Current Affairs Update - 23rd November, 2016

Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the Important Current Affairs of 23rd November, 2016. These are important for the upcoming IBPS Clerk, IPPB Mains and NICL AO Mains Exam 2016.


Current Affairs at a Glance - 23rd November, 2016
  1. Bharti Airtel announced the launch of the first payments bank (Airtel Payments Bank Ltd) as a pilot in Rajasthan on Wednesday. To begin with, the pilot project will run in 10,000 Airtel retail outlets in Rajasthan where customers will be offered an interest rate of 7.25 per cent on deposits in savings account. Airtel Payments Bank is the first one to launch the services out of the 11 companies that got licenses from the Reserve Bank last year. According to analysts, such a move can be a win-win for the company after the Centre’s demonetisation move.
  2. Drug major Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd on Wednesday said it has entered into an agreement to acquire Russian pharma company JSC Biosintez for $24 million.
  3. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 21 November 2016 relaxed the prudential norms on income recognition, asset classification and provisions pertaining to advances. The decision came following the withdrawal of the legal tender of 500 and 1000 rupees notes.
  4. The Union Finance Ministry on 18 November 2016 constituted a committee with an aim of assessing the status of implementation of demonetisation drive in the country.  The committee comprises of Additional Secretaries, Joint Secretaries and Directors with each team consisting of up to two or three officers for each State and Union Territory (UT).
  5. India on 21 November 2016 became an Associate Member State of European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) by signing an agreement with the organisation.  The agreement was signed by Sekhar Basu, Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission and CERN Director General Fabiola Gianotti in Mumbai.
  6. The 13th World Robot Olympiad will be held in India for the first time ever. It will be organised jointly by NCSM under the aegis of Ministry of Culture and India STEM Foundation (ISF) from 25 November to 27 November 2016 at the India Expo Mart, Greater Noida.
  7. US President Barack Obama on 22 November 2016 presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour, to 21 artists, sports figures, scientists and philanthropists. Among the honourees were Robert Redford, Bill and Melinda Gates, Tom Hanks and Diana Ross.


Finance/Banking –

Airtel launches payments bank pilot in Rajasthan


  • Doing the right thing at the right time and reaping the fruits, may well become a reality for Bharti Airtel – which announced the launch of the first payments bank (Airtel Payments Bank Ltd) as a pilot in Rajasthan on Wednesday.
  • To begin with, the pilot project will run in 10,000 Airtel retail outlets in Rajasthan where customers will be offered an interest rate of 7.25 per cent on deposits in savings account.
  • Airtel Payments Bank is the first one to launch the services out of the 11 companies that got licenses from the Reserve Bank last year. According to analysts, such a move can be a win-win for the company after the Centre’s demonetisation move.
  • Payments banks can accept a restricted deposit that is currently limited to 1 lakh per customer account, and cannot issue loans and credit cards, as per RBI. Both current account and savings accounts can be operated by such banks.
  • Arora said Airtel already offers services through the neighbourhood retailer who the customer is familiar with and through this launch the company was leveraging this network.

Sun Pharma acquires Russian company for $60 million


  • Drug major Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd on Wednesday said it has entered into an agreement to acquire Russian pharma company JSC Biosintez for $24 million.
  • The Indian company will also assume Russian company's debt of $36 million, Sun Pharma said in a statement.
  • The total deal size works out to $60 million ($26 million for 85.1 per cent equity stake and $36 million Russian company's debt).
  • According to Sun Pharma, the acquisition will be done by its wholly owned subsidiary.
  • Biosintez is a Russian pharmaceutical company focusing on the hospital segment with annual revenues of approximately $52 million for 2015.

RBI relaxes prudential norms on Income Recognition, Asset Classification


  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 21 November 2016 relaxed the prudential norms on income recognition, asset classification and provisions pertaining to advances.
  • The decision came following the withdrawal of the legal tender of 500 and 1000 rupees notes.
Key Highlights

  • Taking into consideration the problems being faced by small borrowers in repaying their loan dues, RBI decided to provide an additional 60 days time, provided that the value of the loan or crop loan is less than 1 crore rupees.
  • Term loans, housing loans and agriculture loans, whether business or personal, with sanctioned amount of up to 1 crore rupees on the books of any bank or any NBFC, will be eligible for relaxation.
  • Loans sanctioned by banks to NBFC (MFI), NBFCs, Housing Finance Companies and PACs and by State Cooperative Banks to DCCBs are also eligible for the same.
  • It also applies to dues payable between 1 November 2016 and 31 December 2016.
  • Dues payable before 1 November and after 31 December 2016 will be covered by the extant instruction for the respective regulated entity with regard to recognition of NPAs.
  • The additional time given shall only apply to defer the classification of an existing standard asset as substandard and not for restructuring of loans.

Union Government constitutes committee to review status of demonetisation drive


  • The Union Finance Ministry on 18 November 2016 constituted a committee with an aim of assessing the status of implementation of demonetisation drive in the country.
  • The committee comprises of Additional Secretaries, Joint Secretaries and Directors with each team consisting of up to two or three officers for each State and Union Territory (UT).
  • The committee was formed following the decision of the Union Government to ban 500 and 1000 rupees currency notes on 8 November 2016.
Terms of references of the Committee

  • The teams will be constituted by the Department of Personnel Training and concerned officers.
  • The teams shall visit the States or UTs allocated to them for at least 2 days.
  • Each officer shall visit different area of State or UT separately with the main focus on rural areas.
  • Visit the States and union territories and report back to the Union Government and submit its report by 25 November 2016.
  • Check currency availability across the States in the network of bank branches, ATMs and post offices.
  • Verify facilities at bank branches and post offices for deposit, withdrawal and exchange of currency.

World –

India becomes Associate Member of CERN, Geneva


  • India on 21 November 2016 became an Associate Member State of European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) by signing an agreement with the organisation.
  • The agreement was signed by Sekhar Basu, Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission and CERN Director General Fabiola Gianotti in Mumbai.
  • In 2015, the Union Cabinet gave its approval for the Membership of CERN following which the CERN Council has accepted India as an Associate member.
India's Contribution in CERN

  • The participation of Indian scientists in CERN dates back to early 1960s and it became stronger with the support of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Department of Science and Technology (DST).
  • In 1991, DAE signed a formal agreement with CERN which exists till today.
  • In 2003, India was awarded the Observer status of CERN and was subsequently invited to join CERN as an Associate Member
  • India made significant contributions to the construction of Large Hadron Collider (LHC), in the areas of design, development and supply of hardware accelerator systems and its commissioning.
  • India is also one of the leading partners in the ALICE experiment which is about to unearth the physics of quark-gluon plasma (QGP).

World Robot Olympiad to be held for the first time in India


  • The 13th World Robot Olympiad will be held in India for the first time ever. It will be organised jointly by NCSM under the aegis of Ministry of Culture and India STEM Foundation (ISF) from 25 November to 27 November 2016 at the India Expo Mart, Greater Noida.
  • More than 2000 students from 54 countries will participate in the event to find innovative ways, using robotic technology, to reduce, manage and recycle waste.
  • The theme for the 13th World Robot Olympiad is Rap the Scrap. The theme is in line with 'Swachh Bharat Mission' of the Indian government. The theme suggests students to Rap (talk) about waste – an important social issue. The students are expected to come up with innovative ideas using robotics technology to ‘Rap the Scrap’ i.e. to reduce, manage and recycle waste.



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Appointments –

Pankaj Patel elected President of FICCI


  • The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on 21 November 2016 announced Pankaj R. Patel as its newly elected President for 2017.
  • Patel will take over from Harshavardhan Neotia during the FICCI AGM to be held on 16 December and 17 December 2016 in New Delhi. Neotia is the Chairman of Ambuja Neotia Group.

Awards & Honors –

Barack Obama awards Presidential Medals of Freedom


  • US President Barack Obama on 22 November 2016 presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour, to 21 artists, sports figures, scientists and philanthropists.
  • Among the honourees were Robert Redford, Bill and Melinda Gates, Tom Hanks and Diana Ross.
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - He is an American retired professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers.
  • Ellen DeGeneres - She is an award-winning comedian who has been hosting her popular daytime talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, since 2003.
  • Robert De Niro - He is an American actor and producer who has both Italian and American citizenship.
  • Richard Garwin - He is an American physicist, widely known to be the author of the first hydrogen bomb design.
  • Tom Hanks - He is an American actor, comedian and filmmaker.
  • Michael Jordan - He is an American retired professional basketball player.

Obituaries –

Renowned Hindi & Bhojpuri writer Dr Viveki Rai passes away


  • Dr Viveki Rai, the renowned Hindi and Bhojpuri litterateur, died on 22 November 2016 in a hospital in a hospital in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. He was 92.
  • His works mainly depict rural life of India. His first story was published in 1945 in the then popular newspaper Aaj. He also wrote several articles and columns in magazines and news papers too.

Former ISRO Chairman MGK Menon passes away


  • Renowned physicist MGK Menon passed away on 22 November 2016. He was 88.
  • Menon had a major role in the development of science and technology in India over 50 years. One of his most important contributions was nurturing the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai.


Veteran Carnatic Music exponent Balamuralikrishna passes away


  • M. Balamuralikrishna, an Indian Carnatic vocalist, died on 22 November 2016 in Chennai. He was 86. Balamuralikrishna, a recipient of Padma Vibhusan, was suffering from age-related geriatric problems.
  • Hailing from the Sankaraguptham village in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, Balamuralikrishna began his musical journey at the age of 8. Since then, he has performed in over 25 thousand concerts.






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