Daily Current Affairs, 16 November 2017

Paper 1:

Birsa Munda

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  • Born on November 15th.
  • Jharkhand formed on this day as a mark of respect for him.
  • He belonged to Munda tribe, also known as Dharti Abba or Earth Father.
  • He wanted to reform the tribal society, eliminate witchcraft, and hence stressed on prayer, and distance from alcohol.
  • His faith was called “Birsait” which stressed on faith on God and observing a code of conduct.
  • Bisra started a movement called ‘Ulgulan’, or ‘The Great Tumult’.
  • His struggle against the exploitation and discrimination against tribals led to a big hit against the British government in the form of the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act being passed in 1908. The act restricted the passing on of land from the tribal people to non-tribals.
President inaugurated the JOHAR scheme – Jharkhand’s Opportunities For Harnessing Rural Growth
  • President inaugurated the JOHAR scheme, worth 1,500 crore rupees, in Ranchi on the occasion of Jharkhand’s foundation day.
  • The World Bank aided JOHAR (Jharkhand’s Opportunities For Harnessing Rural Growth)scheme.
  • It is aimed at doubling the income of two lakh rural poor. Besides this, 57 lakh families were given the Health Insurance Scheme, covering two and half crore people.


Climate Change Performance Index




  • Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2018 has been released by environmental organisation Germanwatch.
  • The report was made public on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change negotiations (COP23) in Bonn.

About CCPI:

  • The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) is an instrument covering 58 countries and supposed to enhance transparency in international climate politics.
  • Aimed to encourage political and social pressure on those countries which have failed to take ambitious actions on climate protection
  • It highlights countries with best-practice climate policies.
  • India is ranked 14th, an improvement from its 20th position last year. China, with its high emissions and growing energy use over the past five years, still ranks 41st.

80% of the evaluation is based on objective indicators of emissions trend and emissions level. 20% of the index results are built upon national and international climate policy assessments by more than 200 experts from the respective countries.

Highlights of the report:

  • 56 countries and the EU are together responsible for about 90% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Global energy transition is speeding, but still not enough.
  • Need for better targeting and implementation.
  • Growth in renewable energy.
  • But progress achieved still too slow for a fully renewable energy based world economy in a few decades, because growing oil and gas consumption is higher than the welcomed reduction in coal use.


Paper 2:

Japan to simplify visa rules for Indians from January next year
  • Japan will simplify its visa rules for Indians from January next year and issue multiple-entry-visa for short-term stay in the island nation.
  • The Japanese Embassy said in New Delhi that the move is expected to benefit tourists and business persons as well as frequent visitors.
  • It said, the relaxed visa regime will not only have simplification of visa application documents but also expansion of scope of eligible applicants.
  • Under simplified visa application documents, the applicant’s employment certificate and explanation letter stating the reason will be exempted in cases of multiple-entry-visa applications.
  • Multiple entry visas with a maximum validity of 5 years and maximum stay of 90 days will be issued to applicants who have travel records to Japan twice or more in the last one year.

Rajasthan conversion Bill

The Religious Freedom Bill passed by the Rajasthan Assembly in 2008, aimed at banning forcible religious conversions, was returned by the Union government as it deviated from the national policy. According to the Union Home Ministry, the Bill was sent back for “further clarifications.”


Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA)


India and European Union (EU) recently held discussions onBilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) and expressed willingness to address issues in a time-bound manner.

Difference between the two countries:

  • Movement of professionals.
  • EU wants tax reduction in wines, spirits and dairy products, and a strong intellectual property regime.
  • India is asking for ‘data secure nation’ status to be granted by the EU, which will give Indian IT companies market access in EU.

The negotiations cover : Trade in Goods, Trade in Services, Investment, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Technical Barriers to Trade, Trade Remedies, Rules of Origin, Customs and Trade Facilitation, Competition, Trade Defence, Government Procurement, Dispute Settlement, Intellectual Property Rights & Geographical Indications, Sustainable Development.


Zimbabwe Army seizes power, President Robert Mugabe ‘confined to his home’

  • Zimbabwe’s military said it had seized power in a targeted assault on “criminals” around President Robert Mugabe, who were causing social and economic suffering, but came out with an assurance that the 93-year-old leader and his family were “safe and sound”.
  • The army said today it has the President and his wife in custody and was securing government offices and patrolling the capital’s streets following a night of unrest.



