General Knowledge & Current Affairs

November 2021 - 9th to 15th

1. China launched world’s 1st Earth Science Satellite named “Guangmu”.

  • China has launched the world’s first Earth-science satellite, Guangmu or SDGSAT-1 into space from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in the northern Shanxi Province.
  • The satellite was launched by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and developed by the International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals (CBAS).
  • Guangmu was launched by a Long March-6 carrier rocket which is the 395th flight mission. SDGSAT-1 is the first satellite customized according to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which was adopted in 2015 with 17 SDGs for peace and prosperity.

2. Wang Yaping becomes first Chinese woman astronaut to walk in space.

  • China had launched the Shenzhou-13 spaceship on October 16, sending three astronauts on a six-month mission to the under-construction space station which was expected to be ready by next year.
  • Wang Yaping became the first Chinese woman astronaut to walk in space as she moved out of the under-construction space station and took part in extravehicular activities for over six hours along with her male colleague Zhai Zhigang.
  • The two moved out of the space station core module called Tianhe and spent 6.5 hours of the spacewalk in the early.

3. USA becomes 101st member country of ISA.

  • The United States of America (USA) has joined the International Solar Alliance (ISA) as a member country. U.S is now the 101st country to sign the framework agreement of the ISA.
  • The framework agreement was formally signed by John Kerry, the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
  • It demonstrates that nations across the world are recognizing the economic and climate mitigating value of solar, as well as this energy source’s potential as a catalyst for the global energy transition.

4. SpaceX launches Indian-origin astronaut Raja Chari-led Crew 3 mission.

  • US Space agency NASA and the Elon Musk-owned private rocket company SpaceX have launched the “Crew 3” mission on November 10, 2021. The “Crew 3” mission consists of Indian-origin NASA astronaut Raja Chari as its mission commander.
  • The other three astronauts are NASA’s Tom Mashburn (pilot); and Kayla Barron (mission specialist); as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer (mission specialist).
  • Under this mission, four astronauts have been sent to the International Space Station (ISS) for a six-month science mission until April 2022. The four-member international crew of astronauts lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida onboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule named Endurance fixed to Falcon 9 rocket.

5. Fumio Kishida re-elected as Prime Minister of Japan.

  • Fumio Kishida, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has been re-elected as the Prime Minister (PM) of Japan following the victory of the LDP in the 2021 Parliament election. Fumio Kishida succeeded Yoshihide Suga who resigned as PM of Japan in September 2021.
  • Elected just over a month ago by parliament, Kishida called a quick election in which his governing party secured 261 seats in the 465-member lower house — the more powerful of Japan’s two-chamber legislature — enough to maintain a free hand in pushing legislation through parliament.

6. Centre brings ordinance to extend tenure of ED, CBI directors up to 5 years.

  • The central government of India promulgated two ordinances for extending the tenure of Directors of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for up to five years.
  • At present, the director of CBI and ED have been appointed for two-year tenure in office by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) Act, 2003.
  • The order states that “whereas Parliament is not in session and the President is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action.”

1. Hardeep Singh Puri unveils statue of Maharani Lakshmi Bai in Hisar college.

  • Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs & Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep S. Puri has unveiled the statue of Rani Lakshmi Bai at the Maharani Lakshmi Bai college for Women, Bhiwani Rohilla in Hisar (Haryana) through video conferencing.
  • Describing Rani Lakshmi Bai as a major symbol of revolt against the repression of the British Raj, the Minister said that her life has been inspiring nationalism and Indian women for generations who led the freedom revolution of India with the utmost bravery, skill and force against British rule.

1. Meghalaya approves creation of new district named Eastern West Khasi Hills District.

  • The Meghalaya Cabinet has approved the proposal of the creation of a new district called Eastern West Khasi Hills district. The new district has been formed by upgrading the Mairang civil sub-division.
  • Mairang will now be a sub-division under the West Khasi Hills district. The new district will be inaugurated on November 10, 2021 by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma. This will increase the total number of districts in the state to 12.
  • This move will help in ensuring that the administration will remain closer to the people. It will also ensure that the implementation of several schemes is more effective.

