1. The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind has inaugurated the Global Clubfoot Conference at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on November 1, 2017. The 2-day conference is organised by the CURE India in partnership with the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The Clubfoot is one of the most common orthopaedic birth defects, which can cause permanent disability if not treated early. This affects the child's mobility and confidence. Inevitably, education and schooling suffer – and the child cannot fulfil his or her potential.
2. Yogesh Chander Modi, a 1984 batch IPS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre, has taken charge as new Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA) and will hold the post till his superannuation, i.e. May 31, 2021. He succeeded Sharad Kumar Sinha, who completed his tenure on October 30, 2017. Prior to this appointment, Modi was special director in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Apart from this, Modi was also part of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that probed the Gujarat riots cases in August 2010 and remained part of the team till July 2012. NIA was set up after an Act was enacted on December 31, 2008. The federal probe agency is tasked with probing terrorism and terror-financing related cases.
3. Neelmani N. Raju, a 1983 batch IPS officer, has been appointed as the Karnataka's first-ever woman Director General and Inspector General of Police (DG-IGP). She will take over from Rupak Kumar Dutta, who is retiring from service.
4. Japanese lawmakers have reelected Shinzo Abe as the country's 95th Prime Minister on November 1, 2017 after his party won a landslide victory in last month's general election. Abe was reelected by both Houses of the Diet. The prime minister will now form his cabinet. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reappointed all of his Cabinet Ministers, following his reelection by the Diet as country's leader, to ensure continuity of his policies.
5. India has gained 30 places to rank 100th among 190 countries in the latest ease of doing business ranking by the World Bank (WB), in its Doing Business 2018 report. The improvement was due to a slew of reforms in taxation, licensing, investor protection and bankruptcy resolution. New Zealand has topped the list, followed by Singapore, Denmark, South Korea, Hong Kong, United States and United Kingdom.
6. Veteran Bollywood actor Anupam Kher has been honoured with the 2017 Pramod Mahajan Smriti Award in Pune, Maharashtra on October 29, 2017. Kher is awarded along with Saira Banu, who is UN ambassador for HeforShe. The award was instituted by Pune-based organization 'Muktachhand' in memory of Late former Union Minister Pramod Mahajan.
7. The 14-day joint training exercise "PRABAL DOSTYK – 2017" has started between the Indian Army and the Kazakhstan Army at Bakloh, Himachal Pradesh. The purpose of the joint exercise is to enhance the military ties between the two countries as also at achieving interoperability between the two armies. The training contingents comprise of platoon strength from the 11th Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army and a similar strength of the Kazakhstan Army.
8. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has increased the maximum age of joining National Pension Scheme (NPS) Private Sector from the 60 to 65 years of age to increase the pension coverage in the country. Now, any Indian citizen, resident or non-resident, of 60-65 years of age can join the NPS and continue up to the age of 70 years. A subscriber joining NPS after the age of 60 years will now have an option of normal exit from NPS after completion of three years. In this case, the subscriber will be required to utilise at least 40% of the corpus for purchase of annuity and the remaining amount can be withdrawn in lumpsum. However, if the subscriber wants to exit from NPS before completion of 3 years, he or she will have to utilize at-least 80% of the corpus for purchase of annuity and the remaining can be withdrawn in lumpsum. In case of death of the subscriber during his/her stay in NPS, the entire corpus will be paid to the nominee of the subscriber.
9. Veteran actor and playwright Girish Karnad will be honoured by Tata Literature Live! Lifetime Achievement Award 2017 at the literature festival's annual awards ceremony which will be held on November 19 at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Nariman Point, Mumbai. The festival runs from November 16-19. Karnad is also a recipient of Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards. His critically acclaimed plays in the era of 1960s such as 'Yayati' (1961), the historical 'Tughlaq' (1964), and his three seminal works 'Hayavadana' (1971), 'Naga-mandala' (1988) and 'Taledanda' (1990) have earned international praise.
