Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Current Affairs Update - 8-9 November, 2016

Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the important Current Affairs of 6th and 7th November, 2016. These are important for the upcoming IBPS PO Mains, IBPS Clerk Mains and RRB OS-I Mains exam 2016.


Current Affairs at a Glance - 8-9 November, 2016
  1. The Reserve Bank of India on 8 November 2016 issued new series of notes for 500 rupees and 2000 rupees denomination with improved features and newer sizes. Both the designs will be very friendly towards the visually-impaired by having features which make it accessible for all sections.
  2. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that 1000 and 500 rupees notes will cease to be legal tender from midnight 8-9 November 2016. The announcement was made via a special nationwide televised address on 8 November 2016.
  3. The Defence Acquisitions Council (DAC), under the Union Government, on 7 November 2016 approved the guidelines for suspension or banning of business dealings with arms companies.
  4. GMR Airports Ltd, a subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure Ltd, has entered into a concession agreement with the Goa government for the development and operation of north Goa’s greenfield international airport at Mopa.
  5. India and the United Kingdom on 7 November 2016 inked two pacts to boost cordial relations between the two nations. The pacts were inked during the visit of Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to India.
  6. The Union Tourism Ministry is all set to name Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the mascot of its ‘Incredible India’ campaign.
  7. US Republican Donald Trump on 9 November 2016 won the US presidential elections in a stunning victory. He won the elections by 276 seats.
  8. Vinod Rai was on 7 November 2016 appointed as the Chairman of Fund Trustee and Advisory Commission of Kerala.
  9. Tata on 8 November 2016 announced that Tata Literature Live! Lifetime Achievement Award for 2016 will be conferred on acclaimed author Amitav Ghosh.
  10. The 39th Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation Awards for the year 2016 were conferred on 7 November 2016 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Well-known Gandhian and President of Tunisia's Ennahdha Party, Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi was among the four prominent personalities conferred with the prestigious award.
  11. M. Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India, on 5 November 2016 released the book titled An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India. The book is authored by Shashi Tharoor.



COLOR CODES:

  • GREY HIGHLIGHTER - Very Important Current Affairs
  • GREEN HIGHLIGHTER - Very Important for STOCK GK 


Banking/RBI/Finance –

RBI issues new series of Rs 500 & Rs 2000 notes with improved features


  • The Reserve Bank of India on 8 November 2016 issued new series of notes for 500 rupees and 2000 rupees denomination with improved features and newer sizes. Both the designs will be very friendly towards the visually-impaired by having features which make it accessible for all sections.
  • The RBI said, 2000 rupees note, which is a first under the denomination, will be called as the 'Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series' and has a design of the low-cost mission to Mars, the Mangalayan, on the reverse. It said that the base colour of the note will be magenta.

The salient features of the banknotes will be as under
Obverse (Front)
  1. See through register with denominational numeral 2000
  2. Latent image with denominational numeral 2000
  3. Denominational numeral २००० in Devnagari
  4. Portrait of Mahatma Gandhi at the centre
  5. Micro letters ‘RBI’ and ‘2000’ on the left side of the banknote
  6. Windowed security thread with inscriptions ‘भारत’, RBI and 2000 on banknotes with colour shift. Colour of the thread changes from green to blue when the note is tilted
  7. Guarantee Clause, Governor’s signature with Promise Clause and RBI emblem towards right
  8. Denominational numeral with Rupee Symbol, 2000 rupees in colour changing ink (green to blue) on bottom right

Obverse (Front)
  1. Ashoka Pillar emblem on the right
  2. Mahatma Gandhi portrait and electrotype (2000) watermarks
  3. Number panel with numerals growing from small to big on the top left side and bottom right side
  4. For visually impaired
  5. Intaglio or raised printing of Mahatma Gandhi portrait, Ashoka Pillar emblem, bleed lines and identity mark
  6. Horizontal rectangle with 2000 rupees in raised print on the right
  7. Seven angular bleed lines on left and right side in raised print