2. Odisha govt launches road safety initiative ‘Rakshak’.

  • The state government of Odisha has launched a first of its kind road safety initiative named Rakshak, to train first responders of road accidents. Under the program, 300 master trainers will train 30,000 local people, staying or working at the eateries and different business establishments located near accident-prone spots.
  • These 30,000 volunteers will be trained as First Responders to road accidents. They will be equipped to administer first aid and pre-hospital trauma care to accident victims within the golden hour.
  • The ‘Rakshak’ initiative was organized by the Commerce and Transport Department in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Indian Red Cross Society, Odisha State branch.
  • As part of the initiative, the state government will train volunteers from roadside communities such as eateries, small repair shops, gas stations, and also police officers to be first responders to road accident victims.

3. India’s first National Yogasana Sports Championships setup in Bhubaneswar.

  • India’s first Physical National Yogasana Championships has been organized in Bhubaneswar, Odisha from November 11-13, 2021. The National Yogasana Sports Championships 2021-22 has been organized by the National Yogasana Sports Federation (NYSF) in association with the Odisha state.
  • Around 560 young Yogasana Sports athletes from across 30 states would are taking part in the event. The event aims to promote yoga and create a global brand around it, portraying it as a competitive sport with high standards and benchmarks.

4. Mitrabha Guha named as India’s 72nd Grandmaster.

  • International Master (IM) Mitrabha Guha from Kolkata, West Bengal has become the 72nd Grandmaster of India after securing his 3rd and final Grandmaster (GM) norm at GM Third Saturday Mix 220, Novi Sad, Serbia.
  • He won this 3rd GM norm against GM Nikola Sedlak of Mitrabha Guha scored his 2nd GM norm at the Sheikh Russel International GM Tournament 2021, Bangladesh.

5. Maharashtra signed an MoU with RMI for technical support in EV Policy.

  • Maharashtra government has signed an MoU with the United States-based Non-Profit Organization, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), to provide technical support for Maharashtra’s Electric Vehicle (EV) policy.
  • The MoU was signed at Glasgow, United Kingdom, at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26). Maharashtra state EV policy aims to have a 10 per cent share of EV vehicles of total registrations in India by 2025. 

1. PM Modi launches two innovative customer-centric initiatives of RBI.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched two innovative customer-centric initiatives of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). These initiatives are the RBI Retail Direct Scheme and the Reserve Bank – Integrated Ombudsman Scheme. There will be a single point of reference for customers to file their complaints, submit the documents, track status, and provide feedback.
  • RBI Retail Direct Scheme is aimed at enhancing access to the government securities market for retail investors. It offers them a new avenue for directly investing in securities issued by the Government of India and the state governments.
  • The Reserve Bank- Integrated Ombudsman Scheme aims to further improve the grievance redress mechanism for resolving customer complaints against entities regulated by RBI. The central theme of the scheme is based on ‘One Nation-One Ombudsman’ with one portal, one email and one address for the customers to lodge their complaints.

1. IBM launched a client innovation center in Mysuru.

  • IBM Corp. launched a client innovation center in Mysuru with support from the Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDEM) to attract companies to set up operations in cities beyond Bengaluru.
  • This initiative aims at supporting the rapid, high-tech driven economic growth in tier-2 and -3 regions while providing comprehensive hybrid cloud and AI technology consulting capabilities.

1. Manika Batra & Archana Kamath clinches WTT Contender Table Tennis Tournament.

  • In Table Tennis, Indian duo Manika Batra and Archana Girish Kamath clinched the women’s doubles title in the WTT Contender tournament in Lasko, Slovenia.
  • The Indian pair defeated the Puerto Rican team of Melanie Diaz and Adriana Diaz, 11-3, 11-8, 12-10 to win the title.
  • Meanwhile, Manika Batra also claimed a bronze medal in the women’s singles title after Wang Yidi of China defeated her by 2-4 (11-7, 7-11, 13-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-5).

2. Sankalp Gupta becomes 71st Indian Grandmaster.

  • Sankalp Gupta has become India’s 71st Grandmaster by scoring 6.5 points and finishing second in the GM Ask 3 round-robin event in Arandjelovac, Serbia.
  • The Maharashtra player also touched the 2500 Elo rating mark during the tournament. To achieve the GM title, a player has to secure three GM norms and cross the live rating of 2,500 Elo points.

