Nov. 30, 2020

Current Affairs
Nov. 30, 2020

SHIROMANI GURDWARA PARBANDHAK COMMITTEE (OR SGPC)
Bibi Jagir Kaur, the first woman to be elected SGPC president more than 20 years ago, has made a comeback and has been elected as the new SGPC president.

About:

  • The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (or SGPC) is an organization in India responsible for the management of gurdwaras, Sikh places of worship in three states of Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh and union territory of Chandigarh.

  • SGPC also administers Darbar Sahib in Amritsar.

  • The SGPC is governed by the chief minister of Punjab.

  • The SGPC manages the security, financial, facility maintenance and religious aspects of Gurdwaras as well as keeping archaeologically rare and sacred artifacts, including weapons, clothes, books and writings of the Sikh Gurus.

  • It was formed in 1920.

  • The first and the only woman and also incumbent President of SGPC is Jagir Kaur .

Source : Indian Express
Culture

Current Affairs
Nov. 30, 2020

GURU NANAK
Guru Nanak Jayanti or Gurpurab is being celebrated with religious fervour across India and the world today. It marks the birth of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak, who laid the foundation of Sikhism. This year marks the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

About:

  • Guru Nanak (1469 – 1539), also referred to as Baba Nanak was the founder of Sikhism and is the first of the ten Sikh Gurus.

  • His birth is celebrated worldwide as Guru Nanak Gurpurab on Katak Pooranmashi ('full-moon of the Katak')

  • Journeys (Udasis): During first quarter of the 16th century, Nanak went on long udasiya ('journeys') for spiritual pursuits. He visited several places in "nau-khand" ('the nine regions of the earth'), presumably the major Hindu and Muslim pilgrimage centres.

  • He preached the message of ik onkar ('one God'), who dwells in every one of his creations and constitutes the eternal Truth. With this concept, he would set up a unique spiritual, social, and political platform based on equality, fraternal love, goodness, and virtue.

  • Nanak's words are registered in the form of 974 poetic hymns, or shabda, in the holy text of Sikhism, the Guru Granth Sahib, with some of the major prayers being the Japji Sahib; the Asa di Var; and the Sidh Gohst.

Source : All India Radio
Culture

Current Affairs
Nov. 30, 2020

TARGET OLYMPIC PODIUM SCHEME (TOPS)
8 Track and Field Athletes were included in the core group of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme at the 50th MOC meeting held on November 26.

About:

  • The Target Olympic Podium Scheme is a flagship program of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports which is an attempt to provide assistance to India’s top athletes.

  • The Scheme looks to add a premium to the preparations of these athletes so that they can win Olympic medals in 2020 and 2024 Olympics.

  • Under the Scheme, the Department of Sports shall identify athletes who are potential medal winners in 2020 / 2024 Olympics.

  • The idea of the Scheme is to also keep an eye in the future and fund a Developmental Group of Athletes who are medal prospects for the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles Games in 2028.

  • The Mission Olympic Cell is a dedicated body created to assist the athletes who are selected under the TOP Scheme. The MOC is under the Chairmanship of the Director General, Sports Authority (DG, SAI).

Source : The Hindu
Sports

Current Affairs
Nov. 30, 2020

MISSION COVID SURAKSHA
The Government of India (GOI) has announced the third stimulus package of Rs. 900 Crore for the Mission COVID Suraksha- The Indian COVID-19 Vaccine Development Mission.

About:

  • This grant will be provided to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) for Research & Development of Indian COVID-19 vaccines.

  • The COVID-19 Vaccine development Mission with end-to-end focus from preclinical development through clinical development and manufacturing and regulatory facilitation for deployment, would consolidate all available and funded resources towards an accelerated product development.

  • Led by Department of Biotechnology and implemented by a dedicated Mission Implementation Unit at Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC),the existing activities under National Bio Pharma Mission (NBM) and Ind-CEPI Mission will provide complementary strengths to this Mission.

Source : PIB
Health

Current Affairs
Nov. 30, 2020

KAAVAN
Following years of public outcry and campaigning by American pop star Cher, the "world's loneliest elephant" embarked on a mammoth move from Pakistan to retirement in a Cambodian sanctuary.

