loss against Karnataka.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Abdalla Hamdok reappointed as Sudan’s PM

• Sudan’s removed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was reappointed after signing a political declaration to end the current political crisis by Hamdok and Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, general commander of the Sudanese Armed Force. Before becoming prime minister, Hamdok worked for the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank and as a special adviser at the Trade and Development Bank in Ethiopia.

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

US, Australia, UK sign key deal in nuclear sub alliance

• Australia officially became a part of the new Nuclear Powered Submarine defence alliance with the United Kingdom and the United States after signing a deal with the countries in Canberra, Australia. Under the AUKUS deal, Australia will be provided with 8 nuclear-powered submarines capable of stealthy and long-range missions. It is the first agreement on technology signed by the three countries after the formation of the defence alliance AUKUS (Australia-UK-US).

• AUKUS is a trilateral security pact signed between Australia, UK & USA in September 2021. The first major initiative of AUKUS would be to deliver a nuclear-powered submarine fleet for Australia.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2021: 25th November

• The United Nations designated International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is celebrated worldwide on November 25. The day is celebrated to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to various forms of violence and the true nature of the issue is often hidden. This year’s theme for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”.

• In 1981, activists at the Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Encuentros marked November 25 as a day to combat and raise awareness of violence against women more broadly; on December 17, 1999, the date received its official United Nations (UN) resolution.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

Ban Ki-moon released his autobiography “Resolved: Uniting Nations in a Divided World”

• A book titled ‘Resolved: Uniting Nations in a Divided World’ is an autobiography of the Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. It consists of life experiences and challenges that the author faced in his life & elaborates his tenure in the United Nations (UN). He served as the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations for a two 5-year term (2007-2016).

• In ‘Resolved: Uniting Nations in a Divided World’, published by HarperCollins India, Ban goes on to describe how he became a “man of peace” from a “child of war”. Former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon’s first diplomatic posting was in India and he developed such a special connection that even 50 years later, he tells the Indian people that half of his “heart belongs in their country”.

Book “Cooking to Save your Life” by Abhijit Banerjee

• Indian-born American economist & Nobel laureate, Abhijit Banerjee has authored a new book (cookbook) titled “Cooking to Save your Life”. The book illustrated by France based illustrator Cheyenne Oliver is published by Juggernaut Books. He won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2019 along with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

BOB Cards partners NPCI for RuPay credit cards

• BOB Financial Solutions (BFSL), a subsidiary of Bank of Baroda (BoB) has partnered with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to launch BoB Credit Cards (Easy and Premier variants) on the RuPay platform. Both Easy and Premier variants of BoB credit cards have been launched on the JCB International network and both cards support global acceptance.

• Both Easy and Premier variants of BoB credit cards have been launched on the JCB International network and both cards support global acceptance.

• These cards come with benefits such as 5X reward points on select merchant categories, fuel surcharge waiver, pre-and post-purchase EMI offers, up to three complimentary add-on credit cards for family members and several exciting merchant offers enabled both by BFSL and NPCI.

Indian economy likely to grow 7-7.5% in FY23 : EAC-PM

• The meeting of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) members was held in New Delhi to examine the Indian economic growth in 2022-23 (FY23) and further. There, EAC-PM members projected India’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 7-7.5% and a nominal rate of growth of more than 11% in FY23. They also projected growth of 5% in the current fiscal year (FY22) from a record contraction of 7.3% (-7.3%) in FY21.

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Important Current Affairs 24th November 2021

INTERNATIONAL

8,573 Venezuelan musicians bag world's largest orchestra title

• Venezuela has set a new Guinness World Record for the largest orchestra with 8,573 musicians playing together for more than five minutes. The record was set by the country’s National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras, known as “El Sistema”. The previous such record for an orchestra was made by Russia when 8,097 musicians played together in St. Petersburg.

• The broadcast included a recording of Guinness World Records expert Susana Reyes announcing that the Venezuelan musicians had been successful in setting a new record after they played LaMarche Slave by Pyotr Tchaikovsky for more than five minutes.

