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Monthly Current Affairs: November 2020 in English

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MONTHLY CURRENT AFFAIRS

Monthly Current Affairs: November 2020 in English

CURRENT AFFAIRS NOVEMBER 2020 in English

In this monthly current affairs section, we have covered entire important topics like Persons in News, Places in News, National Affairs, International Affairs, Sports Affairs, Schemes & Policies, Awards & Recognition, Appointments,  Books and Authors, Important Days and themes, Obituary, Ranking and Index, Conference and Summits, Agreements and MoUs, Defence, STATIC, etc of November 2020. These current affairs questions are most important for upcoming exams of SSC.

Persons in News

The CAG of India, Girish Chandra Murmu, has been elected External Auditor of Inter Parliamentary Union, Geneva, for a three-year term.

  • Girish Chandra Murmu, Comptroller & Auditor General of India will assume this prestigious position
  • He will take charge of this position from the Supreme Audit Institution of Switzerland. 
  • The election took place at the virtual meeting of the 284th session of the IPU, which is a 179 countries Parliamentarians body, also having 13 Associate Members.
  • The IPU has permanent observer status at the United Nations General Assembly
  • The result of the election has been conveyed by Martin Chungong, Secretary-General of the IPU

US President-elect Joe Biden has appointed Indian-American Mala Adiga as the policy director of his wife Jill, choosing an experienced education policy hand as the incoming First Lady focuses on education and plans to continue teaching community college classes.

  • Adiga was a senior adviser to Jill and senior policy adviser for Biden's 2020 campaign. 
  • She previously worked for the Biden Foundation as director for higher education and military families.

Joe Biden has been declared the winner of the US Election, 2020. 

  • He is to become 46th President of the United States beating Donald Trump.
  • His Oath of Office as the 46th President of the US will be administered by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. 
  • He is to assume office on January 20, 2021.
  • The election results make Trump the first one term president since 1990.

US.Democratic Party candidate Kamala Harris has become the first woman Vice President of the US.

  • She will be the 49th Vice President of the United States and will replace Mike Pence.
  • She is the first woman of Indian-American and African-American origin to be a member of the United States Senate.
  • The Vice President of the US is the President of the senate.
  • The Vice President is elected for a four-year term through the Electoral College.
  • In the Indian constitution, the post of the Vice President has been borrowed from the US constitution.

Indian diplomat Vidisha Maitra has been elected to the UN’s Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ).

  • The election was a tightly contested one but Maitra won with 126 UN members supporting her candidature for the only post for the Asia-Pacific group while 64 voted for the opposing candidate who was from Iraq.
  • India’s permanent representative to the UN, TS Tirumurthy confirmed Maitra’s election to the post. 
  • India has been a member of the committee since its inception in 1946.The committee is one of the most coveted in the United Nations system as it controls the financial and budgetary purse of the UN.

Army Chief General MM Naravane has been conferred the honorary rank of General of the Nepali Army by President Bidya Devi Bhandari in Kathmandu. 

  • He was honoured at a special ceremony at the President's official residence 'Shital Niwas' in Kathmandu.
  • He was also presented with a sword and scroll during the function.
  • The ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister of Nepal K.P. Sharma Oli, Indian Ambassador Vinay M. Kwatra and other senior officials of both the countries.
  • During the meeting, General Naravane conveyed his gratitude for the honour bestowed upon him and also discussed measures to further enhance bilateral cooperation.
  • The practice follows a seven decade old tradition of conferring Army Chiefs of each other's country with the honorary title.

National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) Chairman, Dilip Rath has been unanimously elected to the Board of International Dairy Federation (IDF) during the General Assembly of IDF.

  • As Member Secretary of Indian National Committee and as a member of the Standing Committee on Dairy Policy and Economics, Rath has been associated with IDF for the last 10 years. 
  • He played a key role in signing the Dairy Declaration at the IDF World Dairy Summit in Rotterdam in October 2016 between IDF and FAO. 
  • The Declaration recognises the contribution of the dairy sector to the achievement of key Sustainable Development Goals such as ending poverty and hunger, and protecting the environment.

Priyanca Radhakrishnan has become the first Indian to be appointed as a minister in the New Zealand government led by Jacinda Ardern.

  • Elected as MP for the second time representing the Labour Party, Priyanca has been given charge as the Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities, Minister for Youth, Minister of Community and Voluntary Sector and Associated Minister for Social Development and Employment.
  • Priyanca has been active in the Labour Party for the last 14 years. 
  • She completed her education from Singapore and New Zealand.
  • She has served as the private Secretary to the then Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa and later as the Assistant Speaker in the second term of the government led by Labour Party.
  • She had also acted as policy advisor to former MP Phil Goff.

Indian wrestler-turned-Mixed Martial Arts fighter Ritu Phogat won her third consecutive MMA championship title in Singapore.

  • The 26-year-old Indian notched up a technical knockout win over Cambodia's Nou Srey Pov in the second round.
  • Ritu Phogat is an Indian mixed martial artist currently signed to ONE Championship.
  •  She is also a female wrestler who won a gold medal at the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championship.

Most generous Indian in FY 20 -latest report of Hurun India

 IT major Wipro's Azim Premji donated Rs 22 crore a day or Rs 7,904 crore in a year to emerge as the most generous Indian in FY20, topping a list of philanthropists.

  • Shiv Nadar, Founder-Chairman of HCL Technologies, ranked second; followed by richest Indian Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries at the third spot. 
  • The fourth spot was earned by Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group followed by Anil Agarwal, Chairman, Vedanta Group at the 5th spot.
  • EdelGive Foundation, along with Hurun India, has released the seventh edition of EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List 2020. 

Places in News

Union Environment Ministry has recently approved construction of Rs 1,100 Crore Song Dam Drinking Water Project in Dehradun.

  • It is one of the most important projects of our government. 
  • The Central Water Commission has already approved the design of the Song Dam Drinking Water Project
  • This scheme will provide 24-hour drinking water to the city of Dehradun and will give a rebirth to River Rispana.
  • Originally built on the Song River, the dam is about 148 meters high and aims to generate power up to six megawatts.

Tristan da Cunha declared the largest fully protected marine reserves 

The isolated UK Overseas Territory of Tristan da Cunha, which is home to the world’s most remote human settlement, declared the largest fully protected marine reserves in the Atlantic Ocean at 687,000 square kilometres.

    • This will close over 90 percent of their waters to harmful activities such as bottom-trawling fishing, sand extraction and deep-sea mining.
    • Tristan da Cunha is a remote group of volcanic islands in the south Atlantic Ocean.
  • Tristan da Cunha is a British Overseas Territory with its own constitution
  • The mountainous archipelago Tristan da Cunha is home to tens of millions of seabirds and several unique land birds

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has unveiled ‘Statue of Peace’ in Rajasthan 

to mark the 151st Birth Anniversary celebrations of Jainacharya Shree Vijay Vallabh Surishwer Ji Maharaj, on 16th November 2020.

  • The 151 inch tall statue has been made from Ashtadhatu i.e. 8 metals, with Copper being the major constituent, and is being installed at Vijay Vallabh Sadhana Kendra, Jetpura, in Pali, Rajasthan.
  • Shree Vijay Vallabh Surishwer Ji Maharaj (1870-1954) led an austere life as a Jain Saint working selflessly and dedicatedly to spread the message of Lord Mahavira. 

India’s first organ donor memorial in Jaipur 

  • On the occasion of National Organ Donation Day, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot inaugurated the country’s first organ donor memorial in Jaipur.Indian organ donation day is being observed on the 27th of November 2020 by the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO), Government of India.
  • Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) had launched 6th World and first ever Indian Organ Donation Day and Organ Donation Congress in 2010 in New Delhi.
  • The organ donor memorial, built near SMS Hospital, is dedicated in honour of those who have given life to hundreds of others.

India’s first moss garden has been developed at Khurpatal in Nainital district Uttarakhand.

  • It was approved in July last year under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) scheme by the Research Advisory Committee of Uttarakhand Forest Department.
  • The moss garden, the first in the country, was inaugurated by renowned water conservation activist Rajendra Singh.
  • The main aim behind developing the garden was to conserve the various species of moss and other bryophytes and to make people aware of its significance in the environment besides creating a recreation centre for tourists

The Uttarakhand Chief Minister has inaugurated Dobra-Chanthi suspension bridge in Tehri-Garhwal district.

  • The 440-metre long Dobra Chanti bridge is India's longest motorable single lane suspension bridge.
  • Built over Tehri Lake, it will cut travel time between Tehri and Pratapnagar districts from 5 5 to 1.5 hours.
  • Tehri Dam is the highest dam in India and fourth highest dam in the world.

Pakke Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Arunachal Pradesh has become the first in the eight-State northeast to provide insurance cover against Covid-19 for “green soldiers”. 

  • Eight-State northeast includes Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.
  • 57 frontline staff (referred to as green soldiers) of the Park have been insured for nine months against health issues due to the infection by the Covid-19.
  • The forest guards are rightly the green soldiers in the frontline of India’s wildlife, and the onus of wildlife conservation pretty much falls on them
  • The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), an NGO, paid the insurance amount with support from Foundation Serge.

India’s first Sandalwood Museum is being established in Aranya Bhavan in Ashokapuram, Mysuru, Karnataka. 

  • The museum is set up by the Regional Forest Department to educate farmers about the significance of cultivation of sandalwood. 
  • This will also provide technical support, information on the availability of saplings, marketing facilities, pest control measures, incentives and schemes provided for sandalwood growers by the government.

UNESCO has included Panna Tiger Reserve in its ‘World Network of Biosphere Reserves’  the third in Madhya Pradesh after Pachmarhi and Amarkantak. For India it is the twelfth entry. 

  • Unesco’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme has included Panna in the Maldives in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves
  • Once home to 40 tigers, hunters and poachers took down all but two tigresses by 2009.
  • It brought its tiger population back from zero to 54 in ten years
  • The Panna ‘National Park’ was initially set up in 1981. It only received the status of a tiger reserve in the early 1990s under “Project Tiger.
  • Describing Panna as a “critical tiger habitat”, the Unesco website pointed out that it’s home to the World Heritage site of Khajuraho temples.
  • Located in the centre of India, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Panna is characterized by forests and marshy vegetation, with an abundance of rare medicinal plants as well as other non-timber forest products, such as kattha, gum and resin

National Affairs

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the Ministry Of Shipping will be renamed to Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways to bring more “clarity” in the work it does.