3. India’s Tajamul Islam Wins Gold Medal In World Kickboxing Championship.

  • 13-year-old Tajamul Islam is the first Kashmiri girl to have represented India and won the gold medal in the under-14 age category in World Kickboxing Championship held at Cairo in Egypt.
  • Islam defeated Argentina’s Lalina in the final. She was born in Tarkpora, a remote village in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district. Tajamul is also a brand ambassador of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) scheme.

1. Srinagar joins UNESCO network of creative cities.

  • Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, is among the 49 cities selected worldwide to join the UNESCO creative cities network (UCCN).
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the inclusion as a “fitting recognition” for the vibrant cultural ethos of the old city. It has been designated as a creative city of craft and folk arts, UNESCO.
  • These 49 cities were added to the network of 246 cities following their designation by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, in recognition of “their commitment to placing culture and creativity at the heart of their development and to sharing knowledge and good practices”.

2. Nykaa’s Falguni Nayar becomes India’s richest self-made woman billionaire.

  • Falguni Nayar, the CEO and founder of beauty and fashion eCommerce platform Nykaa, has become the richest self-made woman in India. She founded Nykaa in the year 2012. She holds 53.5% stake in Nykaa and has a net worth of USD 7.48 billion.
  • This comes after the IPO of FSN E-Commerce Ventures which is Nykaa’s parent entity. This is also the first woman-led unicorn to list on the stock exchange.
  • The issue size of the IPO of FSN E-Commerce Ventures (Nykaa) was Rs 5,351.92 crore with face value of Rs 1 per share.

3. Annapurna idol stolen from UP back from Canada after 100 years.

  • An idol of Goddess Annapurna that was stolen from Varanasi about 100 years ago and later found in Canada recently is all set to be back at its rightful place and will be gracing the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi. It is 17 cm in height, 9 cm in breadth and 4 cm in thickness.
  • The idol which has reached Delhi will be taken to Aligarh, from where it will be taken to Kanauj on November 12 and then a day later will go to Ayodhya on November 14.
  • After that, the idol will be finally taken to Varanasi on November 15 to be taken to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The return of the Annapurna idol comes in the wake of many such antiquities being identified and returned to the country in the past couple of years.

4. Bhadrachalam added as a destination in IRCTC’s Ramayana Circuit train.

  • Bhadrachalam in Telangana has been added as a destination in the IRCTC’s Ramayana Circuit train.
  • Union Minister for Culture and Tourism G. Kishan Reddy has expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the inclusion of Bhadarchalam as one of the destinations in the Ramayana Circuit of the Pilgrim Special Train.
  • Bhadrachalam is home to Sree Sita Ramachandra Swamy temple. The aim of the Ramayana Yatra Train is to connect all the important locations of Lord Rama’s journey during his lifetime, the inclusion of Bhadrachalam Road Station will complete the Ramayana Circuit.

5. TVS Motor became 1st Indian 2-wheeler maker to join UN Global Compact.

  • TVS Motor Company, the flagship company of TVS Group, has joined the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative.
  • TVS Motor has become the 1st Indian two-wheeler and three-wheeler manufacturer to join the UNGC. TVS Motor will also engage in collaborative projects which will advance the development goals of the UN, particularly the Sustainable development goals (SDG).

1. IHRF appoints Daniel del Valle as the High Representative for Youth.

  • The International Human Rights Foundation (IHRF) has appointed the Spaniard Daniel del Valle as the High Representative for Youth due to his achievements in the thematic area of youth empowerment and youth participation for the United Nations.IHRF, a non-governmental and non-profit institution.
  • Daniel del Valle brings to the International Human Rights Foundation his ongoing experience of serving as Policy Advisor to the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Slovak Republic to the United Nations in New York.

2. Morinari Watanabe re-elected as President of FIG.

  • Morinari Watanabe was re-elected as the President of the International Gymnastics Federation or Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) for a period of three years.
  • Morinari Watanabe defeated Azerbaijan’s contender Farid Gayibov, in the FIG President election that was held during a conference in Turkey. Earlier, He was elected as the President of FIG in 2016 for a 4-year term.

3. IPS officer Sheel Vardhan Singh to head CISF.

  • The government has announced the appointment of chiefs of two key Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). These are the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
  • Special Director in the Intelligence Bureau Sheel Vardhan Singh has been appointed as the new CISF DG, while National Police Academy Director Atul Karwal has been appointed as the NDRF DG.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Home Affairs for appointments.

