Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

29 and 30 Nov 2021 Current Affairs in English

Important Days

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is an UN-organized day held every year on November 29.

The day aims to educate the public on the question of Palestine and support a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is observed to mark the anniversary of resolution 181, wherein the Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine on November 29, 1947.

In 1977, the General Assembly called for the annual observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. On that day, in 1947, the Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine.

This date, which was chosen because of its meaning and significance to the Palestinian people, is based on the call by the United Nations General Assembly for an annual observance of the resolution on the partition of Palestine.

National

Cherry Blossom Festival 2021 celebrated in Meghalaya

The three-day Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival 2021 was inaugurated by Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Conrad K Sangma, and Ambassador of Japan to India, Satoshi Suzuki. It was celebrated from November 25 to 27.

The festival was held in two venues, Ward’s Lake and Polo Grounds in Meghalaya. The annual festival coincides with the actual blooming of the cherry blossom flowers. It is also known as the Prunus Cerasoides, these flowers underline the Himalayas and cover the east and west Khasi hills.

Indian Railways Constructing World’s Tallest Pier Bridge in Manipur

The Indian Railways is constructing the tallest pier railway bridge in the world in Manipur. The ambitious project of the Railways in Manipur is part of the Jiribam-Imphal railway line, which ultimately is part of a new broad gauge line being constructed to connect the northeastern state with the rest of the country.

Currently, the tallest pier bridge record is held by the 139-meter high Mala-Rijeka viaduct built at Montenegro in Europe. The bridge is being built at a height of 141 metersThe total length of the Manipur bridge will be 703 meters.

Once completed, the project will enable passengers to cover 111 km of distance in 2-2.5 hrs.

International

WHO classifies new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529 as Omicron

World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529 as Omicron. New COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529 was first reported to WHO from South Africa on 24 November 2021.

According to WHO, the strain may spread more quickly than other forms. It has a large number of mutations. WHO said that preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant as compared to other variants. WHO also said that current PCR tests continue to successfully detect the variant.

The classification puts Omicron into the most-troubling category of COVID-19 variants, along with the globally-dominant Delta, plus its weaker rivals Alpha, Beta, and Gamma.

Apart from South Africa, Omicron has been detected in Israel in a person coming from Malawi; Botswana; Belgium, and Hong Kong.

Useful notes for all competitive exams: 

  • WHO Established: 7 April 1948;
  • WHO Director General: Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus;
  • WHO Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.

Petr Fiala appointed as new Prime Minister of the Czech Republic

Petr Fiala has been sworn in as the new Prime Minister of the Czech Republic by President Milos Zeman. Fiala, 57, heads the three-party coalition Together (Civic Democratic Party, Christian Democrats, TOP 09 party), which garnered 27.8% of the vote in early October. Fiala succeeds Andrej Babis.

The alliance narrowly defeated the ANO movement led by billionaire Babis. The centrist group of the Mayors and Independents and the left-wing Pirate Party joined with Fiala’s coalition to remove Babis, who had served as prime minister since 2017.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Czech Capital: Prague; Currency: Czech koruna.

Appointments

Harshwanti Bisht becomes 1st women President of Indian Mountaineering Foundation

Noted mountaineer from Uttarakhand, Harshwanti Bisht has earned the distinction of being elected the first woman president of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF).

The 62-year-old Bisht won 60 out of a total of 107 votes to get elected to the coveted post. It is for the first time that a woman has been elected as the president of the IMF, which was founded in the year 1958.

Rajnish Kumar becomes non-executive Director on Hero MotoCorp

Two-wheeler major, Hero MotoCorp announced the appointment of former chairman of State Bank of India (SBI) Rajnish Kumar as an independent non-executive director on the board of the company.

Kumar completed his three-year term as chairman of SBI in October 2020. He is currently serving as an Independent Director on the Boards of many other companies including HSBC, Asia Pacific, L&T Infotech, and is also the Non-Executive Chairman of Resilient Innovations (BharatPe).

Banking

RBI imposes Rs 1 Crore Penalty on SBI for not following norms

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a monetary penalty of Rs 1 crore on the State Bank of India (SBI), for violating subsection (2) of section 19 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

SBI held shares in the borrower companies of an amount exceeding 30 percent of the paid-up share capital of those companies.

As per Sub-section (2) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, no banking company can hold shares in any company, as pledgee, mortgagee, or absolute owner, of an amount exceeding 30 percent of the paid-up share capital of that company or thirty percent of its own paid-up share capital and reserves.

RBI raises the higher cap on promoter stake in private banks at 26%

Reserve Bank of India had formed an Internal Working Group (IWG) in June 2020, to review the extant guidelines on ownership and corporate structure for Indian private sector banks.

The IWG had 5 members with Shrimohan Yadav as the convenor. The Internal Working Group (IWG) had made 33 recommendations to RBI. Now RBI has accepted 21 recommendations out of these 33.

The initial lock-in requirements will continue as a minimum of 40 percent of the paid-up voting equity share capital of the bank for the first five years.

The cap on promoters’ stake in the long run of 15 years has been raised from 15 percent (earlier) to 26 percent of the paid-up voting equity share capital of the bank.