About:

  • Kaavan is dubbed the "world's loneliest elephant" after languishing alone for years in a Pakistani zoo.

  • The plight of the male Asian elephant, who's been alone since the death of his partner Saheli in 2012, has captured worldwide attention.

  • The loss of his mate Saheli in 2012 took a toll on Kaavan's mental health. Elephants are social animals that thrive on the company of other elephants.

Source : NDTV
Environment

Current Affairs
Nov. 30, 2020

MARCOS
MARCOS are being deployed in the Eastern Ladakh alongside the Indian Army against the Chinese military. MARCOS are present in the vicinity of the Pangong Tso lake where they will soon be conducting missions using boats.

About:

  • The Marine Commandos, abbreviated to MARCOS and officially called the Marine Commando Force (MCF), is the special forces unit of the Indian Navy that is responsible for conducting special operations.

  • MARCOS was founded in February 1987. MARCOS are capable of operating in all types of environments; at sea, in air and on land.

  • The force has gradually acquired experience and an international reputation for professionalism. The MARCOS regularly undertake specialised maritime operations in Jammu and Kashmir through the Jhelum River and Wular Lake.

Source : Hindustan Times
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Nov. 30, 2020

INDIA TARGETS TO FULLY COVERT ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR, LAKSHADWEEP ISLANDS TO GREEN ENERGY
India’s power and renewable energy minister R K Singh said the government is aiming at meeting the complete power demand of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands through renewable energy sources.

About:

  • Government is aiming for 100 per cent renewable energy in Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep and India is ready to share expertise among other small island nations.

  • India has installed about 1,36,000 megawatts (MW) of Renewable Energy capacity with capacity addition of another 57,000 MW under implementation. The target is now to achieve 450 gigawatts of Renewable Energy capacity by 2030.

Important Info :
  • He was addressing delegates from multiple countries including Mauritius, Fiji, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago and South Africa here under the Know India Programme.
  • The programme is managed by the ministry of external affairs for engagement with Indian origin youth to enhance their awareness about India’s art and culture.
Source : The Hindu
Environment & Ecology

Current Affairs
Nov. 30, 2020

JONAS MASETTI ‘VISHVANATH’
Addressing the nation in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the work and accomplishments of Jonas Masetti, a Brazilian man who has been giving lessons on Vedanta and the Bhagavad Gita near Rio de Janeiro.

About:

  • Masetti, a mechanical engineer, is the founder of an organisation called ‘Vishva Vidya’, located in the hills of Petrópolis, about an hour away from Rio de Janeiro.

  • It is here that he teaches hundreds of his students about ancient Indian sacred texts, including the Bhagavad Gita and Vedanta. He also teaches Sanskrit, mantras and Vedic culture.

Source : Indian Express
Culture

Current Affairs
Nov. 30, 2020

ASTEROID (153201) 2000 WO107
An asteroid named (153201) 2000 WO107, that is more than 800 metre high and over 500 metre wide - bigger than skyscraper Burj Khalifa - flew past earth on November 29.

About:

  • Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building with a height of 829.8 metre and asteroid 2000 WO107, which was discovered in 2000, has a diameter is 820 metre.

  • The massive asteroid has been classified as a Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA). NEA is a group of comets and asteroids pulled into the orbit due to the gravitational forces of nearby planets, which allows them to enter the Earth’s neighbourhood.

  • Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has classified it as a ‘Potentially Hazardous Asteroid’ due to its predicted close pass with Earth.

Source : Hindustan Times
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Nov. 30, 2020

CHINA’S SUPER DAM ON YARLUNG ZANGBO RIVER
China will build a “super” dam on the lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo river close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Tibet, in a move that could have a far-reaching impact on northeast India’s water security.

About:

  • Originating in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), the trans-border Yarlung Zangbo flows into Arunachal Pradesh where it is called Siang and then to Assam as Brahmaputra before flowing into Bangladesh.

  • The dam could come up in the Medog county of TAR, which is close to Arunachal Pradesh.