10. Fake news has been named official word of the year 2017 by Collins dictionary due to its widespread use around the world. The UK-based dictionary writer found that the use of this word registered a 365% rise in the last 12 months. The term-was defined as false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting. Other words on 2017 shortlist included "genderfluid", defined as not identifying exclusively with one gender rather than another; "fidget spinner", the toy being twirled by children around the world; and "gig economy" – the term for a system of casual, unstable employment that firms like Uber are associated with. All new words and meanings from the year will be added to CollinsDictionary.com and considered for inclusion in future print editions of the dictionary.
11. India's first-ever conservation reserve for black buck will come up on over 126 hectares in the trans-Yamuna region of Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. The State cabinet has recently approved a Blackbuck Conservation Reserve in the Meja forest division that is known for its rocky, undulating and arid terrain. For this, the U.P. government evoked Section 36 A (1) and (2) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, to declare the conservation reserve. With this, the conservation of blackbuck can be done in an effective way. It will also create awareness about biodiversity conservation and provide opportunities for people's participation. Eco-tourism will be encouraged and locals will get opportunities for employment.
12. India slipped 21 places on the 2017 World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Gender Gap index to rank 108th among 144 countries, primarily due to less participation of women in the economy and low wages. According to the WEF Global Gender Gap Report 2017, India has closed 67% of its gender gap, less than many of its international peers, and some of its neighbours like Bangladesh ranked 47th while China was placed at 100th.The index is topped by the Iceland, followed by Norway, Finland, Rwanda and Sweden. As per the report, the global average annual earnings for a female stood at $12,000, while for a male it was as high as $21,000.
13. The bi-annual multilateral exercise 'Blue Flag-17' has started at Uvda Air Force Base in Israel from November 2 to 16, 2017. In it, 45 member contingent of the Indian Air Force (IAF) is participating with the C-130J special operations aircraft along with Garud commandos. This is the first time the IAF is operating with Israeli AF in a multilateral exercise setting. Ex Blue Flag will give an opportunity to the IAF to share and learn best practices with some of the best professionals from other Air Forces. The purpose of the exercise is to strengthen military cooperation amongst participating nations.
14. Goa has topped the 2017 Gender Vulnerability Index (GVI) with score 0.649, which is recently released by the Child development NGO Plan India during its national conference in New Delhi on November 1. Kerala has acquired 2nd position followed by Mizoram and Sikkim. Bihar ranked the lowest at 30, with Delhi faring only slightly better at 29 and Uttar Pradesh at 28. The highest ranking north Indian state is Himachal Pradesh at the sixth position. The composite index has been developed within research for the NGO's Plan for Every Child campaign which is aimed at comprehensively understanding the dimensions of various problems affecting children, particularly girls, in difficult circumstances. This index provides a state-wise ranking which is calculated by analysing four issues pertinent to the situation of girls — child safety/protection, poverty, health and education.
15. Kenneth Juster, a top economic expert on India, has been appointed as the new US Ambassador to India, which is unanimously confirmed by US Senate on November 3, 2017. He will replace Indian-American Richard Verma as the top American diplomat to India. The position has been lying vacant since January 20 after Mr. Verma resigned from the post after the swearing-in of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the U.S.
16. Tamil Nadu's historic Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam has won the UNESCO Asia Pacific Award of Merit 2017 for cultural heritage conservation. The main reasons for the temple to won the UN award are as follows: Use of traditional methods in renovating its structures and re-establishment of rainwater harvesting and historic drainage system, and to augment water and prevent flooding. With this, it has become the first temple in Tamil Nadu to be given the prestigious award from the UN body. The temple is situated on an islet between Cauvery and Kollidam rivers. It has seven prakaras and 21 towers, including the 236-feet-high rajagopuram.
17. Krishna Sobti (92), the renowned Hindi Litterateur, has been chosen for the 53rd Jnanpith Award for the year 2017 for her path-breaking contribution to Indian literature. She is known for experimenting with new writing styles and creating bold and daring characters in her stories who were ready to accept all challenges. Her language was highly influenced by the intermingling of Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi cultures. Some of her works include Daar se Bichhudi, Mitron Marjani, and Zindaginama. Jnanpith is the highest literary award of the country.
