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News Notes.30.11.2017

News Notes-30.11.2017

 Shashikanta Das appointed India’s “Sherpa” at G-20 Summit:

v   Former economic affairs secretary Shashikanta Das was on Monday appointed India’s “Sherpa” till December 31, 2018, for the G20’s Development Track.

v   Das had retired, after a 37-year-long career, in March this year.

v   His predecessor on the job was former NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya. Panagariya was appointed India’s sherpa for the G20 talks in September 2015.

v   Sherpas are representatives of leaders of G20 member countries and their task is to coordinate on the agenda of the Summit.

v   There are two tracks in G20 — the Finance Track and the Development Track.

 (Source: the Hindu)

v   According to a report released on Wednesday by the World Health Organisation (WHO) India accounted for 6% of global malaria cases and 7% of deaths caused by it in 2016.

v   This is in the same ballpark as last year, though the WHO figures also suggest that India is unlikely to reduce its case burden beyond 40% by 2020.

v   In contrast, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan achieved malaria-free status in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

v   About 80% of the deaths were accounted for by 15 countries, namely India and 14 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

v   India and Nigeria, two major contributors to the global burden of malaria, were able to detect only 8% and 16% of cases respectively via the system.

v   Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Indonesia, says the WHO, are among the countries poised to reduce malaria incidence by over 40% by 2020.

Cyclone “Ockhi” hits Kerala and Tamil Nadu:

v   The southern districts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu received heavy rainfall as Cyclone “Ockhi”, which originated near the Sri Lankan coast hit through the Arabian Sea towards Lakshwadeep islands.

v   The cyclonic storm is moving west-northwestwards towards Lakshwadeep Islands and in the next 24 hours it is likely to further intensify into a severe cyclonic storm.

Aung Suu Kyi stripped of Oxford Award:

v   Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been stripped of the Freedom of Oxford Award over her "inaction" in handling the raging Rohingya refugee crisis and turning a "blind eye to violence" in the country that forced over 600,000 people to flee to Bangladesh.

v   Oxford City Council voted unanimously to permanently remove the honou.

v   The Award was given to her in the year 1997. 

Mirabai Chanu wins gold medal in Weightlifting World Championship:

v   Mirabai Chanu today became the first Indian in over two decades to claim a gold medal at the World Weightlifting Championship in Anaheim, USA.

v   Chanu, lifted 85kg in snatch and 109kg in clean and jerk to total an impressive 194kg in the women's 48kg, in the process setting a new national record.

v   Olympic bronze medallist Karnam Malleshwari had won the top prize in worlds twice - in 1994 and 1995.

v   Thailand's Sukcharoen Thunya won the silver medal with a total lift of 193, while Segura Ana Iris bagged the brozne with 182kg.

v   Some of the world's top weightlifting nations such as Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Azerbaijan could not take part in the competition due to issues related to doping.



News Notes.29.11.2017


News Notes-29.11.2017

Government appoints the First Woman Secretary-General of Lok Sabha:

v   Senior IAS officer Snehlata Shrivastava was appointed the new Secretary-General of  the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. She would take over from Anoop Mishra.

v   Belonging to the Madhya Pradesh cadre (1982 batch), she is currently Secretary, Justice, in the Law Ministry.

v   She would be the first woman to be appointed to the post, although the Rajya Sabha has had a woman secretary-general — B S Rama Devi — in the past, who also served as the Governor of Himachal Pradesh after retirement.

v   The secretaries-general of the two Houses enjoy the rank of the Cabinet Secretary.

IFFI 2017 at Goa Concludes: ‘120 BPM’ or ‘120 Beats Per Minute’ wins Golden Peacock Award:

v   French Director Robin Campillo’s drama film ‘120 BPM’ or ‘120 Beats Per Minute’ has won the coveted Golden Peacock Award for the Best Film at the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which concluded in Goa on November 28. 

v   The film is set in France in the 1990s and deals about homosexuality and the AIDS epidemic.

v   The Golden Peacock Award carries a cash prize of Rs 4 million to be shared equally between the Producer and the Director, Trophy and the citation. 

v   Chinese director Vivian Qu won the Best Director Award for her 2017 film ‘Angels Wear White’. Best Director gets the Silver Peacock Award and a cash prize of Rs 1.5 million.

v   The Best Actor (Male) Award goes to Nahuel Perez Biscaryat for his portrayal of AIDS activist the film ‘120 BPM’.

v   The Best Actor (Female) goes to Parvathy T K for her portrayal of a nurse who wages a battle for the release of her husband held hostage by the rebel army in the war-torn Iraq in Mahesh Narayanan’s Malayalam film ‘Take Off’.

v   Mahesh Narayan also walks away with the Special Jury Award for his directorial debut ‘Take Off’. 

v   Manoj Kadaamh’s Marathi film ‘Kshitij’ has won the ICFT-UNESCO Gandhi Medal.

v   Celebrated Canadian director, Atom Egoyan was honoured with the IFFI 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award

v   The Indian Film Personality of the Year Award was presented to Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan.