Reverse (Back)
  1. Year of printing of the note on the left
  2. Swachh Bharat logo with slogan
  3. Language panel towards the centre
  4. Motif of Mangalayan
  5. Denominational numeral २००० in Devnagari
  6. Dimension of the banknote will be 66 mm × 166 mm

2000 Rupees denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series
  • These banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series will not carry the inset letter and will be bearing the signature of Dr. Urjit R. Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India. The year of printing '2016' printed will be available on the reverse of the banknote.
  • The Motif of Mangalayan on the reverse will depict the country’s first venture into the interplanetary space.  The note has other designs, geometric patterns aligning with the overall colour scheme, both at the obverse and reverse.

500 rupees denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series
  • The new design in the 500 rupee denomination will be in a different colour, size, theme, design and location of security features. The note will be in a stone grey colour and the predominant theme will be Delhi's Red Fort.


Government Bans Tender of Rs 500 & Rs 1000 Currency 08 November 2016 Midnight


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that 1000 and 500 rupees notes will cease to be legal tender from midnight 8-9 November 2016. The announcement was made via a special nationwide televised address on 8 November 2016.
  • PM Modi in his announcement appealed that those who are in possession of these notes can deposit the notes in their accounts in banks and post offices from 10 November to 30 December 2016. He also said that those who are unable to deposit the notes within the deadline for some reasons can change them till 31 March 2016 by furnishing ID proof (Aadhaar card and PAN card).
  • Besides, he also announced that new currency notes of 500 and 2000 rupees denomination will be introduced.
  • The major objective behind the Government's decision to ban the existing currency denomination is to curb black money in the market and cease out face currencies.


Union Government approves liberalised blacklisting norms for arms companies

  • The Defence Acquisitions Council (DAC), under the Union Government, on 7 November 2016 approved the guidelines for suspension or banning of business dealings with arms companies.
  • With the passage of new guidelines, the Union Government will no longer impose blanket bans on armament companies suspected of corruption.

Highlights of the blacklisting norms
  • The armament companies will be blacklisted only for a year at a time, instead of the existing norm of 10 years at a go, with fast-track investigations into the charges against them.
  • The decision to blacklist a company will not be an executive one. It will be done in a collegiate manner by a committee which will also include the vice-chiefs of the Army, Navy and IAF.
  • The operational implications of blacklisting a company will be considered before a final decision is taken. Blacklisting will be for a specific equipment or service, without blanket bans.
  • Under the new nuanced blacklisting norms, procurement of spares for platforms and equipment already purchased from a company under the scanner will be allowed.
  • Moreover, companies already blacklisted will now also be able to appeal to the government for a review, based on merits of a case.
  • Moreover, blacklisting will be done for a specific period of not more than a year at a time, with the aim to complete investigations into the charges against a company within six months.
  • This easing of the blacklisting norms will be a marked departure from the indiscriminate 10-year blanket bans imposed earlier.


GMR arm inks pact with Goa to develop, operate Mopa airport


  • GMR Airports Ltd, a subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure Ltd, has entered into a concession agreement with the Goa government for the development and operation of north Goa’s greenfield international airport at Mopa.
  • The agreement was signed by RV Sheshan, CEO, GMR Goa International Airport Ltd, and RK Srivastava, Chief Secretary of Goa, in the presence of Chief Minister Laxmikant Yashwant Parsekar.
  • As per the concession agreement, GMR will design, build, finance and operate the international airport for 40 years with extension option for another 20 years. The construction period for the first phase of the project is three years from the date of financial closure and is expected to be operational till mid-2020.
  • In August 2016, GMR won the Mopa project through international competitive bidding with Airports Authority of India emerging as the second highest bidder, followed by the Essel Infra-Incheon consortium.
  • The project will operate on hybrid till model with 30 per cent cross subsidy. The concession offers 232 acres of land for commercial city side development for a period of 60 years.