4. SN Pradhan appointed as Director-General of NCB.

  • Satya Narayan Pradhan has been appointed as the Director-General (DG) of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on a deputation till the date of his superannuation on 31st August 2024 or until further orders.
  • He was holding the additional charge as the DG of NCB in addition to the responsibilities as the DG of NDRF. He took the additional charge as the DG of NCB succeeding Rakesh Asthana who was appointed as Delhi Police Commissioner.

5. P.C. Mody made Rajya Sabha Secretary-General.

  • 1982-batch retired IRS officer and former chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Pramod Chandra Mody was appointed new Secretary General Rajya Sabha, replacing P.P.K. Ramacharyulu.
  • Ramacharyulu meanwhile has been reassigned as an advisor for one year term. Ramacharyulu has now been appointed as an advisor in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat.
  • Mody, a former chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), will be the new secretary-general of the Upper House of Parliament. Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has signed an order to this effect.

 

6. Professor Bimal Patel of India elected to International Law Commission.

  • Professor Bimal Patel of India has been elected to the International Law Commission for a period of five-year. His five-year term will start from January 1, 2023.
  • Prof Patel is the Vice-Chancellor of Rashtriya Raksha University and a Member of the National Security Advisory Board of India.
  • The 51-year-old Patel secured 163 votes in the UN General Assembly out of 192 members. This was the highest votes received by a candidate in the Asia-Pacific Group.

1. . NCPUL organises “World Urdu Conference” in New Delhi

  • National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) has organised the “World Urdu Conference” in New Delhi
  • The inaugural session of the two days long conference was virtually addressed by Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’
  • During the conference, the minister added that Government of India will honor Urdu writers and literators with awards and honours in the name of important personalities of Urdu in order to encourage Urdu writers for literary and creative services
  • NCPUL has organised the conference to celebrate the quintessential spirit of Urdu, its inclusive ethos and creative character

2. 17th meeting of India-Vietnam Joint Commission held virtually

  • The 17th meeting of the India-Vietnam Joint Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation was held virtually
  • The virtual meeting was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar and his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh
  • The 17th meeting included the deliberations on the recent developments in India-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership
  • During the meeting, both countries approved to add new momentum to the economic and defence engagement
  • They also agreed to explore closer cooperation in emerging areas like civil nuclear energy, space, marine sciences and new technologies

1. Brickwork Ratings Projects India’s GDP at 10-10.5% in FY22

  • Domestic credit rating agency Brickwork Ratings has estimated the gross domestic product (GDP) of India at 10-10.5 per cent in the current financial year, i.e. in 2021-22 (FY22). Earlier this was estimated at 9 per cent.
  • Brickwork Ratings is a SEBI registered Credit Rating Agency with headquarter in Bengaluru. It pects the GDP growth for Q2 FY22 to be at 8.3 per cent (year-on-year), on the back of a 7.4 per cent contraction in Q2FY21. The country’s GDP grew at 20.1 per cent in the first quarter of fiscal 2022.

2. Retail inflation rises marginally to 4.48% in Oct.

  • The retail inflation, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), slightly rose to 4.48 per cent in October. Separately, the factory output, measured in terms of Index of Industrial Production (IIP), grew by 3.1 per cent in September.
  • Food inflation picked up to 0.85 per cent in October from 0.68 per cent a month ago with a rise in prices of vegetables. The inflation print for October this year, however, is lower than the year-ago level of 7.61 per cent recorded in October 2020.
  • With the impact of excise duty cut yet to reflect in the headline numbers, high core inflation — the non-food, non-fuel inflation component — and risks of high global commodity prices are expected to keep the inflation rate under pressure.

3. RBI projected Retail (CPI) inflation at 5.3% for 2021-22.

  • The RBI has projected the CPI inflation at 5.3 per cent for 2021-22. According to MoSPI data, inflation in the food basket rose to 0.85 per cent in October, compared to 0.68 per cent in the preceding month.
  • India’s retail inflation rate, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose slightly in October to 4.48% year-on-year from 35% in September due to an uptick in food prices. The inflation was 61% in October last year.

