“Daily Current Affairs – 17/11/2017 & 18/11/2017”

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National News

1. Bihar government to set up ‘State Ayush Society’:-

  • Bihar State Government gave approval for setting up a ‘State Ayush Society’ with an aim to promote the usage of alternative medicine in the state.
  • Approval for setting up a ‘State Ayush Society’ was given at a State cabinet meeting chaired by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
  • Bihar’s ‘State Ayush Society’ will be set up as part of Central Government’s “National Ayush Mission”.
  • It will be registered under the Society Registration Act.

2. India becomes world’s top sulphur dioxide emitter:-

  • INDIA is overtaking China as the world’s largest emitter of human-caused sulphur dioxide (SO2), a toxic air pollutant that causes haze and acid rain, a new study based on satellite data showed last week.
  • Emissions in China have declined by 75 percent since 2007 while those in India have increased by 50 percent, according to a study published in the latest edition of journal Scientific Reports.

3. Railway Minister gives directions for “comprehensive training programme”:-

  • Under the direction of Minister of Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal, a comprehensive plan for imparting training to all employees of Indian Railways is being prepared with a view to upgrade skill & knowledge.
  • This comprehensive training programme named as “Project Saksham” will help boost productivity and efficiency.
  • Under this plan, all employees in each zone will be put through a week’s training in skills and knowledge relevant to their work area over next one year.
  • A communication to this effect from Chairman Railway Board, Shri Ashwani Lohani, has been sent to all General Managers of zonal railways and railways production unit.

4. Vice President to inaugurate Aadi Mahotsav:-

  • The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu will inaugurate ‘Aadi Mahotsav’ – a fortnight long Tribal Festival with the theme of ‘A Celebration of the Spirit of Tribal Culture, Cuisine and Commerce’ on 16 Nov 2017 at Dilli Haat, INA, New Delhi.
  • The inaugural function will be presided over by Minister of Tribal Affairs Shri Jual Oram.
    Ministers of State for Tribal Affairs Shri Jaswantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor and Shri Sudarshan Bhagat will be specially present to grace the occasion.
  • Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs Ms. Leena Nair, Managing Director, TRIFED Shri Pravir Krishna and other senior officials will also be present on the occasion.
  • Over 750 tribal artisans from over 25 States will be participating in the festival. Aadi Mahotsav is scheduled to be organized at four venues throughout Delhi.

5. Cabinet approves the establishment of the National Anti-profiteering Authority:-

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for the creation of the posts of Chairman and Technical Members of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) under GST, following up immediately on sharp reduction in the GST rates of a large number of items of mass consumption.
  • This paves the way for the immediate establishment of this apex body, which is mandated to ensure that the benefits of the reduction in GST rates on goods or services are passed on to the ultimate consumers by way of a reduction in prices.
  • The establishment of the NAA, to be headed by a senior officer of the level of Secretary to the Government of India with four Technical Members from the Centre and/or the States, is one more measure aimed at reassuring consumers that Government is fully committed to take all possible steps to ensure the benefits of implementation of GST in terms of lower prices of the goods and services reach them.

6. 12th North East Business Summit inaugurated in New Delhi:-

  • The Two-day “12th North-East Business Summit” was inaugurated in New Delhi.
  • The summit aims to explore the scope for business opportunities in the North-Eastern region of India.
  • Focus areas are Infrastructure and Connectivity with Public Private Partnerships, Skill Development, Financial Inclusion, Services Sector Development- Particularly in Tourism, Hospitality & Food Processing.
  • The Summit is being organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), with Manipur being the state partner for the event.

7. India to Host Global Conference on Cyber Space 2017:-

  • India, for the first time ever, is going to host the Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS), one of the world’s largest conferences in the field of Cyber Space and related issues, on 23 & 24 November 2017, at Aerocity, New Delhi.
  • The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi will inaugurate the mega event, while Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Hon’ble Minister of External Affairs will deliver the keynote address in the Valedictory function.
  • Incepted in 2011 in London, second GCCS was held in 2012 in Budapest with focus on relationship between internet rights and internet security, which was attended by 700 delegates from nearly 60 countries.
  • Themed on Cyber4All: A Secure and Inclusive Cyberspace for Sustainable Development, this is the fifth edition of GCCS wherein international leaders, policymakers, industry experts, think tanks and cyber experts will gather to deliberate on issues and challenges for optimally using cyber space.

8. R.K. Singh launches ‘Saubhagya’ Web-Portal:-

  • Shri R.K. Singh, Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, launched the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana – ‘Saubhagya’ Web Portal.
  • The portal can be accessed at http://saubhagya.gov.in.
  • Addressing the media during the event, Shri Singh said that the Saubhagya Dashboard is a platform for monitoring household electrification progress, which would disseminate information on Household Electrification Status (State, District, village-wise), Household Progress on live basis, State-wise Target vs Achievement, Monthly Electrification Progress, etc.

9. National Press Day: November 16:-

  • The first Press Commission had conceived a Press Council with the aim of establishing high standard in the preservation of freedom of the press and journalism in India.
  • As a result, the Press Council was established in India on July 4, 1966, which started its duties from November 16, 1966.
  • Since then, every year on November 16, it is celebrated as National Press Day.
  • Today there are press councils or media councils in almost 50 countries in the world. In India, the Press is called watchdog while Press Council of India is called moral watchdog.
    National Press Day draws our attention to the pressures and responsibilities of the press.

10. President launches schemes worth Rs 3,455 cr in Jharkhand:-

  • President Ram Nath Kovind laid the foundation stones of various schemes entailing total expenditure of Rs 3,455 crore in Jharkhand to coincide with the state’s 17th Foundation Day.
  • Kovind launched the Rs 636-crore ‘Mukhyamantri Health Insurance Scheme’ under which 57 lakh of the 68 lakh families in the state will benefit. Beneficiaries will get treatment costing Rs 2 lakh under the scheme.
  • The President also kicked off the Rs 290-crore ‘108 Ambulance’ service in the state.
    Kovind launched JOHAR (Jharkhand’s Opportunities for Harnessing Rural Development) schemes entailing expenditure of Rs 1,500 crore to help tribal and Dalit families double their incomes in four years.
  • He also laid the foundation stones of two flyovers at Harmu and Kantatoli, which will cost Rs 490 crore.
  • Jharkhand was created on November 15, the birthday of Birsa Munda who fought against the British.

11. Cabinet approves Rs 3,320 cr plan to boost judicial infrastructure:-

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the continuation of a centrally-sponsored scheme for the development of infrastructural facilities for the judiciary beyond the 12th Five-Year Plan till March 31, 2020.
  • The scheme, with an estimated outlay of Rs 3,320 crore for the development of such infrastructure will be implemented in a mission mode through the National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms.
  • The scheme, which will continue from April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2020, will increase the number of courtrooms and residential accommodation for judges and also judicial officers of the district and subordinate courts all over the country.

International News

1. Zimbabwe is under military control after army seizes power from Mugabe:-

  • Zimbabwe’s military leaders have seized control of the impoverished southern African nation, placing longtime leader Robert Mugabe under house arrest and deploying armored vehicles to the streets of the capital, Harare.
  • Mugabe, 93, the world’s oldest living leader, was unable to leave his home, according to Jacob Zuma, the President of neighboring South Africa. Troops were reportedly stationed at Zimbabwe’s Parliament and the presidential palace.
  • A simmering succession battle in the ruling Zanu-PF party came to a head two weeks ago when Mugabe sacked his powerful vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
  • Mugabe’s decision fueled speculation he was preparing to anoint his wife, Grace, as his successor.

2. International Day for Tolerance: 16 November:-

  • The International Day for Tolerance is an annual observance declared by UNESCO in 1995 to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance. It is observed on 16 November.
  • In 1996, the UN General Assembly (by resolution 51/95) invited UN Member States to observe the International Day for Tolerance on 16 November.
  • This year’s theme is ‘Together’.

3. WHO Global Ministerial Conference on Ending TB in Sustainable Development Era:-

  • Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, reaffirmed India’s commitment to eliminating TB by 2025 at 1st WHO Global Ministerial Conference on Ending TB in Sustainable Development Era’ at Moscow, Russia.
  • The Ministerial and High-Level meetings offer participating nations the potential to strengthen and energize the discourse on TB and are perhaps the biggest window for global action on TB in the foreseeable future.
  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is also organizing a side event at the conference on ‘Ending TB: Our Promise to Our People’ assisted by Global Coalition against TB to be attended by 7 MPs and other world leaders.

Economic News

1. Centre lifts restrictions on export of all types of pulses:-

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its approval for removing the prohibition on the export of all types of pulses to give the farmers greater choice in marketing their produce for improved incomes.
  • The CCEA also empowered the committee chaired by Secretary, Department of Food and Public Distribution, to review the export or import policy on pulses.

2. Toyota Kirloskar signs MoU with AP govt:-

  • Andhra Pradesh government and Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Limited signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to undertake a feasibility study on the introduction of electric vehicles and the necessary systems and infrastructure required for the move.
  • Toyota Kirloskar managing director Akito Tachibana said the collaboration with the state government is intended to find out the suitable types of electric vehicles (EVs) and systems that are required to create an ecosystem for the Electric Vehicles in the state and the country.