RBI notifies withdrawal of Legal Tender Character of existing 500 and 1000 rupees bank notes

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 8 November 2016 notified withdrawal of legal tender of 500 and 1000 rupees denominations of Bank Notes of the existing series issued by RBI with effect from 9 November 2016.
  • The withdrawal came following the Gazette Notification No 2652 dated 8 November 2016 issued by Union Government.
  • However, a new series of Bank Notes called Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series having different size and design, highlighting the cultural heritage and scientific achievements of the country, will be issued.
  • Bank branches will be the primary agencies through which the members of public and other entities will be exchanging the Specified Bank Notes for Bank Notes in other valid denominations or depositing the Specified Bank Notes for crediting to their accounts till 30 December 2016.

In order to enable the members of public and other entities to exchange their existing 500 and 1000 rupees notes, the following arrangements will be made by the banks:
  • 9 November 2016 will be a non-business working day for all banks. However, branches will function on that day to carry out preparations for implementing the scheme as per this circular.
  • The Specified Bank Notes stocked in ATMs, Cash Deposit Machines, Cash Recyclers, Coin Vending Machines, CIT Companies and Business Correspondents will be called back forthwith.
  • All ATMs, Cash Deposit Machines, Cash Recyclers and any other machine used for receipt and payment of cash shall be shut on 9 and 10 November 2016.
  • All ATMs and cash dispensing machines will be re-configured to disburse bank notes of 100 and 50 rupees denominations prior to reactivation of the machines on 11 November 2016.
  • Every banking company defined under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 shall complete and forward a return showing the details of the Specified Bank Notes held by it at the close of business as on 8 November 2016 to the concerned Regional Office of RBI.
  • The return should include details of Specified Bank Notes recalled from ATMs, Cash Deposit Machines, Cash Recyclers, Coin Vending Machines, CIT Companies, Business Correspondents, etc.
  • Arrangement will be made by the branches to promptly deposit these Specified Bank Notes with the linked RBI and get the amount credited to their account.
  • Cash Deposits machines should continue to accept Specified Bank Notes up to 30 December 2016.
  • Information Material, for educating the public regarding withdrawal of Legal Tender character of the Specified Bank Notes and salient features of the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series Bank Notes, is required to be printed in adequate quantity and distributed to the public.
  • Banks should identify the staff for managing the exchange counters and brief them properly about the scheme and the procedure to be followed.
  • Banks should provide adequate number of note counting machines, UV Lamps, note sorting machines etc. at their counters to take care of the work load and timely detection of counterfeit notes.


Bank branches will commence normal operations on 10 November 2016.

  • Banks have to accord top priority to provide facility for exchanging deposits of Specified Bank Notes and open additional counters to meet the public demand and keep the counters open for extended ours.
  • The specified bank notes of aggregate value of 4000 rupees or below may be exchanged for any denomination of bank notes having legal tender character, with a requisition slip in the format specified by RBI and identity proof.
  • There shall not be any limit on the quantity or value of the specified bank notes to be credited to the account maintained with the bank by a person.
  • Cash withdrawal from a bank account over the counter will be restricted to 10000 rupees per day subject to an overall limit of 20000 rupees a week from the date of the notification until the end of business hours on 24 November 2016, after which these limits will be reviewed.
  • There shall be no restriction on the use of any non-cash method of operating the account of a person including cheques, demand drafts, credit or debit cards, mobile wallets and electronic fund transfer.
  • Withdrawal from ATMs will be restricted to 2000 rupees per day per card up to 18 November 2016 and the limit will be raised to 4000 rupees per day per card from 19 November 2016.
  • Any person who is unable to exchange or deposit the specified bank notes in their bank accounts on or before the 30 December 2016 shall be given an opportunity to do so at specified offices of the Reserve Bank or such other facility until a later date as may be specified by it.
  • While crediting the value of Specified Bank Notes to Jan Dhan Yojna Accounts, the usual limits will apply mutatis mutandis.







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RBI issues Clarifications on Hedging for External Commercial Borrowings

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 7 November 2016 issued the Clarifications on hedging for External Commercial Borrowings (ECB).
  • The Clarifications were issued under section 10(4) and 11(1) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.

