Daily current affairs: Important days
November 20 – Universal Children’s day
- United Nations Universal Children’s Day was established in 1954 and is celebrated on November 20th each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare.
- November 20th is an important date as it is the date in 1959 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.
- It is also the date in 1989 when the UN General assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- Theme for this year 2018 is Children are taking over and turning the world blue
Daily current affairs: National News
Government launched upgraded version of AirSewa 2.0
- The government has launched the upgraded version of AirSewa 2.0 web portal and mobile app.
- Major improvements include features such as secure sign-up and log-in with social media, chatbot for travellers support, improved grievance management including social media grievances, real-time flight status and details flight schedule.
- The upgrade and improved version of AirSewa operates through an interactive web portal as well as through a mobile app for both android and iOS platforms and will offer passengers a convenient and hassle-free air travel experience.
- The web portal and application will help to capture air travellers’ feedback for policy interventions.
- Suresh Prabhu and Jayant Sinha also gave away the champion award to Chennai airport which saw 100% timely closure of grievances in one year.
NGT asked to MoEF&CC to declare Elephant corridors as Eco-sensitive zones
- The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to consider declaring all elephant corridors in the country as eco-sensitive zones.
- NGT has given two weeks time to the Ministry to look into the issue and to proceed in the matter for declaration of such areas as eco sensitive zones.
- The observations came while the green panel was hearing a plea that highlighted the increasing number of unnatural elephant deaths taking place in the state.
- The Environment Protection Act, 1986 does not mention the word “Eco-sensitive Zones”.
Daily current affairs: International news
Maldives cabinet approves to Rejoin Commonwealth
- The Maldives cabinet has approved to rejoin the Commonwealth, two years after withdrawing from the 53-nation grouping.
- The announcement was made by New President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. Now, the proposal will be sent to Parliament for ratification.
- The country left the Commonwealth during former President Abdulla Yameen’s administration in October 2016, amid mounting pressure over corruption and deteriorating human rights.
Daily current affairs: India and World
India and World Bank sign $310 million loan agreement for Jharkhand
- The Government of India, the Government of Jharkhand and the World Bank signed in New Delhi a $310 million Loan Agreement for Jharkhand Power System Improvement Project to provide reliable, quality, and affordable 24×7 electricity to the citizens of Jharkhand.
- The $310 Million Loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 5-year grace period, and a final maturity of 25 years.
Indian president visited My Son temple complex
- President Kovind has visited the My Son temple complex in Kwangnan province in Vietnam.
- A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the My Son temple complex is among Vietnam’s most cherished cultural treasures.
Daily current affairs: International
Google News may shut down in EU over ‘link tax’
- Google could shut down Google News services in Europe if the European Union goes ahead with its plan to ‘link tax’ for reproducing news stories in the member countries.
- Link tax is intended to allow content creators to charge search engines like Google for incorporating short pieces or even linking to their news articles.
Daily current affairs: Science and technology
World’s standard definition of kilogram now redefined
- Scientists have changed the way the kilogram is defined. The decision was made at the General Conference on Weights and Measures.
- The new definitions will come into force on 20 May 2019.
- Currently, it is defined by the weight of a platinum-based ingot called “Le Grand K” which is locked away in a safe in Paris.
- One important reason for the change is that Big K is not constant. It has lost around 50 micrograms (about the mass of an eyelash) since it was created.
- The world’s top measurement scientists chose to affix the kilogram to the Planck constant, a fundamental concept in quantum mechanics that can never, ever change — here on Earth or in the deep reaches of the universe.
Daily current affairs: Economy
NSE launched an app and website for Treasury bills
- The National Stock Exchange (NSE) has launched an app and web-based platform, ‘NSE goBID’, for retail investors to buy government securities.
- The app would allow investors to invest in treasury bills (T-Bills) of 91 days, 182 days and 364 days and various government bonds from one year to almost 40 years.
- The retail investors would be able to make payment directly from their bank accounts using Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Internet banking.
- The launch assumes significance as government securities are among the safer investment options available to retail investors as such securities are credit risk free instruments while providing portfolio diversification with longer investment durations.
- T-bills are short term securities issued on behalf of the government by the RBI and are used in managing short term liquidity needs of the government.
Daily current affairs: Banking
RBI to set up expert panel to look into issues on capital surplus
- The RBI board decided to set up a high-powered committee to examine issues related to the surplus capital of Rs 9.69 lakh crore with the central bank and advised it to consider a scheme for restructuring stressed assets in the MSME sector.
