Current Affairs Update – 19th November, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs Update of 19th November, 2015. These are important for the upcoming Banking and Insurance Exams.


Finance –

7th Pay Commission recommends 23.55% hike; OROP for civilians too


  • In a big bonanza to central employees and pensioners, the seventh Pay Commission today recommended a 23.55 per cent increase in salary, allowances and pension along with a virtual one-rank-one-pension for civilians, involving an additional outgo of Rs 1.02 lakh crore a year.
  • A minimum pay of Rs 18,000 per month and a maximum of Rs 2.5 lakh per month has been recommended by the Commission, headed by Justice A K Mathur, that presented its 900-page report to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley here.
  • The recommendations, which are to be implemented from January 1, 2016, will benefit 47 lakh central government employees and 52 lakh pensioners.
  • The impact the recommendations will be Rs 1.02 lakh crore - Rs 73,650 cr on Central Budget and Rs 28,450 cr on Railway Budget.
  • Without calling it one-rank-one-pension (OROP), the Pay Commission recommended a revised pension formulation for the central government employees, including para-military personnel as well as for defence staff who have retired before January 1, 2016.
  • The Chairman and other member Dr Rathin Roy recommended the age of superannuation for all central armed forces personnel to be raised to 60 years from current 58 years, another member Vivek Rae did not agree with it. He endorsed the stand of Home Ministry.
  • In a significant recommendation, it enhanced the ceiling of gratuity from the existing Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh. And the same will be raised by 25 per cent whenever DA be raised by 50 per cent.
  • Under the central government employees group insurance scheme, the rates of contribution as well as insurance coverage have now been enhanced suitably. Monthly deduction has been raised from Rs. 120 per month to Rs. 5,000 and insurance cover from Rs. 1.2 lakh to Rs. 50 lakh for senior most level. At the bottom of the matrix, it has been raised from Rs. 30 per month to Rs. 1,500 and the cover hiked from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 15 lakh.


CCEA approved extension of Indian Development and Economic Assistance Scheme

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 18 November 2015 approved extension of Indian Development and Economic Assistance Scheme (IDEAS) for five years from 2015-16 to 2019-20.
  • The extension was approved by the Prime Minister-headed CCEA in view of continued relevance of the scheme.
  • During the extended period, about 3771 crore rupees will be utilized as part of the scheme.
  • In fact, it was the second extension since its inception in 2005-06. The first extension was granted in 2009-2010 for five years.


CCEA approved disinvestment of 10 percent paid up equity capital in Coal India Limited

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 18 November 2015 approved the disinvestment of 10 percent paid up equity capital of Coal India Limited (CIL).
  • With this disinvestment in CIL, the Union Government is expecting to mop up around 20000 crore rupees. As at current market capitalisation, based on CIL stock price, 10 percent stake sale could fetch about 21137.71 crore rupees.


Highlights of the disinvestment
  • This disinvestment implies divesting of 631636440 shares of Face Value of 10 rupees each out of the Union Government shareholding of 78.65 percent through public offering in the domestic market.
  • This figure has been estimated after adjusting one percent equity to be offered for sale to the employees of CIL as per CCEA decision in September 2014, which is under process of implementation.
  • The paid up equity capital of the CIL is 6316 crore rupees. After the disinvestment of 10 percent equity, the Government's shareholding in CIL would come down to 68.65 percent.



India ratified Articles of Agreement of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 18 November 2015 gave its approval for the ratification and submitting of the Articles of Agreement (AoA) of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
  • India will be the second-biggest shareholder with 8.4 percent, followed by Russia, which will have a 6.5 percent stake.


How the ratification of AoA of AIIB will help India?
  • Establishment of the AIIB will help India and other signatory countries to raise and avail resources for their infrastructure and sustainable development projects.
  • It will enable India to play a prominent role in the governance of a multilateral institution.
  • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a proposed international financial institution which is focused on supporting infrastructure construction in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • The bank was proposed by China and supported by 37 regional and 20 non-regional Prospective Founding Members, 53 of which have signed the AoA that form the legal basis for the proposed bank.
  • The bank will start operation after the agreement enters into force, which requires ratifications from 10 member states holding a total number of 50% of the initial subscriptions of the Authorized Capital Stock.
  • The Bank will be headquartered in Beijing.
  • The authorised capital of AIIB is 100 billion US Dollar and the initial subscribed capital is expected to be around 50 billion US Dollar. The paid-in ratio will be 20 percent.



