Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the important Daily Current Affairs Update from 18th to 22nd November, 2016. These are important for the upcoming IBPS RRB Mains, IPPB and NICL Mains.
India and Switzerland sign bank information sharing deal
- In a big step towards fighting black money stashed overseas, Switzerland on Tuesday agreed to automatic sharing of information with India on Swiss bank accounts of Indians as of September 2018 and onwards.
- They will not share details about accounts held prior to that period, while the first such exchange will happen in September 2019.
- The 'Joint Declaration' for implementation of AEOI signed today between India and Switzerland provides that both countries will start collecting data in accordance with the global standards in 2018 and exchange it from 2019 onwards.
- While Switzerland has conformed to the global standards on automatic exchange of information with the signing of the declaration, India, on its part, has promised to safeguard the confidentiality of the data.
HCL Infosystems forays into Oman with MoU with Omantel
- HCL Infosystems on Monday announced its foray into Oman after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Omantel, a significant player in telecom and related services in the Arab nation.
- Under the terms of the MoU, Omantel and HCL Infosystems will collaborate to facilitate IT transformation involving a range of services including enhancing Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine to Machine (M2M) infrastructure, delivering e-services, portal content management, and enhanced levels of network optimization and security. In addition, HCL Infosystems will also become Omantel's strategic partner to execute the Company's IoT business objectives and will assist in skills training for Omani nationals.
- This MoU is part of Omantel's strategy to increase business agility and deliver innovative offerings and e-Government solutions to support growth in the Oman economy.
Mehbooba Mufti launches World Bank funded Jhelum-Tawi Flood Recovery Project
- Mehbooba Mufti, Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, on 14 November 2016 formally launched the World Bank-funded Jhelum-Tawi flood recovery project in Srinagar.
- The project seeks reconstruction and rehabilitation of infrastructure post-2014 floods in the state.
- The project was conceptualised and pursued by former Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed in the aftermath of devastating floods of 2014 in the state.
- In January 2016, the Government of Indian and the World Bank had signed a 250 million US dollar credit agreement under the Jhelum and Tawi Flood Recovery Project.
- The project is funded by credit from the International Development Association, the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm, with a maturity of 25 years, including a 5 year grace period.
- The project aims at reconstructing and recovering support in flood-affected areas in which public infrastructure and livelihoods were impacted severely.
- The project also focuses on restoring critical infrastructure disrupted by the floods using international best practice.
- The infrastructure will be designed to improve resilience to future flooding and landslide, as well as seismic risk.
- It will focus on the 20 flood-affected districts in the state. They are Anantnag, Baramula, Budgam, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kupwara, Kulgam, Pulwama, Shopian, Srinagar, Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Reasi, Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Poonch, Rajauri and Udhampur.
- Apart from reconstruction, the project will focus on disaster risk mitigation.
PM Narendra Modi launches Housing for All scheme in rural areas
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 20 November 2016 formally launched the Housing for All scheme in rural areas under to provide an environmentally safe and protected pucca house to every rural household by 2022.
- The scheme is also named as the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin).
- In the first phase, the target is to complete one crore houses by March 2019.
- A minimum support of around 1.5 lakh rupees to 1.6 lakh rupees is now available to a household.
- If the beneficiary desires, there is also a provision of Bank loan of up to 70000 rupees.
- All the beneficiaries are selected through a completely transparent process using the Socio Economic Census 2011 data.
- It provides for skilling 5 lakh Rural Masons by 2019 and allows over 200 different housing designs across the country based on housing typologies, environmental hazards and the household requirements.
Supreme Court asked Union Government to frame rules for consumer courts
- The Supreme Court (SC) of India on 21 November 2016 directed the Union Government to frame model rules prescribing objective norms for the administration of consumer courts. It should be done within four months.
- The direction was passed by the three-judge bench comprising of Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justices DY Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao. The bench expressed its concern over the working of consumer courts including the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. It said that a systematic overall of the infrastructure is necessary if the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is not to become a dead letter.
- In its directions, the apex court clarified the role, functions and powers of the National Consumer Commission, State consumer commissions and district consumer fora. This was done to ensure that the mechanism to protect the consumer from unfair trade practices is strengthened.