El Salvador plans to build world's first Bitcoin City: Nayib Bukele

• El Salvador President Nayib Bukele has announced that the country is planning to build the world’s first “Bitcoin City”. The new city is planned to be developed in the eastern region of La Union and will be initially funded by bitcoin-backed bonds. It would get geothermal power from a volcano. Bitcoin City will not levy any taxes except for value-added tax (VAT). One half of this VAT levied will be used to fund the bonds issued to build the city and the next half would be used to pay for services such as garbage collection.

NATIONAL

CII to hold 20th edition of 'Connect 2021' on 26 & 27 November

• The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) will organise its flagship event ‘Connect 2021’ from November 26 to 27 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Connect is an international conference and exhibition on information & communication technology (ICT). Theme: “Building a Sustainable Deep T’ech’N’ology Ecosystem”.

• The main focus of ‘Connect 2021’ is to take the state’s GDP to US$ 1,000 billion by 2030.

• The event will be inaugurated by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on November 26, 2021. Australia and the United Kingdom are the partner countries for the event.

• The flagship event of CII is hosted by the Government of Tamil Nadu and co-hosted by Software Technology Parks of India and the Union Ministry of Electronics and Telecommunications.

Kartika Purnima celebrated in Odisha with great religious fervor

• On Karthika Purnima, which is also known as Boita Bandana is celebrated at various water bodies of Odisha. The festival is the maritime tradition that is celebrated as a testament to the maritime trade history of Kalinga, tradesmen and mariners known as sadhabas travelled on boitas (boats) to trade with distant island nations that share borders with the Bay of Bengal like Indonesia, Java, Sumatra and Bali.

Education Minister Inaugurates Centres for Nano Technology, Indian Knowledge System at IIT Guwahati

• Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated the state-of-the-art Centre for Nanotechnology and Centre for Indian Knowledge System at IIT Guwahati. He also released a book on NEP 2020 implementation. Assam Education Minister Ranoj Pegu was present on the occasion. IIT Guwahati has achieved excellent rankings in the various national and international ranking systems.

• The Centre for Nanotechnology will work towards meeting future challenges and augmenting academic partnerships with industry in Nanotechnology.

• The Centre for Indian Knowledge System (CIKS) will focus on preserving, documenting and sustaining the knowledge that is unique to India, such as Indian classical music, Yoga, Sanskrit, traditional medicines, temple architecture, ceramic tradition and special agricultural practices of North-East India, among other things.

• The funding for the Centre came from the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

IMPORTANT DAYS

Lachit Divas (Lachit Day) celebrated every year on November 24

• Lachit Divas (Lachit Day) is celebrated annually in the Indian state of Assam on November 24, to mark the birth anniversary of the legendary Ahom army general Lachit Borphukan. Lachit Borphukan was born on 24 November 1622 in Charaideo and is known for his military intelligence in the Battle of Saraighat.

• Every year, since 1999, the ‘Lachit Borphukan Gold Medal’ is awarded to the best cadet passing-out from the National Defence Academy. The ‘Mahabir Lachit Award’ is given by the Tai Ahom Yuva Parishad in Assam to notable personalities. The cash prize of Rs 50000 and a sword is presented under this award.

Martyrdom Day of ‘Guru Tegh Bahadur’ 2021: 24th November

• Every year, November 24 is celebrated as Martyrdom Day of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Guru of Sikhs of Sikh religion. The day is celebrated as Shaheedi Divas of Guru Tegh Bahadur across the country. It was on 24 November 1675, Guru Tegh Bahadur sacrificed his life for the sake of people who did not even belong to his community. to protect religion, human values, ideals and principles.

• Guru Tegh Bahadur had resisted forced conversions of non-Muslims to Islam during Aurangzeb’s rule

• He was publicly killed in 1675 on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi.

• Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib and Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib in Delhi are the sites of his execution and cremation.