B. N. Sharma appointed as Chief of National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) under GST:

v   A week after Cabinet’s approval for creation of the posts of chairman and technical members of the National Anti-Profiteering Authority under GST, the government on Tuesday appointed senior IAS officer Badri Narayan Sharma as the first chairman of the apex Authority. Sharma, a 1985 batch IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre, is at present additional secretary in the department of revenue.

v   Four senior officials of the rank of joint secretary and above have been appointed as technical members in the Authority.

v   These officials are Himachal Pradesh Tax Tribunal’s chairman J C Chauhan; Kolkata’s principal commissioner GST Bijay Kumar; Meerut’s principal commissioner GST C L Mahar; and R Bhagyadevi, ADG, Systems, Chennai.

v   The NAA has been set up for a two-year period, which would begin from the date Sharma assumes charge as chairman.

v   The Authority is mandated to ensure that the benefits of input credit and the reduction in GST rates on specified goods or services are passed on to the consumers by way of a commensurate reduction in prices.

7th International Military Games or Military World Games to be organised in China:

v   The 7th International Military Games will be held in Wuhan city in the central China's Hubei Province.

v    The International Military Sports Council’s Military World Games is a top sporting gala for military personnel.

v    It comprises 329 competitions in 27 categories and is expected to attract around 8,000 participants from more than 100 countries and regions.

v    The emblem of the Games consists of a dove, a star, ribbons and other elements and the mascot is called Bing Bing, the design of which is based on the Chinese sturgeon, a critically endangered fish known as the "panda in water".

v    The slogan is of the games is “Military glory, world peace”.

v    The Military World Games is a multi-sport event for military sportspeople, organized by the International Military Sports Council (CISM).

v   The Games have been held since 1995, is a multi-sport event organised every four years by the CISM.

Previous Games-Year and Host City:

1995---- Rome; 1999---- Zagreb; 2003---- Catania; 2007---- Hyderabad; 2011---- Rio de Janerio; 2015---- Mungyeong; 2019---- Wuhan.




News Notes .28.11.2017

News Notes-28.11.2017

Constitution of Fifteenth Finance Commission Notified:

v  The Government of India, with the approval President of India, has constituted Fifteenth Finance Commission in pursuance of clause (1) of article 280 of the Constitution, read with the provisions of the Finance Commission (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1951 w.e.f. 27thNovember, 2017.

v  The Commission will be headed by Sri N K Singh, former MP and former Secretary to the Government of India. 

Other Members of the Commission:

v  Shri Shaktikanta Das, former Secretary to the Government of India and Dr. Anoop Singh, Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University shall be the members of the Commission. 

v  Dr. Ashok Lahiri, Chairman (Non-executive, part time), Bandhan Bank and Dr. Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog shall be the Part time members of the Commission. 

v  Shri Arvind Mehta shall be the Secretary to the Commission.  

The Commission will make recommendations for the five years commencing on April 1, 2020.


v  The first edition of the International Symposium to Promote Innovation & Research in Energy Efficiency (INSPIRE 2017) was kicked off in Jaipur on 27 November 2017.

v  The five-day symposium is being organized by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) in partnership with The World Bank, and Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE).

v  INSPIRE 2017 is an International Conference that brings together various stakeholders such as policy makers, innovators, financiers, influencers to showcase best practices in the sector. It provides a platform for energy efficiency community to discuss energy efficiency policies, market transformation strategies, emerging technologies, delivery and business-model driven transformations.

Pankaj Advani wins his 18th World Title:

v  Pankaj Advani defeated Iran’s Amir Sarkhoshof Iran in the final and claimed the IBSF World Snooker Championship on Monday.

v  The event was organised at Al-Arabi Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.

v  Advani’s deadly attacking game coupled with a phenomenally tight safety play helped him secure his 18th World championship title with a 8-2 win over Sarkhosh at the Al-Arabi Sports Club.

