Current Affairs – 30 November 2023

Union Minister Smriti Irani launched New protocol for Anganwadi Workers to Track Children with DisabilitiesUnion Minister Smriti Zubin Irani, Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD), has launched the Anganwadi Protocol for Divyang (disabled) Children in an event held in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, Delhi.

  • The protocol provides guideline for Anganwadi workers to track and help children with disabilities upto the age of 6.

About the protocol:
i.The protocol is an important commitment under the Poshan Bhi Padhai Bhi program of Mission Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0.
ii.It provides training to Anganwadi workers.

  • The Anganwadi eco-system reaches out to over eight crore children on a daily basis.
  • The children can be further tracked through the Poshan tracker.

iii.The protocol sees disability among the children as an opportunity for society rather than  a challenge.
iv.The protocol embodies step-by-step approach:

  • Screening for early disability signs
  • Inclusion in community events and empowering families
  • Referral support via Accredited Social Health Activist(ASHA) /Auxiliary Nursing and Midwifery (ANM) & Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) teams.

Poshan Bhi Padhai Bhi:
i.It is a flagship program of MoWCD which was launched in May, 2023.
ii.The program strengthens Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE).
iii.The program has adopted ECCE Task Force recommendation for play-based and activity-based learning pedagogy along with special and timely support for divyang children.

  • The mother tongue of the child is the primary teacher instruction medium.

iv.As per the program, every child would be provided with at least two hours of high-quality pre-school instruction on a daily basis.

Defence Ministry inks Rs 2956 cr contract with BHEL to Procure 16 SRGM for INOn November 28, 2023, Ministry of Defence has signed a contract with M/s Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Haridwar, Uttarakhand for the procurement and manufacturing of 16 Upgraded Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) along with associated equipment/accessories for Indian Navy (IN) under Buy (Indian) category at a total cost of Rs 2956.89 crore.
Key Points:
i.SRGMs will be installed onboard Indian Navy’s on serving and newly built ships by M/s Mazagon Dock & Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), Mumbai, Maharashtra and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata, West Bengal.
i.The SRGMs are medium caliber anti-missile/anti-aircraft point defense weapon system for sustained rate of fire and high accuracy.
ii.The Buy (Indian) category requires a products that is designed, developed, and manufactured in India, with a minimum 60% Indigenous Content, and minimum 50% for in case of indigenous design.
About Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL):
It is a Maharatna Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Heavy Industries.
Chairman & Managing Director– Koppu Sadashiv Murthy
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Establishment– 1964

India’s 1st Telecom CoE to be set up at IIT Roorkee, UP India’s first Telecom Centre of Excellence (CoE) will be established at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee campus in Saharanpur, in Uttar Pradesh (UP). The UP Government will fund around Rs.30 crore for its establishment.

  • The center will focus on connecting 5G technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to develop innovative devices and technologies and will also prepare a base for the launch of 6G technologies.
  • The foundation stone for the same will be laid by the Chief Minister (CM) of UP Yogi Adityanath on December 5, 2023.

Objective of Telecom CoE:
To develop and promote new technology in the field of telecom
Key Points:
i.The new centre will boost telecommunications Research and Development (R&D) and create job opportunities for UP’s youth. Research will be done on these sectors:

  • Fundamentals of Advanced Wireless Communication
  • 5G and Wireless Standards
  • Millimeter-Wave Transceivers Module Design
  • AI/ML (Machine Laerning) for wireless communication

ii.It will function as a hub for cutting-edge technologies, supporting experts, and solving problems through modern technology.
iii.Emphasis will be on 5G applications in e-learning, education, agriculture, and satellite communication.
iv.It will attract domestic and international investments, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in Saharanpur.
v.It will also reduce India’s dependence on foreign technology by contributing to indigenous 5G and 6G development.
vi.It will generate new products, services, and technologies for global commercialization.
vii.The centre will also serve as a training platform for telecom sector skill development, offering practical experiences for students, researchers, and industry professionals.

MoHFW Rebranded AB-HWCs as ‘Ayushman Arogya MandirsOn 25th November 2023, Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), has rebranded the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) as Ayushman Arogya Mandirs‘. 

  • The rebranded AB-HWCs will carry a new tagline Arogyam Parmam Dhanam’.

i.MoHFW has instructed all the states to carry out the rebranding process & to complete it by the end of 2023.
ii.The funds required for renaming the existing facilities have been proposed at Rs.3,000 per facility.
iii.The states must upload new photographs of primary health facilities (which carry the new name) on the AB-HWC portal.
iv.However, the logo of the National Health Mission (NHM) will be retained as such.
Translate and Transliterate:
i.If languages other than Hindi or English are used for branding, then the full and exact title can be translated into the respective state language(s).
ii.However, the tagline must be transliterated into the state language(s).
Note: Transliteration is the process of converting a text from one language to another without changing the pronunciation of the text.
Ayushman Bharat (AB):
i.It is a flagship scheme of the Government of India (GoI) that aims to provide free healthcare services and health insurance coverage to low-income earners in the country.
ii.It was launched in 2018 as recommended by the National Health Policy 2017 to achieve the vision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
iii.It comprises 2 interrelated components namely:

  • Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs)
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY)

iv.HWCs provide primary health care with a focus on wellness and the delivery of an expanded range of services closer to the community.

  • PM-JAY provides health insurance coverage of Rs.5 lakhs per year to low-income earners in the country.

About Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoHFW):
Union Minister – Mansukh Mandaviya (Rajya Sabha – Gujarat)
Minister of State (MoS– Bharati Pravin Pawar

SEBI introduced significant amendments at the 203rd Meeting of SEBI BoardMadhabi Puri Buch, Chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) chaired the 203rd meeting of the SEBI which was held in Mumbai, Maharashtra on November 25, 2023. The SEBI Board meeting announced key decisions related to NPO fundraising, regulations for index providers, AIFs operations etc.
Key Highlights of 203rd meeting of the SEBI Board are:
i.SEBI Board introduces flexibility for Social Stock Exchange(SSE) in order to give boost to fund raising by Not for Profit Organisation (NPOs) on the SSE.
ii.SEBI reduces minimum issue size from Rs1 crore to Rs 50 Lakh for public issuance of Zero Coupon Zero Principal (ZCZP) instruments.
iii.SEBI has further approved to reduce minimum application size from Rs 2 Lakh to Rs10000 for public issuance of ZCZP by NPO on social stock exchange. It will help to expand participation of subscribers including Retail.
iv.SEBI Board approved a regulatory framework for index providers in order to introduce transparency and accountability in the functioning of the securities market.
v.SEBI approved amendments to SEBI (Real Estate Investment Trusts) Regulations, 2014.
vi. SEBI with the objective of protecting the interests of investors in Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) approved an amendment to SEBI (Alternative Investment Funds) Regulations, 2012.
vii. SEBI plans to introduce same day (T+0) settlement by March 2024 and Instantaneous settlement 2025.

IRDAI sets up 11-member Task Force, Led by Randip Singh Jagpal to examine the Impact of DPDP Act, 2023 The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) formed an 11-member task force to examine the impact of the Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Act of 2023 on the insurance sector.

  • The Chairperson of the task force will be Randip Singh Jagpal, Executive Director (Non-Life) at IRDAI and Member of Stakeholders’ Committee.
  • The task force will submit its report within 1 month of the order issuance.

Other Members of the Taskforce:

  • It aims to help clients understand the legislation’s meaning and how it may affect the business environment.
  • It includes a penalty clause for non-compliance with the provisions by data fiduciaries under which penalties can be up to Rs 250 crore.
  • Click Here to Read about Act

Tata AIG introduces New Insurance plan ‘Health Supercharge’Tata AIG General Insurance Company Limited has launched its new health insurance plan, Health Supercharge to provide comprehensive coverage for individuals and families residing in Tier I to Tier IV locations.

  • It offers 2 plan options namely Value Plan and Geo Plan,based on the geographical location.

i.Age limit to join the policy: 91 days – 65 years
ii.Policy tenure: 1 to 3 years
iii.Sum Insured options: 5 lakhs to 20 lakhs
Plan Availability: 
i.Value Plan is available for members residing across India.
ii.Geo Plan  is available for members residing across India except Mumbai (Maharashtra), New Delhi (Delhi), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Surat(Gujarat) & Baroda(Gujarat).
Key Features:
i.Policyholders receive a 5-times supercharge bonus on their sum insured, providing them with significantly more coverage for their medical expenses.
ii.There is no maximum age limit to cease the policy.

  • Therefore, the policy extends lifelong provided proper payment of the premium.

iii.The plan includes an In-built Wellness Services and a Wellness Program.
iv.A policyholder can also add optional benefits such as unlimited restoration and a reduction in the Pre-Existing Disease (PED) waiting period for specified ailments.
v.The premium amount paid under this policy qualifies for deduction under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
vi.Families with members under the age of 40 receive a 5% discount on their premiums, both at the initial policy inception and during renewals.

  • 10% & 5% long-term discount on premium in case insured opts policy term of 3 years and 2 years respectively.

vii.Policyholders can receive an annual preventive health check-up at no additional cost.
About Tata AIG General Insurance Company Limited:
Tata AIG General Insurance Company Limited is a joint venture (JV) company between Tata Sons and American International Group (AIG).
Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – Neelesh Garg
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in – 2001

Abdullahi Mire, a former refugee from Somalia Named The 2023 Global Laureate of UNHCR Nansen Refugee Awards  Abdullahi Mire, a former refugee from Somalia has been named the 2023 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCRNansen Refugee Award’s Global Laureate for championing the right to education while putting 100,000 books in the hands of displaced children and youth in Kenya.

  • The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland on 13 December 2023 at the Global Refugee Forum 2023, which will take place from 13 to 15 December 2023.
  • The Somalia born grew up in the Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya.

2023 Regional Winners of the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award:
The 2023 Regional Winners of the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award have also been named, recognising their outstanding work with refugees, internally displaced, and stateless people.

  • Elizabeth Moreno Barco from Colombia(Americas)
  • Asia Al-Mashreqi from Yemen (Middle East & North Africa)
  • Abdullah Habib, Sahat Zia Hero, Salim Khan and Shahida Win (Asia-Pacific): four Rohingya storytellers documenting the experiences of stateless Rohingya refugees
  • Lena Grochowska and Władysław Grochowski from Poland (Europe)

About UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award:
i.Established in 1954, the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award celebrates the legacy of Fridtjof Nansen, a Norwegian scientist, polar explorer, diplomat, and first High Commissioner for Refugees (1920-1930) for the League of Nations.
ii.The 1st UNHR Nansen Refugee Award was presented in 1954 to Eleanor Roosevelt, the 1st Chair of the UN Human Rights Commission and 1st Lady of the United States of America (USA) alongside President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
NoteFridtjof Nansen was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922 “for his leading role in the repatriation of prisoners of war, in international relief work and as the League of Nations High Commissioner for refugees”
Sponsors of the Award:
The UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award is supported by the Governments of Norway and Switzerland, the City and Canton of Geneva, and the IKEA Foundation.
Prize Value:
i.The Award consists of a commemorative medal and a monetary prize of USD 100,000 donated by the governments of Norway and Switzerland.

  • The 2023 global laureate is expected to reinvest the prize in the humanitarian initiatives they are being recognized for.

ii.Several regional winners will receive a smaller monetary prize to further their humanitarian work.
About United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
High Commissioner– Filippo Grandi
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
Formally known as the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1950.

Rural Marketing Association of India Appoints Puneet Vidyarthi as its President for 2023-25
The Rural Marketing Association of India (RMAI), the premier body of rural marketers in India, has appointed Puneet Vidyarthi as its President for the 2023-2025 during its 18th Annual General Meeting (AGM).

  • Puneet Vidyarthi succeeds Biswabaran Chakrabarti, incumbent President of RMAI (since 2019).
  • Puneet Vidyarthi is the Head of Marketing, and Business Development (BD), India & SAR at Case New Holland (CNH) Construction Equipment India, CNH Industrial (India) Pvt Ltd.
  • He also served as the Associate Vice President and Head of Marketing and Digital Innovations at JCB India Ltd.

Other Appointments:

  • Vice President – Khurram Askari, Founder and Managing Director (MD) of Insight Outreach Pvt Ltd
  • Treasurer – Sandip Bansal, Chief Client & Field Officer, Dialogue Factory – GroupM Media
  • General Secretary – Sunny Vohra, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Anugrah Madison Advertising Pvt Ltd

BBIL, Sydney University ink MoU to collaborate on vaccine R&D & infectious diseasesBharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL), the developer of India’s first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin, inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Sydney Infectious Diseases Institute (Sydney ID) to collaborate on advancing vaccine research, strengthening academic-industry partnerships, and combatting infectious diseases globally.
i.It aims to build strong sectoral and cross-organisational collaborations to design novel methodologies to tackle future epidemics and infectious disease.
ii.The collaboration will utilize academia-industry strengths for advancing the science of vaccines and biotherapeutics.
iii.Vaccines offer the most efficient and economical means to safeguard billions of people globally, and to eradicate human and animal diseases.
iv.BBIL has over 145 global patents, a portfolio of over 19 vaccines and four biotherapeutics.
About Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL):
Founder & Executive Chairman– Dr Krishna M. Ella
Establishment– 1996
Headquarters– Hyderabad, Telangana

Punjab defeats Haryana to Clinch 13th Senior Men National Hockey Championship 2023
Hockey Punjab own the 13th edition of Hockey India Senior Men National Championship 2023 and clinched gold medal by defeating Hockey Haryana in the finals.

  • Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu clinched bronze medal and stands at third place after defeating Hockey Karnataka.
  • The Championship was held from 17th to 28th November 2023 at Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
  • Punjab, under the captainship of Harmanpreet Singh, defeated Haryana by a 9-8 margin after the teams were tied 2-2 at regulation time.
  • This marks Hockey Punjab’s fourth title in the 13 editions of the tournament.
  • The 2022 senior Men championship was won by Haryana who defeated Tamil Nadu.

Canadian TV Producer & Emmy Award Winner Marty Krofft, Passed Away
Marty Krofft, a Canadian TV producer and puppeteer known for imaginative children’s shows such as ‘HR Pufnstuf’ and ‘Land of the Lost,’ passed away in California, the United States of America (USA) at the age of 86. He was born in Montreal, Canada on April 9, 1937.

  • He was most known for co-creating the primetime children’s TV series of the 1970s and 1980s with his elder brother Sid Krofft.
  • The Krofft brothers made their TV debut in 1969 with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC)’s “H.R. Pufnstuf,” followed by “The Bugaloos” (NBC, 1970) and “Lidsville” (American Broadcasting Company, 1971).
  • They also produced 2 theatrical motion pictures namely Middle Age Crazy (1980), and Harry Tracy, The Last Desperado (1983).
  • They received the Life Time Achievement Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 2018.
  • The brothers received a star on the world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2020 in recognition of their “Golden Anniversary.”

C K Gopinathan, Director & Major Shareholder of Dhanlaxmi Bank, Passed Away
C K GopinathanDirector on the board of Thrissur (Kerala)-based Dhanlaxmi Bank, passed away. He has more than 25 years of experience in the banking/finance sectors and has been on the Board of the Dhanlaxmi Bank since 2016.

  • He was a major shareholder in the bank, and as of September 2023, he held a 7.5% stake in the bank, with permission to hold up to 9.99%.
  • He served as a Director at the Catholic Syrian Bank Limited (CSB) for almost 8 years from September 26, 2008, to July 20, 2016.
  • He was also the Director of C.K.G Supermarket Limited and Managing Director (MD) of C.K.G Securities and Investments Limited.

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People 2023- November 29 The United Nations (UNInternational Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is annually observed across the globe on 29 November to provide an opportunity for the international community to show its support for the Palestinian people, who are still striving for fundamental rights.

  • The UN observes the day by undertaking its annual debate on the question of Palestine, which remains unresolved.

i.On 2 December 1977, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/32/40 B and proclaimed the 29 November of every year as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
ii.The first International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was observed in 1978.
About United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA):
Commissioner-General– Mr Philippe Lazzarini (Under-Secretary-General of the UN)
Headquarters– Amman (Jordan) and Gaza (Palestinian Territory)
Following the 1948 War, UNRWA was established by UNGA on 8 December 1949 to carry out direct relief and work programs for Palestine refugees. The Agency began operations on 1 May 1950.

Karnataka government Signed LoI with Meta for Digital Skilling and Online SafetyThe Karnataka government signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with Meta (formerly known as Facebook), an American Multinational Social Technology Company to elevate awareness about online user safety and digital citizenship among students and educators.

  • Through this partnership, the Karnataka government plans to offer training to 1 lakh teachers and 10 lakh students in digital safety and Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR) by 2025.

Online Safety Initiative:
i.Under the online safety initiative, those aged 18 to 24 from 100 colleges and universities across Karnataka would receive digital awareness training.The aim of the program was to make them more mindful of the new trends in digital safety.
ii.Furthermore, students and teachers will also take the Digital Nagrik pledge, as a reminder and commitment to creating a safer digital world.
Digital Citizenship Initiative:
i.It is a joint program between the Ministry of Information Technology & Bio Technology (IT/BT) and Meta, that would develop a WhatsApp chatbot for the delivery of information services across various government departments.

  • The purpose of the program was to streamline citizen communications and also create a Digital Safety Chatbot for citizen awareness.

ii.Meta’s responsibility extends to training people in safe online auctions and prioritizing online safety.A particular focus on the safety of women and children is highlighted as a crucial area.
About Karnataka:
Chief Minister– Siddaramaiah
Governor– Thawar Chand Gehlot
Stadium– M Chinnaswamy Stadium (Outdoor) and Karnataka State Hockey Association (KSHA) Hockey Stadium (Outdoor)

MHA Appointed Atal Dulloo IAS as Chief Secretary of J&K
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed Atal Dulloo, a 1988 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, as Chief Secretary of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) with effect from 1st December 2023 or from date of assumption of charge, whichever is later and until further orders.

Current Affairs – 29 November 2023

5th Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue held in New Delhi, 4 MoUs inked by NMFThe 5th edition of ‘Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue 2023” (IPRD-2023)was held from November 15-17, 2023, the three-day annual apex-level regional strategic dialogue of the Indian Navy (IN), was held in New Delhi , Delhi, with the theme ‘Geopolitical Impacts upon Indo-Pacific Maritime Trade and Connectivity’.

  • IPRD-2023 Saw Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by National Maritime Foundation (NMF)

i.The Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar released a book entitled ‘Building Partnerships – India and International Cooperation for Maritime Security’ published by NMF.
ii.Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman released an edited volume entitled Maritime Perspectives: Maritime Security Dynamics in the Indo-Pacific: Strategies and Trends published by NMF.
About Indian Navy (IN):
Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS)– Admiral Radhakrishnan Hari Kumar
Headquarters– Integrated Defence Headquarters, Ministry of Defence, New Delhi, Delhi
Founded– 26 January 1950

ICG Conducted “NATPOLREX-IX” off Gujarat for Assessing Marine Oil Spill Readiness
The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) conducted the 9th National Level Pollution Response Exercise (NATPOLREX-IX) on 24-25 November 2023, off Vadinar coast, Gujarat, in accordance with National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOS-DCP).
Aim: To assess the coordination and readiness of various agencies in responding to a marine oil spill.

  • DG Rakesh Pal, Director General of the Indian Coast Guard, and the Chairman of NOSDCP reviewed the preparedness of all agencies during the exercise.
  • Participants: Representatives of various ministries and departments of central and coastal state governments, ports, oil handling agencies, and other stakeholders along with more than 31 foreign observers and 80 delegates participated in the exercise.
  • During the exercise, the ICG deployed surfaces as well as air platforms including Pollution Response Vessels (PRVs) and Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs).

The 8th edition of NATPOLREX-VIII was conducted from April 19-20, 2022, off Mormugao Harbour, Goa.
Since 1986, the ICG has assumed responsibility for safeguarding the marine environment, taking over from the Ministry of Shipping.
The NOSDCP, approved by the Committee of Secretaries in 1993, outlines strategies to combat oil spill disasters at sea.

India Organised Five-day Millets Festival in Indonesia to Enhance Food Security with ASEANThe Indian Mission to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (MoA&FW) organised  the ASEAN-India Millet Festival 2023 from 22nd to 26th November 2023 , in Indonesia.

  • The festival was inaugurated in the Kota Kasablanka Mall, in South Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • The festival aims to raise awareness and create a market for millets and millets-based products among the ASEAN Member states.

About ASEAN-India Millet Festival:
i.Millet Festival is a part of United Nation(UN)’s International Year of Millets 2023 (IYM 2023) celebrations.
ii.The festival includes an exhibition, panel discussions, and cooking workshops.
iii.The exhibition also aims to foster collaboration between ASEAN countries, celebrate cultural and culinary diversity and promote sustainable millet practices.
India’s Participation:
i.Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare under MA&FW lead a delegation from India including professionals engaged in the Indian millet ecosystem.
ii.Five Farmers Producers Organisation (FPOs) and two start-ups (Taru Naturals and Sattva Millets and Food Products (Mibbles)) from India participated the exhibition.

  • They showcased unique millet-added products such as millet cookies, namkeen, khakhra and cakes.

i.ASEAN-India Joint Leaders’ Statement on Strengthening Food Security and Nutrition in Response to Crises was adopted at the 20th ASEAN-India Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia on September 7, 2023.
ii.The  five-day festival is in alignment with the implementation of this statement.
About ASEAN:
i.It is an intergovernmental organization of ten Southeast Asian countries namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

  • India is part of the ASEAN Plus Six grouping, which includes China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia.

ii.It was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration).
About Republic of Indonesia:
The Indonesian Parliament has passed a law to relocate its capital from Jakarta to East Kalimantan. The new capital will be called Nusantara.
President – Joko Widodo
Currency – Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

NPCI Instructs Payment Apps to Deactivate Inactive UPI IDs by December 31, 2023The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has directed all Third Party Application Providers (TPAP) and Payment Service Provider (PSP) banks to deactivate all Unified Payments Interface (UPIIDs that have remained inactive for a period of one year or more.

  • This measure is to be implemented by December 31, 2023.
  • This includes apps like Google Pay, Paytm, and PhonePe.

To streamline UPI ID usage, ensuring only actively utilized ones remain operational for enhanced efficiency and security in the UPI ecosystem.
Key Points:
i.After implemention, dormant UPI IDs will be disabled for inward credit transactions; and associated phone numbers will be deregistered by PSPs from UPI mapper.
ii.Users with blocked UPI IDs can re-register in UPI apps for mapper linkage, enabling payments using UPI Pin.
iii.UPI apps instructed to perform Requester Validation for ‘pay-to-contact/pay-to-mobile number,’ showing customer name fetched at transaction start.
iv.The customers need to activate UPI IDs before a set date to avoid cancellation.

  • However, users get notifications via email or message before deactivation.

i.UPI enables swift fund transfers between bank accounts via smartphones.
ii.TPAPs are entities that provide mobile applications to customers to facilitate UPI transactions.
iii.PSPs ensure that the UPI app complies with all safety measures. They also enable merchants to accept credit and debit card payments.

CDSL becomes the First Listed Depository to Register More Than 10 crore Demat AccountsCentral Depository Services (India) Limited (CSDL) had become the first Indian depository to hold 10 crore(100 million) active dematerialisation (demat) accounts.

  • CSDL attained this position by surpassing the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL).

About CDSL:
i.CDSL is the largest and only listed depository of India.
ii.It is a Market Infrastructure Institution (MII).
iii.It plays an important role in Capital market structure.
iv.It provides services to Market participants such as Exchanges, Clearing Corporations, Depository Participants (DPs), Issuers and Investors.
iv.CDSL maintains and services demat accounts of investors or beneficial owners (BOs).

  • These BOs are serviced by CDSL’s 580-plus depository participants.

v.CDSL Ventures Limited (CVL) India is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CDSL

  • It is the first and largest Know Your Customer (KYC) Registration Agency (KRA).
  • CVL conceptualised, designed, and implemented the KRA system in association with the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) for all mutual funds in 2008.

vi.Its major shareholders are the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Limited, Standard Chartered Bank, Parag Parikh Financial Advisory Services(PPFAS) Asset Management Company, Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), and Canara Bank.
What is a Depository?
i.A Depository is a facilitator for the holding of securities in the dematerialized form and an enabler for securities transactions.
ii.There are only two depositories in India namely CSDL and NSDL.
About NSDL:
i.It is the first depository in India which was established in 1996.
ii.The enactment of the Depositories Act, 1996 paved the way for the establishment of NSDL in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
iii.NSDL offers services to investors, stock brokers, custodians and issuer companies.
About Central Depository Services (India) Limited (CSDL):
Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – Nehal Vora
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in – 1999

S&P Global hikes India’s FY24 GDP growth forecast by 40 bps to 6.4%American credit rating agency, S&P Global Rating, has raised India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate forecast for 2023-24 (FY24) by 40 basis points(bps) to 6.4%, up from 6%. This increase is driven by strong domestic momentum that may have offset the negative effects of high food inflation and weak exports.

  • For FY25, India’s GDP growth projection has been reduced to 6.4% from 6.9% amid subdued global growth, a higher base, and the lagged impact of rate hikes.s.

Key Points:
i.India’s GDP exceeded the 2019 level by 15.5% in the first half of FY24 (H1FY24).
ii.Headline inflation remains above the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) target of 4%.
iii.Retail inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) slipped to 4.9% in October 2023 after 7.4% in July 2023.
iii.The seasonally adjusted S&P Global India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) stood at 55.5 in October 2023, down from 57.5 in September 2203.

  • This highlights the slowest rate of expansion since February 2023.

India FY24 Growth Forecast by Other Agencies (in% Year-On-Year):

  • S&P Global- 6.4%
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF)- 6.3%
  • World Bank (WB)- 6.3%
  • Moody’s- 6.7%
  • Morgan Stanley- 6.5%
  • RBI- 6.5%

 “Authentic” is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2023United States of America (USA) dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster announced that the Word of the Year for 2023 is “Authentic”.

  • According to Merriam-Webster, Authentic is defined as “not false or imitation” and “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character”.

Word Authentic in 2023:
i.The searches for the word ‘Authentic’ on increased in 2023, because of stories and conversations about Artificial intelligence (AI), celebrity culture, identity, and social media.
ii.’Authentic’ is an adjective which modifies the noun.

  • The words frequently modified by authentic include cuisine, dish, self and voice.

‘Authentic’ as Identity:
The word is often connected to national as well as personal identity.
Other Top Searched Words of Merriam-Webster 2023:
i.Rizz – It is a internet-driven slang which means “romantic appeal or charm”
ii.Deepfake –A type of AI that can be used to create realistic but fake videos or audio recordings.
iii.Coronation – the act or occasion of crowning
iv.Dystopian- The word relates to, or being in an imagined world or society in which people lead dehumanized, fearful lives.
v.Egot- The word means the accomplishment of winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award in one’s lifetime.
vi.X – Elon Musk has rebranded Twitter as X in July 2023; This made many people to learn about ‘X’.
vii.Implode – The word means ‘to burst inward’ or ‘to undergo violent compression’
viii.Doppelgänger – a person who has the same name as another
ix.Covenant –  a formal, solemn, and binding agreement
x.Indict – to charge with a fault or offense
xi.Elemental – relating to, or being the basic or essential constituent of something
xii.Kibbutz – a communal farm or settlement in Israel
xiii.Deadname – the name that a transgender person was given at birth and no longer uses upon transitioning
Note “Gaslighting” is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2022

Andry Rajoelina reelected as Madagascar’s president for the 3rd TermIncumber President of Madagascar Andry Rajoelina, leader of Young Malagasies Determined (Tanora Malagasy Vonona, TGVparty, was re-elected as the President of Madagascar for 3rd term.

  • He won 59% of the vote defeating former President Marc Ravalomanana (14.4%) and former judo champion, Siteny Randrianasoloniaiko(12%).
  • Previoulsy, he has served as the President of Madagascar from 2009 to 2014 and from 2019 to 2023.

Note: Madagascar, an island nation in the Indian Ocean  lying off the southeastern coast of Africa.
About Andry Rajoelina:
i.Andry Rajoelina, a Malagasy entrepreneur and former former DJ(disc jockey), entered politics in 2007.

  • In 2007, He was elected as mayor of Antananarivo, the Capital of Madagascar.

ii.In 2009, Andry Rajoilina ousted then president Marc Ravalomanana in the coup backed by the army.
iii.At the age of 34, he was appointed as the president of the High Transitional Authority (HAT) by a military council.

  • He became the youngest president in the Madagascar’s history.
  • He remained as president of the transitional government until January 2014.
  • In 2019, he was re-elected as the President and served till 2023.

About Madagascar:
Capital– Antananarivo
Prime Minister– Christian Ntsay
President– Andry Rajoelina
Currency– Malagasy ariay (MGA)

Rajat Kumar Jain Appointed as Part-time Chairman of Fino Payment BankReserve Bank of India (RBI ) has approved the appointment of Rajat Kumar Jain as the Part-time Chairman of Fino Payment Bank (Fino Bank) with effect from 24th November 2023, until 1st November 2025.

  • He is currently serving as an Independent Director in Fino bank.

About Rajat Kumar Jain:
i.He is a Founder-Director of PadUp Ventures, a Knowledge and Mentoring Platform.
ii.He also serves as an Independent Director at the Aditya Birla Finance Limited.
iv.He is a Trustee of the Braj Foundation, a Non-governmental organization (NGO), and an Advisor to the E&H Foundation.
v.Previously, he served as the MD and non-executive director at Xerox India from February 2012 to December 2017.

  • From January 2015, he transitioned to a non-executive role on the board of directors at Xerox India.

vi.He has also served as the MD and global senior vice president at Walt Disney India from July 2004 to June 2007.
About Fino Payments Bank:
MD and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Mr. Rishi Gupta
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Incorporated on– 4th April 2017

Tennis: Italy Defeats Australia to win Davis Cup 2023 titleOn 26th November 2023, Italian tennis team captained by Filippo Volandri, won the Davis Cup 2023 by defeating Australian team captained by Lleyton Hewitt in the finals held in Palacio de Deportes Jose Maria Martin Carpena in Malaga, Spain.

  • This marks Italy’s 2nd Davis Cup title. Previously, Italy won the title in 1976.
  • 2023 Davis Cup is the 111th edition of the tournament.

Note:  Davis Cup, men’s tennis tournament between national teams, is annually organised by the International Tennis Federation (ITF)world governing body of tennis
Players of Italy:

  • Jannik Sinner
  • Matteo Arnaldi
  • Lorenzo Musetti
  • Lorenzo Sonego
  • Simone Bolelli
  • Filippo Volandri(Captain)

i.Italy has ranked number 1 in the 2023 year-end Davis Cup Nations Ranking released by ITF.
ii.Italy has become the10th nation to hold the No. 1 ranking since the Davis Cup Nations Rankings were introduced in December 2001.
iii.Canada is ranked 2nd followed by Australia at 3rd; Spain at 4th and Serbia at 5th.
iv.Reaching the 2023 finals, both Italy and Australia secured automatic qualification for the 2024 Davis Cup Finals Group Stage
Davis Cup 2023:
The 2023 Davis Cup qualifying round was held from 3 to 5 February 2023.

  • In 2023, a record 155 nations entered Davis Cup, making it the world’s largest annual international team competition in Tennis.

The 12 winners of this round are qualified for the 2023 Davis Cup Final 8.
Canada (2022 champions); Australia (2022 runners-up); Italy and Spain (wild card) were directly qualified for final 8.
About Davis Cup:
i.The first edition of Davis Cup was held in 1900. The tournamnet was originally known as the International Lawn Tennis Challenge.
ii.The event was named Davis Cup after Dwight Davis’s trophy, which was designed by William Durgin and crafted by Rowland Rhodes.
iii.The competition’s current format was introduced in 2019.
iv.Davis cup is played in Hard Surface(indoor).
Key facts:
i.The United States of America (USA) has won the most number (32) of Davis Cup title while Australia is the 2nd most successful team with 28 titles.
ii.India finished as runners-up 3 times (1966, 1974, 1987), the most by any nation from Asia proper.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won 2023 Abu Dhabi GP; Completes Season with 19th Win
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen (Belgian-Dutch driver competing under the Dutch flag) won the 15th edition of the Formula 1 (F1) Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Abu Dhabi GP 2023), held at Yas Marina Circuit on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 26 November 2023.

  • This also marks Max’s 4th consecutive Abu Dhabi GP title and 19th title of the 2023 season.
  • Abu Dhabi 2023 marks the last race (22nd) of 2023 season.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc of Monaco finished 2nd Mercedes’ George Russell (3rd) of the United Kingdom (UK) finished 3rd.
Key Points:
i.With this win, Verstappen became the 1st driver in history to lead 1,000 laps in a single season.
ii.With this, Max moved to the 3rd position on the all-time wins list, with a total of 54 wins by surpassing Sebastian Vettel of Germany.

  • The list is topped by Lewis Hamilton (103) of UK and Michael Schumacher (91) of Germany.

iii.Verstappen ends 2023 with records for the most single-season wins (19), most consecutive race wins (10), most podium finishes (21), highest points total (575), and largest championship-winning margin (290).
Note: Red Bull won 21 of 22 races this season, with Sergio Perez claiming 2 wins.

BWF China Masters 2023: India’s Satwik-Chirag settled for 2nd place; China won the titleThe Indian badminton duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty settled for 2nd place in the men’s doubles of  Li Ning China Masters 2023  held in Shenzhen Bay Gymnasium, Shenzhen, China from 21st to 26th November 2023.

  • India duo lost the finals against the World No. 1 pair of Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang of China.
  • China Masters 2023 is a Badminton World Federation (BWF) Super 750 tournament.

NoteThe China Masters, formerly known as Fuzhou China Open, is an annual badminton tournament held in China.
Key Points:
i.The Indian Duo won their 1st BWF World Super 750 title at the 2022 Yonex French Open badminton tournament in France. They became the 1st Indian men’s doubles pair to claim a Super 750 title.
ii.In 2023, they won the Indonesia Open 2023(Super 1000); the Korea Open 2023 (Super 500) in South Korea; and the Swiss Open (Super 300) in Switzerland.
iii.In 2023, the duo also won the Badminton Asian Championships 2023 (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) and the Gold medal in the Asian Games 2023 (Hangzhou, China), India’s 1st Gold in Badminton.
Winners of China Masters 2023: 

  • Men’s Singles – Kodai Naraoka (Japan)
  • Women’s Singles – Chen Yu Fei (China)
  • Men’s Doubles – Liang Wei Keng & Wang Chang (China).
  • Women’s Doubles – Nami Matsuyama & Chiharu Shida (Japan)
  • Mixed Doubles – Zheng Si Wei & Huang Ya Qiong (China)

Indian violinist &  Carnatic Musician B. Sasikumar Passed Away
Sasikumar, a renowned Indian Violinist and Carnatic Musician from Kerala passed away at the age of 74 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He was born on 27 April 1949 in Thiruvalla, Kerala.

  • He has worked as a music teacher in Swati Tirunal College of Music, Thiruvananthapuram and joined Thiruvananthapuram Akashvani All India Radio (AIR) as a staff artiste (Violin) in 1971. He retired in 2008.
  • He has produced many musical features for AIR such as “Nadopasana”, “Sapthaswarangalil” and “Layicha Mahaanubhaavan”.
  • He has composed and presented an orchestral piece called “String”, consisting of only string instruments, with young artists for the AIR program.
  • His notable works include “Navavarana Krithimahima”, a 10-episode series on Navavarana Krithis. He also directed Adhyathma Ramayanam’s recital in 2001.
  • He was awarded, the Violon Samrat Award from Kuwait (2011); the Kendra Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (2008); Kerala Sangeetha Natak Academy Fellowship (2002).

Veteran Gujarati Photojournalist & Padma Shri Awardee Zaverilal Mehta Passed Away
Renowned Gujarati photo journalist Zaverilal Dalpatram Mehta passed away in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
About Zaverilal Mehta:
i.Mehta was born in Gujarat, in 1928.
ii.He started his career in 1946 as Textiles Artist at Arvind Mills in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
iii.In 1972, he joined as a photojournalist in  Gujarat Samachar, a daily Gujarati newspaper.
iv.His area of focus concentrated on subject ‘LIFE’ of people rather than ordinary photos.
i.He was awarded Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award, in 2018, in the field of literature and education.
ii.He also received several awards including “Best Photo Journalist” award (1996-97) from the State Government of Gujarat.
Note: He is known for capturing Kutch cyclone of 1998, 2001 earthquake, and documenting the tenures of 13 chief ministers.

Sharmishtha Mukherjee penned  ‘Pranab, My Father: A Daughter Remembers’
Sharmishtha Mukherjee, the daughter of Former (13th) President of India , Pranab Mukherjee has authored the book Pranab, My Father: A Daughter Remembers’.

  • The book is the biography of Pranab Mukherjee.
  • The book is published by Rupa Publications India.

About the book:
i.The book sums up the life of Pranab Mukherjee starting from a small village in West Bengal to his rise to the President office.
ii.The book is also a mirror to the father-daughter relationship between Pranab Mukherjee and Sharmishtha.
iii.The book will be released on 11th  December 2023 (on 88th birth anniversary of Pranab).
About Sharmishtha Mukherjee:
i.She is a kathak dancer and choreographer.
ii.She is a primary member of Indian National Congress(INC).
Pranab Mukherjee served as India’s President from 2012 to 2017.He received many awards including India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 2019.

First-Ever UN World Sustainable Transport Day – November 26, 2023The first-ever United Nations (UNWorld Sustainable Transport Day was observed on 26 November 2023 to recognise the pivotal role of safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable transport systems for all.

  • The annual observance was created in response to the impact that transport has on climate change and the disparity between transport options worldwide.

The observance is led by UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), in collaboration with the UN regional economic commissions.
On 16th May 2023, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/77/286 and proclaimed the 26 November of every year as the World Sustainable Transport Day.

Current Affairs – 28 November 2023

NIDM, TERI sign Strategic Partnership in Disaster Risk ReductionThe National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).


  • Promote innovation and knowledge sharing
  • Encourage a culture of safety
  • Advance Disaster Management Strategies
  • Promote Sustainable Practices
  • Contribute to the national agenda of DRR

Key Points:
i.The MOU will formalize a strategic partnership, fostering research, capacity building, and training to enhance Research Initiatives.
ii.Both entities will utilize their expertise to address critical challenges posed by disasters and climate-related risks.
iii.This aims to contribute to the national agenda of disaster risk reduction, reinforcing the importance of collaboration in building a resilient and safer India.
Note: It should be noted that NIDM established an India Universities and Institutions Network on Disaster Risk Reduction (IUINDRR-NIDM).

  • Currently 260 universities and institutions are part of DRR programme.

About National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM):
NIDM is a premier Training Institute for disaster management under Ministry of Home Affairs(MoHA).
It was established under Section 42 (1) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
Executive Director– Rajendra Ratnoo
Establishment– 1995

Government Mandates Blending of Compressed Bio-Gas in CNG and PNG Segments of CGD Sector
The National Biofuels Coordination Committee (NBCC), chaired by Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoP&NG) announced a phased-wise mandatory blending of Compressed Biogas (CBG) in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Piped Natural Gas (PNG).

  • The CBG is to be blended in CNG for transport and PNG for domestic gas segments of the City Gas Distribution (CGD).
  • The CBG Blending Obligation (CBO) will promote the production and consumption of CBG in India.

Objectives of CBO:
The key objectives of the CBO are:

  • To stimulate demand for CBG in the CGD sector;
  • Import substitution for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG);
  • Saving in forex;
  • Promoting circular economy principles; and
  • To assist in achieving the target of net zero emission, i.e., reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, etc.

Note: It will encourage investment of around Rs.37,500 crore and facilitate the establishment of 750 CBG projects by 2028-29.
CBO Implementations:
i.The CBO will be implemented in phases, with voluntary participation until the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024–2025, followed by mandatory blending obligation from FY 2025–2026.
ii.The initial mandatory blending percentages are set at 1%, 3%, and 4% of total CNG/PNG consumption for FYs 2025-26, 2026-27, and 2027-28 respectively.

  • From 2028-29 onwards, the CBO will increase to 5%.

iii.To ensure effective monitoring and implementation of the blending mandate, a Central Repository Body will oversee the process.
Key Points:
i.In a parallel initiative, discussions also took part for promoting ethanol production from maize.
ii.Collaborative efforts with stakeholders, including the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD), aim to position maize as a prominent feedstock in the biofuel sector.
iii.The Ministry, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and DFPD, is working on developing high-starch varieties of maize.

  • It is to improve the quality of maize, Dried Distillers Grain Solids (DDGS) by removing aflatoxins, faster registration of new seed varieties with high starch, and implementing a maize training program for distillers in collaboration with seed companies.

iv.NBCC revealed initial blending percentage targets for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)/Bio- Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF). In line with the government’s commitment to promoting biofuels, the targets are set at:

  • 1% SAF indicative blending target in 2027 (Initially for International flights)
  • 2% SAF blending target in 2028 (Initially for International flights)

NASSCOM Signed MoU with NRW.Global Business to Establish Launchpad in Germany
The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NRW.Global Business for the expansion of NASSCOM’s launchpad program in Germany.

  • This collaboration aims to promote innovation, investment, and technological exchange between North Rhine-Westfalia (NRW) in Germany and India.
  • The initiative aligns with the ongoing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between India and the European Union (EU).
  • The launchpad program particularly benefits smaller tech companies by reducing initial setup costs and enhancing market credibility in Germany.
  • With this agreement, Indian tech companies looking to establish a presence in NRW will have access to 180 days of rent-free office space.
  • Offices will be located in 5 key NRW cities namely Cologne, Düsseldorf, Essen, Krefeld, and Solingen, where many tech-focussed companies already exist.
  • The partnership also includes ecosystem connections, stakeholder introductions, and other support mechanisms for a Faster Go-to-Market strategy.

Note: NRW.Global Business conducts international location marketing for Germany’s No. 1 investment location, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), and promotes foreign direct investment in NRW worldwide.

Angkor Wat becomes the 8th wonder of the worldAngkor Wat of Cambodia has become the Eighth Wonder of the World by surpassing Italy’s Pompeii.

  • The recognition of the Eighth Wonder is an informal one bestowed upon noteworthy new structures, projects, or designs.

About Angkor Wat:
i.Angkor Wat is an Ancient Temple Complex located in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
ii.It was built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II over a time span of 30 years.
iii. The temple was originally dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, but it later transformed into a Buddhist temple.
iv.Angkor Wat is one of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage sites.

  • It was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1992.

About Cambodia:
Prime Minister – Hun Manet
Capital – Phnom Penh
Currency – Cambodian Riel

India, EU sign MoU to Deepen Cooperation on semiconductor ecosystem A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the European Union (EU) and India to strengthen semiconductor supply chains and jointly pursue innovation.
Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal market, and Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology of the Government of India.
What will be done under the MoU?
i.Share semiconductor ecosystem experiences, best practices, and information.
ii.Identify collaboration opportunities in research, development, and innovation.
iii.Promote skills and talent development, fostering collaboration through workshops and partnerships.
iv.Ensure a level playing field in the sector, including sharing information on public subsidies.
Key Points:
i.Both sides will continue meeting regularly and report under the Trade and Technology Council (TTC).

  • The next TTC Ministerial Meeting is planned in 2024 in India.

ii.The EU-India TTC is the second bilateral forum for the EU and the first one established with any partner for India.

  • The EU and the US launched a TTC in June 2021.

About European Union (EU):
Capital- Brussels, Belgium and Luxembourg(De Facto Capital)
Currency- Euro
Members – 27 member states (As of November 2023)
‘European Union’ is officially created by the Maastricht treaty, which enters into force on 1 November 1993

RBI Adds 19 Unauthorised Forex Trading Platforms In Alert ListThe Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has updated its ‘alert list’ of unauthorised forex trading platforms by adding 19 more entities, taking the total to 75.

  • These entities are neither authorised to deal in forex under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999 nor to operate electronic trading platform (ETP) for forex transactions under the Electronic Trading Platforms (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2018.

Alert List:
i.The Alert List contains names of entities along with their websites link.
ii.The list also includes those entities who are indulged in promoting the unauthorised entities/ETPs (through advertisements or claiming to be providing training/advisory services).
Added entities:
The 19 entities added to the list are:
1.Admiral Market
2.BlackBull Markets Limited
3.Easy Markets
5.Finowiz Fintech Limited
6.FX SmartBull Limited
7.Fx Tray Market
9.GoDo FX Limited
10.Growing Capital Services Limited
11.HF Markets FinTech Services Limited
12.HYCM Limited
13.JGCFX (FXJGC) Limited
14.Just Markets Technologies Limited
15.Pacific Union (Seychelles) Limited
16.Real Gold Capital Limited
17.Tiran Forex Limited
18.Ya Markets Limited
19.Gate Trade Mobile Application
What is Forex trading?
i.Forex trading, or foreign exchange trading, involves the buying and selling of currencies in the foreign exchange market.
ii.It is the largest and most liquid financial market in the world.
iii.It plays a critical role in facilitating international trade and investment.
iv.These forex transactions take place over the counter or through electronic trading platforms.
Additional Info:
i.As per Electronic Trading Platforms (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2018
RBI’s authorisation is mandatory for those entities who are willing to operate ETP for transactions in eligible instruments.
ii.RBI maintains a list of authorized persons and ETPs on its website.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI): 
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in – 1935
Established under – Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934

ADB granted USD 170mn loan to Modernize Kochi’s Water Supply ServicesOn November 24, 2023, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved USD 170 Million loan for the modernization of water supply services in Kochi, Kerala.

  • To improve urban living.
  • To ensure clean water access.
  • To bolster climate resilience.

What will be done under the MoU?
i.MoU includes upgrading five water treatment plants (325 Million Litres Per Day/MLD)) and constructing a new one (190 MLD).
ii.700 km of pipes replaced with real-time monitoring for reduced water loss during distribution.
iii.Upgrading 146,000 water meters and implementing preventive maintenance through a performance-based contract.
iv.Kerala Water Authority (KWA) will be strengthened with a mobile app, Geographic Information System (GIS)-based maintenance management system, and lab upgrades.
Comprehensive training for KWA staff.
v.Focus on female employment in water supply systems through training.
vi.Community awareness programs cover household supply, water audits, menstrual hygiene, with 50% women participation.
Reason behind this aid:
Kochi is experiencing rapid urbanization, faces intermittent water supply despite near-universal coverage (5 to 24 hours daily), leading to reliance on tanker trucks; the project aims to address these challenges and improve inclusive access to quality water.

IndiGo, the First Airline to Operate Flights from Noida International AirportNoida International Airport (NIA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IndiGo Airlines to become the launch carrier for the under-construction airport which is scheduled to open at the end of 2024.

  • Through this MoU, IndiGo is set to become the first airline to operate flights from Noida International Airport.

About the Noida International Airport (NIA):
i.In 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Noida International Airport (NIA) at Jewar in Gautam Buddha Nagar district, Uttar Pradesh (UP).

  • The NIA, a greenfield airport will be India’s first net zero emissions airport.
  • Once operational, it will be the second international airport in the Delhi NCR (National Capital Region) after Indira Gandhi International Airport.

ii.Noida International Airport Limited (NIAL) made a concessionaire agreement with Zurich Airport International AG(Zurich AG) for developing the airport which is being developed by Yamuna International Airport Private Limited (YIAPL), a 100% subsidiary of  Zurich AG.
iii.In September 2023, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade association for the world’s airlines, was allotted the three-letter code ‘DXN’ for Noida Airport.

  • The code ‘DXN’ symbolises the airport’s proximity to Noida, Delhi, and western UP.

IndiGo Airline:
Chief Executive Officer – Pieter Elbers
Headquarters – Gurgaon, Haryana
Established – 2006

Irish author Paul Lynch wins Booker Prize 2023 for novel ‘Prophet Song’On November 26, 2023, Irish author Paul Lynch won 2023 Booker Prize for his novel, ‘Prophet Song’ published by Oneworld. He was awarded by Shehan Karunatilaka, the 2022 winner, during a ceremony held at Old Billingsgate, London in the United Kingdom (UK).

  • He received 50,000 Pound sterling and the Iris Trophy for his award winning novel.
  • In 2022, Shehan Karunatilaka won for The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, set during the Sri Lankan civil war.

Key Points:
i.Prophet Song a dystopian novel is set in a future Ireland that descends into tyranny and civil war. The story follows a woman’s struggle to protect her family.
ii.This was Paul Lynch’s 5th Novel.
iii.He is also the 5th Irish author to win the prize.

  • Irish writer Anna Burns won the award in 2018.

iv.Esi Edugyan is the chair of judging panel for the Booker Prize 2023.
Paul Lynch emerged as winner from six nominees. These are:

  • The Bee Sting by Paul Murray from Dublin, Ireland
  • Study For Obedience by Sarah Bernstein from Montreal, Canada
  • If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery from United States of America (USA)
  • Western Lane by Chetna Maroo born in Kenya and lives in London, United Kingdom (UK)
  • This Other Eden by Paul Harding from New York, USA

About Booker Prize:
i.Booker Prize is awarded to the best novel of fiction by writers of any nationality, written in English and published in the UK or Ireland. It was first awarded in 1969

  • The winner receives 50,000 Pound sterling as well as the 2,500 Pound sterling awarded to each of the six shortlisted authors.

ii.The Booker Prize Foundation has decided the name of the trophy as ‘Iris’ – after Iris Murdoch (Winner of The Booker Prize 1978 for The Sea, the Sea). The trophy is Jan Pieńkowski’s original statuette.

Berkshire Hathaway Sells its Entire 2.46% Stake in Paytm for Rs 1,371 croreBerkshire Hathaway Inc, an American diversified multinational holding company led by Warren Buffett, sold its entire 2.46% stake in One97 Communications, the parent company of fin-tech company Paytm for Rs.1,371 crore in a bulk deal on the National Stock Exchange (NSE).
Key Points:
i.Berkshire Hathaway Inc. through its affiliate company BH International Holdings sold over 1.56 crore shares of Paytm at a loss of about 31% per share, leading to a loss exceeding Rs.620 crore.
ii.The sale was made through an open market transaction and the shares were bought by Ghisallo Master Fund and Copthall Mauritius Investment.
iii.In 2018, Berkshire Hathaway had initially acquired a 2.6% stake in Paytm at Rs.1,279.7 per share at an aggregate value of Rs 2,179 crore.
iv.Berkshire Hathaway sold 1.56 crore shares at Rs.877 apiece, taking the value of transactions to Rs 1,370.63 crore.
v.Copthall Mauritius Investment and Ghisallo Master Fund bought shares worth Rs.664.52 crore and Rs.375 crore, respectively.

  • Ghisallo Master Fund purchased 4,275,000 shares and Copthall Mauritius Investment bought 7,575,529 shares

vi.Berkshire offloaded 2.46% out of the total 2.6% stake, the timing of the sale for the remaining 0.14% remains undisclosed.
Note: SoftBank has also been selling its shares in Paytm through open market transactions.

Kapil Dev Released the Book “Thread by Thread: The S.Kumar’s Story” by Sathya Saran
Former Indian Cricketer Kapil Dev released the book titled “Thread by Thread: The S.Kumar’s Story” authored by Sathya Saran, a distinguished journalist at The Palace Halls, NSCI, Mumbai, Maharashtra. The book was published by Penguin Random House.

  • The book details the life of Shambhu Kumar Kasliwal, co-founder of the Kumars Group, the fabric of India and one of the most enduring brands in India since 1948. The group is named after Shambhukumar.
  • Shambhu Kumar pioneered the introduction of Polyester Blends in India, revolutionising affordable, durable fabrics for the middle class and the lower income groups.
  • Sathya Saran is one of India’s best-known journalists and editors. As the editor of Femina for 12 years, she made Femina the most successful fashion and lifestyle magazine in India.

Sathya Saran worked as a Consulting Editor with the publisher HarperCollins India and is currently a Consulting Editor with Penguin Random House.

  • She also teaches fashion journalism at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in Mumbai, Kangra (Himachal Pradesh), and Srinagar (Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir).
  • Notable works include Ten Years with Guru Dutt: Abrar Alvi’s Journey (2008); Sun Mere Bandhu Re: The Musical World of SD Burman (2014) Baat Niklegi toh Phir: The Life and Music of Jagjit Singh (2015).

Note: Kapil Dev has been a brand ambassador for S.Kumars for their TV and print campaigns in the 80s and 2000s.

National Constitution Day “Samvidhan Divas” 2023- November 26 National Constitution Day also known as ‘Samvidhan Divas‘, is annually observed across India on 26 November to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India by the Constituent Assembly of India on 26th November 1949.

  • The Constitution of India was enacted on 26th January 1950, celebrated as Republic Day.

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJ&E) is the Nodal Ministry for the celebration of Constitution Day.

  • 26 November 2023 marks the 74th Anniversary of adopting the Constitution of India.

i.On 19th November 2015, the  MoSJ&E notified the decision of the Government of India to celebrate the 26th November of every year as ‘Constitution Day’ to promote Constitution values among citizens.
ii.The year 2015 was the 125th birth anniversary of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the “Father of the Constitution of India,” who had chaired the drafting committee of the Constituent Assembly.
iii.The first-ever Constitution Day was observed on 26 November 2015.
The Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud in commemoration of Constitution Day, introduced 2 new initiatives aimed at improving the efficiency of the judicial system. During an event, he launched the Fast and Secured Transmission of Electronic Records (FASTER2.0 portal and a Hindi version of the e-SCR (Supreme Court Reports) portal.
About Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment:
Union Minister– Virendra Kumar (Constituency- Tikamgarh, Madhya Pradesh)
Ministers of State– Ramdas Athawale (Rajya sabha Maharashtra); A. Narayanaswamy (Constituency- Chitradurga, Karnataka); Pratima Bhoumik (Constituency- Tripura West, Tripura)

National Milk Day 2023 – November 26National Milk Day is annually observed across India on 26th November to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr Verghese Kurienthe Father of the White Revolution in India.