• Guru Tegh Bahadur’s term as Guru ran from 1665 to 1675.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Andhra Pradesh named the best marine state in India by the Department of Fisheries

• Andhra Pradesh has been named the best marine state in the country by the Department of Fisheries. The Department of Fisheries under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying awarded best performing States for 2021-22 on 21 November 2021 on the occasion of the ‘World Fisheries Day, to recognise their accomplishments in the field and their contribution to the growth of the sector. The awards were announced by the Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Parshottam Rupala in Bhubaneswar.

Pratham wins the Indira Gandhi Peace Prize 2021

• Pratham NGO has been awarded the Indira Gandhi Peace Prize 2021 for its work on expanding the scope for education in India. Its pioneering work for more than a quarter-century in ensuring that every child has access to quality education. Its innovative use of digital technology to deliver education. Its regular evaluation of the quality of education. Its timely response in making children learn amid Covid-19 restrictions.

• Pratham NGO is an innovative learning organization, which was created to improve education quality in India.

• The NGO was co-founded by Farida Lambay and Madhav Chavan in 1995. It is one of the largest non-governmental organisations in India.

• It focuses on high-quality, low-cost, and replicable interventions for addressing the gaps in the education system.

• It was established in 1994 in Mumbai to give pre-school education for children in slums.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

Book “India vs UK: The Story of an Unprecedented Diplomatic Win” by Senior Indian diplomat Syed Akbaruddin

• Senior Indian diplomat, Syed Akbaruddin has authored a new book titled “India vs UK: The Story of an Unprecedented Diplomatic Win”. The book features the behind-the-scenes details on India’s victory against the United Kingdom in the elections to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2017. Syed Akbaruddin, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN at the time, presents a behind-the-scenes account of India’s coming-of-age in world affairs through the prism of this momentous election.

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Important Current Affairs 23rd November 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Russia successfull test of its ‘Zircon’Hypersonic Cruise Missile

• Russian Navy successfully test-fired the ‘Zircon’ Hypersonic Cruise Missile from Frigate – Admiral Gorshkov warship, which rightly hit the test target placed in the Russian Arctic waters. Russia destroyed its own satellite in low-earth orbit using an Anti-Satellite (ASAT) Missile named ‘Nudol’, which led to the formation of a cloud of space debris that could potentially destroy other orbiting satellites & the International Space Station (ISS).

NATIONAL

INS Visakhapatnam commissioned into Indian Navy

• INS Visakhapatnam, a P15B stealth guided-missile destroyer has been commissioned into the Indian Navy at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai. This is the first of the four ‘Visakhapatnam’ class destroyers. It has been designed by the Indian Navy’s in-house organization Directorate of Naval Design and constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai. INS Visakhapatnam measures 163m in length, 17m in breadth with a displacement of 7,400 tonnes. It was commissioned in the presence of Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh.

SPORTS

Indonesia Masters: Japan's Momota wins first title since 2020 car accident

• In badminton, Kento Momota of Japan beat Anders Antonsen of Denmark 21-17, 21-11 to win the men’s singles title at the 2021 Indonesia Masters Super 750 badminton tournament. The US$600,000 tournament was held at Bali in Indonesia from November 16 to 21, 2021. In women’s single, An Seyoung of South Korea defeated top-seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 21-17, 21-19 to win the title.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

National Book Award 2021: Jason Mott won for fiction

• The 72nd edition of the National Book Award was organized as a virtual event by the National Book Foundation. Jason Mott won the 2021 National Book Award for fiction for his novel “Hell of a Book”, a narrative about a black author’s adventure while travelling around in a book tour.

Tata Literature Live! Literary Awards for 2021 announced

• India’s one of the best-selling authors, Anita Desai has been conferred with the Tata Literature Live! Lifetime Achievement Award for 2021 to recognise her long literary career which spans over 50 years. Meanwhile, the Poet Laureate award for 2021 has been conferred upon Indian poet Adil Jussawala. Both these awards are presented to recognise exceptional work which has made a significant impact in the Indian literary field.

• The Twelfth Edition of Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai Litfest was organised from November 18th to 21st 2021. She has received several awards and honours in the course of her long-spanning literary career, including the Padma Bhushan, Sahitya Akademi Award and later Fellowship, and the Benson Medal of the Royal Society of Literature.