All the new Small Finance Banks which are set up now, should be listed (on the stock exchange) within ‘eight years from the date of commencement of operations. Note that Universal banks shall continue to be listed within six years of commencement of operations.

Business

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance tied up with TropoGo for Drone Insurance

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance announced its partnership with deep-tech startup TropoGo for the distribution of a drone Insurance product. With this Bajaj Allianz General Insurance becomes the 4th insurer to offer drone cover.

HDFC Ergo was the first insurer to launch a drone insurance cover in June 2020, followed by ICICI Lombard in August 2021, and Tata AIG last month.

The drone insurance product will cover Damage to the Drone and Payload it carries Third Party Liability, BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) Endorsement, and Night Flying Endorsement.

Useful notes for all competitive exams: 

  • Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Founded: 2001;
  • Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Headquarters: Pune, Maharashtra;
  • Bajaj Allianz General Insurance CEO & MD: Tapan Singhel.

Ranks and Reports

Kantar’s BrandZ India report 2021 announced

According to Kantar’s BrandZ India 2021 report, Amazon, Tata Tea, and Asian Paints emerged as the most purposeful brands in India across technology, FMCG, and non-FMCG categories respectively.

In technology ranking Amazonleads the index followed by Zomato, YouTube, and Google, and Swiggy jointly in 4th place.

While Asian Paints topped the non-FMCG rankings, Samsung and Jio ranked jointly in the 2nd position, followed by MRF. The FMCG category rankings saw Tata Tea topping the chart, Surf Excel in 2nd position.

Niti Aayog’s Poverty Index: Bihar poorest in multidimensional poverty

The government thinks tank Niti Aayog has released the first-ever Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) to measure poverty at the national, State/UT, and district levels.

As per the inaugural index, Bihar has been adjudged as the state with the highest level of multidimensional poverty. 51.91 percent of the state’s population are multidimensionally poor.

Jharkhand is at second position with 42.16 percent of the state population as multidimensionally poor. This is followed by Uttar Pradesh at 37.79 percent, Madhya Pradesh (36.65 percent), and Meghalaya (32.67 percent) in the top five poorest states.

Meanwhile, Kerala (0.71 percent), Goa (3.76%), Sikkim (3.82%), Tamil Nadu (4.89%), and Punjab (5.59 %) are the top 5 lowest poverty states across India. Kottayam in Kerala is the only district that registered zero poverty across the country as per the index.

Useful notes for all competitive exams: 

  • NITI Aayog Formed: 1 January 2015;
  • NITI Aayog Headquarters: New Delhi;
  • NITI Aayog Chairperson: Narendra Modi;
  • NITI Aayog Vice Chairperson: Rajiv Kumar;
  • NITI Aayog CEO: Amitabh Kant.

Defense

NCC celebrates its 73rd Raising Day

The National Cadet Corps (NCC), the youth wing of the Indian Armed Forces and the largest uniformed youth organization in the world, is observing the 73rd anniversary of its raising on November 28.

NCC day is celebrated every year on the 4th Sunday in November. NCC day is observed throughout the country. The raising day is being celebrated all over the country with cadets participating in marches, blood donation camps and social development programs. The NCC was formed on 15th July 1948.

NCC is also the largest uniformed youth organization in the whole world. The NCC headquarters is located in New Delhi. Headquarters is now open for school and college students. It is a voluntary “Tri-service Organisation”. This organization includes the army, the naval, and the wings.

Science and Technology

Skyroot test-fired India’s 1st Privately Built Cryogenic Rocket Engine “Dhawan-1”

Skyroot Aerospace, a space technology startup based in Hyderabad, has successfully test-fired Dhawan-1, India’s first privately developed fully cryogenic rocket engine.

This will power the upper stages of its upcoming Vikram-2 orbital launch vehicle. The rocket engine Dhawan-1 is named after Satish Dhawan, an Indian rocket scientist.

Dhawan-1 is a completely ‘Made-in-India’ cryogenic engine, developed using 3D printing with a superalloy. The engine is fuelled by liquefied natural gas and liquid oxygen—a high-performance, low-cost, and clean rocket fuel.

Useful notes for all competitive exams: 

  • Skyroot Aerospace Founded: 12 June 2018;
  • Skyroot Aerospace Headquarters: Hyderabad, Telangana;
  • Skyroot Aerospace Co-founder, CEO & CTO: Pawan Kumar Chandana;
  • Skyroot Aerospace Co-founder, COO: Naga Bharath Daka.

Books and Authors

A book on India-Pakistan War 1971 released by MM Naravane

General MM Naravane released a book ‘Bangladesh Liberation @ 50 years: ‘Bijoy’ with Synergy, India-Pakistan war 1971’, a compilation of personal accounts of the war by veterans from India and Pakistan.

The book is an amalgamation of historical and anecdotal accounts of the 1971 War and comprises authors from both India and Bangladesh. Mostly who fought the war.

The event was organized by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) at the India International Centre (IIC), Delhi to commemorate 50 Years of India-Bangladesh Friendship as well as the decisive victory in India- Pakistan War 1971.


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