  • The day is annually organised by the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying.
  • 26th November 2023 marks the observance of 10th National Milk Day and 102nd birth anniversary of  Verghese Kurein.

i.On the occasion of National Milk Day 2023, Union Minister Parshottam Rupala, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying released the Basic Animal Husbandry Statistics 2023 (milk, egg, meat and wool production 2022-23)in Guwahati, Assam.
ii.The National Gopal Ratna Awards 2023, one of the highest National Awards in the field of livestock and dairy sector, has been conferred during the National Milk Day event.
About Indian Dairy Association (IDA): 
President- R.S. Sodhi 
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi 
Establishment- 1948

75th NCC Raising Day – November 26, 2023 The National Cadet Corps (NCC), the largest uniformed youth organisation in the world annually celebrates its raising day on the 4th Sunday of November, underscoring the NCC’s commitment to shaping youth with core values such as discipline, leadership, and unwavering patriotism.

  • The 26 November 2023 marks the observance of NCC’s 75th Raising Day. This day is traditionally celebrated as the “NCC day”.

The 74th Raising Day was observed on 27 November 2022 and the 76th Raising Day will be observed on 24 November 2024.

  • This day is celebrated all over India, with cadets participating in blood donation camps and social development programs.

i.The Cadet Corps Committee was formed on 29 September 1946 with Pt HN Kunzru as Chairman.
ii.The NCC was formally established on 15 June 1948 by an ordinance issued by the Government of India as an auxiliary educational organization of the Indian Army and Navy.
iii.However, the NCC day is observed throughout India, on the 4th Sunday of November, because, it was on that day in 1948 that the 1st units were raised in Delhi.

  • In 1948, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, presided over the establishment of the inaugural NCC unit in Delhi on the last Sunday of November.

About National Cadet Corps (NCC):
Director General– Lieutenant General Gurbirpal Singh
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi

Dharmendra Pradhan launched ORC in Bhubaneswar for the Study of Culture & HistoryUnion Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, Ministry of Education (MoE), has inaugurated Odisha Research Centre (ORC) in Bhubaneswar, Odisha which aims to develop innovative epistemological frameworks to explore varied and nuanced dimensions of Odisha’s history, culture, economy and society.
Attended Dignitaries:
The inauguration event also witnessed the presence of Biswabhusan Harichandan (Governor of Chhattisgarh), Raghubar Das (Governor of Odisha) and,Bhartruhari Mahtab(Member of Parliament from Cuttack constituency)
ORC was established by the collaboration made by following organisations namely:

Current Affairs – 26 & 27 November 2023

7th edition of Bengal Global Business Summit held in Kolkata, West BengalGovernment of West Bengal organized the 7th edition of Bengal Global Business Summit which was held from November21 to 22, 2023 in Kolkata, West Bengal. The summit aimed to bring together business leaders, academia, entrepreneurs and think tanks across the globe with the objective of making strategic and business alliances about industrial ecosystem and business friendly initiatives of state.
i.Signing of 188 MoUs, Letter of Intent (LoI) in different sectors
During the 7th edition of Bengal Global Business summit, Mamta Bannerjee (Chief Minister, West Bengal) announced that West Bengal attracted investment worth Rs3.76 Lakh crore which includes signing of 188 MoUs and Letter of Intent (LoI) in different sectors.
ii.Reliance Industries pledge to invest Rs20000 crore in West Bengal
iii.ITC(India Tobacco Company) Limited launched the ITCMAARS App
iv.NSE and West Bengal signed a MoU to raise fundraising for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises)
v.WTC-NDITA signed MoU with WTC of 5 Metro Cities
vi.Uber inks MoU with West Bengal Government for Bus Shuttle Service
vii.Amazon and WBIDC join hands to boost Exports from Bengal
Additional Information:
About: West Bengal
Capital: Kolkata
Chief Minister: Mamta Bannerjee
Governor: C.V. Ananda Bose
National Parks: Sunder bans National Park, Singalila National Park, Jaldapara National Park
Airport: Netaji Subash Chandra Bose International Airport, Bagdogra International Airport

About: NSE(National Stock Exchange)
It is the largest financial market in India.
Established: 1992
Chairman: Girish Chandra Chaturvedi
Headquarter: Mumbai, Maharashtra

SURYA KIRAN- XVII: India-Nepal joint Training Exercise begins at Uttarakhand Surya Kiran XVII, the 17th Edition of the Indo-Nepal joint training Exercise began at Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand. The exercise between Indian Army and Nepal Army will be conducted from 24th November to 7th December 2023.
About Surya Kiran: 
i.Surya Kiran the bilateral joint military exercise between the armies of India and Nepal is held every year since 2011.
ii.The exercise is conducted alternatively in India and Nepal.

  • Surya Kiran XVI, 16th edition of the exercise was held at Saljhandi, Nepal in December 2022.

Note: Previously, the Surya Kiran series was conducted as a bi-annual event.
Surya Kiran 2023:
The Indian Army contingent comprising of 354 personnel is led by a Battalion from the Kumaon Regiment.
The Nepal Army contingent comprising of 334 personnel is represented by Tara Dal Battalion.
To enhance interoperability in jungle warfare, counter terrorism operations in mountainous terrain and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief under United Nations(UN) Charter on peace keeping operations
Key Points:
The exercise will focus on employment of drones and counter drone measures, medical training, aviation aspects and also environment conservation.
This will offer a platform for the soldiers to exchange ideas and experiences; share best practices and foster a deeper understanding of each other’s operational procedures.

India becomes Chair of International Sugar Organisation for 2024 On November 24, 2023, India became the Chair of International Sugar Organisation (ISO), apex international body on sugar and relating products, for 2024. This was announced during the 63rd council meeting of ISO in London, United Kingdom (UK).

  • Sanjeev Chopra, Secretary, Department of Food and Public Distribution in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution attended the meeting.

Key Points:
i.As the Chair of ISO, India will lead the global sugar sector.
ii.India will focus on uniting the members of ISO to adopt more sustainable practices in sugarcane cultivation, sugar and ethanol production and better utilisation of by-products.
Key Facts:
i.India is the largest consumer and second largest producer of sugar in the world with 15% share in global sugar consumption and about 20% production of sugar
ii.India is the market leader in Eastern Hemisphere for sugar market, while Brazil leads the Western Hemisphere.
iii.It is the 3rd largest country in the world in ethanol production after the United States of America (USA) and Brazil.
iv.India is the highest cane price payer to its farmers, and manages to operate efficiently and remains profitable in the sugar sector.
v.The National Sugar Institute in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh (UP) has extended its influence globally, collaborating with countries such as Indonesia, Nigeria, Egypt, and Fiji.
India Achieves 12% Ethanol Blending with Petrol in ESY 2022-23
Ethanol blending percentage in India has increased from 5% in 2019-20 to 12% in Ethanol Supply Year (ESY) 2022–23 (December 2022–October 2023) while the production has increased from 173 crore litres to more than 500 crore litres during the same period.

  • The target for ESY 2023–24 (November 2023–October 2024) is 15%.

About International Sugar Organisation (ISO):
Executive Director– José Orive
Establishment– 1937
Headquarters– London, United Kingdom
Members– 88 countries

UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report 2023 insists on Accelerating Measures To Combat Global Warming As per the 14th edition of Emissions Gap Report 2023:Broken Record: Temperatures hit new highs, yet world fails to cut emissions (again), released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) the world must reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 28-42% by 2030 to limit warming to 2°C and 1.5°C, respectively.
i.The report warns that if countries fail to reduce GHG emissions, then global temperatures will be increased by 2.5 to 2.9 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
ii.The report emphasizes that the only way to prevent exceeding the 1.5°C limit is to accelerate implementation action in this decade.
iii.If GHG emissions reduction is delayed, then this will lead to a greater future reliance on carbon dioxide (CO2) removal from the atmosphere.
i.There has been some progress since the Paris Agreement was signed 2015.
ii.Earlier, GHG emissions in 2030 were projected to increase by 16%. As of now it stands at 3% which shows the progress.
iii.The global implementation gap for 2030 is projected to be around 1.5 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) for unconditional Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

  • Earlier it was projected at 3 GtCO2e.

iv.For conditional NDCs, the implementation gap is projected to be around 5 GtCO2e, reflecting a 1 GtCO2e decrease from the 2022 estimate.
Present Scenario:
i.Under current policies, global warming is projected to reach 3 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2100.
ii.Even if countries fulfill their unconditional NDCs, warming would still reach 2.9 degrees.

  • By fulfilling their conditional NDCs, temperature rise will be at 2.5 degrees.

iii.In a scenario where all conditional NDCs and net-zero pledges are achieved, the 2°C temperature goal could be reached.
Even in Optimistic case:
i.The report highlighted that none of the Group20 (G20) countries are currently reducing emissions at a rate consistent with their net-zero targets.
ii.Even in the most optimistic scenario, the likelihood of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is only 14%.
Need of the hour:
i.The report stresses the urgent need for all countries to expedite their transitions to low-carbon economies across all sectors.
ii.While recognizing the economic and institutional hurdles faced by low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in adopting low-carbon development pathways, the report also underscores the potential opportunities they can harness to achieve this transformation.
Additional Info:
i.The 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) is scheduled to happen in United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 30 November – 12 December 2023.
ii.UNEP releases three climate-related assessments in 2023 namely,

  • Adaptation Gap Report 2023: Underfinanced. Underprepared – Inadequate investment and planning on climate adaptation leaves world exposed
  • Emissions Gap Report 2023:Broken Record: Temperatures hit new highs, yet world fails to cut emissions (again),
  • Production Gap Report: “Phasing down or phasing up? Top fossil fuel producers plan even more extraction despite climate promises”

IndusInd Bank and IGL Partner to Enable Digital Rupee Transactions In Delhi NCR IndusInd Bank Limited has partnered with Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL)
to promote Digital Rupee (e₹), the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) launched by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

  • The collaboration aims to promote cashless transactions at IGL Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Stations in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR).

About the partnership:
i.The customer can also make payment across all IGL stations by scanning any UPI Quick Response (QR) Code using their Digital Rupee mobile application.
ii.This initiative offers a secure, inclusive, sustainable and efficient mode of digital transaction
iii.The process ultimately simplifies the banking experience of the customers.
About e₹:
i.Digital Rupee (e₹) is the form of a digital token that represents legal tender.
ii.It was launched as a pilot project in 2022.
iii.It is being issued in the same denominations like paper currency and coins.
iv.It is being distributed through banks.
v.e₹ will not earn any interest and can be converted to other forms of money, like deposits with banks.
vi.It offers various features such as peer-to-peer (P2P) and peer-to-merchant (P2M) payments with complete UPI QR interoperability.
About Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL):
Managing Director (MD) – Kamal Kishore Chatiwal
Headquarters –  New Delhi, Delhi
Established in – 1998
About IndusInd Bank Limited(Ltd):
Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – Sumant Kathpalia
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in – 1994
Tagline – We Make You Feel Richer

RBI Supersedes Abhyudaya Co-operative Bank Board & Appoints AdministratorOn November 24, 2023, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 36 AAA read with section 56 of the Banking Regulation (BR) Act, 1949 (As Applicable to Co-operative Societies), has superseded the board of directors of Abhyudaya Cooperative Bank Limited for 12 months (1 year) amid poor governance standards of the latter.

  • In this regard, RBI appointed Satya Prakash Pathak, former Chief General Manager of State Bank of India (SBI), as the administrator of the bank.

Key Points:
i.The RBI has also appointed a committee of advisors to assist the administrator. Its members are

  • Venkatesh Hegde (former General Manager, SBI)
  • Mahendra Chhajed (Chartered Accountant)
  • Suhas Gokhale (former MD, COSMOS Co-operative Bank Limited).

ii.RBI has not placed any business restrictions on the bank and it will continue to operate normally
RBI Imposes Monetary Penalty on Citibank, BoB and IOB
RBI has imposed a monetary penalty on three banks viz. Citibank N.A. (Rs 5 crore), Bank of Baroda/BOB (Rs 4.34 crore) and Indian Overseas Bank/IOB (Rs 1 crore) for non-compliance with some of its Directions.

  • This will not affect any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.

Penalty on Citibank N.A.Rs 5 crore
It has been imposed by RBI in exercise of powers under the provisions of Section 47A(1)(c) read with Section 46(4)(i) of the BR Act.

  • Reason: For contravention of Section 26A of BR Act, 1949 read with Paragraph 3 of ‘The Depositor Education and Awareness Fund Scheme, 2014 – Section 26A of Banking Regulation Act, 1949 – Operational Guidelines’, Section 10(1)(b)(ii) of the BR Act, and non-compliance with RBI Directions on ‘Managing Risks and Code of Conduct in Outsourcing of Financial Services by banks’ read with ‘RBI (Know Your Customer (KYC)) Direction, 2016’.

Penalty on BOB: Rs 4.34 crore
It has been imposed by RBI in exercise of powers vested in RBI conferred under the provisions of Section 47 A (1) (c) read with Sections 46 (4) (i) and 51(1) of BR Act, 1949.

  • Reason: For non-compliance with certain directions issued by RBI on ‘Creation of a Central Repository of Large Common Exposures – Across Banks’ dated September 11, 2013 read with ‘Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC) – Revision in Reporting’ dated February 13, 2014, ‘Loans and Advances – Statutory and Other Restrictions’, and ‘RBI (Interest Rate on Deposits) Directions, 2016’.

Penalty on IOB: Rs 1 Crore
It has been imposed by RBI in exercise of powers vested in RBI conferred under the provisions of Section 47A(1)(c) read with Sections 46(4)(i) and 51(1) of BR Act, 1949.

  • Reason: For non-compliance with certain directions issued by RBI on ‘Loans and Advances – Statutory and Other Restrictions’.

About Abhyudaya Cooperative Bank:
Managing Director– Premnath S. Salian
Headquartered– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment– 1965
Tagline– Bank Trusted by Millions

Mastercard Partners with U GRO Capital to Support Small Businesses in India Mastercard Incorporated MA(Mastercard) has partnered with U GRO Capital Limited, a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC), to offer holistic digital supply chain financing solution to small businesses in India.

  • This collaboration is in line with Mastercard’s announcement to get 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses, including 25 million female entrepreneurs into the digital economy by 2025.

About the Partnership:
i.Under this partnership, short-term loans as a digital supply chain financing solution will be offered to dealers/distributors, last-mile retailers, and other small merchants and women entrepreneurs.

  • Mastercard will use its extensive network to connect stakeholders and support small businesses.
  • U GRO Capital will utilize its unique underwriting and cash flow-based assessment model to provide credit.

India has over 64 million Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), but only 14% have access to credit.
About U GRO Capital:
U GRO Capital is a NBFC specialised in MSME financing.
Vice Chairman and Managing Director– Shachindra Nath
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

Ministry of Steel Presented National Metallurgist Awards 2022 for Contribution of Metallurgists in Iron & Steel SectorOn 22 November 2023, the Ministry of Steel presented the National Metallurgist Award (NMA2022 to recognise the excellence and contribution of Metallurgists in the Iron & Steel Sector during the NMA 2022 ceremony.

  • The NMA 2022 awards were conferred to distinguished metallurgists in 4 categories.
  • The 4 categories are: Lifetime Achievement Award; National Metallurgist Award; Award for Research and Development (R&D) in Iron and Steel Sector and Young Metallurgist Award(sub categories – Metal Science and Environment)

Key People:
Faggan Singh Kulaste, Minister of State, Ministry of Steel; Nagendra Nath Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Steel were present on the occasion.
Awardees of NMA 2022:

  • The awards are to recognise the contribution of Metallurgists in the metallurgical field.

ii.The recognition of the NMA scheme encompasses manufacturing, research, design, education, waste management, and energy conservation.
iii.It focuses on individual efforts that significantly contribute to achieving the objectives of Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India).
Note: The first award was given in the year 1963.
Click here to know more about NMA
Key Points:
i.Nagendra Nath Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Steel noted that India has achieved self-reliance in producing almost all grades of steel.
ii.India’s production and consumption of steel during April – October 2023 Year-over-year (YOY) has grown by 15%.

  • 82 million tonnes in production and 75.8 million tonnes in consumption.

iii.India’s growth rate of Steel Production is the highest amongst the top steel-producing countries of the world.
Note: According to World Steel Association (worldsteel), India is the 2nd largest steel producer globally. India produced around 11.2 Metric Tons(Mt) in May 2023. Chian topps the list with 90.1 Mt in May 2023.

Mahindra Group’s Anish Shah named as President-Elect of FICCI for 2023-24 Dr. Anish Shah, Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Mahindra Group, named as the President-elect of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) for 2023-2024.

  • He will succed Subhrakant Panda, the incumbent President of FCCI after the 96th Annual General Meeting which is set to be held in December 8-9 2023 in New Delhi, Delhi.
  • He is currently serving as the Senior Vice President of FICCI.

Note: Subhrakant Panda is the MD of Indian Metals & Ferro Alloys Limited.
About Anish Shah:
i.Anish Shah started his carrer as an Assistant Manager, Trade Services at Citibank in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
ii.He joined Mahindra Group in 2014, as Group President (Strategy). In 2019, he was appointed Deputy MD and Group CFO.
iii.Prior to joining Mahindra, He has served as the President and CEO of General Electric (GE) Capital India from 2009-2014.
iv.He also led the Bank of America’s US Debit Products business and worked as a strategy consultant at Bain & Company in Boston (The United States of America- USA).
v.At present, He is also a member of the United Kingdom (UK) Investment Council; Chair of the Automotive Governors Council (World Economic Forum); Co-Chair of the India Alliance of CEOs for Climate Change (World Economic Forum); and Co-Chair of the India-Australia CEO Council.
About Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI):
FICCI is the largest and oldest apex business organisation in India.  
President– Subhrakant Panda
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Established in– 1927

2023 Asian Para Archery Championships: India Tops Medal Tally with 9 MedalsIndian Para Archery team has topped the medal tally with a total of 9 medals (4 gold; 4 silver; 1 bronze) at the 2023 Asian Para Archery Championships and CQT(Continental Qualifying Tournament) 2024 in Bangkok, Thailand, which took place from 16 to 25 November 2023.

  • South Korea finished in 2nd place with 5 medals(3 Gold, 1 Silver & 1 Bronze), and China finished 3rd with 4 medals(2 Gold, 1 Silver & 1 Bronze).

Key Highlights:
i.World No. 5 Rakesh Kumar, hailing from Jammu and Kashmir(J&K), who led the Indian team secured 3 Gold medals in 3 categories.

ii.Sheetal Devi has won a total of 3 medals, 2 gold and 1 silver during the event.

  • She won the  gold medals as a part of Compound Open Mixed Team and Compound Women Open Team and won the silver in Compound Women Open.
  • At present, Sheetal Devi is the only female international archer to shoot with her feet.

ii.The Para Archers Sheetal Devi, Rakesh Kumar, and Sarita are trained at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Sports Complex, Katra, Jammu & Kashmir.
Indian Medal Winners:

Australian Women’s captain Meghann Lanning Announces Retirement From International CricketMeghann Moira Lanning (Meg Lanning), Captain of Australian women’s cricket team announced retirement from international cricket at the age of 31.

  • Singapore born Meg Lanning made her international debut in 2010 and played 241 matches for Australia.
  • She made her One Day International (ODI) debut in 2011 and Test debut in 2013.

About Meghann Moira Lanning:
i.Meg Lanning, nicknamed “Megastar”, had scored over 8,000 runs across all formats, including 17 centuries.

  • She holds the record for the most Women’s One Day International centuries. (15 centuries).
  • In 2011, she became the youngest Australian cricketer(18 years old) to score an international century.

ii.Her career-best high score is 152; She scored it while playing against Sri Lanka in Bristol(England) in 2017.
iii.She played her last international match in February 2023 against South Africa in WT20I format.
i.In 2014, She became Australian Women’s team’s youngest captain at the age of 21. She led the team in 182 matches.
ii.She has won a total of 7 ICC Women’s World Cup titles:

  • Two Women’s Cricket World Cup – ODI (2013 and 2022)
  • five ICC Women’s World Twenty20(T20) titles (2012, 2014, 2018, 2020 and 2023)

iii.She holds the record of winning most ICC tournaments as a captain in Cricket.

  • Under her captaincy, Australia won 5 ICC titles (T20 – 2014, 2018, 2020 and 2023 & ODI – 2022.)

Note: Australia’s Ricky Ponting holds the record for winning most ICC tournaments as a captain in Men’s Cricket. Australia won 4 titles under his captaincy.
iv.She was the first Australian to score 2,000 T20 International runs.
She was named ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Year in 2014 and ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year in 2015.

Pakistan All-Rounder Imad Wasim Retires From International Cricket
Pakistan all-rounder Syed Imad Wasim Haider (34 years) has announced his retirement from international cricket.
About Imad Wasim:
i.Imad Wasim made his international debut in 2015 in a One Day International (ODI) match against Sri Lanka.

  • In the same year he made his Twenty 20 International (T20I) debut against Zimbabwe.

ii.Wasim so far played 55 ODI matches and 66 T20I matches for Pakistan
iii.In his career, he took 109 wickets and scored 1,472 runs.
iv.He was a part of Pakistan’s Champions Trophy-winning side in 2017.

  • The final match was played against India.

v.He played his last game in April, 2023 against New Zealand in T20I format.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2023- November 25The United Nations (UNInternational Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is annually observed across the globe on 25 November to raise public awareness about the global problem of violence against women.

  • The Day also aims to prevent violence against women and promote basic human rights and gender equality.
  • The 2023 global theme of UNiTE campaign is, “UNITE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls”.

i.On 7 February 2000, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/54/134 and proclaimed the 25 November of every year as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
ii.The first-ever International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women was observed on 25 November 2000.
The observance marks the launch of UNiTE campaign, a 16 days ((25th November – 10th December) of activism against Gender-based Violence (GBV), which concludes on International Human Rights Day (10 December).
About UN Women:
It is the UN entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Executive Director– Sima Bahous
Headquarters–  New York, United States of America (USA)
Established in– 2010

Rajneesh Goel named as 40th Chief Secretary of KarnatakaSiddaramaiah, Chief Minister(CM) of Karnataka, has appointed Rajneesh Goel as the 40th Chief Secretary of Karnataka. He will hold the post till his retirement in July 2024 or until further orders. He is currently serving as the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) in the Home Department of the Government of Karnataka.

  • He will succeed Vandita Sharma, the incumbent Chief Secretary (since May 2022) who is set to retire on 30th November 2023.

About Rajneesh Goel:
i.Rajneesh Goel is a 1986 batch IAS officer of Haryana Cadre.  He has served at various capacity during his 37-year career.
ii.He has also served as the Commissioner of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the administrative body of Greater Bengaluru metropolitan area.
Additional info:
His wife Dr Shalini Rajneesh (IAS) is also serving as the additional chief secretary-cum-development commissioner of Karnataka.

Uttar Pradesh Declares November 25 as ‘No Non-Veg’ Day
Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh (UP) government has declared November 25 as “no non-veg day” to mark 144th birth anniversary of Sadhu Thanwardas Lilaram Vaswani.

Current Affairs- 25 November 2023

Highlights of President Droupadi Murmu’s visit to Odisha & Andhra Pradesh from November 20 to 22, 2023Droupadi Murmu, President of India, was on an official visit to Odisha and Andhra Pradesh (AP) from November 20 to 22, 2023.
Highlights of her visit:
i.President Droupadi Murmu along with Arjun Munda, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs (MoTA) inaugurated the new Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS) campus at Kuliana, Mayurbhanj (Odisha).
ii.She flagged off 3 new trains from Badampahar railway station in Mayurbhanj, Odisha.
iii.She launched the Education Campaign titled “New Education for New India” of Brahma Kumaris in Sambalpur, Odisha.
iv.She graced the Convocation of  Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology, Odisha & Sri Sathya Sai Institute, AP
About Odisha: 
Chief Minister(CM)– Naveen Patnaik
Governor– Raghubar Das
Capital– Bhubneswar
National Park– Simlipal National Park, Bhitarkanika Nationl Park

DoSJE Signs MOU with ISKCON for Nasha Mukt Bharat AbhiyaanThe Department of Social Justice and Empowerment(DoSJE), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment(MoSJE), and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan (NMBA) to synergize efforts in combating drug abuse and building a healthier, addiction-free nation.
Note: The Department of Social Justice and Empowerment is the Nodal agency for Drug Demand Reduction.
Key People:
The MoU was signed in the presence of Dr. Virendra Kumar, Union Minister of MSJE, Senior Officers of the Department; Sundar Gopal Das, Chairman of ISKCON India Youth Council (IIYC); and other members and devotees of the ISKCON at the Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi, Delhi.
Key Points:
i.This collaboration would help in spreading the message of NMBA among the youth, women, students, etc.
ii.The partnership with religious/spiritual organisation will boost the efforst towards achieving drug-sensitized India.
iii.Under this partnership, ISKCON will publicize NMBA campaign at all their meetings and gatherings.
Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan (NMBA):
Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan (NMBA), launched on August 15, 2020 by MoSJE, is a campaign to reduce substance abuse in India. It extends efforts beyond educational institutions to reach and engage communities.
Aim: To create awareness about the ill effects of substance abuse among the youth with a special focus on higher education institutions, and schools.
National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR):
i.In an effort to combat drug demand, the MoSJE in India has implemented the National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR).
ii.This comprehensive program serves as an umbrella scheme, extending financial assistance to State Governments and Union Territory Administrations.

Headquarters, Integrated Defence Staff & CSIR ink MoU on joint R&D in Defence Technology
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Headquarters, Integrated Defence Staff (HQ IDS ), and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in New Delhi, Delhi.
i.The MoU aims to provide a framework for initiating collaborative interaction between CSIR Labs, HQ IDS, and Armed Forces(Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force).
ii.The partnership focuses on

  • Enhancing scientific understanding of defense-related technologies
  • Developing dual-use technologies related to defense.
  • Undertaking joint research and development in dual-use technologies

Note:   The MoU was signed by Lieutenant General JP Mathew, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC), Ministry of Defence (MoD) and  N Kalaiselvi, Director General of CSIR & Secretary, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Ministry of Science & Technology (MoST).

Indian Armed Forces Participates in Exercise “AUSTRAHIND-23” in Australia The Indian Armed Forces takes part in the 2nd edition of the Joint Military Exercise with Australian Army in “AUSTRAHIND-23,” it is being held from November 22nd to December 6th, 2023, in Perth, Australia.

  • Exercise “AUSTRAHIND” is an annual exercise that will be held alternatively in India and Australia.
  • The 1st edition of the “AUSTRAHIND’ was held in 2022 in Mahajan Field Firing Ranges (MFFR) in Mahajan, Rajasthan.

i.Indian contingent includes 60 personnel from a Battalion of the Gorkha Rifles regiment of the Indian Army, One officer from the Indian Navy(IN), and 20 personnel from the Indian Air Force(IAF).
ii.The Australian contingent includes 60 personnel from the 13th Brigade of the Australian Army, 20 personnel each from the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force.
Key Points:
i.The aim of the exercise is to strengthen collaborative partnerships and share best practices between the two sides.
ii.The exercise promotes inter-operability while undertaking multi-domain operations in Urban and Semi-Urban terrain under Chapter VII of the United Nations(UN) on peacekeeping operations.
iii. Both the Indian and the Australian forces undergo the following training together

  • Sniper firing
  • Rehearsals for Casualty management and evacuation procedures
  • Operate surveillance and communication equipment to achieve a high degree of situational awareness.

Additional Info:
During the second India-Australia 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue on November 20, 2023, in Delhi, India, Australia has invited India to participate in its largest multinational biennial exercise, “Talisman Sabre,” in 2025, while Australia will participate in India’s multilateral air combat exercise, “Tarang Shakti,” in 2024.

UAE Inaugurates Al Dhafra Solar PV project, World’s Largest Single-Site Solar Power Plant
The United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s state-owned Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) has inaugurated the world’s largest single-site solar power plant, “2 GigaWatt(GW) Al Dhafra Solar Photovoltaic(PV) Independent Power Project (IPP)” in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

  • Al Dhafra Solar PV project was unveiled by Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Ruler of Abu Dhabi.
  • With this solar power production capacity will increase to 3.2GW.
  • This plant will power almost 200,000 homes and eliminate over 2.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

The project was co-developed by Abu Dhabi National Energy Company(TAQA), French power company EDF Renewables and Chinese solar developer JinkoPower along with procurer Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC).

  • TAQA owns 40% of the project while, Masdar, EDF Renewables and Jinko Power, own a 20% stake each.

Note: The plant was unveiled ahead of the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28), which is set to be hosted by UAE from 30 November to 12 December 2023.

ADB Approves USD 500 mn loan for Healthcare, Medical Education in Maharashtra On November 23, 2023, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a loan package of USD500 million for Maharashtra Tertiary Care and Medical Education Sector Development Program which envisages to improve access to quality and affordable tertiary health care and medical education in Maharashtra.

  • The program aims to develop tertiary care and medical education infrastructure using the sector development program (SDP) modality. It will also focus on quality improvement of this sector.

L&T Finance signs financing pact with ADB for USD 125 million
Mumbai, Maharashtra based L&T Finance Limited(LFT), a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) and a subsidiary of Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T),signed a USD125 million financing pact with ADB to support financing in rural and peri-urban areas of India, especially for women borrowers.
About Asian Development Bank (ADB):
President – Masatsugu Asakawa
Headquarters– Mandaluyong City, Manila, Philippines
Members – 68

World Bank & The Global Fund Signed MoU to Tackle the Impact of Climate Change on HealthOn November 22, 2023, a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)   was signed between the World Bank (WB) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS(Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), Tuberculosis(TB), and Malaria (the Global Fund) to improve their collaboration on climate change’s impact on health.
To support more efficient, effective, and sustainable financing to improve health outcomes in the face of climate change.
What will be done under the MoU?
i.Reduce the burden of malaria, Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection(HIV)/AIDS, and TB.
ii.Improve access to primary healthcare services for vulnerable populations
iii.Make better use of domestic and international health resources
iv.Improve public finance management in countries
v.Use various financing modalities including joint investments and blended finance, and collaborate on joint investments.
vi.They will localize health supply chains by supporting sustainable manufacturing in Africa and low- and middle-income countries.
Key Points:
i.As per WB estimates,  132 million people may be forced into extreme poverty by 2030 due to climate change; one-third will have climate-related health risks, affecting the poorest and most vulnerable people.
ii.Both organizations will also  strengthening the regional production and procurement of health supplies, including drugs and medical devices.
iii.Since 2017, their collaborative blended finance transactions in countries such as India, Indonesia, Haiti, and The Gambia have boosted funding for TB care, improved case detection, increased treatment coverage, and strengthened disease surveillance, enhancing overall health systems.
About The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund):
Executive Director– Peter Sands
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland

HSBC India & UK Export Finance Tie Up for 100 mn Pound Financing Program
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, India (HSBC India) have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with UK Export Finance (UKEF),  the United Kingdom (UK)’s export credit agency, to establish a financing programme of up to 100 million pound.

  • This programme will support Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and corporates for financing their imports from UK.
  • HSBC India and UKEF will collaborate to originate, structure, and extend financing and credit facilities for Indian MSMEs.
  • The Program also supports corporates in financing their imports from the UK, which boosts trade ties between the two countries.

UKEF offers guarantee-backed structures, which are financial instruments that can help businesses reduce their risk when exporting goods and services to overseas markets.
About HSBC India:
CEO– Hitendra Dave
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in -1853

Amazon & DGFT Signed MoU to Leverage Districts as Export Hubs Initiative & Boost MSME Exports From IndiaAmazon India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India to enable Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and boost e-commerce exports from India.

  • The collaboration aims to enable MSMEs to sell their ‘Made in India’ products to Amazon customers in over 200 countries.
  • The partnership aligns with the Foreign Trade Policy 2023, which identifies e-commerce as a focus area for amplifying India’s exports.

Key People:
The MoU was signed in the presence of Santosh Sarangi, Additional Secretary and Director General of DGFT; Chetan Krishnaswamy, Vice President of Public Policy, Amazon; and Bhupen Wakankar, Director of Global Trade, Amazon India.
Key Points:
i.Under this MoU, Amazon, and DGFT will co-create capacity-building sessions, training, and workshops in collaboration with DGFT- Regional Authorities in a phased manner for MSMEs across 75 districts.

  • The 75 districts were identified by the DGFT as part of the “Districts as Exports Hub” initiative outlined in the Foreign Trade Policy 2023.

ii.Amazon will facilitate access to third-party service providers that engage MSMEs to avail services like product imaging, digital cataloging, tax advisory, and more.
Districts as Export Hubs initiative:
i.The initiative focuses on boosting manufacturing and exports in urban areas while stimulating economic activity in rural districts.
ii.It aims to link local producers even in remote areas, with global supply chains.
Amazon & WBIDC Signed an MoU to Boost Exports from West Bengal
Amazon India and the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) signed a MoU to enable MSMEs and boost e-commerce exports from West Bengal(WB) during the 7th edition of the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS).

  • This collaboration aligns with the vision of the “District as Exports Hub initiative” under the Foreign Trade Policy.
  • It focuses on establishing dedicated e-commerce export hubs in key districts across West Bengal.

Key People:
The MoU was signed in the presence of Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister (CM) of WB; Vandana Yadav, Principal Secretary, Industry, Commerce and Enterprises, Govt of WB and Amazon leaders.
Key Points:
i.As part of this MoU, Amazon, and WBIDC will co-create capacity-building sessions, training, and workshops for thousands of MSMEs across West Bengal including Kolkata, North 24 Paraganas, South 24 Paraganas, Howrah, and Hooghly amongst others.

  • Amazon will organize awareness sessions and conduct capacity-building workshops for MSMEs in these e-commerce export hubs.

ii.Under this MoU, Amazon will play a pivotal role in training and onboarding local talent, fostering West Bengal’s participation in the global marketplace.

REC Honoured With ‘Best Employer In Diversity & Inclusion’ Award By ASSOCHAM
REC Limited (Formerly Rural Electrification Corporation Limited) received the “Best Employer for Policies in Diversity & Inclusion” Award.

  • It was awarded at the 4th Diversity & Inclusion Excellence Awards and Conclave 2023 organized by the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in New Delhi, Delhi.
  • REC was awarded for its commitment to creating a workplace that accommodates differences, fosters innovation, and promotes equal opportunities for all employees.

About REC Limited:
i.Established in 1969, REC Limited is a Maharatna Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE)  functioning under the Ministry of Power.
ii.It also received the ‘Best Central PSU’ Award in the Financial Services category at the Dun & Bradstreet PSU Awards 2023.

Indian Cricketer Ravindra Jadeja Appointed as Brand Ambassador of AS-IT-IS NutritionAS-IT-IS Nutrition, a fitness and sports nutrition brand, has appointed Indian cricketer Ravindrasinh Anirudhsinh Jadeja (Ravindra Jadeja) as its brand ambassador.

  • The collaboration aims to work as a catalyst for change, encouraging individuals to prioritize their health and well-being.

About Ravindra Jadeja:
i.Ravindra Jadeja(34) made his first Under-19(U-19) appearance for India in 2005 at the age of 16.

  • He was the vice-captain of the Indian team that won the 2008 U-19 Cricket World Cup.

ii.He made his international debut in 2009 in a One Day International (ODI) match against Sri Lanka.
iii.He made his IPL debut in 2008 and has played for Rajasthan Royals(2008-2009); Kochi Tuskers Kerala(2011); Chennai Super Kings (CSK) (2012-2015 and 2018-present) and Gujarat Lions (2016-2017).
iv.In 2013, He became the first Indian bowler after Anil Kumble (1996) to top the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s ODI bowlers’ rankings.
SportsBaazi Appoints Afghan Cricketer Rashid Khan As Brand Ambassador SportsBaazi (formerly BalleBaazi), a sports gaming platform, has appointed Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan Arman as its brand ambassador.

  • This decision aligns with SportsBaazi’s redesigned brand identity, which aims to provide thrilling new formats and unique user experiences to alter fans’ interactions with sports.
  • As part of the collaboration, Khan will enhance SportsBaazi’s core message ‘Play LIVE. WIN LIVE’ with a focus on the Watch and Play category.

Rashid Khan:
i.He made his ODI debut on Afghanistan’s tour of Zimbabwe in October 2015.
ii.He made his IPL debut in 2017 and played for SunRisers Hyderabad (2017-21) and Gujarat Titans (2022-present).
iii.In 2018, Rashid topped the ICC ODI bowler ranking at the age of 19 (7092 days) and became the youngest player and the only teenager to top any ICC Player Rankings.
iv.In September 2023, Rashid Khan has taken the fastest 100 wickets in ODI cricket (in just 44 matches).
Guinness World Record:

  • Youngest international cricket captain (male)- He was named the captain of the Afghanistan cricket team in 2018 at the age of 19 years 165 days.
  • He holds a record for the most international wickets taken by a teenager – 176 international games, including 110 in ODIs.

About AS-IT-IS Nutrition:
Co-Founders – Himmanth Jain & Arvind Jain
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka Established in – 2018
About SportsBaazi:
Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – Saurabh Chopra
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Established in – 2018

India Wins One Silver and Two Bronze Medals in World Wushu Championship 2023India won three medals(one silver and two bronze) in the 16th edition of the World Wushu Championships(2023) was held from 16th to 20th November 2023 in Fort Worth, Texas, United States of America(USA).

  • The Indian medalists were Naorem Roshibina Devi (silver), Kushal Kumar (bronze), and Chhavi Ruhela(bronze).

Indian Medal Winners:
i.Naorem Roshibina Devi won the silver medal in the women’s sanda 60kg category after she lost to Thi Thu Nguyen(Vietnam) in the finals.

  • Manipur’s Roshibina Devi was the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games silver medalist and the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games bronze medalist.

ii.Kushal Kumar from Punjab won the bronze medal in the men’s 48kg Sanda category
iii.Chhavi Ruhela from Uttar Pradesh won the bronze medal in the women’s 48kg Sanda category.
In the 15th and last edition of the World Wushu Championship 2019, India finished with four medals (1 Gold, 2 silver, and 1 bronze) in Shanghai, China.
Highlights of the World Wushu Championship(WWC):
i.The World Wushu Championship 2023, the biennial event is hosted by the International Wushu Federation (IWUF).
The 12-member Indian contingent participated in the 2023 WWC event.
ii.The first edition of the WWC was held in 1991 in Beijing, China.
iii.China finished top in the medal tally with 15 Gold medals while Vietnam finished second with 11 medals(5 Gold, 3 Silver, and 3 Bronze).

  • Macau(the Autonomous Region in China) finished third in the medal tally with 11 medals(5 Gold, 2 Silver, and 4 Bronze).

About Wushu Sport:
i.Wushu is the umbrella term for all martial art styles originating in China, including disciplines ranging from tai chi to full-contact fighting(kungfu)
ii.Wushu has been standardized into two categories Taolu and Sanda for competition purposes.

Anurag Singh Thakur announces First-Ever Khelo India Para Games
Union Minister Anurag Singh Thakur, Ministry for Youth Affairs and Sports, announced the first-ever Khelo India Para Games 2023, it will be held in New Delhi, Delhi from December 10 to 17, 2023.
About Khelo India Para Games:
i.The Khelo India Para Games is organised to develop para sports and to identify talented para-athletes.
i.The games will feature seven disciplines such as para-athletics, para-shooting, para-archery, para-football, para-badminton, para-table tennis, and para-weight lifting.
ii.These games will be held at three Sports Authority of India (SAI) stadiums in Delhi namely:

  • Indira Gandhi Sports Complex
  • Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium

Justice Fathima Beevi, India’s 1st Woman Judge of Supreme Court, Passed AwayJustice M Fathima Beevi, India’s 1st woman Judge of Supreme Court of India and former Governor of Tamil Nadu(TN) passed away at the age of 96 in Kollam, Kerala. She was born in April 1927 in Pathanamthitta, Kerala.

  •  She was the 1st Muslim woman judge to be appointed to any higher judiciary.
  • She was also the 1st woman to become a Supreme Court Justice in an Asian country.

About Justice M Fathima Beevi:
i.Fathima Beevi started her career in 1950 as an advocate in Kerala.

  • She topped the Bar Council exam and became the first woman to receive a Bar Council gold medal.

ii.In 1958, She was appointed as Munsiff in the Kerala Sub-ordinate Judicial Services and promoted as the Sub-ordinate Judge in 1968.
iii.She also served as Chief Judicial Magistrate (in 1972) and District & Sessions Judge (in 1974).
iv.She was appointed as the Judicial Member of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal in 1980.
v.She was promoted to the Kerala High Court in 1983 and became the Permanent Judge in 1984.
vi.She became the Judge of Supreme Court of India in 1989 and retired from the post in 1992.
vii.After her retirement, she served as a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) from 1993 to 1997.

  • She also served as Chairman of Kerala Commission for Backward Classes in 1993.

viii.She served as the Governor of TN from 1997 to 2002.

  • During her tenure as Governor of TN, she served as the Chancellor of Madras University.

i.She received Hon. D Litt and Mahila Shiromani Award in 1990.
ii.She was also awarded the  Bharat Jyoti Award and the US-India Business Council (USIBC) Life Time Achievement Award. 

IGNCA Launched a book titled “Mapping of the Archives in IndiaOn November 23, 2023, Kalanidhi division of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) launched the book titled ‘Mapping of the Archives in India’, authored by Prof. Ramesh Chandra Gaur and Vismay Basu, in an event held in New Delhi, Delhi.

Current Affairs – 24 November 2023

NIEPVD signed MoU with Nation Book Trust & Daisy Forum of IndiaOn November 20, 2023, the National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Visual Disabilities/(Divyangjan)-NIEPVD signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with New Delhi(Delhi) based National Book Trust (NBT) and Daisy Forum of India (DFI) to promote inclusivity.

  •  The MoU with NBT aims to establish a Universal Design Center for Reading in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
  • The MoU with DFI aims to create and disseminate accessible books through Sugamya Pustakalaya, an online library designed for persons with print disabilities in India.

Note: These partnerships highlights NIEPVD’s commitment towards breaking barriers and creating an inclusive environment for persons with disabilities(PwDs) and, ensuring that no one is left behind in the pursuit of knowledge and education.
MoU with NBT:
The MoU was signed by Er. Manish Verma, Director (Offg/Officiating), NIEPVD, and Yuvraj Malik, Director, NBT India.
Key Points:
i.This aims to make reading materials more accessible to individuals with visual disabilities, ensuring equal opportunities for learning and education.
ii.The Universal Design Center will feature the NBT’s collection of publications and accessible learning materials including: Physical books, Braille books, E-books, Audio books.
MoU with DFI:
The MoU was signed by Er. Manish Verma, Director (Offg), NIEPVD, and Dipendra Manocha, President, DFI.
Key Points:
i.The collaboration will utilize various accessible formats, including DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) , E-Pub(electronic publication), BRF(Braille Ready Format), and others, to address their diverse needs.
ii.Sugamya Pustakalaya is a collaborative effort between DFI, NIEPVD, and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). It uses Access Infinity platform developed by TCS.
Additional info:
i.NBT is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Education (MoE) and is dedicated to the promotion of books and the habit of reading.
ii.DFI is a leading organization advocating for accessible reading materials for persons with print disabilities.
About National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Visual Disabilities (NIEPVD):
It is under the administrative control of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
Offg/Officiating Director– Er. Manish Verma
Headquarters– Dehdradun, Uttarakhand
Establishment– 1943

Survey of India & Genesys International Partnered for 3D Digital Twin-mapping Programme in IndiaThe Survey of India (SoI), the National Survey and Mapping Organization of India, and Genesys International, an Indian mapping company that provides Geospatial solutions, have formed a strategic partnership to create a three-dimensional (3D) digital twin-mapping programme in India.

  • With this partnership, Genesys thus becomes the 1st company to have a public-private agreement with SoI for digital twinning.

Note: The 3D digital twin will be used by government departments for new initiatives.
About the Partnership:
i.This aims to develop digital twins of major cities and towns of India, using Genesys’ all-India highly-accurate navigable maps, the Genesys constellation of sensors and SOI’s Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) network(902 stations), which allows for real-time high precision positioning data.
ii.The partnership is in line with India’s National Geospatial Policy 2022, promoting Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) in geospatial data production and usage.
iii.This also signifies a pivotal move towards delivering geospatial content aligned with the National Geodetic Framework.
Digital Twins:
i.It is a virtual replica of a physical object or system, and encompasses data, simulations, and real-time information, mirroring its real-world counterpart.
ii.It enables continuous monitoring of physical entities and seamlessly integrates data from various sources for comprehensive insights.
i.Integrating CORS data, Genesys will ensure that its Digital Twins faithfully mirror the dynamic urban landscape with unparalleled precision.
ii.The integration empowers applications such as urban planning, telecom signal assessment, disaster management, etc with accurate and reliable geospatial insights.
Points to note:
i.The partnership will introduce the India Map Stack initiative, using high-precision 3D data, Digital Terrain Models (DTM), Digital Surface Models (DSM), and ortho imagery to create accurate and detailed representations of the urban landscape.
ii.Genesys will license its geospatial data products through a “Content-as-a-Service” model.
About Survey of India (SoI):
Surveyor General of India– Hitesh Kumar S. Makwana
Headquarters– Dehradun, Uttarakhand
Established in– 1767

Kishtwar Saffron from J&K receives GI tag
Kishtwar Saffron brand, which is cultivated and harvested in the Kishtwar Region of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), has received the Geographical Indication (GI) tag from the GI Registry under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

  • This recognition emphasizes the distinctive identity and exceptional quality of saffron grown in the Kishtwar region. The saffron is cultivated in the elevated terrains of Kishtwar and some parts of Kashmir.
  • Kishtwar’s saffron, locally known as Kumkum, is also a key cash crop in Jammu’s isolated mountainous district of Kishtwar that has high medicinal value.

Other noted products of J&K that got the GI tags in 2023: Basohli Pashmina Woolen Products(Textiles); Bhaderwah Rajmash(Agriculture), Ramban Sulai Honey(Food Stuff).

ADB Approved USD 6.5 Million Loan to Greenway The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Greenway Grameen Infra Private Limited have signed a USD 6.5 million senior secured loan agreement for the Greenway Carbon Credits Gender Finance Project.

  • The financing also includes a USD 3.25 million first-loss liquidity reserve from the Climate Innovation and Development Fund (CIDF)

About the Project:
i.The project aims to facilitate the production and distribution of 1 million subsidized Greenway Jumbo Stoves to rural households in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.
ii.The improved cookstoves reduce household fuel consumption by 65%, smoke emissions by 70%, and carbon dioxide(CO2) emissions by 22.9 million tons.
iii. Greenway will sell the carbon credits generated from the use of improved cookstoves to international buyers.

  • This is done through its subsidiary SDG 13 Ventures Private Limited (located in Singapore).

iv.The financial aid from ADB will allow Greenway to bridge the gap between the time it takes to sell the carbon units and the general operation costs.
What is Carbon finance?
i.Carbon finance is a financial mechanism that can be used to mitigate climate change.
ii.Carbon credits are generated from projects that reduce greenhouse gas(GHG) emissions.
iii.These credits can be sold to international buyers, who can use them to offset their own emissions.
i.The Climate Innovation and Development Fund (CIDF) is a blended finance facility with initial of USD 25 million that is managed by ADB.
ii.It was established in 2021 with initial funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies and Goldman Sachs.
iii.CIDF aims to support innovative non-sovereign climate change projects in South and Southeast Asia.
About Asian Development Bank (ADB):
President  – Masatsugu Asakawa
Headquarters – Mandaluyong City, Manila, Philippines
Established in – 1966
Members – 68 members – 49 from the region

IWAI & Amazon signs MoU to utilize Ganga River for Cargo MovementOn November 22, 2023, the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and Amazon have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) enabling Amazon to utilize the Ganga River (National Waterway/NW 1) for cargo movement, transporting customer shipments and products.

  • The first ship with e-commerce cargo will soon be flagged off from Patna, Bihar to Kolkata, West Bengal (WB).
  • This collaboration is a significant step towards realizing the Prime Minister (PM)’s Maritime Amrit Kaal Vision 2047 by enhancing inland waterways as an affordable and sustainable mode of transportation and promoting cargo movement through Inland Water Transport using NW-1.

Signing Ceremony:
The MoU was signed in presence of the Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW) and Secretary of MoPSW, T. K. Ramachandran, and Chairman of IWAI, Sanjay Bandopadhyaya, among others.
How will this MoU beneficial for Amazon?
This will enable Amazon to ensure faster, cost-effective, and sustainable package delivery, benefiting millions of sellers with wider reach. It also lowers its transportation cost, and new possibilities for all e-commerce companies to leverage the extensive inland waterways in India.

  • Collaboratively, IWAI and Amazon will explore and implement innovative solutions for the evolving e-commerce industry, fostering a greener and more resilient logistics ecosystem.
  • In January 2023, Amazon had a dedicated air cargo network in India through Amazon Air.

Key Points:
i.According to a World Bank Report, Rail and road transport consume 18.5% and 91.6% respectively, more fuel than water transport, highlighting water transport as the most environmentally friendly mode.
ii.Sagarmala has initiated 113 projects worth Rs 7,030 Crores for RoRo/RoPax and Inland Water Transport.

  • 15 projects worth Rs 1,100 Crores have been completed, and 32 projects worth Rs. 3,900 crores are under implementation.

iii.Maritime India Vision 2030 aims to increase water transport volumes by over 200 MMT (Million Metric Ton) by 2030 and exceed 500 MMT by 2047, as per the Amrit Kaal Vision 2047 launched during the Global Maritime India Summit 2023.
About Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI):
Chairperson– Sanjay Bandopadhyaya
Headquarters– Noida, Uttar Pradesh (UP)
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways
Establishment– 1986

Blue Dart Partners with India Post to Provide Parcel Locker Service at Post OfficesBlue Dart Express Limited(Blue Dart) has partnered with India Post to introduce an automated digital parcel lockers service at selected post offices across India.

  • With this, Blue dart aims to offer an additional delivery method to its customers.

Key Points:
i.This partnership with India post will enable consignees to conveniently retrieve their shipments from digital parcel lockers.
ii.To implement this initiative, Blue Dart has partnered with Pune(Maharashtra) based Podrones Logistics Private Limited, a last-mile technology and parcel locker company.
iii.Under this partnership, India Post’s Smart Parcel delivery system (ANVIT) will collaborate with Blue Dart’s expertise to harness the potential of Smart Parcel technology to promote efficient and reliable logistics solutions.
Additional info:
i.These lockers will enable the customers to retrive their parcels from the digital lockers using assigned code(one time password-OTP).
ii.This eliminates the need for personal receipts or signing for a package.
Note: India post launched ANVIT as a pilot project in Pune, Maharashtra in 2021.
About India Post:
India Post functions under Department of Post, Ministry of Communications
Director General (Posts) – Alok Sharma
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Established in – 1854
About Blue Dart Express Limited:
Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – Balfour Manuel
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in – 1983

4 Indians featured on BBC 100 Women List 2023: Dia Mirza, Harmanpreet Kaur, Arati Kumar-Rao & Jetsunma Tenzin Palmoi.On November 21, 2023, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) released the 11th edition of the list of BBC 100 Women 2023 which includes four Indian women viz. Actress Dia Mirza, Cricketer Harmanpreet Kaur, Photographer Arati Kumar-Rao, and Tibetan Buddhist nun Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo.

  • It is list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2023.

ii.Harmanpreet Kaur and Dia Mirza are named under the Entertainment & Sport category while Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo is acknowledged under the category of Culture and education.
iii.The list features 28 Climate Pioneers from across the globe who are inspiring and leading their communities to tackle the devastating impact of climate change. This includes Indian photographer Arati Kumar-Rao.
About British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC):
Chairman– Dame Elan Closs Stephens
Headquarters– London, United Kingdom

UN Panel of External Auditors: India’s CAG Girish Chandra Murmu Elected as Vice-Chair for 2024 Girish Chandra Murmu, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, was elected as the Vice-Chair of the United Nations (UN) Panel of External Auditors for 2024.

  • The Panel has elected Pierre Moscovici, First President of Cour des comptes, French Republic, as its Chair for 2024 

The announcements were made during the 63rd session of the Panel held at the UN Headquarters in New York, the United States of America (USA) from 20-21 November 2023.

  • The session was chaired by Isma Yatun, chair of the panel (2023) and Chairperson of the Audit Board of the Republic of Indonesia

About UN Panel of External Auditors:
The Panel of External Auditors comprising of Heads of 12 Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) globally, oversees the external audit of the UN Secretariat, Funds and Programmes, and Specialized Agencies.
Executive Secretary– Sejong Lee
About Girish Chandra Murmu:
i.Girish Chandra Murmu, a 1985 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Gujarat cadre, has been serving as the CAG of India since 8th August 2020.
ii.He served as the Principal Secretary in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) to the now Prime Minister(PM) of India Narendra Modi for 7 years, when he was the CM of Gujarat.
iii.He was the first Lieutenant(Lt) Governor of the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir.
iv.In May 2023, he was re-elected as External Auditor of the World Health Organization (WHO) for a 4-year term from 2024 to 2027 and he has been holding this position in WHO since 2019.
v.He is also a member of the Governing Boards of the International Organization of  Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI).
vi.He was also elected as the Chairman of the Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) from 2024-2027.

CCI Approves Acquisition of Additional Stake in Niva Bupa Health Insurance by Bupa Singapore
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the acquisition of an additional stake in Niva Bupa Health Insurance Company by Bupa Singapore Holdings. The Proposed transaction is approved under the green channel route, adhering to Regulation 5A and Schedule III of CCI (Procedure in regard to the transaction of business relating to combinations) Regulations, 2011.

  • Acquirer- Bupa Singapore Holdings Pte. Ltd. (Bupa Singapore)
  • Target- Niva Bupa Health Insurance Company Limited (Niva Bupa)

i.Bupa Singapore is an investment holding company and a subsidiary of the British United Provident Association Limited (“Bupa”) i.e., the ultimate parent entity of the group to which Bupa Singapore belongs.
ii.Bupa Singapore is an existing shareholder of Niva Bupa. The proposed transaction relates to the secondary purchase of shares by Bupa Singapore in Niva Bupa from Fettle Tone LLP (Proposed Transaction).
iii.Following this acquisition, the shareholding of Bupa Singapore will increase to approximately 63% equity stake in Niva Bupa.