  • He was speaking at the inauguration of the RoPax ferry service between Hazira in Surat and Ghogha in Bhavnagar district, Gujarat.
  • He credited his government for realising the potential of sea routes and resources in the country and emphasising on “vocal for local” as the mantra for celebrating Diwali with local products.

Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha has launched a youth livelihood programme 'Mumkin' by distributing subsidized small commercial vehicles among young beneficiaries across the Union Territory.

  • The Union Territory administration in partnership with Ashok Leyland has moved towards achieving the vision of the prime minister to provide sustainable livelihood to youth under the 'Mumkin' scheme for the transport sector.
  • These mini-commercial vehicles will enable our youth between the age of 22 to 35 years to contribute to the growth of the Union Territory.

India has emerged as having the highest bribery rate of 39% in the Asian region. 

  • It also has the highest rate of people (46%) who used personal connections to access public services, according to a recent survey-report released by Transparency International. 
  • Cambodia had the second highest bribery rate of 37%, followed by Indonesia at 30%. 
  • The Maldives and Japan maintained the lowest overall bribery rate (2% each).

The UP Cabinet has cleared an Unlawful Religious Conversion Prohibition Ordinance, 2020

  •  The new law will put the onus on the defendant to prove that conversion was not for marriage. 
  • The jail sentence for the offence would be 3-10 years if the woman is from the SC/ST community or is seen as part of mass conversion.
  • The notice period to the district magistrate for the religious conversion has been doubled to two months from a month in an earlier draft.

Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot e-launched a ‘National Portal for Transgender Persons’ and e-inaugurated a ‘Garima Greh: A Shelter Home for Transgender Persons’ in Vadodara, Gujarat 

  • The National Portal for Transgender Persons has been developed within 2 months of Notification of Transgender Persons (Protectionof Rights) Rules, 2020 on 29 September, 2020.
  • This highly useful Portal would help a transgender person in applying for a Certificate and Identity card digitally from anywhere in the country. 
  • ‘Garima Greh: A Shelter Home for Transgender Persons’ will be run in association with Lakshya Trust, a Community based organisation entirely run by the Transgenders.
  • The purpose of the Shelter Home is to provide shelter to Transgender persons, with basic amenities like shelter, food, medical care and recreational facilities.
  • The Nodal Ministry has taken the first step in improving the conditions of Transgender persons and has identified 10 cities to set up the 13 Shelter Homes.

The First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted two India-sponsored resolutions on nuclear disarmament 

  • These two resolutions are:
    • Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons
    • Reducing Nuclear Danger under the Nuclear weapons cluster
  • These resolutions aim at reducing risk of nuclear accidents and prohibiting use of nuclear weapons.
  • India had tabled the resolution on Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons since 1982.

Tenth edition of the prestigious National science film festival has been organized in a virtual mode. 

  • This year it is being jointly organized by Vigyan Prasar and the Tripura State Council of Science and Technology.
  • Deputy Chief Minister of Tripura Jishnu Dev Verma has inaugurated the festival.
  • VigyanPrasar, an autonomous agency under the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, has been organizing the four-day long festival as a part of its science popularization endeavour.
  • It offers a unique platform to showcase the science films made by professionals, amateur and student filmmakers under various themes.
  • A total of 115 shortlisted films selected by the ten-member jury will be screened during the festival.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has unveiled Sahakar Pragya for primary cooperative societies in rural areas.

  • The 45 new training modules of Sahakar Pragya of the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) will impart training to primary cooperative societies in rural areas of the country.
  • Sahakar Pragya embodies enhancing NCDC’s training capacity by 18fold through an elaborate network of 18 Regional Training Centres across the country by the dedicated, Laxmanrao Inamdar National Academy for Cooperative Research and Development 

(LINAC) set up and fully funded by NCDC.

The Kerala government has decided to put on hold an ordinance that seeks to make abusive or defamatory content punishable with imprisonment up to 3 years.

  • Kerala Government has introduced Section 118A in the Kerala Police Act, to penalise ‘offensive,’ ‘abusive,’ and ‘threatening’ social media posts.
  • This has been introduced through the ordinance route.
  • According to the new law:Whoever makes an attempt  to threaten, abuse, humiliating or defame a person  through any kind of mode of communication, can face three years in jail and a fine of Rs 10,000 for any social media post that is considered “offensive” or “defamatory”.

New District (31st District) of Karnataka- Vijayanagara

  • The Karnataka cabinet gave in principle approval for the creation of Vijayanagara as the state's 31st district, carving it out from the mine-rich Ballari.
  • It was an aspiration to have a separate district that included the then capital of a Hindu empire (Vijayanagara empire) Hampi.
  • The demand for Vijayanagara district is a long standing one, as the place has a lot of history

The Madhya Pradesh government, led by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, has decided to set up a ‘Gau Cabinet’ for the protection, conservation and promotion of cows in the state.

  • The Cabinet will comprise the departments of animal husbandry, forests, panchayat and rural development, revenue, home and farmers welfare.
  • The first meeting of the Cabinet will be held at 12 pm on ‘Gopashtami’ on November 22 at the Cow Sanctuary in Agar-Malwa district named ‘Kamdhenu Gau Abhyaranya ‘.
  • It is India’s first cow sanctuary which was set up by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Madhya Pradesh government in September 2017. 

Lonar lake and  Keetham lake have been added to the list of recognised sites under Ramsar Convention

India has 41 wetlands, the highest in South Asia, with two more added to the list of recognised sites of international importance under the treaty of Ramsar Convention.

  • They are Lonar lake in Maharashtra which is the only crater lake of the country while the other is Sur Sarovar, also known as Keetham lake in Agra of Uttar Pradesh
  • Wetlands are the world's natural water filters and one of the most productive ecosystems on the planet. 
  • The Ramsar Convention signed on 2nd February, 1971, is one of the oldest inter-governmental accord signed by member countries to preserve the ecological character of their wetlands of international importance.

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Sirius, Russia have launched ‘AIM-Sirius Innovation Programme for Indian and Russian school children.

  • NITI Aayog in a statement said, the AIM-Sirius programme seeks to develop technological solutions for the two countries.
  • Over a two-week programme, from 7th to 21st of  November, 48 students and 16 educators and mentors will create 8 virtual products and mobile applications addressing global challenges across a range of areas like applied cognitive science, health and well-being,  and artificial intelligence.

Roshini Act- The Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to annul all land dealing under the Roshni Act, three weeks after the Jammu and Kashmir high court declared it unconstitutional and unsustainable.

  • The principal secretary, revenue, was asked to retrieve all such land and remove encroachments within six months.
  • The Jammu and Kashmir State Lands (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act was enacted in 2001 with the twin objective of generating resources for financing power projects and conferment of proprietary rights to the occupants of the state land. 
  • The scheme initially envisaged conferment of proprietary rights of about 20.55 lakh kanals to the occupants of which only 15.85% land was approved for vesting of ownership rights. Against the anticipated revenue from such occupants, the revenue actually generated was meagre. 

National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has launched a digital learning platform called the Future Skills Prime to encourage remote and self-paced learning. 

  • The platform has been launched under a joint partnership between the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, NASSCOM, and the IT industry.
  • It will offer subsidised access to certified courses in 10 identified emerging technologies.
  • Offered courses will include Artificial Intelligence, Internet of things, Big Data Analytics, Robotic Process Automation, Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing, Cloud Computing, Social & Mobile, Cyber Security, Augmented/Virtual Reality and Blockchain. The digital learning platform is aimed at aspirants from tier-II and tier-III cities.

“Awaas Diwas” celebration

  • On the occasion of “Awaas Diwas” celebration, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Rural Development interacted with Rural Development Ministers and officials of the States/ Union Territories through the Video Conference.
  • The Rural Housing Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G) was launched by the  Prime Minister of India on 20th November 2016 at Agra, Uttar Pradesh. 
  • To commemorate the launch of PMAY-G, which aims to provide “Housing for All” by 2022, it was decided to celebrate 20thNovember every year as “Awaas Diwas”.
  • This year, the States/ UTs have been requested to celebrate Awaas Diwas on 20th November 2020 and Awaas Week / Saptah (16th November 2020 to 22nd November 2020) and undertake  various activities at different levels of the administration.
  • Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has launched a new rural housing project named "Maha Awas Yojana," under which 8.82 lakh rural houses will be built in 100 days. 
  • Maharashtra's Rural Development department will undertake this project, which will include toilets and other necessary amenities.
  • Currently, the cost of the project has been estimated to be around Rs 4,000 crore. 
  • A total of 8,82,135 houses are targeted to be built under this project by February end

An Indo-Dutch centre of excellence (CoE) for vegetables and flowers has been opened in Kerala's Wayanad district.

  • The centre will be organising activities such as open-field precision farming of vegetables and flowers, production and distribution of quality planting materials to farmers, and also training programmes for farmers, entrepreneurs, and extension officers in the first phase.
  • A tissue culture laboratory has been set up as part of the project for producing good quality planting materials. The centre will also explore possibilities in agri-horti tourism in the district. 
  • The idea is to transform Wayanad into a hub of floriculture.
  • The CoE is a showcase and knowledge repository of the best Dutch technical practices as relevant to the Indian context.
  • It will be based in the Regional Agricultural Research Station of the Kerala Agricultural University at Ambalavayal in Wayanad district.
  • The CoE for vegetables and flowers was inaugurated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in a virtual conclave.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Ro-Pax terminal at Hazira and flag off Ro-Pax service between Hazira and Ghogha in Gujarat on Nov 8 through video conferencing.

  • Hazira-Ghogha Ro-Pax ferry service will work as a Gateway to South Gujarat and Saurashtra region. 
  • It will reduce the distance between Ghogha and Hazira from 370 Kilometres to 90 Kilometres.
  • The reduced cargo travel time will result in huge savings of fuel approximately 9000 litres per day and will lead to reduction in CO2 emission by approximately 24 million tonnes per day. 
  • It will give an impetus to the tourism industry with ease of access to Saurashtra region and lead to creation of new job opportunities.

