Friday, November 18, 2016

Current Affairs Update - 17 November, 2016

Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the important Current Affairs of 17th November, 2016. These are important for the upcoming IPPB PO 2016, IBPS Clerk Mains and RRB OS-I Mains exam 2016.


Current Affairs at a Glance - 17 November, 2016
  1. Chhattisgarh became the first state of India to adopt a resolution that welcomes the demonetisation scheme of the union government. The resolution was moved in the state assembly by Chief Minister Raman Singh.
  2. India and the US have resolved more than 100 tax dispute cases involving Rs 5,000 crore under the bilateral Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP).
  3. The State Bank of India (SBI), has decided to write off loans worth almost 7016 Crore Rupees, owed to it by 63 willful defaulters including Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines.
  4. The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) on 16 November 2016 successfully carried out maiden flight of TAPAS 201 (RUSTOM – II), a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
  5. The Telangana government on Wednesday signed an MOU with Microsoft to explore cloud, machine learning and mobile-based solutions to improve citizen services, education, healthcare and agriculture in the state. State IT Secretary Jayesh Ranjan and Microsoft India (R&D) Pvt Ltd Managing Director Anil Bhansali signed the MoU here.
  6. The sixth India China joint training exercise Hand- in- Hand 2016 commenced on 16 November 2016 at the parade ground in Aundh Military Camp, Pune. The exercise will terminate on 27 November 2016.
  7. In a first, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) deployed a team of 135 women commandos in anti-Naxal operations in Jharkhand.
  8. The World Philosophy Day was observed globally on 17 November 2016
  9. Search Engine Google on 16 November 2016 launched the scanning app Google PhotoScan to scan and digitise physical photographs.
  10. HDFC Bank's Aditya Puri has been ranked 36th in the US magazine Fortune's top 50 business persons list for 2016, and is the only Indian among three persons of Indian origin in the global rankings.



Finance/Banking –

Chhattisgarh: First state to adopt resolution on demonetisation


  • Chhattisgarh became the first state of India to adopt a resolution that welcomes the demonetisation scheme of the union government. The resolution was moved in the state assembly by Chief Minister Raman Singh.
  • The resolution on 16 November 2016 saw 41 votes in favour and 25 against in assembly.
  • Earlier on 8 November 2016 at 8:00pm, Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonetised the high-value currency notes of India. He announced 1000 and 500 rupees notes will cease to be legal tender from midnight 8-9 November 2016.

Highlights of Raman Singh's reply to the debate
  • The decision will help in flushing out black money from the system.
  • It would also usher the clean transaction and clean money system.
  • It will also impact various contentious issues that plague the system.
  • Besides, the Chief Minister also said that his government will take steps that encourage people in the small business to switch over to the e-payment system. He added that the places with swipe-machines will be exempted from the Value Added Tax (VAT).

India-US resolve 100 tax dispute cases worth Rs 5,000 crore

  • India and the US have resolved more than 100 tax dispute cases involving Rs 5,000 crore under the bilateral Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP).
  • A meeting of the Bilateral Competent Authority MAP or Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) between India and the US was held in Washington last month, and these long pending cases were resolved, a finance ministry statement said.
  • During the meeting, 66 MAP cases relating to Transfer Pricing issues and 42 MAP cases relating to Treaty Interpretation issues were agreed to be resolved successfully.
  • MAP, under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), is an alternative dispute settlement mechanism available to authorities and foreign investors.

Union Government announced new measures to tackle demonetisation problems

  • To contain the problems being faced by people following the demonetisation of 500 and 1000 rupees currency notes, the Union Government on 17 November 2016 announced new measures to contain the problem.
  • The measures were announced by Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.
Highlights of Measures
  • Measure for Farmers: To ensure sowing in the Rabi season, farmers have been allowed to withdraw 25000 rupees a week against crop loan and Kisan credit card.
  • Measures for Traders: Traders registered with Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) markets and mandis can draw 50 thousand rupees in cash per week to pay for sundry expenses like wages.
  • For Marriage: a person can withdraw up to 2.5 lakh rupees from bank account for marriage during ongoing wedding season. The money can be withdrawn by one member of the family, may be father or mother, bride or bridegroom.
  • Crop loan insurance premium: The time limit for payment of crop loan insurance premium will be extended by 15 days.
  • Central Government Employees: Employees up to Group C can draw salary advance up to 10000 rupees in cash. This advance salary will be adjusted against their salaries of November.
  • The existing limit of 4500 for exchange of old 500 and 1000 rupee notes has been reduced to 2 thousand rupees.