OneWeb India Becomes 1st firm to get IN-SPACe Approval for Satellite Broadband Service in India
OneWeb India has become the first firm to recive the authorisations from Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) to launch Eutelsat OneWeb’s commercial satellite broadband services in India.

  • With this, OneWeb India aims to extend internet services to rural and unconnected areas and territorial waters of India on a 24×7 basis using the Eutelsat OneWeb constellation.
  • The authorisation valid for 5 years is subject to the assignment of the spectrum by the Department of Telecommunication (DoT), Ministry of Communication for both the gateways and user terminal operations.
  • The OneWeb constellation comprises 648 satellites orbiting Earth in circular polar orbits at 1,200-kilometer altitude and shall provide 21 Gbps throughput over India.
  • OneWeb India already holds licenses from DoT and has obtained approvals to establish and operate gateways in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.


  • Eutelsat OneWeb, a part of France based  Eutelsat Group is a low earth orbit (LEO) operator.
  • OneWeb India is part of the Bharti Group, which operates Airtel, and subsidiary of Eutelsat Group.
  • IN-SPACe is the agency of the Government of India, responsible for regulating space activities and granting authorisation for conducting space activities in India.

Novak Djokovic Defeats Jannik Sinner to Win his seventh ATP Finals titleNovak Djokovic (Serbia) defeated Jannik Sinner (Italy) to win the men’s singles title in Nitto Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) finals 2023, held from 12th -19th November 2023 at the Pala Alpitour stadium in Turin, Italy.

  • This marks Novak Djokovic’s 7th ATP finals title, which includes 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2022, and 2023. With this, Djokovic broke Roger Federer’s record of six ATP Finals titles.
  • Rajeev Ram(United States of America-USA) and Joe Salisbury(United Kingdom-UK) won the ATP Finals men’s doubles 2023 title by defeating Marcel Granollers(Spain) and Horacio Zeballos (Argentina) in the finals.
  • The ATP Finals is the final event of the ATP Tour season and the finals will be played by the world’s best eight qualified singles players and doubles teams.
  • Iga Swiatek(Poland) defeated Jessica Pegula(U.S.A) to win the women’s singles title at the 2023 GNP Seguros Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Finals.
  • Laura Siegemund(Germany) and Vera Zvonareva(Unflagged – Russia) defeated Nicole Melichar-Martinez(U.S.A) and Ellen Perez(Australia) to win the Women’s Doubles title at the WTA Finals.

About The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP):
Chairman – Andrea Gaudenzi
Headquarters – London, United Kingdom(UK)
Established – 1972

Former Mr. India Nongthombam Maipak Passed Away
Nongthombam Maipak, former Mr India title holder and veteran bodybuilder of Manipur passed away in Imphal, Manipur at the age of 88. He was born on June 12, 1935 at Uripok Sorbon Thingel Sinam Leikai in Imphal West District, Manipur.

  • He was popularly known as Mister Maipak and ‘Son of Manipur’.
  • He won the Mr. India title in 1970 and then represented India in the Mr. Universe competition held from September 25-26, 1971 in Paris, France.
  • He was honoured with the ‘Best Indian Style Mythological Pose,’ in the 1971 Mr. Universe competition and secured the 10th position out of 72 contestants.
  • Mister Maipak was also a popular athlete in the hammer throw, shot put and discus throw events.
  • He represented Manipur in the 1958 Delhi National Games in the hammer throw event, where he broke the national record.
  • He also served as a sub-inspector in the Manipur police from 1970-1973 and later joined the education department of Manipur in 1977.

World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Day 2023 – November 15World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Day is annually observed across the globe on the 3rd Wednesday of November to raise awareness about COPD, one of the most widespread illnesses across the globe.
22nd World COPD Day was observed on 15th November 2023.

  • World COPD Day 2022 was observed on 16th November 2022.
  • World COPD Day 2024 will be observed on 20th November 2024.

The theme for World COPD Day 2023 is “Breathing is Life – Act Earlier”

  • The theme highlights the importance of early lung health, early diagnosis and early interventions.
  • The theme is chosen by Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD).

i.World COPD Day is organised by GOLD in collaboration with international COPD patient groups and medical specialists.

  • GOLD is a member of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS).

ii.The 1st World COPD Day was observed on 20th November 2002.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD):
i.Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common lung disease causing restricted airflow and breathing problems.

  • The two main forms of COPD are Chronic bronchitis and Emphysema.

ii.According to the World Health Organization (WHO) report, COPD is the 3rd leading cause of death worldwide, causing 3.23 million deaths in 2019. COPD is the 7th leading cause of poor health worldwide.
v.COPD is included in WHO Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
About the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD): 
Chair – Alvar G. Agusti
Headquarters – Fontana, Wisconsin, United States of America (USA)
Established in – 1997

World Day for the Prevention of and Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Violence 2023 – November 18World Day for the Prevention of and Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Violence is annually observed across the globe on 18th November to create awareness about the impact of child sexual exploitation, abuse, and violence.

  • The day aims to end Child Sexual Exploitation and Violence and bring hope to the survivors

18th November 2023 marks the 2nd observance of the World Day for the Prevention of and Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Violence.
i.On 7th November 2022, United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted a resolution A/RES/77/8  and proclaimed the 18th November of every year as the World Day for the Prevention of and Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Violence.

  • The resolution was sponsored by Sierra Leone and Nigeria, and co-sponsored by more than 120 countries.

ii.The day was first observed on 18th November 2022.

World Toilet Day 2023- November 19 The United Nations (UNWorld Toilet Day is annually observed across the globe on 19 November to raise awareness about 3.5 billion people people without access to safe sanitation and to encourage action to address the global sanitation crisis.

  • The global campaign theme of World Toilet Day 2023 is, “Accelerating Change”.
  • The hummingbird is the symbol of World Toilet Day 2023, because a toilet is small but mighty, just like a hummingbird.

i.On 24 July 2013, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution (A/RES/67/291) titled “Sanitation for All” and designated the 19 November of every year as World Toilet Day.
ii.The 1st UN recognised World Toilet Day was observed on 19 November 2013.

Current Affairs – 23 November 2023

14th Indo-US Joint Special Forces exercise ‘Ex Vajra Prahar’ commenced at Umroi, MeghalayaThe 14th edition of the India – United States of America(USA) Joint Special Forces exercise, Vajra Prahar, commenced at the Joint Training Node in Umroi Cantonment, located in Ri Bhoi district of the north eastern state of Meghalaya. 

  • The 2023 edition is a 21-day (3-week) training program happening from 21st November 2023 to 11th December 2023.

i.The Indian Army (IA) contingent is led by Special Forces personnel from the Eastern Command.
ii.The US contingent is being represented by personnel from the 1st Special Forces Group (SFG) of US Special Forces.
Course of Actions:
i.The Indian & US army will jointly plan and rehearse a series of Special Operations, Counter Terrorist Operations, Air Borne operations in simulated conventional and unconventional scenarios in mountainous terrain.
ii.The exercise will also witness

  • Combat free fall insertion of troops from stand-off distances
  • Water borne insertion of troops
  • Precision engagement of targets at long ranges
  • Combat air controlling of fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft
  • Airborne insertion and sustenance of troops

About Vajra Prahar:
i.Exercise Vajra Prahar is an annual exercise between India and the US to share the best practices and experiences in areas such as joint mission planning and operational tactics.
ii.It is also a platform to enhance interoperability and strengthen defence cooperation between the armies of India and USA.
The exercise was conducted in two phases:

  • Phase 1 – Combat conditioning and tactical-level special mission training exercises.
  • Phase 2 – Validation of training received by the joint forces in Phase 1 through a 48-hour exercise.

Previous Edition:
i.The 13th edition of this exercise was conducted at the Special Forces Training School (SFTS), Bakloh, Himachal Pradesh (HP).
ii.The first edition of the joint exercise was conducted in 2010.

State Educational Achievement Survey 2023 by PARAKH conducted SuccessfullyThe State Educational Achievement Survey (SEAS) 2023 was successfully conducted on 3rd November 2023 among students in grades 3, 6, and 9 to identify areas where learning needs improvement.

  • This is the 1st  survey conducted by the Performance Assessment, Review and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development (PARAKH), the national assessment regulator.

To assess the learning competencies of students at the end of each educational stage, i.e., foundational, preparatory, and middle with a primary focus on Language and Mathematics
The SEAS 2023 surveyed 80 lakh students, 6 lakh teachers, and over 3 lakh field investigators in 5917 blocks across India. All states and Union Territories(UTs), excluding six states – Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan and West Bengal (WB), participated in the survey.

  • Using scientific procedures, competency assessments were conducted through a paper-pen-based approach with OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) technology for precise and efficient data acquisition and validation.

Points to note:
i.The survey was conducted in collaboration with National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), New Delhi, under the aegis of the Ministry of Education (MoE) to track the learning progress.
ii.The State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) and the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) were responsible for organising the survey in the sampled schools in their respective states.
Key Points:
i.This survey will unveil crucial insights, laying the foundation for evidence-based policies to enhance education quality.
ii.It should be noted that in SEAS 2023  the sample size was expanded to block level from distrcit level to reach more students to assess learning gaps.
iii.It also integrated teachers’ professional development programs at the block level
It was set up in January 2023 by NCERT on the lines of National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 to establish guidelines, standards, and norms for student assessment and evaluation for all recognized school boards in India.

  • It will also guide the State Achievement Survey (SAS) and undertake the National Achievement Survey (NAS); monitor achievement of learning outcomes.
  • It also support and guide school boards in adapting their assessment methods to align with the 21st-century skill needs.

Kerala RT Mission Selected for UNWTO’s Global List of Case StudiesResponsible Tourism (RT) Mission of Kerala was selected for the global list of Case Studies of United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). UNWTO’s recognition will further inspire Kerala’s RT mission to promote eco-friendly tourism.

  • Apart from Kerala’s RT Mission, Maharashtra’s  Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve project is the only other Indian case study to be featured in this UNWTO list.
  • The 2 Indian case studies are among the 7 G20 (group of 20) countries to feature on UWTO list which includes Mexico, Germany, Mauritius, Turkey, Italy, Brazil and Canada, being the others.

Key Points:
i.UNWTO noted that Kerala’s RT mission promotes the travel industry in Kerala and upholds the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN.
ii.Kerala’ was recognised for its efforts in using local resources and products to boost its tourism industry.
Kerala RT Mission:
i.Kerala RT Mission was launched on 20th October 2017 by Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister (CM) of Kerala.
ii.This is the nodal agency formed by the Government of Kerala to spread and implement the ideologies and initiatives of Responsible Tourism across Kerala.
iii.This is also the State Nodal Agency tasked by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, for the implementation of its Rural Tourism Development Project.
About United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO):
Secretary-General– Zurab Pololikashvili
Headquarters– Madrid, Spain
Establishment– 1975

SEBI Chief Madhabi Buch Introduces IRRA PlatformMadhabi Puri Buch, the Chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), has officially launched the Investor Risk Reduction Access (IRRA) platform at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). 
The IRRA platform, initiated by Market Infrastructure Institutions (MIIs) under SEBI’s guidance, aims to reduce risks faced by investors in the event of technical glitches at Trading Member (TM) ends, both at the Primary and Disaster Recovery sites.
SEBI Eases Regulations for Holders of Physical Securities Without PAN and KYC Detail
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), the capital markets regulator, announced the elimination of the requirement to freeze folios lacking PAN, KYC details, and nominations for all holders of physical securities.
This regulatory change, designed to simplify procedures, will be implemented immediately, according to a circular from Sebi. The decision follows input from the Registrars’ Association of India and investors.
SEBI Grants Approval to Unifi Capital for the Launch of Mutual Fund Business
Portfolio management firm Unifi Capital announced that it has received in-principle approval from the capital markets regulator, Sebi, to establish a mutual fund house. The company had submitted an application to Sebi in December 2020 seeking a mutual fund license.
About SEBI:
Formed:  April 12, 1988
Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairperson: Madhabi Puri Buch

India’s GDP likely grew 7% in Q2FY24: ICRA ProjectionAccording to the ICRA Limited (formerly Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Limited), India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the second quarter of FY 2024 (Q2FY24) is estimated to grow at 7%, surpassing the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) forecast of 6.5%. However, this growth was 7.8% in (April to June 2023) Q1FY24.

  • The Gross Value Added (GVA) growth will ease to 6.8% in (July-September 2023) Q2, driven by the services sector at 8.2%, agriculture at 3.5%, and industry at 6.6%.
  • ICRA maintains a GDP growth estimate of 6% for FY24, projecting a slightly lower figure than the MPC’s projection of 6.5%.

i.The challenges including commodity prices, potential government Capital Expenditure (Capex) slowdown, weak external demand, and cumulative impacts of monetary tightening may contribute to lower GDP growth in Q2.
ii.Despite challenges, investment activity remained robust, as evidenced by a year-on-year growth in seven out of eleven investment-related indicators in Q2 compared to Q1.

  • The YoY (Year-on-Year) growth in the remaining four indicators weakened in Q2FY24 relative to Q1.

iii.The Centeral Government Gross Capex increased by 26.4% annually to Rs 2.1 lakh crore in Q2, although this was lower than the Rs 2.8 lakh crore observed in Q1.
iv.Aggregate capital outlay and net lending by 25 states rose to Rs 1.7 lakh crore in Q2 from Rs 1.2 lakh crore in Q1, with the pace of expansion halving to 33.5%.
v.GVA growth in the highway construction sub-sector is estimated to have eased to 7% in Q2FY24 from 7.9% in Q1FY24.
About ICRA Limited:
Managing Director & Group CEO of ICRA– Ramnath Krishnan
Headquarters– Gurugram, Haryana
Established in 1991

Fire Bird, Authored by Perumal Murugan & Translated by Janani Kannan won JCB Prize for Literature 2023Fire Birdoriginally written in Tamil as “Aalanda Patchi” by renowned Tamil Writer Perumal Murugan won the 2023 JCB Prize for Literature. The book was translated into English by Janani Kannan and was published by Penguin Random House India.

  • The book explores themes of displacement and the human desire for stability in a changing world.
  • Fire Bird is the 5th translated work to win JCB Prize for Literature.

Note: Aalanda Patchi was first published in 2012 by Kalachuvadu Publications Pvt Ltd
About JCB Prize for Literature :
The JCB Prize for Literature, established in 2018, is an annual award presented to a distinguished work of fiction by an Indian author.
The prize is funded by JCB, the global construction equipment manufacturer, and administered by the JCB Literature Foundation.

  • The author of the winning book receives a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh cash prize and a trophy, “Mirror Melting” designed by artist duo Thukral and Tagra.
  • Rs 10 lakhs will be awarded to the translator.

2023 Shortlisted books:

  • “Fire Bird” by Perumal Murugan(translated from Tamil by Janani Kannan )
  • “The Secret of More” by Tejaswini Apte-Rahm,
  • “The Nemesis” by Manoranjan Byapari (translated from Bengali by V. Ramaswamy),
  • “Mansur” by Vikramajit Ram,
  • “I Named my Sister Silence” by Manoj Rupda (translated from Hindi by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar).

Authors of the shortlisted books will receive Rs 1 lakh and the translators will receive Rs 50,000.
About Perumal Murugan:
i.Perumal Murugan was a professor of Tamil at the Government Arts College in Salem Attur and Namakkal.
ii.He has written 12 novels, 6 collections of short stories, 6 anthologies of poetry, and many non-fiction books. Around 10 of his novels were translated into English.
Noted works: Seasons of the Palm, One Part Woman, A Lonely Harvest, Trail by Silence, Poonachi or the Story of a Goat, Resolve, Estuary, Rising Heat, and Pyre.

Former Indian Cricketer Sourav Ganguly Named Brand Ambassador of BengalMamata Banerjee, Chief Minister (CM) of West Bengal (WB) named former Indian cricketer and Padma Shir Awardee Sourav Ganguly as the “Brand Ambassador of Bengal” and handed over the Appointment letter.

  • The announcement was made during the 7th edition of the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS 2023) held in in Kolkata(WB).

Note: Prior to this appoinment, renowned Bollywood Actor Shah Rukh Khan has been serving as the brand amnassador of Bengal since 2012.
About Sourav Ganguly:
i.Sourav Ganguly, populaly known as “Dada” or “Prince of Kolkata”, represented India from 1992 to 2008.

  • He made his One Day International (ODI) debut in 1992 against West Indies and test debut in 1996 against England at the Lord’s in London (the United Kingdom).
  • He played a total of 311 ODIs and scored 11363 runs and 113 Test matches and scored 7212 runs.

ii.He became the captain of the Indian Cricket team in 1999 and continued till 2005.
iii.From 2015 to October 2019, he was the President of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).
iv.He became the 35th President of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in October 2019 and served until 2022.
i.He holds the record for registering the highest individual score by any batsman in an ICC Champions Trophy final (117) in 2002 against England.
ii.He holds the highest individual score by an Indian batsman (183 not out) in the Cricket World Cup in 1999 against Sri Lanka.
i.In 1998, he received the Arjuna Award(Cricket), for his outstanding achievements in sports.
ii.In 2004, he was honoured with the Padma Shri in the field of Sports.
Additonal info:

  • In May 2023, Ganguly was appointed as the brand ambassador of Tripura Tourism.
  • In March 2023, Bengali actor and Trinamool Congress (TMC) member Deepak (Dev) Adhikari, Member of Parliament(Lok Sabha) from Ghatal constituency, was named the brand ambassador of Bengal’s tourism department.

Lakshmi Ramakrishna Srinivas appointed as Additional Director of South Indian Bank
Lakshmi Ramakrishna Srinivas was appointed as the Additional Director of the South Indian Bank Limited, a Private Sector Bank headquartered in Thrissur, Kerala. She was appointed as a non-executive Independent Director (ID) for a 3-year term from November 20, 2023.

  • Lakshmi Ramakrishna Srinivas started her banking career as a Probationary Officer(PO) in State Bank of India(SBI) in 1985 and retired as the Chief General Manager & Head-Strategic Training Unit(STU), SBI in June 2023.
  • She also served as Director of State Bank Staff College (SBSC), Hyderabad, Telangana.
  • She had also served as the Vice President (Credit) at SBI’s New York branch in the United States of America (USA).

About South Indian Bank:
MD & CEO– P R Seshadri
Tagline– Experience Next-Generation Banking
Established in 1929

CCI Approved for Titan’s Additional Stake-Buy in CaratLane
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the acquisition of 27.18% share capital of CaratLane Trading Private Limited (CaratLane) by Titan Company Limited (Titan) on a fully diluted basis, from Mithun Padam Sacheti, Siddhartha Padam Sacheti, and Padamchand Sacheti.

  • Titan has acquired 91.90 lakh equity shares in CaratLane for a cash consideration of Rs 4621 crore.
  • This acquisition increased Titan’s stake in CaratLane to 98.28from 71.09%.

CaratLane is a subsidiary of Titan and has been in a strategic vendor relationship with Tanishq since 2010. It was founded in 2008 by Mithun Sacheti.

  • Titan had first invested in CaratLane in 2016. Between 2016 and 2019, Titan bought shares of CaratLane in tranches through a secondary purchase of shares.
  • The deal ranks as the second-largest exit for an e-commerce founder.

DRDO & Indian Navy Conducts 2nd Flight-test of ‘NASM-SR’ from SeaKingOn 21st November 2023, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in cooperation with the Indian Navy (IN) successfully tested the indigenously designed & developed Guided Naval Anti-Ship Missile-Short Range (NASM-SR) from IN’s Seaking 42B Maritime Helicopter.

  • This marked the 2nd test of the missile, which was first tested at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Balasore, Odisha on 18 May 2022, from an IN Seaking Mk42B helicopter.
  • The test involved the firing of the missile from a Seaking 42B helicopter, showcasing its precision guidance technology.

Naval Anti-Ship Missile – Short Range (NASM-SR):
i.The NASM-SR was first revealed to the public in 2018 in the Lok Sabha by then-Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (now Union Minister, Ministry of Finance).
ii.It is a helicopter-fired missile capable of destroying small boats or Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) at a maximum range of 55 kilometers while traveling at 0.8 Mach (slower than the speed of sound).
iii.It is the first indigenous air-launched anti-ship missile system developed for the Indian Navy and is India’s version of the Harpoon Anti-Ship Missile.
iv.It is a 380-kilogram projectile used initially with the IN Seaking helicopters, replacing the earlier Sea Eagle missiles.

  • ‘SR’, or Short Range, means that the development of other longer-range versions is expected as well.
  • The long-range version of the NASM may have a range excess of 150 km, enabling engagement of hostile targets from stand-off distances.

Key Points:
i.NASM-SR has an imaging infra-red seeker, which would home in on the heat emissions of its targets.
ii.The weapon would have a warhead of 100kg, capable of sinking patrol boats and damaging larger warships.
iii.The Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP) warhead, despite its compact 100-kilogram size, is capable of destroying large ships if the missile hits the area of the ship where ammunition or fuel is stored.
iv.The missile uses an imaging infrared seeker (IIR) in its terminal phase to locate and destroy its target.
v.After the retirement of Seaking Mk42B helicopters, which are reaching the end of their operational life, the NASM-SR missile will be integrated with the newly acquired MH-60R helicopters from the United States of America (USA).

Nidirana Noadihing: New Frog Species Discovered in Arunachal
A new species of music frog Nidirana Noadihing’ (Noa-Dihing music frog) was discovered near the Namdapha Tiger Reserve in Gandhigram, Arunachal Pradesh.

  • It was published in the November 15 edition of the Science journal Zootaxa.
  • The new species was named after the Noa-Dihing River, which is near where the specimens were discovered.
  • The discovery of the Noa-Dihing music frog validates the presence of the genus Nidirana from India.

About Nidirana Noadihing:
i.The new frog is distinct from its congeners in several ways, including its size, its oval toe tips, the tubercles on its back, and its unique call.
ii.The fog inhabits in swamps, ponds, and paddy fields.
iii.They often construct nests to lay their eggs.
iv.Nidirana species frogs are found in Japan, Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.
i.The frog’s body is robust, with males measuring between approximately 1.8 inches and 2.3 inches long and females measuring between about 2.4 inches and 2.6 inches long.
ii.They have a rounded snout and smooth skin with bony protrusions on their backs.
iii.The frogs have a pale cream line bordered with dark brown running down the center of their bodies.
iv.They have irregularly shaped and sized spots on their eyelids, and they have dark stripes around their eyes.
v.The frogs’ throat, forelimbs, thighs, and lower legs are light brown and pinkish.
vi.Their groin and the outside of their thighs are pale yellow with irregular dark olive patches.
vii.Their cream-colored chest and belly have a golden tinge.
Research Team:
The discovery was made by a team of scientists from the Wildlife Institute of India (Uttarakhand), the University of Wolverhampton (United Kingdom – UK), and the Arunachal Pradesh Forest Department.
Additional Info:
i.The species was also discovered in 2022 in the surrounding marshy habitat of Glaw Lake in the Kamlang Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh.
ii.This new finding marks the third consecutive discovery of new species of amphibians from Namdapha Tiger Reserve in 2023.

ICC Introduces Stop Clock in Men’s ODI and T20I Cricket to Regulate Time Taken Between OversThe International Cricket Council (ICC) has introduced a “stop clock” in men’s One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) cricket matches to regulate the time taken between overs.

  • This announcement was one of the decisions, made at a board meeting of ICC at Ahmedabad(Gujarat) on 20th November 2023.

About the Stop Clock rule:
i.The bowling teams in men’s ODIs and T20Is will be imposed a five-run penalty if the bowler fails to bowl the next over within 60 seconds after the completion of the previous over for the third time in an innings.
ii.The Stop Clock will be introduced on a trial basis from December 2023 to April 2024.
iii. The stop clock rule is set to improve the pace of the game and enhance the spectator experience.
Equal pay for female match officials:
i.ICC also announced equal match-day pay for both female and male umpires from January 2024.

  • This initiative promotes gender equality in cricket.

Gender eligibility regulation:
i.According to new gender eligibility regulation, male-to-female participants who have undergone male puberty will not be eligible to compete in the international women’s game, irrespective of any surgical or gender reassignment treatment they may have undertaken.

  • By the new rule, transgender players are not able to play in women’s international cricket.

ii.Following this ICC decision, Australian-born transgender cricketer Danielle McGahey who played for Canada announced her retirement from international cricket.

  • Danielle McGahey was the first transgender cricketer to take part in an official international match when she played for Canada against Brazil in September 2023.

Key Points:
i.The Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) of ICC has recommended the inclusion of at least one neutral umpire in every series of the ICC Women’s Championship, in line with the long-standing practice in men’s international cricket.
ii.ICC also approved the following Changes to the pitch and outfield monitoring regulations.

  • Simplification of the criteria for pitch assessment
  • An increase in the threshold for when a venue might lose its international status, from five to six demerit points over a five-year period.

Padma Awardee Dr SS Badrinath, founder of Sankara Nethralaya Passed Away Padma Awardee and an eminent vitreoretinal surgeon, Sengamedu Srinivasa (SS) Badrinath, the founder of Sankara Nethralaya Academy, passed away at the age of  83 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He was born on 24th February 1940 in Triplicane, Madras Presidency (Now Chennai, TN).
About SS Badrinath:
i.SS Badrinath started his career as a fellow in the vitreoretinal services of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, United States of America (USA) in 1968.
ii.After moving to India, he worked at Voluntary Health Services (VHS), Adyar, Chennai(TN), as a consultant for six years(1970-76).
iii.He set up his private practice in ophthalmology and vitreoretinal surgery at the H.M. Hospital (1970 to 1972) and Vijaya Hospital, Chennai (1973 to 1978).
v.In 1978, he founded Sankara Nethralaya Academy, a unit of the Medical Research Foundation.

  • He also served as President & Chairman Emeritus of Medical Research Foundation.

vi.He was a consultant in ophthalmology to the Armed Forces of India and a non-official member of the Armed Forces Medical Research Committee.
Awards & Recognition:
i.The Government of India honored him with Padma Shri, 4th highest civilian award in 1983 and Padma Bhushan, 3rd highest civilian award in 1999 for his contribution in the filed of Medicine.
ii.He is also the recipient of Dr B. C. Roy National Award (1991).
iii.In 2010, He became the 1st Indian to receive the Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) award.

  • The award is institutionalized in 1902 by the University of Missouri, United States of America(USA) awards to recognise the achievements of individuals in their roles as citizens and leaders.

World Children’s Day 2023- November 20 The United Nations’ (UNUniversal Children’s Day or World Children’s Day is annually observed across the globe on 20 November to promote international togetherness, and awareness among children worldwide, and improve children’s welfare.

  • It is a global initiative promoting children’s rights, safety, education, health, and happiness.

The 2023 campaign Theme of World Children’s Day is, “For every child, every right.”

  • World Children’s Day is the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)’s annual day of action for children, by children.

i.On 14 December 1954, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution A/RES/836(IX) and recommended that with effect from 1956, all countries institute a Universal Children’s Day, fostering global fraternity among children.
ii.It also recommended that the Day was to be observed as a day of activity dedicated to promoting the ideals of the UN Charter and the well-being of children worldwide.
About United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
Executive Director– Catherine Russell
Headquarters– New York, USA
Established on– 11 December 1946.
In 1953, UNICEF became a permanent part of the UN.

Africa Industrialization Day 2023 – November 20The United Nations (UN)’s Africa Industrialization Day is annually observed across the globe on 20th November to highlight the critical importance of Industrial development for sustained and inclusive economic growth in African countries.

Current Affairs – 22 November 2023

Finance Ministy Notified 7 Changes in Senior Citizens Savings Scheme Rules On 7th November 2023, Department of Economic Affairs(DEA), under the Ministry of Finance, notified 7 changes in Senior Citizens Savings Scheme(SCSS), a government-sponsored savings instrument for individuals aged 60 years or employees aged 55 years or more but less than 60 years.
Key Points:
i.The government has provided 3 months to invest in SCSS for individuals aged above 55 but below 60.
ii.According to the revised rules, the account holder can continue to extend the account for ‘n’ number of block – the block being of 3 years each.
About Ministry of Finance:
Union Minister – Nirmala Sitharaman (RajyaSabha – Karnataka)
Minister of State (MoS) – Pankaj Chaudhary; Dr. Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad

MoSJE Unveils Financial Incentive for Empowering Divyang Individuals
Rajesh Aggarwal, Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities(DEPwD), under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE), has announced a 1% interest rate rebate for divyang (Persons with Disabilities- PwDs) who receive financial support through the National Divyangjan Finance and Development Corporation (NDFDC).

  • This aims to promote financial inclusion and foster economic empowerment among the divyangjan.

Key Points:
i.This rebate under NDFDC loan is for timely repayment, and subject to specific terms and conditions.
ii.This initiative highlights the Central Government’s goal is to make financial assistance more accessible and affordable for PwDs, and uplift and empower every section of society.
iii.It will also reduce the financial burden on divyang individuals seeking financial assistance and encourage responsible repayment practices.
iv.NDFDC is the apex body channeling funds for economic development and self-employment for PwDs through State Channelizing Agencies (SCAs) and partner Banks appointed by State/UT Governments.
About National Divyangjan Finance and Development Corporation (NDFDC):
It is a Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) under the aegis of DEPwDS, MoSJE.
Chairman-cum-Managing Director–  Naveen Shah
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Establishment– 1997

Union Minister Piyush Goyal attended IPEF and APEC ministerial meeting in U.S.Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles was on Four-day official visit to San Francisco,United States (U.S) from November 13-16, 2023. His visit includes various official engagements of Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
Key Highlights:
i.He participated in the 3rd in-person IPEF Ministerial meeting from November13-14, 2023.

  • The MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) was signed between India and The U.S. during the roundtable titled “Decoding the “Innovation Handshake :U.S.-India Entrepreneurship Partnership” in San Francisco ,U.S.

ii.Union Minister Piyush Goyal represented India at the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) – IPEF Investor Forum meeting on November16, 2023.
iii.Piyush Goyal, Union Minister also represented India at the APEC Economic Leadership Engagements from 15-16 November, 2023. India has been invited to the 30th APEC Economic Leaders Meeting 2023 as a Guest Economy.
About: U.S.A (United States of America)
President: Joe Biden
Capital: Washington D.C.
Currency: U.S. Dollar
About: Ministry of Commerce and Industry
Union Minister – Piyush Goyal(Rajya Sabha member from Maharashtra)
MoS(Minister of State) – Anupriya Patel, Som Prakash

Bima Lokpal Day 2023: Insurance Ombudsman Disposed 92.28% of Complaints in FY23On the occasion of Bima Lokpal Day 2023(11th November 2023), Insurance Ombudsman announced that it has disposed of over 92.28% of the complaints received from the insured during Financial year 2022-23(FY23).

  • Insurance Ombudsman has settled 51,625 out of 55,946 received complaints across all 17 Insurance Ombudsman Offices.

Key Points:
i.Delhi office of the Insurance Ombudsman has cleared all 5,257 complaints it received during 2022-2023.
ii.Kolkata office in West Bengal, resolved 100% of complaints in the FY23. All 3,027 complaints were resolved.
iii.Between April and October of FY24, Complaints against insurance companies in Tamil Nadu and Union territory of Puducherry has increased by 21.6% compared with the same period in FY23.

  • Chennai office (TN) and Puducherry recorded 1,630 complaints during the period, which was at 1,340 in the corresponding period of FY23.

About 60% of these complaints were against health insurance companies and 40% of  these were in life and vehicle insurance segments.
Bima Lokpal Day: 
Bima Lokpal Day is observed annually on November 11, to commemorate the foundation day of the Insurance Ombudsman, an alternative dispute resolution forum set up to resolve disputes relating to insurance contracts.

  • The insurance ombudsman was established through a government of India notification in November 1998.

About Insurance Ombudsman:
Insurance Ombudsman is a quasi-judicial grievance redressal machinery to redress complaints of insured persons against life and non- life insurance companies.
The offices of the Insurance Ombudsman are under the administrative control of the Council for Insurance Ombudsman (CIO).
Chairman of CIO– Siddhartha Mohanty

Karnataka Bank Partners with HDFC Life to Offer Insurance Products
Karnataka Bank has partnered with HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (HDFC Life) to offer life insurance products to its customers.

  • This collaboration is set to deliver a host of benefits to customers seeking financial security and life protection.
  • It also offers customers a range of innovative and customer-centric financial solutions.
  • HDFC Life was established in 2000 with HDFC Bank as one of the promoter others being Abrdn (Mauritius Holdings) 2006 Limited.

Goldman Sachs projects India GDP Growth at 6.3% in 2024 According to India 2024 outlook from Goldman Sachs Group, Inc, India’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is expected to decline marginally to 6.3% in 2024 from the 6.4% estimated for 2023.

  • India’s GDP is projected to grow at 6.5% in FY25 compared to 6.2% in FY24.

Growth drivers:
The government spending will drive growth in the 1st half, while private investment will accelerate after the general election to become the key driver of growth.

  • During 2nd Quarter (Q2) of 2024, subsidies and transfer payments will be growth drivers as India heads in to the General election in May 2024.

Key Points:
i.Headline consumer price inflation(CPI) is expected to decline to 5.1% year on year(yoy) average in 2024.

  • The core inflation is expected to decline to 4.5% yoy (average) in 2024 from an estimated 5.1% in 2023.

ii.The current account deficit will widen to 1.9% of GDP in 2024 from the 1.3% expected in 2023
iii.The rupee is set to appreciate to 82 against the dollar at 2024-end against the 83 level at the end of 2023.
iv.Private consumer expenditure will rise to 6.5% and Gross Fixed Investment at 6.2%.
v.There will be an increased allocation towards rural employment programs, higher cooking gas subsidies, and an extension of the food subsidy program amid General election is 2024.
About Goldman Sachs Group, Inc:
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– David M. Solomon
Headquarters– New York, the United States of America(USA)

51st International Emmy® Awards: India’s Vir Das wins Emmy for Comedy & Ektaa Kapoor wins Directorate AwardOn 20th November 2023, The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the winners of the 51st International Emmy® Awards (2023) in New York City, United States of America(USA).
i.Indian Comedian and actor Vir Das won the Emmy under the Comedy category for his Netflix stand-up special show “Vir Das: Landing”.

  • With this, he became the first Indian Comedian to win the Emmy Award.

ii.Ektaa R. Kapoor, Co-Founder of Balaji Telefilms was honoured with the International Emmy Directorate Award for her contribution to the world of arts and entertainment.

  • She became the first Indian Woman Filmmaker to win the Directorate Award.

iii.The International Emmy Awards were presented by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences which was established in 1969.
About International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences:
President & Chief Executive Officer(CEO)– Bruce Paisner
Established in –1969
Headquarters– New York City, United States

BrainAlive AIFounder Sujit Roy Wins NASA Impact Planet Award 2023
BrainAlive AI (BAAI) Founder Sujit Roy received National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) Implementation and Advanced Concepts Team (IMPACT) Planet Award 2023 for his outstanding contribution to the Geospatial artificial intelligence (AI) Foundation Model project.

  • NASA and IBM Research collaborated to create NASA’s first open-source geospatial AI foundation model for Earth observation data. Sujit Roy was part of the NASA’s research team.
  • The HLS Geospatial Foundation Model (HLS Geospatial FM) in the application of AI for Earth science has a wide range potential applications, including monitoring natural disasters and predicting agriculture harvests.
  • Sujit Roy has Research and development (R&D) experience in Machine Learning and Computational Neuroscience in global research organizations like NASA Impact and University of Manchester(United Kingdom).
  • BrainAlive AI is an AI Engine that converts raw interaction data into real-time user engagement insights using a data transformation approach.
  • BAAI also provides the engagement AI solution for e-learning, video conferencing, and content platforms to understand and maximise audience involvement in real time.

ACC Approves Appointment of Vinay M Tonse as MD of SBIAppointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi, has approved the appointment of Vinay M Tonse as the Managing Director (MD) of State Bank of India (SBI) for two years till November 2025.

  • Prior to this appointment, Vinay Tonse was serving as the Deputy MD (Corporate Account Group) of SBI

Key points:
i.Vinay M Tonse was recommended to the post by Financial Services Institutions Bureau (FSIB) in September 2023.
ii.The post (MD of SBI) fell vacant in June 2023 after the appointment of Swaminathan Janakiraman as Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India(RBI).
About Vinay M Tonse:
i.Vinay M Tonse joined SBI as a probationary officer in 1988 and has worked in various capacities.
ii.He worked as the chief general manager of the Chennai circle at SBI and headed the SBI’s business and operations in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
iii.He has also headed the operations at SBI Osaka branch in Japan as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from 2009 to 2013.
iv.He has also served as the MD& CEO of SBI Funds Management Limited from 2020 to 2022.
The Financial Services Institutions Bureau (FSIB) was established in July 2022 by the Government of India to recommend persons for appointment as whole-time directors and non-executive chairpersons on the Boards of financial services institutions.
Chairperson of FSIB- Bhanu Pratap Sharma, former Chairman of Bank Board Bureau (BBB).
About State Bank of India (SBI): 
Chairman– Dinesh Kumar Khara
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment – 1955

Luc Frieden named as 23rd Prime Minister of LuxembourgOn November 17, 2023, Luc Frieden (60), a member of the Christian Social People’s Party (CSV), sworn in as the 23rd Prime Minister (PM) of Luxembourg.  He succeeds Xavier Bettel of Liberal Democratic Party (DP), who served as PM of Luxembourg from 2013 to 2023.

  • The PM and the new ministers of the coalition government (CSV-Liberal DP) took oaths of office during a ceremony officiated by Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg(Head of State). 

Noted appointments:
i.Outgoing PM Xavier Bettel was appointed as deputy PM and foreign minister
ii.Gilles Roth of CSV was appointed as the new Finance Minister of Luxembourg.
iii.7 ministerial positions were given to DP and 8 were given to CSV.

  • Key portfolios, including interior, justice, and finance, fall under the CSV’s purview.


  • During the National elections held in October 2023 to elect all 60 seats of the Chamber of Deputies, CSV party won 21 seats and DP took 14 seats.
  • The coalition holds a majority of 35 seats in the Parliament.

About Luc Frieden:
i.Luc Frieden has served in the government of Luxembourg as Minister of Justice and Minister of Budget and Treasury (1998 to 2009), as Minister of Defence (2004-2006), and Minister of Finance (2009-2013).
ii.He has also served as Governor of the World Bank (1998 to 2013) and acted as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group in 2013.
iii.He has also served as Vice Chairman of Deutsche Bank Group since September 2014 and
iv.He has also served as the President of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (2019-2023) and as President of Eurochambres, the business federation of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry, for the 2022-2023 term.
About Luxembourg:
Prime Minister– Luc Frieden (Head of Government)
Capital– Luxembourg city
Currency– Euro

RBI Approves Appointment of Five Hinduja Group Representatives as Directors on Reliance Capital board
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given approval to the appointment of five Hinduja Group representatives including Amar Chintopanth, Shardchandra V Zaregaonkar, Moses Newling Harding John, Bhumika Batra, and Arun Tiwari as directors on the board of Reliance Capital.

  • RBI also announced its no objection to the transfer of control of Reliance Capital Ltd to IIHL banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) (India) Ltd (wholly owned subsidiary of IndusInd International Holdings Ltd).
  • while granting approval to Rs 10,000 crore resolution plan and the appointment of the directors, RBI laid down the condition that Hinduja group-run IndusInd Bank Ltd should maintain an arm’s length distance from the Reliance Capital.

Hinduja Group firm IndusInd International Holdings Ltd (IIHL) has won the bid for acquisition of the debt-laden Reliance Capital in an insolvency proceeding to recover unpaid loans in June 2023.
The arm’s length principle is that the subsidiaries of a group should function as separate, independent units and not as interconnected parts of a single enterprise.

Indian Navy Launched 4th MCA Barge, LSAM 10 (YARD 78) at M/s SEPPL, VisakhapatnamOn 20th November 2023, Indian Navy (IN) launched the Missile Cum Ammunition (MCABargeLSAM 10 (Yard 78), the 4th vessel in the 08 x MCA Barge project, at Guttenadeevi, East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh(AP).

  • The launching Ceremony was presided over by Cmde Shanmugam Sabesan, CRO (East).
  • The barge was built by the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise (MSME) Shipyard, M/s SECON Engineering Projects Pvt Ltd (SEPPL), Visakhapatnam(AP).

i.The contract for building 8 MCA Barge was signed between Ministry of Defence (MoD) and SEPPL on February 19, 2021.
ii.Previously, Indian Navy has launched 3 MCA Barges:

  • 1st MCA Barge Yard 75 (LSAM 7) was launched on 24 February 2023 at  Visakhapatnam, AP.
  • 2nd MCA Barge, Yard 76 (LSAM 8) was launched on 18 August 2023 in East Godavari, AP.
  • 3rd MCA Barge, Yard 77 (LSAM 9) was launched on 22 September 2023 in East Godavari, AP.

Key Points:
i.The availability of these Barges would provide impetus to the operational commitments of IN by facilitating Transportation, Embarkation, and Disembarkation of articles/ ammunition to IN Ships both alongside jetties and at outer harbours.
ii.These Barges are indigenously designed and built under relevant Naval Rules and Regulations of the Indian Register of Shipping (IRS).
iii.The model testing of the Barge during the design stage was undertaken at the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL), Visakhapatnam.
About Ministry of Defence (MoD):
Union Minister– Raj Nath Singh (Constituency- Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State– Ajay Bhatt

World Fisheries Day 2023 – November 21World Fisheries Day is annually observed across the globe on 21st November to demonstrate solidarity with the members of the fisher community, fish farmers and concerned stakeholders across the world.

  • 21st November 2023 marks the 26th World Fisheries Day.

The theme for World Fisheries Day 2023 is “Celebrating the Wealth of Fisheries and Aquaculture.” 
i.On 21st November 1997, the working fishermen and women representing World Forum of Fish Harvesters & Fish Workers met at New Delhi, Delhi and established the World Fisheries Forum (WFF).
ii.To commemorate this day, the 21st November of every year is observed as World Fisheries Day.

  • The first ever World Fisheries Day was observed on 21st November 1998.

About Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying:
Union Minister – Parshottam Rupala (Rajya Sabha-  Gujarat )
Minister of State (
MoS) – Sanjeev Kumar Balyan; L. Murugan

World Television Day 2023 – November 21United Nations (UN)’s World Television Day is annually observed across the globe on November 21 to recognise the importance and influence of television in our lives.
The day recognises television as a symbol for communication and globalisation in the contemporary world.

  • 21st November 2023 marks the observance of 27th World Television Day.

The theme for World Television Day 2023 is “Accessibility”

i.On 17th December 1996, UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/51/205 and proclaimed November 21 of every year as World Television Day.

ii.The first ever world television day was observed on 21st November 1997.
About the United Nations (UN):  
Secretary-General – Antonio Guterres
Headquarters – New York, United States of America (USA) 
Establishment – 1945

World Heritage Week 2023- November 19 to 25 World Heritage Week (WHW) is annually observed across India from November 19 to 25 to promote the heritage and the culture of monuments and important sites for their conservation.

  • WHW events are annually organised by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) under the Ministry of Culture, various Museums, and other heritage-conscious organisations across India.
  • WHW recognise and celebrate heritage sites recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

In India, WHW is a part of the promotion activities by the Government of India (GoI) to promote India’s unique heritage for the benefit of present and future generations.
Note: UNESCO’s World Heritage Day or International Day for Monuments and Sites is annually observed across the globe on April 18. The theme of World Heritage Day 2023 is “Heritage Changes”.
About Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)
Director- General– Prof. Kishore K. Basa
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Established in– 1861

UP Govt Signed CSIR & DRDO as Knowledge Partners for Bulk Drugs Park in LalitpurThe Uttar Pradesh (UP) government has collaborated with institutions like the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) as knowledge partners to incorporate the proposed Bulk Drugs Park in Lalitpur district, UP.

  • Bulk Drugs Park in Lalitpur aims to integrate technology along with research and innovation to provide high-quality and affordable medicines and medical devices.
  • The UP govt has signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with 43 labs of CSIR and 46 labs of DRDO, where research work will be done to manufacture affordable medicines.

The collaboration aims to enhance research and innovation in the medical sector and will further enable the development of innovative devices through new technology, allowing for quick diagnosis of serious illnesses and ensuring proper treatment.
Other Partners:
i.Adani Gas has been chosen as the Piped Natural Gas (PNG) supply partner to create a nature-friendly zone for Bulk Drugs Park.
ii.THDC India Limited (THDCIL) (formerly Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Limited) has been selected as the solar power partner.
iii.Container Corporation of India Ltd. (CONCOR) has been made the logistics partner, in distributing medicines and medical services nationally and internationally.
iv.Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) will support Industry 4.0 to establish global recognition for the medical units in the park.
v.Invest UP has been given the responsibility for policy support so that everyone can get the benefits of the new pharma policy of the UP govt.
Key Points:
i.Under the vision of the UP govt, Bulk Drugs Park is composed to meet international standards, ensuring affordable healthcare solutions not just for India but for 196 countries globally.
ii.The UP govt has organised an Investors Connect webinar and signed MoUs with around 1,500 stakeholders to make UP a hub for the medical sector with the latest technology.
Stakeholder Meeting:
i.The UP govt also organised stakeholder meetings to provide world-class facilities to entrepreneurs in Bulk Drugs Park.
ii.The stakeholder meetings organised with about 150 stakeholders from India and abroad took place in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Japan, and the United States of America (USA).

  • In these meetings, approximately 1505 stakeholders have signed MoUs to share their technology.

iii.Additionally, the UP government has decided to establish a Software Technology Park to strengthen the Information Technology (IT) infrastructure, the backbone of the medical sector.
About Uttar Pradesh:
Chief Minister– Yogi Adityanath
Governor– Anandiben Patel
Stadiums– Amitabh Bachchan Sports Stadium (Indoor) and Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar Sports Stadium (Outdoor)

Meghalaya Launches ‘Food Security’ Campaign to Achieve Zero Hunger
Comingone Ymbon, the Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs of the meghalaya government has launched a “Food Security Campaign” to sensitise the people regarding the availability of food grains to even the poorest of people to achieve ‘Zero Hunger’.

Current Affairs – 21 November 2023

WHO & Ministry of Ayush Signed Traditional Complementary Medicine PCA

On November 17, 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Ayush (Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) signed a Traditional and Complementary Medicine ‘Project Collaboration Agreement (PCA)’ during an event organized in Geneva, Switzerland.

  • Under this partnership, WHO will prepare  Traditional Medicine Global Strategy 2025-34 with the support of the Ministry of Ayush .
  • 1st phase of the PCA, 2023-28, will prove to be a milestone in the global development of Traditional and Complementary Medical System.

Aim of PCA:
i.To standardize and integrate Traditional and Complementary Medical Systems into the National Health System, disseminating them globally.
ii.To advance traditional and complementary medicine by modernizing it into a globally accepted, evidence-based healthcare while preserving its rich heritage for global well-being.
It was signed by Indra Mani Pandey, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations (UN), on behalf of the Ministry of Ayush, and Dr. Bruce Aylward, Assistant Director General, Universal Health Coverage and Life Course Division, on behalf of WHO.
What will be done under this MoU?
ii.Strengthening training and practice in Complementary Medicine System ‘Siddha’
iii.Formulate guidelines for listing Traditional and Complementary Medicines
iv.Creation of International Herbal Pharmacopoeia for South-East Asian herbs
v.Focus on conservation and management of biodiversity and medicinal plants
Previously, AYUSH and WHO has signed 2 PCAs:

  • 2016 agreement which focuses on globalizing Traditional Medical systems (Yoga, Ayurveda, Unani, Panchakarma).
  • A 2017 agreement which aims to strengthen Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha medical systems.

India Approves USD 360 Million in Investments in IT Hardware Sector
The Indian government has approved investments worth USD 360 million in the Information Technology (IT) hardware sector under its flagship manufacturing incentives scheme to boost India’s position in the global electronics supply chain .

  • This announcement comes as a major step towards realizing India’s ambitious target of becoming a USD 300 billion IT hardware manufacturing hub by 2026.
  • The approved investments are spread across 27 companies, including global giants like Dell, HP, and Foxconn, as well as domestic manufacturers like Dixon Technologies and VVDN.
  • These companies are expected to create over 50,000 new jobs in the IT hardware sector, further strengthening India’s position as a major employment provider in the electronics industry.

Sheynnis Palacios from Nicaragua crowned Miss Universe 2023

Miss Sheynnis Alondra Palacios Cornejo (23) from Nicaragua was crowned Miss Universe at the 72nd Miss Universe Beauty Pageant 2023 in San Salvador, Republic of El Salvador. She is  the first women from Nicaragua to win Miss Universe crown.

  • She was crowned by the United States (US) R’Bonney Gabriel, who held the title of Miss Universe for 2022.
  • The first runner-up was Miss Anntonia Porsild of Thailand, and the second runner-up was Miss Moraya Wilson of Australia.

i.Sheynnis Palacios is a mental health activist and audiovisual producer from Managua, Nicaragua.
ii.The first Miss Universe Pageant was held in Long Beach, California, United States in 1952 which was won by Armi Kuusela from Finland.

  • Three Indians have won the Miss Universe crown, Sushmita Sen in 1994, Lara Dutta in 2000 and Harnaz Sandhu in 2021.

Highlights from Miss Universe Beauty Pageant 2023:
i.84 women competed in the 72nd Miss Universe. The crown is called the “Force for Good”
ii.El Salvador hosted the last Miss Universe Pageant in 1975.
iii.Miss India Shweta Sharda made it to the top 20 but didn’t reach the top 10 (evening gown round).
iv.Miss Congeniality was awarded to Athenea Paulinha Pérez Nsué of Spain.

  • She is the first woman of color to represent her country.

v.Miss Portugal Marina Machete and Miss Netherlands Rikkie Kollé were the first transgender participants.
vi.Camila Avella from Columbia became the first mother to reach top 10 at the Miss Universe contest, Miss Nepal Jane Dipika Garrett was the pageant’s first plus size model.
vii.Pakistan participated for the first time, represented by Erica Robin, who reached the semi-final round.
viii.The next Miss Universe, the 73rd edition, will be held in Mexico.
ix.Michelle Dee of Philippines won the Spirit of Carnival Award at Miss Universe 2023

Indira Gandhi Peace Prize Presented to COVID-19 warriorsOn November 19, 2023, the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development 2022 was jointly awarded to the New Delhi, Delhi headquartered Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the New Delhi based Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI) as representatives of the COVID-19 warriors in India.

  • The award for the same was presented to Dr. Sharad Kumar Agarwal, President, IMA, and Professor (Dr.) Roy K. George, President, TNAI by Former Vice-President Hamid Ansari.
  • This award acknowledges every doctor, nurse, paramedic and karamchari for their selfless service during challenging times.

About Indira Gandhi Peace Prize:
i.Established in 1986 by the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust, it is given annually to recognize individuals or organizations contributing to international peace, disarmament, and development.
ii.Named after the former Prime Minister(PM) Indira Gandhi, the prestigious award includes a 2.5 million rupee cash prize and a citation.
iii.In 2022, the award was conferred upon ‘Pratham,’ an education-focused Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), in acknowledgment of their exemplary service to humanity and the planet.

Javier Milei Elected as the President of ArgentinaOn November 19, 2023, Javier Milei(53) of Libertarian Party was elected as the new president of Argentina. He will succeed the current Argentina President Alberto Fernández after assuming office on December 10, 2023.

  • Milei won the election with 56% votes against 44% for his rival, Peronist Economy Minister Sergio Massa.

About Javier Milei:
i.Javier Milei is an economist and former television personality with little political experience. ii.He is also regarded as ‘Chainsaw Man’ because of his unique style of campaign by using chainsaw as symbol which represents its intention to shred unnecessary spending by up to 15% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
iii.He has La Libertad Avanza (LLA) coalition which was founded in 2021.
iv.He authored many book and Journal articles. His book ‘The End of Inflation: Eliminate the Central Bank, End the Inflation Tax Scam, and Return to Being a Serious Country’ released in 2023
v.His biography is ‘El Loco’ by the the journalist Juan Luis González.
About Argentina:
President Elect– Javier Milei
Capital– Buenos Aires
Currency– Argentine Peso

Emmett Shear Appointed Interim CEO To Lead Open AI
Microsoft-owned OpenAI, Inc., the creator of Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer (ChatGPT),  has announced the appointment of  Emmett Shear as its interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

  • He will replace Mira Murati, the interim CEO of Open AI.
  • Murati became the interim CEO of OpenAI after Sam Altman, the co-founder and former CEO of Open AI.

Emmett Shear is the Cofounder of the live video-streaming website Twitch in 2011. Twitch was acquired by Amazon in 2014.

  • He was appointed as a part-time advisor to companies at Y Combinator, a startup run by Sam Altman, from 2014 to 2019.
  • In April 2023, Shear was appointed as a Visiting Group Partner in Y Combinator.

Note: OpenAI was founded as a non-profit in 2015. It is headquartered in San Francisco, California,United States of America (USA).

ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023: Australia Wins the 6th title by Defeating India The Australian Men’s cricket team led by Pat Cummins won the 13th edition of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s One Day International (ODI) Cricket World Cup(CWC) 2023 by defeating Rohit Sharma led India in the finals held in Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

  • The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 was hosted by India across 10 venues from 5th October to 19th November 2023.
  • Virat Kohli also broke Tendulkar’s (49 centuries) record of the most number of centuries in ODI matches, while Kohli scored his 50th century against New Zealand in the semi-final.
  • Mohammed Shami also made the record for the most number of wickets for India in a single edition of the ODI World Cup with 24 wickets in the 2023 edition.

Player of the Tournament – Virat Kohli
Player of the Match(Finals) – Travis Head
Highest run-scorer – Virat Kohli(765 runs)
Highest Wicket-taker – Mohammed Shami(24 wickets)
About International Cricket Council (ICC):
Chairman – Greg Barclay
Headquarters – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Established in -1909

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen Wins F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix 2023 
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, the Dutch-Belgian driver, won the Formula 1 (FI) Las Vegas Grand Prix(GP) 2023 held at Las Vegas Strip Circuit in Nevada, the United States of America(USA) from 16th November 2023 to 18th November 2023.

  • Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc (Monaco) secured 2nd place while Red Bull’s Sergio Perez (Mexico) secured 3rd place.
  • This win also marks Verstappen’s 18th win out of 20 races of the 2023 season.
  • Max Verstappen broke his own record for the most F1 race victories in a single season in 2023 by winning 18 races.
  • Max Verstappen leads the F1 World Championship in 2023 with 549 points in the F1 driver standings.

Former RBI Governor S. Venkitaramanan Passed AwaySubrahmanyam Venkitaramanan or S. Venkitaramanan, the former (18th) Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) passed away at the age of 92 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He was born on 28 January 1931 in Nagercoil, Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu.
Note: Nagercoil is erstwhile in the princely state of Travancore, now part of Kerala state.
About S. Venkitaramanan:
i.S. Venkitaramanan joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) (Tamil Nadu cadre) in 1954 and served in several key positions in both the state and central government.
ii.He served as Finance Secretary in the Ministry of Finance. He also served as Adviser on economic affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office under the premiership of Rajiv Gandhi.
iii.He was also served as an Advisor to the Governor of Karnataka, when the State was under President’s rule in 1989.
iv.He served as the 18th Governor of RBI from December 1990 to  December 1992.
v.During his tenure, India adopted the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s stabilisation program, which included Rupee devaluation and the initiation of economic reforms.
vi.After his retirement, he remained active as the Chairman of Ashok Leyland Investment Services, New Tirupur Area Development Corporation, and Ashok Leyland Finance.
vii.Additionally, he has also served on the boards of Reliance Industries Limited(RIL), Society for Promotion of IT in Chandigarh (SPIC), Piramal Healthcare, Tamil Nadu Water Investment Co., and HDFC.

World Prematurity Day 2023- November 17 World Prematurity Day (WPD) is annually observed across the globe on 17 November to raise awareness of the challenges and burdens for women and babies associated with preterm birth and to celebrate the lives of preterm infants.

  • WPD serves as a crucial platform to advocate for comprehensive care for both mothers and newborns globally.

The 2023 theme of WPD is, “Small Actions, BIG IMPACT: Immediate Skin-to-Skin Care for Every Baby, Everywhere.”
The colour purple and the socks line are the key symbol for World Prematurity Day.

  • The purple colour in the visual identity stands for sensitivity and exceptionality.
  • The small pair of purple socks, framed by 9 full-size baby socks, symbolises: 1 in 10 babies is born preterm. Worldwide.

i.The International Prematurity Awareness Day was initiated on 17 November 2008, by the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI) and partnering with the European parent organisations.

  • 17th November was declared as International Prematurity Awareness Day during the first Parent Organisations Meeting in Rome, Italy.

ii.Since 2011, the day has been celebrated as World Prematurity Day .
2023 Events:
i.The Department of Maternal and Child Health of the Ministry of Health and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Viet Nam, with the support of Kimberly-Clarke, hosted special events in some provinces, including Lao Cai, Lai Chau, etc.
ii.WHO and UNICEF celebrated WPD and organised a webinar titled “Implementing and scaling up small and sick newborn care: Successes, challenges and lessons learned from countries.”

  • The webinar was co-hosted by the Department for Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Ageing, WHO Geneva (Switzerland) and UNICEF HQ in New York, USA.

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2023- November 19 The United Nations (UNWorld Day of Remembrance (WDoRfor Road Traffic Victims is annually observed across the globe on the 3rd Sunday in November to pay tribute to all those who have lost their lives or suffered serious and irreversible damage to their health and to their surviving families in road crashes.

  • WDoR for Road Traffic Victims 2023 falls on 19 November 2023. In 2022 it was observed on 20 November 2022 and in 2024 it will be 17 November 2024.

The theme for WDoR for Road Traffic Victims 2023 is, “Justice” with the slogan, “Remember. Support. Act.”
On 26 October 2005, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution A/RES/60/5 on improving global road safety, by “designating the 3rd Sunday in November of every year as the WDoR for Road Traffic Victims.

National Integration Day 2023 – November 19National Integration Day, also known as Quami Ekta Divas, is observed annually on November 19 across India to mark the birth anniversary of India’s First Female Prime Minister (PM), Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi, popularly known as Indira Gandhi.

  • 19th November 2023 marks the 106th birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi.

i.The Day marks the beginning of National Integration Week  (Qaumi Ekta Week) which is observed from November 19 to 25 every year.
ii.The first ever National Integration Day was observed on 19th November 2013.

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day 2023- November 19 Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) is observed annually across the globe on 19 November to honour female entrepreneurs and celebrate and acknowledge their achievements and contributions of women in business to our community.

  • WED is officially proclaimed as a day of significance that underscores the importance of investing in female entrepreneurship.

WED is annually led by the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organisation (WEDO).

  • 19 November 2023 marks the observance of the 10th WED.

i.The first-ever WED was observed on 19 November 2014 at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York, the United States of America (USA).
ii.It was initiated by a Social Entrepreneur Wendy Diamond, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WEDO/#ChooseWOMEN, a non-governmental volunteer organization.
iii.It is a global initiative celebrated at the UN and in 144 countries and 65 universities/colleges internationally with the mission to economically empower Women in business to alleviate poverty.
About Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organisation (WEDO):
CEO and Founder– Wendy Diamond
Headquarters– New York, USA
Founded in– 2013

International Men’s Day 2023 – November 19The International Men’s Day (IMD) is annually observed across the globe on November 19 to honour the men in our lives and to acknowledge cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements they contribute to our society.

  • 19th November 2023 marks the  25th International Men’s Day.

i.The theme for IMD 2023 is “Zero Male Suicide”.
ii.The first ever IMD was observed on 19th November 1999.
iii.In India, the inaugural celebration of IMD was organised by Save Indian Family (Indian Men’s rights organisation) on November 19, 2007.

Assam Launches App Based ASTC Cab Services & UPI Backed Digital Payment Solutions
The Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) has launched its mobile application(app) – based city cab services and Unified Payments Interface (UPI) – backed digital payment solutions to book cabs, track their rides in real-time, and make payments digitally.
The new services were inaugurated by Assam Transport Minister Parimal Suklabaidya.

Current Affairs – 19 & 20 November 2023

11 lakh children in India missed 1st Measles shot in 2022: WHO-USCDC ReportAccording to Progress Toward Measles Elimination- Worldwide, 2000–2022”, a new report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States (US) Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 11 lakh children in India missed their Measles-containing-vaccine first-dose (MCV1) in 2022.

  • Globally, India is featured among the top 10 countries with highest number of children who missed their 1st dose.
  • In 2022, 37 countries that witnessed large or disruptive outbreaks where India reported around 40,967 measles.

Top 10 countries:
i.The 10 countries with the highest number of infants who did not receive MCV1 were Nigeria (30 lakh), Democratic Republic of the Congo (18 lakh), Ethiopia (17 lakh), India (11 lakh), Pakistan (11 lakh), Angola (8 lakh), Philippines (8 lakh), Indonesia (7 lakh), Brazil (5 lakh), and Madagascar (5 lakh).

  • 10 countries accounted for 55% of all children worldwide who did not receive MCV1.

About World Health Organization (WHO):
Director-General– Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
Establishment– 1948

ISRO Launches Robotics Challenge For Aspirants Interested In Space Missions With Cash Prize Of Rs 5 Lakh
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched a robotic challenge program “ISRO Robotics Challenge-U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) 2024 (IRoC-U 2024)” with a tagline of “Let’s build a space robot” to build robots to compete in an extra-terrestrial-inspired arena.

  • The program will help the student community to design and realisate a ‘Wheeled/Legged Rover’ encompassing the development of complete hardware and software.
  • The registrations for the challenge will start on November 20 and will conclude on December 15, 2023.
  • The winning team will be awarded the cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs.
  • The solutions provided by the students will be incorporated into ISRO’s future interplanetary robotics missions.

India and Italy Sign Two Agreements to Boost Youth Mobility & Cultural ExchangeDr. S Jaishankar, India’s External Affairs Minister (EAM) has signed two agreements with the Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Tajani to boost youth mobility & cultural exchange during his two-day visit to Italy on 2nd-3rd November 2023.
Signed Agreements: 
i.The Mobility and Migration Partnership Agreement to enable seamless movement of workers, students and professionals.
ii.The Executive Programme on Cultural Cooperation(EPCC) agreement for the period 2023-27.

  • Through EPCC, Italy and India will undergo multiple cultural exchange programs including exchange of students in language programmes and other academic courses.
  • The last EPCC was signed between two countries for the period of three years 2017-2020.

Key Highlights of EAM visit to Italy:
i.He addressed the Joint Committees of External and Defence Affairs, and EU Affairs in the Italian Senate about deepening partnership.
ii.He held a discussion with the Italian Defence Minister Guido about deepening strategic cooperation including industrial collaboration in defence manufacturing and areas of counter-terrorism, cyber security and the maritime domain.
iii.He appreciated Italy for joining the key India-led global initiatives such as the International Solar Alliance(ISA), Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure(CDRI), Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI), Global Bio-Fuels Alliance and India Middle East Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC).
About Italy:
President – Sergio Mattarella
Capital – Rome
Currency – Euro

RBI Approves Appointment of Isha AmbaniAnshuman Thakur & Hitesh Sethia as Directors of Jio Financial ServicesOn 15th November 2023, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted approval for the appointment of Isha AmbaniAnshuman Thakur, and Hitesh Kumar Sethia as Directors of Jio Financial Services Limited, a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) backed by Reliance Industries Limited(RIL).

  • The approval is valid for only 6 months with effect from the 15th November 2023.

Recent RBI Updates: 
i.RBI Strengthens Regulations on Consumer Lending, Mandates Higher Capital Buffers for Banks and NBFCs.
ii.RBI Allows Banks to Open Current Accounts for Export Proceeds Alongside Special Rupee Vostro Accounts.
iii.RBI Imposes Penalties on Axis Bank, Manappuram Finance, and Anand Rathi Global Finance for Regulatory Violations.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra,
Establishment – 1 April 1935 by the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934

T-Hub unveils T-Bridge and T-Scale on Its 8th Foundation Day
As a part of its 8th Foundation Day (16th November 2023), Telangana government led incubator, Technology Hub (T-Hub) unveiled two flagship initiatives: T-Bridge and T-Scale, aimed at further propelling the growth and success of Indian startups.

  • T-Bridge: It is the International Wing of T-Hub, designed to facilitate global market access for startups and enable them to expand their reach beyond India’s borders.
  • T-Scale: It is a collaborative program with Factoryal Business Incubator Private Limited that will guide 25 promising startups through a 12-month journey to Series-A funding readiness.

T-Hub, which was incorporated in 2015, is a premier innovation hub and ecosystem enabler which is headquartered in Hyderabad, Telangana.

Deepti Babuta becomes the First Woman to Bag Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature
Punjabi-author Deepti Babuta won the Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature 2023 for her Short stories collection titled “Bhukh Eon Sah Laindi Hai (‘Hunger Breathes Like This’). She become the first woman to win The Dhahan Prize.

  • The award carries a cash prize of CAD 25,000.
  • The awards were presented during the 10th annual Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature ceremonies, held on 16th November 2023, at Northview Golf and Country Club in Surrey, Canada.
  • The other 2 finalists   Jameel Ahmad Paul and Balijit were awarded CAD 10,000.

The Dhahan Prize is the largest international literary award for fiction books in the Punjabi language. It was conceptualised in 2013 by the Canada-India Education Society (CIES) and the University of British Columbia (UBC).
Note: Deepti Babuta has also received the Dalbir Chetan Yadghari award for the same book.

Ashok Vaswani Appointed as Director and MD & CEO and Key Managerial Personnel of KMBL for 3 YearsKotak Mahindra Bank Limited (KMBL) has appointed Ashok Vaswani as a Director, Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and Key Managerial Personnel of the Bank, for 3 years, with effect from January 1, 2024.
The appointment received approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in October 2023.

  • He will succeed Dipak Gupta, whose term as the MD & CEO, and Key Managerial Personnel of KMBL ends on December 31, 2023.

Points to note:

  • Dipak Gupta took over as the interim CEO of KMBL for 2 months from September 2023 till December 2023, after founder-CEO Uday Kotak stepped down in September 2023.
  • Uday Kotak, who is the Founder and Director of Kotak Mahindra Bank served as the MD and CEO of the bank since its inception in 2003.

About Ashok Vaswani:
i.He has more than 3 decades of experience in the banking sector.
ii.In June 2022 he was appointed as the President of Pagaya Technologies Ltd, a United States of America (US)-Israeli Artificial Intelligence (AI) Fintech.
iii.Prior to joining Pagaya, he served as the CEO of Barclays Bank, United Kingdom (UK), and subsequently CEO of their global consumer, private, corporate, and payments businesses, and a member of the Group Executive Committee.
iv.He has also served as the CEO of Citigroup Asia Pacific and a Member of the Citigroup Global Operating & Management Committees.
v.He has been on the board of several prestigious institutions including, London Stock Exchange Group; SP Jain Institute of Global Management, UK; and VISA Asia Pacific and VISA, UK.
About Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (KMBL):
MD and CEO– Dipak Gupta (Interim)
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Founded in– 2003
Tagline– Let’s Make Money Simple

RBI Approves Hinduja Group Entity Acquisition of Reliance Capital
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the resolution plan for debt-ridden Reliance Capital, and enabled Hinduja Group entity IndusInd International Holdings Ltd (IIHL) to acquire Reliance Capital.

  • The Administrator of Reliance Capital received a “No objection” from the RBI on November 17, 2023.
  • IIHL emerged as the highest bidder in the second round of the auction, offering Rs 9,650 crore to take over Reliance Capital.

i.In 2021, RBI initiated bankruptcy proceedings against Reliance Capital under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
ii.In February 2022, Nageswara Rao Y was appointed as the administrator in relation to the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP).
Note: Reliance Capital is the third non-banking financial company (NBFC) against which the RBI initiated bankruptcy proceedings.

Renowned Art historian and Padma Awardee B. N. Goswamy Passed AwayThe renowned art historian and Padma Awardee Brijinder Nath Goswamy passed away in Chandigarh at the age of  90. He was born on 15th August 1933 in Sargodha(now in Punjab province of Pakistan).
About B. N. Goswamy :
i.He joined the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) in 1956 but resigned from his post in 1958 to pursue a Ph.D. in art and art history at Punjab University, Chandigarh.
ii.He was the Professor Emeritus of Art History at Punjab University, Chandigarh.
iii.He served as a member of the Indian Council of Historical Research’s Governing Committee and interim chairman of the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi.
Awards and Recognitions:
i.He was the recipient of the Padma Shri Award (1998) and the Padma Bhushan Award (2008) in the field of literature and Education.
ii.He was also awarded with Punjab Gaurav Samman (2018) for his contribution to the arts.
iii.He has been recognised with prestigious fellowships, including the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship (1969), the John D. Rockefeller Fellowship, the Rietberg Award for Outstanding Research in Art History, the Mellon Senior Fellowship, and the Tagore National Fellowship.
i.He has written more than 26 books on the subjects of Pahari paintingsminiature paintings, court painters, and masters of Indian paintings.
ii.Pahari paintings means a painting from the ‘hilly’ regions, (pahar means hill), it is from the lower Himalayan hill kingdoms and the plains of Punjab, covering kingdoms include Nurpur, Kangra, and Guler, etc.
iii.His notable works include Nainsukh of Guler: A Great Indian Painter from a Small Hill-State, Essence of Indian Art, The Spirit of Indian Painting: Close Encounters with 100 Great Works 1100-1900, and The Indian Cat: Stories, Paintings, Poetry, and Proverbs.
iv.He explains familial artistic styles in the book, ‘Pahari Painting: The family as the basis of style’.

Booker Prize-winning British Author Dame AS Byatt Passed AwayBooker Prize-winning British Author, Critic, and Poet Dame Antonia Susan Byatt, known most commonly as AS Byatt passed away at the age of 87 in London, the United Kingdom (UK). She was born on August 24, 1936, in Yorkshire, England, UK.
About AS Byatt:
i.Her first novel, Shadow of a Sun, was published in 1964 and was followed by The Game in 1967.
ii.The award-winning sequel of the quartet, Still Life (1985), earned the prestigious PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award in 1986, followed by Babel Tower (1996), and the 4th (and final) novel in the quartet is A Whistling Woman (2002).
Other Responsibilities:
i.She served as Chairman of the Society of Authors between 1986 and 1988.
ii.She was a member of the Literature Advisory Panel for the British Council between 1990 and 1998.
iii.She has served on the judging panels for several literary prizes, including the Booker Prize for Fiction.
Her collections of short stories and fiction include:
Sugar and Other Stories (1987); Possession: A Romance (1990); The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye (1994); Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice (1998); and Little Black Book of Stories (2003); The Children’s Book (2009); Peacock & Vine: On William Morris and Mariano Fortuny (2016); Medusa’s Ankles: Selected Stories (2021).
Awards and Honours:
i.Her most successful book, Possession: A Romance (1990), won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1990 and the Irish Times International Fiction Prize.
ii.She was honoured as the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1990 and the Damehood of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 1999.
iii.In 2002, she was awarded the Shakespeare Prize by the Alfred Toepfer Foundation, Hamburg (Germany), in recognition of her contribution to British culture.
iv.Her book, The Children’s Book (2009), was shortlisted for the 2009 Man Booker Prize for Fiction and won the 2010 James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction).

Himachal CM Sukhu Releases Book titled “Snakes of Himachal Pradesh”
Chief Minister (CM)of Himachal Pradesh (HP) Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu released a book titled “Snakes of Himachal Pradesh” which provides comprehensive information about the diverse snake species(venomous and non-venomous) found in the state of HP.

  • The book was compiled and edited by Omesh Kumar Bharti and DD Bisht, the principals of the State Institute of Health and Family Welfare, Shimla, HP.
  • The book was published with funding from the National Health Mission (NHM) in Himachal Pradesh.
  • The book contains photographs of snakes, which were documented and identified by the team of researchers led by Anita Malhotra, a molecular biologist from Bangor University, United Kingdom(UK).

Note: Omesh Kumar Bharti received Padma Shri (the fourth highest civilian award) in 2019 in the field of Medicine.

National Naturopathy Day 2023- November 18National Naturopathy Day is annually observed across India on 18 November, to promote positive mental and physical health through a drugless medicine system called Naturopathy.

  • 18 November 2023 marks the observance of the 6th National Naturopathy Day.
  • The annual observance of the day is led by the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy), Government of India.

The 2023 theme of National Naturopathy Day is, “Naturopathy for Holistic Health.”
i.The Ministry of AYUSH declared the 18 November of every year as National Naturopathy Day in 2018.
ii.The first-ever National Naturopathy Day was observed on November 18, 2018.
About Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH):
Union Minister– Sarbananda Sonowal (Rajya Sabha- Assam)
Minister of State– Dr. Munjpara Mahendrabhai Kalubhai (Constituency- Surendranagar, Gujarat)

World AMR Awareness Week 2023 – November 18 to 24World AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance) Awareness Week (WAAW), previously known as “World Antimicrobial Awareness Week(WAAW), is an annual global campaign celebrated across the globe from November 18 to 24 to raise awareness and understanding of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

  • The day also promotes best practices among One Health stakeholders to reduce the emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.

The theme for WAAW 2023 observed from 18th to 24th November 2022  is “Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together”.
Note: In June 2023, the Quadripartite organizations: FAO, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), WHO, and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), announced the rebranding of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week as World AMR Awareness Week.
About World Health Organisation (WHO):
Director General – Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
Established in 1948

Ladakh achieves 4th GI Tag with its SeabuckthornThe Seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.), a thorny shrub or small tree in the Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh received the Geographical Indication (GI) tag under “Agriculture” goods category. This becomes the 4th GI product of Ladakh.

  • The GI tag was granted by the GI Registry, operating under the Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce & Industry (MoCI).
  • With this, the Department of Industries & Commerce, Leh, UT Ladakh  is the registered proprietor of the G.l. “Ladakh Seabuckthorn” in respect of Seabuckthorn falling in Class – 31.

Note:  The other 3 are Pashmina Wool of Ladakh(Textiles); Ladakh Raktsey Karpo Apricot(Agriculture) and Ladakh Shingskos (Wood Carving)(Handi Crafts).
About Seabuckthorn:
i.Sea buckthorn, a actinorhizal plant of the family Elaegnaceae has the unique characteristics to grow in marginally fertile soil of cold desert.

  • It is also known as Sandthorn, Sea berry, Golden Bush, and Leh berry.

ii.It is naturally distributed over 11,500 hectares in Ladakh region.
iii.The withstand extreme temperature from -43°C to +40°C and is considered drought resistant.
iv.It produces small orange or yellow colored berries which is rich in vitamins especially vitamin C.

  • It is used to make juice, tea and traditional medicines, among others.
  • It is an ecologically and economically trans-Himalayan Ladakh plant with immense health and medicinal benefits.

Seabuckthorn is the chosen product of Leh district under One District One Product (ODOP) Scheme.

Bihar Governor Approves Bill Raising Quota for Backward Classes to 65% from 50%On November 17, 2023, the Governor of Bihar, Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar, approved the Bihar reservation amendment bill 2023, passed recently by the Bihar Legislative Assembly and Council during the winter session.

  • This will result in 65% reservation to Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), Economically Backward Classes (EBC) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) for the current 50%.
  • Combined with the existing 10% for EWS (Economically Weaker Sections), the reservation quota will rise to 75%.

Key Points:
i.According to the bill, quota for Extremely Backward Class (EBC) will be raised from 18% to 25%; for Backward Class (BC) from 12% to 18%; for SC from 16% to 20%; and for ST, the quota will be doubled, from 1% to 2%.

  • The 3% reservation for BC women has been scrapped.

ii.The bill was passed unanimously on November 9, 2023.

Current Affairs – 18 November 2023

MITRA SHAKTI–2023: 9th Edition of India-Sri Lanka Joint Military Exercise Commenced in PuneMITRA SHAKTI-2023, the 9th edition of the joint military exercise between the armed forces of India and Sri Lanka, commenced on 16th November 2023 at the Foreign Training Node in Aundh, Pune, Maharashtra. The 14-day exercise is set to conclude on 29 November 2023.

  • The exercise will foster strong bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka.


  • To promote close relations between armies of both countries and enhance interoperability and sharing of best practices in Counter-Insurgency and Counter-Terrorism (CI-CT) operations.To collectively practice sub-conventional operations under Chapter VII of the United Nations (UN) Charter, focusing on coordinated responses during CT operations.

Participants:Inidan Army: Contingent of 120 personnel from India, primarily representing the Maratha Light Infantry Regiment.Sri Lankan Army: Personnel from the 53rd Infantry Division

  • Additionally, 15 members from the Indian Air Force (IAF) and 5 from the Sri Lankan Air Force are also partaking in this joint exercise.

Overview:i.The exercise involves utilisation of Drones, Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems and helicopter maneuvers, and practice of tactical actions like raid, search and destroy missions, heliborne operations.

  • Army Martial Arts Routine (AMAR), combat reflex shooting and Yoga are also be a part of the exercise.

ii.Both sides will simulate securing helipads and conducting casualty evacuations during CT operations.iii.Both sides will exchange views and practices of joint drills on a wide spectrum of combat skills that will facilitate the participants to mutually learn from each other.About Mitra Shakti:i.The Mitra Shakti was started in 2012 as a counter to China’s effort to increase its influence in South Asia and Indian Ocean Region(IOR).ii.Previously the exercise Mitra Shakti was held in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, and 2021. iii.The 8th edition of Mitra Shakti was conducted from 4 – 16 October 2021, at Combat Training School, Ampara in Sri Lanka.

CEA approves DPRs of 2 SJVN Projects in Arunachal Pradesh worth Rs 40,000cr The Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Ministry of Power has approved the detailed Project Reports (DPRs) of SJVN Ltd (formerly known as Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam) for its two Hydro Projects in Arunachal Pradesh (AR).

  • The projects are 3097 MW (Mega Watt) Etalin HEP (Hydro Electric Power) & 680 MW Attunli HEP which are worth around Rs 40,000 crore.In this regard, CEA has transferred the concurrences of the DPRs in favor of SJVN Ltd, and has also extended the validity of these concurrences.

Background:In August 2023, a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was signed between SJVN Ltd. and Government of AR for executing five Hydro Power Projects namely 3097 MW Etalin, 680 MW Attunli, 500 MW Emini, 420 MW Amulin and 400 MW Mihumdon.

  • Initially these projects were assigned to private developers, but were reassigned to SJVN due to the private developers’ inability to execute them.

Key Points:i.The project cost of Etalin HEP at March 2022 price level is Rs 32,813 crore and for Attunli HEP it is Rs 6,866 crore.ii.The 3,097 MW Etalin HEP is the largest hydro project under development in India.iii.On commissioning, the 3097 MW Etalin HEP will generate 12,752 Million Units of electricity and 680 MW Attunli HEP will generate 2,814 Million Units.

  • The levelized tariff from both the projects is Rs 4.51 per unit.

iv.These two projects will spur socio-economic development, enhance infrastructure, healthcare, education, and employment, benefiting Project Associated Families.About SJVN Ltd.:It is a joint venture between the government of India and the Government of Himachal Pradesh. It is a Mini Ratna & Schedule ‘A’ Public Sector Undertaking (PSU).Chairman & Managing Director– Nand Lal SharmaHeadquarters– Shimla, Himachal Pradesh (HP)Incorporated – May 24, 1988Russia Withdraws from Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in EuropeRussia has formally withdrawn from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), a landmark arms control agreement that sought to limit the deployment of conventional weapons in Europe.

  • The exit of Russia is due to North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) eastward expansion as a threat to its security.

About CFE:i.The agreement was signed by 23 participating States – those belonging to NATO and the Warsaw Treaty Organization (WTO).

  • It was signed in 1990 in Paris, France.

ii.It aims to stop United States of America and Russia (Cold War rivals) from building up forces that could be used in a swift assault.

RBI Bars Bajaj Finance Lending Under eCOM and Insta EMI CardOn  November 15, 2023, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) exercise of its powers under section 45L(1)(b) of the RBI Act, 1934 barred Bajaj Finance Limited from sanctioning and disbursing loans under its two lending products viz. eCOM and Bajaj Insta EMI Card , with immediate effect.Key Points:i.The reason behind this action is the non-adherence of Digital lending guidelines of RBI by the company, specifically by not providing Key Fact Statements to borrowers for two lending products.

  • Additionally, Bajaj Finance will rectify the key fact statement for eCOM and Insta EMI Card.

ii.RBI restrictions on lending via the eCOM and Bajaj Insta EMI Card will not have a “material financial impact” on the organisation.

  • The ban may lead to a decline in the assets under management (AUM) growth and related growth in profitability.

About eCOM and Insta EMI Card:i.eCOM’ from Bajaj Finance is a consumer financing option for online shopping.Ii.The ‘Insta EMI Card’ is a versatile financing solution allowing customers to sign up, shop for various products, and make EMI (Equated Monthly Installment) payments.RBI returns Instamojo’s Payment Aggregator Licence ApplicationRBI returned Mastercard-backed fintech Instamojo‘s application for a payment aggregator (PAlicense amid not meeting the eligibility criteria.

  • Instamojo is based in Bengaluru, Karanataka.The aggregator/ payouts function will now be undertaken in partnership with other licensed PAs while its payment gateway continues to be fully functional.

Points to note:i.On 27th September 2023, RBI returned the Instamojo’s application for the PA licence due to not meeting the eligibility criteria.ii.Instamojo stopped the operations of its payment gatewaybusiness to comply with RBI rules after receiving the final status on its application in September 2023.

PNB Introduces Digital Gold Loan for Hassle-Free Credit Access Punjab National Bank (PNB) launched two PNB Digital Gold Loan schemes namely PNB Gold Loan for the retail segment and PNB Swarnim for the agriculture segment.

  • The schemes aim to provide customers with hassle-free access to credit to meet their personal and agricultural needs by using gold jewellery as collateral for the loan.The Streamlined digital process eliminating paperwork hassles is one of the key feature of this Digital scheme.

PNB Digital Gold Loan:i.It offers a modern banking experience with competitive interest rates.ii.The schemes offers loan ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 25 lakhs to support personal needs, and agriculture & allied activities.ii.Borrowers seeking short-term production or investment credit for agricultural activities and allied activities are eligible for loans of minimum Rs 10,000 to maximum Rs 2 lakh.Additional Info:PNB also unveiled digital offerings such as Pre-Approved Personal Loan (PAPL), Pre-Approved Business Loan (PABL), Electronic Goods and Service Tax (E-GST) Express, Krishi Tatkal Rin and Digi Home Loan.About Punjab National Bank (PNB):Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – Atul Kumar GoelHeadquarters – New Delhi, DelhiEstablished in – 1894Tagline – The name you can bank upon

SIDBI Signed MoU with TDB to Support MSMEsThe Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Technology Development Board (TDB)  to ease access of credit to Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) that are attempting to develop and commercialize indigenous technology or adapt imported technology for wider domestic applications.

  • The MoU was executed by Rahul Priyadarshi, Chief General Manager, SIDBI and Rajesh Jain, Director, TDB.

The MoU is signed for the joint initiative by TDB and SIDBI, to extend financial assistance to eligible MSMEs as per the terms & conditions of TDB & SIDBI.Under this MoU, SIDBI and TDB will support MSMEs with respective to core-competencies/expertise.Note: TDB functions under the Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology.

Maharashtra Govt Honoured Singer Suresh Wadkar with Gansamragini Lata Mangeshkar Award 2023Government of Maharashtra honoured veteran playback singer and Padma Shri awardee Suresh Ishwar Wadkar with prestigious ‘Gansamragini Lata Mangeshkar Award’ also known as Lata Mangeshkar Award for the year 2023.About Gansamragini Lata Mangeshkar Award:i.The Lata Mangeshkar Award is an annual award given by the Directorate of Cultural Affairs of the Maharashtra Government in memory of the legendary playback singer Lata Mangeshkar.ii.The award recognises an artist who has made consistent and invaluable contributions and achievements in the field of music and singing.iii.The award includes a cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs, a certificate, and a memento.About Suresh Wadkar:i.Suresh Wadkar is an Indian playback singer who performs in Hindi, Marathi, Konkani and Bhojpuri Films.ii.He won a significant singing competition in 1976, a contest judged by veteran musicians Ravindra Jain and Jaidev.

  • He sang his first Bollywood song “Seene Mein Jalan” for the movie Gaman in 1977 in Jaidev’s composition.

iii.He launched the Suresh Wadkar Ajivasan Music Academy (SWAMA), the first Online Music Teaching School in Mumbai, aligned with the United States of America (USA)’s Ace Open University.iv.He has also received the Honorary Citizenship of Yuba City, (California), the United States of America (USA), and Honorary Citizenship of Hong Kong.Awards & Honours:i.He won a National Award in 2010 for the Best Male Playback Singer category for the song ‘Hey Bhaskara’ for the Marathi biopic Mee Sindhutai Sapkal (2010);ii.He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2018 for Sugam Sangeet.iii.In 2020, he was honoured with the Padma Shri for his work in the field of arts.iv.He has also won the state award for Best Playback Singer from Maharashtra (11 times), Odisha (2) and Gujarat (3).

Asian Power Magazine: GAIL Bags Two Awards At The Asian Oil And Gas Awards 2023i.Asian Power Magazine presented The 19th Asian Power Awards, 3rd Asian Oil & Gas Awards, and inaugural Asian Water Awards  in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on November 2023.ii.During this, GAIL India Limited won the ‘Innovation Award – India’ for reduction in LNG Shipping cost & emissions through Ship-to-Ship (STS) transfer of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) with backhauling.iii.It also won ‘Midstream Project of the Year – India’ for the installation of the first floating Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) station at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh (UP).iv.Both Awards by GAIL limited are under the Asian Oil & Gas Awards.About GAIL India Limited:GAIL India Limited is a Maharatna Central Public Sector Enterprises under Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoP&NG)Chairman and Managing Director– Sandeep Kumar GuptaHeadquarters– New Delhi, DelhiEstablishment– 1984India’s Bina Agarwal & Mexico’s David Barkin won the 2023 Kenneth Boulding AwardThe International Society for Ecological Economics(ISEE) honoured Indian economist & Padma Shri awardee Bina Agarwal with 2023 Kenneth E. Boulding Memorial Award for Ecological Economics.  Bina Agarwal is a Professor of Development Economics and Environment at the University of Manchester in Manchester, United Kingdom(UK).

  • Along with Bina Agarwal, David Barkin, a professor at the Metropolitan University in Mexico City was decalred as the joint receipient of 2023 award.The award was presented during the IESS’s 2023 Biennial Conference in Santa Marta, Colombia held from 23 to 28 October 2023.The award recognsies their significant contributions to ecological economics, particularly in exploring social equity and gender roles in rural societies within developing regions.

Kenneth Boulding Award recognises idividuals who embody the exceptional qualities of Kenneth E. Boulding(American economist and educator), aiming to preserve and perpetuate the wisdom he imparted to ISEE members and beyond.Note: Bina Agarwal received the Padma Shri, for her work in the field of Literature and Education in 2008.

WHO Launches Commission on Social Connection (2024–2026) to Enhance Global Social ConnectionThe World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced a new ‘Commission on Social Connection (2024–2026)’, comprising 11 leading policy-makers, thought leaders, and advocates, to address loneliness as a serious health risk, prioritise social connection, and accelerate the implementation of solutions in countries of all income levels.

  • The Commission will be Co-chaired by Dr. Vivek Murthy, Surgeon General of the United States of America; and Chido Mpemba, Youth Envoy, African Union Commission.

About the Commission:i.The Commission will propose a global agenda on social connection and will work alongside high-level Commissioners for the implementation of mechanisms to measure and track global progress on social connection.Note: Social isolation and loneliness go beyond age and geographical boundaries, significantly impacting well-being worldwide.ii.The Commission’s comprehensive analysis spans 3 years and will focus on understanding the pivotal role social connections play in enhancing health across all age groups.iii.It will examine how social connections contribute to community and societal well-being.iv.The global agenda on the social connection will prioritise evidence-based solutions for countries, communities, and individuals.v.The Commission on Social Connection, facilitated by a WHO-based Secretariat, will hold its inaugural leadership-level meeting scheduled for December 6 to 8, 2023.Note: The first major output will be a flagship report released midway through the 3-year initiative.Points to note:i.Current global estimates suggest that 1 in 4 older adults experience social isolation and between 5 and 15% of adolescents experience loneliness.Rates in low- and middle-income countries are comparable or higher than in high-income countries.ii.The absence of social connection carries an equivalent or greater risk of early death comparable to well-known factors like smoking, excessive drinking, etc.iii.It is also linked to anxiety and depression and can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by 30%.It does not just harm individuals; it also harms entire communities and societies.

Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez Re-elected as Prime Minister of SpainOn 16th November 2023, Pedro Sánchez of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party(Spanish acronym: PSOE) was re-elected as the Prime Minister (PM) of Spain, officially President of the Government of Spain.He was elected for the 2nd term with a majority in the Spanish parliament. He got 179 votes in the 350-seat lower house of the Parliament.

  • He has been serving as the Acting PM of Spain since 25th July 2023.He served as the PM of Spain/President of the Goverment of Spain from 2018 to 2023.

About the Election:i.In July 2023, he was appointed as the caretaker Prime Minister after no party got a majority in the general election held on 23rd July 2023.ii.PSOE finished second with 121 seats while the centre-right Popular Party (PP) finished first with 137 seats but fell short of the majority to form government.About Pedro Sánchez:i.Pedro Sánchez joined the POSE in 1993 and is currently serving as its General Secretary.ii.He served as a Member of the Lower House of Parliament for the constituency of Madrid and a City Councillor for Madrid.iii.He worked as an adviser at the European Parliament and was a member of the cabinet office of the United Nations High Representative for Bosnia Herzegovina.iv.He also served as the Leader of the Opposition and candidate to the Presidency of the Government between 2014 and 2016.About Spain:Prime Minister– Pedro SánchezCapital– MadridCurrency– Euro

Indian Navy’s 4th Anti-Submarine Warfare Craft ‘Amini‘ LaunchedOn November 16, 2023, the Indian Navy (IN) launched ‘Amini‘, the 4th in a series of eight Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Crafts (ASW-SWC), at shipbuilding facility of Larsen & Toubro (L&T) in Kattupalli, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

  • It is built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE).The launch ceremony was presided over by Vice Admiral (VAdm) Sandeep Naithani, Chief of Materiel, IN.As per maritime tradition, Mrs. Manju Naithani, wife of Vice Admiral Sandeep Naithani, launched the ship to the invocation from Atharva Veda.

Features:i.Amini, a Arnala class shipis named after Amini island in Lakshadweep due to its strategic significance.ii.It is designed for anti-submarine operations in coastal waters and low intensity maritime operations (LIMO), and mine laying operations.iii.It is 77-meter ship with a 900-ton displacement, capable of reaching a maximum speed of 25 knots and covering 1,800 nautical miles.Background:i.The contract for building eight ASW SWC ships was signed between Ministry of Defence (MoD) and GRSE on April 29, 2019.

  • As per the build strategy, four ships are being built at the GRSE and the balance sub-contracted to L&T Shipbuilding for hull and part outfitting.The ASW SWC ships would have more than 80% indigenous content.

ii.As a part of contract, on June 13, 2023, INS (Indian Naval Ship) Anjadip, the 3rd of eight indigenously built ASW-SWC was launched.

  • The first ASW-SWC namely INS Arnala was launched in December 2022 while the second one INS Androth was launched on March 21, 2023.

Points to note:i.It should be noted that the Arnala class of ships will replace the in-service Abhay class ASW Corvettes of IN.ii.ASW is a branch of underwater warfare that uses surface warships, aircraft, or submarines to find, track, and deter, damage, or destroy enemy submarines.About Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. (GRSE):Chairman & Managing Director – Commodore (Retd) PR Hari, Indian NavyHeadquarter– Kolkata, West Bengal

Former Nagaland Governor PB Acharya Passed AwayPadmanabha Balakrishna Acharya (PB Acharya or PB), former Governor of Manipur(July 2014 – July 2019) and Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, passed away in Mumbai, Maharashtra, at the age of 92. He was born on 8th October 1931, in UdupiKarnataka.Note:While serving as the governor of Nagaland, he has also held the additional charge as the governor of Tripura(2014-2015), Assam(2014-2016), Manipur (2019) and Arunachal Pradesh(2017).About PB Acharya:i.PB Acharya started his political career in 1951 as an activist of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).ii.He became a member of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 1980.iii.He served as All India National Secretary of the BJP and in-charge of North Eastern States from 1995-2002.iv.He founded Indian National Fellowship Centre (INFC), a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) in 1975, to strengthen brotherhood/fellowship and Nationalism in the North East region.v.He was involved with the Academy for Indian Tribal Dialects(AITD), the publication wing of INFC and published 10 booklets on Tribal Nationalist leaders like Rani Ma Gaidinlu (Nagaland), U.Tirot Singh and Jaban Bay (Meghalaya), Dr. Dying Ering and Narottam (Arunachal Pradesh).

VP Jagdeep Dhankhar released new book titled “Building Partnerships”Jagdeep Dhankhar, the Vice President(VP) of India released a new book titled “Building Partnerships – India and International Cooperation for Maritime Security” authored by Captain Himadri Das during the Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue 2023 (IPRD-2023) at Manekshaw Centre in New Delhi, Delhi.

  • IPDR 2023, the 3-day annual apex-level regional strategic dialogue of the Indian Navy, was held from 15th to 17th November 2023.

During IPRD-2023, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Ministry of Finance, released an edited volume titled “Maritime Perspectives: Maritime Security Dynamics in the Indo-Pacific: Strategies and Trends”.Both books have been published by the National Maritime Foundation (NMF), one of India’s foremost maritime think tanks that concentrates its research on issues relevant to India’s maritime interests.Note: IPRD-2023 is being organised by the Indian Navy in association with NMF as its knowledge partner.National Epilepsy Day 2023- November 17 National Epilepsy Day is annually observed across India on 17 November to spread awareness and educate people about Epilepsy, a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures, and its impact on individuals, families, and communities who are affected by this disease.

  • The day serves as a platform to eliminate myths and misconceptions surrounding epilepsy while creating awareness about its symptoms and management.

Background:i.National Epilepsy Day was first initiated by the Epilepsy Foundation of India.

  • It was started as a national campaign to reduce Epilepsy conditions in India.

ii.In the General Body Meeting of the Indian Epilepsy Association (IEA) held at Indore (Madhya Pradesh) on 16 December 1990, Dr. Eddie Bharucha and Dr. Piloo Bharucha, an Indian Physician couple, proposed a nationwide program on one particular day to create awareness.iii.Their proposal was supported by other members and it was finally decided to celebrate 17 November of every year as National Epilepsy Day (NED).

  • From 2015 onwards, the NED has been replaced by International Epilepsy Day.

About Epilepsy Foundation of India:Founder– Dr. Nirmal SuryaHeadquarters– Mumbai, MaharashtraFounded in- 2009.The Epilepsy Foundation is a non-profit charitable organisation that helps people suffering from this condition.

International Students’ Day 2023 – November 17International Students’ Day is annually observed across the globe on November 17 to celebrate multiculturalism, diversity, and teamwork among students. The day aims to guarantee that every kid in the world has access to education.

  • The observance marks the anniversary of the events held after the Nazi invasion of Charles University in Prague(Czech Republic), in 1939.

17th November 2023 marks the observance 83rd International Students’ Day.Background:i.On 17th November 1939, the Nazis executed nine students and professors without trial.

  • Due to this event, the date was chosen to be International Students’ Day.

ii.The first-ever International Students’ Day was observed on 17th November 1941.

Current Affairs – 17 November 2023

Overview of PM Modi’s 2-day Visit to Jharkhand; Addresses Celebration of Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas 2023Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi paid a 2-day visit to Jharkhand from 15th to 16th November 2023. During his visit, PM Modi participated in the event organised to mark Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas, 2023 in Khunti, Jharkhand.

  • He also greeted the people of Jharkhand on the foundation day of Jharkhand(15th November).

i.PM Modi laid the foundation stone for development projects worth Rs 7,200 crores in various sectors like rail, road, education, coal, petroleum, and natural gas. These projects aim to enhance infrastructure and services in Jharkhand.
ii.PM Modi launched two significant initiatives, namely the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra and the ‘PM Janjati Adivasi Nyaya Maha Abhiyan (PM JANMAN)’ from Jharkhand.
iii.During the 3rd Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas, PM Modi digitally released the 15th instalment of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme at Birsa College in Khunti, Jharkhand.
About Jharkhand
Chief Minister– Hemant Soren
Governor- C. P. Radhakrishnan
Capital– Ranchi
National Parks- Betla National Park

Dharmendra Pradhan Co-chaired 1st Australia India Education and Skill Council Meet at IIT GujaratUnion Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Ministry of Education(MoE) and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship(MSDE) co-chaired the 1st Australia India Education and Skill Council (AIESC) meeting with Australian Ministers- Jason Clare, Education Minister and Brendan O’Connor, Skills & Training Minister.

  • The meeting was held at the Indian Institutes of Technology(IIT) Gandhinagar in Gujarat on 6th November 2023.

i.During the 1st AIESC meeting, 5 Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) were exchanged between Indian and Australian Higher education institutions (HEIs) to facilitate greater research collaborations
ii.Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Australian Education Minister Jason Clare announced the opening of two Australian Universities campuses of Wollongong and Deakin University in GIFT City(Gujarat International Finance Tec-City), Gandhinagar (Gujarat).
About Australia:
Prime Minister–  Anthony Albanese
Capital– Canberra
Currency– Australian Dollar

1st INDUS-X Investors Meet held in Delhi and Gurukul Initiative, an INDUS-X Educational Series LaunchedInnovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) under the Department of Defence Production(DDP), Ministry of Defence (MoD), Government of India and the United States Department of Defence  (USDoD), Government of the United States of America(USA) organised the 1sIndia-US Defence Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS X) Investors Meet on 8 November 2023 in New Delhi, Delhi.

  • The meet was organised as a pre-cursor of the 5th annual India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue held on 10th November 2023 in New Delhi, Delhi.
  • The INDUS-X Educational Series (Gurukul) was also launched during the event.

Key People:
The US delegation was led by Mr Doug Beck, Director of the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU)at the US DoD; and the Indian delegation was led by Mr Vivek Virmani, Principal Officer (G) & Chief Operating Officer (COO)/iDEX-DIO.

  • The event was coordinated by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), IndusTech, and, which is a part of Social Alpha.

About 1st INDUS X Investors Meet:
i.The first-ever INDUS-X Investors Event generated the interest of investors in the start-ups and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operating in the defense sector.
ii.The meeting also clarified the growing opportunities under the INDUS-X initiative.
i.In June 2023, the India-US Defense Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS-X) was inaugurated during the State Visit of Prime Minister (PM) of India Narendra Modi to the USA.
ii.This initiative aims to fortify the strategic technology partnership and defense industrial cooperation between the two nations.
iii.INDUS X will be a defense innovation bridge that would inter-alia include Joint Challenges, Joint Innovation Fund, investment by private entities in defense projects, niche technology projects, etc.
Key Highlights:
i.The Investor-Start-up Connect session brought together prominent Indian and US investors, Venture Capitalists (VCs), and defense start-ups.
ii.Both the Director/DIU and COO/DIO invited the startups and innovators to apply in the joint IMPACT challenges and to participate in the Gurukul Educational Series.
Gurukul Initiative:
i.The INDUS-X Educational Series (Gurukul), aimed to help the innovators and startups navigate in the defense eco-system of the US and India.
ii.The Gurukul (Education) series will have sessions for the startups/innovators by experts from both sides including Govt Officials, Corporate Leaders, Industry Forums, Incubators/ Accelerators, etc.

Uzbekistan’s Samarkand Institute of Economics and Services & University of Delhi Established MoU to Enhance Academic Alliances
The Samarkand Institute of Economics and Services in Uzbekistan and the University of Delhi have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to create numerous opportunities for students, faculty, and researchers from Samarkand and Delhi.

  • This partnership endorsed by both institutions, aims to facilitate valuable experiences for both students and faculty, contributing significantly to global education and research.
  • Within this dynamic partnership, the 2 educational institutions are aspiring to initiate a transformative student exchange program.
  • This initiative is composed to provide students with invaluable experiences in both academic and cultural realms, elevating their educational pursuits.
  • This collaboration signifies a commitment to creating a robust educational environment to ignite innovation and contribute substantially to the progress of knowledge.
  • It also outlined to include workshops and seminars, aims to create a space for meaningful conversations and scholarly interactions, fostering intellectual dialogue.

Clean Energy Overtakes Fossil Fuels in Global Job Market: IEA WEE 2023 ReportOn November 15, 2023, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released the ‘2nd edition of the World Energy Employment  (WEE 2023) report stating clean energy jobs surpassed fossil fuel jobs for the first time in 2021 at the global level.

  • Clean energy sectors added 4.7 million jobs globally between 2019-2022 and stand at 35 million, while fossil fuels jobs recovered more slowly after layoffs in 2020 and remain around 1.3 million below pre-pandemic employment levels, at 32 million.
  • Clean energy jobs now represent over half of all energy sector jobs.

The report was prepared by the World Energy Outlook Division of the Directorate of Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks of IEA.
About International Energy Agency  (IEA):
Executive Director– Dr Fatih Birol
Headquarters– Paris, France
Establishment– 1974

Federal Bank Introduces UPI Lite for Small-Value Digital Payments
Federal Bank Limited has launched Unified Payment Interface (UPILite, a simplified version of the UPI system which allows users to make small-value digital payments offline without entering a UPI PIN.
UPI Lite:
i.The UPI Lite functionality was introduced by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in September 2022.
ii.It is an ‘on-device wallet’ feature integrated into existing UPI mobile application.
iii.UPI Lite minimizes the burden on the core banking system (CBS) by enabling direct transactions between the user’s mobile device and National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI).
Transaction Limits in UPI Lite:

  • Per Transaction Limit is up to Rs 500
  • Maximum Cumulative Usage per Day is Rs 4,000
  • Maximum Balance in UPI Lite Account is Rs 2,000

InCred Holdings Ltd Becomes 2nd Unicorn of 2023
Mumbai (Maharashtra)-based InCred Holdings Limited, the parent company of fintech startup InCred Financial Services Ltd, has become the 2nd Indian startup to become an unicorn, valued at over USD 1 billion, in 2023. InCred became an unicorn after raising funding worth Rs 500 crore in its latest round (Series D) of equity funding.

  • The equity round has gathered interest from various investors, including a global private equity fund, corporate treasuries, family offices, and Ultra-High-Net-worth-Individuals (UHNIs).
  • InCred Finance plans to deploy the capital across core business verticals such as consumer loans, student loans, and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) lending.
  • InCred Finance has built a loan book of Rs.7,500 crore within 6 years and has been growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of over 50% over the last 3 years.

In August 2023, Zepto, a quick commerce platform, became the India’s first unicorn of 2023. It raised USD 200 million in a Series E round of funding at a valuation of USD 1.4 billion.

IndusInd Bank, Suzlon Energy among 9 firms added to MSCI India IndexOn November 15, 2023, Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) added nine Indian stocks to its MSCI Global Standard Index w.e.f. November 30, 2023.
Additions on MSCI India Index:

Key Points:
i.Following the above addition, 46 stocks will be added to this index while 69 stocks will make an exit from this index.

  • No Indian stocks were excluded from the index.
  • Post rebalance, India’s stock count will rise to 131, and India’s weights are set to move close to 16.3%, compared to the current 15.9%.

ii.According to a report by Nuvama Alternative & Quantitative Research, the MSCI inclusions may bring up to $1.5 billion in passive inflows to India.

  • The maximum share of inflows will be led by IndusInd Bank at $290 million followed by Suzlon at $264 million and Persistent Systems at $254 million.

iii.Suzlon Energy, Persistent Systems and APL Apollo were earlier part of the MSCI Smallcap Index and will be removed from this index after the above implementation.
iv.The MSCI Global Standard Index is a collection of stocks of all the developed markets in the world.

  • It captures large and mid-cap representation across 23 Developed Markets (DM) countries.

15th Edition of FICCI Healthcare Excellence Awards 2023The 15th Edition of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) Healthcare Excellence Awards was held in New Delhi, Delhi.

  • The award is given to recognize and felicitate organizations and individuals for their outstanding contributions to the Indian healthcare sector.

Award Categories 2023:
i.The General Award is given on five different categories to recognize excellence in healthcare sector.

  • Excellence in Patient Service Delivery
  • Excellence in Patient Safety & Care
  • Excellence in Community Engagement
  • Digital Transformation Initiative of the Year
  • Training & Skill Development Initiative of the Year

ii.FICCI also gives Jury based Special Awards awards to recognize
the contribution of individuals in healthcare sector.
About Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI):
President – Subhrakant Panda
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Established in – 1927

IOC Awards Olympic Cup 2023 to Taekwondo Humanitarian FoundationThe International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded the 2023 Olympic Cup to the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF) in recognition of its long-term commitment to empowering refugee athletes and refugees worldwide through taekwondo.

  • Thomas Bach, IOC President, presented the Olympic Cup to World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue in a ceremony at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.

About the Olympic Cup award:
i.The unique Olympic Cup award was created by the IOC’s founder Pierre de Coubertin in 1906.
ii.The Olympic Cup honors an organisation that promotes the ideals of the Olympic Movement.
About the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation(THF):
i.The THF was founded by World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue at the United Nations headquarters in New York(United States) in 2015.
ii.THF aims to empower refugees worldwide through taekwondo and helping them to improve their quality of life, develop their life skills, learn Olympic values, and pursue their dreams.
iii.THF is also one of the implementing partners of Terrains d’Avenir, a programme co-financed by the Olympic Refuge Foundation (ORF) and the French Sports Ministry.

  • Terrains d’Avenir aims to provide 7,000 young displaced people in the Île-de-France region with access to sport by 2025.

THF – Partner of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team:
i.World Taekwondo has been a partner of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team since the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

  • As a part of the partnership, three taekwondo athletes – Kimia Alizadeh Zonouzi, Dina Pouryounes Langeroudi, and Abdullah Sediqi from World Taekwondo represented the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

ii.There are 14 taekwondo athletes among the 63 refugee scholarship-holders(As of November ‘23) aiming to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
Taekwondo statue unveiled in Olympic Museum
The Taekwondo statue was unveiled in the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland to commemorate the World Taekwondo’s Golden Jubilee year.
World Taekwondo (WT) is the International Federation (IF) governing the sport of Taekwondo and it was established in 1973.
Note –
The Olympic Cup 2022 has been awarded to the people of the People’s Republic of China in acknowledgment of their support for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
About International Olympic Committee (IOC):
President– Thomas Bach
Headquarters– Lausanne, Switzerland
Establishment– 1894

AAPA Aims for 5% SAF Usage by 2030
The Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines (AAPA) has passed a resolution to adopt a collective target of 5%  sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) use by 2030 among its 14 member airlines.

  • The resolution was made in it’s 67th Assembly of Presidents of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines which was held in Singapore.
  • This aims to reduce the aviation industry’s carbon footprint, as SAF can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 80% compared to fossil-based jet fuels.
  • The adoption of SAF is a critical step in aviation industry’s journey towards net-zero emissions by 2050.

National Newborn Week 2023- November 15th to 21st National Newborn Week is annually observed across India from 15th to 21st November to create awareness about the newborn care importance for child survival and development.

  • The observance also aims to highlight the importance of newborn care for child survival and development.