The Haryana assembly has passed a bill providing for 75% reservation of factory and other blue-collar jobs for local candidates.

  • The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill 2020 is applicable only to new private-sector job openings and, hence, won’t affect outsiders already employed in factories and other industrial units in the state.
  • All jobs with a monthly starting salary of below Rs 50,000 come under the ambit of the proposed law. 
  • Privately managed companies, societies, trusts, limited-liability partnership firms and joint ventures based within the state and employing 10 or more people can hire only up to 10% of the approved local quota from one district.
  • The penalty for contravention of these provisions ranges from Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000.

International Affairs

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation was recently hosted by Malaysia. 

  • The leaders interacted in a virtual format under a theme “APEC Re-Imagined: Priorities in the Aftermath of COVID-19.
  • The next Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting is to be hosted by New Zealand. 
  • Earlier on November 17, 2020, the members of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation held a ministerial meeting and committed towards free and open trade and investment.
  • The APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 was adopted during the Summit. 
  •  It envisions an open, resilient peaceful Asia Pacific community by 2040. 

The United Arab Emirates has recently become the first Arab country to generate electricity from coal.

  • The coal plant, Hassyan will be set up in Dubai at 3.4 billion USD. 
  • The capacity of the plant will be 600 MW. Later, the capacity of the plant is to be increased to 2,400 MW by 2023.
  • According to the International Energy agency, the power plant will fulfil 20% of its energy requirements of Dubai.
  • Also, the electricity generated from the coal-based power plant is to be supplied at very low prices.

Bhutan has announced that it had established diplomatic relations with Germany, increasing the restricted number of capitals that Thimphu has formal ties with to 53 states and the EU.

  • This is the kingdom’s first diplomatic foray in seven years.
  • The agreement was signed between German Ambassador to India Walter J Lindner and Bhutan’s ambassador to India Major General Vetsop Namgyel. 
  • Bhutan and Germany have already established consular relations in July 2000. Official bilateral contacts have been maintained through the German Embassy in New Delhi and the Royal Bhutanese Embassy in Brussels.
  •  Bhutan already has an Honorary Consul in Germany and vice versa.

Former World Bank economist Maia Sandu (48 years) from Party of Action and Solidarity has been elected President of Moldova.

  • She won Moldova’s 2020 Presidential election with 57.72% of the vote.
  • She is the first woman to be elected as the President of Moldova and will assume office on 23rd December 2020.
  • Incumbent President of Moldova, Igor Dodon received 42.28% of the vote.
  • She was the former Prime Minister of Moldova from 8 June 2019 until 14 November 2019.

The Green Climate Fund has approved dollar 256 million for Bangladesh in grants and loans to meet its GreenHouse Gas (GHG) emission reduction targets under the Paris agreement.

  • The financing is provided as an integrated package for textile and Ready Made Garments (RMG) sectors of Bangladesh are the largest industrial contributors in carbon emission.
  • The two sectors combined together contribute more than 27 percent of the industrial carbon emission as they are working with old and outdated machines with poor energy management. 
  • By 2030, Bangladesh is committed to reduce its GHG emission by 15 percent compared to business-as-usual scenario.

Foreign ministers from the United States, Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand have urged China  to reconsider its actions against Hong Kong’s elected legislature and immediately reinstate the Legislative Council members

  • In a statement, the group of five countries also known as the ‘Five Eyes’ alliance said that China’s imposition of new rules to disqualify elected legislators in Hong Kong appeared to be part of a campaign to silence critics. 
  • They have called on Beijing to reverse its decision.Hong Kong expelled four opposition members from its legislature last week after Beijing gave city authorities new powers to curb dissent. 
  • Under the new law, the lawmakers can be summarily ousted without involving the city’s courts or seeking the sanction of constitutional procedures.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have signed a peace deal to end the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between the countries.

  • The peace deal between the countries was brokered by Russia.
  •  Armenia and Azerbaijan have been holding military conflict for six weeks now. 
  • The peace deal was signed by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashiyan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • The Nagorno-Karabakh region is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan. 
  • However, most of the region is controlled by Armenian separatists.
  •  The region has been part of the territory since the Soviet Era. As the Soviet Union began to collapse, the regional parliament of Armenia voted for the region to transfer to Armenia.

The President of Tanzania, John Pombe Magufuli has been sworn for a second five-year term. He took the oath of the office on 05 November 2020. 

  • Magufuli won 84% of the total votes in elections held on October 28. He was elected as the fifth President of Tanzania and is in office since 2015. 
  • CHADEMA party candidate Tundu Lissu took the second position.

Sports Affairs 

New Zealand's Greg Barclay has been elected as the International Cricket Council's new independent chairman.

  • Barclay has been the director of New Zealand Cricket since 2012.
  • He will replace interim chairman Imran Khwaja, who himself had stepped in to temporarily succeed Shashank Manohar after his second two-year term ended in July.
  • Barclay was NZC's representative on the ICC board but he will be stepping down from his role to lead the global governing body.
  • He was also a director of the men's World Cup that was jointly held by Australia and New Zealand in 2015.

Belgium has been ranked at the top in the final rankings list for 2020, released by FIFA  (India-104) 

  • France is placed second, while Brazil is in third place.
  • England in fourth place and Portugal in fifth place. 
  • Indian national team gained 4 places and are ranked 104th in the world. 
  • Mexico and Italy have returned to the top ten FIFA ranking 

Archery Association of India has been recognized as a National Sports Federation by the Sports Ministry.

  • Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has recognized the Archery Association of India as a National Sports Federation (NSF).
  • Government of India had withdrawn the AAI recognition on 7 December 2012 due to failure to conduct election according to the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011.
  • This recognition 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. 
  • AAI president Arjun Munda

Daniil Medvedev has defeated the US Open champion Dominic Thiem and has won the biggest title of his career at the ATP Finals in London 

  • Notably, Medvedev became the first Russian to win the title since Nikolay Davydenko, who won London’s first edition in 2009
  • Medvedev, who beat five-time champion Novak Djokovic and world number two Rafael Nadal earlier in the week, is the first man to beat all three of the world's top-ranked players at the season finale.

Volker Herrmann, the Athletics Federation of India High-Performance Director whose contract had been extended by the Sports Ministry until the end of the 2024 Olympics, has resigned from his post. 

  • The German was appointed to the post in June 2019 for a term till the end of the postponed Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
  • Herrmann was the second person to become Indian athletics’ High-Performance Director after a short stint by American Derek Boosey, a 1968 Mexico City Olympian, who was appointed in October 2015 ahead of the Rio Olympics but resigned after seven months in charge.

The Women's Under-17 football World Cup in India, which was initially postponed to next year due to COVID-19 pandemic, was cancelled by FIFA, but India was handed the hosting rights of the 2022 edition.

  • The FIFA cancelled both the women's U-17 World Cup and U-20 World Cup which were scheduled to be held in India and Costa Rica respectively but handed both the countries the hosting rights of the 2022 editions.
  • All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel said the local organising committee is ready to start afresh for hosting the 2022 edition.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has appointed Alia Zafar (a female director for the first time) 

  • Human resources executive Alia Zafar has been included among four new PCB directors.
  • The others are finance executive Javed Kurieshi, economist Asim Wajid Jawad and corporate executive Arif Saeed.
  • Zafar and Jawad were appointed for two-year terms.
  • The PCBs new constitution makes it mandatory to include at least one woman among four independent directors on its board of governors.
  • The revamped structure of the PCB has resulted in only six provincial teams – Balochistan, Central Punjab, Southern Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Northern – competing in premier first-class cricket tournaments.
  • For more than 50 years, banks fielded teams in first-class tournaments alongside city-based teams in Pakistan.

Rutuja Bhosale has won a singles title by beating Anna Siskova of the Czech Republic in the final of the $15,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt 

  • It was the third singles title in the professional circuit for the 24-year-old Rutuja, who had played a significant role in helping India qualify for the Fed Cup World Group playoff in Dubai during March. 
  • Her last two titles came in 2017.

Manipur’s Gyanendro Ningombam has been elected unopposed as the Hockey India (HI) president, taking over from Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad who was asked to demit office by the sports ministry for violating the National Sports Code’s tenure guidelines.

  • Mushtaque is now back in the HI Executive Board after being unanimously elected as the senior vice-president, the post Ningombam held, the two effectively exchanging positions.
  • Ningombam, elected for a period of two years.
  • He had previously been CEO of Manipur Hockey from 2009-2014. 

Quanhai Li of China has been elected as the new President of World Sailing after defeating incumbent Kim Andersen of Denmark.

  • Li’s victory,was announced at the governing body’s General Assembly which was held virtually.The run-off followed a first round contested by four candidates, with the top two progressing.
  • The 58-year-old Li, director-general of the Chinese National Olympic Sports Centre, will join a select group of Chinese officials to have taken charge of a Summer Olympic International Federation. 
  • Headquarters  London, Great Britain

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has won Turkish Grand Prix which gave him his 10th victory of the season.

  • He claimed the seventh drivers’ title of his career, to equal the record of Michael Schumacher.

Schemes and Policies

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has expanded the state-run ‘Swasthya Sathi’ health scheme to cover the entire population of the state.

  • The decision will be applicable from December 1, 2020.
  • She drew parallel with the Centre’s ‘Ayushman Bharat’ scheme saying that it is being run on 60:40 ratio, while ‘Swasthya Sathi’ is totally funded by the West Bengal government.
  • The health scheme, which was officially launched by Banerjee in December 2016, is a basic health cover for secondary and tertiary care up to Rs 5 lakh per annum per family.
  • The health card will be issued to the woman guardians of the families and will be distributed from December 1, 2020.

Rajasthan has launched - ‘Indira Gandhi Matritva Poshan Yojana’ 

  • Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot inaugurated the scheme through video conferencing. 
  • On the occasion of its launch, two beneficiaries each from the four districts were given cheques of Rs 1000 each as the first installment of this scheme.
  • More than 77 thousand women are expected to be benefitted from this scheme every year. 
  • Beneficiary women will get Rs 6000 in five phases. 

The Punjab Cabinet has approved a new scheme “Punjab Divyangjan Shaktikaran Yojana”

  •  which will be implemented in a phased manner across the state.
  • The first phase of the scheme will involve strengthening the existing programmes to ensure that their benefits reach persons with disabilities in a more effective manner.
  • In the second phase, 13 new interventions are proposed to be undertaken for the empowerment of such persons

The Mastercard and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have jointly launched Project Kirana in India.