Union Government announces new set of measures to ease demonetisation policy
- The Union Government on 17 November 2016 announced another set of measures to ease the impact of demonetisation policy on the people.
- PM Narendra Modi on 8 November 2016 banned the currency notes of 500 and 1000 rupees and replaced them with new currency notes.
Highlights of the Measures
- Relief for farmers, traders: Farmers will be permitted to draw up to 25000 rupees per week in cash from their KYC compliant accounts only. These cash withdrawals will be subjected to the normal loan limits and conditions. This facility will also apply to the Kisan Credit Cards (KCC).
- Traders registered with APMC markets/mandis will be permitted to draw up to 50000 rupees per week in cash from their KYC compliant accounts. This will enable them to pay wages and facilitate easy loading, unloading and other activities at the mandis.
- Moreover, the government also extended the last date for payment of Crop Insurance Premium by 15 days.
- Relaxation for weddings: The government has now decided to permit families celebrating weddings to draw maximum of 250000 rupees in cash from their own bank accounts that are KYC compliant. The amounts can be drawn only by either of the parents or the person getting married.
- Only one of them will be permitted to draw this amount. This limit of 250000 rupees will apply separately to the girl's and boy's family. The person withdrawing such amount has to show the PAN details.
- Moreover, a self-declaration is also required by the person to the effect that only one person from the family is drawing the amount. Any misuse of this facility will invite appropriate action.
- Limit for exchange reduced: After thorough observations, the government has decided to reduce the limit of exchange of old 500 and 1000 rupees notes from 4500 rupees to 2000 rupees. The decision came in after officials observed that the same persons are going back to the counter again and again.
- This facility will now be available only once per person.
- Withdrawal of money from petrol pumps: The public sector oil marketing companies, in association with State Bank of India, will now dispense cash up to 2000 rupees per day per person. This facility will be initially available at 2500 petrol pumps across the country.
- Only petrol pumps of Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum will offer such facility.
- Advance salary to Central Government Employees: Central Government employees of Group C including equivalent levels in the defence and para military Forces, railways and central public sector enterprises will be allowed to draw salary advance of 10000 rupees in cash.
- This amount will be adjusted in their salary for November 2016.
India test-fires nuclear-abled, indigenous Agni-I ballistic missile
- India on Tuesday successfully test-fired its indigenously built nuclear capable Agni-I ballistic missile, which can hit a target 700 km away, as part of a user trial by Army from a test range off Odisha coast.
- The surface-to-surface missile, powered by solid propellants, was test-fired from a mobile launcher at 10.10 AM from launch pad-4 of the integrated test range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island), defence officials said.
- Describing the trial as successful, they said the launch of the intermediate range single-stage missile was "part of training exercise by Strategic Forces Command of Indian Army", they said.
- Agni-I missile is equipped with sophisticated navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision.
- The missile, which has already been inducted into armed forces, has proved its excellent performance in terms of range, accuracy and lethality, they said.
Guided Missile Destroyer INS Chennai inducted into Indian Navy
- Guided Missile Destroyer INS Chennai was on 21 November 2016 commissioned into the Indian Navy by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai.
- The ship was indigenously designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design and was constructed by Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai.
- INS Chennai is the last of the Project 15 A class Destroyers.
- It will be placed under the operational and administrative control of the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command.
- It measures 163m in length, 17.4m in breadth with a displacement of 7500 tonnes.
- It is propelled by four powerful Gas Turbines, in a Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) configuration which makes it capable of achieving speeds in excess of 30 knots.
- It also has enhanced stealth features resulting in a reduced Radar Cross Section (RCS) which is achieved through efficient shaping of hull, plated masts and radar transparent materials on exposed decks.
- It contains contemporary and refined weapons and sensors such as Surface to Surface Missile and Surface to Air Missiles.
Naidu Inaugurates Multimedia Exhibition- Aazadi 70 Saal, Yaad Karo Kurbani
- The Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting, M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated a multimedia exhibition with the theme ‘Aazadi 70 Saal, Yaad Karo Kurbani’ at the 47th International Film Festival of India in Panaji on 21 November 2016.
- The exhibition was organised by National Film Archives of India (NFAI) to celebrate 70 years of India’s Independence and its depiction through films.
Haryana: Fitment of auto-dippers mandatory in vehicles
- Haryana Government in November 2016 made the fitting of auto-dippers mandatory in four-wheel transport vehicles as a road safety measure. It was done in accordance with the terms of Rule 106 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.
- The State Transport Department informed that no four wheeled transport vehicles would be registered by the Registering authorities or authorised dealers unless the auto-dippers compatible with head lamps are fitted.
- All registered four-wheeled transport vehicles would be fitted with the auto-dipper compatible with the head lamp.
- The auto-dipper to be fitted should be approved by the Transport Department on the basis of the technology under license from the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC).
UP CM Akhilesh Yadav launched integrated emergency services UP-100
- The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav launched state-wide integrated emergency services UP-100. The service was launched on 19 November 2016 from Lucknow.
- UP-100 is the official name of the Police Emergency Management System of Uttar Pradesh. Earlier, it was known as dial 100 Project. The state government has allocated 2200 crore rupees for the project.
Indore-Patna Express derails in train accident near Kanpur: Over 120 people killed
- Indore-Patna Express derailed on 20 November 2016 at Pukhrayan in Kanpur Dehat district of Uttar Pradesh.
- Over 120 people were killed and more than 200 injured when the 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express derailed. The incident took place at early morning 3:00 AM when most of the passengers were sleeping. The train was travelling with more than 500 passengers.
- Four sleeper coaches of the train S1, S2, S3, S4 were badly damaged in the accident. The tragedy could have been caused due to a rail fracture.
- The Commissioner of Railway Safety, Eastern, P K Acharya was given the responsibility to probe the accident and to look into the possibility of a fracture in the tracks as a possible cause of the accident.
Union Government sets up inter ministerial committee to look into concerns of tourists, NRIs
- The Union Government on 17 November 2016 constituted the inter-ministerial committee to look into the areas of concern expressed by NRIs and tourists from abroad and foreign missions over demonetisation of 500 and 1000 rupees notes.
- This committee will be headed at the level of an additional secretary. A senior joint secretary from the Ministry of External Affairs is also a member of the committee.
- The committee was formed after people from foreign missions sought the intervention of Ministry of External Affairs to facilitate smooth collection of consular and visa fee. They have also asked for access to more funds and money exchange associations.
Union Government bans Zakir Naik's controversial NGO
- The Union Government has declared Zakir Naik’s NGO, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), as an ‘unlawful organisation’ and banned it for five years on 15 November 2016.
- ‘Unlawful organization means any organization that conducts or gets involved in any activity deemed punishable under Section 153A or 153B of the Indian Penal Code. These two sections are provisions that deal with threat to social and communal harmony.’
- The ban was imposed under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) after a final go-ahead at a Union Cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A formal notification for the same will be soon issued by the Home Ministry.
- Provocative speeches by Zakir Naik: In many speeches compiled by the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Naik can be heard praising Osama Bin Laden, justifying suicide bombings and making objectionable comments against Hindus, their religious places and gods.
- Naik’s suspicious relationship with Peace TV: A lot of the International Islamic Channel, Peace TV’s content is formed from Naik’s hate speeches.
- Criminal cases filed against Naik: FIRs have been filed against Naik and other members of IRF in two police stations of Mumbai, one in Kerala and two in Sindhudurg under Section 153A or 153B of the Indian Penal Code.
Mahesh Bhalla appointed as Chief Mentor of StartupsClub India
- Mahesh Bhalla, former Executive Director of Dell’s Consumer & SMB business in India, has been appointed as Chief Mentor of StartupsClub India.
- StartUpsClub is the largest community for such ventures in India with over 10,000 plus entrepreneurs on its board, the Bengaluru—headquartered company said.
- Bhalla is a 20-year-industry veteran, having held leadership positions across various companies including Uber, India, a StartupsClub release said.
- StartupsClub is an initiative that helps entrepreneurs build an ideal platform to create a conducive environment for starting an enterprise, it said.
- Startupsclub is founded by Salma Moosa and Vivek.