The annual observance in India is led by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
The theme of National Newborn Week is “Safety, Quality and Nurturing care – Birth Right of Every Newborn”.
i.In 2000, at the request of the National Neonatology Forum (NNF), the Government of India agreed to observe a National Newborn Week from 15th to 21st November each year.
ii.The first ever Newborn Week was launched by the then Prime Minister (PM) Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 15th November 2000.
India Newborn Action Plan (INAP):
i.In 2014, India became the first country to launch the India Newborn Action Plan (INAP), in alignment with the Global Every Newborn Action Plan towards eliminating preventable deaths of newborns and stillbirths.
ii.This aims to reduce the preventable newborn deaths and stillbirth to single digit, less than 10 per 1000 live births by 2030, with intermediate targets for 2017(24 per 1000), 2020 (21 per 1000) and 2025(15 per 1000).
Importance of Newborn Care:
i.The neonatal phase, the first 28 days of life, is critical for infant survival, since it has the highest risk of death per day during infancy.

  • This is also a crucial time for long-term health and development.

ii.The first few months of life which is also known as the foundational period for health and development.
Child Mortality:
i.Every year, 26 lakh newborn child die within the first 28 days of life ( majority of these incidents occurs within the first week), and an additional 26 lakh stillbirths occur.
ii.The Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) has reduced from 44 per 1000 live births in 2000 to 20 per 1000 live births in 2020.
iii.About 35% of children die in the first month due to lack of proper physical development. 33% children die due to newborn infection, 20% due to intrapartum problems of respiratory arrest and hypoxia, and approximately 9% die due to congenital deformities.

International Day for Tolerance 2023- November 16 The United Nations (UN) International Day for Tolerance is annually observed across the globe on 16 November to promote and raise awareness of tolerance, respect, and understanding among all the diverse cultures and communities across the globe.

  • The day also highlights the negative effects of intolerance and promotes policies that ensure equal rights and opportunities for all.

i.In 1996, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/51/95 and proclaimed the 16 November of every year as the International Day for Tolerance.
ii.The first International Day for Tolerance was observed on 16 November 1997.

Current Affairs Daily Digest – 16 November 2023

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan’s 3-Day Visit to UAE Focused on Education and Skill Development PartnershipUnion Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Ministry of Education(MoE) and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship(MSDE) embarked on a significant 3-day visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from November 1-3, 2023.

  • During his visit, he engaged in discussions with key UAE ministers, officials, educators, Indian community representatives, and business leaders.

i.India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have expanded their educational cooperation by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
ii.NSDC International has signed an agreement with We One, a subsidiary of DP World, to support the  skill development and employment opportunities for the front-line workforce.
iii.National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and EFS Facilities Services Group, a UAE-based Facilities Management Firm, have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate Skilled International Workforce Mobility (IWM) for Indian nationals, with a specific emphasis on Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
About United Arab Emirates (UAE):
President- Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Prime Minister- Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Capital– Abu Dhabi
Currency– UAE dirham (AED)

IAEA Data Platform: IAEA Launches Open Data Platform to make Scientific Data More AccessibleOn November 14, 2023, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) launched an open data platform namely ‘IAEA Data Platform’ to streamline scientific data accessibility for decision-makers, Member States, experts, and the public.

  • It consolidates, organize and standardize IAEA data into a single repository, enhancing transparency, and knowledge.

Key Points:
i.IAEA Data Platform organizes data into three main topics:

  • Nuclear Safety and Security
  • Nuclear Technology and Applications
  • Safeguards and Verification

ii.The platform enables access to diverse data, including the Incident and Trafficking, unauthorized nuclear activities and the Modaria Dataset, an international compilation of soil-plant concentration ratio values for tropical environments.
iii.The platform includes tools like filtering options, tags, and an activity panel for tracking data changes over time.
iv.A unique feature of the platform is the Application Programming Interface (API) option, enabling data access through systems.
About International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA):
It is world’s foremost intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Director General– Rafael Mariano Grossi
Headquarters– Vienna, Austria
Establishment– 1957

BSNL Set to Award Rs.1000-Crore Contract to Nokia for OTN Equipment
State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is set to award a multi-year Rs.1000-crore purchase order to Finland’s Nokia for the supply of Optical Transport Network (OTN) equipment and deployment through a local system integrator.

  • The contract, part of BSNL’s Phase-4 project on a turnkey basis on the pan-India level is to supply, install, and commission OTN with a 3-year Operation and Maintenance (O&M) services and comprehensive Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC) for 8 years.
  • The contenders for this contract include domestic gear vendors United Telecoms Limited (UTL) and Tejas Networks, a Tata Group company.
  • Domestic telecom equipment manufacturer Himachal Futuristic Communications Limited (HFCL) has front-ended the Nokia bid as the systems integrator.
  • However, Indian companies under the ‘Make in India’ Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) framework can potentially receive a price relaxation of up to 20% to receive 50% of the order.

Note: Financial bids for the BSNL contract have been opened, and an “Advance Purchase Order (APO)” will be issued to the successful bidder shortly.

Salman Rushdie receives First-Ever ‘Lifetime Disturbing the Peace Award’
Indian-born British-American author Salman Rushdie received the first-ever “Lifetime Disturbing the Peace Award” presented by the Vaclav Havel Center in Manhattan, New York, United States of America (USA).
About Salman Rushdie:
i.He has authored many novels and book of stories including Midnight’s Children which was awarded the Booker Prize in 1981.
ii.In 2008, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to literature.
About Vaclav Havel Center:
i.The Havel center was founded in 2012 as the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation,
ii.It is named for the Czech playwright and dissident who became the last president of Czechoslovakia after the fall of the Communist regime.

Jaiprakash Associates to Transfer 7.71% Equity to ICICI Bank as its Payment ObligationJaiprakash Associates Limited (JAL) and associated trusts are set to transfer 7.71% equity or over 18.93 crore shares to ICICI Bank as part of a settlement agreement between the JAL and the bank, amid loan repayment default.

  • The move is part of JAL’s efforts to reduce its debt with the bank.
  • The 7.71% stake is worth Rs 366 crore at the current market price.

The trust associated with JAL includes: Gujarat Anjan Cement Limited(GACL) Trust, Jaiprakash Enterprises Limited(JEL) Trust, Jaypee Cement Limited(JCL) Trust, and Jaypee Hotels Limited (JHL) Trust.

  • The share transfer did not require government or regulatory approval since the shares being transferred were below the mandatory 10% threshold.
  • JAL is a flagship company of Jaypee Group which is engaged in engineering & construction (E&C), cement, hospitality & real estate businesses.
  • JAL is also the holding company of subsidiaries engaged in cement, power, real estate and other diversified business activities.

Background: Why is JAL transferring shares to ICICI Bank?
i.JAL failed to repay a loan worth Rs 4,258 crore, comprising a principal sum of Rs 1,733 crore and an interest of Rs 2,525 crore.

  • These loans, involving fund-based working capital, non-fund-based working capital, term loans, and FCCB (Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds), were owed to various banks.

ii.The shares mentioned above, pledged to ICICI Bank, are sought for recovery by the bank due to a loan repayment default.

  • Following the settlement of these shares, the ICICI bank will reduce its dues from JAL, to the extent of value of shares transferred to the bank.

iii.The value of these shares will be determined based on the closing price at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) of India on the day prior to the actual transfer.

  • It should be noted that ICICI Bank has an exposure of approximately Rs 3,000 crore in JAL.

CCI clears Acquisition of Minority Stake in Shadowfax Technologies by Mirae Group Entities
Fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the acquisition of a minority stake in Shadowfax Technologies Private Limited (Target) by the Mirae Group Entities (Acquirers).
Details of the proposed combination:

  • Acquisition of a minority stake in Shadowfax Technologies by Mirae Asset Late Stage Opportunities Fund (Mirae IV).
  • Acquisition of a right to appoint a director on the board of Shadowfax Technologies by Mirae Asset Naver New Growth Fund I (Mirae I), Mirae Asset– GS Retail New Growth Fund I (Mirae II), Mirae Asset– Naver Asia Growth Investment Pte. Ltd (Mirae III) and Mirae IV.

Union Minister Jitendra Singh Launches Dashboard of DST for Effective Parliament BusinessOn 14th November 2023, Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Science & Technology(MoST) launched the software application Department of Science and Technology (DST), “Dashboard, for real-time, prompt and effective Parliament business.
Key Points:
i.This portal streamlines real-time Parliament business, including questions, Acts, Cabinet Notes, and Gazette Notifications of the Government of India related to DST.
ii.It will serve as a dashboard for all activities of DST.
iii.The Minister urged the DST officials to utilize AI (Artificial Intelligence)-driven technology for analyzing Parliament Questions across various parameters.
Foundation Stone laid for the new Auditorium-cum-Guest House Complex
i.The MoS also laid the Foundation Stone of the new Auditorium-cum-Guest House Complex in the premises of the “Technology Bhavan” which is the headquarters of DST.
ii.The MOS also unveiled plaque at the site and also took part in the Bhoomi Puja.
About the Auditorium-cum-Guest house complex:
i.It is a 500-seater state-of-the-art Auditorium Block (5000 sq meters) with double basement car parking (9000 sq meters).
ii.It is planned to be completed in 24 months.
iii.Noida, Uttar Pradesh (UP) based Ircon Infrastructure & Services Limited (IrconISL) serves as the Project Management Consultant for this Project.

DoT granted Jio and OneWeb with Licences for Satellite Internet Services in IndiaThe Department of Telecommunications (DoT) under the Ministry of Communications (MoC) has granted the requisite licenses to Jio Satellite Communications Limited and Bharti Enterprises-owned Eutelsat OneWeb.

  • DoT allocated Internet Service Provider (ISP)-A and a Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) licence to OneWeb and ISP license to Jio.

Note: Both Jio and OneWeb possess the Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite (GMPCS ) licence.
About ISP license:
i.It is a type of license that allows companies to provide internet access, bandwidth, and related services to consumers and businesses.

ii.ISPs typically establish and maintain the network infrastructure, including servers, routers, and cables, essential for transmitting data over the internet.

iii.They provide a range of services, including broadband internet, email hosting, website hosting, and virtual private networks (VPNs).
About GMPCS licence:
i.GMPCS license authorizes the licensee to provide mobile communication services using satellite technology, enabling communication coverage on a global scale.
ii.They provide mobile voice and data communication in areas where traditional terrestrial networks may be unavailable or impractical.
Additional Info:
i.Jio Satellite Communications and Eutelsat OneWeb are to be the first companies to launch satellite internet services in India, with a primary focus on enterprises.
ii.Jio and OneWeb showcased their solution at the India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2023.
Note: Amazon’s Project Kuiper and SpaceX’s Starlink are also in the process of obtaining the GMPCS licence in India.

ICMR-NIP Unveils DISHA Portal to Make Diagnostic Services Through Geo-Mapping labs services in India
The Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) National Institute of Pathology (NIP) in New Delhi, Delhi launched  “DISHA” – DIagnostic Services in Healthcare : Availability & Geo-mapping of Laboratory services in India portal ( to assist the public to identify and locate nearest diagnostic health facilities.

  • The free and dynamic DISHA portal lists the diagnostic public healthcare facilities across India.
  • ICMR-NIP is gathering data on diagnostic public healthcare facilities and creating a user-friendly online map to access suitable laboratory facilities.

Key Points:
i.The portal also identify areas with an imbalance between population densities and diagnostic facilities.
ii.The data from the portal can help public health experts and government policymakers to empower existing labs, and create new facilities where necessary.
iii.Geographic Information System (GIS) has been implemented to enhance the accessibility to the essential information.
Need behind Diagnostic Centers:
i.Around 60-70% of critical healthcare decisions rely on evidence from laboratory services.
ii.Over 100,000 new cases of cancer go undetected in India annually, according to the Asia-Pacific Journal of Oncology Nursing.
iii.Cardiac diseases impact around 54.5 million individuals in India, with PLOS ONE reporting 64.5% incidence of undetected heart disease in females and 49.7% in older adults.

  • These figures underscore concerns about the diagnostic healthcare system in India, and a need to improve the quality and quantity of these centers.

ICAR Researchers Discovered 2 New Seer Fish Species in Indian Waters Researchers from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) have discovered two new species of seer fish: Scomberomorus avirostrus (Arabian Sparrow seer fish) and Scomberomorus leopardus (Russell’s Spotted Seer Fish) in Indian Waters.

  • This discovery brings the total number of seer fish species in Indian waters to 6 from the existing 4  species.

i.Prior to this discovery, the spotted seer fish (Scomberomorus guttatus) was thought to be a single species.
ii.However, the Researchers have found that it is actually a complex of three distinct species.
iii.These 3  species are:

  • The newly discovered seer fish (Arabian sparrow)
  • The resurrected seer fish (Russell’s spotted)
  • The existing spotted seer fish

iv.These 3 seer fish species are smaller in size compared to their counterparts and are mostly found in nearshore waters.
Note: Resurrected species are organisms that resemble or are extinct species.
About the New Species:
i.Scomberomorus avirostrus is an entirely new to science species

  • Arabian Sparrow seer fish, the common name given by CMFRI team refers the new species’ bird beak like snout.
  • The new species primarily inhabits the Arabian Sea coast north of Mangaluru (Karnataka), with its distribution extending up to the Arabian Gulf.

ii.Scomberomorus leopardus is a resurrected species.

  • Russell’s spotted seer fish and the existing spotted seer fish are found along the Bay of Bengal coast north of Nagapattinam(Tamil Nadu), including the Andaman Seas, and China Sea.

About Research Team:
i.The research was conducted along the Indian coast by a team of taxonomists led by E M Abdussamad the Principal Scientist of ICAR-CMFRI.
ii.They have successfully identified five new species of marine fish, including above two new species of seer fish.

  • Their other findings are one new species of barracuda, one new species of chub mackerel, and one new species of queenfish.

37th National Games Goa: Maharashtra Tops Medal Tally With 228 medals Maharashtra Finished top in the medal tally with 228 medals (80 gold, 69 silver, and 79 bronze) in the 37th edition of the National Games held in Goa from October 26th to November 9th, 2023.

  • Maharashtra won the Raja Bhalindra Singh Trophy for the overall championship in the National Games 2023, and it is also the first time Maharashtra has topped the medal tally since 1994.
  • Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) finished in second place with 126 medals (66 gold, 27 silver, and 33 bronze) while Haryana finished in third place with 192 medals (62 gold, 55 silver, and 75 bronze).

Medal Tally:

  • He won ten medals(8 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze) in the swimming event.

Best Female Athlete: It was jointly awarded to gymnasts Sanyukta Prasen Kale(Maharashtra) and Pranati Nayak(Odisha).

  • Both of them won Five medals each(four golds and one silver)

About Goa:
Chief Minister – Pramod Sawant
Governor – P.S. Sreedharan Pillai
Festivals – Three Kings Feast, Goa Cashew & Coconut Festival, Sao Joao Festival
Dances – Dekhni, Dashavatara, Fugdi (Foogdi)

Subrata Roy, Founder & Chairman of Sahara Inida Pariwar, Passed Away Subrata Roy, the Founder and Chairman of Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh)-based Sahara Inida Pariwar, passed away at the age of 75 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. He was born on June 10, 1948, in Araria, Bihar. He was popularly known as Saharasri.
About Subrata Roy:
i.In 1976, Subrata Roy took charge of Sahara Finance, a struggling chit-fund company. In 1978, Sahara Finance was evolved into Sahara India Pariwar.
ii.He diversified the business into various sectors and in 1992, the Sahara group launched Rashtriya Sahara, a Hindi-language newspaper.
iii. In 2000, the group expanded its presence in the television industry with Sahara TV, subsequently rebranded as Sahara One.
iv.In 2004,Time Magazine named Sahara Group as the 2nd largest employer in India after the Indian Railways.
v.Under his leadership, Sahara sponsored the Indian cricket and hockey teams and owned a Formula One(F1) racing team.
vi.In 2010 and 2012, Sahara acquired properties such as London’s (the United Kingdom) Grosvenor House Hotel and New York City’s (the United States of America) (NYC) Plaza Hotel respectively.
Books: Shanti, Sukh: Santushti, Essays on peace of mind and happy living (1994); Life Mantras (2016); Think With Me (2016).

Padma Vibhushan Awardee PRS Oberoi, the Doyen of Indian hospitality, Passed AwayPadma Vibhushan Awardee Prithvi Raj Singh (PRSOberoi, Chairman Emeritus of The Oberoi Group, passed away at the age of 94. He was born in New Delhi, Delhi on 3rd February 1929.

  • He was widely known as the ‘doyen of Indian hospitality’.

Note: The Oberoi group was founded in 1934 by Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi, father of PRS Oberoi.
About PRS Oberoi:
i.PRS Oberoi, popularly known as “Biki”, served as the Executive Chairman of EIH Limited, which is the flagship company of the Oberoi Group, one of India’s largest luxury hotel chains.
ii.He also served as the the Chairman of Oberoi Hotels, the major shareholder of EIH Limited.

  • He stepped down from his position as Executive Chairman of EIH Ltd and EIH Associated Hotels Ltd, the major shareholder of EIH in May 2022.
  • He took over as the chairman of EIH Ltd, following the death of his father and the founding chairman of The Oberoi Group, in 2002.
  • He remained the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of EIH Ltd until 2013.

iii.He has been serving as the Chairman Emeritus of EIH Limited with effect from 22nd June 2022.
Awards and Honours:
i.The government of India honoured him with the Padma Vibhushan India’s second highest civilian honour, for Trade and Industry in 2008.
ii.Forbes India Leadership Awards honoured PRS Oberoi with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.
iii.In 2013, he was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Management by The All India Management Association (AIMA).

World Kindness Day 2023 – November 13World Kindness Day (WKD) is annually observed across the globe on November 13 to promote kindness and inspire people to engage in at least one act of kindness that aspires to unify the world as one.

  • 13th November 2023 marks the observance of 26th World Kindness Day. 

The theme for World Kindness Day 2023 is “Be Kind Wherever Possible”.
i.The idea of World Kindness Day dates back to 1997, when the World Kindness Movement, a coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) focused on kindness, hosted the first conference in Tokyo, Japan to unite like-minded organizations from across the world.
ii.World Kindness Movement launched World Kindness Day as an annual observance in 1998.
iii.The 1st World Kindness Day was observed on 13th November 1998. 

Children’s Day/Bal Divas 2023- November 14 Children’s Day also known as Bal Divas is annually observed across India on November 14 to honour the birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s 1st Prime Minister, who was known for his love and affection for children.

  • The day aims to emphasise the significance of nurturing and celebrating the vibrant spirit of the younger generation.

14 November 2023 marks the 134th birth anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
i.Children’s Day in India was initially observed on November 20 which is the day when the United Nations (UN) celebrates World Children’s Day since 1954.
ii.However, after Jawaharlal Nehru died in 1964, the Indian Parliament passed a resolution to commemorate Nehru’s birthday as Children’s Day, as a tribute to his love for children.
iii.Since then, to commemorate his birth anniversary, Children’s Day is celebrated on November 14.

  • It has become an annual event dedicated to the children of the nation.

International Week of Science and Peace 2023 –  November 6th to 12th  
The United Nations (UN) International Week of Science and Peace (IWOSP) is annually observed across the globe during the week in which November 11th falls.

Current Affairs – 15 November 2023

IICA signs MoU with Lean Campus Startups & WEICI India to Empower Corporate and Women Entrepreneurs On November 13, 2023, the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lean Campus Startups (Trust) and Mumbai, Maharashtra based Women Entrepreneurs International Chambers of India (WEICI India) in Manesar, Gurugram, Haryana, to empower corporate and women entrepreneurs through various training programmes.
The MoU was signed by Dr Lata Suresh, representing IICA, and Umesh Rathod, representing Lean Campus Startups (Founder).
About the MoU:
i.IICA in partnership with Lean Campus Startups & WEICI India aims to empower both corporate and women entrepreneurs, augmenting their knowledge, skills, and competencies in the effective establishment and management of a diverse workforce.
ii.In partnership with IICA, LCS will arrange programmes for women entrepreneurs and students.
iii.This MoU facilitates collaboration between IICA, Lean Campus Startups, and WEICI India for joint initiatives including training programs, workshops, and mentoring sessions. It aims to empower entrepreneurs by establishing a supportive network, and provides entrepreneurs with access to resources and opportunities.
i.IICA, under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), fosters corporate sector development through training and research.
ii.Lean Campus Startupsm established in 2014, is a brand of Mission Catalyst. It is dedicated to shape the future of India through transformative initiatives in education, skill development, and entrepreneurship.
iii.WEICI India supports and resources women entrepreneurs.
About Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA):
Director General & CEO– Praveen Kumar
Headquarters– Gurugram, Haryana

Russia, India Sign Deal on Supply & Production of Igla Air Defence Systems
Russia has signed a contract to supply and produce hand-held anti-aircraft missile Igla-S Man-Portable Air Defence System (MANPADS) to India.

  • Igla-S is designed to counter low-flying aircraft and helicopters.
  • It  has a range of 500meters to 6000 meters and can go upto the altitude ranging from 10meters to 3500 meters.
  • It works on “fire-and-forget” principle.
  • It is exported by Russian Defense Export agency Rosoboronexport

Note: India is the world’s largest arms importer and Russia remains world’s largest supplier.

India, ADB sign USD400mn loan to Create Quality Urban InfrastructureOn November 13, 2023, the Indian government signed a USD 400 million policy-based loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADBto support its sub-programme 2 of the Sustainable Urban Development and Service Delivery Programme.

  • This program is India’s urban reform agenda to create high-quality urban infrastructure, improve service delivery, and promote efficient governance systems.
  • The Loan has a principal repayment period of 12 years .

The signatories to the loan agreement were Juhi Mukherjee, Joint Secretary, department of economic affairs, Ministry of Finance and Takeo Konishi, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission.
Key Points:
i.The sub-programme 2 of the Sustainable Urban Development and Service Delivery Programme was approved in 2021 with a financing of USD 350 million.

  • It established national-level policies and guidelines to improve urban services.
  • While Sub-programme 2 supports investment planning and reform actions at the state and urban local body (ULB) levels.

ii.Sub-programme 2 supports reforms under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (Amrut) 2.0, targeting universal water supply and sanitation access.

  • It aims to achieve urban water security, reduce water losses, recycle treated sewage, and rejuvenate water bodies.

iii.It also modernizes urban planning for economic centers, integrates resilience and nature-based solutions, incentivizes city creditworthiness through efficiency and revenue measures, and encourages innovative financing for urban infrastructure deficits.

NHAI Accepts First Insurance Surety Bond as Bid Security for NHAI TOT Bid for MonetizationThe National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) accepted the first insurance surety bond as bid security for the Toll Operate Transfer (TOT) Bundle 14 bid. The bond was issued at a rate of 0.25% and did not require any margin money.

  • This will be the first time this i instrument is being utilized as a Bank Guarantee (BG) in the road infrastructure sector for monetization of bids.
  • The NHAI collaborated with the Highway Operators Association of India (HOAI), SBI General Insurance, and AON India Insurance for this initiative.

Reason behind this acceptance:
To boost the liquidity and capacity of bidders
To encourage private participation in the highway sector
Key Points:
i.Insurance Surety Bonds involve insurance companies providing financial guarantees for contractors to fulfill their obligations.

  • The Ministry of Finance has equated e-BG and Insurance Surety Bonds with Bank Guarantees for all government procurements.
  • These instruments, including Insurance Surety Bonds, aim to enhance National Highway Infrastructure development, contributing positively to the Indian economy.

ii.A bid bond is a type of surety bond that is issued to contractors during the bidding process. Bid bonds guarantee that the contractor will enter into a contract if their bid is accepted.
About National Highways Authority of India (NHAI):
Chairperson– Santosh Kumar Yadav
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Established – NHAI was constituted by an Act of Parliament in 1988, the authority became operational in  1995

Fedfina, IREDA, EPACK Durable & Suraj Estate Developers get nod from SEBI to float IPOsThe Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has given approval to four companies viz. Fedbank Financial Services Limited (Fedfina), Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA)EPACK Durable, and Suraj Estate Developers to raise funds through initial public offerings (IPOs).

  • These companies filed preliminary IPO papers with SEBI between July and September 2023.
  • The equity shares of these companies will be listed on the BSE (Formerly Bombay Stock Exchange) and NSE (National Stock Exchange).

Fedfina is a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) arm of Federal Bank.
Fedfina IPO:

  • Fresh issue: Rs 750 crore.
  • OFS (Offer For Sale): 7.03 crore shares by Federal Bank and True North Fund VI LLP.
  • Utilization: Tier-I capital, future capital needs, and offer expenses.


  • Fresh issue: 40.31 crore equity shares.
  • OFS: 26.88 crore equity shares by the President of India.
  • Utilization: Capital base augmentation, future capital needs, and lending.

EPACK Durable IPO:

  • Fresh issue: Rs 400 crore.
  • OFS: 1.3 crore equity shares by promoters and investors.
  • Utilization: Capital expenditure, loan repayment, and corporate purposes.

Suraj Estate Developers IPO:

  • Fresh issue: Up to Rs 400 crore.
  • No OFS.
  • Utilization: Debt payment, land acquisition, and general corporate purposes.

About Securities and Exchange Board of India:
Chairperson– Madhabi Puri Buch
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment– 1992

Indian Cricketers Virender Sehwag, Diana Edulji and Sri Lanka’s Aravinda de Silva Inducted into ICC Hall of Fame 2023

  • Indian Cricketers Virender Sehwag, Diana Edulji and Sri Lanka’s Aravinda de Silva Inducted into ICC Hall of Fame 2023
  • Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag and former Indian women’s cricket team captain Diana Fram Edulji , along with Sri Lanka’s Aravinda de Silva, were inducted into the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Hall of Fame for the year 2023.
  • Diana Fram Edulji  is the first Indian woman cricketer inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.
  • The three legends are to be presented with a commemorative ICC Cricket Hall of Fame cap during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai (Maharashtra) on 15th November 2023.
  • Sehwag was also part of the Indian team that won the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup in 2011 and also won the inaugural Twenty 20 International (T20I) World Cup 2007 in South Africa.

About International Cricket Council (ICC) :
Chairman – Greg Barclay
Headquarters – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Established in -1909

Federal Bank Partners with Indian shuttler HS Prannoy for Brand PromotionFederal Bank Limited has signed a partnership with Indian Shuttler Prannoy Haseena Sunil Kumar (HS Prannoy)(31) for an exclusive collaboration.

    • Under this annual partnership, Federal Bank will be the exclusive banking partner.
    • The partnership aims to promote the Bank’s strategy to invest in various adjacent domains to enhance its brand’s influence.
  • Under this annual partnership, Federal Bank will be the exclusive banking partner.
  • The partnership aims to promote the Bank’s strategy to invest in various adjacent domains to enhance its brand’s influence.

Key Points:
i.Under this partnership, H S Prannoy will display the Federal Bank logo in several upcoming Badminton World Federation (BWF) events, including the BWF World Tour, BWF Gold Series, and BWF World Badminton Championships.
ii.He will also promote the brand by carrying the logo of the bank during post-match interviews.
About H S Prannoy:
i.HS Prannoy hailing from Kerala is ranked 8th in the BWF world ranking (as of 14th November 2023).

  • He has reached his highest career ranking of 7th in May 2023.

ii.He has won the Silver medal in Youth Olympic Games in 2010 in Singapore.
iii.He has also won the men’s singles bronze medal at the Asian Games in October 2023.
iv.He also received Arjuna Award (Badminton) in 2022.
About Federal Bank Limited:
Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer(CEO) –  Shyam Srinivasan
Headquarters – Aluva, Kerala
Established in 1931
Tagline – Your Perfect Banking Partner

Rear Admiral CR Praveen Nair Assumes Command as Fleet Commander of Indian Navy’s Western Fleet
Rear Admiral CR Praveen Nair, officially assumed the role of Flag Officer Commanding the Western Fleet on November 10, 2023, marking a change in leadership for the Western Fleet, the Sword Arm of the Indian Navy.
He succeeded Rear Admiral Vineet McCarty, who became the Fleet Commander of the Western Fleet in November 2022.

  • A ceremonial naval parade was held at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai, Maharastra, and the baton of the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet was handed over by Rear Admiral Vineet McCarty.
  • Rear Admiral Nair was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 01 July 1991 and served as Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Policy and Plans) at Naval Headquarters in New Delhi, Delhi.
  • He has also served at the Naval Headquarters as Commodore (Personnel). He has commanded the missile corvette INS Kirch; the aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya; and commissioned the guided missile destroyer INS Chennai.

‘AAINA Dashboard for Cities’ Portal Launched by MoHUAOn 13th November 2023, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has launched  ‘AAINA Dashboard for Cities portal to create a database of the key performance metrics of Urban Local Bodies (ULB).

  • The portal is an initiative of MoHUA.

The primary objectives of the AAINA Dashboard are to help cities to

  • Help cities see how they are doing  vis-à-vis other cities,
  • Inspire cities by pointing to new possibilities and areas for improvement.
  • Provide cities with the opportunity to learn from and engage with frontrunning cities.

Five Pillars:
The dashboard will present the data submitted by the ULBs on the basis of indicators across five thematic area namely:

  • Political & Administrative Structure
  • Finance
  • Planning
  • Citizen Centric Governance
  • Delivery of Basic Services

About the Portal:
i.The ULBs submit their data, including audited accounts, and self-reported performance metrics by logging in to the dashboard’s portal.
ii.The portal does not rank cities, but instead serves as a tool for comparing similarly placed cities and promoting peer learning among cities.
iii.The Dashboard is also a  permanent platform for ULB related data, that would be updated on a regular basis.
iv.Once the dashboard is populated with data, it will be open to all stakeholders, including citizens.
v.MoHUA through Digital India Corporation under Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MeitY), will provide handholding support to ULBs/States in the data submission process on a need basis.
About Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs:
Union Minister – Hardeep Singh Puri (Rajya Sabha – Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of States (MoS) – Kaushal Kishore (Constituency- Mohanlalganj, Uttar Pradesh)

SpaceX Launched Its 29th Cargo Mission To ISS
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and SpaceX jointly  launched SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon spacecraft(CRS-29 Dragon) on its 29th commercial mission to the International Space Station (ISS). 

  • CRS-29 Dragon was launched atop a Falcon 9 Rocket from Complex 39A at the NASA’s Kennedy Space Center(KSC) in Florida, the United States of America(USA).

i.This is the 9th SpaceX launch under the Commercial Resupply Services-2 (CRS) contract.
ii.The spacecraft carried cargo weighing about 6,500 pounds (2948 kg) of scientific research, crew supplies, and hardware to ISS.
iii.The Falcon’s first stage made a successful landing at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1). The launch marked the second flight for the stage, which previously launched Crew-7.

Odisha Govt signs MoU with AM/NS India to Establish Kho Kho High-Performance Centre in Odisha
Odisha government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Arcelor Mittal Nippon Steel (AM/NS) India to establish a High-performance center (HPC) in Kho Kho at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha to promote Kho Kho talents.

  • The MoU signed in the presence of Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, highlighted the commitment of both parties to fostering sporting excellence.
  • Under the MoU, Odisha will extend infrastructure support, while AM/NS India has committed to providing experienced and dedicated coaches of Kho Kho to train talented youths.
  • A cluster of HPCs have been set up by Odisha at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar and the Kho Kho HPC will be an important addition to the ecosystem.
  • The collaboration of Odisha govt with AM/NS India in Ultimate Kho Kho led to the triumph of the state-owned franchise, Odisha Juggernauts, as champions of the inaugural season.

Public Service Broadcasting Day 2023- November 12 Public Service Broadcasting Day or Jan Prasaran Diwas is annually observed across India on 12 November to commemorate the first and only visit of Mahatma Gandhi to the studio of the then All India Radio (AIR) (now Akashvani ) in Delhi, in 1947.
i.On 17th November 1947, Mahatma Gandhi visited the AIR Studios at Broadcasting House, New Delhi, Delhi to address the refugees (from Pakistan) who were camped in Kurukshetra, Haryana following the partition.
ii.To commemorate 50 years of this visit of Mahatma Gandhi to AIR, a function was organised at AIR premises on 12th November 1997.
iii.Later in 2001, the day, “12th November”, was declared Public Service Broadcasting Day.

  • The observance was conceptualised by Suhas Borker, Convenor, Jan Prasar.

About All India Radio (AIR):
Akashvani Mysore (Karnataka), a private radio station, was set up in September 1935. On June 8, 1936, the Indian State Broadcasting Service transformed into AIR.
Director General – Dr. Vasudha Gupta
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi

World Usability Day 2023- November 12 World Usability Day (WUD), or Make Things Easier Day is annually observed across the globe on the 2nd Thursday of November to promote the principles of usability, accessibility, and user experience in design.
WUD 2023 falls on 9 November 2023.

  • WUD 2022 was observed on 10 November 2022 and WUD 2024 will be observed on 14 November 2024.

The 2023 theme of WUD is, “Collaboration and Cooperation“.
i.World Usability Day was established in 2004 by the Usability Professionals Association, now known as the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA).

  • The day was founded to raise awareness about the importance of creating products and services that are easy to use, efficient, safe, and enjoyable for users.

ii.The first WUD was observed on 10 November 2005.
About User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA):
Founded in– 1991
President & Director of Marketing & Communications– Sara Mastro

World Pneumonia Day 2023 – November 12World Pneumonia Day is annually observed across the globe on November 12 to raise awareness and educate people about Pneumonia disease, the world’s most prominent infectious death of children under the age of 5.
The theme of World Pneumonia Day 2023 is “Every Breath Counts: Stop Pneumonia in Its Track”.
i.World Pneumonia Day was established under the Stop Pneumonia Initiative by the Global Coalition Against Child Pneumonia in 2009.

  • The campaign aims to raise awareness about Pneumonia.

ii.The 1st World Pneumonia Day was observed on 12th November 2009. 

World Diabetes Day 2023- November 14 The United Nations (UNWorld Diabetes Day (WDD) is annually observed across the globe on 14 November to raise awareness about the impact of diabetes on the health of people.

  • WDD also aims to highlight the opportunities to strengthen the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diabetes.

i.WDD was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to address the growing concerns about the health threat posed by diabetes.

Current Affairs – 14 November 2023

Coal Ministry Amends SHAKTI Policy to Expand Coal Linkage and Promote Market TransparencyThe Ministry of Coal has amended the SHAKTI (Scheme for Harnessing and Allocating Koyala (Coal) Transparently in India) Policy, which allows power plants, including private generators without Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), to be granted coal linkage for a minimum of three months to a maximum of one year.
Features of the Amendment:
i.The amendment aims to enhance a more transparent coal allocation mechanism by providing the power generated through coal linkages must be sold through power exchanges or a transparent bidding process on the Discovery of Efficient Energy Price (DEEP) portal.
ii.This amendment is expected to improve the availability and affordability of coal for power generation and enhance the overall efficiency of the sector.
About the SHAKTI Policy:
i.The Ministry of Coal introduced the Coal Linkage Policy known as Scheme for Harnessing and Allocating Koyala (Coal) Transparently in India (SHAKTI) in 2017 for the allocation of coal among thermal power plants transparently and objectively.
ii.The Policy provides coal linkages to power plants which lack fuel supply agreements (FSAs) through coal auctions.
 About the Ministry of Coal:
Union Minister – Pralhad Joshi (Dharwad, Karnataka)
Minister of State – Danve Raosaheb Dadarao (Jalna, Maharashtra)

MIB Approves Comprehensive “Digital Advertisement Policy, 2023” to Empower CBCThe Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has approved the Digital Advertisement Policy, 2023 to enable and empower the Central Bureau of Communication (CBC), the advertising wing of the Government of India (GoI) that operates under the MIB, to conduct campaigns in the Digital Media Space.

  • This policy highlights CBC’s mission to disseminate information and create awareness about various schemes, programs, and policies of the GoI.
  • Acknowledging the transforming media landscape, the policy aligns with the increasing digitisation of media consumption.

Note: CBC is committed to adapting to the changing media landscape and embracing new technologies to reach a wider audience.
CBC’s Digital Advertisement Policy, 2023:
i.Digital Advertisement Policy 2023, formulated after extensive discussions with multiple stakeholders, outlines the roadmap for enhancing the Digital Outreach of the GoI.
ii.The Policy acknowledges the ever-evolving digital landscape, granting CBC the authority to integrate New and Innovative Communication Platforms in the Digital Space, subject to committee approval.
iii.This introduces competitive bidding for rate discovery, ensuring transparency and efficiency.
iv.Rates discovered through bidding are valid for 3 years and will apply to all eligible agencies.
CBC’s Policy for Digital Media:
i.The policy will enable CBC to collaborate with agencies and organisations in the Over the Top (OTT) and Video on Demand space.
ii.CBC will also recognise the popularity of podcasts and digital audio platforms through the empanelment of digital audio platforms.
iii.Acknowledging the role of social media in public conversations, the policy facilitates CBC in placing government advertisements on these platforms.
iv.The policy also empowers CBC to empanel Digital Media Agencies to enhance its outreach through the various platforms.
v.Apart from rationalising the process of empanelling internet websites, CBC now for the first time will be able to disseminate public service campaign messages through mobile applications.
Digital Consumption:
i.The Digital Universe, exhibiting an expansive subscriber base and technology-enabled messaging through digital advertisements, opens new avenues for effective citizen-centric communication.
ii.Utilising the digital space allows for targeted messaging, enhancing the efficacy of public-oriented campaigns.

  • This shift results in significant cost efficiencies, a crucial factor in resource optimisation.

iii.As per the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)’s Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators January–March 2023, the internet penetration in India as of March 2023, is over 880 million, and the number of telecom subscribers as of March 2023 is over 1172 million.

India & Bangladesh Navies Undertook 5th CORPAT & Bongosagar 23 in Northern Bay of BengalThe 4th edition of the Bilateral Exercise between the Indian Navy(IN) and Bangladesh Navy(BN), BONGOSAGAR 23, and the 5th edition of Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) by the two navies was conducted from 7th to 9th November 20233 in the Northern Bay of Bengal.

  • Regular bilateral exercises and coordinated patrols have strengthened mutual understanding and cooperation between the two navies.
  • Bongo Sagar exercise was first conducted in 2019 while 1st edition of IN-BN CORPAT  was held in 2018.

IN- Indian Naval Ship (INS) Kuthar, an indigenously built guided-missile Corvette, INS Kiltan, an indigenously built anti-submarine Corvette, and Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) Dornier
BN– Bangladesh Navy Ship (BNS) Abu Bakr, Abu Ubaidah and Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) Dornier.
INS Kuthar is an indigenously built guided-missile Corvette, whereas INS Kiltan is an indigenously built anti-submarine Corvette.

  • Both ships are part of the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet based at Visakhapatnam, and function under the operational command of the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command.

Key Points:
i.Joint patrolling along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) was held between both navies.
ii.There were Communication drills, surface gun-shoots, and tactical maneuvers conducted during the exercises.
iii.CORPAT-23 featured the first-ever Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) drills between the two navies.
iv.It involved a Search and Rescue scenario at sea, demonstrating joint capabilities in responding to emergencies.

QS Asia Rankings 2024: India features Highest Number of Universities; China’s Peking University TopsOn November 8, 2023, the QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) World University Ranking: Asia 2024 was released, showcasing 148 Indian universities which is 30 more than the last edition. With this, India now holds the highest representation in Asia’s higher education system, surpassing China (133) and Japan (96).

  • India has 118 universities in 2023 ranking.
  • This is the 16th edition of the QS World University Ranking in this category.

Peking University, Beijing, China has retained the 1st position in the QS Asia Ranking 2024, while, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) in Mumbai, Maharashtra grabbed the top spot in India with 40th position in the Asia Ranking.
About Quacquarelli Symonds (QS):
Chief Executive Officer– Jessica Turner
Headquarters– London, United Kingdom (UK)

India Ranked 117th among 129 nations in Inclusiveness Index by OBI; New Zealand TopsAccording to the Inclusiveness Index published by the Othering and Belonging Institute (OBI) at California University, United States of America(USA), India was ranked 117th out of 129 countries with an overall score of 49.24.

  • India was ranked 129th  in religion inclusiveness, 121st in gender, 108th in disability, 87th in race, 40th in the general population, and 39th in LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or questioning, Intersex, Asexual).
  • The index was topped by New Zealand for the second consecutive year with an overall score of 82.08.
  • It is followed by 2nd place at Portugal (77.6), and the Netherlands (76.98) in the 3rd place.

About Othering and Belonging Institute (OBI):
Director– John A. Powell
Headquarters– Berkeley, California, US

WHO Unveils a New Operational Framework for Building Climate-resilient & low-carbon Health Systems The World Health Organization (WHO) unveiled a new Operational framework for building climate-resilient and low-carbon health systems to tackle the challenges posed by a rapidly changing climate.

  • The Framework is designed to enhance health systems’ resilience while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to help safeguard health communities worldwide.
  • It aims to contribute to the design of transformative health systems that can provide safe and quality care in a changing climate.

Note: The Framework was unveiled ahead of the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP 28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) scheduled from 30 November to 12 December 2023 in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
About the Framework:
i.The Framework was developed following the request for the World Health Organisation (WHO) support by Ministers of Health from over 75 countries.
ii.Key insights into this framework emerged during the United Kingdom of Great Britain (UK) and Northern Ireland’s Presidency of COP26 to the UNFCCC in November 2021, where over 75 countries enlisted in the Alliance for Transformative Action on Climate and Health (ATACH).
iii.Notably, the UK and WHO formally inaugurated ATACH in June 2022, solidifying their commitment to advancing this ambitious agenda.

  • To guide health sector professionals in addressing climate-related health risks through collaboration;
  • To strengthen health system functions for climate resilience and low-carbon health approaches;
  • To support the development of specific interventions for climate risk reduction and emissions reduction; and
  • To define roles and responsibilities for health decision-makers in climate resilience.

i.This comprehensive document serves not only as a roadmap for health organizations and authorities but also as an invaluable resource for decision-makers in health-determining sectors.
ii.This framework is a valuable resource for public health agencies, policymakers, and specialized institutions.
iii.The framework is a part of a blueprint for a future-proof and sustainable health sector.
Note: COP-28 will feature a dedicated Health Day, which underscores the importance of integrating public health into climate discussions.
Key Points:
i.WHO’s Framework is dedicated to protecting and improving population health in the face of climate instability.
ii.The health sector, responsible for nearly 5% of global emissions, is urged to reduce its carbon footprint while maintaining high-quality care standards.
iii.It provides different pathways for health systems to strengthen their climate resilience and decarbonize based on performance, GHG emissions, and climate change and health capacity.

  • Low-income countries, focused on energy access and Universal Health Coverage (UHC), play a vital role in global efforts.

About World Health Organization (WHO):
DirectorGeneral– Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
Established on– 7 April 1948

ADB & GEF Introduce Natural Capital Fund to Foster Environmental Conservation
On November 10, 2023, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) jointly introduced the Natural Capital Fund (NCF), a concessional fund aimed at backing projects in ADB’s developing member countries (DMCs).

  • The GEF has committed a USD15 million investment to support the NCF’s initiatives focused on improving food security and safeguarding natural capital.
  • The announcement for the same was made during the Asia-Pacific Natural Capital Forum held on 7­–9 November 2023, co-hosted by ADB and Stanford University’s Natural Capital Project.

Key Points:
i.It is a funding vehicle that accepts and administers contributions from multiple funding sources, including bilateral and multilateral organizations.
ii.NCF plans to co-finance projects alongside ADB and other partners. Financing will be secured through future incremental income, eco-compensation rewards, and additional operating cash flows of the projects.
About Asian Development Bank:
President – Masatsugu Asakawa
Headquarters – Manila, Philippines
Establishment– 1966

ICICI Bank gets RBI nod to make ICICI Securities wholly-owned subsidiary
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approved ICICI Bank‘s request to make ICICI Securities a wholly-owned subsidiary. Following this, ICICI Securities will be delisted and become a wholly-owned subsidiary of its parent company, ICICI Bank.

  • ICICI Securities has four lines of business: Broking, Distribution of financial products, Wealth management, and Investment banking
  • The acquisition is likely to be completed in the next 12-15 months, subject to regulatory approvals from ICICI Bank and the company’s shareholders’ and creditors, RBI, National Company Law Tribunal, stock exchanges and other regulatory and statutory authorities.

Moody’s retains India’s GDP growth at 6.7% for 2023Global credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service (MIS) has retained India’s economic growth projection at  6.7%  for financial year 2023-24(FY23-24) in its “Global Macro Outlook 2024-25 (November 2023 Update)”.

  • The report also projected that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to grow at 6.1% in FY24-25 and 6.3% in FY25-26.
  • This is slightly higher than the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)‘s projection of 6.5% for 2023-24.

Quarter Analysis:
India’s GDP grew by 7.8% in the first quarter(Q1) of the FY23-24, up from 6.1% in the fourth quarter(Q4) of FY22-23.
i.This was driven by higher government spending, increased private investment, and strong growth in the services sector.
ii.A strong domestic demand, and manufacturing and services activity aided growth during the quarter.
i.The rating agency warns that rural demand remains vulnerable to uneven monsoons.
ii.The report also says that India’s exports to remain weak against the backdrop of an unfavourable global economy.
iii.The rating agency also expects growth in advanced Group 20 (G20) economies to slow to 1% in 2024 from 1.7% in 2023, before rising to 1.8% in 2025.
iv.The report suggests that inflation to fall back to target in most G-20 economies by year-end 2025.
v.However, the rating agency warns that climate or geopolitical events could inject volatility from spikes in energy and food prices.

Hindustan Aeronautics incorporates JV With Safran for Helicopter EnginesHindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and France based Safran Helicopter Engines have decided to set up a new 50/50 joint venture (JV) company in Bengaluru, Karnataka to design, develop, produce, sell, and support helicopter engines.

  • This joint venture will be the first engine design and manufacturing house in India.
  • The JV was formed with an aim to develop the adequate propulsion system for the Indian Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) future 13-ton Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH) and its naval version, the Deck Based Multi-Role Helicopter (DBMRH).

i.The establishment of the JV is based on the Memorandum of Understanding which was (MoU) which was signed in 2022 and an agreement on workshare reached between the two partners during Aero India 2023.
ii.In October 2023, the firms announced that they will also manufacture ring forgings for commercial aircraft engines to power the Airbus A320Neo family and the Boeing 737 Max single-aisle airliners.
Present JV:
i.JV is a testament to the strong and growing relationship between the Indian and French aerospace industries.
ii.It aims to promote cooperation in research, development, production, and maintenance of aerospace platforms and systems.
iii.JV is expected to engage and harness the Indian Defence manufacturing ecosystem, thereby contributing to the realisation of the government’s Atma Nirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) vision.
Earlier Partnership:
i.These two firms have already collaborated to produce more than 500  Shakti Engines.
ii.This engine is used in HAL-produced helicopters such as

  • Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH- DHRUV)
  • Rudra (Weaponized version of Dhruv)
  • Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Prachand

Additional Info:
i.The JV also enables Airbus to support HAL in tapping into the growing demand for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services.
ii.Airbus will also offer HAL access to AirbusWorld, a digital platform that offers support, technical data and training solutions.
About Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL):
Chairman and Managing Director(CMD) – R Madhavan
Headquarters – Bengaluru,Karnataka
Established in – 1940
About Safran Helicopter Engines:
Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – Cédric Goubet
Headquarters – Bordes, France
Established in – 1938

HAL & Airbus Signs Contract to Establish MRO facility for A-320 Aircraft
On November 9, 2023, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Airbus, the largest European aircraft manufacturer, signed a contract to establish a Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facility for the A-320 family of aircraft at Nashik, Maharashtra.

  • Airbus will provide tools and consulting services, with the facility set to be operational by November 2024.
  • The collaboration aims to meet the rising demand for MRO services in India.
  • The facility will be available for the entire Asian region after obtaining European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approval in partnership with Airbus.

Apolinaris D’Souza Honored With The 19th ‘Kalakar Puraskar’ AwardApolinaris D’Souza, a prominent Konkani singer, lyricist, and composer, was honored with the 19th edition of the Kalakar Puraskar award in appreciation of his immense contributions to the field of music for over 5 decades.

  • The award was presented by Mandd Sobhann, in association with Carval Ghorane’.
  • The award was presented during the 263rd Monthly Theatre at Kalaangann, Shakthinagar, Karnataka.

About Apolinaris D’Souza:
i.Apolinaris D’Souza has made immense contributions to Konkani music in Oman and in Mangaluru, Karnataka.

  • He has served as the choir master at Sts. Peter & Paul Church, Ruwi in Oman for nearly 20 years, and has judged many music competitions.

ii.He has produced 9 audio albums of songs and hymns, 2 books of songs and music, and over 250 videos of Konkani and English hymns for his YouTube channel.
iii.He is also known for his popular hymns, such as Mondirant Bhitor Sorun, ‘Orgam Tuka Somiya‘Ye Ye Jezu Mogala, ‘Undya Vayna SovemVetam Vetam Somiyam, and Sasnnacho Vishev’.
iv.He was the first person to organize Konkani Program in Muscat, Omen (in 1976).

  • He has also Organized ‘Apoli Night’ in Muscat.

About Kalakar Puraskar‘ award:
i.The ‘Kalakar Puraskar’ award was institutionalized in 2004 by linguist Pratap Naik under the name of his Carvalho (Carval) family.
ii.It is presented every year to a Konkani individual of the Karnataka region in recognition of his/her achievements in the field of music, dance, drama, or folklore.
iii.The award consists of a Rs 50,000 Cash prize, a Citation of Honour and a Memento.
Mandd Sobhann:
i.Mandd Sobhann, founded in 1986, is a premier Konkani cultural organization based in Mangalore, Karnataka.
ii.It was  to promote and preserve Konkani culture and language through music, dance, drama, and other art forms.

Ashok Leyland is the First OEM to Manufacture LNG Engines Ashok Leyland becomes the first Indian Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to unveil an in-house Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) engine named as ‘AVTR 1922’ .

  • Ashok Leyland has delivered first batch of 12 LNG-powered haulage trucks to Mahanagar Gas Limited in Hosur, Tamil Nadu(TN).

About AVTR 1922:
i.The AVTR 1922 is a customizable engine powered by a 6-cylinder H-series ‘Hino’ engine.
ii.The engine is compliant with Bharat Stage Six (BSVI) Stage II emission standards.
ii.It is also built on the AVTR platform, which is India’s first and only fully modular truck platform.

  • The engine shares many components with Ashok Leyland’s current diesel trucks engines.

iii.It meets all safety standards and has a full metal front end for added safety and easier repairs.
About Ashok Leyland:
Ashok Leyland is an Indian multinational commercial vehicle manufacturer; It is owned by the Hinduja Group Limited.
Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – Shenu Agarwal
Headquarters – Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Established in – 1948(Established as Ashok Motors; Became Ashok Leyland in 1955)

India Finishes Asian Archery Championships 2023 with 7 MedalsThe Indian contingent finished second in the medal tally with 7 medals (3 Gold, 1 silver and 3 Bronze) in the Asian Archery Championships 2023 held in Bangkok, Thailand from 3rd to 10th November 2023.

  • South Korea secured first place in the medal tally with 11 medals(6 Gold, 2 Silver and 3 Bronze) while Kazakhstan in the third plce with 3 mrdals(1 Gold and 2 Silver) in the 23rd edition of the Asian Archery Championship.

Medal Tally:

  • In the women’s compound team, she won the gold medal along with Jyothi Surekha Vennam and Aditi Swami.
  • In the women’s compound individual event she performed better than India’s Jyothi Surekha Vennam who won the silver medal in the event.

ii.The Indian mixed compound team comprised of 17-year-old Aditi Swami and Priyansh wont the gold medal.
iii.Abhishek Verma, the Asian Games 2018 champion and silver medallist at Hangzhou 2022, won the Bronze medal in the men’s compound event.
The Asian individual Olympic qualifiers for archery also to be held from 9th to 12th November 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand.

National Education Day 2023- November 11 National Education Day is annually observed across India on 11 November to mark the birth anniversary of ‘Bharat Ratna’ Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first education minister of independent India.

  • His immense contribution to the field of education in India is recognised by celebrating his birthday as National Education Day across India.

This day serves to raise awareness about the fundamental right to education and underscore its supreme importance.

Current Affairs – 11,12 & 13 November 2023

PM Modi Inaugurated the 2nd Edition of ‘World Food India’ in New DelhiPrime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi inaugurated the 2nd edition of World Food India (WFI 2023), the biennial Mega Food Event, on November 3, 2023, at Bharat Mandapam, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

  • The event held from November 3-5, 2023 was organised by the Ministry of Food Processing Industry(MoFPI).
  • PM Modi also inaugurated Food Street as part of World Food India 2023.

Mascot: MillInd, a probot/foor processing robot, is the Mascot for WFI 2023.
i.During the inaugural event, PM Modi announced a seed capital aid of Rs 380 crore to support over 1 lakh Self-Help Group (SHG) members.
ii.The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), under the Ministry of Commerce, GoI, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lulu Hypermarket LLC, a global retail giant, to enhance the export of Indian agricultural products, including millets, to the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCCs).
iii.Ahmedabad, Gujarat-based HyFun Foods has signed a MoU with Lulu Group International to produce and supply an exclusive range of frozen food products under the private label brand ‘Lulu.’
About Ministry of Food Processing Industries(MOFPI):
Union Minister– Pashupati Kumar Paras (Constituency – Hajipur, Bihar)
Minister of State (MoS)– Prahlad Singh Patel

India hosts the 6th Assembly of the International Solar AllianceOn 31st October 2023, India hosted the 6th Assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) at Bharat Mandapam, in New Delhi, Delhi. Union Minister Raj Kumar Singh (RK Singh) Ministry of Power (MOP) and Ministry of New & Renewable Energy(MNRE), President of ISA presided over the 6th Assembly of ISA.
i.Chile has officially joined the ISA as its 95th member.
ii.ISA released 3 flagship reports to provide insights into the current state of solar energy: World Solar Technology Report 2023; World Solar Market Report 2023 and World Solar Investment Report.
iii.The ISA announced that the Global Solar Facility (GSF), a payment guarantee fund formed by ISA to stimulate investments into solar power projects, is set to receive a capital contribution of USD 35 million.
iv.The 6th Assembly of ISA has decided to increase the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) for solar projects across its member countries to 35% from the existing 10%.
About International Solar Alliance(ISA):
Director General– Ajay Mathur
Headquarters– Gurugram, Haryana
Formed in 2015
Member– 95 Members and 116 signatories

REC signs MoU with RailTel, to Finance Infrastructure Projects in Telecom, IT and Railway Signalling REC Limited (Formerly Rural Electrification Corporation Limited) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with RailTel to provide financial assistance upto Rs 30,000 crore for infrastructure developmental projects in next 5 years.