President Kovind presents Gallantry Awards 

• President of India, Ram Nath Kovind presented Gallantry Awards and Distinguished Service Decorations in Defence Investiture Ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Gallantry Awards have been instituted by the Government of India to honour the acts of bravery and sacrifice of the officers/personnel of the Armed Forces as well as other lawfully constituted forces and civilians. The order of precedence of these awards is Vir Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra.

Vir Chakra:

• Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman was accorded the Vir Chakra by President Ram Nath Kovind for his role in pushing back Pakistan’s fighter jets in February 2019. Abhinandan Varthaman was Wing Commander then. In the ensuing aerial dogfight, he shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter aircraft on February 27, 2019.

Kirti Chakra

• President Kovind accorded the second-highest peacetime gallantry award Kirti Chakra (posthumously) to Sapper Prakash Jadhav for neutralising terrorists in an operation in Jammu and Kashmir. His wife and mother received the award.

Shaurya Chakra

• Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal was accorded the Shaurya Chakra (posthumously) for his role in an operation where five terrorists were eliminated and 200 kg explosive material was recovered. His wife Lt Nitika Kaul and mother received the award.

• Naib Subedar Sombir was accorded the Shaurya Chakra posthumously for killing an A++ category terrorist during an operation in Jammu and Kashmir. His wife Suman Devi and mother Rajendra Devi received the honour.

• The President also conferred the Shaurya Chakra to Major Maheshkumar Bhure who is an alumnus of Sainik School Satara. According to the citation, Major Bhure led an operation in which six top terrorist commanders were killed.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

SBI Research has revised upwards India's GDP growth projection

• State Bank of India (SBI) economists in its research report “Ecowrap”, has revised upwards the GDP growth projection for India to the range of 9.3%-9.6% for FY22 (2021-22). Earlier this was estimated in the range of 8.5%-9%. The reason for the upward revision is a decline in the number of COVID cases.

• The analysis suggested that “India remained unscathed in Q3 from the global situation, which is marred by supply disruptions, stubborn inflation and surges of infections during Q3 2021.” As per the report, India has recorded only an 11 per cent increase in Covid-19 cases during Q3 this year the second-lowest among the top 15 most affected countries.

EPFO may park 5% annual deposits in infra investment trusts, alternative funds

• The Central Board of Trustees (CBT) of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) have approved that up to 5 per cent of the annual deposits can be invested in alternative investment funds (AIFs) including infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs). This investment will offer diversification to the EPFO’s investment basket.

• The Finance Investment and Audit Committee (FIAC) have been tasked to decide upon the investment options, on a case-to-case basis. However, the board has also decided to focus only on government-backed alternatives, which are category one funds like public sector InvITs and bonds. The AIFs are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

RBI authorized RBL Bank to collect Direct Taxes

• Reserve Bank of India (RBI) authorized RBL Bank to collect direct taxes on behalf of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) based on a recommendation from the Controller General of Accounts, Ministry of Finance and Government of India. Now, the customers of RBL Bank could pay their direct taxes through RBL Bank’s mobile banking or net banking platforms or through branch banking networks.

• RBL Bank is one of India’s leading private sector banks with an expanding presence across the country.

• The Bank offers specialized services under five business verticals namely: Corporate & Institutional Banking, Commercial Banking, Branch & Business Banking, Retail Assets and Treasury and Financial Markets Operations.

RBI calls for public comments on digital lending

• The Working Group on Digital Lending including Lending through Online Platforms and Mobile Apps, which was constituted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has submitted its report. RBI had set a WG on Digital Lending including Lending through Online Platforms and Mobile Apps, with Jayant Kumar Dash, Executive Director, RBI, as the Chairman to study all aspects of digital lending activities in the regulated financial sector as well as by unregulated players.

• In the near term, the WG suggested setting up a nodal agency in consultation with stakeholders to verify the technological credentials of the Digital Lending Apps (DLAs) of the balance sheet lenders and Lending Service Providers (LSPs) operating in the digital lending ecosystem.

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