  • China has already built several smaller dams on the Yarlung Zangbo river.

  • The new dam’s ability to generate hydropower could be three times that of central China’s Three Gorges Dam, which has the largest installed hydropower capacity in the world.

Source : Hindustan Times
International

Nov. 29, 2020

Current Affairs
Nov. 29, 2020

GLOBAL INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY ALLIANCE (GITA)
At celebration of the 9th Foundation Day of GITA, Union Minister of Science & Technology underlined how Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA) served as a catalyst for nurturing innovation and industrial R&D.

About:

  • Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA) is a “not–for–profit” Section-8 Public Private Partnership (PPP) company.

  • It is promoted jointly by the Technology Development Board (TDB), Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

  • The Prime Minister’s Council on Trade & Industry had, in 2010, recommended incorporation of a Government’s arm’s length entity under PPP mode to professionally manage the Government’s funds for providing flexibility to industry for undertaking R&D along with global partners.

  • The GITA platform encourages industrial investments in innovative technology solutions by
    • Mapping technology gaps,

    • Undertaking expert evaluation of technologies available across the globe,

    • Facilitating techno–strategic collaborative partnerships appropriate for Indian economy,

    • Connecting industrial and institutional partners for synergistic matchmaking and

    • Providing soft funding for technology development / acquisition / deployment.



Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Nov. 29, 2020

INTER-MODAL STATION PROJECT (IMS), AJANI
Speculation is around the corner that about 7,000 trees are proposed to be felled for the proposed Inter-Modal Station Project (IMS) at Ajani in Nagpur.

About:

  • Regional office of National Highway Authority of India clarified that the IMS project is in resonance with Environment Impact Assessment. As per Detailed Project Study approximately only 1,940 trees are proposed to be felled.

  • A compensatory afforestation of 25,000 trees shall be carried out by the NHAI on the available vacant spaces on the National Highway Projects land in and around Nagpur.

  • Inter-Modal Station proposed to be constructed at Ajni, with a Land Acquisition of 44.4 acres of Indian Railway land, available adjacent to Railway tracks, for handling capacity of over 3 lakhs passengers per day with a facility of Bus Stand , Railway Station and a Metro Station in the proposed vicinity. This Project is taken up for development of the city of Nagpur.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Nov. 29, 2020

PRESIDENT’S POWERS TO PARDON — IN US, INDIA
With less than two months of his tenure remaining, US President Donald Trump exercised his powers under the Constitution to pardon Michael Flynn, his former National Security Advisor, who had twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

How US President pardons?

  • The President of the US has the constitutional right to pardon or commute sentences related to federal crimes. The US Supreme Court has held that this power is “granted without limit” and cannot be restricted by Congress.

  • Clemency is a broad executive power, and is discretionary — meaning the President is not answerable for his pardons, and does not have to provide a reason for issuing one.

Important Info :

How Indian President pardons?

  • Unlike the US President, whose powers to grant pardons are almost unfettered, the President of India has to act on the advice of the Cabinet.
  • Under Article 72 of the Constitution, “the President shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence where the sentence is a sentence of death”.
  • In several cases, the SC has ruled that the President has to act on the advice of the Council of Ministers while deciding mercy pleas. These include Maru Ram vs Union of India in 1980, and Dhananjoy Chatterjee vs State of West Bengal in 1994.
Source : Indian Express
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Nov. 29, 2020

PERMITTING INDUSTRIAL HOUSES TO OWN AND CONTROL BANKS
An Internal Working Group (IWG) of the RBI has recently made a far-reaching recommendation: To permit industrial houses to own and control banks.

About:

  • According to the report, the main benefit is that industry-owned banks would increase the supply of credit, which is low and growing slowly.

  • The IWG acknowledges that it ignored the experts the group had consulted. The report states that all the experts except one “were of the opinion that large corporate/industrial houses should not be allowed to promote a bank”.