  • The project will work to increase revenue streams and adopt digital payments in kirana shops owned or operated by women.
  • The two-year programme would be initially implemented across Lucknow, Kanpur and Varanasi covering around 3,000 women entrepreneurs and would be scaled up later.
  • The programme will focus on building financial and digital literacy, improving basic business management skills and addressing the cultural and other barriers faced by women in becoming kirana entrepreneurs.

Two new schemes — Vaatsalya Yojana and Samarth Yojana — have been launched for orphan and destitute children during the week.

  • Skill development activities, awareness programmes and new welfare schemes have marked the child rights week being observed in Rajasthan from November 14 to 20.
  • Mr. Gehlot also inaugurated a skill development and counselling centre for children in Jodhpur.
  • The initiatives were taken in accordance with the announcement for creation of the Nehru Child Protection Fund in the 2020-21 State Budget.

Awards & Recognition

EPFO conferred with Platinum Partner Award for highest transactions on UMANG App.

  • On the occasion of completion of 3 years of UMANG App, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad unveiled the newly instituted UMANG Awards for Partner Departments of Centre and States based on average transactions in the past six months across all services. 
  • Employees' Provident Fund Organisation has been conferred with Platinum Partner Award for registering more than 25 lakh transactions on UMANG App.
  • EPFO aimed to harness the potential of UMANG app to enable easy and round-the-clock access to its services, especially to the subscribers residing in remotest of locations. 
  • This led to the launch of EPFO services on UMANG

Bhutan’s Queen Mother Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck has been awarded the United Nations Population Award.

  • The award has been presented to her in the individual category for 2020 for her work on sexual health and ending gender violence.
  • The awardee in the organisational category is HelpAge India that works on elder care. 
  • Only two Indians have been awarded in the past four decades since the award was established in 1981: former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1983 and industrialist-philanthropist J.R.D.Tata in 1992.
  • The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has announced this award 
  • She founded a volunteer organisation called ‘Respect, Educate, Nurture and Empower Women’ (RENEW).

The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2021 for their roles in establishing the strategic and diplomatic ties between the two nations.

  • Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Lord David Trimble on November 25, 2020, submitted the candidacy of PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince for Nobel Peace Prize 2021.
  • The former minister of Northern Ireland, Lord David Trimble had won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998 which gives him the privilege of nominating others.
  •  The Nobel Peace Prize Committee will further review the candidacy of Netanyahu and Al Nahayan.

India has won its first International Emmy Award. 

  • Netflix web series Delhi Crime has won the Drama Series award at International Emmy Awards 2020.
  • The show has won the Best Drama Series award at the 48th International Emmy Awards which was held virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The show is written and directed by Richie Mehta features actress Shefali Shah as the main character.

Kerala Tourism has been bestowed the coveted 'Highly Commended' Award by World Travel Mart London, as a recognition for its remarkable activities aimed at promoting Responsible Tourism (RT) during the challenging times of COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Kerala's Responsible Tourism (RT) Mission received this recognition in the category of 'Meaningful Connections.
  • The RT Mission received the award for its innovative work on 'Wok at Home Videos' and storytelling audio and video series produced and presented by various Mission units in the state during the pandemic that has posed multiple challenges to the tourism sector.

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve have bagged the first-ever international award, TX2 for the conservation and preservation of the majestic animals.

  • Pilibhit Tiger Reserve was the first to receive the award among 13 tiger range countries.
  •  It achieved this goal in just four years from 2014, when it had 25 tigers which went up to 65 in 2018.
  • The award was virtually presented to the principal chief conservator of forest of the state, by the United Nations Development Program.
  • TX2 is the global award which was set up in 2010 in St. Petersburg, Russia by international organizations working for tiger conservation like WWF, UNDP and IUCN.

VP Venkaiah Naidu has presented Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award in Excellence to Sudha Murty.

  • Venkaiah Naidu presented the 21st Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Philanthropy to Chairperson of Infosys Foundation Sudha Murty virtually.

India-Japan cooperation has won the OECD Mutual Agreement Procedure 2019 Award.

  • This was announced on the occasion of Second Tax Certainty day by OECD
  •  India with Japan has won the 2019 Award on Co-operation for highest agreement ratio for a pair of jurisdictions for transfer pricing cases. 
  • The Award to India-Japan Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) Cooperation demonstrates India's commitment to provide tax certainty and efficacious dispute resolution mechanism for the Japanese companies doing business in India.

Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ will be conferred with the Vatayan Lifetime Achievement Award at a virtual ceremony on 21st November, 2020.

  • Vatayan International Awards given by the Vatayan-UK organization in London, honours poets, writers and artists for their exemplary work in their respective fields’.
  • Before many famous personalities like Prasoon Joshi, Javed Akhtar have been awarded the Vatayan Awards for their literary contribution.
  • This award will be another in the list of many other national and international awards and honours conferred to the Minister for writing, poetry and other literary works. 

The Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokriyal ‘Nishank’ has inaugurated the Lilavati Awards based on the theme of women empowerment.

  • The award is an initiative of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
  • The Lilavati Award aims to recognise the efforts of AICTE affiliated institutions in treating women.
  • The award has been named after the 12th century book called “Lilavati”. 
  • The book was written by the mathematician Bhaskara II. 
  • The prize was handed out for the first time at the International Congress of Mathematicians that was held in 2010

A Bangladeshi teen Sadat Rahman has been awarded the International Children’s Peace Prize for his work to stop cyber bullying of teens. 

  • The award was given away  by the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai during a ceremony in the Netherlands.
  • The prize is given away by the international children’s rights organization KidsRights to a child who fights courageously for children’s rights.
  • Sadat Rahman has created the anti-cyber bullying app ‘Cyber Teens’ to help teenagers who are sufferers of cyber bullying.  
  • The app provides information to the young people about  internet safety. It also provides them a channel to safely report the cyberbullying confidentially. 

Malayalam author S Hareesh has won the coveted JCB Prize for Literature 2020 for his novel, Moustache.

  • The book has been translated in English by Jayasree Kalathil and published by HarperCollins India.
  • The novel addresses a wide range of issues plaguing the society at large through the symbol of a moustache, which withholds connotations of both gender and caste. 
  • Hareesh’s work is a fine literary example of a modern classic.

Tamil Nadu has topped the Union ministry of Jal Shakti’s National Water Awards 2019 in the 'best state category'.

  • The award will be presented during the second National Water Awards 2019 distribution ceremony scheduled on November 11 and 12 through a virtual platform.
  • The ministry confers the award based on various parameters, including implementation of irrigation water supply schemes such as check dams, performance under micro irrigation, increase in irrigation coverage, performance in roof top rain water harvesting and status of implementation of water accounting and auditing.

Important Appointments:

Lt Gen Harpal Singh appointed Engineer-in-Chief of Indian Army.

  • Maj Gen Rajeev Chaudhary, who has earlier served as Chief Engineer Southern Command, will take over the reins of BRO.
  • An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Lt Gen Harpal Singh was commissioned into the Corps of Engineers in December 1982.
  • He commanded a Border Roads Task Force in Jammu and Kashmir and has also served as the Chief Engineer of BRO’s Project Dantak in Bhutan, Chief Engineer (Navy), Mumbai and Chief Engineer Eastern Command.

Sheikha Bodour of UAE has become the first Arab woman to be appointed president of International Publishers Association.

  • The announcement was made at the virtual IPA General Assembly Congress (GAC).
  • Sheikha Bodour becomes the second woman globally to occupy the position after Ana Maria Cabanellas of Argentina who had served as Vice President and President of the Association from 2004–2008. 
  • She will be assuming the position officially in January 2021.
  • For the past two years, Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi has been serving as the Vice President of IPA following her election to the position at the 2018 IPA General Assembly.

Former Infosys Chairman and former co-founder Senapathy (Kris) Gopalakrishnan, has been appointed as the first Chairperson of the Reserve Bank Innovation Hub.

  • The Reserve Bank of India has set up an innovation hub for accelerating innovation in the financial sector through effective use of technology.
  • In August, the central bank had announced that it will set up the Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH) to promote innovation across the financial sector by leveraging on technology and creating an environment that would facilitate and foster innovation.
  • Those appointed as members include ex-NPCI CEO A P Hota, ex-Syndicate Bank CMD Mrutyunjay Mahapatra and ex-RBI ED T. Rabi Sankar

Nitish Kumar took oath as Bihar Chief Minister for the seventh time with two Deputy Chief Ministers from the BJP — four-time Katihar MLA Tara kishore Prasad and four-time Bettiah MLA Renu Devi.

  • A total of 15 ministers were administered the oath of office by Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan — seven from the BJP, including Tara kishore Prasad and Renu Devi; six from the JD(U), including Nitish; and one each from the Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) and Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular).

Mr. Duarte Pacheco of Portugal has been elected the new President of Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) for the period 2020-2023.

  • The election process to elect the new IPU President took place through remote electronic secret ballot, with a 24 hour window for casting votes.
  • Earlier, the Governing Council of IPU, Geneva resumed its business during the 206th Session in virtual format.
  • The Indian Parliamentary Delegation led by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and consisting of Members of Parliament Poonamben Hematbhai Maadam and Swapan Dasgupta attended the meeting.

Books & Authors 

The Bhagavad Gita for Millennials - Bibek Debroy

Book on the life and ideals of Guru Nanak Dev- Kirpal Singh Ji.

'Reporting India: My Seventy-Year Journey as a Journalist'  -Prem Prakash.

The Last Queen - Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

A Promised Land -Barack Obama

Autobiography of Sonu Sood-I Am No Messiah

How To Be A Writer” Ruskin Bond

Your Best Day Is Today-Anupam Kher 

“The Hitman: The Rohit Sharma Story” is written by Vijay Lokapally and G. Krishnan

 “Jugalbandi: The BJP Before Modi” - Vinay Sitapati 

“Pandemonium: The Great Indian Banking Tragedy -Tamal Bandyopadhyay

Conferences and Summit 

India has chaired the 19th meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states on November 30, 2020.