- At the crucial meeting of the board in Mumbai, it was also decided that the Board for Financial Supervision (BFS) of the RBI would examine the issues concerning the banks health under Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework and the Economic Capital Framework – ECF of RBI.
Extension of time period for implementation of Basel 3 guidelines is credit negative for banks
- Reserve Bank of India’s decision to extend the timeline for the full implementation of Basel 3 guidelines by a year is a credit negative for Indian public sector banks (PSBs), according to Moody’s Investors Service.
- The RBI’s board decided to ease capital pressure on banks by allowing them one more year to meet the Capital Conservation Buffer (CCB). This buffer is aimed at ensuring that banks build up capital buffers during non-stress periods so that they can be drawn down when losses are incurred.
- The transition period to implement the last tranche of 0.625 per cent under CCB has been extended by one year — up to March 31, 2020. Now, banks can achieve CCB of 2.5 per cent of their risk-weighted assets by March-end 2020.
Daily current affairs: Reports
U.K. India Business Council’s ease of doing business report
- According to the latest edition of the U.K. India Business Council’s Ease of Doing Business report, the perception among U.K. businesses that corruption is a major barrier in doing business in India has halved compared with what it was in 2015.
- There has been a considerable year-on-year fall in the number of companies that viewed ‘corruption’ as a major barrier – from 34% in 2016 to 25% in 2017. It has halved since 2015, where it stood at 51%.
- This decline shows a major improvement, indicating that the current government’s efforts to mitigate corruption appear to be delivering tangible and much-desired results.
- Corruption is no longer considered a ‘top-three’ barrier compared to those not currently active in India.
UNESCO Global education monitoring report 2019
- UNESCO global education monitoring report 2019 has been released
Highlights of the report:
- In India, 10.7 million children aged 6 to 14 lived in rural households with a seasonal migrant in 2013. About 28% of youth aged 15 to 19 in these households were illiterate or had not completed primary school, compared to 18% of the cohort overall.
- About 80% of seasonal migrant children in seven cities lacked access to education near work sites, and 40% are likely to end up in work rather than education, experiencing abuse and exploitation.
- Inter-State migration rates have doubled between 2001 and 2011. An estimated 9 million migrated between States annually from 2011 to 2016.
- The construction sector absorbs the majority of short-term migrants. A survey in Punjab state of 3,000 brick kiln workers in 2015-16 found that 60% were inter-State migrants. Between 65% and 80% of all children aged five to 14 living at the kilns worked there seven to nine hours per day. About 77% of kiln workers reported lack of access to early childhood or primary education for their children.
Daily current affairs: Summits/Meetings
14th edition of JashneBachpan Children’s theatre festival held in New Delhi
- The 14th edition of JashneBachpan, a theatre festival for children, will see performances from Switzerland, Sri Lanka and Indonesia along with their Indian counterparts in New Delhi.
- The festival was organized by the National School of Drama’s (NSD) Theatre in Education (TIE) Company.
Indo-Japan Business Council’s business festival held in Pune
- Indo-Japan Business Council’s Business Festival recently held in Pune. The Indo-Japan Business Council (IJBC), hosted KONNICHI WA PUNE – a first of its kind business festival in Pune.
- The festival was aimed to boost investment, promote businesses and cultural exchange between India and Japan.
Daily current affairs: Awards
CSE gets 2018 Indira Gandhi Prize
- Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the New Delhi (India)-based independent research and advocacy think tank, has been named the recipient of the prestigious Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for the year 2018.
- CSE established in 1980 under the leadership of late Anil Aggarwal and presently headed by Sunita Narain CSE has been working for the last four decades to incorporate environmental sustainability into development policies.
- The award is accorded annually by the Trust to individuals or organisations in recognition of creative efforts toward promoting international peace, development and a new international economic order, ensuring that scientific discoveries are used for the larger good of humanity, and enlarging the scope of freedom.
Daily current affairs: Sports
21-yr-old Zverev beats world no. 1 Djokovic to win ATP Finals title
- Alexander Zverev of Germany defeated world number one Novak Djokovic to win his maiden ATP World Tour Finals title.
- The 21-year-old won with a scoreline of 6-4, 6-3 and became the youngest player to win the tournament since Djokovic himself in 2008.
- Further, Zverev became the first German to win the season-ending tournament since Boris Becker in 1995.
Lakshya Sen wins bronze at World Junior Badminton championship
- India’s top junior shuttler Lakshya Sen (17 years old) won bronze medal at Li Ning BWF World Junior Badminton Championships 2018 held at Markham, Canada.
- In singles semi-final match, he lost to top seed and world junior number one Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand. This was Sen’s first medal from this prestigious tournament in three attempts.