Important Info :

Arguments against:

  • Reacting to it, two former chief economic advisors — Shankar Acharya and Arvind Subramanian — as well as a former finance secretary — Vijay Kelkar — have called this step a grievous mistake, one that would seriously set back Indian economic and political development.
  • The problem with banks owned by corporate houses is that they tend to engage in connected lending. This can lead to three main adverse outcomes:
    • Over-financing of risky activities;
    • encouraging inefficiency by delaying or prolonging exit; and
    • entrenching dominance.
Source : Indian Express
Economy

Current Affairs
Nov. 29, 2020

COLD WAVE
Delhi and other parts of north India are bracing for near cold wave conditions.

What is a cold wave?

  • A cold wave is declared when there’s a significant drop in minimum or night time temperature.

  • The IMD’s criteria for a cold wave in the plains is that the minimum temperature should be 10 degrees or lower and the departure from normal minimum temperature 4.5 degrees or less for two consecutive days.

Important Info :

What is causing the dip in temperature?

  • One of the main reasons is snowfall in high altitude areas north of Delhi, including places in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.
  • Cold winds blowing from these areas lower temperature across northwest India every winter, including Delhi.
Source : Indian Express
Geography

Current Affairs
Nov. 29, 2020

INFORMATION MANAGEMENT AND ANALYSIS CENTRE (IMAC)
Speaking on the 12th anniversary of the 26/11 attacks, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that “ the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Police have prepared a three-tier security cover in the coastal areas of the country".

About:

  • IMAC, based in Gurgaon, was established in November 2014.

  • It is jointly operated by the Navy and Coast Guard.

  • It is the nodal centre for maritime security information collation and dissemination. It is the cornerstone of the National Command Control Communication and Intelligence Network for monitoring maritime traffic in India’s area of interest.

  • IMAC’s task is to facilitate exchange of maritime security information among various national stakeholders, and generate a common operational picture.

Important Info :
  • IMAC tracks only non-military or commercial ships, known as white shipping.
  • Military ships, or grey hull ships, are tracked by the Directorate of Naval Operations, as this is on a classified network.
Source : Indian Express
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Nov. 29, 2020

LA GLOTTOPHOBIE
France’s national assembly has taken the first steps towards approving a law that would ban discrimination against people with pronounced regional accents across the country.

About:

  • A new bill banning accent-based discrimination, or ‘la glottophobie’, was approved with 98 votes against three, and spurred a lively debate in the lower house of the French parliament.

  • If passed, the new law will make linguistic discrimination a criminal offence along with sexism, racism and other forms of outlawed bigotry.

  • A person found guilty of discrimination on the basis of regional accents could face a maximum of three years in prison and a fine of up to €45,000 (INR 39.8 lakh).

Important Info :
  • Discrimination against people with strong regional accents was rampant in society, particularly at the workplace, and is a “form of racism”.
  • According to Ouest-France, a poll conducted in January 2020 showed that around 16 per cent of the French population claim to have been discriminated against during hiring because of their accent.
Source : Indian Express
International

Current Affairs
Nov. 29, 2020

DAME SUSAN JOCELYN BELL BURNELL
The Royal Society unveiled a new portrait of astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell who is credited with discovering pulsars when she was a PhD student at Cambridge University.

About:

  • Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell (born 1943) is an astrophysicist from Northern Ireland who, as a postgraduate student, discovered the first radio pulsars in 1967.

  • She was credited with "one of the most significant scientific achievements of the 20th century".

  • The discovery was recognised by the award of the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics, but although she was the first to observe the pulsars, Bell was not one of the recipients of the prize.

  • That Bell did not receive recognition in the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics has been a point of controversy ever since.

Important Info :
  • A pulsar is a highly magnetized rotating compact star (usually neutron stars but also white dwarfs) that emits beams of electromagnetic radiation out of its magnetic poles.
Source : Indian Express
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Nov. 29, 2020

DEV DEEPAWALI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Varanasi on 30 November 2020 and will attend the festival of Dev Deepawali.

About:

  • The Dev Deepavali is also known as "the Diwali of the Gods" or "Festival of Lights of the Gods".

  • It is the festival of Kartik Poornima celebrated in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

  • It falls on the full moon of the Hindu month of Kartika (November - December) and takes place fifteen days after Diwali.