  • India has got the opportunity to host the meeting for the first time since joining the SCO in 2017.
  • The upcoming meeting of heads of govt is an important event under the SCO framework this year.
  • The economic cooperation will remain the focus area during the upcoming 19th meeting of the Council of Heads of Govt (HOG)
  • SCO has eight members – India, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan
  • SCO Secretary General Vladimir Norov 

India, Sri Lanka and Maldives held the fourth national security advisor trilateral meeting.

The countries discussed maritime security cooperation. It was hosted by Sri Lanka. India was represented by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval

  • India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka agreed  to enhance intelligence-sharing to tackle common threats such as terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering as the three countries revived their maritime security cooperation dialogue after a gap of six years.The last meeting was held in New Delhi in 2014.
  • Indian NSA Ajit Doval, Maldives’ defence minister Mariya Didi and Sri Lanka’s defence secretary Kamal Gunaratne attended the meeting. 
  • It was decided that the working groups at the level of deputy NSAs will meet twice a year to bolster cooperation at the operational level.

India will host the G-20 summit in 2023; a year later than what was decided earlier.

  • India was earlier slated to host the summit in 2022 as per the Osaka declaration of the G20.
  • The G20 Riyadh Summit Leaders Declare that the next meetings will be in Italy in 2021, in Indonesia in 2022 , in India in 2023 and in Brazil in 2024.
  • The order of the rotating presidency is decided among member states on the basis of consultations and mutual convenience."
  • India looks forward to taking forward the G20 agenda in 2023 after the Italian and Indonesian presidencies.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has co-chaired India-ASEAN summit along with the Vietnamese Prime Minister Ngyuyen Xuan Phuc.

  • During the summit, India and ASEAN have adopted “ASEAN-India Plan of Action (2021-2025)”. 
  • The  summit will review the status of ASEAN-India strategic partnership and take stock of progress made in key areas such as connectivity, maritime cooperation, trade and commerce, education and capacity building.

Important Days & Themes

IMPORTANT DAYS/WEEK

DATE

EXTRA INFORMATION

National Milk Day 

November 26

 

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

November 25

“Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect

Africa Industrialization Day

November 20

 

National Naturopathy Day

November 18

 

World Toilet Day

November 19

This year the 2020 focuses on sustainable sanitation and climate change

National Press Day 

November 16

 

International Day for Tolerance

November 16

 

World Diabetes Day

November 14

Theme- The Nurse and Diabetes

National Bird Watching Day

November 12

Birth anniversary of India's legendary ornithologist, Salim Ali (‘Birdman of India’ )

World Pneumonia Day

November 12

  •  

World Science Day for Peace and Development

November 10

 

National Education Day

 

November 11

Birth anniversary of India’s First Education Minister Maulana Kalam Azad

National Legal Services Day 

November 9

 

International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict 

November 6

 

National Cancer Awareness Day 

November 7

 

World Tsunami Awareness Day

November 5 

 

International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

November 2

 
 

Obituary 

Sadiq al-Mahdi; Former Prime Minister of Sudan passed away from a coronavirus infection

  • Mahdi, 84, was Sudan’s last democratically elected prime minister and was overthrown in 1989 in the military coup that brought former president Omar al-Bashir to power.
  • The moderate Umma Party was one of the largest opposition parties under Bashir, and Mahdi remained an influential figure even after Bashir was toppled in 1989.

Faqir Chand Kohli, the first chief executive of Tata Consultancy Services passed away.

  • He was popularly known as the father of Indian IT industry died of a heart attack.
  • In 1968, the technocrat was picked by JRD Tata to set up TCS—a startup founded as a management consultancy and transformed into a software development giant over the next two decades by the IT visionary.

Former Governor of Goa and vetern BJP leader Mridula Sinha passed away 

  • She was 77. 
  • Mridula Sinha was also the first woman Governor of Goa. 
  • Mridula Sinha also served as the head of the BJP's women's wing and chairperson of the Central Social Welfare Board in the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • Mridula Sinha was an excellent writer and teacher. 

James Wolfensohn, who served as the president of the World Bank for 10 years has passed away recently. 

  • He was nominated by then-President Bill Clinton.
  • He was the first World Bank Group President born outside the United States. (Australia) 
  • He was the only third person to serve two full terms as president.

Diego Maradona, widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time, passed away in Argentina after suffering a heart attack. 

  • He was 60.
  • He was the captain of Argentina and won the World Cup in 1986

Former Assam Chief Minister and Senior Congress leader Tarun Gogoi passed away due to post covid-19 complications. 

Mr Gogoi was diagnosed with COVID-19 in August 2020.

  • He was the longest-serving Chief Minister of Assam
  • Gogoi took the helm of affairs of the state in 2001 when the state was also facing a serious financial crisis.
  •  He was in power for 15 years; between 2001 and 2016.
  • Between 1991 and 1996 Gogoi served as the food and food processing industry minister in the Union Cabinet of India under Prime Minister Narasimha Rao.

Haryana’s first woman MP and former Puducherry Lt Governor Chandrawati passed away.

  • Chandrawati, who was then with the Janata Party, had become the first-ever woman MP from Haryana when she defeated political stalwart Chaudhary Bansi Lal from the Bhiwani constituency in 1977 Lok Sabha elections held soon after the withdrawal of Emergency.
  • The Janata Party had won all 10 seats in Haryana.

Bahrain’s Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al Khalifa has passed away.

  • Khalifa was 84 years old.
  • He had served as prime minister since the Sunni Muslim-led island kingdom declared independence from Britain in 1971, almost half a century.
  • The al-Khalifa family has ruled since 1783.
  • He was a Bahraini royal and politician who has served as the Prime minister of Bahrain since 1970, taking office over a year before Bahrain’s independence on 15 August 1971.

Ranking & Index

India is placed at 77th position in the TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix 2020.

  • India has achieved a score of 45 in a global list that measures business bribery risks of 2020.
  • India’s rank stood 78 positions in 2019
  • The list by TRACE, an anti-bribery standard setting organisation, measures business bribery risk in 194 countries, territories, and autonomous and semi-autonomous regions.But, Bhutan scored better than India and got 48th place in the list.
  • North Korea, Turkmenistan, South Sudan, Venezuela and Eritrea had the highest commercial bribery risk. 
  • Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and New Zealand showed the lowest bribery risk.

Arunachal Pradesh recorded the best sex ratio in the country while Manipur recorded the worst sex ratio, according to the 2018 report on “vital statistics of India based on the Civil Registration System”.

  • Sex ratio at birth is number of females born per thousand males.
  •  Arunachal Pradesh recorded 1,084 females born per thousand males, followed by Nagaland (965) Mizoram (964), Kerala (963) and Karnataka (957). 
  • The worst was reported in Manipur (757), Lakshadweep (839) and Daman & Diu (877), Punjab (896) and Gujarat (896).
  • Delhi recorded a sex ratio of 929, Haryana 914 and Jammu and Kashmir 952.

The World Wildlife Fund(WWF) has released the Water Risk Filter analysis report. Jaipur(45th) topped the list of Indian cities followed by Indore(75th) and Thane. Mumbai, Kolkata, and Delhi also featured on the list.

  • 100 cities (home to 350 million people)  are set to face the greatest rise in water risks by 2050.
  • India has 30 cities on the list. 
  • Egypt’s Alexandria tops the list and is followed by Mecca in Saudi Arabia, China’s Tangshan, Saudi Arabia’s Dammam, and Riyadh. 
  • China accounts for almost half the cities.
  • Dr Sejal Worah, programme director of WWF India.

Kerala was adjudged the best-governed state in the country while Uttar Pradesh ended at the bottom in the large states category, according to the Public Affairs Index-2020 released by the Public Affairs Centre.

  • The annual report is released by the city-based not-for-profit organisation, headed by former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K Kasturirangan. 
  • The states were ranked on governance performance based on a composite index in the context of sustainable development.
  • Four southern states, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka stood in the first four ranks in the large state category in terms of governance,
  • Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Bihar were at the bottom of the ranking, scoring negative points in the category.
  • In the small state category, Goa ranked first, followed by Meghalaya and Himachal Pradesh
  • Worst performers who scored negative points are Manipur, Delhi and Uttarakhand.

AGREEMENTS & MoUs 

India has recently announced an agreement with Afghanistan,  to complete the Shahtoot dam which will provide safe drinking water to the residents of Kabul.

  • The dam is proposed to be built on the Maidan River, a tributary of the Kabul River which flows into Pakistan from Afghanistan.
  • India will also launch the fourth phase of the high-impact community development projects in Afghanistan, which envisages more than 100 projects worth $80 million (Rs 600 crore) that India would undertake in Afghanistan.
  •  India's External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar is leading the Indian delegation at the 2020 Afghanistan Conference being organised virtually by the UN and Afghan and Finnish governments to reaffirm the International community’s commitment to Afghanistan during 2015-24.

India and Finland have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of biodiversity conservation and environment protection.

  • The agreement was signed by the Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and his counterpart Krista Mikkonen of Finland.
  • According to the Memorandum of Understanding, the countries will exchange their best practices in areas such as prevention of air and water pollution, waste management, low carbon solutions, sustainable management of natural resources and promotion of circular economy. 
  • It aims to develop bilateral cooperation in the field of environmental protection and biodiversity conservation on the basis of equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit.

The Government of India signed a Memorandum of Understanding with leading oil and gas marketing companies to establish Compressed Biogas Plants all over India.

  • These plants are to generate biogas from crop wastes.
  • The agreements were signed under the SATAT (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation) initiative.
  • Under the agreement, around 900 Compressed Biogas (CBG) plants will be  established in the country. 
  • Earlier, the Government of India signed an agreement for 600 plants. 
  • The agreement signed will bring in Rs 30,00 crores of investment to set up 900 plants. To set up 5000 plants, a total investment of Rs 2 lakh crores is envisaged.

An MoU has been signed between Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) and the Department of New & Renewable Energy, Goa, for India’s first decentralized solar Convergence Project in Goa.

  • It will accelerate the usage of renewable energy sources in Goa and meet its agricultural and rural power consumption.
  • It will help provide clean energy at affordable rates and also reduce the Transmission & Distribution (T&D) losses.
  • EESL will install solar energy projects on the vacant or unused land provided by the Gram Panchayats and electricity board.