‘Ajeya Warrior’- India-UK to conduct third joint military exercise:

v  The third India-United Kingdom joint army training exercise ‘Ajeya Warrior’ will be conducted in Rajasthanfrom 1 to 14 December at the Mahajan Field Firing Range.

v  It will be the third joint military exercise between the two countries.

v  The first exercise was conducted in 2013 at Belgaum, Karnataka, whereas the second exercise in 2015 was conducted in the United Kingdom.

v  Ajeya Warrior is a joint exercise between the armies of India and UK. The aim of the Exercise is to build and promote positive military relations between Indian and UK Army and to enhance their ability to undertake joint tactical level operations in Counter Insurgency/Counter Terrorism Environment under United Nations Charter.

Iran allows Women to Compete in Sports:

v  Women weightlifters from Iran will be allowed to compete internationally for the first time, the president of the country's weightlifting federation.

v  Iran has one of the world's strongest weightlifting cultures and its men have won seven Olympic gold medals this century.

v  Iran and Saudi Arabia are the biggest Islamic nations yet to compete in female weightlifting.




News Notes .27.11.2017

News Notes-27.11.2017

Global Entrepreneurship Summit from tomorrow in Hyderabad:

v  The Global Entrepreneurship Summit is being held for the first time in South Asia in Hyderabad, India, from November 28-30. 

v  The Summit is being co-hosted by the Governments of the United States and India.

v  Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi will inaugurate the summit and Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump will lead the U.S. contingent to GES.

v  This is the eighth edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, the preeminent gathering of entrepreneurs, investors, and supporters from around the world. 

v  With the theme of “Women First, Prosperity for All,” this will be the first GES in which women are the majority, over 52.5 per cent, of the participants. 

v  More than 10 countries will be represented by an all-female delegation, including from Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.

R Ashwin fastest to take 300 Test wickets in history:

v  Ravichandran Ashwin became the fastest to register 300 Test wickets in Cricket’s history. Ashwin got these wickets in 54 Tests.

v  Australia’s Dennis Lillee held the previous record of taking 300 wickets in 56 Tests.

v  India won second test of the series against Sri Lanka by an innings and 239 runs taking 1-0 lead in the series.

India wins both Men and Women titles in Asian Kabaddi Championships 2017:

v  India men beat Pakistan 36-22 in the final of the Asian Kabaddi Championships 2017 in Gorgan, Iran on Sunday to win the gold meda.

v  Besides the men, the women too triumphed in the women’s side of things at the Asian Kabaddi Championship after beating South Korea 42-20 in the final. 

T. Gopi becomes the first Indian to win the Asian Marathon Championship:

v  Thonakal Gopi became the first Indian man to win gold at the Asian Marathon Championship after clocking 2 hour 15 mints 48 seconds in Dongguan, China.

v  Gopi overcame tough challenge from form Uzbekistan’s Andrey Petrov (2:15:51s) and Mongolia’s Byambalev Tseveenravdan (2:16:14s.).

v  Gopi, thus, became the first Indian man to win the title after the formation of separate Asian Marathon Championships.

v  Earlier, Asha Agarwal and Sunita Godara had won the women’s title in 1985 and 1992, when the event was part of the biennial Asian Track and Field Championships.

Five Gold medals for India in AIBA Women’s Youth World Boxing Championship:

v  Five women bring five gold medals for India in AIBA Youth World Boxing Championship organised in Guwahati, Assam. This was for the first time that the event was organised in India.

v  Nitu (48kg), Jyoti Gulia (51kg), Sakshi Choudhary (54kg), Shashi Chopra (57kg) and Ankushita Boro (64kg) propelled India to its best-ever performance at the event by winning their finals at the Nabin Chandra Bardoloi Indoor Stadium, Guwahati, Assam.

v  All the five girls are from remote villages of India: Nitu from Bhiwani, Haryana; Jyoti Gulia from Rohtak, Haryana; Sakshi Choudhary from Bhiwani, Haryana; Shashi Chopra from a Haryana village; and Ankushita Boro from a Assam village.

v  Ankushita defeated powerful Russian Ekaterina Dynnik 4-1 and was adjudged ‘best boxer’ of the event.

v  The country had won just one bronze medal at the previous edition of the event and had not won gold since 2011 when Sarjubala Devi secured top-of-the-podium finish.

v  Till date, India had managed just two gold medals at the Youth World Championships.