Highlights of the Clarifications
  • Wherever hedging is mandated by RBI, the ECB borrower will be required to cover principal as well as coupon through financial hedges. The financial hedge for all exposures on account of ECB should start from the time of each such exposure.
  • A minimum tenor of one year of financial hedge will be required with periodic rollover duly ensuring that the exposure on account of ECB is not unhedged at any point during the currency of ECB.
  • Natural hedge, in lieu of financial hedge, will be considered only to the extent of offsetting projected cash flows in matching currency, net of all other projected outflows. For this purpose, an ECB may be considered naturally hedged if the offsetting exposure has the maturity within same accounting year.


India, UK signed two pacts including cooperation in the field of intellectual property


  • India and the United Kingdom on 7 November 2016 inked two pacts to boost cordial relations between the two nations. The pacts were inked during the visit of Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to India.
  • PM Theresa May was on a three Day visit to India (6 November to 8 November 2016).

List of MOUs exchanged includes
  • MoU on Ease of Doing Business: The MoU intends to make expertise from different departments of the UK Government which have led the ease of doing business drive in the UK available to the relevant departments and agencies of the Government of India. It includes exchange between the officials and sharing of best practices and technical assistance for effective implementation of the initiatives of GOI to improve its ranking in the ease of doing business. Important areas of cooperation include support to businesses and startups, tax administration, regulatory regimes, competition economics, etc.
  • MoU for cooperation in the field of intellectual property: The MoU envisages establishing a mechanism for furthering cooperation between the Intellectual Property Offices of India and the UK in the field of IP and related information technology services.


India –

Narendra Modi to be mascot of Incredible India campaign

  • The Union Tourism Ministry is all set to name Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the mascot of its ‘Incredible India’ campaign.
  • The position was lying vacant since Aamir Khan’s ouster as the campaign’s brand ambassador in January 2016 for his remarks on Indian intolerance. Names of Bollywood superstars, Amitabh Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra were doing rounds as likely contenders of the role.


Uttarakhand High Court directs declaring hill stations as eco-sensitive

  • The Uttarakhand High Court on 8 November 2016 ordered all hill stations and glaciers in the state to be declared as eco-sensitive within three months. The order also demands putting a ban on all construction within 25 km radius of the glaciers.
  • The order came on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking the court's intervention for stopping illegal construction and felling of trees in the vicinity of Nainital.
  • A Division Bench of the High Court comprising Justice Rajeev Sharma and Justice Alok Singh also stated that there should be restriction on the number of people visiting the glaciers besides imposition of a tax on them.


Indian Army’s Demchok mission completed

  • The Indian army on 6 November 2016 successfully completed its task of laying an irrigation pipeline in the Demchok region of Eastern Ladakh despite a three-day face-off with the Chinese troops over the construction work.
  • The project was being conducted under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to link the villages in the region with a hot spring.


World –

US Presidential Elections 2016: Donald Trump declared winner


  • US Republican Donald Trump on 9 November 2016 won the US presidential elections in a stunning victory. He won the elections by 276 seats.
  • He is scheduled to take office as the 45th President of the United States of America (USA)on 20 January 2017. He will succeed Barack Obama.
  • He won Florida, Ohio, Iowa and North Carolina, while Democrat Hillary Clinton, who won 218 seats, took Virginia and Nevada, ABC projects.


NASA’s MMS Mission creates Guinness World Record for highest altitude fix of GPS signal

  • NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) Mission on 5 November 2016 set the Guinness world record for highest altitude fix of a Global Positioning System (GPS) signal at 70000 kilometers above the surface of the Earth.
  • Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission successfully completed commissioning activities on 1 September 2015 and is now in full science mode.