SBI writes off debts owed by 63 willful defaulters

  • The State Bank of India (SBI), has decided to write off loans worth almost 7016 Crore Rupees, owed to it by 63 willful defaulters including Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines.
  • The move is a part of a cleanup process of the bank’s balance sheets. While the loans of the 63 willful defaulters have been written off completely, 31 have been partially written off and remaining 6 of the bank’s top 100 defaulter’s list have been shown as non-performing assets (NPAs).
  • In other words, SBI has categorized these loans as toxic and put them into Advance Under Collection Account (AUCA).
The Top Five Defaulters
  • Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines tops the list with dues amounting to almost 1201 Crore Rupees. A court in Mumbai has issued a non-bailable warrant against Mallya in connection with money laundering.
  • KS Oil, edible oil maker is the second in the list with dues amounting to 596 Crore Rupees. The company had invested a large amount of money on plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia, which failed to deliver the expected returns.  It was declared NPA from 30 September 2013.
  • The third top defaulter, Surya Pharmaceuticals, was added to the list of willful defaulters in 2013. The company allegedly committed fraud and misused its funds. An audit by Ernst & Young declared its account as a fraud one.
  • Get Power is the fourth defaulter with debts of around 400 Crore Rupees. Mismanagement and delayed projects got the company into the list. It was declared as a willful defaulter on 23 August 2016.
  • Sai Info, the fifth defaulter has debts amounting to 375 Crore Rupees. Sunit Kakkad, the main promoter of the company ran away in June 2013. He was arrested and brought back to India and is out on bail now. The company was declared as a willful defaulter on 26 August 2016.



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Union Cabinet approves creation of 'Special committee for inter-linking rivers' project

  • The Union Cabinet gave its approval for creation of a ‘special committee’ in accordance to an order passed by the Supreme Court in 2012 for inter-linking of Indian rivers.
  • The approval was given in a Cabinet council session headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 November 2016. According to the government, this move will help in monitoring the projects that are to be carried out under its National Perspective Plan, 1980.
  • The Apex Court ordered the union government to create a ‘special committee’ immediately for inter-linking of rivers’ project.
  • The court declared the project as a matter of national benefit and progress.
  • The court also held the opinion that success of this project would save people living in drought-prone zones from hunger and those living in flood-prone zones from destruction.

India –

DRDO successfully carries out maiden flight of UAV RUSTOM-II

  • The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) on 16 November 2016 successfully carried out maiden flight of TAPAS 201 (RUSTOM – II), a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
  • The test flight took place from Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) at Chitradurga, a newly developed flight test range for the testing of UAVs and manned aircraft.
Highlights of TAPAS 201 (RUSTOM – II)
  • It was designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), the Bangalore-based premier lab of DRDO.
  • It is the first R&D prototype UAV which got the certification and qualification for the first flight from the Center for Military Airworthiness & Certification and Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance.
  • It will carry out the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) roles for the three Armed Forces with an endurance of 24 hours.
  • It is capable to carry diverse combinations of payloads like Medium Range Electro Optic (MREO), Long Range Electro Optic (LREO), Electronic Intelligence (ELINT), Communication Intelligence (COMINT) and Situational Awareness Payloads (SAP).
  • The data link for the UAV was developed by Defence Electronics Application Laboratory (DEAL) of DRDO.


Telangana government signs MOU with Microsoft to improve citizen services

  • The Telangana government of Telangana on Wednesday signed an MOU with Microsoft to explore cloud, machine learning and mobile-based solutions to improve citizen services, education, healthcare and agriculture in the state. State IT Secretary Jayesh Ranjan and Microsoft India (R&D) Pvt Ltd Managing Director Anil Bhansali signed the MoU here.
  • Microsoft India will work with the state government to support the development of cloud and mobile-based solutions and support the use of machine learning and advanced visualization to help solve challenges in the fields of education, agriculture and healthcare.

Indo-China joint military exercise Hand in Hand 2016 begins

  • The sixth India China joint training exercise Hand- in- Hand 2016 commenced on 16 November 2016 at the parade ground in Aundh Military Camp, Pune. The exercise will terminate on 27 November 2016.
  • The joint exercise intends to acquaint both the Armies with each other’s operating procedures in the backdrop of counter terrorism environment.
  • The Opening Day parade was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Li Guanghua, Commanding Officer of People’s Liberation Army.
Key highlights of the exercise
  • The primary aim of the exercise is enhancing confidence and trust between the two armies, which may be called upon to grapple with anti terrorism operations under the UN mandate.
  • The conduct of joint military exercises is also an important step to uphold the values of Peace, Prosperity and Stability in the region.
  • The Opening Ceremony was followed by both the contingents displaying their weapons, which included assault rifles, grenade launchers and other equipment.
  • The Ceremony concluded with a display of India martial arts of Kalyaripattu, Khukri dance and Malkhamb by soldiers of Indian Army and a massed martial arts display by the Chinese contingent.
  • The 13-day exercise is focused upon training on crossing of obstacles, special heliborne operations, firing of various weapons, handling and neutralization of improvised explosive devices and conduct of cordon and search operations in insurgency and terrorism environment.