  • These projects encompass a wide range of areas, including Data Center products and services, Telecom & IT products and services, Railways & Metro projects, and the KAVACH Train Collision Prevention System.

It was signed by TSC Bosh, Executive Director (Infra & Logistics), REC and Jasmeet Singh Marwah, Company Secretary, RailTel in the presence of Vivek Kumar Dewangan, Chairman & Managing Director (CMD), REC Limited.

  • Other senior officers who were present on the occasion were Sanjai Kumar, CMD, RailTel; Ajoy Choudhary, Director Finance, among others.

Key Points:
i.The MoU will also explore possibility of financing overseas ventures related to High-Speed Rail, metro, IT network, and the Upgradation of Railway Network, as part of bilateral country discussions and Infrastructure Projects in Southeast Asia and Eastern Africa where RailTel is currently focusing.
ii.During the signing, discussions were held on the opportunities for collaboration and explored new areas of renewable energy, smart metering where RailTel and REC (through its wholly owned subsidiary REC Power Development and Consultancy Limited /RECPDCL) can join hands.
About REC Limited:
It is a Maharatna Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE)
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Power
Headquarter– New Delhi, Delhi
Establishment– 1969
About RailTel Corporation of India Limited:
It is a “Mini Ratna (Category-I)” PSU and one of the largest neutral telecom infrastructure providers.
Headquarter– New Delhi, Delhi
Established – 2000

DAY-NRLM and SIDBI Signed MoU to Promote Women Enterprises The Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM) and the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote women-led enterprises in India. The MoU is set to span 2 years.
Note: DAY-NRLM functions under the Ministry of Rural Development(MoRD).
The MoU was signed by Charanjit Singh, Charanjit Singh, Additonal Secretary of Rural Development, MoRD, (on behalf of DAY- NRLM) and  S. S. Acharya, the Chief General Manager of SIDBI in the presence of Shailesh Kumar Singh, Secretary of Rural Development, MoRD and Sivasubramanian Ramann, Chairman & Managing Director(CMD) of SIDBI.
About MoU:
i.Under this MoU, the expertise of DAY-NRLM and SIDBI will be utilised to develop a transformative initiative to promote women-led enterprises among experienced members of Self Help Groups (SHGs).
ii.The partnership aims to demonstrate on-the-ground activities that establish a reliable and sensitive support structure for the capacity enhancement of women entrepreneurs (WEs).
iii.This also aims to establish a standard protocols, systems, and procedures for streamlined access to formal finance and to develop a comprehensive framework for new financial products and schemes.
Note: This is in line with Government’s commitment to women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship, with focus on making an inclusive and supportive entrepreneurial landscape for women-led businesses.
Expected Outcomes:
i.Improved capacity of State Rural Livelihood Missions (SRLM) teams to help SHG members become micro-entrepreneurs
ii.Establishment of a reliable and responsive support system for women-led businesses
iii.Implementation of standardized protocols to support women-led enterprises
iv.Partnerships with financial institutions to provide women entrepreneurs with access to finance.
v.Design and implementation of new financial schemes(such as credit guarantees and interest subventions) for women entrepreneurs.
vi.Creation of scalable models for promoting women-led enterprises.
About Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI):
Chairman & Managing Director(CMD) – Sivasubramanian Ramann
Headquarters – Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Established in – 1990

IIS Kanpur signed MoUs with IIT Kanpur, HAL & DASI  to Empower India’s Youth On 9th November 2023, Indian Institute of Skills (IISKanpur (Uttar Pradesh-UP) has signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with Indian Institute of Technology (IITKanpur; Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL); and Dassault Aircraft Services India Private Limited(DASI).

  • These MoUs aims to empower and prepare the youth of UP for the aerospace and defence sector, particularly to support the Defence Industrial Corridor in UP.

Key People:
The MoUs were exchanged in the presence of Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, in New Delhi, Delhi.
Point to note: This collaboration between education, skilling and leading industries to build the capabilities of IIS Kanpur is in line with the vision of National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
Details of the MoUs:
i.Under this partnership, best-in-class infrastructure along with modern training methodology to build a strong foundation for the youth(particularly in UP) will be established.
ii.Youths associated with IIS Kanpur will benefit through the high-quality education in new-age courses, defence and aviation sectors offered by IIT Kanpur, HAL and Dassault.
iii.The planned modules will offer knowledge on Industry 4.0 courses like Artificial intelligence (AI), Machine Learning(ML), Cloud Computing, Data Analytics, Advance Manufacturing, Krishi 2.0 Smart Agriculture, Robotics and Automation and more.
Key Points:
i.Under the partnership with Dassault Aviation, a course in Aeronautical Structure and Equipment Fitter (AS&EF) will be started at IIS.

  • This will offer long-term training in the aviation sector in Kanpur.
  • Under this partnership, Dassault Aviation Centre of Excellence is being established in the IIS Kanpur Campus to offer Aeronautical Vocational Training.

ii.Under a strategic partnership, HAL will develop a training infrastructure for a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) lab at IIS Kanpur.

  • This is a part of HAL’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
  • This aims to offer IIS Kanpur’s faculties and trainees exposure to advanced CNC machining technology.

About Indian Institute of Skills:
i.In 2019, the government of India approved to set up IISs in 3 locations across India – Mumbai(Maharashtra), Kanpur(Uttar Pradesh ) and Ahmedabad(Gujarat).
ii.This aims to build world-class skill training centres by learning from and imbibing best practices from internationally renowned existing skill institutions.

A Joint Release of WHO and ILO: Working under the Sun Causes 1 in 3 Deaths from Non-melanoma Skin CancerThe 2 United Nations (UN) agencies, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) jointly released research in the journal Environment International, estimating that approximately 1 in 3 non-melanoma skin cancer deaths are attributed to occupational sun exposure.

  • The joint release highlights the burden caused by non-melanoma skin cancer due to occupational exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation
  • It also underscores the need for implementing better preventative measures.

About World Health Organization (WHO):
Director-General– Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
Established on– 7 April 1948

RBI Governor Released CAFRAL 1st Report: Fintech can emerge as Substitute for Traditional Bankingi.On November 7, 2023, the Shaktikanta Das, Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), released the 1st flagship publication of the Centre for Advanced Financial Research and Learning (CAFRAL) titled India Finance Report 2023 (IFR 2023). The report stated that India’s fintech sector could replace traditional banking in the near future.
ii.The theme of the report is ‘Connecting the Last Mile: Non-Banking Financial Companies in India’.
iii.CAFRAL, promoted by RBI, is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2011 to promote research and learning in banking and finance.
PayGlocal gets RBI nod for Payment Aggregator License
PayGlocal, a cross-border payments platform, receives in-principle approval from RBI for Payment Aggregator (PA) license. This will allow PayGlocal to onboard merchants for online payment processing.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Swaminathan Janakiraman, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

DFC Offers USD 553 Million to Adani Ports-led CWIT The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has announced an offer of USD 553 million to Adani Ports-led Colombo West International Terminal Private Limited (CWIT) to support the development of the deepwater shipping Container Terminal in the Port of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
About Colombo West International Terminal Private Limited CWIT: 
i.CWIT is a joint venture (JV) developed by a consortium led by Adani Ports & Special Economic Zones Limited (APSEZ) (51% stake), Sri Lankan conglomerate John Keells Holdings (34% stake), and the Sri Lankan government-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) (15%).

  • In 2021, Adani Ports signed a USD 700-million deal with SLPA and John Keells Holdings to jointly develop the terminal project in a Build-Operate-Transfer(BOT) arrangement spanning 35 years.

ii.CWIT’s new terminal will help to increase the operational capacity of the port of colombo which has been operating at more than 90 percent utilization since 2021.
iii.When completed, CWIT would be Sri Lanka’s largest and deepest container facility with a 1,400-meter quay length and a 20-meter alongside depth.
Key People:
DFC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Scott Nathan, U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung, Srilankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry and APSEZ CEO Karan Adani were the attendees.
About DFC offer to CWIT:
The DFC’s loans to the new terminal reflects its commitment to financing high-quality infrastructure that supports its partner’s development needs, invests in local communities, and is respectful of local financial conditions.
This investment also enhances the United States’ enduring commitment to Sri Lanka’s economic growth and its regional economic integration, including with India.
About U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC):
The DFC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, which provides financial solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Scott Nathan
Headquarters – Washington DC, the United States of America(USA)
Established – 2019

Flying Wedge is First Company to Secure DGCA Certification for UAS
Bengaluru(Karnataka) based Flying Wedge Defence and Aerospace Technologies Private Limited has become the first Indian private company to receive a type certification from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

  • The type certificate was given for their indigenous Unmanned Aircraft System(UAS) called “FWDA10”.
  • FWDA10 was certified for its proper design, material, specification, construction and performance for safe operations.
  • The certification of this UAS is based on the recommendation of UL India Private Limited.

i.The DGCA Type Certification is issued under the provision of Rule 8 and Rule 9 (3) of the Drone Rules 2021.
ii.This certificate is valid until it is revoked or suspended.

Venkat Nageswar Chalasani Appointed as New Chief Executive of AMFI The Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI), a self-regulatory organisation (SRO) for the Mutual Fund (MF) industry in India appointed Venkat Nageswar Chalasani, former Deputy Managing Director (DMD) of the International Banking Group of State Bank of India (SBI), as its new Chief Executive.

  • He will replace N.S. Venkatesh, who has served 2 consecutive terms of 3 years each since October 2017.
  • As a new Chief Executive, Venkat Nageswar Chalasani would focus on the MF industry’s growth aspects and AMFI 2.0 strategy.

About Venkat Nageswar Chalasani:
i.Venkat Nageswar Chalasani has over 4 decades of experience was in various board positions and actively participated in committees by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Ministry of Finance.
ii.He served as the Chairman of the Fixed Income Money Market and Derivatives Association of India (FIMMDA) and the Foreign Exchange Dealers Association of India (FEDAI).
iii.In 2022, RBI appointed him a member of the Advisory Committee of Srei Infrastructure Finance Limited and Srei Equipment Finance Limited (SEFL).
iv.He has been appointed as an Independent Director of Apitoria Pharma Pvt. Ltd in 2023.
About Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI):
Chairman– Mr. Navneet Munot
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
AMFI is the association of all the Asset Management Companies of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)-registered MFs in India and was incorporated on August 22, 1995, as a non-profit organisation.

  • As of November 2023, 45 Asset Management Companies that are registered with SEBI, are its members.

Taeniogonalos dhritiae: A New Species of Wasp Discovered in Kerala
Scientists of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered a new species of Taeniogonalos Schulz (wasp – a winged insect) named Taeniogonalos dhritiae, in the Western Ghat Ranipuram Hills area of Kerala. The species is named after Dr Dhriti Banerjee, a noted entomologist and the 1st Woman Director of ZSI.

  • The new species Taeniogonalos dhritiae belongs to the genus Taeniogonalos, which is a genus of wasps in the family Trigonalyidae.
  • Trigonalyidae is a small family of Hymenoptera, a large order of insects, comprising sawflies, wasps, bees, and ants.
  • There are approximately 122 known species of Trigonalyidae, distributed across 16 genes worldwide of which 8 species are from India.
  • These insects are hyperparasitoids (parasites of parasites)where females lay eggs on other parasitic wasps.
  • The research was conducted by P Girish Kumar and VD Hegde, scientists of Western Ghats Regional Centre, ZSI, Kozhikode (Kerala), and was published in the international journal ‘Zootaxa’ on 3 November 2023.

National Ayurveda Day 2023- November 10  National Ayurveda Day is annually observed across India aimed at generating awareness among people about health issues as well as the potential role of Ayurveda in their prevention and treatment.

  • The day aligns with Dhanvantari Jayanti, to honour Lord Dhanvantari, the God of Ayurveda, and coincides with Dhanteras, seeking blessings for robust health.

The National Ayurveda Day 2023 falls on 10 November 2023 and marks the observance of the 8th National Ayurveda Day.

  • The focal theme for Ayurveda Day 2023 is, “Ayurveda for One Health” .

i.The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) announced Dhanvantari Jayanti as national Ayurveda day in 2016 intending to further promote Ayurveda into the mainstream.
ii.The initiative is supported by the Ministry of Ayush, and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
iii.The first ever National Ayurveda Day was observed in India on the 28th October 2016.
About Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH):
Union Minister– Sarbananda Sonowal (Rajya Sabha Assam)
Minister of State– Dr. Munjpara Mahendrabhai Kalubhai (Constituency- Surendranagar, Gujarat)

World Science Day for Peace and Development 2023 – November 10The United Nations (UN)’s World Science Day for Peace and Development is annually observed across the globe on November 10 to highlight the important role of science in society and the need to engage the general people in discussions about rising scientific concerns.

  • 10th November 2023 marks the observance of the 22nd edition of World Science Day for Peace and Development.

i.The theme of World Science Day for Peace and Development 2023 is ‘Building Trust In Science’
ii.The first World Science Day for Peace and Development was observed on 10th November 2002.
About the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): 
Director-General- Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters- Paris, France
Establishment- 1945 (came into force in 1946)
Members – 193 Members and 11 Associate Members

Chandigarh Smart City launches AI-driven Chatbot ‘BIRBAL’ 
Anindita Mitra, Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Chandigarh Smart City Limited (CSCL), launched an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven chatbot “BIRBAL” to provide a one-stop platform for citizens to access information and services.

  • The BIRBAL is developed using, a generative AI-powered conversational AI platform.
  • The chatbot provides accurate information and guide citizens to the appropriate resources.
  • It is incorporated with various features such as voice assistance, live agent support, and AI-based response updates.

Meghalaya CM Launches ‘Water Smart Kid Meghalaya’ Campaign and Awards the Water Guardians
Meghalaya Chief Minister (CM) Conrad K Sangma launched the ‘Water Smart Kid Meghalaya‘ campaign, an initiative under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), which focuses on educating children about water conservation and protection and aims to instill a sense of responsibility as Water Conservation Ambassadors.

  • During the event, the CM and Marcuise Marak, the Public Health Engineering (PHE) Minister recognised and awarded the “Water Guardians,” for inspiring efforts in the conservation of water bodies.
  • The recipients of this award were the Lumshyiap Village Water and Sanitation Committee (VWSC) in Ri Bhoi District, Darechikgre VWSC, and Dura Kantragre VWSC in West Garo Hills District.
  • The Meghalaya government has addressed water conservation and sustainability through various interventions, supported by Externally Aided Projects (EAPs) and the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • The PHE Department has secured substantial funding, nearing 8,000 crore, under JJM and EAPs.
  • Under JJM, Meghalaya has been awarded as “best performer” by the Ministry of Jal Shakti with additional incentives sanctioned.

Current Affairs – 10 November 2023

Union Minister Amit Shah Launches ‘Bharat Organics’ brand of National Cooperative Organics LtdOn 8th November 2023, Union Minister Amit Shah, Ministry of Cooperation launched the ‘Bharat Organics’ brand of National Cooperative Organics Limited (NCOL), a newly established cooperative body to promote organic produce.

  • The brand was launched during the one-day National Symposium on ‘Promoting Organic Products through Cooperatives’ organised by NCOL, in New Delhi, Delhi.
  • Union Minister Amit Shah also launched the NCOL’s logo, website, brochure, and membership certificates to 5 cooperative societies.

Highlights of the Symposium:
i.6 organic products under “Bharat Organics” brand was launched during th event.

  • The 6 products are, tur dal, chana dal, sugar, rajma, basmati rice, and Sonamasoori rice.
  • These products will be sold through 150 Mother Dairy’s Safal outlets and online platforms.
  • A total of 20 organic products will be launched by December 2023 and the benefits will be directed towards the farmers producing them.

ii.Under the concept of “Organic Under One Roof”, a retail outlet network of all organic products was also inititated.
iii.Amit Shah also launched the website of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDBSoil Limited, a subsidiary of NDDB for manure management and organic fertilizer produced from the NDDB’s Varanasi biogas plantUttar Pradesh.
About NOCL
i.Union Cabinet under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the formation of National Cooperative Organics Limited (NCOL) on January 11, 2023.
ii.Functions:NCOL aims to increase the profit for organic farmers and cover the entire supply chain of organic products through cooperative networks by undertaking the following activities to benefit organic farmers.

  • NCOL will undertake aggregation, certification, production, testing, procurement, storage, processing, branding, packaging, labeling, and marketing of the organic products.

Promoters of NOCL:
The National Cooperative Organics Limited was established under the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act(2002) with the NDDB being the chief promoter.
The other promoters of NCOL include National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India Ltd (NCCF), Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF), National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) and National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC).
About the National Cooperative Organics Ltd (NCOL):
Chairman – Meenesh Shah
Headquarters – Anand, Gujarat
Established – January 2023

IICA & FSR Global Collaborates on Energy Sector
Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) and FSR Global, an initiative of the Florence School of Regulation (FSR), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote collaboration in academia and research on regulatory issues of the energy sector.

  • The MoU aims to explore innovative strategies and enhance operational capabilities in the field of energy regulation and power management both in India and worldwide.
  • The MoU also facilitates and promotes a deeper understanding of the energy sector and its regulation.
  • IICA and FSR Global will jointly offer capacity-building, research, and advisory services across different facets of the energy sector.

WHO’s Global TB Report 2023: Globally 7.5mn People were Diagnosed with TB in 2022
According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Tuberculosis (TB) Report 2023, 7.5 million people across the globe were newly diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) in 2022, the highest ever since records began in 1995.

  • However, it also highlights a positive global recovery in TB diagnosis and treatment services in 2022, indicating a reversal of the negative impact caused by COVID-19 disruptions.

The report assessed data from 192 countries and areas (out of 215) with more than 99% of the world’s population and TB burden.
i.India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, responsible for over 60% of the global decline in new TB cases in 2020 and 2021, surpassed 2019 levels of diagnosis in 2022.
ii.Globallyan estimated 10.6 million people developed TB in 2022, up from best estimates of 10.3 million in 2021 and 10.0 million in 2020.
iii.Most people who developed TB were in the WHO regions of South-East Asia (46%),
Africa (23%) and the Western Pacific (18%).
iv.TB-related deaths in 2022, including those with HIV (Human immunodeficiency Viruses), were 1.3 million, a decrease from 1.4 million in 2021.

  • TB remains the leading cause of death among people with HIV.

v.COVID-19 disruptions led to nearly half a million additional TB deaths during the 2020-2022 period.
vi.In 2022, 410,000 people developed multidrug-resistant TB(MDR-TB) or rifampicin-resistant TB(RR-TB); only 2 in 5 accessed treatment.

  • The report noted that MDR-TB remains a public health crisis.

Insufficient Progress to meet global TB targets set in 2018:
i.Despite progress in 2022, global TB targets set in 2018 were unmet due to pandemic disruptions and conflicts.
ii.TB-related deaths decreased by 19% from 2015 to 2022, falling short of the WHO’s 75% reduction goal by 2025.
iii.TB incidence rate dropped by 8.7% from 2015 to 2022, far from the WHO’s 50% reduction target by 2025.
iv.Approximately 50% of TB patients and households faced catastrophic costs, surpassing the WHO’s zero target.
v.UN High-Level Meeting on TB targets for 2018-2022 were not achieved; only 84% of 40 million people targeted for TB treatment and 52% of 30 million people targeted for preventive treatment were reached.
New Targets:
The 2023 UN High-Level Meeting on TB reaffirmed 2018 commitments and set new goals for 2023-2027, including 90% coverage for TB prevention and care, rapid TB tests, comprehensive benefits for patients, a safe new TB vaccine, and closing funding gaps by 2027.

India & Netherland Signed MoI to Regulate Medical Products; Indian Delegates Participated in WLPF 2023 On 8th November 2023, India and Netherlands signed a Memorandum of Intent (MoI) for cooperation on medical product regulation and enhance the quality of medical products and health care services for both the nations,  at the Hague, Netherlands.

  • The MoI was signed during the meeting between Bhagwant Khuba, Minister of State (MoS), Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers(MoC&F) of India and Ernst Kuipers, Minister of Health, Welfare and Sports of Netherlands.

During his visit, Bhagwant Khuba, MoS, MoC&F led Indian delegation to participate in the 2nd World Local Production Forum (WLPF 2023) held in the Hague, from 6th to 8th November 2023. 
WLPF 2023:
World Local Production Forum(WLPF) : Enhancing access to medicines and other health technologies is an initiative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) that provides Member States and the global community with a regular platform to:

  • Shape strategies;
  • Galvanize collective action;
  • Foster partnerships on sustainable local production to improve timely and equitable access to quality-assured health products.

Note: The inaugural WLPF was organised virtually from 21-25 June 2021.

  • To increase access to medicines and other health technologies.
  • To leverage regional and global partnerships for local production and technology transfer for timely and equitable access worldwide.
  • To explore collective strategies and actions to enhance impact on access and global health security.

Key Highlights:
i.During his visit to Netherlands, Union MoS Bhagwant Khuba, visited the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and met with Carla van Rooijen, Director of the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Technology Division.

  • He discussed about the regulations in the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries.

ii.He also visited the Port of Rotterdam which is Europe’s largest port and discussed with Boudwijn Simmons, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, and officials about the port’s hydrogen hub plans.

  • Rotterdam is set to become a hub in hydrogen production and transportation.

iii.He also visited Bilthoven Biologicals, a part of the Cyrus Poonawalla Group, known as the world’s largest vaccine producer.
iv.He also met with Dr. Amar N. Ramadhin, Minister of Public Health of Suriname and discussed on quality healthcare.
v.He also participated in Kannada Rajyotsava 2023 Celebrations of Shrigandha Holland Kannada Balaga in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Maharashtra leads ‘Q2FY24’ Mutual Fund Investments in India: AMFI Data
According to data from the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI), Maharashtra emerged as the leader in mutual fund investments in India during July-September Quarter-Fiscal Year 2024(Q2FY24) with a substantial equity asset of Rs 7.47 lakh crore out of the industry’s total equity asset of Rs 25.85 lakh crore.

  • It is followed by Gujarat and Karnataka holding equity assets of Rs 2.21 lakh crore and Rs 1.99 lakh crore respectively.
  • They have surpassed Delhi (ranked 4th), whose equity asset dropped to Rs 1.94 lakh crore.

Key Points:
i.Gujarat and Karnataka accounted for 8.5% and 7.7% of the overall industry equity asset, while Delhi lagged behind at 7.5%.
ii.With an equity asset of Rs 1.66 lakh crore, Uttar Pradesh (UP) secured the 5th  position, surpassing West Bengal (Rs 1.65 lakh crore) and Tamil Nadu (Rs 1.23 lakh crore).
iii.In terms of Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) inflows, Gujarat contributed significantly, accounting for 7% with inflows of around Rs 1200 crore.
iv.Punjab made a strong comeback, securing the 12th position with an equity asset of Rs 45,149 crore, surpassing Telangana and Kerala, which recorded assets of Rs 44,879 crore and Rs 44,076 crore respectively.

Axis Bank & IRMA Inks MoU to Promote Financial Inclusion & Literacy in India 
Axis Bank Limited has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), (Anand) Gujarat, to establish the Axis Bank Chair for Financial Inclusion at IRMA campus.

  • The chair was established to promote financial inclusion (FI) and financial literacy across India.

The MoU was signed by Umakant Dash, Director of IRMA and Abhejit Agarwal, Head of Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Axis Bank in the presence of Professors of IRMA and officials from Axis Bank.
About Axis Bank Chair for Financial Inclusion:
i.Axis Bank Chair for Financial Inclusion is constituted for a period of 5 years. ii.This will focus on research, deepening industry-academia collaboration, driving thought leadership, and policy advocacy.
iii.Under this MoU, a joint Advisory Committee will be established to oversee the the selection for the Chair and periodically review the progress.

  • To conduct field-based research to support national and state-level policies.
  • To design financial inclusion strategies tailored for India.
  • To support capacity building within the banking sector concerning financial inclusion.
  • To publish relevant papers, articles, and reports.
  • To organise workshops, round tables, and symposia.
  • To deliver courses at IRMA on the subject of Financial Inclusion.

About Axis bank Limited:
Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – Amitabh Chaudhry
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in – 1993
Tagline – Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi
About Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA):
Director – Umakant Dash
Headquarters – Anand, Gujarat
Established in – 1979 (Established by Dr. Verghese Kurien, popularly known as the Father of the White Revolution in India)

UBS Securities raises India’s GDP forecast to 6.3% for FY24 with Potential Growth to 6-6.5%UBS Securities India Private Limited raised India’s fiscal year 2023-2024 (FY24) GDP (Gross Domestic Product) Growth estimate by 10 basis points (100 basis points mean 1 percentage point) to 6.3% amid better-than-expected domestic economic activities

  • UBS also increased India’s FY25 GDP growth forecast upwards by 20 basis points to 6.2%.
  • It also projected India’s growth to settle towards the long-run average of 6.2% and 6.5% in FY26 and FY27.
  • It increased its forecast on the Indian economy’s growth potential in the medium term to 6-6.5% from the earlier 5.75-6.25%.

Key Points:
i.Other key factors for FY24 increase in growth are higher household spending during the ongoing festive season, buoyant credit growth, and reallocation of government spending towards pro-rural and pro-social schemes
ii.An increase in Indian economy’s growth potential in the medium term is due to significant digitalisation adoption, an easing of financial sector weaknesses, and the government’s reform agenda to help support India’s integration into global value chains.
iii.UBS identified challenges for India’s economy: providing jobs for the growing working-age population, navigating a challenging external environment, and managing automation effects.

  • Despite these challenges, UBS’s revised GDP growth estimate highlights resilience in India’s economy amid global uncertainties.

Eco Warrior Awards 2023: India’s 1st Dedicated Awards Show For Indian Forest Service OfficersIndia’s first ever dedicated award show for Indian Forest Service Officers, the Eco Warrior Awards 2023, was held in New Delhi, Delhi to honour exceptional individuals and initiatives that have made significant contributions to environmental conservation and sustainable practices.

  • The awards were distributed by the Union Minister Bhupender Yadav, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
  • The Minister of State (MoS), Ashwini Kumar Choubey, MoEFCC was the Guest of Honour.

Eco Warrior Awards 2023 was organised jointly by Indian Masterminds and Indian Forest Service Association, and the awards were sponsored by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) – a Maharatna company in oil and gas sector; Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL – Maharatna); and Okinawa – Ye E Sahi Hai.
The Winners:
The awards were given in the following 5 categories:
i.Wildlife Conservation: Dr. Mohan Ram for his work in wildlife conservation in Gir Forest, Gujarat
ii.Wildlife Protection: Ritesh Sarothiya, Regional Deputy Director, Northern Region (NR), Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), Headquarters, MoEF&CC, Delhi
iii.Forest Protection: Vasu Kanojia, DFO, North Seoni, Madhya Pradesh (MP).
iv.Best Use of Technology for Conservation: Biswajit Mishra, currently serving as Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF), (CTI), in Bengaluru
v.Award for Community Connect: Millo Tassar, Conservator of Forests in Arunachal Pradesh .

NPCI Appoints Bollywood Actor Pankaj Tripathi as ‘UPI Safety Ambassador’The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has appointed Bollywood actor Pankaj Tripathi as its ‘UPI(Unified Payments Interface) Safety Ambassador‘ to strengthen safety awareness and security on digital payment platforms.

  • This initiative underscores the importance of the security and safety of digital payment platforms, especially in the context of the UPI.

i.Various initiatives implemented by NPCI, including UPI, RuPay, and the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), aimed at simplifying and securing digital transactions.
ii.Amid the rapid adoption of digital payment methods, NPCI underscores the significance of implementing security measures to safeguard online transactions.
Note: Users are advised to choose the appropriate application for their transactions, ensuring the right app for the right purpose.
About Pankaj Tripathi:
i.Pankaj Tripathi made his Bollywood debut in a feature film named Run (2004). In 2018, he made his debut in Tamil cinema with Kaala, alongside Rajinikanth and Nana Patekar.
ii.Pankaj Tripathi is known for his dedication to national causes.

  • In 2022, he was named the ‘National Icon’ of the Election Commission of India (ECI) for his significant contribution to creating voter awareness.

iii.His notable works include Films like Gangs of Wasseypur (2012), Masaan (2015), Newton (2017), Stree (2018), Mimi (2021) and web series  like Mirzapur (2018), Criminal Justice (2019).
iv.Brands Endorsed by Pankaj Tripathi includes Xiaomi India(2023), Redmi(2023) and Capri Global Capital(2022).
i.In 2018, he won his 1st National Film Award– Special Mention for the movie Newton (2017).
ii.In 2023, he won his 2nd National Film Award– Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 2021 film Mimi.
About National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI):
NPCI is an umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India. It is an initiative of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer– Mr. Dilip Asbe
NonExecutive Chairman– Mr. Biswamohan Mahapatra
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Incorporated in– 2008

Indian Army is Set to Induct Hermes 900 Starliner Drones of IsraelThe Indian Army (IA) is set to induct the Hermes 900 Starliner drone a Multi-role, Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aircraft System(UAS) from Israel-based defence company Elbit Systems to boost surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.
i.The Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force(IAF) have awarded the contract to buy two MALE- UAS from Israel through the fourth tranche of emergency procurements powers granted to the forces.

  • IAF has inducted two Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) Heron Mark 2 drones from the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in August 2023.

About the Hermes 900 Starliner Drones:
i.Elbit Systems in partnership with Adani Aerospace and Defence manufactures the complete carbon composite aerostructures for Hermes 900 Starliner in Hyderabad(Telangana)
ii.Hermes 900 Starliner is capable of carrying a maximum payload of 450 kg, attaining an altitude of 30,000 ft and it can also fly continuously for up to 36 hours.
iii.Hermes 900 Starliner is the first and only NATO’s Standardized Agreement 4671(NATO STANAG 4671) certified MALE UAS to operate in civilian airspace.
i.Hermes 900 Starliner has a wingspan of 17 meters and is equipped with an Automatic Take-Off and Landing (ATOL) system.
ii.It is fitted with synthetic aperture radar (SAR), a ground moving target indicator (GMTI) radar, and maritime patrol radar to detect, locate and acquire targets.
iii.It is also attached with Electronic Warfare payloads and has a Powerful Heavy Fuel Engine (HFE).
iv.It futher involves an active de-icing system, direct and indirect lightning strike survivability, and zero visibility landing capability to fly in adverse weather conditions.
v.It is equipped with an Air RADAR sensor which detects both cooperative and non-cooperative aircraft, as well as a Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS).

IREDA Launches CSR Portal to Improve Transparency in CSR Initiatives
Dr. Praveen Kumari Singh, Additional Secretary, Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) launched Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA)’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSRportal  to enhance transparency in its CSR initiatives.

  • Pradip Kumar Das, Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) of IREDA, Ajay Kumar Sahani, Chief Vigilance Officer and other senior officials were present during the launch.
  • The portal was launched on the last day of  “Vigilance Awareness Week 2023” which was observed from 31st October to 5th November 2023.

About the portal:

  • The portal will facilitate the receipt and disposal of CSR requests from various organizations and institutions.
  • It will be accessible 24×7 to all and will provide a CSR policy and proposal checklist for examination of CSR requests.

IREDA is a Mini Ratna (Category – I) Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Former SBI Chairman Dhruba Narayan Ghosh Passed Away
Dhruba Narayan Ghosh (DN Ghosh), former Chairman (12th) of the State Bank of India (SBI) and Chairman Emeritus of ICRA Limited, passed away at the age of 95 in Kolkata, West Bengal. He was born on 6 August 1928 in Cooch Behar (West Bengal).
About DN Ghosh:
i.He worked as a faculty at the School of Economics & Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University from 1975-76 and as a professor of development finance at the Indian Institute of Management(IIM), Calcutta (now Kolkata), in 1981.
ii.He held different positions in the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Steel & Mines, and Ministry of Defence.
iii.He served as Chairman of SBI from 1985 to 1989; Philips India Limited from 1989-99; Larsen & Toubro(L&T) from 1991-92.
iv.He was the founder-chairman of the credit rating agency ICRA Limited (formerly Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Limited).
v.He served as the chairman of the Board of Governors at the IIM Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh and also served as the Chairman of the Management Development Institute Gurgaon, Haryana.
vi.He had been managing trustee of the Sameeksha Trust, the publishers of Economic & Political Weekly, the leading academic and polemical journal since 1991.
vii.He was also the president of the Society for the Preservation of Satyajit Ray Archives (Ray Society).
Governance and Accountability: Essays on the Indian Financial and Corporate Sectors (2007); Business And Polity: Dynamics Of A Changing Relationship (2011); No Regrets (2015).

World Urbanism Day 2023 – November 08World Urbanism Day(WUD), also known as World Town Planning Day(WTPD),  is annually observed across the globe on 8th November to recognise and promote the role of thorough planning in creating livable communities.
i.The theme for World Town Planning Day 2023 is “Learn Globally, Apply Locally”
ii.The day was initially proposed by Professor Carlos Maria della Paolera of the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina) in 1949.
iii.The Institute of Town Planner, India , established in 1951 organizes the World Town Planning Day in India.
About  International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP):
President– Pietro Elisei
Headquarters– The Hague, The Netherlands
Founded in – 1965

National Legal Services Day 2023 – November 09National Legal Services Day(NLSD) is annually observed across India on 9th of November.

  • 09th November 2023 marks the 29th National Legal Services Day.

i.The theme of National Legal Services Day 2023 is ‘Access to Justice for All: Empowering the Marginalised through Legal Awareness’.
ii.The first ever NLSD was celebrated on 09th November 1995.
About National Legal Services Authority (NALSA):
Patron-in-Chief– Justice Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud (Chief Justice of India)
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Established in – 1995

World Quality Week 2023- November 6 to 10 World Quality Week (WQW) is annually observed across the globe on the 2nd week of November to recognise the achievements of quality professionals, reflect on the successes and challenges of the past year, and share best practices for ensuring quality in all areas of lives.
WQW 2023 is observed from 6 to 10 November 2023.
The theme of WQW 2023 is “Quality: realising your competitive potential“.

Current Affairs – 9 November 2023

MoHUA Launched Jal Diwali – ‘Women for Water, Water for Women Campaign’Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) launched  ‘Jal Diwali – Water for Women, Women for Water’ awareness campaign under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), flagship scheme of MoHUA, in partnership with National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM).

  • Jal Diwali, the first phase of the Water for Women, Women for Water campaign, will be held from 7th to 9th November 2023.
  • Odisha Urban Academy is the knowledge partner of this campaign

About the Campaign:
i.The campaign empowers women in water governance by offering firsthand insights into water treatment processes and safe drinking water distribution through visits to local Water Treatment Plants (WTPs) in their cities.
ii.The campaign aims to instill ownership and responsibility for water infrastructure.
Phase I:
i.The Phase I will include the participation from all states and Union Territories(UTs) — except the 5 states under Model Code of Conduct. Around 15000 Self Help Groups (SHG) women across India are expected to participate in the campaign.
ii.Focus areas:

  • Familiarizing the women with functioning of Water Treatment Plants & water testing facilities
  • Promote inclusivity & involvement through souvenirs & articles created by Women SHGs
  • Familiarizing & educating the women about AMRUT scheme & its impact on water infrastructure

Expected outcomes:
i.Women in the program will learn about water treatment plants and quality testing.
ii.Women SHGs will create souvenirs to promote active involvement in water management.
iii.Program will educates women about AMRUT scheme and water infrastructure impact.
iv.Participants gain insights into clean water provision and quality testing.

Union Finance Minister inaugurates 1st Global Conference on Cooperation in Enforcement Matters (GCCEM) in New Delhii.The first Global Conference on Cooperation in Enforcement Matters (GCCEM) was held in New Delhi, Delhi from 30th October to 1st November 2023. The conference was inaugurated by Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Ministry of Finance (MoF).

  • The theme of 1st GCCEM was ‘It takes a Network to fight a Network’.

ii.The conference was organised by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), under Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) in consultation with World Customs Organisation (WCO), Brussels in Belgium.
iii.The Union Minister of State (MoS) Pankaj Chaudhary,  MoF was the Guest of Honour and Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, WCO was the Special Guest at the Inaugural Session.
iv.The Union Finance Minister also launched phase IV of ‘Operation Sesha’ by Indian Customs in collaboration with RILO Asia-Pacific and RILO Middle-East to curb the illegal trade of Timber including Red Sanders.
About Directorate of Revenue intelligence (DRI):
Director General– Mohan Kumar Singh
Headquartered– New Delhi, Delhi

71st Foundation Day of EPFOBhavishya Nidhi Awards 2023 On 1st November 2023, Union Minister Bhupender Yadav, Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE), virtually inaugurated the 71st Foundation Day of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) at Bharat Mandapam, New Delhi, Delhi.

  • The event witnessed the launches of various initiatives and the distribution of the Bhavishya Nidhi Award 2023 to various offices and establishments.

Note: EPFO is under the administrative control of the MoLE, Government of India (GoI).
About Employees’ Provident Fund Organistaion (EPFO):
Central Provident Fund Commissioner (CPFC)- Ms. Neelam Shami Rao
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Established in– 1952
Note: CPFC is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of EPFO and is the ex-officio Member Secretary of the Central Board of EPF.

UK Government Hosted World’s 1st Artificial Intelligence Safety Summit 2023  The United Kingdom (UKGovernment hosted the world’s 1st global Artificial Intelligence (AISafety Summit at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire (UK) on November 1-2, 2023. This 2-day summit brought together Ministers and representatives from various countries, including the UK, the United States of America (USA), and India, among others.

  • This summit aimed to unite world leaders and prominent tech industry giants focussed on devising a comprehensive, collaborative strategy to mitigate risks and combat the misuse of AI technologies.
  • The Summit also witnessed the signing of the Bletchley Declaration by 28 countries and the launching of the world’s 1st AI Safety Institute.

Delegates from 28 nations, including India, the USA, China, and the European Union have signed the world’s 1st agreement known as the “Bletchley Declaration,” during the ‘AI Safety Summit 2023’ and pledged to cooperate, to promote the safe use of AI tools.
During the AI Safety Summit 2023, UK Prime Minister (PM) Rishi Sunak launched the world’s 1st AI Safety Institute in the UK to examine, evaluate, and test new types of AI. The launch represents the UK’s commitment to the global initiative on AI safety testing.
About the United Kingdom (UK):
Capital– London
Prime Minister– Rishi Sunak
Currency– The pound sterling, or Great Britain Pound (GBP)

UN and IAEA Collaborating on New Collection to Honour Marie CurieUnited Nations(UN) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) collaborated to create a new stamp collection  and first-day envelopes to honour Marie Curie (Maria Salomea Skłodowska-Curie) on her 120th birth anniversary which was observed on 7th November 2023 .
Stamp and Envelop:
i.United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA), the postal agency of the United Nations, has released a definitive set of stamps featuring Marie Curie portrait and first-day envelopes adorned with a new IAEA distinctive cachet.
ii.The commemorative envelope also honors the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme (MSCFP).
i.UNPA is the only postal authority that issues stamps in three different currencies namely United States Dollars(USD), Swiss francs and euros.
ii.The stamps may be used for postage when used on mail sent from the United Nations offices in New York, Geneva or Vienna.
Previous issue of Stamp:
The UNPA has issued definitive stamps in the past in the honour of

  • Kofi Annan – 2019
  • Mahatma Gandhi – 2019
  • Florence Nightingale – 2020
  • Mother Teresa – 2021
  • Wangari Maathai – 2022

Maria Salomea Skłodowska-Curie:
i.Marie Curie was born on 7 November 1867.
ii.She is a Polish-born physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity.
iii.She is remembered for discovering radium and polonium, and her huge contribution to finding cancer treatments.
iv.She is also the only person ever to receive two Nobel Prizes in different fields of science: for physics in 1903 and for chemistry in 1911.
i.The Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme (MSCFP) is an international fellowship programme offered by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
ii.The program aims to support talented female scientists pursuing doctoral degrees in nuclear science and technology.

Canara HSBC Launched ‘GAIN’ Life Insurance Plan for Customers of Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank
Canara HSBC Life Insurance, an insurance company sponsored by Canara Bank and HSBC, has launched a new guaranteed income plan named the ‘Guaranteed Assured Income’ (GAIN) for the customers of Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVGB) in Mangaluru (Karnataka).

  • It is a Non-Linked Non-Participating Individual Life Insurance Savings cum Protection Plan that ensures guaranteed benefits as well as regular income to take care of both long-term and short-term financial goals.
  • It offers a guaranteed regular income stream with the flexibility to get the premiums back at the end of the policy term. This policy is available in all the 629 Branches of KVGB.
  • The life insurance plan is thoroughly designed to provide families with unmatched financial stability and security.

IndusInd Bank launches ‘Platinum RuPay Credit Card’ with UPI Integration
IndusInd Bank Ltd launched the ‘IndusInd Bank Platinum RuPay Credit Card’ in collaboration with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), enabling customers to make payments through the RuPay network using Point of Sale (POS) devices and e-commerce websites.

  • IndusInd Bank RuPay credit card customers can now conveniently initiate the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payments by simply linking their credit cards with the UPI-enabled Apps.
  • With the integration of the card on UPI, individuals can make transactions seamlessly on both online and offline platforms and earn accelerated rewards on their UPI transactions.
  • Users can convert reward points into statement credit, and air miles, or choose from multiple voucher options through IndusMoments.
  • This collaboration aims to combine the universal prevalence of UPI in India with the advantages of credit cards.

India’s SEA Signed MoU with Brazil’s ABIOVE for Supply of Soya Oil to India
The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), a cooking oil industry body, and ABIOVE, the Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for close cooperation in soyabean oil supply to India.

  • The agreement aims to cooperate with the supply, use, and trade of soybean, soya meal, and soyabean oil as well as oilseeds, oilseed products, and edible oils market.
  • The MoU targets technology exchange for improved oilseed cultivation, emphasizing amplified agricultural productivity.
  • The focus lies in fostering scientific and technical alliances, particularly in oil meals and vegetable edible oils, mutually benefiting both organizations.

Signatories: The MoU was signed by Ajay Jhunjhunwala, President of SEA, and Andre Meloni Nassar, President of ABIOVE.

  • Specifically, India imports 3.5 to 4.0 million tonnes of soybean oil mainly from Latin America. Brazil is one of the major suppliers of soyabean oil to India.

Earthshot Prize 2023: An Indian firm and Indian-American lead by Firm among 5 winnersIndian solar-powered tech venture Science for Society Techno Services Private Limited (S4S Technologies) and a global soil carbon marketplace ‘Boomitra’ founded by an Indian-American are two among the five winners of 2023 Earthshot Prize.

  • S4S Technologies won in the ‘Build A Waste-Free World’ category whereas Boomitra won in the ‘Fix Our Climate’ category.
  • The winners’ list was announced by William, Prince of Wales, at the awards ceremony which was held in Singapore.

About Science for Society Techno Services Private Limited (S4S Technologies):
Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – Vaibhav Tidke
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in – 2013
About Boomitra:
Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – Aadith Moorthy
Headquarters – San Mateo, California, United States of America(USA)
Established in – 2017

Serena Williams becomes 1st Athlete to receive CFDA Fashion Icon AwardOn November 6, 2023, American tennis player Serena Williams received the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s (CFDAFashion Icon Award in 2023. With this, she becomes the first athlete to receive this award.

  • She received the award from American socialite Kim Kardashian (the recipient of 2022 CFDA Fashion icon award) .

The award was presented at the ceremony held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, United States of America (USA).

  • Amazon Fashion is the Presenting Partner for the CFDA Fashion Awards.

About CFDA Fashion Award:
i.The Council of Fashion Designers of America has been celebrating the top talent in fashion design with the CFDA Awards since 1980.
ii.The event is considered as fashion industry’s equivalent of the Oscars.
Note: The Previous recipients of the award include American singer Beyoncé, American actress Zendaya, and Barbadian singer Rihanna.
Key Points:
i.She has won 23 Grand Slam women’s singles titles, the most in the Open Era, and the second-most of all time.
ii.She has also won 4 Olympic Gold, 3 in Women’s doubles with Venus Williams (2000, 2008 & 2012) and 1 in Singles(2012).
iii.Serena Williams has her own clothing line, S by Serena, which has partnerships with brands such as Gucci, Nike, and Stuart Weitzman. Her collection is meant to inspire women and deliver positive messaging.

Heeralal Samariya sworn in as Chief IC of CIC by President Draupadi MurmuOn 6th November 2023, Heeralal Samariya sworn in as thChief Information Commissioner (Chief IC) of the Central Information Commission (CIC). He becomes the first Dalit Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer to hold the post.

  • Draupadi Murmu, President of India, administered the oath of office at the function at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, Delhi.
  • He succeeds Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha, whose tenure as chief of CIC ended on 3rd October 2023.

Key People:
Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi and Minister of State (Independent Charge), Jitendra Singh, Ministry of Science and Technology attended the swearing-in ceremony.
Other Appointments:
Heeralal Samariya administered the oath of office to Information Commissioners(IC) of CIC Anandi Ramalingam and Vinod Kumar Tiwari, Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer, at a swearing-in ceremony organized in CIC in New Delhi, Delhi.

  • Prior to the appointment, Anandi Ramalingam was serving as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Vinod Kumar Tiwari, was serving as the Head of Himachal Pradesh Forest Department, Shimla

Tenure of Chief IC and ICs:
The Chief Information Commissioner and an Information Commissioner shall hold office for such term as prescribed (3 years) by the Central Government or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier, and shall not be eligible for reappointment.
About Heeralal Samariya:
i.Heeralal Samariya was an 1985 batch IAS officer of  Telangana Cadre. He has been serving as the Information Commissioner in CIC since 2020.
ii.Previously, he served as the Secretary in the Ministry of Labor and Employment(MoLE) and Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Chemical & Fertilizers.
iii.He has also served as the Commissioner Commercial Taxes in Telangana.
About Central Information Commission (CIC):
i.The CIC was established by the Central Government in 2005, under the provisions of the Right to Information(RTI) Act, 2005.
ii.CIC led by Chief IC can have a maximum of 10 ICs.

  • At present, there are only 2 ICs.

Power and Functions of CIC:
i.CIC will receive and inquire into a complaint from any person regarding information requested under RTI.
ii.It can order an inquiry into any matter if there are reasonable grounds (suo-moto power).
iii.While inquiring, the Commission has the powers of a civil court in respect of summoning, requiring documents etc.

Goverdhan S. Rawat & Ajay K. Sood Appointed as Dy MDs of NABARDThe Government of India has appointed Goverdhan S. Rawat and Dr. Ajay Kumar Sood as Deputy Managing Directors(Dy MDs) of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), an apex development bank administered by the Ministry of Finance.
Details of the appointment: 
i.Goverdhan S. Rawat has been appointed for a tenure of 5 years with effect from the taking over charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
ii.Ajay Kumar Sood will hold the post till his superannuation on 31st August 2027. 
iii.Prior to the appointment, Goverdhan S. Rawat served as the Chief General Manager of NABARD, Maharashtra Regional Office(RO) in Pune and Dr. Ajay Kumar Sood served as the  Chief General Manager of NABARD, Himachal Pradesh Regional Office in Shimla.
Note: The appointment follows the approval of the proposal by Department of Financial Services, under the Ministry of Finance.
About Goverdhan S. Rawat:
i.He joined NABARD as an officer in 1992.
ii.His areas of work was spread across Project Appraisal, Infrastructure Financing, District Credit Planning, Rural Development, Consulting Services, Board Secretaries and Human Resource (HR).
iii.He has served as Nominee Director on the Boards of Pithoragarh Kshetriya Gramin Bank, Agricultural Finance Corporation(AFC) India Limited and NABSAMRUDDHI Finance Limited.

  • NABSAMRUDDHI Finance Limited is the subsidiary of NABARD.

About Ajay K. Sood:
i.He Joined NABARD in 1996 as Assistant General Manager.

  • Before that, he served as Scientist with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

Additional Info:
The appointment was made with exercise of the powers conferred by clause (3) of section 6 of the NABARD Act, 1981.
About National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD):
Chairman –  Shaji K V
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in – 1982

Centre Appoints Sanjay Kallapur and R. Narayanaswamy as Part-time Members at NFRA for 3 Years
The Government of India has appointed Sanjay Kallapur and R. Narayanaswamy as part-time members of the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA), India’s independent accounting regulator for 3 years.

  • Sanjay Kallapur was on the Board of Directors of IDBI Bank.
  • From 2018 to 2021, he served as an International Council Member-at-large for the American Accounting Association.
  • He is a member of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) Corporate Reporting Consortium.
  • R. Narayanaswamy has worked for the Steel Authority of India from 1980 to 1984.
  • From 2005 to 2011, he presided over the audit committee of Indian Railway Finance Corporation as an independent director and Chairman.
  • From 2014 to 2017, he served as an independent director and Chairman of Bank of Baroda.

Note: With these 2 appointments, NFRA now has 9 Part-Time Members.

Cricket: Punjab Defeats Baroda to Win Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2023-24 The Punjab cricket team won its maiden domestic Twenty20 (T20) IDFC First Bank Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy(SMAT) 2023-2024 title by defeating the Baroda team in the final held in Inderjit Singh Bindra Stadium in Mohali, Punjab.
i.The victory for the Punjab team was the first domestic title since their Ranji Trophy victory in the 1992-93 season.

  • The Punjab team will get a cash reward of Rs 80 lakhs each from the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) and the PCA (Punjab Cricket Association).

ii.Ashutosh Sharma playing for Railways team scored 11-ball fifty against Arunachal Pradesh team in the group stage match. It has broken the record of Yuvraj Singh’s 12-ball fifty, which he scored against England in the inaugural World T20 in 2007 in (South Africa).
iii.This edition made the record of hitting the most number of sixes (1503) in the history of SMAT.
Anmolpreet Singh(Punjab) was awarded the player of the match in the finals for his century(113 runs) which was also the first-ever century in the SMAT finals.
Abhishek Sharma(Punjab) has received the Player of the series award for scoring 485 runs and taking 2 wickets.
About Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy:
i.The 16th edition of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy was played from 16 October to 6 November 2023 in Ranchi(Jharkhand), Jaipur(Rajasthan), Mumbai(Maharashtra), Dehradun(Uttarakhand), and chandigarh, Mohali(Punjab).

  • The 2023 edition witnessed the participation of 38 teams grouped into five groups.

ii.History:The domestic T20 tournament was named after the former Indian test cricketer Syed Mushtaq Ali(1914- 2005)and it was organized by the BCCI.

  • The first edition was held in the year 2006-07 and was won by the Tamil Nadu cricket team against Punjab in the finals.
  • The previous edition (15th) was won by Mumbai against Himachal Pradesh in the finals.

Note –

  • Delhi’s Hrithik Shokeen became the first tactical substitute – known as “Impact Player” – in the 2022 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
  • IDFC First Bank secured the title sponsorship rights for all BCCI matches, domestic and international, for the next three years. The bank will pay Rs 4.2 crore per match for the sponsorship.

About the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI):
President – Roger Binny
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established – 1928

International Day of Radiology 2023 – November 8 International Day of Radiology (IDoR) or World Radiography Day is annually observed across the globe on 8 November to raise awareness about the contribution of radiology towards safe patient care, and to improve public understanding of the vital role radiologists and radiographers play in the healthcare continuum.

Current Affairs – 8 November 2023

7th Edition of the India Mobile Congress (IMC) held in New DelhiThe 7th Edition of India Mobile Congress (IMC 2023), Asia’s largest telecom, media, and technology forum, was held at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi, Delhi, from 27th to 29th October 2023.

  • The theme of the IMC 2023 was ‘Global Digital Innovation’.
  • The congress was virtually inaugurated by Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi on 27th October 2023.

Aim:  To strengthen India’s position as a developer, manufacturer, and exporter of key cutting-edge technologies.
Key Points:
i.During IMC 2023 PM Modi awarded 100 ‘5G Use Case Labs’ to educational institutions across India.
ii.Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (Reliance Jio) launched India’s first satellite-based gigabit broadband service “JioSpaceFiber” during IMC 2023.
iii.At India Mobile Congress 2023, HFCL Limited unveiled a suite of next-gen connectivity products and solutions, including 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) Customer Premise Equipment (CPE), IP MPLS Routers, 2 Gbps Unlicensed Band Radio, and the 1728-high fiber count IBR Optical Fiber Cable.

Gujarat CM unveils Crest of Indian Navy warship ‘SuratOn November 6, 2023, Bhupendra Patel, the Chief Minister (CM) of Gujarat, unveiled the crest of the Indian Naval Ship(INSSurat, indigenous under-construction, guided missile destroyer of Project 15B, at the ceremony conducted under the aegis of Western Naval Command by Gujarat Naval Area, in Surat, Gujarat.

  • This is the 1st capital warship to be named after a city of Gujarat and this is also the first time that unveiling of the crest of a warship is held in the city, it has been named after.

Key People:
Admiral Radhakrishnan Hari Kumar, the Chief of the Naval Staff(CNS), and senior dignitaries and officials of Gujarat Government were present during the event.
About the Crest of INS Surat:
The Crest of INS Surat features
i.The famous lighthouse at Hazira (Surat) located at southern entrance of the Gulf of Khambhat.

  • The lighthouse of Hazira. built in 1836, was one of the first lighthouses in India.

ii.Asiatic lion, the state animal of Gujarat, symbolises the ship’s majesty and strength.
iii.Wavy sea depicting the Indian navy’s commitment to maritime security and national defence.
Note: A naval ship’s crest is a special emblem unique to the ship, showcasing naval heraldry. It represents the ship’s best qualities, crew, and mission. This emblem is displayed on patches for ship’s crew, plaques, and other appropriate places, serving as a symbol throughout the ship’s life.
About INS  Surat:
i.INS Surat is the 4th ship & last ship of the indigenously designed and constructed Project 15 Bravo (15B) (Vishakhapatnam Class) destroyers.
ii.It has been constructed using innovative block construction methodology, where the ship’s hull is assembled at different geographical locations before being integrated at the Mazagaon Docks Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
iii.It is equipped with the latest advancements in naval warfare technology and combat capabilities, including

  • Indigenous BrahMos Supersonic Cruise missiles
  • Long–range Surface to Air Missiles
  • Indigenous Torpedo tube launchers

iv.The other three ships commissioned under this project 15B are Visakhapatnam, Mormugao and Imphal. Surat will be commissioned in 2024.