  • The steps of all the ghats on the riverfront of the Ganges River, from Ravidas Ghat at the southern end to Rajghat, are lit with more than a million earthen lamps (diyas) in honour of Ganga and its presiding goddess.

  • The gods are believed to descend to Earth to bathe in the Ganges on this day.

Source : PIB
Culture

Current Affairs
Nov. 29, 2020

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is being observed on 29 November.

About:

  • 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.

  • Palestine is recognized officially as the State of Palestine by the United Nations and other entities.

  • It is a de jure sovereign state in Western Asia claiming the West Bank (bordering Israel and Jordan) and Gaza Strip (bordering Israel and Egypt) with Jerusalem as the designated capital, although its administrative center is currently located in Ramallah.

  • The entirety of territory claimed by the State of Palestine has been occupied since 1948, first by Egypt and Jordan and then by Israel after the Six-Day War in 1967.

Source : UN
International

Nov. 28, 2020

Current Affairs
Nov. 28, 2020

INDIAN ECONOMY
India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted 7.5% in the second quarter of 2020-21, following the record 23.9% decline recorded in the first quarter, as per estimates released by the National Statistical Office.

About:

  • The country has now entered a technical recession with two successive quarters of negative growth.

  • Agriculture, which was the only sector to record growth between April and June this year, grew at the same pace of 3.4% in the second quarter.

  • Manufacturing gross value-added (GVA) staged a sharp recovery to record 0.6% growth between July and September after collapsing 39.3% in the first quarter.

  • Electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services also recorded 4.4% growth in the second quarter, recovering from a 7% contraction in Q1.

  • But it remained a bleak quarter for several sectors, including mining, services such as retail trade and hotels, construction and financial services.

  • While the 7.5% contraction in GDP came as a positive surprise, there are concerns about a decline in government spending and the worsening fate of two key sectors compared to the first quarter.

Source : The Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
Nov. 28, 2020

MOTOR VEHICLE AGGREGATOR GUIDELINES 2020
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued the Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines 2020 as per the requirements and provisions of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 and further as per the amended Section 93 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

The Guidelines provide for –

  • License issued by the State Government is a mandatory re-requisite for permitting business operations by the aggregator.

  • For regulating the aggregators, the guidelines specified by the Central Government may be followed by State Governments.

  • In order to ensure compliance with the license requirements the Act stipulates penalties under Section 93 of the Act.

  • These Guidelines seek to establish a regulatory framework for aggregators by State Governments to ensure that the aggregator’s are accountable and responsible for the operations executed by them.

  • The business shall also be considered as a service provided by the aggregators to serve the larger public interest in terms of generation of employment, commutation facilities to the public which is cost effective and comfortable.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Nov. 28, 2020

HELMET STANDARDS
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has revised the two-wheeler helmet standards in India.

About:

  • Now helmets in India will come under compulsory Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification and publication of Quality Control Order (QCO). According to a recent report, the new norms will see the 1.2 kg weight limit for helmets being done away with, which was implemented in 2018.

  • The rule restricted the sale of imported helmets in India that did not carry the ISI mark and weighed considerably more than the weight cap under the BIS norms.

  • However, the revised standard will allow the sale of imported helmets, though they will still need to comply with the Indian Standard (IS) norms.

Source : PIB
Miscellaneous

Current Affairs
Nov. 28, 2020

NATIONAL ORGAN DONATION DAY
The 11th Indian Organ Donation Day was celebrated by the Union Health Ministry in New Delhi.

About:

  • Every year, for the past 10 years, 27 November has been celebrated as the ‘Indian Organ Donation Day’ in the country.

  • The National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) is mandated under the Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Act 2011 to carry out activities for promotion of organ donation from deceased persons.

  • Tamil Nadu has been adjudged the best in organ donation in the country for the sixth consecutive year.

Source : The Hindu
Health

Current Affairs
Nov. 28, 2020

INDIA CLIMATE CHANGE KNOWLEDGE PORTAL
Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar launched the India Climate Change Knowledge Portal.

About:

  • The portal will have all the major steps the Government is taking at both national and international levels to address the climate change issues.

  • It will be a single-point information resource that provides information on the different climate initiatives taken by various Line Ministries enabling users to access updated status on these initiatives.

  • He also said that India has practically achieved its  pre-2020 climate action targets.

Source : All India Radio
Environment

Current Affairs
Nov. 28, 2020

ATHENA SWAN
One of the focuses of the new Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, currently being drafted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), will be to increase the participation of women in science.

About:

  • To this end, the DST will incorporate a system of grading institutes depending on the enrolment of women and the advancement of the careers of women faculty and scientists.

  • The concept borrows from a programme started by the UK in 2005 called the Athena SWAN (Scientific Women’s Academic Network), which is now being adopted by many countries.

  • The Athena SWAN Charter is an evaluation and accreditation programme in the UK enhancing gender equity in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).

Source : Indian Express
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Nov. 28, 2020

BRERETON WAR CRIMES REPORT
The Australian army moved to discharge 13 soldiers in connection with ‘Brereton War Crimes Report’ that alleged that a number of Afghani civilians and prisoners were unlawfully killed.

About:

  • The Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force Afghanistan Inquiry Report is commonly known as the Brereton Report.

  • It is a report into war crimes committed by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) during the War in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016.

  • The investigation was led by Paul Brereton, who is both a New South Wales Supreme Court judge and a major general in the army reserve.

  • The final report was delivered on 6 November 2020. The redacted version was released publicly on 19 November 2020.

Important Info :

Findings:

  • The report found evidence of 39 murders of civilians and prisoners by (or at the instruction of) members of the Australian special forces, which were subsequently covered up by ADF personnel.
  • The report stated 25 ADF personnel were involved in the killings, including those who were "accessories" to the incident.
  • The unlawful killings discussed by the report began in 2009, with most occurring in 2012 and 2013.
Source : Indian Express
International

Current Affairs
Nov. 28, 2020

CLIMATE EMERGENCY
New Zealand’s government will decide next week if a climate emergency should be declared in the country or not.

About:

  • In 2019, the Oxford dictionaries declared “climate emergency” to be the word of the year, a word that reflects “the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year, and have lasting potential as a term of cultural significance”.

  • It defines climate emergency as “a situation in which urgent action is required to reduce or halt climate change and avoid potentially irreversible environmental damage resulting from it”.

Important Info :

Do you know?

  • Some of the countries that have declared a climate emergency in recent years include the UK, Portugal, Canada, France and, most recently, Japan.
  • Last November, the parliament of New Zealand passed the Zero-Carbon Act, which commits New Zealand to zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner.
Source : Indian Express
Environment & Ecology

Current Affairs
Nov. 28, 2020

BRAIN FINGERPRINTING
The accused in Hathras rape case will undergo brain fingerprinting.

About:

  • Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature Profiling (BEOSP) is also known as brain fingerprinting.

  • It is a neuro psychological method of interrogation in which the accused’s participation in the crime is investigated by studying their brain’s response.

  • The BEOSP test is carried out via a process known as electroencephalogram, conducted to study the electrical behaviour of the human brain.

  • Under this test, the consent of the accused is first taken and they are then made to wear caps with dozens of electrodes attached to them.

  • The accused are then shown visuals or played audio clips related to the crime to check if there is any triggering of neurons in their brains which then generate brainwaves. The test results are then studied to determine the participation of the accused in a crime.

Source : Indian Express
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Nov. 28, 2020

BLUE TIDE
Over the last four days, visitors to beaches in Maharashtra have witnessed the spectacle of a fluorescent bluish glow when the waves hit the shoreline.

About:

  • The phenomenon is called ‘blue tide’, and appears when luminescent marine life make the sea appear a deep shade of blue.

  • The spectacle occurs when phytoplankton (microscopic marine plants), commonly known as dinoflagellates, produce light through chemical reactions in proteins. Waves disturb these unicellular microorganisms and make them release blue light.

Important Info :

What is Bioluminescence?

  • Bioluminescence is the property of a living organism to produce and emit light. Animals, plants, fungi and bacteria show bioluminescence.
  • A remarkable diversity of marine animals and microbes are able to produce their own light. It is found in many marine organisms such as bacteria, algae, jellyfish, worms, crustaceans, sea stars, fish and sharks.
  • Luminescence is generally higher in deep-living and planktonic organisms than in shallow species.
  • It is an anti-predatory response. Bioluminescence is assumed to startle predators, causing them to hesitate, in a form of predator intimidation.
Source : Indian Express
Environment

Nov. 27, 2020

Current Affairs
Nov. 27, 2020

LOK VIRASAT
Films Division (FD) is organising Lok Virasat, a festival of films on folk art and painting starting from November 27, 2020.

About:

  • an exclusive bouquet of documentary films on folk art and paintings - Lok Virasat - is being showcased, between November 27–29, 2020 on FD website and You Tube channel.

  • The films being streamed include:
    • The Kingdom of God , on the great Indian heritage of art and culture with focus on various folk art traditions,

    • Bhavai - Fading Memories, a film on Bhavai - a folk art of Gujarat,

    • Naman – Khele, a film on the ancient folk art performed in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra,

    • Sahi Jata, The Fusion Cult, a film on the unique fusion of muscle and music in the form of folk art on the back-drop of the ancient Orissa town of Puri and

    • Therukoothu : Dancing For Life , a film depicting the age old Tamil folk art.



Source : PIB
Culture

Current Affairs
Nov. 27, 2020

PERIOD PRODUCTS (FREE PROVISION) (SCOTLAND) BILL
The Scottish parliament passed a landmark legislation that has made period products such as sanitary pads and tampons free of cost to those people who need them.

About:

  • The bill is titled, “Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill” and was passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament on November 24, making Scotland the first country to take such a step.

  • The bill was passed with the aim of tackling “period poverty”, which is when some people who need period products struggle to afford them.

  • One of its central objectives is to “end the silence and stigma” that surrounds menstruation and also aims to remove “gendered barriers”. The bill aims to ensure that those who menstruate have “reasonably convenient” access to period products free of charge.

Important Info :

What is ‘period poverty’?

  • Certain circumstances make access to sanitary products difficult for women and trans people. These include homelessness, coercive, controlling and violent relationships and health conditions such as endometriosis.
Source : Indian Express
Social Issues

Current Affairs
Nov. 27, 2020

SDGs INVESTOR MAP FOR INDIA
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Invest India have launched the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Investor Map for India.

About:

  • It laid out 18 Investment Opportunities Areas  (IOAs) in six critical SDG enabling sectors, that can help the country push forward on the trajectory of Sustainable Development.

  • The six focus sectors identified in the map include education, healthcare, agriculture and allied activities, financial services, renewable energy and alternatives and sustainable environment.

  • Of the 18 IOAs identified, 10 are already mature investable areas that have seen robust Private Equity and Venture Capital activity. The remaining eight IOAs are emerging opportunities, which have seen traction from early-stage investors.

  • The map has also identified eight ‘white spaces’, which have seen investor interest and have the potential to grow into IOAs in five to six years with policy support and private sector participation.

Important Info :
  • Invest India is the national investment promotion agency under the Commerce & Industry Ministry.
Source : The Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
Nov. 27, 2020

INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL (ICC)
New Zealand's Greg Barclay has been elected as the new independent chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

About:

  • What is it? The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the world governing body of cricket.

  • History: It was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 by representatives from Australia, England and South Africa. It took up its current name in 1989.

  • What it does? It organises world championship events such as Cricket World Cup, Women's Cricket World Cup, ICC T20 World Cup, ICC Women's T20 World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy and Under-19 Cricket World Cup.

  • What it doesn’t?
    • The ICC does not control bilateral fixtures between member countries (which include all Test matches), and neither does it govern domestic cricket within member countries.

    • It does not make or alter the laws of the game, which have remained under the governance of the Marylebone Cricket Club since 1788.



  • Headquarters: Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Source : All India Radio
Sports

Current Affairs
Nov. 27, 2020

ARCHERY ASSOCIATION OF INDIA
Youth Affairs and Sports Ministry has restored the government recognition to Archery Association of India as a Nation Sports Federation (NSF) for promotion and regulation of Archery Sport in the country.

