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Current Affairs 15th November 2018

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Andhra Pradesh gets Offical State Emblem with Dhamma Chakka 4 Years after Bifurcation

Nearly five years after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014, the state has finalised its new emblem for official use. The state emblem consists of the Dhamma Chakka or The Wheel of Law embellished with a ring of Triratnas alternating with pinnate leaves and precious stones. “Puna Ghataka” or “The vase of Plenty” is at the hub of the Dhamma Chakka. Further, the national emblem is placed at the bottom of the Andhra emblem.

Special Train to cover major spots related to Ramayana Flagged Off

The Shri Ramayana Express, a special tourist train to run on the Ramayana circuit to cover major spots related to the Hindu epic was flagged off from Safdarjung Railway Station in New Delhi. The train will complete its journey till Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, in 16 days covering all important destinations associated with the life of Lord Shri Ram.

Pakistan said it doesnot intend to give MFN status to India

Pakistan said that it has no immediate plans to grant the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan is keen to hold peace talks with the Indian government. India on the other hand, has already granted the MFN status to Pakistan and all the World Trade Organization members (WTO). As per a WTO rule, every member of WTO is required to accord this status to other member countries.

NASA to put people in Mars within 25 years

NASA officials said that it is planning to send people to Mars within 25 years. The deadly radiation from the cosmos, atrophying bones, and potential vision loss are just some of the challenges, the scientists need to overcome. NASA, the U.S. space agency, believes it can place humans on the Red Planet within 25 years, but the technological and medical hurdles are immense. With the current rocket technology, it would take an astronaut up to nine months to reach Mars. The physical toll of floating that long in zero gravity would be huge. It is now focusing on cutting down the travel time to Mars. NASA has a new robotic lander called InSight moving towards Mars which is due to land on November 26, 2018. The $993 million project aims to expand human knowledge of interior conditions on Mars, inform efforts to send explorers there, and reveal how rocky planets like the earth formed billions of years ago.

Modi and Pence held talks in Singapore

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence held talks on a wide range of bilateral and global issues of mutual interests in Singapore. The productive discussion included defence and trade cooperation, ways to counter terrorism and the need for maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific. There was some discussion on the issue of terrorism. Mr.Pence referred to the upcoming 10th anniversary of the deadly Mumbai terror attack on November 26, 2008. He hailed cooperation between the two sides on counter-terrorism.

South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa to be 2019 Republic Day chief guest

Ramaphosa’s acceptance comes after the fiasco over US President Donald Trump declining the Indian government’s invitation to be the chief guest. Cyril Ramaphosa, a follower of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, was invited because this year will mark Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. Ramaphosa, 65, became president this year, succeeding Jacob Zuma as South Africa’s head of state. Ramaphosa will take part in Pravasi Bharatiya Divas celebrations, which commemorate Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa. In 2015, Barack Obama was India’s Republic Day chief guest.

Odisha govt. provides free smartphones for women self help groups

Odisha government is to provide free smartphones to all the 6 lakh women self-help groups under its Mission Shakti programme. Around 70 lakh women associated with various SHGs will benefit due to the move. In the inaugural ceremony, the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that women in Odisha have come a long way and the next ceiling to be broken is the digital one. The chief minister also urged the bankers to meet the credit requirement of Mission Shakti groups in a dignified and professional manner. The SHGs have a total saving of Rs 5,000 crore.

Home Ministry says over 18 lakh foreigners visited India this year on e visa

Home Ministry said that around 18 lakh foreigners visited India on electronic visas till October 31 this year. The highest number of visitors (2,92,143) were from the U.K., followed by the U.S. (2,21,339), China (1,27,022), France (1,07,185) and Germany (89,863). Over 17 lakh foreigners visited India on e-visa in 2017. $137,527,270 [Rs. 993 crore approx] has been received as e-visa fees till October 31 this year. The fee collected in 2018 till October 31 was $137,527,270 whereas it was $105,558,496 in 2017. Nationals of 166 countries can now enjoy these E-visa that are available for five categories such as Tourist, Business, Medical, Conference and medical attendant, facility at 26 airports and five seaports, and can be availed three times in one year against twice a year earlier.

Asian Games gold medalist Hima Das appointed as UNICEF India Youth Ambassador

Asian Games gold medalist Hima Das appointed as UNICEF India’s Youth Ambassador. She won a silver medal in the 400 meters sprint and also a gold in the 4X400 meters relay at the Asian Games in Jakarta this year will work towards supporting various initiatives by UNICEF.

NGT imposed Rs.50 crore fine on Odisha government

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered the Punjab government to submit a penalty of Rs.50 crore as environmental compensation for polluting rivers Sutlej and Beas due to industrial discharge. The bench, headed by Justice AK Goyal, has asked the Punjab government to recover the fine from industries in two weeks. The bench considered several similar cases, including the one dealing with the death of fish due to untreated discharge from sugar Industries and passed the penalty to the State government.

Late Union Minister Ananth Kumar’s Portfolios allocated to 2 Union Ministers

Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and DV Sadananda Gowda got charge of additional portfolios, following the demise of Union Minister Ananth Kumar on November 12. While Sadananda Gowda has been assigned the charge of Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, Tomar got the additional charge of Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.

BIS Names Siddharth Tiwari as Chief Representative for Asia

Bank for International Settlements (BIS) announced a new addition to its team, with Siddharth Tiwari joining as the Chief Representative for Asia and the Pacific.

Apple appoints Nokia veteran Ashish Chowdhary as its India operation head

Ashish Chowdhary is Chief Customer Operations Officer at Nokia Networks. He will leave Nokia Networks at the end of 2018. He will take charge as Apple’s India operation head in January 2019. He has 25 years of international experience in the enterprise and telecom sectors.

Karnataka govt proposes to build 125 ft Mother Cauvery statue in own Disneyland

The statue will be built in Krishnarajasagara Reservoir in Mandya district. The project which is expected to cost ₹1,200 crore, includes a museum and two glass towers measuring 360 feet to provide a bird’s eye view of the reservoir. The statue proposal was approved by Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar and Tourism Minister Sa Ra Mahesh during a meeting in Bengaluru.

Winter Session of Parliament to be held from December 11 to January 8

This would be the last full-fledged Parliament session of the Narendra Modi-led government before the next Lok Sabha polls. The winter session of Parliament usually starts in November, however, it has been delayed due to Assembly elections in five states. The results of polls in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram would be out on December 11.

Rs 75 coin to be issued by government to mark 75th anniversary of Tricolour hoisting by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose

Ministry of Finance issued a notification regarding the release of the Rs 75 coin to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose hoisting the Tricolour for the first time at Port Blair in Andaman Nicobar Islands. A portrait of ‘Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’ saluting the flag on the background of Cellular Jail in Port Blair. A numeral 75th along with inscription “anniversary” will be depicted below the portrait.

Union Agriculture Minister launched NCDCs new scheme to promote young entrepreneurs in cooperatives

The main objective is to provide cheaper loans to startups in the cooperative sector. This scheme will be implemented by National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) by linking it to Rs 1000 crore ‘Cooperative Start-up and Innovation Fund (CSIF) created by it. More incentives will be provided for cooperatives of North Eastern region, Aspirational Districts and cooperatives with women or SC or ST or PwD members.

Kochi signs MoU with Vilnius

The primary focus of cooperation would be urban planning, corporate planning, transport, solid water management and water management.

Dr. Martha Farrell Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Late Dr. Martha Farrell has been honoured with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the 6th Indian Social Work Congress in New Delhi. Dr. Farrell was recognized for her lifelong work towards gender equality, women’s empowerment and prevention of sexual harassment at workplace. She was among 14 people killed in a terrorist attack on a guest house in Kabul, Afghanistan on May 13, 2015.

ISRO successfully launched GSAT 29

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched GSAT-29 on board its second heaviest developmental flight GSLV-MkIII D2 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) at Sriharikota. The communication satellite is a multiband, multi-beam communication satellite. It intends to serve as a test bed for new and critical technologies. The satellite weighs around 3,423 kg. It is also known that the first operational mission of the vehicle GSLV-Mk III will be the Chandrayaan-II mission which is to take place in January 2019. In addition to this, the vehicle has been planned to carry a human to space three years from now.

Newly formed members of IL&FS board gives new roadmap to NCLAT

The newly-formed board of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) informed the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) that it has drawn up a new roadmap to address concerns of lenders. The NCLAT was hearing a bunch of petitions seeking initiation of insolvency proceedings against IL&FS. Senior advocate Ramji Srinivasan, appearing for IL&FS, informed the two-member bench that the draft proposal has already been submitted before the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and sought its permission to place before it.

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