FSSAI’s 5th SFSI: Major States Recorded Drop in 2023 Scores from 2019According to the 5th edition of State Food Safety Index(SFSI 2022-2023) by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), with the inclusion of a new parameter (Improvement in SFSI Rank) in the 2023 index, 19 out of 20 large states recorded a drop in their 2023 scores from 2019.

Key Points:
i.Adjusting for the new parameter, 15 out of 20 states recorded lower SFSI scores in 2022-2023 compared to 2019.
ii.Maharashtra has recorded the steepest fall in SFSI Score, from 74 out of 100 in 2019 to 45 in 2023, followed by Bihar(from 46 in 2019 to 20.5 in 2023), and Gujarat (from 73 in 2019 to 48.5 in 2023).

Krishi 24/7: Govt launches India’s 1st AI solution for Agricultural News MonitoringOn November 6, 2023,Manoj Ahuja, Secretary,  Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) launched Krishi 24/7, India’s first AI (Artificial Intelligence)-powered solution for automated agricultural news monitoring and analysis.
It is developed by Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW), MoA&FW in collaboration with Mumbai, Maharashtra based Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence (Wadhwani AI) with support from
Krishi 24/ Features:
i.This real-time monitoring system assists the Ministry of Agriculture in staying updated on relevant events, allowing them to create alerts and take prompt action in the agricultural ecosystem.
ii.It scans and translates articles in multiple languages, extracting crucial information like headline, crop details, event type, date, location, severity, summary, and source link.
iii.This tool will aid in protecting farmers’ interests and promote sustainable agricultural growth through improved decision-making.
Wadhwani AI also successfully deployed a similar event tracking and analysis solution for disease outbreaks with the Delhi headquartered National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

EAC Conducts its Annual Exercise Poorvi Akash
The Shillong-headquartered Eastern Air Command (EAC) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted its annual Command level exercise called Exercise Poorvi Akash from 30 October to 5 November 2023  to check its combat preparedness.

  • The exercise was held in the northeastern region.
  • The day and night exercise comprised the application of Air Power in all its roles.
  • The exercise also comprises joint operations with the Eastern Command (EC) of the Indian Army(IA).
  • The indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Prachand also participated in the exercise.
  • IAF Garuds participated in special missions along with the Special Forces (SF) of the Indian Airforce.
  • All major fleets of IAF participated in the exercise along with special mission aircraft.

UNEP’s Adaptation Gap Report 2023: Understanding the Global Climate Adaptation Crisis The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has released the Adaptation Gap Report (AGR) 2023: Underfinanced. Underprepared – Inadequate investment and planning on climate adaptation leaves world exposed, reveals a concerning slowdown in the climate adaptation efforts globally.

  • The report serves as a critical reminder of the urgency to accelerate climate adaptation efforts in the face of escalating climate risks.
  • The report underscores the need for immediate and strategic action to bridge the gap between climate adaptation needs and current efforts.

Note: The report was released in anticipation of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) climate talks in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) scheduled from 30 November until 12 December 2023 emphasising the urgency of climate action.
About the 2023 Report:
i.The report provides an update on the global status and progress of the adaptation process across 3 elements: Planning, Financing, and Implementation.

  • The report reveals a significant gap in climate adaptation financing.

ii.Developing countries require adaptation finance that is 10-18 times larger than current international public finance flows.
iii.This gap is more than 50% higher than previous estimates, highlighting the growing disparity between needs and resources.
Note: Current estimates reveal a USD 194-366 billion annual gap, emphasising the urgent need for increased financial support.
Decrease in Finance, Planning and Implementation:
i.Report indicates the required adaptation funds for developing countries range from USD 215 billion to USD 387 billion annually this decade and are projected to rise significantly by 2050.
ii.Public multilateral and bilateral adaptation finance to developing countries decreased by 15% to USD 21 billion in 2021, contrary to the COP26 commitments of reaching USD 40 billion annually by 2025.

  • The current adaptation finance gap is now estimated to be between USD 194-366 billion per year.

Note: While 5 out of 6 countries have some form of national adaptation planning, worldwide coverage remains slow.
Innovative ways to deliver finance essential:
i.Ambitious adaptation can enhance resilience, especially for low-income countries and disadvantaged groups, preventing losses and damages.
ii.The 55 most vulnerable economies faced losses exceeding USD 500 billion in the last 2 decades, a figure set to rise without substantial mitigation and adaptation.
iii.Every billion dollars invested in coastal flood adaptation yields a USD 14 billion reduction in economic damages.
iv.Similarly, allocating USD 16 billion annually to agriculture could prevent around 78 million people from climate-induced hunger.
v.Doubling 2019 international finance flows by 2025 and new goals for 2030 won’t bridge the adaptation finance gap.
Seven Strategies for Enhanced Financing:

  • Leveraging domestic expenditure
  • Tapping into international and private sector finance
  • Harnessing remittances
  • Tailoring finance for small and medium enterprises
  • Implementing Article 2.1(c) of the Paris Agreement
  • Advocating for global financial architecture reform as per the Bridgetown Initiative
  • Establishing innovative mechanisms within the new loss and damage fund to ensure scalable investment.

Adaptation Gap Report (AGR):
i.The UNEP AGR series plays a pivotal role in assessing global adaptation progress annually.

  • It evaluates adaptation planning, financing, and implementation worldwide.

ii.Since its inception in 2014, the AGR has significantly influenced climate negotiations among United Nations (UN) Member States.
iii.While independent, the AGR’s goal closely parallels that of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Global Stocktake.
iv.The AGR is co-produced by UNEP, the UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre (UNEP-CCC) and the World Adaptation Science Programme (WASP).

On 3 day visit to Sri Lanka: FM Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurates SBI’s new branch in Trincomalee and JaffnaFinance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman was on three day official visit to Sri Lanka started from November1 to November3, 2023.
She started her visit by giving the keynote address as Guest of Honor at the “NAAM 200” organized by the Government of Sri Lanka to commemorate the 200th anniversary of India-Origin Tamils (IOTs) to Sri Lanka on November 2 in Colombo.
The event was attended by Ranil Wickremesinghe, President of Sri Lanka, Dinesh Gunawardena, PM of Sri Lanka and other important dignitaries.
Later, She also addressed the India Sri Lanka Business Summit on the theme:”Enhancing Connectivity: Partnering for Prosperity” which was jointly organized by Confederation of Indian Industries(CII), Indo-Lanka Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
Other than above engagements, Finance Minister (FM) launched and announced important projects and MoU, some of which are listed below:

  • Inaugurates SBI’s branch in Trincomalee and Jaffna.
  • Negotiations of the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement(ETCA)
  • India will collaborate with Sri Lanka on debt treatment
  • India lays down roadmap for technology, economic ties with Sri Lanka, to launch UPI in Sri Lanka

About: Sri Lanka
Capital: Legislative Capital: Jayawardenepura Kotte
Judicial and Executive Capital: Colombo
Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee
President: Ranil Wickremesinghe
About: State Bank of India (SBI)
Chairman: Dinesh Kumar Khara
Founded: 1st July,1955
Headquarter: Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline: Pure Banking Nothing Else

India among top countries with high income, wealth inequality: UNDP Report i.The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released its “2024 Asia-Pacific Human Development ReportMaking Our Future: New Directions for Human Development in Asia and the Pacific” stating India among the top countries with high income and highest wealth inequality, despite rapid economic growth.
ii.Income Growth: Between 2000 and 2022, India’s per capita income increased from USD 442 to USD 2,389.
iii.Poverty Reduction: From 2004 to 2019, poverty rates (based on USD 2.15 per day) dropped from 40% to 10%.
About United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):
Administrator– Achim Steiner
Headquarters– New York, United States of America

CCI Approvals on 6th November 2023On November 6, 2023, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the following transactions:
Details of the Proposed Combination:
Proposed Transaction 1:
Acquisition of 49% shareholding of Bharti AXA Life Insurance Company Limited (BALIC) by Bharti Life Ventures Private Limited (BLVPL) from AXA India Holdings (AXA) taking its total shareholding in BALIC to 100% and acquisition of BALIC’s sole control.

  • Acquirer- BLVPL
  • Target- BALIC

Proposed Transaction 2: Acquisition of 48.54% shareholding of Bharti Management Services Limited (BMSL) by Bharti Enterprises Limited (BEL) from Societe Beaujon (a subsidiary of AXA) taking its total shareholding in BMSL to 100% and acquisition of BMSL’s sole control.

  • Acquirer- BEL
  • Target- BMSL

Key Points:
i.BLVPL and BEL are affiliated companies under the Bharti group, with distinct ownership structures.
ii.BLVPL is a private holding company based in New Delhi, Delhi, solely invested in BALIC, a public unlisted life insurance company.
iii.BEL is a public unlisted company based in New Delhi.
iv.BALIC is a public unlisted life insurance company operating based in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
v.BMSL is a public unlisted company based in Mumbai.
CCI approves Acquisition of shares of IRSL by Aloke Lohia &  transfer of certain shares of IRSL to Urmila Lohia
CCI has approved the acquisition of 20.51% equity shares of Indo Rama Synthetics (India) Limited (IRSL) by Aloke Lohia from Brookgrange Investment Limited and transfer of 20.51% equity shares of IRSL to Urmila Lohia by Mr. Aloke Lohia.

  • Acquirer- Aloke Lohia and Urmila Lohia
  • Target- IRSL

Note:  Aloke Lohia and Urmila Lohia are the promoters of IRSL

NASA Launched A Sounding Rocket As Part Of Its INFUSE MissionOn 29th October 2023, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has launched a two-stage Black Brant 9 sounding rocket as part of Integral Field Ultraviolet Spectroscope Experiment (INFUSE) mission from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, United States of America (USA).

  • The mission aims to study the Cygnus Loop, a 20,000-year-old supernova remnant located 2,600 light-years away from Earth.

Cygnus Loop:
i.The Cygnus Loop (also known as the Veil Nebula) is a supernova remnant, the detritus of the explosive death of a massive star about ten to 20,000 years ago.
ii.This massive star was about 20 times the size of the sun.
iii.The study of Cygnus Loop gives insight about the formation of galaxies.
iv.It can be found just above the constellation Cygnus(means swan in Latin).
INFUSE mission:
i.INFUSE is an integral field spectrograph, the first instrument of its kind to fly to space.
ii.The INFUSE mission will collect data about the Cygnus Loop for a few minutes from an altitude of 150 miles (240 kilometres).
iii.The instrument will collect far-ultraviolet light emitted by the Cygnus Loop.
iv.INFUSE will study how the supernovae release its energy into the Milky Way by observing the light emitted as the blast wave collides with pockets of cold gas floating in the galaxy.
About Supernovae:
i.A supernova is the colossal explosion of a star.
ii.Supernovae are considered one of the original sources of the elements heavier than iron in the Universe.
Black Brant 9:
i.The Black Brant 9 can reach altitudes of about 600 km. can carry a Payloads weighing from 400 to 1200 pounds.

Chess: Vidit Gujrathi Wins FIDE Grand Swiss; Vaishali Wins FIDE Women’s Grand Swiss 2023The Indian Grandmaster (GM) Vidit Santosh Gujrathi won the 3rd edition of Federation Internationale des Echecs(FIDE) Grand Swiss 2023 title held from the 23rd of October to the 6th of November 2023 in the Villa Marina, Douglas, Isle of Man.

  • International Master (IM)Vaishali Rameshbabu won the 2nd edition of FIDE Women’s Grand Swiss 2023 title.
  • With this win, Vidit Gujrathi qualified for the ‘Candidates Tournament’. He became the second Indian after R. Praggnanandhaa to qualify for this tournament.
  • Being secured the top position Vaishali also qualified for the Candidates Tournament.

About Federation Internationale des Echecs/International Chess Federation (FIDE):
President – Arkady Dvorkovich
Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland
Established – 1924

Indian Women’s Hockey Team Wins Asian Champions Trophy 2023 Indian women’s hockey team won the Jharkhand Women’s Asian Champions Trophy Ranchi 2023 title by defeating Japan 4-0 in the final held in Ranchi, Jharkhand.

  • The 7th edition of the Women’s Asian Champions Trophy was held in Marang Gomke Jaypal Singh Mundha AstroTurf Hockey Stadium in Ranchi, Jharkhand, from 27th October to 5th November 2023.
  • China won the bronze medal by defeating South Korea in the Bronze medal match.

Medal Winners:


  • Salima Tete(India) – Jharkhand Player of the Tournament
  • Deepika(India) – Fan Choice Award for Best Goal of the Tournament.
  • Akio Tanaka(Japan) –  Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament
  • Savita Punia(India) –  JSW Women Leader Of The Tournament.
  • Sangita Kumari(India) – Rising Star of the Tournament
  • Kim Eunji (South Korea) – Best Rising Goal Keeper of the Tournament
  • Deep Grace Ekka(India) – Jharkhand Player of the Match(final), and Sangita Kumari(India) – JSW Rising Star of the Match(final)
  • India won the Maximum Team Goals Award(27 goals)

ii.Top Goal Scorers:

  • Jiaqi Zhong (China)(7 Goals)
  • Sangita Kumari(India)(6 Goals)
  • Salima Tete(India)(5 Goals)

About the Women’s Asian Champions Trophy :
i.The Women’s Asian Champions Trophy is the biennial tournament, the  first edition was held in 2010 in Kangsao, Busan, South Korea.

  • Hockey India organised this tournament with support from the Asian Hockey Federation(AHF).
  • 2023 tournament witnessed the participation of six teams including India, China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand.
  • This was also the first time the Women’s Asian Champions Trophy was hosted by India.

ii.India women’s team won its maiden Asian Champions Trophy title in 2016 (Singapore) while Japan won in 2013 and 2021 (South Korea)editions.

  • India also won silver medals in the 2013(Japan) and 2018(South Korea) editions.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen Wins F1 Sao Paulo Grand Prix (GP) 2023
Max Verstappen, the Red Bull driver (Dutch-Belgian) won the Formula 1 (FI) Sao Paulo Grand Prix (GP) 2023 title held at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace circuit in Brazil from 03rd November 2023 to 05th November 2023.

  • McLaren driver Lando Norris (United Kingdom-UK) secured second place while Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso (Spain) secured third place.

Max Verstappen’s Records: 
i.This win also marks Verstappen’s 17th win out of 20 races of the 2023 season.

  • Max Verstappen broke his own record for the most F1 race victories in a single season in 2023 by winning 17 races.

ii.Max Verstappen leads the F1 World Championship in 2023 with 524 points in the F1 driver standings.

National Cancer Awareness Day 2023- November 07 National Cancer Awareness Day (NCAD) is annually observed across India on 7 November to raise awareness about the prevention, detection, and treatment of various types of cancer.

  • NCAD aims to educate the public about early detection, healthy lifestyle choices, and access to quality cancer care.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, representing nearly 1 in 6 deaths globally.
i.National Cancer Awareness Day was initiated in India in September 2014 by Dr Harsh Vardhan, the former Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare.
ii.A committee was formed and it was declared that November 7 of every year would be observed as NCAD to raise awareness about early detection and the avoidance of cancer-causing behaviours.
iii.The first NCAD was observed on 7 November 2014.
iv.NCAD also commemorates the birth anniversary of the Nobel Prize Winner (for Physics in 1903) Marie Curie (Maria Salomea Skłodowska-Curie, born on 7 November 1867), a Polish-born French physicist.

  • She is remembered for discovering radium and polonium, and her huge contribution to finding cancer treatments.
  • She was also awarded The Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1911.

CV Raman Birth Anniversary 2023 – November 7The birth anniversary of the Nobel Prize Winner & Bharat Ratna awardee, Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (CV Raman) is annually observed on 7th November.

  • 7th November 2023 marks the 135th birth anniversary of CV Raman.
  • He is an Indian Physicist well known for his discovery of the Raman effect.

About CV Raman:
i.CV Raman was born on 7th November 1888 in Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, and passed away in 1970 in Bengaluru(Karnataka).
ii.In 1907, he joined the Indian Finance Service in Kolkata(West Bengal) and worked as Assistant Accountant General.
iii.In 1917, he became Palit Professor of Physics at the University of Calcutta.
iv.In 1919, Raman received two honorary positions namely ‘Honorary Professor’ and ‘Honorary Secretary’ at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), Kolkata.
v.In 1924, he was elected as Fellow of the Royal Society, London, United Kingdom(UK).
i.He became the first Indian Director of the Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Bengaluru, in 1933.
ii.In 1948, he established the Raman Research Institute on property donated by the Government of Mysore in Bengaluru.
Awards & Recognition:
i.Nobel Prize: The Nobel Prize in Physics 1930 was awarded to CV Raman for his work on the scattering of light.

  • The discovery of the effect was named after him, the Raman Effect.
  • He discovered the Raman Effect on 28th February 1928.
  • He was the first Indian, Asian, and non-white person to win a Nobel Prize for the sciences.

Note: The Raman effect is the shift in the wavelength of light caused by molecules deflecting a light beam.
ii.Bharat RatnaIn 1954, CV Raman was awarded the inaugural Bharat Ratna for his outstanding service to the country in the field of physics.

  • Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan and Chakravarti Rajagopalachari also received the award along with him.

iii.’Sir’ Title: In 1929, King George V of Great Britain knighted him and honoured him with ‘Sir’ title.
iv.He also received the Franklin Medal in 1941 and the International Lenin Peace Prize in 1957.

Current Affairs – 7 November 2023

Sarbananda Sonowal (MoPSW) flags off India’s 1st International Cruise Liner “Costa Serena” in MumbaiUnion Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) flagged off the maiden voyage of the vessel “Costa Serena“, the India’s 1st International Cruise Liner at an event held in Mumbai, Maharashtra. This launch symbolises the dawn of a new era in cruising and tourism in India.

  • This initiative aligns with the Government of India’s “Dekho Apna Desh” initiative to the middle class to prefer domestic tourism over international tourism.

About Costa Serena:

i.The Costa Serena was constructed by Fincantieri (Shipbuilding company) at its Sestri Ponente shipyard in Genoa, Italy and was inaugurated in Marseille, France and the vessel .

  • The Costa Serena is the tenth vessel to join the 17-ship fleet of Costa Crociere (Costa Cruises).

ii.Costa Cruises, Italy, operating under Carnival Corporation, announces domestic sailings in India.
Costa Serena’s primary operational routes are Mumbai, Kochi (Kerala), Goa and the Island of Agatti in Lakshadweep.
Government Initiatives:
i.Indian government initiatives include concessions, uniform rates, and upgradation of cruise terminals.
ii.A crucial move was the conditional Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) exemption for foreign flag vessels shifting to coastal operations, significantly reducing financial burdens.
Sagarmala Programme:
i.Development of cruise tourism and lighthouse tourism are being actively considered under MoPSW’s flagship scheme Sagarmala Programme.
ii.Over a period of the last 9 years Sagarmala Programme has completed 11 Projects worth Rs.267 crores promoting coastal & cruise tourism and Island Development.
Maritime India Vision 2030:
The vision is to transform India into a premier cruise hub in the Asia Pacific region.
Target: Increase annual cruise passengers to 18 lakhs by 2030, up from 4.72 lakhs.
Maritime Amritkaal Vision 2047:
i.The Maritime Amritkaal Vision 2047, introduced during the Global Maritime India Summit 2023 in Mumbai, is set to reshape India’s cruise tourism industry.
ii.By 2047, India aims to have 25 operational cruise terminals, with an estimated 5 million passengers annually.

Free Nation Scheme PMGKAY will be extended till 2028Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi announced the extension of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana(PMGKAY) for another five years while addressing an election rally at Durg in Chhattisgarh.The scheme which was supposed to be ended by December 2023 will be ending in 2028.

  • Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution had declared that the central government would allocate over ₹2 lakh crore in 2023 for food subsidies under NFSA and various other welfare programs.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana:
i.The scheme was initially rolled out in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ii.PMGKAY is operated by the Department of Food and Public Distribution under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
iii.This program is a part of the existing Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana welfare initiative.
iv.The scheme provides 5 kg of food grain per person per month and is provided free of cost for all the beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013 (Antodaya Anna Yojana & Priority Households) including those covered under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT). 
Previous Extensions:

  • Phase I and II ( 8 months) : April 2020 to November 2020
  • Phase III to V (11 months) : May 2021 to March 2022
  • Phase VI    ( 6 months)  : April 2022 to Sept 2022
  • Phase VII (3months): October 2022 to December 2022
  • Phase VIII (12 months): January 2023 to December 2023

About National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013: 
i.The National Food Security Act, 2013 aims to provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity.
ii.NFSA provides for coverage of upto 75% of the rural population and upto 50% of the urban population for receiving subsidised foodgrains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
iii.The eligible persons will be entitled to receive 5 Kgs of foodgrains per person per month at subsidised prices of Rs. 3/2/1 per Kg for rice/wheat/coarse grains respectively.
iv.The existing Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households, which constitute the poorest of the poor, will continue to receive 35 Kgs of foodgrains per household per month.

Norway to Fund USD 44.7mn to Support India’s Hunger Project in UttarakhandThe Government of Norway will fund USD 44.7 million to strengthen food security and environmental protection in Uttarakhand under India’s ‘The Hunger Project (THP)’. This funding will be valid for 3 years, until September 2026.

  • Norway will aid in promoting food security by improving productivity for small-scale producers of food, and by developing local value chains and markets.

What is THP?
It is a non-profit organization that works to end hunger and extreme poverty across 12 countries in Africa, Latin America and South Asia. In India, it is currently working in the five states of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh (MP), Odisha, Rajasthan, and Uttarakhand.

  • In Uttarakhand, it will be implemented in 3 districts, 9 blocks, 172 gram panchayats and 145 van panchayats.

Key Points:
i.The project strengthens the political leadership of Elected Women’s Representatives (EWRs) in Gram Panchayats by organizing capacity-building training.

  • Their empowerment will lead in conserving forests, promoting sustainable living, and collaborating with local communities.

ii.It also focuses on strengthening Van Panchayats (Forest Councils) which in turn will ensure food security and livelihood opportunities for marginalized households.
iii. Project outcomes include advanced environment-friendly development, institutional processes for forest conservation, climate risk mitigation, and improved food security for marginalized households.

Colors Collaborates with Ministry of WCD to Support BBBP
India’s leading Hindi General Entertainment Channel (GEC) and Viacom18 Media Private Limited’s Flagship Channel COLORS has announced a collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) to support the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP) initiative to raise awareness about the social evil of girl child abandonment.

  • The collaboration aims to raise awareness around girl child abandonment through their latest social drama show Doree which will be aired from 06th November 2023.
  • The channel will also raise awareness about  the 24-hour emergency toll-free child helpline number (1098) amongst viewers.

In 2015, the Government of India (GoI) introduced the scheme “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” (BBBP) to address gender discrimination and women empowerment in India.

Swedish Firm Saab AB Becomes India’s first 100% FDI in Defence SectorSwedish defence company Saab AB has become the first foreign company to get Govenment of India (GoI)’s approval for 100% foreign direct investment(FDI) in defence sector.
About Saab AB FDI:
The FDI proposal is valued at around Rs 500 crore.

  • With this, Saab is set to establish a facility to manufacture Carl-Gustaf M4 rocket launchers in India.
  • The facility will support the production of the Carl-Gustaf M4 for the Indian Armed Forces as well as components for users of the system around the world.
  • SAAB FFV India Private Limited, a subsidiary of Saab was Incorporated in 2022.

About Carl-Gustaf M4 weapon system:
The man-portable coilless rifle Carl-Gustaf M4 is suitable for a wide range of ammunition that can target all kinds of targets, including built-up areas and armoured vehicles, and can also be used to illuminate battlefields during night-time operations.

  • The anti-tank, anti-personnel Carl-Gustaf M4 is less than one meter in length and weighs less than seven kilograms and its range varies between 400m and 2100m depending upon its target.
  • The Indian Army has been using Carl-Gustaf weapon system since 1976 as a main shoulder-launched weapon.

From 2020 on, the Indian government allowed up to 74% of FDI in the defence sector under the automatic route and up to 100% through government permission on a case-by-case basis.
About Saab AB:
President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Micael Johansson
Headquarters – Stockholm, Sweden
Established – 1937

ACC Extends Tenure of A S Rajeev, MD & CEO of BoM & Matam Venkata Rao, MD & CEO of CBI
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has extended the tenure of A S Rajeev, Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) for months till his superannuation.

  • He has been serving as the MD & CEO of BoM since December 2018.

Previously in August 2021, AS Rajeev’s tenure as MD & CEO was extended for a period of 2 years beyond December 2021.
About A S Rajeev:
i.A S Rajeev is a qualified Chartered Account. Prior to his appointment as MD & CEO of BoM, A S Rajeev served as the Executive Director of Indian Bank since 2016.
ii.He has over 30 years of banking experience in Syndicate Bank, Vijaya Bank and Indian Bank.
iii.He is a director on the board of Exim Bank, New India Assurance Company Limited (NIACL).
iv.He is also a member of the Management committee of Indian Banks Association and Governing Body of National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM), Pune, Maharashtra.
v.He also served as a member of various committeess of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
vi.He also served as a Director of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
Govt extends tenure of MV Rao, MD & CEO of CBI
The ACC has also extended the tenure of Matam Venkata Rao(M V Rao), MD & CEO of Central Bank of India (CBI) till 31st July 2025.

  • MV Rao has been serving as the MD & CEO of CBI since March 2021.

About Matam Venkata Rao:
i.He is a Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Bankers.
ii.Prior to joining CBI, he has worked as the Executive Director of the Canara Bank.
iii.He joined Allahabad Bank as Agricultural Field Officer in 1988 and worked in various capacities.
About Bank of Maharashtra (BoM):
Managing Directors (MDs) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) –  A S Rajeev
Headquarters – Pune, Maharashtra
Established in – 1935
Tagline – Ek Parivaar, Ek Bank (One Family One Bank)
About Central Bank of India (CBI):
Managing Directors (MDs) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Matam Venkata Rao
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in – 1911
Tagline – Central to you since 1911

Centre Appoints Nodal officers to Act against Film Piracy on Digital Platforms
The government has appointed 12 nodal officers from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to combat film piracy. The authorised nodal officers now have the power to block pirated film content across various platforms.

  • The action has been taken under Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
  • The officers will handle complaints related to film piracy, ensuring action will be taken within 48 hours of receiving a complaint.
  • The Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023 amends the Cinematograph Act, 1952 to address issues relating to film certification, unauthorised recording, exhibition of films and film piracy.
  • Cinematograph Act, 2023 has provisions to impose severe penalties on those indulging in film piracy, the penalties include a minimum jail term of 3 months and fine of Rs. 3 lakh.

Dabur India Ltd Appoints Former CEC Sushil Chandra as New Non Executive Independent Director
Dabur India Limited appointed Mr. Sushil Chandra, the former (24th) Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India as an Additional director, in the category of Non-Executive Independent Director for a period of 5 years with effect from November 2, 2023, till November 1, 2028.

  • Sushil Chandra is a 1980 batch Indian Revenue Services (IRS) (Information Technology) officer. He previously served as Chairperson of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
  • He started his career in the Indian Engineering Service, then joined the 1980 Batch of IRS.
  • Before his role as Member of CBDT, he held the position of Director General of Income Tax, Gujarat and Principal Chief Commissioner, Gujarat.
  • On February 15, 2019, he was appointed as the Election Commissioner of India and took office as the CEC of India on April 13, 2021.
  • He superannuated on May 15, 2022 after serving in 16 elections, including 5 as CEC.


  • Dabur India Ltd. is one of India’s leading Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Companies.
  • With this appointment, Dabur India Limited now has 10 Non Executive Independent Directors on its board.

New technology for converting CO2 to CO developed with Potential for Application in Steel SectorThe National Centre of Excellence in Carbon Capture and Utilization (NCoE-CCU) at Indian Institute of Technology(IIT ) Bombay, Mumbai, Maharashtra has developed a new energy-efficient technology for converting Carbon Dioxide (CO2) to carbon monoxide (CO). It transforms the CO under electro catalytic conditions at ambient temperatures (25-40 °C) in the presence of water.

  • In this regard, a team of researchers led by Dr. Arnab Dutta and Dr. Vikram Vishal, alongside dedicated scholars at the NCoE-CCU, secured a patent for their CO2 to CO conversion technology.
  • This achievement is on the lines of India’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2070, and has potential for application in the steel sector.

Key Points:
i.CO is a widely used chemical compound in various industries, particularly in the form of synthesis gas (syn gas).
ii.Presently, CO is produced through the partial oxidation of coke or coal, resulting in significant CO2 emissions as a byproduct. Now, this new technology will significantly reduce carbon footprints, and lower associated costs.’
iii.NCoE-CCU is backed by Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology (MoST). It is currently being scaled up through the recently established start-up, UrjanovaC Private Limited.

Spear Corps Test Fires New Generation Rocket and Turret Ammunition From Rudra
The Spear Corps (the aviation unit of the Indian Army) successfully test fired the New Generation Rocket and Turret ammunition from the first Indigenous Attack Helicopter Rudra

  • It also enhances the Army’s strike capability and lethality in the mountains.

About Rudra:
i.The Rudra is a weaponised version of the Advanced Light Dhruv helicopter of 5.8 Ton class powered by two Shakti Engines.
ii.It was designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to meet the requirements of Indian Army and Indian Air Force(IAF).
iii.It can be used for a variety of missions such as reconnaissance, troop transport, anti-tank warfare, and close air support.

Cnemaspis rashidi: New Species of Gecko Discovered in Western Ghats near RajapalayamThe team of researchers led by Amit Sayyed, Founder and Director of the Wildlife Protection and Research Society, have discovered a new species of gecko named ‘Cnemaspis rashidi in the Western Ghats, Kottamalai estate near Rajapalayam in Virudhunagar district, Tamil Nadu(TN).

  • The new species was named after Prof. Rashid Sayyed, father of Amit Sayyed.
  • The research paper on the new species was published in Asian Journal of Conservation Biology(AJCB), an international peer-reviewed journal of conservation research.

About Cnemaspis rashid:
i.The new species rashidi belongs to the genus Cnemaspis, which is a genus of diurnal (day) geckos found in Asia and is one of the most diverse genera of geckos.
ii.The suggested common name of the new species is Rashid’s dwarf gecko, as it is the smallest among the genus.

  • It is approximately 2 inches long from its snout to vent.

Note: So far, 93 species of gecko have been documented and this is the 94th species.
iii.Cnemaspis rashidi showcases colour pattern of yellow, white, and black on its back and has eyes of deep brown shade.
iv.The dwarf gecko, found in limited numbers, is endemic to the Western Ghats.
Lysionotus namchoomii: New Epiphytic Plant Species Discovered in Arunachal Pradesh
Scientists at the Arunachal Pradesh Regional Center of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have discovered a new species of epiphytic plant named as Lysionotus namchoomii, from the Pakke-Kessang district of Arunachal Pradesh, in the eastern Himalayas.

  • The new species is named after Late Chau Phunkyoo Nomchoon, a renowned Social Reformer from the Khampti community in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The findings were described in the international peer reviewed journal, Turczaninowia.

Note:  An epiphyte, also called air plant, is a plant which grows on another plant, without being a parasite.
Genus and Species:
i.The new species namchoomii belongs to the genus Lysionotus, which is a genus of flowering plants in the family Gesneriaceae.

  • Lysionotus species are primarily epiphytic, lithophytic, or terrestrial evergreen erect or climbing subshrubs.

ii.These plants were collected from altitudes reaching approximately 1,299 meters above sea level.
iii.About 50% of species under Lysionotus are endemic, its native range extends from the Himalayas to Japan and Indo-China.
iv.The new species is provisionally assessed as Critically Endangered on  International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List

  • The plant is also threatened by habitat loss due to deforestation and agriculture.

i.Lysionotus namchoomii is a small, evergreen shrub. It has thick leaves and purple flowers.
ii.The leaves are opposite, elliptic to oblong, and up to 8 centimeter (cm) long.
iii.The flowers are solitary, and up to 2 cm long. The corolla is 5-lobed, the stamens are 4 and the ovary is superior.

World Tsunami Awareness Day 2023- November 5 The United Nations (UNWorld Tsunami Awareness Day (WTAD) is annually observed across the globe on 5 November to raise consciousness about reducing the risks created by Tsunami, the giant waves, and improving community preparedness.

  • The UN Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) facilitates the observance of World Tsunami Awareness Day in collaboration with the rest of the UN system.

The theme of WTAD 2023 is “Fighting Inequality for a Resilient Future”.

  • This is in line with the focus of the International Day for Disaster Reduction (13 October).

Note: The word “tsunami” comprises the Japanese words “tsu” (meaning harbour) and “nami” (meaning wave).
i.On 22 December 2015, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/70/203 and declared the 5 November of every year as World Tsunami Awareness Day
ii.WTAD was initiated by the Government of Japan, drawing from its own history of handling tsunamis effectively.
iii.The first WTAD was observed on 5 November 2016.
About Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IOC-UNESCO):
Executive Secretary– Dr. Vladimir Ryabinin
Member States– 150
Headquarters– Paris, France
Established in– 1960

International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict 2023 – November 6The International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict is annually observed across the globe on 6th November to raise awareness about the consequences that war and conflict have on the environment.

  • 6th November 2023 marks the observance of the 22nd International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.

i.The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/56/4 on 5th November 2001 and declared the 6th November of every year as the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.
ii.The first International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict is observed on 6th November 2002.
About United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):
Executive Director– Inger Andersen
Headquarters – Nairobi, Kenya
Established in – 1972

Odisha Govt Signed 3 MoUs with 3 Entities to Develop Semiconductor Manufacturing and Launched Various InitiativesThe Odisha government has signed 3 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with 3 entities to build an ecosystem for the manufacturing of semiconductors. The 3 entities are India Electronic and Semiconductor Association (IESA), global semiconductor giant Synopsys and Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC).
About the MoUs:
i.The MoU with the IESA will facilitate capacity building and promote Odisha’s semiconductor ecosystem through events and conceptualisation of knowledge material.
ii.The MoU with Synopsys involves engagement in areas such as the O-Chip programme, talent transformation, workforce development, readiness assessment of Odisha in semiconductors and the Very Large-Scale Integration (VLSI) domains, and internship and placement assistance to students of engineering institutions.
iii.The MoU with the ESC will promote Electronics and Information Technology (IT)/Information Technology Enabled Services (ITeS) exports. ESC will be provided with built-up space to set up a dedicated office for Odisha.
The Odisha government also successfully hosted Odisha4Silicon-2023, a pioneering program to build a robust semiconductor ecosystem in the region.

  • The program is set to display Odisha’s immense potential in the semiconductor sector, emphasizing its commitment to technology and innovation.

Note: The Odisha4Silicon-2023 programme would bring new job opportunities for youth and pave way for inclusive development.
Other Initiatives:
i.The event also witnessed the launching of the pan-India Design Challenge under O-Chip organised by Electropreneur Park, Bhubaneswar (Odisha).
ii.There are other initiatives, like the launching of the IESA Odisha Chapter; and The Campus Connect Programme which aims at fostering innovation, skill development and industry-academia collaborations in Odisha.
Key Points:
The recently released Semiconductor Manufacturing and Fabless Policy 2023 Odisha Semiconductor Fab and Fabless Innovation and Acceleration Program (O-Chip) to catalyse the growth of the semiconductor ecosystem.

  • The programme will benefit startups, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs),  students, etc by offering them access to Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools and Intellectual Property (IP) repository, seed funding and research grants, market access, mentorship and infrastructure support.

About Odisha:
Chief Minister– Naveen Patnaik
Governor– Raghubar Das
Dance (Folk)– Ranapa Dance and Jodi Sankha Dance

Global Responsible Tourism Award 2023: Kerala RT Mission & Soar Excursions, Ahmedabad Bagged AwardsResponsible Tourism Partnership and International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) announced the 8 winners of the Global Responsible Tourism Award 2023, which includes Kerala Responsible Tourism (RT) Mission(Kerala) and Soar Excursions, Ahmedabad (Gujarat) from India.

  • Kerala RT mission won the award under Best for local sourcing, craft and food category for promoting sustainable and women-inclusive initiatives.
  • Soar Excursions won the award under Best for meaningful connections category.

Responsible Tourism established the Responsible Tourism Awards in 2004. The award was later renamed as “World Responsible Tourism Awards”.
About Responsible Tourism Partnership:
Managing Director– Harold Goodwin
Headquarters– London, United Kingdom

President Murmu inaugurates Parvati BhawanNavdurga Path Skywalk Project in J&K
The President of India, Droupadi Murmu, inaugurated a 250-metre ‘Navdurga Path’ skywalk and the remodelled ‘Parvati Bhawan’ at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir(J&K).
About the Skywalk:
The skywalk is a pedestrian flyover that is built at an elevation of 20 feet above the existing track and cost Rs.15.69 crore.
About Parvati Bhawan :
i.Parvati Bhawan is linked to skywalk to ensure that pilgrims proceed directly to the shrine after depositing their luggage.

Current Affairs – 5 & 6 November 2023

PM of India and Bangladesh jointly inaugurated Development Projects in Power and Rail SectorPM Narendra Modi and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina has jointly inaugurated three Indian assisted development projects on November 1, 2023 via virtual mode. These three development projects are in rail, power sectors between India and Bangladesh. These projects will strengthen connectivity and energy security in both countries.

  • It includes a key rail link between Tripura’s Nischintapur and Gangasagar in Bangladesh.
  • Inauguration of Khulna –Mongla Port Rail Line.
  • Unit-2 of the Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant.

Additional Information:
About: Bangladesh
Prime Minister(PM) : Sheikh Hasina
Capital: Dhaka
Currency: Bangladeshi Taka
About: NTPC
It is a central Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Power. It received Maharatna company status in 2010.
CEO: Gurdeep Singh
Headquarter: New Delhi, Delhi
Established: 7 November, 1975
About: Tripura
Chief Minister(CM): Manik Saha
Capital: Agartala
Governor: Indrasena Reddy
National Park(NP): Rowa Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajbari(Bison) NP and Clouded Leopard NP
Airport: Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport
Folk dances: Hozagiri, Garia, Jhum
Festivals: Kharchi Puja

India-France signed LoI in Public Administration & Administrative Reforms Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India, and Ministry of Public Sector Transformation & the Civil Service of the French Republic have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for Cooperation in the field of Public Administration and Administrative Reforms for 3 years.
The LoI was signed by V. Srinivas, Secretary, DARPG, and Thierry Mathou, Ambassador of France to India at a event held in New Delhi, Delhi.
About the LoI:
Aim: To enhance bilateral partnership between India and France through exchange visits, focused on administrative reforms, good governance webinars, research publications, capacity building programs, and replication of good governance practices.
i.Under this LoI, a Joint Working Group (JWG) will be established to create a roadmap for bilateral collaboration.
ii.Emphasis were laid upon high-level exchanges in the upcoming months.
iii.India presented Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Maximum Governance – Minimum Government’ policy.

  • Under this, India’s Next Generation Administrative Reforms include Meritocracy recognition, Good Governance Index benchmarking, quality e-services, and technology adoption in grievance redressal.

iv.The French government expressed its interest in exchanging information on effective Public Grievance Redressal, Secretariat Reforms adopted for digital transformation of the central secretariat and dissemination of award-winning Good Governance Practices.

EESL launched NECP & EEFP to Revolutionize India’s Energy LandscapeOn 2nd November 2023, Union Minister Raj Kumar Singh, Ministry of Power, has unveiled two new programs of Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL): National Efficient Cooking Programme (NECP) and the Energy Efficient Fans Programme (EEFP), during the event held in New Delhi, Delhi.

  • NECP aims to revolutionise cooking practices in India.
  • EEFP aims to emphasise the importance and urgency of energy-efficient fans.

Note: EESL, a Energy Service Company (ESCO), is a Joint Venture of 4 Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) under the Ministry of Power – NTPC Limited, Power Finance Corporation Limited, REC Limited and POWERGRID Corporation of India Limited.
Key Points:
i.Under NECP, EESL will distribute 20 Lakh energy-efficient induction cook stoves to reduce the environmental impact of cooking practices, leading to cleaner air and improved health for the population.

  • EESL collaborated with Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) to facilitate the widespread adoption of induction cooktops.

ii.Under EEFP, EESL will distribute 1 crore 5-star energy-efficient BLDC (brushless direct current) fans across India.
About National Efficient Cooking Programme (NECP):
i.NECP is a subset of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana (PMUY), a clean cooking energy scheme.
ii.NECP focuses on Non-Solar/Electricity-based Induction Cookstoves in line with the Go-electric initiative, launched by the Ministry of Power in 2021.
iii.NECP has introduced induction-based cookstoves, which will provide a 25-30% cost advantage compared to traditional cooking methods.
About Energy Efficient Fans Programme (EEFP):
i.EEFP is dedicated to encouraging the adoption of energy-efficient appliances, such as LED bulbs, tube lights, and high-performance fans.

  • This aims to deploy energy-efficient BLDC fans, with the goal of distributing 1 crore ceiling fans.
  • This will also reduce energy consumption and environmental impact.

ii.The adoption of the most efficient fans replacing the current ceiling fans  will reduce the total residential electricity consumption by 20%.
Note: The program for deploying 1 crore ceiling fans was initiated during the G20 (Group of 20) Energy Transitions Working Group in Goa in July 2023.

  • Following this, EESL has invited bids for the initial batch of  20 lakh fans under EESF.

Additional Info:
Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has mandated that ceiling fans must bear star labels with effect from 1st January 2023.

India To Host World Telecommunication Standardisation Assembly In 2024
Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Ministry of Communications announced that India will be hosting the World Telecommunication Standardisation Assembly (WTSA) in 2024

  • WTSA is the governing conference of the International Telecommunication Union  Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T).
  • It is a quadrennial event (happening once in 4 years).
  • WTSA20 was scheduled to happen in India. Due to COVID19 pandemic, it was held  in ​Geneva, Switzerland​ in March 2022.

3 World Conferences of ITU:
i.WTSA is one of the three world conferences organized by the ITU.
ii.Other two conferences are:

  • World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) – Held once in every three to four years
  • World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) – Held once in every four years

Note: WTSA24 will mark a significant step towards the advancements of Fifth Generation(5G) and Sixth Generation(6G) networks.

RBI Ups Minimum Amount for Offering Non-Callable TDs from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 1 CrOn October 26, 2023, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) increased the minimum amount for offering Non-Callable Term Deposits (TDs) from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 1 crore with immediate effect, allowing all customers to prematurely withdraw money from Fixed Deposit (FD) of up to Rs 1 crore. This mandate will cover all commercial banks and co-operative banks.

  • This means all domestic TDs accepted from individuals for amounts of Rs 1 crore and below will have a premature-withdrawal-facility.
  • These instructions will be applicable for Non-Resident (External) Rupee (NRE) Deposit / Ordinary Non-Resident (NRO) Deposits.

What are Non-callable FDs?
Non-callable FDs are TDs that do not permit premature withdrawals until the tenure is completed. Banks offer higher rates on non-callable FDs to discourage premature withdrawals.
Key Points:
i.These TDs should be from the individuals that can either be in single or joint name.
ii.Banks can set deposit maturity, but NRE term deposits must be at least one year, and NRO term deposits must be at least seven days.
ii.Bulk deposits will have different interest rates.
Click Here for Official Notification

IRDAI Forms Taskforce To Review Bancassurance NormsThe Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has formed a task force under the Chairmanship of Meena Kumari, Executive Director(Life) of IRDAI, to review the existing bancassurance framework.
About the Task Force:
i.The task force was formed in response to concerns about mis-selling/forced selling of insurance policies through the bancassurance channel.
ii.The taskforce will review the existing regulatory framework for bancassurance and suggest ways and means to increase the efficiency of the it.
iii.The taskforce will also suggest regulatory stipulations on the market conduct requirements of bancassurance partners.
iv.The taskforce will also examine best international practices and suggest suitable changes.
v.The taskforce is asked to submit these recommendations within 31st December 2023.
Although banks have a large network of branches across India, they only contributed 5.93% of non-life insurance premiums and 17.44% of life insurance premiums in the new business for the financial year 2022-23.
i.Members of the Taskforce:

  • Yegna Priya Bharat, Chief General Manager (Health), IRDAI
  • Surya Kumar, Chief General Manager (Supervision), IRDAI
  • J. Anita, Chief General Manager (Intermediaries), IRDAI
  • D.S.Murthy, General Manager(GM)(Non life), IRDAI

ii.There are also representatives from the

  • State Bank of India(SBI)
  • HDFC Bank
  • Punjab National Bank(PNB)
  • New India Assurance Company Limited(NIACL)
  • ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited
  • Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Limited
  • HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited
  • Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company Limited
  • Aditya Birla Health Insurance Company Limited
  • Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Limited

What is Bancassurance?
i.Bancassurance is a financial services model in which banking institutions and insurance companies collaborate to offer a wide range of financial products and services to customers.
ii.It involves the distribution of insurance products through banking channels, such as bank branches, Automated teller machines (ATMs), online banking platforms, and mobile banking apps.
Additional Info:
The review of the bancassurance framework is seen as a step towards the IRDAI’s goal of promoting insurance for all by 2047.
About  Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI):
Chairperson – Debasish Panda
Headquarters – Hyderabad, Telangana
Established in –  1999, Incorporated in 2000

RBI issues Norms to Regulate PA-CB in Cross-Border Payments; Imposes monetary penalty on PNB, Federal Banki.On 31st October 2023, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued the Regulation of Payment Aggregator – Cross Border (PA-CB). RBI has decided to include all entities facilitating cross-border payment transactions for import and export of goods and services under the direct regulation of the RBI.
ii.Apart from PAs-CB, entities including Authorised Dealer (AD) banks, PAs and PAs-CB shall comply with these instructions.
iii.All non-banks which provide PA-CB services must apply for authorization from the RBI by April 30, 2024.
iv.This directive by RBI is issued under Section 10 (2) read with Section 18 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (Act 51 of 2007), and, Section 10 (4) and Section 11 (1) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999 (42 of 1999).
v.The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed monetary penalties on the following entities:

  • Punjab National Bank (PNB): Rs 72 lakh penalty
  • Federal Bank: Rs 30 lakh penalty
  • Kosamattam Finance Limited: Rs 13.38 lakh penalty
  • Mercedes-Benz Financial Services: Rs 10 lakh penalty
  • L&T Finance Limited: Rs 2.50 crore penalty

About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Swaminathan Janakiraman, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

AFLI launches Super Cash Plan for Regular Income and Security
Ageas Federal Life Insurance (AFLI) has launched a new non-linked, participating, individual life insurance savings plan called Ageas Federal Life Insurance Super Cash Plan.

  • The scheme is a combination of life insurance protection, guaranteed returns, and regular income.
  • The scheme offers immediate cash flow starting from the end of 1st policy year/ month.
  • There is also provision for Guaranteed boosters starting from end of every fifth policy year till the end of policy term.
  • Additionally, the scheme also offers a lumpsum maturity benefit at the end of the policy term.

Note: If the policyholder is a female, the sum assured on maturity will be increased by a percentage of the annualized premium.

ICICI Prudential Multi-Asset Fund completes 21 years
On 31st October 2023, The ICICI Prudential Multi-Asset Fund scheme has completed 21 years. The scheme was incepted on 31st October 2002.

  • The fund has a good track record, which generates a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 21%.
  • As of 30 September 2023, the scheme manages an Assets Under Management (AUM) of Rs 24,060.99 crore or about 57% of the total AUM in the multi-asset allocation category.

ICICI Prudential Multi-Asset Fund is an open-ended scheme investing in equity, debt and exchange traded commodity derivatives/units of gold Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) / units of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)&  InvITs (Infrastructure Investment Trust)/ preference shares.
What is Multi Asset Allocation Mutual Fund?
i.They are hybrid funds that must invest a minimum of 10% in at least 3 asset classes.

5th Businessline Changemaker Awards: RBI wins Changemaker of the Year 2023; AMUL wins Iconic ChangemakerUnion Minister Raj Kumar Singh, Ministry of Power honoured the winners of the 5th edition of The Hindu BusinessLine Changemaker Awards during the award ceremony held in New Delhi, Delhi.

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was named the Changemaker of the Year 2023 and Amul, the brand of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) based in Anand, Gujarat was named Iconic Changemaker.
  • RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das and Jayen Mehta, Managing Director of GCMMF received the award on behalf of RBI and AMUL respectively.

About BL Changemaker Awards 2023:
I.BusinessLine Changemaker Awards recognises the  people and organizations that have brought a positive change in society since 2018.
ii.The Jury for the 2023 awards was chaired by Damodaran, former Chairman, SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India).
iii.The award is presented under 6 categories:

  • Changemaker of the year
  • Iconic Changemaker
  • Young Changemaker
  • Changemaker – Digital Transformation
  • Changemaker – Financial Transformation
  • Changemaker – Social Transformation

Winners of The Hindu BusinessLine (BL) Changemaker Award 2023:

Saima Wazed, Daughter of Bangladesh PM, nominated as Regional Director of WHO South East Asia On 1st November 2023, Saima Wazed, the candidate of Bangladesh, was nominated as the Regional Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) South-East Asia Region (SEAR), one of the 6 WHO Regions.

  • Saima Wazed, the daughter of Bangladesh Prime Minister(PM) Sheikh Hasina, won the election with 8 votes(including Bangladesh and India).
  • Following the appointmnet, She will succed the incumbent Regional director Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh (since 2014) from India on 1st February 2024.

About the Election:
The Election of Regional Director 2023 was held during the meeting at 76th session of WHO Regional committee of SEAR.

  • Shambu Prasad Acharya, the candidate nominated for the post by Nepal secured only 2 votes.

The nomination will be submitted to the WHO Executive Board during the 154th session which will be held on 22−27 January 2024 in Geneva, Switzerland.
11 Members of SEAR: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea(South Korea), India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste.
Note: Myanmar was not eligible to vote.
About Saima Wazed:
i.Saima Wazed is a licensed school psychologist and expert on neurodevelopmental disorders, autism and mental health.
ii.She was made WHO- Regional Office for South-East Asia (SEARO)’s Regional Champion for Autism in 2015 and was appointed as WHO’s Goodwill Ambassador for Autism in SEAR in 2017.
iii.She is a member of WHO’s global Expert Advisory Panel on Mental Health.
iv.She aso serves as the chairperson of the Bangladesh National Advisory Committee for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders since 2012.
v.She is also the chief advisor for National Mental Health Strategic Plan Working Group, and the chairperson of the Shuchona Foundation (SF), Bangladesh.
Awards: In 2014, she became the first recipient of the Excellence in Public Health Award by WHO-SEARO.

India’s Surendra Kumar Adhana Re-elected as a Member of UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions
Senior Indian diplomat Surendra Kumar Adhana was re-elected as a member of the United Nations (UN) Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) for a three-year term, 2024–26, beginning on 1st January 2024.

  • He has been a member of ACABQ, a subsidiary organ of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), since November 2022.

About Surendra Kumar Adhana:
i.Surendra Kumar is an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 2010 Batch.

  • He worked in the Ministry of External Affairs(MEA) from 2010 to 2012 at the Eurasian Division dealing with Russia. Then he worked in the Indian Embassy in Moscow(Russia) from 2012-2016.

ii.He also worked as the deputy Consulate General of India in Houston(United States) from 2016 to 2020.

  • From 2020-2022, he worked as a Head of the Delhi Passport Office.

 About UN-ACABQ:
i.United Nations -Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions is an expert Committee of 21 Members elected by the UNGA for a term of three years.

  • The members of UN-ACABQ serve in a personal capacity and not as representatives of member states.

ii.The major functions of the UN-ACABQ are

  • To examine and report on the budget submitted by the Secretary-General to the UNGA.
  • To advise the UNGA concerning any administrative and budgetary matters referred to it.
  • To examine on behalf of the UNGA the administrative budgets of the specialised agencies and proposals for financial arrangements with such agencies.
  • To consider and report to the UNGA on the auditors’ reports on the accounts of the UN and its specialised agencies.

List of other elected members of UN-ACABQ
About United Nations General Assembly(UNGA):
President – Dennis Francis (Trinidad and Tobago)
Headquarters – New York, United States of America(USA)
Established – 1945

CSIR-NIIST & HAL Signs MoU to Strengthen Indigenisation in Aerospace, Defence Sectors Kerala-based Council of Scientific & Industrial Research-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (CSIR-NIIST) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) in Bengaluru (Karnataka) to collaborate in India’s aerospace and defense sectors.

  • The collaboration aims to strengthen the indigenisation and import substitution program for India’s aerospace and defence sectors.

Note: The initiative is in line with the Government of India’s Atmanirbhar Bharat vision, promoting self-reliance in critical sectors.
About the collaboration:
i.The MoU involves the development of magnesium and aluminum alloy castings and related areas for the aerospace and defence sectors.
ii.The MoU facilitates CSIR-NIIST to collaborate on:

  • Human resource and Facility utilisation; Technology support services; Consultancy services; and collaborative research works in the field of light alloys, for the design and development of aerospace components and welding.

iii.The specific areas of collaboration include:

  • The manufacturing of aeronautical grade magnesium alloy castings using the Low-Pressure Casting (LPC) process;
  • The design and development of filler materials for salvage welding of aluminum and magnesium alloy castings; and
  • Other areas of research of mutual interest.

NIIST in Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) is a constituent Laboratory of CSIR, engaged in conducting advanced Research and Development (R&D) programs, prioritising the optimal utilisation of regional resources vital to national development.

  • CSIR NIIST is also a leader in R&D programs in agro-processing and technology, chemical sciences and technology, materials science and technology, etc.

About CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (CSIR-NIIST):
Initially it was established in 1975 as a CSIR Complex. It was named the Regional Research Laboratory in 1978 and later renamed NIIST in 2007.
Director– Dr. C. Anandharamakrishnan
Headquarters– Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
About Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL):
HAL is a Navratna Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Ministry of Defence which is involved in the design, development, manufacturing, supply, and maintenance of aircraft, helicopters, aerospace systems, and components.
Chairman and Managing Director (additional charge)-  C.B. Ananthakrishnan (Director (Finance) & Chief Financial Officer (CFO))
Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka
HAL was incorporated on 23 December 1940 as Hindustan Aircraft Limited

India Wins 55 Medals(21 Gold, 21 Silver & 14 Bronze) in Asian Shooting Championships 2023India finished second in the medal tally with 55 medals (21 Gold, 21 Silver & 14 Bronze) in the Asian Shooting Championships2023 held in Changwon, South Korea from 22nd October to 2nd November 2023.

  • The 15th edition of the Asian Shooting Championships comprised both Junior and senior-level events.

Medal Tally:

  • Gold medal in the Individual men’s 50m rifle 3 positions
  • Silver medal in 50m Rifle 3 Positions men’s team event along with Akhil Sheoran and Swapnil Kusale

ii.Harmehar Singh Lally won the gold medal in the Skeet Men Junior event (Shooting) and Bhavtegh Singh Gill won the silver medal in the same event.

  • Darshna Rathore and Anant Jeet Singh Naruka won the gold medal in the Skeet mixed team event(Shotgun).
  • The Indian men’s team comprising Anant Jeet Singh Naruka, Gurjoat Khangura and Angad Vir Singh Bajwa won the gold medal in the men’s skeet team event.

iii.Prithviraj Tondaiman and Manisha Keer won gold in a mixed trap event(Shotgun).
iv.The Asian Shooting Championships offered 24 Olympic quotas (two per event) for 12 Olympic shooting events, of which six Indians secured Olympic quotas, includes:

  • Shriyanka Sadangi (women’s 50m rifle 3 positions), Anish Bhanwala (men’s 25m rapid fire pistol), Manu Bhaker (women’s 25m pistol), Arjun Babuta (men’s 10m air rifle), Tilottama Sen (women’s 10m air rifle) and Sarabjot Singh (men’s 10m air pistol).

Note –
ISSF has announced that its logo has now been registered as an international trademark.

International Day for Biosphere Reserve 2023- November 03 The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s International Day for Biosphere Reserve (BR) or World Biosphere Reserve Day is annually observed across the globe on 3 November to raise awareness of the importance of biosphere reserves and to promote their conservation and sustainable use.

  • The day serves as a crucial reminder of the need to safeguard the delicate balance between humans and the environment.

3 November 2023 marks the 2nd observance of International Day for BR.
i.In 2021, UNESCO at its 41st session of General Conference (GC), adopted a resolution (41 C/37) and proclaimed the 3 November of each year as the International Day for Biosphere Reserves.
ii.At the request of Spain and Uruguay, the 211th session of the Executive Board included an agenda item on the proclamation of the International Day for BR.
iii.The first-ever International Day for BR was observed on 3 November 2022.

Jharkhand Cabinet Approves Rs 1,485cr Electrification Scheme
Jharkhand Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister(CM) Hemant Soren approved a new electrification scheme named “Mukhya Mantri Ujjwal Jharkhand Yojana”.

Current Affairs – 4 November 2023

10th Edelgive Hurun India Philanthropy List Released; Shiv Nadar Tops i.On November 2, 2023, Hurun Research Institute and EdelGive released the 10th annual ranking of Edelgive Hurun India Philanthropy List 2023 in which Shiv Nadar (78) of HCL Technologies retained the title of ‘India’s Most Generous for the 3rd consecutive year as he donated Rs 2,042 crore during the FY2022-23.
ii.Out of his total donation, Rs 1,774 crore for Arts and Culture and Education.
iii.Azim Premji, founder chairman of Wipro, is ranked 2nd, as he donated Rs 1,774 crore and Mukesh Ambani, Chairman & Managing Director of Reliance Industries limited(RIL), is ranked 3rd with a donation of Rs 376 crore.
iv.The list comprises 119 philanthropists who cumulatively donated Rs 8445 crores. Out of these, 25 are new entrants.
v.The list assessed the donations measured by the value of cash and cash equivalents from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023.
About Hurun India:
MD & Chief Researcher- Anas Rahman Junaid
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

ECI signs MoU with MoE to bring Electoral Literacy to Classrooms across India On November 2, 2023, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Election Commission of India (ECI) and the Ministry of Education (MoE) to develop an institutional framework to formally incorporate electoral literacy into the school and college education system.

  • This MoU will extend ECI’s flagship Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) in schools and colleges.
  • It envisages instilling electoral literacy in the young people through the educational institutions.

Reason behind this Partnership:
During the 2019 General election to Lok Sabha, almost 297 million electors out of 910 million did not cast their votes. The voting percentage of that election was 67.4%.
This initiative was taken up to improve the voting percentage.
This partnership has been made to empower young people by bridging the knowledge gap among the youth and first-time voters.

  • Notably, India has one of the  youngest populations in the world.

Key Points:
i.Under this MoU, there will be systematically integration  of voter education and electoral literacy into the curriculum, starting from classes 6 to 12 in all schools.
ii.This includes structured curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities, all of which will help in preparing future and new voters for greater electoral participation.
iii.Under the MoU, National Council of Educational Research and Training(NCERT) will include content on electoral literacy in school textbooks and advise state education boards to follow the same.
About Election Commission of India (ECI):
It is a constitutional body established by the Constitution of India to conduct and regulate elections in India. It operates under the authority of Constitution per Article 324
Chief Election Commissioner– Rajiv Kumar
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Establishment– 1950

Indian Navy and IAF Decommissioned old Ilyushin-38 and MiG-21 AircraftsOn 31st October 2023, Ilyushin (IL)-38 Sea Dragon (SD) long-range maritime patrol aircraft of the Indian Navy(IN) was decommissioned after 46 years of service to the nation, at INS Hansa at Dabolim, Goa.
Key People:  The IL-38 SD was decommissioned in the presence of Chief of the Naval Staff(CNS) Admiral R. Hari Kumar and veteran officers and sailors of the IL-38 squadron.
Key Points:
i.Indian Naval Air Squadrons (INAS) 315 was commissioned on 1st October 1977 with the induction of IL-38 aircraft.
ii.The aircraft, IL-38 SD, was also featured in the 2023 Republic Day Flypast at New Delhi, Delhi.
iii.Two IL-38 SD aircraft will be stationed permanently at the National Maritime Heritage Museum, Lothal, Gujarat and at Nipani in Karnataka
iv.The long-range maritime patrol duties previously carried out by the IL-38 will now be taken over by Boeing-manufactured P-8I aircraft and MQ-9B Sea Guardian drones.
P-8I aircraft and MQ-9B Sea Guardian drones:
i.The Indian Navy has placed an order for eight P-8I aircraft in 2009 and the first aircraft entered service in 2013. An additional four were ordered in 2016 and were all delivered by December 2021, bringing the total to 12 aircraft.
ii.In 2020, the IN has been operating two MQ-9B Sea Guardian drones on lease from General Atomics, drone manufacturer.
IAF phases Mig-21 Squadron Based in Rajasthan
On 31st October 2023, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has phased out another Mig-21 fighter squadron, No. 4  squadron, known as ‘OORIALS’, based in based at Uttarlai, Rajasthan. The squadron will be re-equipping it with Sukhoi-30 MKI (SU-30MKI) aircraft.

  • No. 4 Squadron has been operating the MiG-21 since 1966.
  • The IAF’s MiG-21 Bison aircraft made their farewell appearance in the skies above Uttarlai, Barmer district, Rajasthan.

Note: In 2022, the No. 51 Squadron based in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir was phased out.
Key points:
The IAF has set the target of phasing out all the squadrons of the Mig-21 Bison by 2025 and will be replaced by the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-MK1A.
At present, only Two Mig-21 squadrons are there, one based at Bikaner and another at Suratgarh in Rajasthan.
Additional info: The aircraft has been dubbed(nick name) “the flying coffin” and “the widow-maker” due to its frequent crashes.

Bhutan Becomes 1st Country to Fully Sterilise its Entire Street Dogs Population
Bhutan became the first country in the world to completely sterilize and vaccinate its entire stray dog population across Bhutan.

  • ‘National Dog Population Management and Rabies Control Project’ is a 14-year-long project that was launched in 2009 and completed in 2023.
  • Under the project, over 150,000 stray dogs were sterilized and 32,000 pet dogs were microchipped.
  • The program was implemented by a global animal charity called Humane Society International (HSI).

About Bhutan:
Prime Minister(PM)– Lotay Tshering
Currency– Bhutanese Ngultrum
Capital– Thimphu

ICICI Bank Enables Transactions to Merchant QR Code Using its Digital Rupee AppICICI Bank Limited has enabled its customers to pay to any merchant QR(Quick Response) code using the “Digital Rupee by ICICI Bank”, the digital rupee (e₹) app of ICICI Bank.

  • ICICI bank achieved this by making its digital rupee app UPI (Unified Payments Interface) interoperable.

i.The move eliminates the need for mandatory on-boarding procedure for the merchants.

  • The merchants can now accept digital rupee payments on their existing UPI QR code.

ii.This also provides flexibility & convenience to customers and exponentially expands the avenues for payments.
iii.The new feature also expands the usage of digital rupee.
What is Digital Rupee?
i.Digital Rupee, also known as Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), is the
tokenised digital version of the Indian Rupee issued by RBI. This is a legal tender similar to the sovereign currency (Indian rupee).
ii.RBI launched the pilot project of CBDC (Digital Rupee) on 1st December 2022
ICICI Bank was one of the banks to be chosen to take part in the phase1 of RBI’s CBDC pilot project.

  • Other banks includes State Bank of India (SBI), YES Bank Limited and IDFC FIRST Bank Limited.

About ICICI Bank Limited:
Managing Director(MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Sandeep Bakhshi
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in – 1994
Tagline – Hum Hai Na Khayal Apka

AU Small Finance Bank &  ixigo Launches Premium Co-Branded Travel Credit CardAU Small Finance Bank (AU SFB) along with a travel platform ixigo (Le Travenues Technology Limited) announced the launch of their premium ixigo-AU co-branded credit card which aims to enhance the travel experiences of modern travelers in semi-urban regions.

  • The card is a first-of-its-kind value proposition across all travel verticals such as flights, trains, buses & hotels.

About the Partnership:
i.The partnership combines AU SFB’s financial expertise and ixigo’s reach in tier 2 and tier 3 markets.
ii.These two Bharat-focused brands address the evolving needs of modern travellers, who seek flexibility, convenience, and value.
i.The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) anticipates a substantial recovery in the travel industry, projecting a remarkable year-on-year growth of 20.7% in 2024, surpassing the levels seen before the pandemic.
ii.This growth reflects a strong trend in spending by Indian tourists in 2023. i
About Co-branded Credit Card:
i.It is the only online travel agency (OTA) to give access to a maximum of

  • 8 railway lounges per calendar year (without any spending criteria)
  • 8 domestic airport lounges per calendar year (without any spending criteria)
  • 1 international lounge per year (Priority Pass available on request).

ii.The card offers upto 10% discounts on flight, bus & hotel bookings made through the ixigo platform.
Annual Fee:
i.The nominal annual fee of the card for the first year is Rs. 999 (excluding Goods and Services Tax (GST)).

  • The fee will be waived by spending Rs.1000 in the initial 30 days.

ii.The annual fee for the second year will also be waived with a minimum spend of Rs. 1 Lakh.
About AU Small Finance Bank Limited(Ltd):
Managing Director(MD)  & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) –  Sanjay Agarwal
Headquarters – Jaipur, Rajasthan
Established in – 1996
About ixigo (Le Travenues Technology Limited):
Co-Founders – Aloke Bajpai & Rajnish Kumar
Headquarters – Gurugram, Haryana
Established in – 2007

Russia Makes it Easier for Indians to Open & Use Bank Accounts
The Russian government has simplified the process for Indian nationals to open and operate bank accounts in the financial institutions of Russia.

  • Upon arrival in Russia, Indian nationals will be able to obtain a bank card from a partner Russian bank and initiate financial transactions.
  • This will benefit Indian tourists and 15,000 Indian students studying in Russia.
  • To get the guidance, Indians can approach an Indian bank that has a partnership agreement with the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia).

Note: Previously, Russia introduced electronic visas(e-visa) for Indian passport holders with effect from 1st August 2023.

BPCL & GAIL Inks Rs 63,000 cr Pact to Supply Propane for India’s 1st PDH Plant in MaharashtraBharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and GAIL (India) Limited, India’s leading natural gas company, have signed a 15-year agreement worth Rs 63,000 crore to supply propane to GAIL’s Propane Dehydrogenation and Polypropylene (PDH-PP) Plant project in Usar, Maharashtra.

  • GAIL’s upcoming Usar-based PHD-PP plant represents India’s 1st PDH plant, which is likely to launch operations in 2025.


  • BPCL and GAIL (India) Limited are both Maharatna Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoP&NG).
  • GAIL (India) Limited was formerly known as Gas Authority of India Limited.

Key Signatories:
DV Mamadapur, Executive Director (ED) (LPG), BPCL, and Kamlesh Sharma, ED Marketing Retail, GAIL, signed the agreement, in the presence of Sukhmal Jain, Director (Marketing) at BPCL, and Sanjay Kumar, Director (Marketing), GAIL.
Capacities of BPCL and GAIL:
i.Under the agreement, BPCL will provide GAIL with 600 kilotonnes per annum (KTPA) of propane, a critical petrochemical feedstock from its Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) import facility in Uran (Maharashtra).
ii.GAIL’s Usar plant is expected to have a capacity of 500 KTPA, with propylene production seamlessly integrated into a polypropylene (PP) plant of equal capacity.
iii.BPCL’s LPG facility at Uran is capable of handling 1 million tonnes per annum (MMPTA) of LPG imports and is expanding to accommodate 3 MMTPA of propane and butane imports.

  • The demand for polypropylene is projected to reach 6.3 million tons by 2025, up from 4.9 million tons in 2020.
  • Earlier in 2023, GAIL acquired JBF Petrochemicals Ltd, a private-sector chemical company through bankruptcy proceedings, rebranding it as GAIL Mangalore Petrochemicals Ltd.

About Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL):
Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) – G Krishnakumar
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established on– November 3, 1952
About GAIL (India) Limited:
Chairman & Managing Director (CMD)- Sandeep Kumar Gupta
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Incorporated in– 1984

Social Worker Dinanath Rajput from Bastar receives Rohini Nayyar prize 2023The Software engineer-turned-social worker Deenanath Rajput (33) from Jagdalpur, Bastar, Chhattisgarh has won the second edition of Rohini Nayyar prize 2023 for an Outstanding Contribution to Rural Development. The award was presented by Nand Kishore(NK) Singh who is the Chairman of the Fifteenth Finance Commission.

  • The prize was announced at the function which was held at India International Centre(IIC) in New Delhi, Delhi.

About the Award:
i.The award was instituted by Nayyar Foundation in 2022, in the memory of former bureaucrat Dr Rohini Nayyar IAS.
ii.The award also comes with a citation and a trophy with a cash prize of Rs.10 lakhs.
iii.The award is annually presented to recognise the outstanding contribution of an individual (under the age of 40) towards rural development.
iv.Sethrichem Sangtam received the first edition of Rohini Nayyar prize in 2022.

  • He helped 1,200 marginalised farmers in Eastern Nagaland to triple the incomes.

About Deenanath Rajput:
i.Deenanath Rajput worked for the upliftment of of over 6,000 tribal women in Bastar, Chhattisgarh, a region known for its challenges, including Naxalite activities.
ii.For that purpose, he founded Bhumgadi Mahila Krushak Producer Company Limited in 2018.

  • It is a Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) run by women in Naxal-hit areas.

About Rohini Nayyar:
i.She was born in 1944 and passed away in October 2021.
ii.She is an Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer of 1969 batch  and served in the Uttar Pradesh(UP) cadre for five years.
iii.She is a well-known economist and served as a principal adviser at the erstwhile Planning Commission in 2004.

  • She is associated with Planning Commission from 1987 onwards.

iv.She was associated with several rural employment generation program including Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

UNEP Champions of the Earth 2023: Honours Solutions to Eliminate Plastic PollutionThe United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced its 2023 Champions of the Earth, the United Nations(UN)’s highest environmental honour to recognise individuals, groups, and organizations whose actions have a transformative impact on the environment.

  • 2023 Laureates: Josefina Belmonte, Mayor of Quezon City (Philippines); Ellen MacArthur Foundation (United Kingdom); Blue Circle (China); José Manuel Moller (Chile); and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) (South Africa).
  • The 2023 laureates are implementing solutions and policies to eliminate plastic pollution.

About United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):
Executive Director– Inger Andersen (Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations)
Headquarters– Nairobi, Kenya
Established in– 1972

Justice Rajendra Menon Re-Appointed as Chairman of AFT
Former Chief Justice(CJ) of Delhi High Court(HC), Rajendra Menon has been re-appointed as Chairman of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) for four years. 

  • He will be serving as the Chairman of the Tribunal till 6th June, 2027.
  • He was initially appointed to the post in 2019 succeeding Justice Virender Singh.

About Rajendra Menon:
i.Rajendra Menon was appointed as additional judge of Madhya Pradesh (MP) HC in 2002 and was confirmed as a permanent judge of MP HC in 2003
ii.He was promoted as CJ of the Patna High Court in 2017 and served as CJ of Delhi High Court from 2018 to 2019.
iii. He has also served as the Welfare Commissioner for the Bhopal Gas Victims Compensation Commission(2010 to 2015).

Zurich Insurance to Acquire 51% Stake in Kotak General Insurance for Rs 4,051crKotak Mahindra Bank and Kotak Mahindra General Insurance Company have entered into definitive agreements with Zurich Insurance Company Ltd, whereby Zurich will invest approximately Rs 4,051 crore to acquire a 51% stake in Kotak General Insurance.

  • Kotak General Insurance is valued at approximately Rs 8000 crore on a post money valuation.
  • The transaction is expected to be completed by June 30, 2024.
  • It is the single largest investment by a global strategic insurer in an Indian non-life insurer.

Key Points:
i.Morgan Stanley acts as the financial advisors to Kotak and Kotak General Insurance Company for this strategic alliance.
ii.The investment would be made through a combination of fresh growth capital and share purchase.
iii.Zurich will acquire an additional stake of 19% i.e. 70% within a period of three years from its initial acquisition.

  • Till that time, Kotak Mahindra Bank will retain management control of its general insurance arm.

iv.It should be noted that the acquisition is subject to the regulatory approvals from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), and the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

Indian Army Conducts Test Firing of Rockets and Turret Guns from Prachand The Indian Army conducted the inaugural test firing of 70 mm rockets and 20 mm turret guns of its Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Prachand in both day and night conditions.

  • It was carried out by the 1st LCH squadron from the Air Force station in Likabali in Arunachal Pradesh.

About Prachand:
i.The Prachand is India’s first indigenous multi-role class combat helicopter, developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It received operational clearance in 2017.

  • The Army inducted its first LCH Prachand in October 2022.

ii.Features:The 5.8-tonne twin-engine prachand can fly at a maximum speed of 268Kilometer per hour (kmph) and has a combat radius of 550 km, which can go up to a service ceiling of 6.5 kilometers (km).

  • It is fitted with Shakti Engine, which is co-developed by HAL and France’s engine-maker Safran.
  • It is designed to operate in deserts and mountainous areas.
  • It is set to be equipped with Helina missiles, the air force version of the Dhruvastra missile, and also with a helicopter-launched anti-tank guided missile and a new air-to-air missile.

iii. Capabilities: It can carry out activities such as Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Destruction of Enemy Air Defence (DEAD), operations against slow-moving aircraft, and Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs).

  • It can also carry out high-altitude bunker-busting operations, counter-insurgency operations in the jungle and urban environments and provide support to ground forces.

In November 2023, Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) is expected to award the contract worth Rs 45,000 crore for 156 indigenous LCH, 90 for the Indian Army, and 66 for the Indian Air Force.
Additional Info:
Army Aviation Corps (AAC), an aviation arm of the Indian Army celebrated its 38th raising day on 1st November 2023.

RailTel Sets Up CoE to Provide Training on Railway Signalling & Tele Communications
RailTel Corporation of India Limited, a Miniratna (Category-I) Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Ministry of Railways, has set up a Centre of Excellence (CoEto provide training in railway signalling and telecommunication systems in New Delhi, Delhi.

  • The CoE aims to ensure the availability of competent and skilled manpower in the field of Railway Signalling and Telecommunications Training.

About CoE:
i.The CoE will offer a range of certification and diploma courses in collaboration with the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).
ii.Rail Edutech Private Limited is the resource partner for the CoE for providing comprehensive railway training.

  • It is an All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) approved entity.

iii.The CoE reaffirms RailTel’s commitment to advancing safety and innovation in the railway industry.

Jharkhand Cabinet Approved ‘Abua Awas Yojana’ Housing Scheme
The Jharkhand Cabinet led by Chief Minister(CM) Hemant Soren approved the ‘Abua Awas Yojna’ (AAY), a state-supported housing scheme for the poor to build 8 lakhs pucca houses for the homeless in Jharkhand in 3 phases at a total budget of Rs 16,320 crore.
To provide three-room and 1 kitchen houses with a total area of 31 square meters to underprivileged individuals within the next two-year timeline.

  • 2 lakh houses will be constructed in the 1st phase (FY 2023-24);
  • 3.5 lakh houses in the 2nd phase (FY 2024-25); and
  • 2.5 lakh houses in the 3rd phase (FY 2025-26).

Current Affairs – 3 November 2023

Reliance Retail & SBI Card Collaborates to Launch ‘Reliance SBI Card’SBI Cards and Payment Services Limited(SBI Card), in collaboration with Reliance Retail Limited(RRL), has launched a co-branded credit card called the ‘Reliance SBI Card’ which aims to provide a world-class customer experience.

  • The card comes in two variants namely Reliance SBI Card and Reliance SBI Card PRIME.
  • Reliance SBI Card, made using the recycled plastic, is powered by RuPay contactless technology.

The unique security key feature of Visa payWave will ensure that only one transaction is processed even if the card is waved multiple time at the reader.
About of Reliance SBI Card:
i.The card comes with an annual fee of Rs.499(for first year) and Renewal fee of Rs.499(for second year)
ii.The card is accepted worldwide and one can make payments at any outlet that accepts Visa or MasterCard. 
Card Benefits:
i.On payment of the joining fee, the card offers a Reliance Retail Voucher worth Rs. 500.
ii.The cardholder will receive 5 Reward Points for every Rs.100 spent through the card.
About of Reliance SBI Card PRIME:
i.The card comes with an annual fee of Rs.2999(for the first year) and a Renewal fee of Rs.2999(for the second year).
ii.The card is accepted worldwide and one can make payments at any outlet that accepts Visa cards
Card Benefits:
i.The cardholder will receive 10 Reward Points for every Rs.100 spent through the card.
ii.Reliance SBI Card PRIME offers the following lounge benefits as well.

  • 8 complimentary Domestic airport lounges visits per calendar year, with a maximum of 2 visits per quarter.
  • 4 complimentary International airport lounges visits per calendar year, with a maximum of 2 visits per quarter,(starting from December 15, 2023).

Mahindra Finance Enters Co-Lending Partnership with SBI
Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Limited, a leading non-banking financial company (NBFC) in India, has entered into a Co-Lending Model(CLM) partnership with State Bank of India (SBI) to provide to affordable and personalized financing solutions to empower Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSME) sectors across India.

  • Mahindra Finance, by leveraging its extensive rural distribution network, will be responsible for customer origination  and servicing; while SBI will provide the funding of the loan.
  • They offer personalised interest rate for each customer based on their credit profile.

Co-Lending Model(CLM):
i.The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) laid out the co-origination framework in 2018, allowing banks and NBFCs to co-originate loans.

  • In 2020, RBI Co-Lending guidelines were further amended and renamed as CLM- Co-Lending Models.

ii.The CLM aims to provide funding for the unserved and underserved sectors of the economy by requiring NBFCs to be the sole point of contact for customers.
About SBI Cards and Payment Services Limited(SBI Card):
SBI Card, formerly known as “SBI Cards and Payment Services Private Limited”, was launched as a joint venture between State Bank of India(SBI) and GE Capital.
Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – Abhijit Chakravorty
Headquarters – Gurugram, Haryana
Established in – 1998
About Reliance Retail Limited:
RRL is a subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL), the holding company of all the retail companies under the Reliance Industries Limited(RIL).
Chief Executive Officer(CEO) – Akhilesh Prasad
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in – 2006

HSBC Became the First Foreign Bank to Introduce e-BGs in IndiaThe Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, India (HSBC India), in association with the National E-Governance Services Limited (NeSL), has introduced the electronic-Bank Guarantees (e-BGs) services to digitize trade finance.

  • With this, HSBC India became the first Foreign Bank in India to offer e-BGs.

What is e-BG?
i.e-BG is a digital equivalent of a traditional paper-based Bank Guarantee.
ii.It is a guarantee issued by a bank to a beneficiary on behalf of an applicant, promising to pay the beneficiary a specific amount of money if the applicant fails to fulfill a certain obligation.
iii.The process is made simple by introducing electronic stamping (E-stamping) and electronic signing (E-signing).
i.e-BG significantly reduces the transaction cycle time or turnaround time(TAT).
ii.e-BGs are more cost-effective than paper-based guarantees, as they eliminate the need for printing, courier, and other associated costs.
iii.e-BGs are more secure than paper-based guarantees, as they use the latest security technologies to protect against fraud and tampering.
iv.e-BGs offer increased transparency, as businesses can track the status of their e-BGs at any time.
Additional Info:
In September 2022, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFCBank, India’s largest private sector bank became India’s 1st bank to issue an e-BG in partnership with NeSL.
About Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, India (HSBC India):
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Hitendra Dave
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in – 1853
About  National E-Governance Services Limited (NeSL):
NeSL is India’s first Information Utility and is registered with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) under the aegis of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC).
Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Debajyoti Ray Chaudhuri
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Established in – 2016

India First Life gets GIFT City IFSC RegistrationIndiaFirst Life Insurance Company Limited (IndiaFirst Life) has become the 1st  life insurance company in India to receive Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT-City)’s International Financial Services Centre (IFSCRegistration.

  • The IFSC Unit of IndiaFirst will soon commence operations.

Following the approval from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) in August 2023, IndiaFirst received the registration from the International Financial Services Centre Authority (IFSCA) in September 2023.
Key Points:
i.This registration will enable IndiaFirst to extend its services outside India.
ii.This will also enhance its market presence and capitalize on the customer outreach opportunities at a global level, particularly NRIs (non-resident Indians) banking with its partner banks(Bank of Baroda (BoB) and Union Bank of India(UBI)).
IndiaFirst Life:
India First Life Insurance is a three-way venture firm with BoB(holding 65% stake), UBI (holding 9% stake), and Carmel Point Investments India Private Limited(holding 26% stake).

  • Carmel Point Investments India Private Limited, a private limited company incorporated under the laws of India and affiliate of the Warburg Pincus Group.

i.GIFT IFSC is India’s first international financial services center.
ii.It was established in April 2015 under the Special Economic Zone Act, 2005 (SEZ Act, 2005).
iii.It is a joint venture(JV) of IL&FS (Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd) and Gujarat government-owned Gujarat Urban Development Co.Ltd.
iv.It is a financial hub that provides world-class infrastructure and services for financial institutions and companies operating in areas such as banking, insurance, capital markets, and asset management.
v.It is regulated by IFSCA.
About IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company Limited (IndiaFirst Life):
Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer(CEO)– RM Vishakha
Incorporated in November 2009
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra.

SEBI Unveils New Format for SID of AMCIntending to streamline the dissemination of relevant information to investors, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has unveiled a new format for the Scheme Information Documents (SIDs) of Asset Management Company(AMC).

  • The new norms are suggested by the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) and recommended by the Mutual Fund Advisory Committee(MFAC).
  • The new format will come into force from April 1, 2024.

What is SID?
The Scheme Information Document or SID contains detailed information about the scheme’s investment objective, asset allocation pattern, investment approach, risks involved, fund managers, fees, expenses etc.
Changes made in the ‘summary of the scheme’ section:
i.AMC must clearly state the benchmark index for each scheme and explain why they have chosen that index to compare the scheme’s performance. 
ii.If applicable, they must also disclose the second-tier benchmark, which reflects the fund manager’s investment style within the category.
iii.The section will include a web link, which will display the Total Expense Ratio (TER) for the previous six months along with the scheme factsheet.
Website Links:
i.AMC are also required to provide a functional web link to the scheme’s portfolio holdings (top 10 holdings by issuer and fund allocation towards various sectors).
ii.The fund houses should provide a reference list of existing schemes and a functional website link that contains a detailed comparative table.
Other Changes:
i.The new circular requires mutual fund companies to disclose the aggregate investment in the scheme by the scheme’s fund managers.
ii.Additionally, mutual fund companies must explain how the new scheme differs from the existing schemes offered by the fund.
Offer Documents:
Mutual fund offer documents, such as the Key Information Memorandum (KIM), Scheme Information Document (SID), and Statement of Additional Information (SAI), provide essential information about the scheme.

  • These documents also provide information including its investment objective and policies, fees and liquidity provisions, fund management team details, all risk factors, and risk mitigation mechanisms.

Old Format usage:
For the following cases old format of SID can be used:

  • Draft SIDs to be filed with SEBI on or before March 31, 2024.
  • SIDs already filed with SEBI (final observations yet to be issued).
  • SIDs for which the final observations have already been received from SEBI (if launched on or before March 31, 2024).

IMF Projects Global Growth to Slow to 2.9% in 2024 Amid Economic SlowdownThe ‘World Economic Outlook: Navigating Global Divergences’ report released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in October 2023, projected the global economic growth to slow down from 3.5% in 2022 to 3% in 2023 and 2.9% in 2024.

  • This is one of the lowest growth rates in decades and well below the historical average of 3.8% recorded between 2000 & 2019.

i.Advanced economies are expected to experience a decline, a drop from 2.6% economic growth in 2022 to 1.5% in 2023 and 1.4% in 2024.

  • This is attributed to policy tightening aimed at curbing inflation.

ii.The emerging markets and developing economies are expected to witness a decrease in growth from 4.1% economic growth in 2022 to 4% in both 2023 and 2024.
Inflation Trends:
According to the report, the global inflation is expected to decrease from 8.7% in 2022 to 6.9% in 2023 and 5.8% in 2024.

  • The decline is due to the tighter monetary policy as well as the lower international commodity prices.

ii.Core inflation is expected to go down at a slower pace. The inflation is likely to remain above target in most countries until at least 2025.

  • By 2025, inflation is expected to be within only 0.2 % point of target in most economies.

iii.Rising near-term inflation expectations and tight labor markets could lead to core inflation pressures requiring higher-than-expected policy rates.
Other Highlights:
i.The report suggests the importance of focusing on monetary policy actions and frameworks(with effective communication strategies) to anchor inflation expectations.
ii.It highlights the potential impact of disruptions to global trade due to geo-economic fragmentation.
iii.Economic activity still falls short of pre-pandemic levels, particularly in emerging market and developing economies, with disparities widening between regions.

  • Persistent effects of the pandemic, the Ukraine conflict, geo-economic fragmentation, cyclical factors related to monetary policy tightening, withdrawal of fiscal support, and extreme weather events are some of the factors that hinders the robust recovery.

About International Monetary Fund (IMF): 
Managing Director – Kristalina Georgieva
Headquarters– Washington D.C, United States of America (USA) 
Establishment– 1944

AIFF Wins AFC President’s Recognition Bronze Award for Grassroots FootballThe All India Football Federation (AIFF) has won the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President’s Recognition Bronze Award for grassroots football. AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey received the award at the AFC Annual Awards 2022 in Doha, Qatar.
AFC President’s Recognition Award for Grassroots Football:
i.AFC President Recognition Awards for Grassroots Football ‘Gold’ won by Football Australia.
ii.AFC President Recognition Awards for Grassroots Football ‘Silver’ won by the Guam Football Association
AIFF works for the development of grassroots-level football:
i.AIFF has introduced several grassroots football development plans including the AIFF Blue Cubs programme, Blue Cubs coaching courses, Blue Cubs leagues, Blue Cubs football schools, and AIFF Grassroots Awards.

  • AIFF also introduced the AIFF Institutional League for Non-Professional Entities and AIFF Project Diamond for grassroots football.

ii.AIFF participated in the various initiatives of the AFC including the AFC Grassroots Day 2023, AIFF Academy Accreditation, AIFF Golden Baby Leagues, Grassroots Coach Development Courses, Blue Cubs Leader Courses, and Grassroots Coach Educators Courses
About AFC Annual Awards:
i.The 27th edition of the AFC Annual Award presented in 18 award categories including the newly introduced AFC Regional Association of the Year award.

  • The prestigious AFC Men’s Player of the Year 2022 was given to Salem Al Dawsari (Saudi Arabia) for his performance in the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup Qatar 2022.
  • Australia striker Samantha Kerr was awarded AFC Women’s Player of the Year 2022.

AFC Annual Awards 2022
About Asian Football Confederation (AFC):
This marks AIFF’s second bronze medal in the category, including its recognition in 2014.
President –  Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa
Headquarters – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Established – 1954

Justice Hamarsan Singh Thangkhiew Appointed as Acting Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court The President of India, Droupadi Murmu, in exercise of the power conferred by Article 223 of the Constitution of India, appointed Justice Hamarsan Singh Thangkhiew, senior-most Judge of the Meghalaya High Court(HC) as its Acting Chief Justice (ACJ) with effect from November 2, 2023.

  • He succeds Justice Sanjib Banerjee, 11th CJ of Meghalaya HC (2021-2023) who retired on 1st November 2023.

About Justice Hamarsan Singh Thangkhiew:
i.He was enrolled as an Advocate with the Bar Council of Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh in 1990-1991.
ii.He was designated Senior Advocate by the Gauhati HC in August 2010.
iii.He took oath as Judge of the HC of Meghalaya on 19th November 2018.
iv.He has previously served as Acting CJ of the HC of Meghalaya for a short period in November 2019.
Justice Manoj Kumar Tiwari Took Charge as Acting CJ of Uttarakhand HC
Justice Manoj Kumar Tiwari, Judge of the Uttarakhand High Court took charge as acting Chief Justice (CJ) of the Uttarakhand High Court(HC) on 27 October 2023 upon the retirement of Justice Vipin SanghiCJ of Uttarakhand HC on 26th October 2023.
About Justice Manoj Kumar Tiwari:
i.He enrolled with the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh in 1990 and started practice at the HC of Judicature in Allahabad.
ii.He later shifted to Nainital (Uttarakhand) upon the creation of the Uttarakhand HC in 2000. In 2009, he was designated as a Senior Advocate.
iii.He served as President of the High Court Bar Association, Nainital in 2008 and acted as special counsel for the State Government in various cases.
iv.He was elevated as permanent Judge of the HC of Uttarakhand on 19 May 2017.
SC Collegium Recommended Addl Judge Roy Chowdhury as Permanent Judge of Calcutta HC
The Supreme Court (SCCollegium headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, has recommended Additional judge Siddhartha Roy Chowdhury for the appointment as a permanent judge of the Calcutta High Court(HC), West Bengal(WB).

  • The SC Collegium also includes Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Sanjiv Khanna of SC of India.

i.Justice Siddhartha Roy Chowdhury was recommneded to the post by Justice T. S. Sivagnanam, CJ of Calcutta HC.
ii.Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister (CM) of WB and C. V. Ananda Bose, Governor of WB has also concurred with the said recommendation.

RBI Appoints Manoranjan Mishra as New Executive Director
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) appointed Manoranjan Mishra as its Executive Director (ED) with effect from November 1, 2023. As the ED, Manoranjan Mishra will oversee three Departments namely Enforcement, Risk Monitoring, and External Investments & Operations.

  • Prior to the appointmnet as ED, he was serving as Chief General Manager in the Department of Regulation, RBI.
  • He has extensive experience of over 3 decades in the RBI, having worked in the areas of regulation of banks and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), supervision of banks, and currency management.
  • He has served as a member of several Working Groups at the national and international levels contributing to the formulation of regulatory/ supervisory policies.

Tata Power Appoints Deepesh Nanda as President-Renewables and CEO and MD of TPREL
Tata Power, one of India’s largest integrated power companies, appointed Deepesh Nanda as President-Renewables and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) of Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited (TPREL), a subsidiary of Tata Power, with effect from November 1, 2023.

  • He succeeded Ashish Khanna, who moved as President of Generation Business.
  • In his new role, Deepesh Nanda will oversee Tata Power’s renewable energy portfolio, comprising solar, wind, hybrid, and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) green energy solutions.
  • He will also lead innovation and digital transformation initiatives in the renewable energy sector.
  • He has 28 years of extensive experience across companies like General Electric (GE), Flowserve, and Tyco. He served as CEO for South Asia at GE Gas Power, managing operations in multiple countries.
  • He was additionally President and CEO of GE’s Aero-derivative Gas Turbine business segment for Asia.

India set to develop Israel’s Iron Dome like LR-SAM under Project Kusha India’s Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is set to develop a long-range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM) system, similar to that of Israel’s Iron Dome defence system.

  • This system developed under “Project Kusha” will equip India with a robust air defence system which will detect and neutralise incoming threats.

DRDO is the defence Research and Development (R&D) wing under the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Government of India.
About LR-SAM: 
i.The LRSAM will be capable of destroying incoming stealth fighters, aircraft, drones, cruise missiles, and precision-guided munitions within a range of up to 350 kilometres (km).
ii.The system is scheduled for deployment by 2028-2029.
Note: This air defense system will be on par with the Russian S-400 Triumf system, inducted into the Indian Air Force(IAF).
i.This system will feature long-range surveillance and fire control radars.
ii.This will also include interceptor missiles which can neutralise targets at 150 km, 250 km and 350 km.
Project Kusha:
i.Project Kusha was approved by the Cabinet Committee for Security in May 2022.
ii.IAF’s Project Kusha is jointly executed by DRDO along with private and public sector industries.
iii.It has received approval for funding amounting to approximately Rs 21,700 crore.
Israel’s Iron Dome: 
i.Israel’s Iron Dome (Kippat Barzel in Hebrew) System is a state-of-the-art rocket defence system designed to protect against incoming short-range weapons. It operates in all weather conditions.
ii.This system includes batteries located across Israel, each with 3 to 4 launchers that can fire 20 interceptor missiles.
iii.Iron Dome was created by Israeli firms Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries. 
Additional info: 
i.The Defense Ministry of Israel claims that Iron Dome has successfully intercepted around 97% of all targets fired by the Palestine Islamic Jihad(PIJ) into Israel in 2022.
ii.During the ongoing 2023 Israel-Hamas conflict, Hamas has fired around 5000 rockets at Israel from Gaza Strip. Iron Dome neutralised many missiles, but several bypassed the system and hit built-up areas.
About Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) : 
Chairman– Dr. Samir V Kamat
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Motto– Balasya mulam vigyanam (Sanskrit) means “The source of strength is Science”

Para Indian Athletes Finishes Fifth with 111 Medals in Hangzhou Asian Para Games 2022The Indian contingent finished 5th position in the medal tally with 111 medals (29 gold, 31 silver, and 51 bronze) in the Hangzhou Asian Para Games 2022 held in Hangzhou, China from 22nd to 28th October 2023.

  • The 4th edition of the Asian Para Games (2022) marks India’s record for the highest medal tally so far surpassing the previous record medal tally of 72 medals(15 gold, 24 silver, and 33 bronze) in the 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • Mascot – The “Divine Bird” named ‘Feifei’ is the mascot.

Medal Tally:

22-Feet Long Statue of Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar Unveiled at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium
Maharashtra Chief Minister(CM) Eknath Shinde unveiled the 22-foot statue of Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It serves as a tribute to his illustrious career (1989 – 2013) in his 50 years of life, commemorating his 50th birth anniversary celebrated in April 2023.

  • The statue captures the legendary cricketer in the act of playing a stroke and has been placed adjacent to the Sachin Tendulkar Stand. The statue has been built by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) at the Wankhede Stadium.
  • The statue has been designed by Pramod Kamblea renowned painter and sculptor from the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra.
  • Jay Shah, Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI); Rajeev Shukla along with other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

Sachin Tendulkar is popularly known as Master Blaster and God of Cricket.
Awards: Arjuna Award (1994 – Cricket); Khel Ratna (1997); Padma Shri (1999) and Padma Vibhushan (2008) for Sports; Bharat Ratna (2014).

  • Till date, he is the youngest recipient and the first-ever sportsperson to receive the Bharat Ratna award.

Padma Shri Leela Omcherya Musicologist and Writer Passed Away
Padma Shri Leela Omchery, a renowned musician, musicologist, and writer passed away in New Delhi, Delhi at the age of 94. She was born on May 31 1929 at Thiruvattar in the princely state of Travancore, Kanyakumari (now in Tamil Nadu).

  • She served as a professor at Kamuakara School of Music, Dance, and Research Studies, Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala). She was also a professor and principal of Trikala Gurukulam in New Delhi.
  • She was the president of Dakshina Bharati (South Indian Women’s Organisation), and vice-president of Swaralaya, New Delhi.
  • She also worked as associate professor and head of the Carnatic Music Section, Faculty of Music and Fine Arts, University of Delhi, from 1964 to 1994.
  • She was a bilingual author in English and Malayalam, and her notable works include Studies in Indian Music and Allied Arts (5 Volumes) (1990); The Immortals of Indian Music (1998); and Abhinaya Sangeetham (1996).
  • She was awarded the Padma Shri (2009) in the Art Field; and the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi award (1991).

International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists 2023- November 02 The United Nations (UNInternational Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI) is annually observed across the globe on 2nd November to pay tribute to journalists killed in the line of duty, and to raise awareness about the dangers of impunity for crimes committed against journalists.

  • The day also highlights the active role of journalism and the media in preventing and combating violence and discrimination in digital environments.

i.On 18 December 2013, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/68/163 and proclaimed the 2 November of every year as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI).
ii.The first-ever IDEI was observed on 2 November 2014.

Karnataka Launched Dr. Puneeth Rajkumar Hrudaya Jyoti Yojana to Provide Rapid Treatment for Cardiac Emergencies
Dinesh Gundu Rao, Health Minister in Karnataka Health Department launched Dr. Puneeth Rajkumar Hrudaya Jyoti Yojana to provide treatment to people experiencing sudden heart attacks and cardiac issues.

  • The scheme was named in memory of famous Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar, who died at the age of 46 following a heart attack on October 29, 2021.
  • The scheme seeks to install emergency devices in public places to offer to those suffering from heart attacks within the crucial response time (golden hour), which is crucial to saving people who suffer a cardiac arrest.
  • The program has been implemented in 2 ways. Hub and spoke model and installation of self-powered Automated External Defibrillator (AED) devices in public places.
  • The hub and spoke model is a distribution network that resembles a bicycle wheel. It will work effectively in preventing sudden cardiac arrests.
  • The government will also be deploying Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology that can detect the severity of a patient’s condition within 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Individuals in critical heart health will be administered a free injection called Tenecteplase at the spoke centers, which helps in preventing a sudden cardiac arrest.
  • Under the program, individuals with Below Poverty Line (BPL) cards receive free treatment in super-specialty hospital hubs.
  • While those with Above Poverty Line (APL) cards can access free treatment using the Arogya Karnataka Ayushman Bharat Health Card.

Current Affairs – 2 November 2023

PM Narendra Modi Launched Mera Yuva Bharat Platform for Youths of IndiaOn 31st October 2023, on the occasion of National Unity Day 2023, Prime Minister (PMNarendra Modi launched the ‘Mera Yuva Bharat’ (MY Bharat) platform for the youth of India during the program held in Kartavya Path in New Delhi, Delhi.

  • The MY Bharat platform encourages youth participation in nation-building efforts, fostering a sense of responsibility and engagement.
  • The program marked the culmination of the “Meri Maati Mera Desh” campaign’s Amrit Kalash Yatra.
  • It also marked the closing ceremony of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and marks the beginning of Amrit-kaal.

About Mera Yuva Bharat (MY Bharat):
i.MY Bharat is an autonomous body under the Department of Youth Affairs, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports(MoYAS), Government of India (GoI).
ii.It serves as a comprehensive government platform for the youth of India, aligning with the GoI’s goal to offer equitable opportunities to the nation’s youth.
iii.It will benefit the youth in the age group of 15-29 years as “active drivers”, in line with the definition of ‘Youth’ in the National Youth Policy.
iv.This is a ‘Phygital Platform‘ (physical + digital) which offers physical activity along with an opportunity to connect digitally.
v.MY Bharat will serve as a comprehensive, tech-driven platform for India’s youth, fostering their growth and contribution to ‘Viksit Bharat’.
Note: The official website,, provides diverse options for the youth.
To inspire young individuals to become community change agents and nation builders and enable them to act as the Yuva Setu’ between the Government and the citizens, enhancing ‘Youth Led Development.’

  • It is a unique effort to integrate the youth power of India in building a developed India.

Outcomes of MY Bharat:
i.Leadership Development in the Youth:

  • Improve leadership skills through experiential learning by shifting from isolated physical interaction to programmatic skills.
  • Investing more in youth to make them social innovators, and leaders in the communities.

ii.Better alignment between youth aspirations and community needs.
iii.Improved two-way communication to connect youth government initiatives and activities of other stakeholders that engage with youth.
iv.This will also enhance efficiency through the convergence of existing programs, act as a one-stop shop for young people and Ministries and create a centralized youth database.

MoRTH Report Road Accidents in India-2022: States & UTs reported around 4 lakh Road Accidents in 2022According to “Road Accidents in India-2022, the annual report published by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways(MoRTH). The States and Union Territories (UTs) of India reported a total of 4,61,312 road accidents during 2022.

  • The accidents occurred during 2022 have claimed around 1,68,491 lives and caused injuries to 4,43,366 persons.
  • Compared to 2021, the records show an increase of 11.9% in accidents, 9.4% in fatalities, and 15.3% in injuries.

Tamil Nadu (TNtops the list of States in Number of Accidents for the 5th consecutive year. TN has reported 64,105 (13.9%) accidents in 2022.
About Ministry of Road Transport and Highways(MoRTH):
Union Minister– Nitin Jairam Gadkari (Constituency- Nagpur, Maharashtra)
Minister of State– General (Retd.) Vijay Kumar Singh (Constituency- Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh)

PM Narendra Modi laid the foundation of various Development Projects in Maharashtra and inaugurated 37th National Games in GoaPrime Minister (PM) of India, Narendra Modi inaugurated and dedicated various development projects worth around Rs7500 crore in Shirdi, Maharashtra on 26th October, 2023.

  • PM launched “Namo Shetkari Mahasanman Nidhi Yojana”
  • PM Modi Dedicates Left Bank Canal Network of Nilwande Dam
  • Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the 37th National Games in an official ceremony held at Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, Margao, and Goa on 26th October, 2023.
  • Motto: the motto for the 37th National Games of India is “Get Set Goa”.

About: Maharashtra
Chief Minister: Shri Eknath Shinde
Governor: Shri Ramesh Bais
National Park: Tadoba National Park, Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Chandoli National Park
Airport: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport(Mumbai, Maharashtra)
Dance Form: Dangari Gaja, Bohada and Lavani

Exercise KAZIND-2023: A Joint Military Exercise between India & Kazakhstan Begins at Otar, Kazakhstan

Indian Army and Indian Air Force (IAF) participates in the Joint Military ‘Exercise KAZIND-2023’ at Otar, Kazakhstan. The 7th edition of the KAZIND, an annual bilateral exercise between India and Kazakhstan, is being held from 30th October till 11th November 2023.
i.90 personnel led by a Battalion from the DOGRA Regiment of the Indian Army participated in the exercise
ii.Kazakhstan contingent is represented by personnel from Regional Command South of Kazakh Ground Forces.
iii.The 2023 exercise was upgraded as a Bi-service Exercise with the inclusion of the Air Force along with the Army, about 30 Air Force personnel from both sides will take part in the current edition of the exercise.
About KAZIND-2023:
i.The Indian and Kazakhstan forces conduct Counter Terrorism operations in a sub-conventional environment under the United Nations(UN) mandate.
ii.The exercise includes rehearsal of various tactical drills including Raid, Search, and Destroy Operations, Small Team Insertion, and Extraction Operations.

  • It also includes the conduct of Counter Unmanned Aerial System Operations.

iii. This exercise also develops the necessary skills, resilience, and coordination to conduct joint military operations in Semi-Urban and Urban environments.

  • It acts as a forum to learn mutually from each other and strengthen the bond between the two armies.

i.In 2016, the joint exercise between India and Kazakhstan was instituted as ‘Exercise PRABAL DOSTYK’.

  • The Exercise PRABAL DOSTYK was renamed as ‘Exercise KAZIND after the second edition and also upgraded to a company-level exercise.

The 6th edition of KAZIND was held at Umroi Military Station in Ri-Bhoi district of Meghalaya from 15th December to 28th December 2022.
About Kazakhstan:
Prime Minister(PM)– Alikhan Smailov
Capital– Astana
Currency– Kazakhstani Tenge

2 Indian Cities Gwalior and Kozhikode Named in UNESCO Creative Cities Network on World Cities Day 2023On the occasion of World Cities Day (31 October 2023), 55 cities joined the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative Cities Network (UCCN). The list featured 2 Indian Cities namely Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh) and Kozhikode (Kerala).

  • Gwalior has been designated as the UNESCO ‘City of Music’ and Kozhikode as the UNESCO ‘City of Literature’.
  • The newly recognised cities highlight their dedication to integrating culture and creativity into their developmental frameworks.
  • The cities demonstrate exceptional proficiency in human-centered urban planning.

About United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
Director-General– Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters– Paris, France
Established in– 1945

Collins Dictionary Named ‘AI’ as Word of the Year 2023Collins Dictionary, a printed and online English dictionary published by HarperCollins in Glasgow, Scotland, has named “AI” abbreviation for Artificial Intelligence, as the “Word of the Year 2023”. 

  • ‘AI’, the uncountable noun, describes ‘the modelling of human mental functions by computer programs’.

Word of the year: 
i.Lexicographers (a person who compiles dictionaries) of Collins Dictionary stated that the use of the term “AI” has increased and dominated the conversations of 2023.
ii.The word of the year is chosen from the spoken material from radio, TV and everyday conversations.
iii.The use of the word is monitored through our Collins Corpus.
2023 Shortlisted Words: 

  • Bazball(noun) – test cricket style in which the batting side attempts to gain the initiative through highly aggressive play.
  • Deinfluencing (noun)- the use of social media to warn followers to avoid certain products.
  • Nepo baby(noun) – a person, whose career is believed to have been advanced by having a famous parent.
  • Ultraprocessed (adjective) – food prepared using complex industrial methods from multiple ingredients, (including ingredients with little or no nutritional value).
  • Canon event(noun) – an event that is essential to the formation of an individual’s character or identity.
  • Debanking (noun) – the act of depriving a person of banking facilities
  • Greedflation (noun) – use of inflation as an excuse to raise prices to artificially high levels in order to increase corporate profits.
  • Semaglutide (noun) – a medication used to suppress the appetite and control high blood sugar.
  • Ulez (countable noun) – Abbreviation of ‘ultra-low emission zone’. This is an area, especially one in a big city, where most vehicles have to pay to enter and vehicles that produce a lot of pollution have to pay more.

Previous Collins’ Word of the Year includes “Permacrisis” (2022); “NFT” – Non-Fungible Token (2021); and “Lockdown” (2020).

India-born UK-based Writer Nandini Das won the British Academy Book Prize 2023 for “Courting India”India-born author Nandini Das, based in the United Kingdom(UK), has been named the winner of the 11th British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding (2023), for her debut book titled Courting India: England, Mughal India and the Origins of Empire”.

  • The announcement was made by the Chair of the Book Prize judging panel, Professor Charles Tripp, Fellow of the British Academy (FBA), at an event at the British Academy, London, UK.
  • The award carries a cash prize of  25,000 pounds sterling.

About the book:
i.The book is described as the origin story of Britain and India through the story of the arrival of Sir Thomas Roe, first English ambassador in India, in the early 17th century.
ii.This is considered as a true origin story of Britain and India.
About Nandini Das:
i.Nandini Das, Born in Kolkata, West Bengal, is a professor of Early Modern Literature and Culture in the English faculty at the University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
ii.She also worked as a Professor of English Literature at the University of Liverpool (UK) until 2019. She then assumed roles as a fellow in English at Exeter College (UK).
iii.She is project director for the “Travel, Transculturality, and Identity in Early Modern England” (TIDE), funded by the European Research Council.
iv.As a BBC New Generation Thinker, she actively presents television and radio programs in England (UK).
Notable work:
“Robert Greene’s Planetomachia” (2007); “Renaissance Romance: The Transformation of English Prose Fiction, 1570-1620” (2011); The Cambridge History of Travel Writing (2019).
2023 British Academy Book Prize:
i.The 2023 British Academy Book Prize event was hosted jointly by the British Academy and the London Review Bookshop.
ii.A total of 6 authors were shortlisted for the prize. The shortlisted books emphasised original, well-researched, and accessible content, which offers a broad readership.
iii.The event was chaired by Rosie Goldsmith, Journalist and Broadcaster, Founder and Director of the European Literature Network.
Click here to know more about Shortlisted authors and books
Note: Each of the shortlisted writers received 1,000 Pound sterling.
About British Academy Book Prize:
i.The British Academy Book Prize, formerly known as the Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize, was established in 2013. This is a leading international non-fiction prize .
ii.The award recognise and celebrate the best works of non-fiction that demonstrate rigour and originality and have contributed to public understanding of other world cultures and their interaction.
Note: The winner in 2022 was “When Women Kill: Four Crimes Retold” by the Chilean writer Alia Trabucco Zerán.
British Academy: