Current Affairs Update – 2nd November, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 1st and 2nd November, 2015. These are very important for the upcoming IBPS Clerk Exam.


Finance/Industry –

MTS India merged with Reliance Communications


  • Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) on 2 November 2015 declared that it will take over Russian conglomerate Sistema Shyam Teleservices’ (SSTL) venture that operates under the brand name of MTS for a cashless deal valued at around 4500-5000 crore rupees.
  • The merger will bring 9 million customers and around 1500 crore rupees in revenues to RCom. It will also help RCom extend the validity of spectrum in 800/850 MHz band spectrum, ideally suited for 4G LTE services, in eight circles, including Delhi and Kolkata, by 12 years from 2021 till 2033.
  • As per the terms of merger, SSTL will acquire 10 percent equity in RCom. The Reliance Communications will assume the liability to pay instalments for SSTL’s spectrum, amounting to 392 crore rupees per annum, to the Department of Telecom (DoT) for the next 10 years.



Punjab Government signed MoU to set up bio-ethanol refinery

  • The Punjab Government on 29 October 2015 inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a consortium of Beta Renewables, Novozymes and CVC India Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. to set up a bio-ethanol refinery worth 950 crore rupees in the state.
  • The agreement was signed on the last day of the two-day second Progressive Punjab Investors’ Summit, 2015.
  • The refinery will be constructed in two years, which will make Punjab the state leader in the bio-refinery sector.

Key features of the bio-refinery
  • The bio-refinery will help in solving the chronic problem of wheat and paddy straw burning in the state.
  • It will help in containing the loss of fertility and damage to environment.
  • It will help in generating co-products of biogas, pellets and compost through processing bio-refinery effluents and pellets.


India –

Vikalp Scheme launched for confirmed accommodation to waitlisted passengers in alternate trains

  • Indian Railways on 1 November 2015 launched Alternate Train Accommodation Scheme (ATAS) called as Vikalp to provide confirmed accommodation to waitlisted passengers in alternate trains.
  • The scheme was launched on pilot basis for the tickets booked through internet on Delhi-Lucknow and Delhi-Jammu sectors of Northern Railway. It will be operational for six months.
  • The purpose of the scheme is to provide confirmed accommodation to waitlisted passengers and also to ensure optimal utilisation of available accommodation.
  • Under this scheme, wait listed passengers of a train can opt for confirmed accommodation in alternate trains.



Facebook and BSNL partnered to set up 100 WiFi hotspots in rural India


  • US-based social networking giant Facebook on 31 October 2015 partnered with state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) to create 100 WiFi hotspots in rural areas of western and southern India.
  • During the partnership, Facebook will invest 5 crore rupees per annum for buying bandwidth from BSNL. The hotspots will be set up by BSNL selected vendor Quad Zen and Trimax.
  • Under the joint initiative, Facebook has chosen 100 villages to provide Wi-Fi hotspots on a revenue-sharing model. The social media major will spend 5 lakh per site a year for buying bandwidth from BSNL for a period of three years.
  • Around 25 villages are selected for the pilot project in southern and western India. As per the terms of partnership, the project can be extended by another two years from the present three-year partnership.



BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile successfully test-fired from INS Kochi


  • India on 1 November 2015 successfully test-fired BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile from INS Kochi off the west coast. BrahMos, in its 49th test-firing, successfully destroyed target ship Alleppey which was stationed 290 km away, the missile’s full range.
  • The purpose of the test was to validate capabilities of BrahMos and INS Kochi, the country’s newest stealth-destroyer, which was inducted into the navy on 30 September 2015.
  • INS Kochi has the advanced capability of carrying a total of 16 BrahMos missiles in two 8-cell vertical launch systems, besides other sophisticated weapons and sensors.



MHRD constituted TSR Subramanian committee to draft New Education Policy


Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) on 31 October 2015 constituted a drafting committee to frame the New Education Policy (NEP). It will be headed by former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian and will have four members-
  1. Shailaja Chandra, former Chief Secretary, NCT of Delhi
  2. Sewaram Sharma, former Home Secretary, NCT of Delhi
  3. Sudhir Mankad, former Chief Secretary of Gujarat
  4. JS Rajput, former Director, NCERT

  • The mandate of the committee is to go through the outcomes of wide-ranging consultation process, among others, initiated by the ministry on 26 January 2015 and draft a revision to the NEP 1986 and also submit Framework for Action.



Appointments –

Air Marshal Virender Mohan Khanna took over as Maintenance Head of IAF

  • Air Marshal Virender Mohan Khanna on 1 November 2015 took over as the Air Officer-in-charge Maintenance (AOM) at Air Headquarters, New Delhi.
  • Khanna was commissioned in the mechanical stream of Aeronautical Engineering branch in the Indian Air Force (IAF) on 25 July 1977.
  • The Air Marshall obtained his bachelor’s degree from Regional Engineering College, Kurukshetra and completed his masters in Industrial Engineering and Management from IIT, Kharagpur. He is an also an alumnus of the prestigious Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. In addition, he also received post graduate diploma in Journalism and Human Rights. 



AK Jha took over as CMD of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited


  • Anil Kumar Jha on 1 November 2015 took over the charge of Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), a leading subsidiary of Coal India.
  • Before taking over the charge in MCL, Jha served as the Director (Production & Planning) in MOIL Limited.
  • In his 32 years long career, Jha holds a rich experience mine planning, production, management supervision, direction and control of underground as well as open cast coal mines.
  • Jha obtained an M-Tech degree in Mine Planning and Design from the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad. Later, he started his career from the Ranchi-headquartered Coal India subsidiary Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) in 1983.