DEFENCE AFFAIRS

The Defence Research Development Organization Chairman G. Satheesh Reddy has recently flagged off the first Varunastra, the heavyweight torpedo. 

  • The torpedo was designed and developed by the Bharat Dynamics Limited, Visakhapatnam Unit of Indian Navy.
  • In June 2019, the Indian Ministry of Defence awarded a contract worth ₹1,187 crore (US$170 million) to the company to mass produce the torpedo for the Indian Navy.
  • BDL is also the production agency for Astra Air- to- Air Missile System and has commenced manufacturing of these missiles.
  • The Varunastra (Sanskrit वरुणास्त्र) is the water weapon (a storm) according to the Indian scriptures, incepted by Varuna, god of hydrosphere.

Indian Navy is hosting the 27th edition of India -Singapore Bilateral Maritime Exercise SIMBEX-20 from 23 to 25 November 2020 in Andaman Sea.

  • The SIMBEX series of exercises between Indian Navy  and Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), being conducted annually since 1994, are aimed at enhancing mutual interoperability and imbibing best practices from each other.
  •  The scope and complexity of these exercises has increased steadily over the past two decades to include advanced naval drills covering a wide spectrum of maritime operations.
  • The 2020 edition of SIMBEX will witness participation by Indian Navy ships including destroyer Rana with integral Chetak helicopter and indigenously built corvettes Kamorta and Karmuk.

The Indian Navy is participating in the two-day trilateral maritime exercise SITMEX-20 in the Andaman sea along with the navies of Singapore and Thailand.

  • Indian naval ships, including indigenously-built anti-submarine warfare corvette Kamorta and missile corvette Karmuk, are participating in the 2nd edition of the trilateral exercise
  • The first edition of SITMEX, hosted by Indian Navy, was conducted off Port Blair in September 2019.
  • The SITMEX series of exercises are conducted to enhance mutual interoperability and imbibing best practices between IN, Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and Royal Thai Navy (RTN).
  •  The 2020 edition of the exercise is being hosted by RSN.

The 30th Indo-Thai CORPAT was held between Indian Navy and Royal Thai Navy from November 18, 2020 to November 20, 2020.

  • Indian Naval Ship (INS) Karmuk, an indigenously built Missile Corvette and His Majesty's Thailand Ship (HTMS) Kraburi, a Chao Phraya Class Frigate along with Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both the navies are participating in the CORPAT.
  • As part of Government of India's vision of SAGAR (Security And Growth for All in the Region), the Indian Navy has been involved in assisting countries in the Indian Ocean Region with EEZ Surveillance, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), and other capacity building and capability-enhancement activities on their request

India, US, Japan and Australia will participate in the second phase of the Malabar naval exercise in the Northern Arabian Sea from November 17 to November 20. 

  • It is the first time in over a dozen years that the four countries are participating in such a large naval exercise.
  • The first phase was conducted earlier this month off the Visakhapatnam coast.
  • The four countries also form the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or the Quad, and their coming together for a major wargame sends a strong message to China at a time when India and China are involved in a military standoff in eastern Ladakh.

The Indian Navy has launched the fifth Scorpene submarine “Vagir” at Mazagon Dock of south Mumbai. 

  • The submarine is capable of taking missions such as anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, mine laying, intelligence gathering and area surveillance.
  • Vagir is a part of six Kalvari class submarines that is being built in India. 
  • These submarines were designed by French Navy. The six submarines were built under Project-75 of Indian Navy.
  • Vagir has been named after Sand Fish. It is a deep-sea predator in the Indian Ocean. 

The Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) conducted a three-day joint services exercise code named ‘Bull Strike' at the remotely located Teressa Island.

  • Indian Army’s Parachute Brigade, Marcos and Special Forces were part of the exercise that happened between November 3 and November 5 2020 at the remotely located Teressa Island, in the strategically important Nicobar Group of Islands.
  • The major training activities comprised combat free fall and paradrop from   strategic lift aircraft C-130 by a company of Para Commandos from the mainland, action by MARCOS of Indian Navy and Special Heli Borne Operations (SHBO) by Indian Army Ghatak platoons.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

India's Department of Science and Technology will increase the participation of women in science by using a programme Athena SWAN

  • India’s  Department of Science and Technology (DST), will increase the participation of women in science by incorporating 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).

The 8th BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Ministerial meeting unanimously has adopted BRICS STI Declaration 2020.

  • The meeting was held through a virtual platform.
  • Science and Technology cooperation among the member countries Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa was discussed in the meeting
  • During the meeting, Science and Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan highlighted that the COVID 19 pandemic has been a test, demonstrating that multilateral cooperation is the key to overcoming such global challenges. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch Bhutan’s satellite next year.

  • The two sides signed a framework agreement for enhancing cooperation in the peaceful uses of space that will foster collaboration between several institutions of the two countries.
  • India will support Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck’s efforts to use advanced technology, including ICT and space technology.
  • In this regard, state-run BSNL is currently working on the third international Internet gateway for Bhutan.
  • A ground earth station in Bhutan for using India’s South Asia satellite was inaugurated during Modi’s visit to the country in August last year, and Thimphu is using the facility for broadcasting and disaster management.
  • Bhutan launched its first nano-satellite Bhutan-1, which was built with Japan’s assistance, on a SpaceX rocket in June 2018.

The World Health Organization has announced that it will set up a Global Centre for traditional medicine in India. 

  • The announcement of establishing the centre was made during the inaugural ceremony of two future ready Ayurveda institutions. 
  • These institutions were inaugurated in Jamnagar and Jaipur. 
  • The Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA), Jamnagar (Gujarat) and the National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA), Jaipur (Rajasthan) are both premier institutions of Ayurveda in the country.

India has become the 4th nation in the world to have its independent Regional Navigation Satellite System.

  • Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) has been recognised by International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as a part of Worldwide Radio Navigation System (WWRNS)
  • 3 countries with IMO recognised navigation system: US, Russia and China
  • IRNSS: Designed to provide accurate position information services to assist in the navigation of ships in Indian Ocean waters.
  • The IMO is the United Nations’ specialised agency responsible for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships.

Param Siddhi, the high-performance computing-artificial intelligence (HPC-AI) supercomputer has achieved global ranking of 63 in TOP 500 most powerful non-distributed computer systems in the world.

  • It has been established under National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) at C-DAC
  • This will accelerate R&D in  war against COVID-19 through faster simulations, medical imaging, genome sequencing and forecasting and is a boon for Indian masses and for start-Ups and MSMEs in particular.

Team Halo is an initiative undertaken by the United Nations (UN) in collaboration with The Vaccine Confidence Project at the University of London aims to tackle misinformation by sharing information on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines via social media.

  • ‘Halo’ refers to the ring of connected science that spans the globe.
  • A team of over 100 scientists are producing creative, social media-friendly videos on Covid-19 vaccine science, personal experiences and reactions to information on the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • In India, over 22 scientists have joined Team Halo from renowned institutes
  • Team Halo India will also allow scientists to respond to questions from the public and directly counter vaccine misinformation and rumours spreading in parts of the internet.

WHO has recently approved the first ever vaccine for emergency use to address Polio

  • WHO has listed the nOPV2 vaccine (Bio Farma, Indonesia) for emergency use to address the rising cases of a vaccine-derived polio strain in a number of African and East Mediterranean countries
  • The emergency use listing, or EUL, is the first of its kind for a vaccine and paves the way for potential listing of COVID-19 vaccines.

China has successfully launched "the world's first 6G satellite" into space to test the technology. 

  • It went into orbit along with 12 other satellites from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in the Shanxi Province.
  • The telecoms industry is still several years away from agreeing on 6G's specifications, so it is not yet certain the tech being trialled will make it into the final standard.
  • It involves use of high-frequency terahertz waves to achieve data-transmission speeds many times faster than 5G is likely to be capable of.

India has successfully launched its latest earth observation satellite EOS-01 and nine international customer spacecraft.

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C49) injected EOS-01, intended for applications in agriculture, forestry and disaster management support and other satellites one by one in orbit around 20 minutes after lift-off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC)
  • This is ISROs first mission this year after the COVID-19 pandemic induced lockdown 'disturbed 10 missions being planned by the agency and the nine customer satellites are from the USA, Lithuania and Luxembourg
  • EOS-01, an earth observation satellite, will be utilized in agriculture, forestry, and disaster management support.
  • It will be operational for five years.
  • EOS-01 satellite is an earth observation satellite equipped with the synthetic aperture radar to produce high -resolution images of the land. It can produce high-resolution images in any weather conditions.

Indian astronomers have collaborated with the 2020 Physics Nobel Laureate  Prof. Andrea Ghez for the design of back-end instruments and possible science prospects of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project.

  • The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is a proposed extremely large telescope (ELT) which is planned to be installed at Maunakea on the island of Hawaii.
  • The TMT project is an international partnership between CalTech, Universities of California, Canada, Japan, China, and India, to revolutionize the understanding of the universe and the enigmas in it.
  • Some of the Indian astronomers like Dr Annapurni Subramanium, Director of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) and Dr Shashi Bhushan Pandey, a scientist at Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) along with many others collaborated with Prof. Ghez in the ongoing research and developmental activities of the TMT project.

Rare asteroid has been reported by NASA to be entirely made of metal

  • A recent study has found that asteroid 16 Psyche, which orbits between Mars and Jupiter, could be made entirely of metal and may worth an estimated $10,000 quadrillion — more than the entire economy of Earth.
  • New images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope offer a closer view of the mysterious asteroid 16 Psyche, whose surface may mostly comprise iron and nickel, similar to the Earth’s core, according to the study published in The Planetary Science Journal 
  • It was first discovered on March 17, 1853, by the Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis and was named after the ancient Greek goddess of the soul, Psyche.

ECONOMY: 

The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) has recently signed an agreement with the World Bank. 

  • Under the agreement, the World Bank is to provide advisory services to DIPAM for asset monetization.
  • DIPAM is mandated with facilitating monetization of non-core assets of government CPSEs under strategic disinvestment or closure and enemy property of value of INR 100 crores and above. 
  • DIPAM has a framework for monetizing non-core assets.

The Union government has extended the tenure of ED Director Sanjay Kumar Mishra by a year after modifying his appointment order that was issued in 2018.