CCEA approved four rail line projects worth 8351 crore rupees


  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 18 November 2015 gave its nod to four rail line projects in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
  • The approximate cost of the rail line projects is around 8351 crore rupees.


The four rail line projects are:

Third and fourth lines between Budhapank and Salegaon via Rajathgarh Railway Line
  • The lines will be spread over an area of 85 km each with a cost of 1172.92 crore rupees.

Doubling of Kottavalasa-Koraput Railway line
  • The Kottavalasa-Koraput Railway line of 189.278 km will be doubled with a completion cost of 2977.64 crore rupees.


Doubling of Koraput-Singapur Road Railway line
  • The Koraput-Singapur Road section railway line of 164.56 km will be doubled with a completion cost of 2361.74 crore rupees.


Doubling of Jagdalpur-Koraput Railway line
  • The Jagdalpur-Koraput section railway line of 110.22 km will be doubled with a completion cost of 1839.02 crore rupees.


India –

India and Vietnam inked MoU for cooperation in the field of Animal Health

  • The Union Cabinet on 18 November 2015 gave its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Vietnam for cooperation in the field of Animal Health.
  • The MoU was signed in September 2014.
  • The MoU seeks the promotion of mutual cooperation between both the nations through joint activities in the areas of animal health.
  • The MoU will be valid for a period of 10 years unless either of the parties gives prior written notice of at least six months to the other party of its intention to terminate the MoU.



Intel launched Ek Kadam Unnati Ki Aur initiative from Telangana

  • Intel India on 18 November 2015 launched Ek Kadam Unnati Ki Aur initiative from Nadimpalle village in Mahabubnagar district of Telangana by opening an Unnati Centre.
  • The objective of the programme is to augment digitalization of rural India. It will be implanted in 10 states across the country and complements the Digital India initiative of the Union Government.

Features of Unnati Centre
  • It will be used to create the framework for the Telangana model digital village.
  • It provides various citizen services under the Telangana government's e-panchayat scheme.
  • It provides devices, relevant local content and training for citizens and creates opportunities for development and empowerment.



CCEA approved implementation of CCTNS and ICJS Project by March 2017 to revamp Criminal Justice System

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 18 November 2015 approved two projects proposed by Union Ministry of Home Affairs with a view to revamp criminal justice system in the country.
  • These are Crime and Criminals Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) and Integrated Criminal Justice System (ICJS) Project.
  • It decided to fast track the implementation and complete implementation of the project by March 2017.


Crime and Criminals Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS)
  • The Project will interconnect about 15000 Police Stations and additional 5000 offices of supervisory police officers across the country
  • It will digitize data related to FIR registration, investigation and charge sheets in all police stations.



Union Cabinet approved German as additional foreign language in Kendriya Vidyalayas

  • Union Cabinet on 18 November 2015 gave its ex-post approval to the Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) between the Ministry of Human Resource Development and Federal Foreign Office of Germany.
  • The JDI seeks to promote German as an additional Foreign Language in Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV) schools.
  • With this approval, German language will now be taught as an additional foreign language in KVs in conformity with the National Education Policy, 1986.
  • The approval also gives green signal to promotion of teaching of Modern Indian Languages in Germany.



Union Cabinet approved setting up of National Resource Facility for Bio-medical Research

  • The Union Cabinet, presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 18 November 2015 approved the proposal of the Department of Health Research in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. As per the proposal, a National Resource Facility for Bio-medical Research (NARF) will be set-up at Genome Valley in Hyderabad by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).
  • The estimated cost for the project is 338.58 crores rupees. The resource centre is expected to be functional by 2018-19.
  • Besides, the state government has allotted 102.69 acres of land at Genome Valley, Hyderabad, free of cost, to the ICMR for establishment of NARF for Biomedical Research.