CRPF for first time deploys women commandos for anti-Maoists operations

  • In a first, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) deployed a team of 135 women commandos in anti-Naxal operations in Jharkhand.
  • The 135 women commandos belong to the 232 battalion’s Delta company. At present, they are undertaking operations under the guidance of the CRPF’s 133 battalion near Khunti on the outskirts of Ranchi.
Key highlights
  • The 135 women commandos will be equally capable of neutralising Naxals in par with men commandos.
  • They hold expertise in carrying out all types of anti-Maoists operations and will play important role in tackling women Naxals.
  • They have been trained in several case studies and carry out their operation in a perfect manner.
  • They are also equipped with modern weapons and software to assist them in executing their plan.

Revamped Aadhaar toll-free helpline number launched

  • The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on 16 November 2016 launched a revamped version of its toll-free helpline number 1947. The number is revamped to handle more incoming calls.
  • The helpline number was launched to help residents get quick access to information about Aadhaar.
Key highlights of the toll-free helpline number
  • The free of cost helpline 1947 will be available 24x7 throughout the year on IVRS mode.
  • On the other hand, call-centre agents will be available from 7 am to 11 pm from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays, the agents will answer calls from 8 am to 5 pm.
  • On an average, the helpline number handles about 1.5 lakh calls per day.
  • It can be accessed through mobile or landline.
  • It will be especially beneficial in these times when the Aadhaar number is being increasingly used in the banking sector to identify individuals.


Hunar Haat organised at 2016 India International Trade Fair

  • The Union Government on 15 November 2016 inaugurated Hunar Haat (Skill Haat) exhibition at India International Trade Fair (2016) at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. The exhibition aims at supporting and promoting artisans from minority communities and providing them domestic as well as international market to display and sell their products.
  • National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC) has organised the exhibition Hunar Haat under scheme USTTAD (Upgrading the Skills & Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development) of Ministry of Minority Affairs.
  • India International Trade Fair (IITF) that began on 14 November will conclude on 27 November 2016.
  • Project Cost: About 1.74 crore rupees
Key Highlights
  • It saw the participation of about 184 master artisans from 26 states and Union Territories of the country.
  • The participants are displaying their traditional art and skills at about 100 stalls.
  • It is a platform where Indian artisans can display the traditional Indian art and handicrafts at an ease.

Days –

World Philosophy Day 2016 observed globally

  • The World Philosophy Day was observed globally on 17 November 2016. This year, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) organised the special events from 16 November to 18 November.
  • The Day is celebrated on every third Thursday of November. This year, the Day was celebrated in line with the International Day for Tolerance (16 November).

World –

Google launches PhotoScan App to scan physical photographs

  • Search Engine Google on 16 November 2016 launched the scanning app Google PhotoScan to scan and digitise physical photographs.
  • The App is maintained by Google Photos.
Highlights of the App
  • It detects edges of the picture, straightens the image and rotates it to the correct orientation.
  • It ensures that the scanned old photos are clear and glare-free.
  • It uses augmented reality to create four points near the frame and uses the four photos to create composite image without glare.
  • The setup of the app is that effortless as it gives directions on how to use the app properly.

Lists –

HDFC Bank's Puri ranked 36th in Fortune's top bizmen list

  • HDFC Bank's Aditya Puri has been ranked 36th in the US magazine Fortune's top 50 business persons list for 2016, and is the only Indian among three persons of Indian origin in the global rankings.
  • Puri, who has led the second largest private sector lender since its inception in 1994, has been ranked 36th in the list, which evaluates corporate leaders' business performance.
  • While Facebook's Mark Zuckerburg leads the list, Microsoft's chief executive Satya Nadella has been ranked fifth. AO Simith's Ajita Rajendra is at 34, followed by Mastercard's Ajay Banga at 40.
  • According to the magazine, HDFC bank delivered $1.9 billion profits under Puri last year and its American depository receipts had a 15-year run which took them up 2,200 per cent before some easing.




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