Current Affairs 12th November 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Eleven-year-old Pune girl Anvita Prashant Telang has been named national winner of the "Doodle 4 Google" contest.  The sixth standard student from Vibgyor High School in Balewadi area was chosen for her Doodle submission on the theme titled "If I could teach anyone anything . The Doodle will be featured on the Google India homepage on November 14 to celebrate Children's Day.  With 'Doodle 4 Google' competition, we aim to promote creativity, passion and imagination in younger users. We congratulate Anvita for being judged as the winner this year . The entries that came from over 50 cities across the country were evaluated on artistic merit, creativity and theme communication as well as their unique and novel approach to the Doodle. 

Bhaskar Bhat resigned as director of Tata Chemicals  saying the company was facing a threat due to loss of confidence in Chairman Cyrus Mistry by the company’s promoter, Tata Sons Limited. Bhaskar Bhat has been the managing director of Titan Industries since 2002. Bhat said he was not a Tata Sons nominee on Tata Chemicals board and had joined the board after an invite from the Tata Chemicals board. The independent directors considered the statement made by the company’s board of directors, which recommended and sought support for Mistry’s reappointment at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) in August 2015.

India and Japan signed have ten agreements to boost the bilateral cooperation between the two nations. The agreements were signed in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, Japan. Agreement for Cooperation in Peaceful uses of Nuclear Energy: It provides for bilateral cooperation in the field of Nuclear Energy. It will help to strengthen of energy security of India, by facilitating development of nuclear power projects in India. It will also open up the door for collaboration between Indian and Japanese industries in our Civil Nuclear programme. Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on the Manufacturing Skill Transfer Promotion Program: It envisages training 30,000 Indian youth in the Japanese styled manufacturing in the next 10 years. It will be achieved through programmes of Japan-India Institute for Manufacturing (JIM) and the Japanese Endowed Courses (JEC) in select Engineering colleges. It will contribute to ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’. MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Outer Space: It was signed between ISRO and JAXA. It provides for cooperation in planetary exploration, satellite navigation and space industry promotion, joint use of ground systems, joint missions and studies for mutual support and personnel exchange. MoU on Mutual Collaboration in Marine and Earth Science and Technology: It was signed between Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC). For more information  MoU for Transport and Urban Development: It was signed between National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) Limited and Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation (JICA). It will enable cooperation for promoting investment in infrastructure projects in transportation and railways, port terminals, toll roads, logistics, airport terminals, urban development and any supporting industries for these sectors. MoU in the Field of Textiles: It aims to improve quality of Indian Textiles for conformity assessment for Japanese marketMoC on Cooperation in Sports: It seeks to provide a framework for bilateral cooperation in the field of Sports ahead of the forthcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. MOU between Gujarat and Hyogo Prefectural Government: It seeks to promote mutual cooperation between Hyogo and Gujarat in the fields of business, academics, cultural cooperation, disaster management and environmental protection.

The Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has won the prestigious 2016 Golden Peacock Award for Corporate Governance. The award was received by Ashwini Kumar, CEO of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) on behalf of SAIL during the 16th London Global Convention on Corporate Governance and Sustainability in London, UK.  SAIL was bestowed with this award on account of its exemplary performance in the field of corporate governance i.e. for balancing the interests of all the stakeholders of the company management, customers, shareholders, suppliers, financiers, government and the community. Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL)  : SAIL is one of the largest state-owned steel in India and one of the top steel makers in world. SAIL is the 24th largest steel producer in the world. It was founded in 1954 and incorporated in 1973.  Its headquarters are in New Delhi. It operates and owns 5 integrated steel plants at Bhilai, Durgapur, Rourkela, Bokaro and Burnpur and 3 special steel plants at Salem, Durgapur and Bhadravathi. Golden Peacock awards :  Instituted by the Institute of Directors (IoD) in 1991. They are presented annually under various categories. The awards comprise to sets Global Awards and National Awards.

The High Level Meeting of Interior Ministers of Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to Counter Drug Trafficking was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It had adopted Colombo declaration. The delegates from 18 littoral states of the IOR have resolved to work towards making the region a “Drug Free Zone”. Indian delegation was led by the Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir. The high-level meeting was attended by 18 littoral states of the IOR which included seven Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Home Affairs/Interior. It was also attended by seven international organizations and UN agencies engaged in counter-narcotics initiatives in the region. Features of Colombo declaration :  Narcotic drug trafficking in the IOR poses a threat to peace and security in the region and its possible link to organized crime and funding of terrorism.  It stresses upon need for coastal states to cooperate more closely on enforcing maritime law, providing mutual legal assistance and sharing information in narcotic drug trafficking.  It also calls for the expansion and development of communication through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC’s) Indian Ocean Prosecutors Network. It called on the littoral states of the IOR to meet on an annual basis within the framework of the Southern Route Partnership (SRP) of Indian Ocean Forum on Maritime Crime (IOFMC). These states must assess and report on the drug trafficking threat in the IOR and develop a coordinated approach to counter such threats.

Noted geophysicist Janardhan G Negi passed away on 10 November 2016 in Hyderabad following a brief illness. He was 81. He was known for making outstanding contribution in understanding earthquakes, mass extinctions, especially dinosaurs and the movement of the Indian sub-continent plates. Janardhan Negi : He was a former Director-grade scientist at the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI).In his long career of over four-decades, he served as the Scientific Adviser to the Governments of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. He also headed the MP Council for Science and Technology as Director-General to shape up the policies to integrate S&T. At NGRI, he along with two other members published extensively on how major fault zones along the Himalayas and several states could be the cause for heightened earthquake activity.  His contributions in the field of the super mobility of the Indian sub-continent plates after being detached from Gondwana Landmass and forming the Himalayas and seismic activity won wide recognition. He had also published many papers in international journals and was honoured by International Geophysical Unions.He was awarded with the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for his contributions.

Former India captain Rahul Dravid has been made brand ambassador for the second T20 World Cup for the Blind in a offer to create awarness about the tournament. He would mentor the  visually-impaired, Dravidstated he might need some mentoring from them. What they did is a lot tougher than what I had did. It would be foolish for him to say that he could mentor them because he had never experienced what it was like to be a visually-impaired cricketer. His role is to create awareness about this event. The tournament will commence on January 28 next year, and will be held across eight Indian cities. The Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI), the cricketing arm of Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, will play host. CABI assessed the expenses involved inorganising the event to be Rs.24.5 crore. CABI President G.K. Mahantesh called to corporates, government bodies and individuals to provide financial support.

Apollo tyres will invest Rs 525 crore to set up a manufacturing facility at Sri City, Andhra Pradesh, with a capacity to roll out 3 million tyres per month.  The company, signed a memorandum of understanding with Andhra Pradesh government for the plant, said it would have ground breaking ceremony in January next year and the production would start . This would be the fifth plant of Apollo Tyres which would be spread in 250 acres and would produce tyres for motorcycle, scooters and pickups.  This would be like an FDI investment by one of our Singapore-based subsidiary company (Apollo Tyres Holdings (Singapore) PTE Ltd.  Besides, Apollo group has plans to invest in other sectors like hospitals and logistics in the state. The MoU between Apollo and the state government was signed in the presence of Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu.  Apollo Tyres has two plants in Kerala and one plant each in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.The company has international manufacturing presence with one plant in the Netherlands and another facility being set up in Hungary.

Twitter India in partnership with non-profit data journalism initiative IndiaSpend have launched #Breathe, an independent and real-time air quality monitoring public service initiative on Twitter . Twitter has millions of Indians across 17 cities can now monitor the air quality they breathe with a single tweet. By tweeting #Breathe , people can access air quality levels in Agra, Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Delhi NCR, Gandhinagar, Kanpur, Lucknow, Mumbai, Pune, Patna, Raipur, Ranchi and Varanasi under the initiative. On tweeting, people will get an immediate visual auto-response tweet in the form of an infographic card with a measurement of the air quality  comprising air quality index, air quality levels, reading of particulate matter 2.5 and 10, along with the possible impact this air quality will have on health.  #Breathe : #Breathe is a public service initiative aimed at leveraging technology to provide citizens, institutions, media and civil society organizations with real-time data to catalyze participative engagement within communities, municipalities, state and central government, Twitter added. With this hashtag service, the company aims to empower citizens by increasing public awareness about the alarming rise in air pollution levels across major cities in India. The pilot phase of this launch recorded 100,000 tweets for the month of April 2016. 

Kumbakonam based City Union Bank has introduced a robot on pilot basis to improve customer service. The robot is named CUB-LAKSHMI. The robot has been introduced in Thyagaraya Nagar branch of Chennai. Lakshmi designed and developed by a French Company, has been programmed to answer about 120 general banking questions/query in English language. However in near future it will be programmed to speak in Tamil and Malayalam languages also. A single robot cost around Rs 7-8 Lakhs and can perform work of 3-4 persons. The bank has a plan to deploy 25 robots by the end of the year 2016, if the trail run succeeds.

Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull has ratified the Paris climate change agreement, on 10 November 2016 to curb carbon emissions and reduce the risk of dangerous climate change. With the ratification, Australia aims towards limiting global warming to two degrees and set five-yearly targets for cutting emissions and reduce 2005 levels emissions by 26 to 28 per cent by 2030. Australia is on the track to beat 2020 target and committed to meet 2030 targets under the agreement. More than 100 nations representing 70 per cent of the world’s emissions and three-quarters of global GDP, have ratified the deal However, Donald Trump’s election to the US presidency has put the global action on climate change under threat as he would withdraw America from the Paris agreement, and stop spending on UN climate change programs. The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that deals with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. The agreement commits that no country can back out until November 2020 at the earliest  

Sri Lankan government has decided to procure 10 diesel engines from RITES India ltd under credit line facility provided by Indian government. Cabinet spokesman Gayantha Karunathilake said that the engines will be purchased at a cost of 4.25 million US dollars each and will be supplied over the period of next two years. India has been extending concessional line of credit (LoC) to Sri Lanka to support various projects in the infrastructure sector, including railways. To date, over 1 billion US dollars of LoC has been extended to Sri Lanka for various railway projects. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated northern provincial rail line during his visit last year while another line connecting eastern and central provinces is being funded through the LoC.

Former world number one Roger Federer won the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award at the ATP awards on Thursday, for the 12th time in his career.  The award is given to players who display the "spirit of the sport" on the court. Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Rafael Nadal who were also nominated in the category.  Federer won this award for the first time in 2004 and except for 2010, has won it across all these years.

Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, survived yet another no confidence vote in the parliament. The country’s ruling party, African National Congress (ANC) voted against opposition’s motion demanding for Zuma’s removal. Zuma’s career in politics has been rigged with controversies and allegations. Corruption charges followed him into his presidency and have continued to haunt him hence. An anti-corruption probe last week raised fresh allegations of misconduct against him.   This is the third no- confidence vote that Zuma has survived in less than a year and fifth since 2012. Opposition leader Mmusi Maiman (Democratic Alliance) appealed to the members of the ANC party to vote against their leader. The motion was defeated easily with 214 of voting of MPs of ANC against the motion as opposed to opposition’s 126.The number of those who abstained from voting totaled 59. Charges against Zuma : Corruption report by South Africa’s watchdog raised fresh allegations of a possible criminal activity in Zuma’s association with the Gupta family, an Indian business family, accused of having undue political influence on him and some of his governance decisions. The report also found irregularities in a company’s transactions in which Zuma’s son has held an interest.The apex court of South Africa in 2016 found Zuma guilty of violating the constitution after he refused to repay taxpayers money used to renovate his private rural home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal province. He reimbursed the amount in September 2016. Zuma’s term in office is scheduled to end in 2019, after which he will not be eligible to run for the post again. This is his second term.  

Twitter has announced that Adam Bain, its Chief Operating Officer (COO), plans to leave the company. In August 2016, Bain had celebrated his six-year anniversary at Twitter. Over his time at the company, he helped build Twitter’s ad efforts from the ground up. He was once considered a top candidate to be the chief executive of the company before Jack Dorsey got the job. After Bain’s decision, Twitter’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Anthony Noto will be promoted to the position of COO. Twitter : Twitter is an online news and social networking service where users post and read short 140-character messages called tweets. It is based in San Francisco and has more than 25 offices around the world. It was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone and Evan Williams. However, the site was officially launched in July 2006. In 2013, it was one of the ten most-visited websites and has been described as the SMS of the Internet. As of March 2016, it had more than 310 million monthly active users.

China has launched a pulsar test satellite XPNAV-1 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China. The satellite was carried by a Long March-11 rocket. It was the 239th flight mission by a Long March carrier rocket.The satellite and the rocket were designed by academies affiliated with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. Highlights  : This X-ray pulsar navigation satellite weighs more than 200 kilogrammes. It operates in a Sun-synchronous orbit and will conduct in-orbit experiments using pulsar detectors to demonstrate new technologies.   While in orbit, the satellite will undergo tests on its detector functions and space environment adaptability. The periodic X-ray signals emitted from pulsars will be used to determine the location of a spacecraft in deep space.  The X-ray pulsar navigation will help reduce the spacecraft’s reliance on ground-based navigation methods and is expected to lead to autonomous spacecraft navigation in the future.

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