  • His tenure was to end next week as the ED director's post comes with a fixed term of two years.
  • As per an order issued by the Department of Revenue under the Union finance ministry the 2018 order for appointment of Mishra has been modified.

PORTALS & APPS 

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has launched ‘Abhayam’ mobile phone application which helps women and children travelling in taxis and auto-rickshaws, to raise alarm in case of any emergency.

  • The Abhayam device would be fitted in auto rickshaws and cabs.
  • The Abhayam app will provide emergency help to those in distress.
  • Abhayam is an IoT device based app which a passenger can download from the vehicle after boarding by scanning a QR code available inside the auto.
  • After logging into the app through mobile number and OTP, the passenger has to add her emergency contacts, confirm the vehicle and and driver's details. 

To mark the occasion of 3 years of UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) Mr Prasad launched an international version of UMANG App  in coordination with the Ministry of External Affairs for selected countries including USA, UK, Canada, Australia, UAE, Netherlands, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched ‘Secha Samadhan’ app, which would link the farmers directly with the Water Resources department.

  • The mobile app will help resolve the issues faced by farmers immediately and provide services in a transparent manner. 
  • Besides, the Water Resources Department will be accountable to farmers, who are its biggest stakeholders.
  • The farmers can now upload video and pictures of their farm problems, especially irrigational needs, on mobile phone and seek help from the department 
  • The CM also launched portals to provide online services for community lift irrigation projects under Biju Krushak Yojana, water allocation for industrial organizations and commercial houses.

Committees and Heads

Government think-tank Niti Aayog has formed a high-level panel to explore the technological and commercial viability of the Virgin Hyperloop technology for ultrahigh speed travel in India.

  • The committee has Niti Aayog member VK Saraswat as its Chairman and Adviser (Infrastructure Connectivity, Niti Aayog) Sudhendu Jyoti Sinha as its convener. 
  • Its other members are Railway Board Chairman & CEO VK Yadav
  • The Virgin Hyperloop test run was conducted on a 500-meter track in Las Vegas in the USA with a pod, as the hyperloop vehicles are called, travelling with passengers, including an Indian, inside an enclosed tube at more than 100 mph or 161 kmph.
  • Hyperloop is a technology proposed by inventor and businessman Elon Musk, who is behind the electric car company Tesla and the commercial space transport company SpaceX.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has decided to constitute a Food Safety Co-ordination Committee to manage food safety emergencies in the country. 

  • The committee will consist of members of various Ministries and government departments and will be chaired by FSSAI CEO Arun Singhal.
  • The food safety authority has developed a framework of the National Food Safety Emergency Response (FSER) system.
  • This outlines the procedures for multi-sectoral coordination, roles, responsibilities and management actions during food safety emergency situations

Government has formed an inter-ministerial panel to boost the country's capital goods sector.

  • The 21-member Inter-Ministerial Committee will be headed by Secretary of Department of Heavy Industries; Shri Arun Goel
  • The committee will look into issues pertaining to the capital goods (CG) sector, including technology development, testing, skill training, global standards, and custom duties to make the sector globally competitive and to become the manufacturing hub for the world.
  • Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Prakash Javadekar.

The Centre has constituted a committee to review the guidelines on television rating agencies in India and asked the panel to submit its report to the Information and Broadcasting minister within two months.

  • The four-member committee will be headed by Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi S Vempati.
  • The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said the present guidelines issued by it in 2014 on Television Rating agencies in India were notified after detailed deliberations by the Parliamentary Committee, Committee on Television Rating Points (TRP) constituted by the ministry and recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority etc.

MISC.

Writer-director Keith Gomes’ short film titled 'Shameless', which released in April last year, is this year's entry from India at the 93rd Oscars in the ‘Live Action Short Film’ category. 

  • It was picked from a list of five films that included ‘Natkhat’, ‘Sound Proof’, ‘Safar’ and ‘Trapped’.
  • It raised some relevant questions on the issues of entitlement, humanity and empathy toward the migrant class.

The famous Kartikai Deepam festival has recently been celebrated in Tamil Nadu.

  • In the famous Thiruvannamalai Sri Arunachaleswarar temple, the Bharani dweep was lit up. 
  • In the night, the Maha Dweep will be lit up after pujas at the summit of the mountain
  • In view of the prevailing pandemic, devotees from other places have been barred entry though the major events are being live streamed and telecast.
  •  The famous temple at Tiruvannamalai is in honour of the five elements.

The Shri Jagannath Temple Administration in Puri, Odisha hosted the 21st century’s first ‘Nagarjuna Besha’ at the shrine on November 27. 

  • The ‘Nagarjuna Besha’ will see deities Jagannath and Balabhadra take on the form of warriors.
  • Although the sibling deities of the Jagannath Temple, which includes goddess Subhadra, present themselves to devotees in different forms or ‘beshas’ at different times of the year, the ‘Nagarjuna Besha’ is special since it occurs once in several years.
  • This time, the occasion will be observed after 26 years. ‘Nagarjuna Besha’, which was last observed on November 16, 1994, commemorates the killing of Sahasrarjun by Parsuram.

The Bowring and Lady Curzon Medical College and Research Institute in Bengaluru has been named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

  • The institute was set up in 2018-19 on the campus of Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital 
  • Vajpayee was the first leader from the Bharatiya Janata Party to become the Prime Minister. 

The Malayalam film 'Jallikattu', directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery has been selected as India's official entry to the Oscars 2021.

  • 'Jallikettu' is based on a short story, titled 'Maoist', written by Hareesh S.
  •  The film was released in 2019 
  • It will now be in the running to secure a nomination in the 'Best International Feature Film' category.
  • Last year, Zoya Akhtar’s commercially successful 'Gully Boy', was sent as India’s official entry to the 92nd Academy Awards.

The Karnataka government has issued a notification, renaming Haveri Railway station as Mahadevappa Mailara Railway Station.

  •  It has been a long-standing demand of the public and representatives from Haveri District.
  • Mahadevappa Mailara was a freedom fighter from the district.
  • He accompanied Mahatma Gandhi on the Dandi March. 
  • He sacrificed his life for the service of society and liberation of the country and his courage had inspired a large number of people.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released its biannual ‘Worldwide Cost of Living (WCOL) report of the World’s Most Expensive Cities in 2020, based on their cost of living.

  • Hong Kong (China), Paris (France) and Zurich (Switzerland) share the top spot as the most expensive cities in the list of 133 cities.
  • Damascus (Syria), Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Lusaka (Zambia) ranked the last three spots as the most cheapest cities in the list.
  • From India, Delhi is at 121st spot in the list. 
  • Economist Intelligence Unit Headquarters: London, United Kingdom.

North Police Station (PS) Kohima has become the first police station and government office in the state to be accorded with ISO certification for quality management system.

  • The Police station is located in the heart of Kohima Town which was the first established police station under Naga Hills district by the British Regime in the year 1933.

India International Cherry Blossom Festival, the calendar event of Meghalaya which attracts record number of tourists annually in Shillong, has been cancelled this year in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Every year the cherry blossom festival is hosted by Meghalaya in the starting of November. 
  • The festival hosts live music, stalls showcasing the cuisine, beauty pageants, etc.
  • Cherry blossom festival is a national festival of Michigan. It is celebrated in Japan as well.

‘World Fisheries Day 2020’ was celebrated on 21 November by the Department of Fisheries at NASC Complex in New Delhi.

  • The Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying has given different awards to states:Uttar Pradesh has got the best performing award in the inland fisheries sector.
  • Odisha has got the award for best-performing state among the Marine states.  
  • Assam has been awarded to the best performing state among the Hilly and NE states.
  • Tamil Nadu Fisheries Development Corporation Ltd has won the best Organisation award in the marine category.
  • Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh has got the best Marine District of India award.
  • Kalahandi district of Odisha has won the award of best Inland District of India.
  • Nagaon, Assam has got the best Hilly and NE District of India award.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has unveiled two books ‘The Republican Ethic Volume III’ and ‘Loktantra Ke Swar' which are collections of selected speeches of President Ram Nath Kovind during the third year of his presidency.

  • Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar unveiled the e-book versions of the two books.
  • President Kovind has given many inspiring speeches on various topics. 
  • This book comprises speeches on the country's efforts to fight COVID19, where India is faring much better than other countries, to bravely defend its borders.

Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Shri Narendra Singh Tomar virtually inaugurated the capacity building component of the Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises scheme (PM-FME Scheme) and launched the GIS One District One Product (ODOP) digital map of India.

  • Under the PM-FME scheme, capacity building is an important component. 
  • The scheme envisages imparting training to food processing entrepreneurs, various groups, viz., SHGs / FPOs / Co-operatives, workers, and other stakeholders associated with the implementation of the scheme”.
  • The digital ODOP map provides detailed information about ODOP products to all states and facilitates the stakeholders.
  • The digital map also has indicators for tribal, SC, ST, and aspirational districts.

The World Economic Forum has selected 36 cities from 22 countries for pioneering a policy road map for smart cities. 

  • These smart cities are being developed under the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance.
  • Of the 36 cities selected, four are Indian cities. The four Indian cities selected are Bengaluru, Faridabad, Indore and Hyderabad.
  • The other cities selected under the programme are Toronto, London, Moscow, Brasilia, Dubai, Melbourne, etc.
  • The G20 Global Smart City Alliance was established in June 2019 during the Osaka G20 Summit (held in 2019). 
  • India joined the alliance as a founding partner. 
  • The main objective of the alliance is to accelerate best practices, foster greater openness and mitigate potential risks and public trust.

International bird festival will be organized in Gorakhpur in the month of February. 

  • It will attract international tourists at Ramgarhtal Lake for bird watching.
  • Gorakhpur is developing fast in the sphere of eco-tourism and in 2021 Gorakhpur will have a zoo. 

Actor Sonu Sood has been appointed as state icon of Punjab by the Election Commission of India (ECI). 

  • The decision of honouring Sonu Sood with the title comes after he earned laurels for his humanitarian work during the lockdown.
  • Sonu has been helping migrant workers reach their hometowns amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Collins Dictionary has declared “lockdown” as the word of the year, given the rise in the usage of the term in a pandemic-ridden world.

  • Defining it as “a security measure in which those inside a building or area are required to remain confined in it for a time” and “the imposition of stringent restrictions on travel, social interaction, and access to public spaces   ”.
  • The declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on March 11 set into motion global restrictions on movement, congregations and travel. 