About:

  • Government recognition of AAI was withdrawn eight years back on account of failure to conduct its elections in accordance with the National Sports Development Code of India.

  • Government recognition of AAI will be valid for one year.

  • This comes after AAI's independent elections and revocation of suspension by the World Archery and Indian Olympic Association.

Source : All India Radio
Sports

Current Affairs
Nov. 27, 2020

INDIA - AFGHANISTAN RELATIONS
India has announced the launch of Phase-IV of the High Impact Community Development Projects in Afghanistan. It envisages more than 100 projects worth 80 million dollars that India would undertake in Afghanistan.

About:

  • External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said this during the 2020 Afghanistan Conference organized in Geneva. The two day conference was co-hosted by the United Nations, the Government of Afghanistan, and the Government of Finland.

  • Dr Jaishankar also announced that India had just concluded with Afghanistan an agreement for the construction of the Shatoot dam, which would provide safe drinking water to two million residents of Kabul city.

  • India had earlier built the 202-kilometer Phul-e-Khumri transmission line that provided electricity to Kabul city.

Source : All India Radio
International

Current Affairs
Nov. 27, 2020

DRAFT MERCHANT SHIPPING BILL, 2020
Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has issued a draft of the Merchant Shipping Bill, 2020 for public consultation. It aims to repeal and replace the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 and the Coasting Vessels Act, 1838.

About:

  • To improve welfare of Indian seafarers on abandoned vessels and safety of such vessels, the Bill has provisions for repatriation of abandoned seafarers have been enhanced, in line with the Maritime Labour Convention regulations.

  • To promote ease of doing business, the Bill does away with requirement of general trading licence for Indian vessels.

  • It also enables electronic means of registration, and grants statutory recognition to electronic agreements, records, and log-books, in addition to electronic licenses, certificates and payments, stated the release.

  • The Bill has clauses to increase India’s tonnage and to make the vessel a tradeable asset.

  • To promote India as a bankable shipping jurisdiction and avoid situations leading to wreck, the proposed Bill seeks to introduce for the first-time statutory framework for regulating maritime emergency response against maritime incidents

  • To make India an active enforcement jurisdiction, the Bill incorporates powers of the Director-General to take action against vessels that are unsafe, and pose a threat to safety of life at sea and environment

  • The Bill also encourages active enforcement of pollution prevention standards.

Source : The Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
Nov. 27, 2020

HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (HRMS)
Indian Railway has launched a completely digitized online Human Resource Management System (HRMS).

About:

  • HRMS is a high thrust project for Indian Railways to leverage improved productivity and employee satisfaction. It is a move to improve efficiency and productivity of the Railway system.

  • HRMS is expected to create a big impact on the functioning of all the employees and will make them more tech savvy.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Nov. 27, 2020

UNIQUE DOCUMENT IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (UDIN)
Finance Ministry has said, CBDT will validate Unique Document Identification Number (UDIN) generated from ICAI portal at the time of upload of Tax Audit Reports.

About:

  • Unique Document Identification Number (UDIN) is a unique number given to documents attested by Chartered Accountants in Practice. It is an 18 digits system generated unique number which shall generated separately for each document.

  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), in its gazette notification dated 2nd August, 2019, had made generation of UDIN from ICAI website mandatory for every kind of certificate/tax audit report and other attests made by their members as required by various regulators.

  • This was introduced to curb fake certifications by non-CAs misrepresenting themselves as Chartered Accountants.

Source : All India Radio
Economy

Current Affairs
Nov. 27, 2020

DEVI PRIYA
Well-known Telugu poet and Kendriya Sahitya Academy awardee Sheik Khaja Hussain, popularly known as Devi Priya, died at the age of 69.

About:

  • Born in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, Devi Priya worked as journalist with popular Telugu and English dailies.

  • He had also penned award-winning lyrics for several Telugu films and associated with Telugu literary movements since the early ‘70s.

  • Devi Priya bagged the Sahitya Akademi Award 2017, for his book Gaali Rangu.

Source : All India Radio
Culture
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