1. APEDA signs MoUs with AFC India Limited & NCUI, Delhi

  • To synergize the activities in the interest of agriculture and allied sectors, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has signed MoUs with AFC India Limited, and National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI), Delhi
  • The MoU aims to employ their expertise by mutually working together to coordinate the activities in the interest of agriculture and allied sectors in order to bring better value to the stakeholders

2. NeGD signs MoU with CSC E-Governance Services India Limited

    • The National e-Governance Division (NeGD), Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) has partnered with CSC (Common Service Center) e Governance Services India Limited
    • The partnership aims to enable delivery of UMANG services to citizens through the network of 3.75 lakh CSCs
    • The CSC operators Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) will facilitate citizens to use e-Governance services of 140 Departments with the help of UMANG App
    • This will help those citizens who either do not have access to smartphones or are not comfortable accessing App-based e-services on their own

1. CCI approves acquisition by Lightstone Fund S.A

  • The acquisition by Lightstone Fund S.A., for and on behalf of Lightstone Global Fund (LGT) of certain equity stakes has been approved by the Competition Commission of India (CCI)
  • Under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002, the Lightstone Fund S.A. will acquire certain equity stakes in 91Streets Media Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (91Streets), Ascent Health and Wellness Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (Ascent), API Holdings Pvt. Ltd. (API), Aahaan Commercials Pvt. Ltd. (Aahaan) and Lokprakash Vidhya Pvt. Ltd. (Lokprakash).

2. GoI and AIIB sign MoU for $500 million for Mumbai Urban Transport Project-III

    • The Government of India, the Government of Maharashtra, Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has signed a loan agreement for a $500 million Mumbai Urban Transport Project-III
    • The aim of the project is to improve the network capacity, service quality and safety of the suburban railway system in Mumbai. With a population of 22.8 million (2011), Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) is the most populous metropolitan region in India and is expected to reach 29.3 million by 2031 and 32.1 million by 2041

1. 32nd Edition of Indo Thai Coordinated Patrol begins.

  • The 32nd edition of the India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol (Indo-Thai CORPAT) between the Indian Navy and the Royal Thai Navy is being conducted from 12–14 November 2021.
  • Indian Naval Ship (INS) Karmuk, an indigenously built Missile Corvette and His Majesty’s Thailand Ship (HTMS) Tayanchon, a Khamrosin Class Anti-submarine Patrol Craft, along with Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both navies are participating in the CORPAT.
  • CORPAT builds up understanding and interoperability between navies and facilitates the institution of measures to prevent and suppress unlawful activities like Illegal Unreported Unregulated (IUU) fishing, drug trafficking, maritime terrorism, armed robbery and piracy.

2. Indian Navy received 4th Scorpene Submarine ‘Vela’.

  • 4th Scorpene submarine of the Project-75, Yard 11878 was delivered to the Indian Navy which will be commissioned as INS (Indian Naval Ship) Vela.
  • Project-75 includes the construction of six submarines of Scorpene design by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) Mumbai (Maharashtra) in collaboration with M/s Naval Group, France.
  • Currently, three submarines under Project-75 are functional with the Indian Navy viz. INS Karanj, INS Kalvari, and INS Khanderi.

3. President confers ‘General of Indian Army’ rank to Nepal Army Chief

  • In continuation of a tradition that started in 1950, Nepal Army Chief Gen Prabhu Ram Sharma was conferred with the honorary rank of ‘General of the Indian Army’ by President Ram Nath Kovind.
  • Nepal conferred the honorary rank of ‘General of Nepal Army’ to Indian Army Chief Gen MM Naravane during his visit to Kathmandu in November last year. Nepal is important for India in the context of its overall strategic interests in the region, and leaders of the two countries have often noted the age-old “Roti Beti” relationship.
  • Land-locked Nepal relies heavily on India for the transportation of goods and services. Nepal’s access to the sea is through India, and it imports a predominant proportion of its requirements from and through India.
  • 6th India-France bilateral Army exercise EX SHAKTI 2021 begins
  • The Navies of India and France will carry out the 6th edition of the biennial training exercise “EX SHAKTI 2021” from November 15 to 26, 2021 in Frejus, France.
  • The Indian Army will be represented by the Gorkha Rifles Infantry Battalion and France Army will be represented by troops of the 21st Marine Infantry Regiment of the 6th Light Armoured Brigade.
  • The exercise will focus on Counter-Terrorism operations and enhance military cooperation and interoperability between the two Armies. Apart from this, India and France will also carry out biennial airforce training exercise ‘Exercise GARUDA’ , and biennial maritime training exercise ‘Exercise VARUNA’.
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