The Jharkhand assembly has unanimously passed a House resolution seeking a separate code for Adivasis and sent it to the Centre.

  • The resolution, which demanded provisions for a separate ‘Adivasi/Sarna religious code’ from the Centre, for inclusion in the census register, was tabled by chief minister Hemant Soren.
  • A religious code will present an exact number of tribal communities, help document their population, preserve tribal languages, culture and history and help them avail their Constitutional rights (under the 5th schedule) and benefits under the tribal sub-plan.
  • Upon analysis of the tribal population between 1931 and 2011, a drop to 26.02% from 38.03% has been noticed in the past 80 years.

Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has released a special anthology on Mahatma Gandhi- 'My understanding about Gandhi' - during a ceremony at Kathmandu in the presence of Indian Ambassador Vinay Mohan Kwatra.

  • The book has been brought out by the Embassy of India along with the BP Koirala India-Nepal Foundation to cherish the values of the Mahatma's universal teachings with Nepali friends.
  • Indian Embassy said that the publication hopes to bring the youth of Nepal closer to Mahatma Gandhi, whose life and ideals remain timeless, universal and relevant for today's world. 

Indian-origin Maria Thattil was crowned as the Miss Universe Australia 2020 in the first virtual pageant event of Australia.

  • The 16th Edition of beauty pageant Miss Universe Australia 2020 was held in Melbourne, Victoria.
  • The Pageant event was organised virtually due to the Covid pandemic. 
  • Miss Universe Australia 2019, Priya Serrao presented the crown to Maria Thattil at the end of the virtual event.

The iconic Indian superhero, Chacha Chaudhary, whose brain works faster than a computer has now come forward to join hands with the Namami Gange Programme.

  • Diamond Toons will conceptualize and publish this new ‘Talking Comics’ with Chacha Chaudhary spreading awareness on the cultural and spiritual significance of River Ganga and deploy best available knowledge across the masses for Ganga rejuvenation. 
  • The teaser was released during Ganga Utsav 2020.

Indian Movie Gully Boy received the award for the Best Original Music at  the 14th edition of Asian Film Awards

  • The 14th edition of Asian Film Awards was organized by the Asian Film Awards Academy 
  • The award was given to The Salvage Audio Collective and Karsh Kale.
  • Zoya Akhtar has directed Film Gully Boy. 

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur will set-up a Centre of Excellence for the Indian Knowledge System, the Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ announced while inaugurating the international webinar titled ‘Bharata Tirtha’ organised by the institute.

  • IIT-Kharagpur has attempted to introspect on the spirit of India, her challenges in the present times, and taken the right measures through an initiative like Bharata Tirtha and research.
  • The first challenge in front of us is that we need to make our coming generation aware of the glorious past of Vishwaguru and its spirit.

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Who is Who

Attorney General of India

K K Venugopal

Solicitor General of India

Tushar Mehta

Comptroller and Auditor General(CAG)

G C Murmu 

Chief of Army Staff

Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane

Chief of Air Staff 

Air Chief Marshal R K Singh Bhadauria

Chief of Naval Staff

Admiral Karambir Singh

Chief Election Commissioner 

Sunil Arora

National Human Rights Commission, Chairman

H.L. Dattu

(15th) Finance Commission, Chairman 

N. K. Singh

ISRO Chairman

K. Sivan

Chief Justice of India 

Sharad Arvind Bobde

Chief of  Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)

Samant Goel

Chief of Intelligence Bureau (IB)

Arvind Kumar

TRAI ( Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) Chairman

P D Vaghela

Central Vigilance Commissioner(CVC)

Sanjay Kothar

Chief Information Commissioner  (CIC)

Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor

Shaktikanta Das

Chief of National Technical Research Organization (NTRO)

Anil Dhasmana

National Security Advisor of India (NSA)

Ajit Doval

Chairman of SSC

Braj Raj Sharma

Chairman of UPSC

Pradeep Kumar Joshi 

Chairman of CBSE

Manoj Ahuja

Chairman UGC

D P Singh

DG, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

Balram Bhargava

Lok Sabha Speaker

Om Birla

Chairman, NASSCOM

U. B. Pravin Rao

Director General, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)

Dr. A P Maheshwari

Director General, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)

Rajesh Ranjan

Director General, Indo-Tibetan Border Police(ITBP)

S S Deswal

Director General, Sashastra Seema Bal(SSB) 

Kumar Rajesh Chandra

President, Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce 

& Industry (FICCI)

Sangita Reddy

Chairman, National Highway Authority Of India (NHAI)

Sukhbir Singh Sandhu

Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs(CBIC)

M. Ajit Kumar

International Cricket Council (ICC) -Interim Chairman

Imran Khwaja (Hong Kong)

Chairman, National Medical Commission of India

Dr Suresh Chandra Sharma

Chairman, Banks Board Bureau

Bhanu Pratap Sharma

Chairman, DRDO

Dr G. Satheesh Reddy


Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman


Pramod C Mody

Chairman-Cycling Federation of India (CFI)

Onkar Singh

Director-General of UNESCO

Audrey Azoulay

Secretary General of NATO

Jens Stoltenberg

President of the European Council

Charles Michel

Head of World Health Organization

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Managing Director of IMF

Dr. Kristalina Georgieva

President of the World Bank

David Malpass

Secretary-General of the United Nations

António Guterres

Chairman of African union

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Director General, International Labour Organisation

Guy Ryder

Country/ Capital/ Currency

Country 

Capital 

Currency 

Israel

Jerusalem

New shekel 

Sudan 

Khartoum 

Sudanese pound

New Zealand

Wellington

New Zealand Dollar

Moldova 

Chisinau

Moldovan leu

Peru

Lima

Peruvian Sol

Ghana

Accra 

Ghanaian Cedi

Bahrain 

Manama

Bahraini dinar

Tanzania

Dodoma 

Tanzanian shilling

Portugal

Lisbon

Euro

Armenia

Yerevan

Armenian dram

Azerbaijan

Baku 

Azerbaijani manat

Belgium

Brussels

Euro

 

International Organizations and their HQs

Organizations 

HQs

World Health Organisation (WHO) 





Geneva, Switzerland 

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

International Telecommunication Union 

International Labour Organization

World Trade Organisation 

 

United Nations 



          New York (USA) 

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)

United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

 

Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

Vienna, Austria

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

 

World Bank , International Monetary Fund

Washington D.C.  USA 

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank  (AIIB) 

Beijing, China

New  Development Bank

Shanghai, China

Asian Development Bank

Manila (Philippines)

International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Lausanne, Switzerland

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)

Brussels (Belgium)

South Asian Association for Regional Corporation (SAARC)

Kathmandu (Nepal) 

Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Jakarta, Indonesia 

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Nairobi (Kenya)

Chief Ministers and Governors 

State 

Chief Minister 

Governor 

Andhra Pradesh  

YS Jagan Mohan Reddy

Shri Biswa Bhusan Harichandan

Arunachal Pradesh 

Pema Khandu

B. D. Mishra

Assam

Sarbananda Sonowal

Jagdish Mukhi

Bihar

Nitish Kumar

Phagu Chauhan

Chhattisgarh

Bhupesh Baghel

Anusuiya Uikey

Goa

Pramod Sawant

Bhagat Singh Koshyari (additional)

Gujarat

Vijaybhai Rupani

Acharya Dev Vrat

Haryana

Manohar Lal Khattar 

Satyadeo Narain Arya

Himachal Pradesh

Jairam Thakur

Bandaru Dattatraya

Jharkhand

Hemant Soren

Droupadi Murmu

Karnataka

B. S. Yediyurappa

Vajubhai Vala

Kerala

Pinarayi Vijayan

Arif Mohammed Khan

Madhya Pradesh

Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Anandiben Patel  (additional)

Maharashtra

Uddhav Thackeray

Bhagat Singh Koshyari

Manipur

N. Biren Singh

Najma Heptulla

Meghalaya

Conrad Sangma

Satya Pal Malik

Mizoram

Pu Zoramthanga

P.S. Sreedharan Pillai

Nagaland

Neiphiu Rio

R. N. Ravi

Odisha

Naveen Patnaik

Ganeshi Lal

Punjab

Capt. Amarinder Singh

V.P. Singh Badnore

Rajasthan

Ashok Gehlot

Kalraj Mishra

Sikkim

Prem Singh Tamang

Ganga Prasad

Tamil Nadu

Edappadi K. Palaniswami

Banwarilal Purohit

Telangana

K Chandrasekhar Rao

Tamilisai Soundararajan

Tripura

Biplab Kumar Deb

Ramesh Bais

Uttar Pradesh

Yogi Aditya Nath

Anandiben Patel

Uttarakhand

Trivendra Singh Rawat

Baby Rani Maurya

West Bengal

Mamata Banerjee

Jagdeep Dhankhar

 

Union Territory 

  • Andaman and Nicobar Island   Admiral D K Joshi (Lieutenant Governor)
  • Delhi     Shri Anil Baijal  (Lieutenant Governor)
  • Jammu and Kashmir     Shri Manoj Sinha (Lieutenant Governor)
  • Puducherry       Dr. Kiran Bedi (Lieutenant Governor)
  • Ladakh     Shri Radha Krishna Mathur (Lieutenant Governor)
  • Chandigarh         Shri.V.P. Singh Badnore (Administrator)
  • Lakshadweep         Shri Dineshwar Sharma, IPS, (Administrator)
  • Dadra & Nagar Haveli & Daman -Diu Shri Praful Patel (Administrator)

Cabinet Ministers 

Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways 

Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda

Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers 

Shri Narendra Singh Tomar

Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare

Ministry of Rural Development

Ministry of Panchayati Raj

Ministry of Food Processing Industries

Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad

Ministry of Law and Justice

Ministry of Communications

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology

Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani

Ministry of Women and Child Development

Ministry of Textiles

Dr. Harsh Vardhan



Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Ministry of Science and Technology

Ministry of Earth Sciences

Shri Prakash Javadekar

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas

Ministry of Steel

Shri Pralhad Joshi

Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs

Ministry of Coal and Mines

Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

Ministry of Jal Shakti

Shri Giriraj Singh

Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries

Mahendra Nath Pandey

Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

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