Current Affairs Update – 13th November, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 13th November, 2015. These are important for the upcoming IBPS Clerk and Other Banking and Insurance Exams.

Finance/Economy –

Modi launches Neev Fund in UK

  • India’s first Low Income State Infrastructure Equity Partnership (the Neev Fund) was launched on Friday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in UK in the presence of David Cameron, Prime Minister, United Kingdom.
  • The Fund has co-investment from the UK Department of International Development and the State Bank of India.
  • In a joint statement, the two Prime Ministers recognised the importance of infrastructure for sustainable development.
  • The Fund aims to provide equity partnerships for small infrastructure development in sectors like water & sanitation, clean energy and urban infrastructure. It will seek to demonstrate sustainable and inclusive development through small infrastructure projects within target sectors.

List of commercial deals agreed during Narendra Modi's UK visit

£9 billion worth of commercial deals have been agreed or announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK They include:

In India

  • Light Source has announced a £2 billion investment in India to design and manage 3 gigawatt of solar power in the country over the next five years. This will employ 300 people in each of the two countries
  • OPG Power Ventures will invest £2.9 billion in India, creating 4,200 MW of new power capacity in India focused on solar and thermal power.
  • Vodafone is to invest £1.3 billion on upgrading and expanding its network coverage, and on technology centres in Pune and Ahmedabad. It will also create a Tier 4 data centre, and a new payment bank.
  • Kings College Hospital Foundation Trust and Indo UK Healthcare PVT Ltd have agreed to set up a branch of Kings College Hospital in Chandigarh. It will be the first of 11 new UK-Indo institutions of health, adding up to £1 billion of investment into Indian health.
  • Subject to regulatory approval, Stanard Life, Bupa and Aviva will invest £238 million in total into their Indian joint ventures.
  • Merlin Entertainments will open the first Madame Tussauds in India in New Delhi in 2017, investing £50 million over 10 years in other brands within its portfolio including LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, and Sealife Acquarium
  • Health product retailer Holland & Barrett International, will partner with Apollo Hospitals in a £20 million deal to open 1,000 outlets across India in five years, commencing in January.

In the UK

  • The government is to issue the first government backed rupee bond in London to fund railway infrastructure projects. Full details are yet to be released.
  • The London Stock Exchange Group and Yes Bank are to further develop bond and equity issuance focused on Green Infrastructure Finance. Yes Bank plans to list a green bond of £330 million through Medium Term Notes on the LSE by December next year.
  • Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) will issue $750 million rupee denominated bonds, for trading on the London Stock Exchange,
  • Bharti Airtel will issue £500 million of sterling bonds to be listed on the LSE.
  • Zyfin and Sun Global are listing an Indian fixed income exchange traded fund on the LSE
  • Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd has invested £66 million into UK startup bank OakNorth, in which it will hold a 40 per cent stake.
  • State Bank of India is to open two new UK branches.
  • TVS is set to open a £20 million advanced logistics facility in the UK.

India –

India, UK strike 3.2 bn pound deal on energy, climate change

  • Ahead of the Paris climate summit, India and Britain have agreed on a comprehensive package of collaboration on energy and climate change which includes commercial deals worth 3.2 billion pounds.
  • During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ongoing UK visit, the two countries reaffirmed the importance of addressing climate change and promoting secure, affordable and sustainable supplies of energy that will support economic growth, energy security and energy access.
  • The package encompasses 3.2 billion pounds of commercial agreements, joint research programmes and initiatives to share technical, scientific, and financial and policy expertise.
  • This is aimed at encouraging the research, development and eventual deployment of clean technology, renewables, gas and nuclear.
  • As part of the package, Britain also announced the UK Climate Investments joint venture with the Green Investment Bank. This will invest up to 200 million pounds in renewable energy and energy efficiency in India and Africa.

World Famous Wax Museum Madame Tussauds' to Open in Delhi

  • Madame Tussauds', world famous Wax Museum, will open its new venture in New Delhi for Bollywood stars as part of the India-UK Year of Culture in 2017, it was officially announced here coinciding with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's maiden visit to the UK.
  • Bollywood stars such as Amitabh Bachchan and Katrina Kaif are among the most popular exhibits at the famous waxworks in London.
  • According to the announcement by British Prime Minister David Cameron, a Shakespeare First Folio, treasures from the British Museum and a copy of the Magna Carts will go on touring displays in India for the 2017 cultural exchange. A festival of India will be staged in the UK during the year.

India inked MoUs with six countries in the International Civil Aviation Negotiations

  • The Government of India announced on 12 November 2015 that it signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with six countries. These countries are: Finland, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, and Oman and Ethiopia.
  • In addition, Agreed Minutes were signed with Serbia, Greece, and European Commission. The Record of Discussions was signed with Brunei Darussalam and Qatar.
  • The MoUs were signed during International Civil Aviation Negotiations (ICAN) 2015, which was held in Antalya, Turkey from 19 to 23 October 2015.

Mou with Oman
  • As per the agreement signed between Indian and Oman, additional 5131 seats were granted taking the total capacity entitlements from 16018 seats per week to 21149 seats per week for both sides.

Mou with Kazakhstan
  • Both the countries agreed to review the initialled Air Services Agreement (ASA) as per the latest Article 11 given by the Indian side.
  • Both the parties also agreed to third country airlines code share and domestic code share operations to four points.

Mou with Kenya
  • As per the signed MoU, the capacity entitlements have been increased from 14 frequencies for each side to 21 additional frequencies.
  • Hyderabad was allowed as an additional point of call for the designated carriers of Kenya.
  • Domestic code share was agreed to from any 4 points by both sides.
  • Kenya agreed to grant one additional point, intermediate and beyond point with full 5th freedom rights in Africa to India.