Related image

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Bank of International Settlement (BIS)



RBI Governor Urjit Patel has been appointed to the Financial Stability Institute Advisory Board or the Bank of International Settlement (BIS), a global financial organisation owned by major central banks from across the world.

  • The FSI was jointly created in 1998 by the BIS and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.
  • FSI seeks to promote cross- sectoral and cross-border supervisory contacts and cooperation.
  • It assists financial sector authorities worldwide in strengthening their financial systems.

About BIS:

  • The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is the world’s oldest international financial organization. It was established in May 1930.
  • It is based in Basel, Switzerland, with representative offices in Hong Kong and Mexico City.
  • It has 60 member central banks, representing countries from around the world that together make up about 95% of world GDP.
  • The mission of the BIS is to serve central banks in their pursuit of monetary and financial stability, to foster international cooperation in those areas and to act as a bank for central banks.


Paper 3:

AgTech Summit 2017 at Visakhapatnam
  • Vice President has called upon the scientists, technology experts and policy makers as well as the programme implementers to come up with a strategy that will bring a significant, sustainable change in the agriculture landscape of Andhra Pradesh and India.
  • Inaugurating the session of AP AgTech Summit 2017 at Visakhapatnam, Vice president said, it is the need of the hour to work collaboratively and strategically to make a difference in the lives of farmers and tap into the nature’s bounty.
  • If we want to make agriculture as sustainable, if you want the migration from agriculture to other aspects, you need to strengthen agriculture.


Centre to launch BS-VI fuel in Delhi from 2018 to battle smog

  • Ministry of Petroleum has brought forward the date for the rollout of BS-VI fuel for Delhi to April 1, 2018 instead of the original deadline of April 1, 2020.
  • The early introduction of BS-VI fuel gives confidence to the auto industry that BS-VI fuel will be available across the country from April 1, 2020, when the auto industry will fully migrate to manufacturing only BS-VI compliant vehicles on a pan India basis.
  • Launching of BS-VI vehicles only for Delhi is also not feasible as the fuel will not be available outside the capital and BS-VI vehicles cannot run on BS IV fuel.

International Film Festival of India

  • The International Film Festival of India (IFFI), founded in 1952,
  • Held annually, currently in the state of Goa
  • The festival aims at providing a common platform for the cinemas of the world to project the excellence of the film art;
  • Contributing to the understanding and appreciation of film cultures of different nations.
  • The festival is conducted jointly by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Directorate of Film Festivals and the Government of Goa.


India’s first mega coastal economic zone (CEZ)




  • The government has given the go-ahead for setting up India’s first mega coastal economic zone (CEZ) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Maharashtra as part of a plan to develop 14 such industrial clusters to spur manufacturing and generate jobs.
  • The Union Cabinet had last year approved setting up of 14 mega CEZs under the National Perspective Plan of the Sagarmala Programme, with an aim to promote
    • development of industrial clusters around ports,
    • encourage port led development,
    • reduce logistics cost and time for movement of cargo,
    • enhance global competitiveness of India’s manufacturing sector and
    • create hubs of job creation.

About CEZs:

CEZs are spatial economic regions, are expected to provide business-friendly ecosystem including ease of doing business, ease of exporting and importing, swift decisions on applications for environmental clearances, and speedy water and electricity connections.

International Solar Alliance

  • A Event for the Founding Ceremony of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) was recently held at Bonn, Germany.
  • The ISA was launched at the 2015 Paris Climate Change Summit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande, on the side lines of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties 21 (CoP21) at Paris, France.
  • It seeks to empower solar-rich countries located between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn to make collaborative efforts to harness solar energy to generate the electricity (Fully and partially enclosed countries between the two tropics)
  • Under this alliance, 121 countries that fall within the tropics have been invited. Most of these countries fall within Asia, Africa and South America.
  • ISA will become a treaty-based international intergovernmental organisation on 6 December 2017. 44 countries have already signed the ISA treaty, and many more are set to join.

Sagar Kavach

  • Joint security exercise organized jointly by the governments of Odisha and neighboring West Bengal.
  • Aimed at tightening the existing coastal security mechanism.

Hunar Haat

  • The fourth Hunar Haat exhibition organised by the Ministry of Minority Affairs at India International Trade Fair (IITF) at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
  • Hunar Haats are organised by Ministry of Minority Affairs under Upgrading the Skills & Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development (USTTAD) scheme.
  • The USTTAD scheme envisions preserving & promoting the rich heritage of the traditional arts & crafts of the Minority communities.