South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Crowned as Miss Universe 2017:

v  South Africa's Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters walked away with the crown, ending a nearly four-decade long jinx for her country in one of the world's biggest pageants.

v  India's Shraddha Shashidhar lost out on the Miss Universe 2017 title, failing to make it even to the top 16.

v  After Manushi Chhillar's victory at the Miss World 2017, India had pinned high hopes on Shraddha, 21, a media graduate, to end India's 16-year drought as Lara Dutta had last brought back the crown in 2000.


v  Miss Universe 2017 was the 66th Miss Universe pageant, held on 26 November 2017. The event was held at The AXIS at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.

News Note-25.11.2017

News Notes-25.11.2017

Deadly Terrorist Attack on Egypt Mosque kills 235:

v  At least 235 worshippers were killed and 109 others injured when heavily-armed militants bombed a mosque and opened fire on people attending Friday prayers in

v  Egypt's North Sinai region, in the deadliest terror attack ever in the country.

v  The target of the attack was Al-Rowda mosque in Al-Arish city during the Friday prayers.

v  India's Ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharyya condemned the attack as "mindless violence" which he said "overtook sanity and held humanity hostage".

S&P Keeps India’s Rating Unchanged:

v  Standard & Poor Global Ratings retained its BBB- (Tripple B Minus) rating for India’s sovereign with a ‘stable’ outlook on Friday.

v  It’s contrary to the expectations that it may take a cue from rival Moody’s Investor Services which upgraded the country’s credit rating last week for the first time in 13 years.

v  Despite one-off factors like demonetisation and the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax denting growth for two quarters, S&P expects India’s economy to grow robustly from 2018-20 with robust foreign exchange reserves rising further.

v  However, the rating agency cited India’s low per capita income, the sizable fiscal deficit and high general government debt as factors that weigh down the country’s credit profile and re-iterated its BBB- rating on India with a stable outlook indicating that the rating is unlikely to see a change in the near future.

v  A BBB- rating denotes the lowest investment grade rating for bonds

SBI launches “YONO”:

v  State Bank of India, the country’s largest public sector bank, has launched a unified integrated app called YONO (You Need Only One) that would offer all kinds of financial and lifestyle products.

v  The omni-channel platform will allow customers to meet their lifestyle needs across 14 categories from booking cabs to paying for medical needs -- all under one roof.

v  For this, the bank has partnered with 60 e-commerce players, including Amazon, Ola, Flipkart, Yatra, Swiggy and BYJU’s. Offline players such as Thomas Cook, Shoppers Stop and Cox and Kings are also part of the SBI partnership.

v  Rajnish Kumar, SBI Chairman, said during a conference here today that the portal has been designed to offer maximum customer convenience and that the product has been developed by SBI using artificial intelligence, predictive analysis and machine learning. It can be accessed through both Android and IOS platforms.

International Gita Mahotsav-2017:

v  The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, will inaugurate the International Gita Mahotsava-2017 tomorrow (November 25, 2017) in Kurukshetra, Haryana.  

v  The Mahotsav is celebrated to commemorate the birth of ‘Srimad Bhagwat Gita’, the sacred scripture containing invaluable advice of Lord Krishna that he proffered to Arjuna, the third Pandava in the battlefield of Kurukshetra on the first day of the famous 18-day battle in the Mahabharata.

Volcano Mount Agung Erupts in Indonesia:

v  Mount Agung volcano spewed ash and stream on the Indonesian island of Bali on Tuesday, its first eruption since 1963.

v  In 1963 the eruption claimed at least 1600 lives.

World Badminton Championship-2019 to be held in Basel, Switzerland:

v  Basel in Switzerland has won the bid to host the World Badminton Championship and also the World Para- Badminton Championship for the year 2019.

v  The BWF World Championships (formerly known as IBF World Championships, also known as the World Badminton Championships) is a badminton tournament sanctioned by Badminton World Federation (BWF). 

About the Tournament:

v  The tournament started in 1977 and was held once every three years until 1983. However, the IBF (International Badminton Federation) faced difficulty in hosting the first two events as the World Badminton Federation (which later merged with the IBF to form one badminton federation) hosted the same tournament a year after the IBF World Championships with the same goals.

v  Started 1985, the tournament became biennial and played once every two years until 2005.

v  Starting 2006, the tournament was changed to an annual event on the BWF calendar with the goal to give more chances for the players to be crowned as official "World Champions". However, the tournament will not be held once every four years to give way to the Summer Olympic Games.

Host Cities and Countries since 2010: