Today Current Affairs 11th November 2017

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The Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) awarded the National Entrepreneurship Awards 2017 marking the completion of three years of its inception. This year 15 winners across various categories were awarded. Winners were given a cash award of Rs 5 lakh (enterprises and individuals) and Rs. 10 lakhs (organizations/institutes) along with a certificate and trophy recognizing their efforts of being the change agents in India’s development. Few of the winners are:- Mentor (Government) - Dr. G. Subba Ramaiah Mentor (Government) Jury Special Award - Dr. Renu Swaroop Mentor (Private) - Vishwanathan Best State Engaging Apprentices - Haryana Best Employer: CPSU - BHEL Best Employer: SPSU - MSEDCL, Maharastra Best Employer: PRIVATE - Aegis India, Gurgaon Champion Corporate: Special Recognition - ICICI Bank

The government has decided to give proxy voting rights to over 25 million non-resident Indians (NRIs) spread across the world, Attorney general KK Venugopal told the Supreme Court. The Election Commission of India had already recommended that the government take necessary steps to amend the law for NRI voters. It had prepared a report titled ‘Exploring Feasibility of Alternative Options for Voting by Overseas Electors’ and presented it to the court in October 2014.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been named as the recipient of the Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice, 2017 as an acknowledgement of its exceptional work worldwide. Tthe Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice, which is instituted in 2005, will be presented to the UNHCR on December 10, 2017.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) exempted passengers flying out of Pune, Nagpur, Trichy and Goa airports from getting their hand baggage stamped, a rule introduced decades ago as a security measure. This takes the total number of such airports to 23. The CISF had begun doing away with stamping the hand baggage in December, 2016. The 19 earlier airports where this has been implemented in four phases are Delhi, Jaipur, Vadodara, Mumbai, Guwahati, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Patna, Calicut, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Indore, Ahmedabad, Trivandrum, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Chennai, Bagdogra and Cochin.

Former Test opener Gautam Gambhir was named a government nominee in the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) managing committee. The 36-year-old Gambhir has played 58 Tests, 147 ODIs and 37 T20 Internationals. He has been the top scorer in finals of two World Cups (2007 T20 and 2011 50-over) that India won.

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared a proposal for creation of a National Testing Agency (NTA), to conduct entrance tests which are at present being conducted by the CBSE. With NTA, it is likely that entrance examinations like JEE Main, NEET, NET, CTET and entrance test for Jawahar Navodya Vidyalas, presently conducted by CBSE, would be conducted twice a year from 2019 onwards.

India is the first country to partner with social networking site Facebook on disaster response, Union minister Kiren Rijiju announced at the inaugural meeting of the 'India Disaster Response Summit', organised jointly by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Facebook. The programme will be piloted in two disaster-prone states - Assam and Uttarakhand.

The Russian government has announced that it is shortening academic year at some universities in cities which will host the 2018 FIFA World Cup from June 14 to July 15, 2018. Purpose:- To make room in dormitories for police amid fears of terror attacks.

At the 23rd GST council meeting in Guwahati, the GST Council decided to drop 178 items used by common man and middle class from the highest tax slab of 28% to 18% or less. Detergents, chocolates, beauty products, marble, flooring, toiletries have been moved from 28% to 18%. Armoured fighting vehicles along with one more item have been shifted from 28% to 12%. Thirteen items have been moved from 18% to 12%. Six items have been shifted from 18% to 5%. Eight items from 12% to 8% and 6 items 5% to nil. The new rates will be applicable from November 15, 2017.

Only vegetarian students and those who do not consume alcohol will be considered for the Maharishi Keertankar Shelar Mama Gold Medal at the Savitribai Phule Pune University. There is a list of 10 qualifications for a student to be eligible for the gold medal. Other criteria includes students following Indian culture, and participation in blood donation and environment protection.

Qatar has appointed four women to one of its most important consultative bodies, the Shura Council, for the first time in the country's history. The women appointed were named as Hessa al-Jaber, Aisha Yousef al-Mannai, Hind Abdul Rahman al-Muftah and Reem al-Mansoori. Important Person:- Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

The Union Cabinet approved the creation of the National Testing Agency (NTA) as an autonomous and self-sustaining testing organisation to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions, including NEET, JEE-Main. The NTA will initially conduct entrance examinations which are currently being conducted by the CBSE. It will eventually take up other examinations once it is fully functional.

Starting January, bike ambulance facilities would be introduced on a pilot basis in three of Delhi's 11 districts - East, North-east, and Shahdara. It aims to provide quick pre-hospital care response in congested areas of the city by introducing the First Responder Vehicles (FRVs). The decision was taken during a meeting chaired by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal at the Raj Niwas in New Delhi.

Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), India’s second oldest film festival, will screen an assemblage of 143 films spanning 53 countries under 16 different categories till Nov 17. This festival is hosted by the West Bengal government and is presided over by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Britain will be the focus country this year in commemoration of the UK-India Year of Culture 2017.

The GST Council had previously pegged GST rates for air-conditioned eateries and those with liquor licences at 18%, and non-air-conditioned restaurants at 12%. During 23rd GST Council meeting held on November 10, 2017 at Guwahati, Assam, the GST Council slashed rates for both air conditioned and non-air-conditioned restaurants to 5% without input tax credit (ITC). Background Fact:- Federation of Hotels & Restaurants Association of India (FHRAI) - President- Garish Oberoi requested the GST council members to either bring down the GST rate on restaurants to 12% with input credit or 5% without input credit.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao declared Urdu as the state's second official language. Every office in the state has an Urdu speaking officer. The demand to make Urdu a second language had been there for a long time.