Mou with Ethiopia
  • Capacity entitlements were increased from the existing 21 frequencies per week to 28 frequencies per week for both sides.
  • Ethiopia was allowed to exchange Bangalore in place of Kolkata as a point of call. 
  • Three additional domestic code share points exclusively to code share with Air India were granted namely Jaipur, Kolkata and Pune.

Mou with Finland
  • The provisions namely code share, intermodal services, routing flexibility and open sky on cargo, which are mandatory requirement of Horizontal Agreement coming into force were agreed to by Finland.
  • Further domestic code share was agreed to on 5 points in the territory of both parties.
  • The domestic code share points for the designated airline of Finland are Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata.

Mou with Sweden, Norway and Denmark
  • Four provisions namely, code shares, intermodal, routing flexibility and open sky on cargo, which are the mandatory requirements of Horizontal Agreement coming into force was agreed to by the three Scandinavian countries.
  • India accepted Norway’s request to bring Norway-India bilateral in line with Horizontal Agreement on receiving a letter to this effect from European Council. 
  • Sweden allowed India another new point namely Gothenburg for code share operations.

Defence Minister commissioned India’s Coast Guard offshore patrol vessel ‘Samarth’

  • Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on 10 November 2015 commissioned the India Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), ‘Samarth’ at Vasco in Goa. It is Coast Guard’s largest OPV.
  • The Ship built by Goa Shipyard limited is the first in the series of six off Shore Patrol vessels. The 105m OPV is fitted with most advance technology, navigation and communication equipment, sensors and machinery. It has a maximum speed of 23 knots and has an endurance of 6000 nautical miles at economical speed.
  • Samarth that will be based in Goa is also capable of carrying pollution response equipment to contain any oil spill at sea. The vessel will also carry one twin-engine helicopter and five high-speed boats.

President approved Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Bill

  • President Pranab Mukherjee on 12 November 2015 gave his assent to the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Bill.
  • The bill was passed by the Haryana Legislative Assembly on 16 March 2015.

Key provisions of the bill
  • Cow slaughter in Haryana will invite rigorous imprisonment ranging from 3 to 10 years and a fine of up to 1 lakh rupees.
  • Any person who attempts to export cows for slaughter will be imprisoned for not less than 3 years and up to 7 years. In addition, fine between 30000 rupees and 70000 rupees will be imposed.
  • The killing of a cow in an accident or for self-defence will not be considered slaughter.

Awards & Honors –

Abraham M Keita from Liberia won the 2015 International Children's Peace Prize

  • Liberian teenager Abraham M Keita was on 10 November 2015 awarded with the prestigious International Children’s Peace Prize 2015. He was awarded for his extraordinary and peaceful fight for justice for child victims of physical or sexual violence, and for successfully campaigning for the Liberian parliament to adopt the Children’s Law.
  • Seventeen-year-old Keita received the prize from Nobel Peace Laureate and his countrywoman Leymah Gbowee in The Hague. Gbowee in 2011 became the first Liberian to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in Liberia’s peace-building process.

Sameer Panda-led Indian team won NASA award for Burst Prevention & Puncture Curative technology

  • A team of Indian scientist led by Sameer Panda from Odisha on 6 November 2015 won the NASA award for an innovative technology named Burst Prevention & Puncture Curative (BPPC) technology. Udit Bondia, KN Panda and Smitiparna Satpathy are the other members of the team.
  • They won the award in the Create the Future Design Contest- 2015 conducted by NASA Tech Brief in New York. Tech Brief is a contest jointly organized by NASA and Society of Automobile Engineers, International.
  • They won the award for Mild Run Flat Tyre based on BPPC technology and developed by TycheeJuno, a firm working on Disruptive and Breakthrough Innovation in technology mostly related to automotive division.

Appointments –

Indian-origin barrister Kalyani Kaul sworn-in as Circuit Judge in the UK

  • Indian-origin barrister in UK, Kalyani Kaul was sworn-in as a Circuit Judge in the UK on 9 November 2015. Now, she will be sitting at Snaresbrook Crown Court with immediate effect.
  • 54-year-old Kalyani is known for her extensive and wide ranging experience in heavy-weight criminal defence work. She has spent 32 years defending serious and high profile cases. 
  • She was called to the Bar in 1983 and later in 2009, she was appointed as a Recorder by Queen Elizabeth II. As a Recorder she prepared cases for trial and presided over hearings in county courts.

Report/Indexes –

IEA released World Energy Outlook 2015

  • International Energy Agency (IEA) on 10 November 2015 released the World Energy Outlook 2015 (WEO-2015). The report, in light of low energy prices, calls for no complacency on energy security front and sees clear signs that the energy transition is underway, that is, from fossils to renewable.
  • The WEO-2015 presents updated projections for the evolution of the global energy system to 2040 as well as detailed insights on the prospects for fossil fuels, renewables, the power sector and energy efficiency. It also presents an analysis on trends in CO2 emissions and fossil-fuel and renewable energy subsidies.
  • India, which will move to the centre stage of global energy, is the subject of an in-depth focus in WEO-2015.

Obituaries –

Former Israeli President Yitzhak Navon died

  • Yitzhak Navon, who served as the fifth president of Israel, died on 6 November 2015 in Jerusalem. He was 94.
  • Navon was Israel’s first Sephardic president. He served as the fifth president of the country from 1978 to 1983 as a member of the center-left Alignment party.
  • Born in 1921, Navon joined the pre-state Betar movement when he was 12. Later, he enlisted in the Irgun. However, he left the Irgun at the age of 18 over ideological differences. He later joined the Haganah, which later became the Israel Defense Forces.


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