Indexes/Reports –

IEP released Global Terrorism Index 2015


  • Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) on 17 November 2015 released Global Terrorism Index 2015.
  • It is a comprehensive summary of the impact of terrorism in 162 countries (covering 99 percent of the world’s population) in terms of lives lost, injuries, property damage and number of incidents.
  • As per the report, deaths from terrorism increased 80 percent in 2014 to the highest level ever and global economic cost of terrorism reached all-time high at 52.9 US billion dollars.
  • Out of the 162 countries, India was the sixth most affected by terrorism in 2014. Compared to 2014, India witnessed a slight increase in terror-related deaths to reach a total of 416. It was the highest number of terrorist incidents and deaths since 2010.

Highlights of Global Terrorism Index 2015
  • The top 5 countries that were worst effected by terrorism in 2014-Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria.
  • The least affected countries in 2014-Japan, Malawi, Togo, Zambia among others.
  • 32658 people were killed by terrorism in 2014 compared to 18,111 in 2013- the largest increase ever recorded.
  • Boko Haram and ISIL were jointly responsible for 51 percent of all claimed global fatalities in 2014.
  • Countries suffering over 500 deaths increased by 120 percent to 11 countries.
  • 78 percent of all deaths and 57 percent of all attacks occurred in just five countries-Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria.



India Climbs to 108th Spot in Global Gender Index: WEF


  • On the back of stronger representation of women in political leadership, India has improved its ranking to 108th position among 145 countries in the global gender gap index prepared by the World Economic Forum.
  • Iceland has once again topped the rankings followed by Norway and Finland at second and third spots, respectively.
  • Last year, India was ranked 114 among 142 countries. Even though its place has improved, India is still behind major economies including the US (28) and China (91).
  • Other countries in the top ten are Sweden (4), Ireland (5), Rwanda (6), the Philippines (7), Switzerland (8), Slovenia (9) and New Zealand (10).
  • With a score of 0.664, India is at the 108th spot. The rankings are based on a country's performance in terms of economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival and political empowerment.
  • India this year improves on its 114th position in 2014 mainly on the back of stronger representation of women in political leadership. In terms of economic participation and opportunity, India is placed 139th, educational attainment (125), health and survival (143).



Days –

World Toilet Day observed on 19 November with the theme Sanitation and Nutrition


  • World Toilet Day (WTD) was observed on 19 November 2015 across the world with the theme Sanitation and Nutrition.
  • The aim of WTD is to raise awareness about the people in the world who don’t have access to a toilet, despite the fact that it is a human right to have clean water and sanitation.
  • The effort of the WTD in 2015 was to draw the world’s attention to the importance of toilets in supporting better nutrition and improved health.
  • WTD has been celebrated by the World Toilet Organisation since 2001. It was later became an official UN day on 24 July 2013 as the 67th session of UN General Assembly approved it through the Sanitation For All resolution.


Sports –

Indian cyclists won five medals on the opening day of Track Asia Cup

  • Indian men and women elite cyclists on 18 November 2015 won five medals on the opening day of the Track Asia Cup.
  • The cyclists won one gold medal, three silver medals and one bronze medal at the event held in IG Stadium Complex Velodrome, New Delhi.
  • India has fielded two additional teams of SAI National Cycling Academy (SAINCA) and Western Indian Team (WIT). However, the medals won by cyclists representing SAINCA and WIT will not be counted in India's medal tally.
  • Anu Chutia clinched a silver medal in the 500m race distance event in the junior women category in a time of 40.093 seconds.
  • Amritha Reghunathan, from SAINCA, won the gold medal in a time of 39.927 seconds.
  • In women's elite event of 500m race distance, cyclists Deborah grabbed a silver medal in new national record time of 35.77 seconds. She lost to Korea's Kim Wangyeong.
  • Junior women team of Anu Chutia and Rajesh Nayana won a gold medal in Team Sprint event with a timing of 39.702 seconds.






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