Sports –

Roger Federer won 2015 Swiss Indoors men’s singles title by defeating Rafael Nadal


  • Roger Federer of Switzerland on 1 November 2015 won the Swiss Indoors men’s singles tennis title. He defeated Rafael Nadal of Spain 6-3 5-7 6-3 at the final match held at the St. Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland.
  • For the 17-time Grand Slam winner, it was seventh Swiss Indoors title and 88th of his career. In 2015, it was his sixth title.
  • However, Nadal still has the upper hand as he has an impressive 23-11 head-to-head record against Federer.



Sania Mirza-Martina Hingis won women's doubles title of Singapore Open


  • Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis on 1 November 2015 won Singapore BNP Paribas WTA Finals women's doubles title. The top-seeded Indo-Swiss pair defeated eighth seed Spanish team of Garbine Muguruza and Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0, 6-3.
  • Extending their incredible unbeaten record, Mirza and Hingis lifted their ninth trophy of the season. The other eight titles are Indian Wells, Miami, Charleston, Wimbledon, US Open, Guangzhou, Wuhan and China Open.
  • Earlier in 2014, Sania won this tournament with Zimbabwean Cara Black.



New Zealand won Rugby World Cup for record third time

  • New Zealand on 31 October 2015 won the Rugby World Cup for the third time. In the final played at Twickenham Stadium in London, the New Zealanders defeated Australia 34-17.
  • With this win, New Zealand became the first team to retain the Webb Ellis Cup. For the All Black Caps, this was their first World Cup win outside New Zealand.
  • Since 2011, New Zealand has won 49 of the 54 games under Coach Steve Hansen.

World Rugby Awards Winners
  1. Man of the Match: Dan Carter (New Zealand)
  2. Team of the Year: New Zealand

  • The Webb Ellis Cup is the trophy awarded to the winner of the Rugby World Cup, the premier competition in men's international rugby union.



World –

Flight 7K9268 of Russian Airbus A321 crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula

  • Flight 7K9268 of Airbus A321 operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia (Metrojet) crashed with 224 people, including 17 children on board in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on 31 October 2015.
  • The plane crashed while travelling from Sharm el-Sheikh bound to St Petersburg. It was travelling at an altitude of about 35000 feet when it started a rapid descent.
  • A day of mourning was observed in Russia on 1 November 2015 after its worst air disaster.



Punjabi Now Third Language in Parliament of Canada

  • Four years after Punjabi became Canada's third most common language, it has now attained the same status in the country's new Parliament after English and French following the election of 20 Punjabi-speaking candidates to the House of Commons.
  • Twenty-three Member of Parliaments of South Asian-origin were elected to the House of Commons, Parliament of Canada on October 19 parliamentary elections.
  • Three of them, Chandra Arya - born and raised in India, Gary Anandasangaree - a Tamil and Maryam Monsef - of Afghan origin, do not speak Punjabi, The Hill Times Online reported.
  • Of the 20 who speak Punjabi, 18 are Liberals and two are Conservatives. Among the newly-elected Punjabi-speaking MPs, 14 are males and six are females. Ontario elected 12, British Columbia four, Alberta three and one is from Quebec.
  • Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau is scheduled to unveil his Cabinet this week and some of these Liberal MPs are expected to be included in the front bench.


Obituaries –

American actor Al Molinaro passed away

  • American actor Al Molinaro, best known for playing diner owner Al Delvecchio on the TV series Happy Days, died on 30 October 2015 in Glendale, California due to complications from gall stones. He was 96.
  • Molinaro was also known for his character named Murray Greshler, which he played in TV series The Odd Couple. Besides, he also starred in TV commercials for On-Cor frozen dinners for 16 years.
  • The actor, born on 24 June 1919 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, studied acting and was offered guest roles on TV sitcoms, including Bewitched, Get Smart, Green Acres, and That Girl, in the 1960s and the 1970s.



Eminent archaeologist V.N. Misra passed away

  • Renowned archaeologist and pre-historian Professor Virendra Nath Misra on 31 October 2015 passed away due to old-age related problems. He was 80.
  • Born on 9 January 1935, Misra hailed from Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh. He completed his initial studies from the University of Lucknow, and then joined Deccan College and graduated from University of Pune.
  • After completing his studies in Sanskrit and Anthropology, Misra received guidance in archaeology from Professor HD Sankalia, who is considered to have pioneered archaeological excavation techniques in the country.
  • Misra is known worldwide for his research in Prehistory, Protohistory and Ethnoarchaeology. In addition, he is also noted for his studies in northern Rajasthan, western Madhya Pradesh and Maharastra. His most striking achievement is the excavations at the world heritage site of Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh and the 6000-year-old site of Balathal in Rajasthan.



Hero Group founder Brijmohan Lall Munjal died


  • Hero Group founder Brijmohan Lall Munjal died on 1 November 2015 in New Delhi. He was 92 and survived by three sons and one daughter.
  • He was considered as the doyen of Indian two-wheeler industry and at the time of his death, he was the Chairman Emeritus of Hero MotoCorp.
  • He started the Hero Group, which officially came into existence in 1956, along with this four brothers in the early 1940s as a bicycle-maker in Ludhiana.
  • He led the Hero MotoCorp to the world’s largest two-wheeler company now for the 14th year in a row.
  • He also led Hero Cycles, part of Hero Group, to become the largest manufacturer of bicycles since 1986.




Regards



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