Appointed –

Vinod Rai appointed as Chairman of Fund Trustee and Advisory Commission of Kerala

  • Vinod Rai was on 7 November 2016 appointed as the Chairman of Fund Trustee and Advisory Commission of Kerala.
  • He will be entrusted with the responsibility to ensure that the funds of the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) are properly utilised and the interest of investors is protected.
  • Moreover, the board of the reconstituted KIIFB under Chairman Pinarayi Vijayan also decided to appoint Usha Thorat, former Deputy Governor of RBI and Prakash Bakshi, former Chairman of NABARD, as the other members of the FTAC.
  • The FTAC will have a two-year term and the members cannot be removed either by the government or the KIIFB. They will be removed from the FTAC if they are convicted for misbehaviour and corruption.


Awards & Honors –

Amitav Ghosh to be honored with Tata Literature Live! Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Tata on 8 November 2016 announced that Tata Literature Live! Lifetime Achievement Award for 2016 will be conferred on acclaimed author Amitav Ghosh.
  • The award will be presented to Ghosh at Tata Literature Live!’s annual awards ceremony to be held on 20 November 2016 at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Nariman Point, Mumbai.


39th Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation Awards conferred

  • The 39th Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation Awards for the year 2016 were conferred on 7 November 2016 in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Well-known Gandhian and President of Tunisia's Ennahdha Party, Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi was among the four prominent personalities conferred with the prestigious award.

The other recipients of the awards are:
  • Mohan Hirabai Hiralal, founder and convenor of Vrikshamitra: He was honoured for outstanding contribution in the field of Constructive Work. He worked for village empowerment in Menda Lekha in Gadchiroli, which became the first village in India to exercise community rights to harvest bamboo under the Forest Rights Act.
  • BonBehari Vishnu Nimbkar, founder of Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute: He was presented the award for application of science and technology for rural development.
  • Dr. Nannapaneni Manga Devi, founder secretary of Sri Venkateswara Bala Kuteer and Chetana Charitable Trust: He was honoured with the award for development and welfare of women and children.


President Pranab Mukherjee presents Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE Awards

  • President Pranab Mukherjee on 7 November 2016 presented the Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE Awards to the winning children of IGNITE competition at Rashtrapati Bhavan. IGNITE competition was organized by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF).
  • This year, a total of 31 students have been awarded for their ideas/innovations. Overall, 55,089 submissions of students from 458 districts of all the states & Union Territories of India were received during the IGNITE 16 competition, which ran from 1 September 2015 to 31 August 2016.
  • Dr APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE Award is an effort to focus primarily on the creativity of the children and promote inclusive and compassionate thinking among them.


Hadi Abdullah wins 2016 RSF-TV5 Monde Press Freedom Prize


  • Syrian freelance journalist Hadi Abdullah on 8 November 2016 was awarded with Reporters without Borders (RSF)-TV5 Monde prize. Abdullah, 29, was awarded in the journalist category for reporting from some of the most perilous zones in his country's five-year-old war.
  • The award was presented in Strasbourg on the sidelines of the World Forum for Democracy, a meeting organised by the Council of Europe.
  • In a statement, RSF said that Abdullah has unhesitatingly ventured into danger zones, where Western journalists are no longer willing to go, to film and interview civilians.


Books & Authors –

Vice President Hamid Ansari releases book titled An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India


  • M. Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India, on 5 November 2016 released the book titled An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India. The book is authored by Shashi Tharoor.
  • The book offers an insight on the ways in which the colonizers exploited India, ranging from the drain of national resources to Britain, the destruction of the Indian textile, steel-making and shipping industries, and the negative transformation of agriculture.
  • On the other hand, Tharoor offers the arguments of Western and Indian apologists for Empire on the supposed benefits of British rule, including democracy and political freedom, the rule of law, and the railways. He goes on to examine the few unarguable benefits, such as the English language, tea, and cricket, were never actually intended for the benefit of the colonized but introduced to serve the interests of the colonizers.


Obituaries –

Janet Reno, first female U.S. Attorney General, dies

  • Janet Reno, the first woman to serve as U.S. Attorney General, passed away on 7 November 2016 at Miami, Florida. She was 78.
  • As the U.S. Attorney General, Reno played key roles in some of the most acrimonious events of the Bill Clinton administration.



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