Zak Brown appointed as Executive Director of McLaren Technology Group
- The McLaren Technology Group on 21 November 2016 announced the appointment of Zak Brown as its Executive Director.
- Brown is chosen for the position after Ron Dennis was forced out as Chairman and Chief Executive of McLaren in November 2016.
Jagdish Singh Khehar appointed Executive Chairman of National Legal Services Authority
- The Union Government on 18 November 2016 announced the appointment of Jagdish Singh Khehar as the Executive Chairman of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA).
- Khehar, a judge of the Supreme Court, will succeed Anil R. Dave.
Climate Change Performance Index 2017 released, India ranked 20
- Germanwatch and Climate Action Network Europe released the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2017 on 16 November 2016. The CCPI confirms that there is a boost for renewable energy and positive developments in energy efficiency.
- The index ranks India at the 20th position and says that countries like India are making efforts in fields of renewable and energy efficiency.
Olympic Champion Eliud Kipchoge Wins Delhi Half Marathon
- As expected, Eliud Kipchoge, Kenya’s reigning Olympic marathon champion bagged the winner’s title in Delhi Half Marathon on 20 November 2016. While he was declared winner in men’s category, Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa claimed the women’s title.
- Kipchoge, who won the gold medal at Rio Olympics in August 2016, is considered to be one of the greatest marathon runners of all times.
- The race was flagged off by Union Sports Minister, Vijay Goel and Adille Sumariwalla, President of Athletics Federation of India and Council member of IAAF. The race witnessed participation from nearly 34000 people spread across different categories.
- Kipchoge completed the 21.097km course in 59:44, unable to beat the course record of 59:06 set by Ethiopia’s Guye Adole in 2014.
PV Sindhu wins China Open Super Series title
- PV Sindhu on 20 November 2016 won the 700000 US dollars China Open badminton tournament. This was the first Super Series Premier title for the Indian Olympic silver medallist and two-time bronze medallist at World Championship.
- In the summit clash that lasted for an hour and nine minutes, Sindhu defeated Sun Yu of China 21-11, 17-21, 21-11. The final was played at Fuzhou, China.
- With this win, she also became the third non-Chinese woman to win the title. The previous two winners were Malaysia’s Wong Mew Choo (2007) and India’s own Saina Nehwal (2014).
NADA bans sprinter Dharambir Singh for eight years
- Haryana sprinter Dharambir Singh in the third week of November 2016 was handed an eight-year ban by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).
- As it was Singh’s second dope-related offence, the NADA Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel slapped him a lengthier ban of eight years.
- The International Olympic Committee stripped ten athletes of their medals from 2008 Olympics. The move came after these athletes were tested positive for various banned steroids during the retest of their samples from the games.
- Among the ten athletes, nine belong to former Soviet Union countries.
- None of them were gold medalists.
- Three were silver medalists: Wrestlers Vitaly Rahimov and Khasan Baroev from Azerbaijan and Russia respectively and weightlifter Irina Nekrasova from Kazakhstan.
- Two were bronze medalists: Triple jumper Chrysopigi Devetzi from Greece and pole vaulter Denys Yurchenko from Ukraine.
- These results take the total of weightlifting medalists tested positive for banned substances in 2008 Olympics to 22.
- Apart from them, six athletes who did not win any medal during the 2008 games were also disqualified.
- One among the disqualified six is Russia’s Elena Slesarenko-women’s high jump gold medalist in 2004- who came fourth in 2008 games and Ukraine’s Vita Palamar, who came fifth.
Awards & Honors –
Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn conferred first World Sanskrit Award
- Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Princess of Thailand, on 21 November 2016 was conferred with the first World Sanskrit Award. She was honoured for her exemplary contribution for the promotion of Sanskrit language for the year 2015.
- On the other hand, American linguist and Indologist Professor George Cardona was also honoured with the award for the year 2016.
- Princess Sirindhorn and Professor Cardona were bestowed with the award by Vice President Hamid Ansari at a function held in New Delhi.
- The World Sanskrit Award was instituted by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
Six Winners of Infosys Prize 2016 Announced
- The Infosys Science Foundation declared the names of six individuals as the winners of Infosys Prize 2016 on 18 November 2016. The prize, which is given to recognize and celebrate the talent and contribution of some of the best researchers and scientists today, is running into its eighth consecutive year.
- The winners were selected from 6 categories including the field of Engineering and Computer Science, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences. The prize for each category included a winning amount of 65 Lakh Rupees, a 22 karat gold medallion and a citation certificate.
- Six people were chosen from a total of 250 nominations by an esteemed jury panel including renowned scientists and professors such as Prof. Pradeep K Khosla, Prof. Amartya Sen, Prof Shrinivas Kulkarni, Dr. Inder Verma, Prof Srinivasa S R Varadhan and Prof Kaushik Basu.
The winners of the prize are:
- Prof. V. Kumaran for Engineering and Computer Science
- Prof. Sunit Amrith for Humanities
- Dr. Gagandeep Kang for Life Sciences
- Prof. Akshay Venkatesh for Mathematical Sciences
- Dr. Anil Bhardwaj for Physical Sciences
- Prof. Kaivan Munshi for Social Sciences
Radhika Menon awarded IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea
- Captain Radhika Menon on 21 November 2016 was bestowed with the 2016 International Maritime Organization (IMO) Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea at IMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom.
- Menon was honoured with the prestigious award for her role in the rescue of seven fishermen from a sinking fishing boat in the Bay of Bengal in June 2015.
- With this, Captain Menon became the first female to receive the IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea.
Akshaya Mukul wins Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize 2016
- Senior journalist Akshaya Mukul on 21 November 2016 won the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize 2016 for his book Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India.
- The judges, authors Samanth Subramanian, Mahesh Rao and Janice Pariat, chose Mukul’s book for its “eye-opening and captivating exploration into a parallel literary culture that can often feel at a great remove from English-speaking metropolitan India”.
- Mukul had also won the best non-fiction book prize for Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India at the Ramnath Goenka awards. However, he boycotted the event.
- The Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize was set up in 2008 to encourage authors from the sub-continent.
Al Nahyan granted Mother Teresa International Award
- Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan was awarded the prestigious Mother Teresa International Award by the Mumbai-based NGO Harmony Foundation.
- Shaikh Abdullah, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, was conferred with the award for his contribution in promoting peace and stability in the West Asia.
- He is responsible for establishing institutions that protect youth from being radicalised and indoctrination from terrorist groups and people who look forward to propagating violence against innocent people.
SSP Chawrasia wins 2016 Resorts World Manila Masters
- Indian golfer SSP Chawrasia on 13 November 2016 won his first Asian Tour title outside the country. He won the 1 million US dollar Resorts World Manila Masters.
- Chawrasia birdied the 18th play-off hole twice to emerge victorious over Sam Chien of the United States and Malaysia's Nicholas Fung.
- The 2016 Resorts World Manila Masters was Chawrasia's fourth Asian Tour triumph and his first one outside India.
World Television Day Observed on 21 November
- The United Nations’ (UN) World Television Day was observed in countries across the world on 21 November 2016. The day is aimed at recognizing the important role television plays in presenting issues that affect people globally.
- It is also meant to honor the role Television plays as the pillar of freedom of expression and as a promoter of cultural diversity.
World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2016 observed globally
- The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was observed globally on 20 November 2016 with the theme Vital post-crash actions: Medical Care, Investigation, Justice!.
- The Day is observed on every third Sunday of November by an increasing number of countries on every continent around the world. It is observed to remember millions who were killed or injured in road crashes.
- The Day has also become an important means to reduce road casualties.
Universal Children’s Day observed on 20 November
- Universal Children’s Day was observed across the globe on 20 November 2016. The day is observed with an aim to promote the ideals and objectives of the United Nation’s Charter and the welfare of the children of the world.
- 20 November is the day when UNGA adopted the declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959. On 14 December 1954, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) recommended all countries should institute a Universal Children’s Day, which will be observed as a day of the worldwide fraternity to understand children.
- 20 November also marks the day on which, in 1989, the UNGA adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
World Toilet Day observed with theme ‘toilets and jobs’
- World Toilet Day was observed on 19 November 2016 with an aim to motivate millions across the world on issues of sanitation. The theme for 2016 World Toilet Day is ‘toilets and jobs’.
- The theme, toilets and jobs, focuses on how sanitation or the lack of it can impact livelihoods of people. The day also calls for action to help about 2.4 billion people who live without a toilet.
NASA launches Next Generation Weather Satellite GOES-R
- The National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) on 20 November 2016 launched the highly advanced geostationary weather satellite Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R).
- The Satellite was launched by NASA on behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It was launched on board of Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
- It will boost the weather observation capabilities of the US, leading to more accurate and timely forecasts, watches and warnings.
- It will be into the operations within a year after undergoing testing and validation of new instruments including the first operational lightning mapper in geostationary orbit.
- Its primary instrument Advanced Baseline Imager will provide images of Earth’s weather, oceans and environment with 16 different spectral bands.
- It is also first satellite to carry a lightning mapper instrument to geostationary orbit.
- It will photograph lightning activity throughout Western Hemisphere about 200 times every second.
India elected as Vice Chair of Kimberly Process Certificate Scheme 2018
- India was on 19 November 2016 elected as Vice Chair of Kimberly Process Certificate Scheme (KPCS) 2018 and as the Chair for 2019 of KPCS. The announcement was made during the KP Plenary Meeting 2016 at Dubai.
- Earlier, this position of KP Chair was held by India in 2008.
- The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme imposes widespread requirements on its members to enable them to certify shipments of rough diamonds.
- India is one of the founding members of Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).
- The Department of Commerce under Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry administers the scheme.
- The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) is the Import and Export Authority within the meaning of Section IV(b) of the Scheme.
World Internet Conference 2016 concludes in Wuzhen, China
- The 2016 World Internet Conference concluded on 18 November 2016 in Wuzhen, China.
- The theme of the 3rd World Internet Conference, which commenced on 16 November 2016, was Innovation-driven Internet Development for the Benefit of All – Building a Community of Common Future in Cyberspace.
- On the other hand, the World Internet Conference Internet Culture Forum was held in the Wuzhen Internet International Conference and Exhibition Center on 17 November 2016. The theme of the Forum was Mutual-learning among Civilizations and Development of the Internet Culture.
China's Sunway TaihuLight named world's fastest supercomputer
- China’s Sunway TaihuLight was recently declared the world’s fastest supercomputer. The revelation was made in the latest edition of the semi-annual TOP500 Supercomputer list that was released on 14 November 2016.
- It is the eighth time in a row that a Chinese-made computer has taken the semi-annual TOP500 crown. It is also the first time a Chinese supercomputer has won without any U.S. processors or technology.
- The TOP500 list is considered one of the most authoritative rankings of the world’s supercomputers. It is compiled on the basis of the machines’ performance on the Linpack benchmark by experts from U.S. and Germany.
Russia withdraws from International Criminal Court
- Vladimir Putin, President of Russia signed an order on 16 November 2016 withdrawing Russia’s signature from the International Criminal Court treaty (ICC).
- Russia signed Rome statute, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court in 2000 but its capital Moscow never made it officially valid, which means Russia was never its member and could not be subjected to its jurisdiction.
- This move came on the opening day of the general assembly of member states.
- On 14 November 2016, ICC passed a ruling calling Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 an international armed conflict. This action angered Moscow, as it claims Crimea joined Russia after a popular vote.
- Russia is facing a lot of criticism for its air strikes in Syria in support of current Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
- The court is also looking into allegations of war crimes committed by forces of Russia and Georgia during their conflict in 2008.
- Russia does not see ICC as a genuine independent authoritative organ of international justice.
- Russia claims that in 14 years, the ICC has just given four verdicts and spent nearly 1 billion US Dollars.
Former J&K Governor Lt Gen SK Sinha died
- Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Lt Gen Srinivas Kumar Sinha died on 17 November 2016 at the Army Research and Referral (R&R) hospital, New Delhi. He was 92.
- Earlier on 1 November 2016, he was admitted to the hospital with a fracture in his femur bone and ribs. Later, he was shifted to R&R hospital after some complications.
- He is survived by his wife, son YK Sinha who is an IFS officer and three daughters. At present, YK Sinha is Indian Ambassador to Sri Lanka and is moving for his new posting to the UK.