18. The annual 'Bali Jatra' festival was started in the city of Cuttack at Gadagadia Ghata of the Mahanadi river, Odisha on November 4, 2017. The week-long famous fair on an area of 30 acres on the river bank will continue till November 10. The fest is celebrated to mark the day when ancient traders of Odisha would set sail to distant lands of Bali, as well as Java, Sumatra, Borneo (all in Indonesia), and Sri Lanka for trade and cultural expansion. It is celebrated every year from the day of Kartika Purnima according to the Oriya Calendar. In all, Bali Jatra bears testimony to the rich maritime legacy of ancient Odisha.
19. The Nandankanan Zoological Park (NZP) is a 400-hectare zoo and botanical garden in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. It is home to endangered species such as the Asiatic lion, three Indian crocodilians, Sangal lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Indian pangolin, mouse deer and countless birds, reptiles and fish that have been breeding successfully. The zoo includes 34 aquaria which are home to a large variety of fresh water fish. It also enjoys a good reputation internationally for successfully breeding black panthers, gharials, and white tigers in captivity.
20. Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has been designated as the new Finance Secretary of India. Adhia is a 1981 batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre. The post was vacant after former Finance and Expenditure Secretary Ashok Lavasa retired on October 31, 2017. As per the convention, the senior most Secretary in the Finance Ministry is designated as the Finance Secretary. Adhia's appointment comes ahead of the 10 November GST Council meeting in Guwahati that is likely to see a revision in the tax rates for some common use items and easier GST returns filing norms for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
21. The 2nd edition of India International Cherry Blossom festival, which is the World's only autumn cherry blossom festival, has started on November 8, 2017 in Shillong, Meghalaya. The 4-day festival is being organized by Government of Meghalaya, Institute of Bio-resources and Sustainable Development with support from the Indian Council of Cultural Relations. According to Meghalaya government, such festivals will not only boost tourism but also protect and preserve the forest and wildlife biodiversity. The festival has successfully attracted a large number of tourists from different parts of the country and abroad. The festival will also have guided night walks under illuminated cherry blossoms, live music, and stalls showcasing the cuisine, wine, arts and craft of the region. In it, the state government has also released the special cover of the 2nd India International Cherry Blossom Festival Postage Stamp.
22. The 19th edition of Organic World Congress (OWC- 2017) will be held at India Expo Centre in Greater Noida from Nov 9-11. The International Federation of Organic Farming Movements (IFOAM) and OAFI are organizing the event where 55 seeds group from 15 Indian states will showcase 4,000 varieties of seeds. It will see the participation of 1,400 representatives from 110 countries, and 2000 delegates from India. The Organic World Congress (OWC) is organized once every three years in a different country and this time it is being organised in India. The last edition of the OWC took place in Istanbul, Turkey in 2014.
23. The Indo-Bangladesh joint military exercise "Sampriti-7" has started in its northeastern states of Meghalaya and Mizoram from November 6, 2017. This is the 7th edition of the joint training exercise, which will end on November 18. The 13-day exercise will be conducted at India's Jungle Warfare School at Vairengte in Mizoram and at the Joint Training Node at Umroi in Meghalaya. The purpose of the exercise is to enhance interoperability between the two nations and enrich from each other's experience while carrying out counter-insurgency or counter-terrorism operations.
24. Himachal Pradesh will be the first state to use EVMs with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines on all booths during assembly elections. The state will go to polls on November 9, 2017 in a single phase. Over 37 thousand polling personnel's have set up 7,525 polling stations for more than fifty lakh voters in different parts of the state. The election department has identified 983 as vulnerable while 399 as critical polling stations. The polling parties have also arrived in far flung areas of Pangi in Bharmour, Bara Bhangal in Baijnath and Dodra Kawar in Rohru assembly constituencies. The Kaa polling station Kinnaur tribal assembly constituency has only six voters. In Dharmashala segment of Kangra district two polling stations will be fully handled by divyang officials.
25. The 20th International Children's Film Festival of India (ICFFI) has started in Hyderabad on November 8, 2017 with New India- as the main theme this time. The Telangana government and Children's Film Society, India (CFSI) are jointly organizing the biennial children's event. 317 films from over hundred countries will be screened in about 40 theatres in Hyderabad and also at the district head quarters across the state. Of them, over hundred films will be screened in competition sections. Some of the popular international award-winning children's films are also brought for the festival this time. They include – Sweeden film 'SIV Sleeps Astray' Russian film Pitch', Netherlands film 'Sky', film from Germany Nelly's Adventure, Canada film 'Anthems: A Journey Around The World', film from Egypt-Wintry Spring.
26. Indian boxer M C Mary Kom won gold medal in 48kg category at Asian women's Boxing Championships by defeating North Korea's Kim Hyang Mi in Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam on November 8, 2017. It is her first Asian gold medal in this category.
27. Assam's female one-horned rhino "Guppy" has been unveiled as the official mascot of the 2017 AIBA Youth Women's World Boxing Championship in Guwahati, Assam on November 7, 2017. Guppy has been chosen as it is a symbol of strength and endurance, something that Indian women are known for, traits that are also synonymous with the game of boxing. Apart from this, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Boxing Federation of India president Ajay Singh has also released the championship's official logo and anthem 'Make Some Noise'. Approx 200 participants (16-17 years) from 38 countries will take part in the event, which is scheduled to be held from November 19 to 26.
28. The think tank NITI Aayog in collaboration with Proffer, a blockchain startup founded by graduates of MIT and Harvard, will organise a 'Blockchain Summit' and hackathon at IIT Delhi from Nov 10-13, 2017. The objective of the event is to explore how blockchain architectures can enable a new digital infrastructure for India, improving efficiency, transparency, privacy, and cost across all sectors. 1,500+ students from IITs, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, and top engineering institutions around the world will be participating in the event, with 500 attending in-person on IIT Delhi's campus. Multinational majors that include Microsoft, IBM, Accel, Coinbase, and Amazon AWS are sponsoring $17,000+ in prizes to reward the top 5 blockchain-based applications addressing problems in government/enterprise infrastructure, finance, energy markets, supply chain, decentralized Aadhar identities, information exchange, and more.
29. The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) is an apex organization of marketing cooperatives for agricultural produce in India. Its headquarters is located in New Delhi. Recently, it is in news because Consumer Affairs Ministry led-Price Stabilization Fund Management Committee (PSFMC) has decided to import onions through government agency to augment the availability of onions in market and moderate prices in New Delhi. In it, Consumer Affairs Secretary Avinash Srivastava stated that NAFED will procure 10 thousand tonnes and the Small Farmers' Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) two thousand tonne of onions from producing areas and supply it to consuming areas to enhance its availability.
30. As many as 64 cities from 44 countries have been designated as UNESCO Creative Cities by its Director General Irina Bokova. In it, Chennai has been included in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network for its rich musical tradition. Some of the other cities included along with Chennai are Alba (Italy), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Auckland (New Zealand), Cairo (Egypt), Cape Town (South Africa), Manchester (UK), and Milan (Italy). With this, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network now counts a total of 180 cities in 72 countries. From India, Jaipur and Varanasi are the other Indian cities that feature on the list.
31. The 2017 Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit has started in Danang, Vietnam with theme "Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future" on November 10, 2017. The 2-day summit will gives an opportunity to tout the benefits of global free trade. The 2017 summit will highlight Vietnamese culture, as well as represent the five components, which are as follows: Dynamism, creativity, action, unity, and movement to the future.
32. The 39th session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) was held in Paris, France. In it, India has been re-elected as the member of the UNESCO's executive board, its top decision-making body. The General Conference consists of the representatives of the States Members of the organisation. It meets every two years, and is attended by Member States and Associate Members, together with observers for non-Member States, intergovernmental organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Each country has one vote, irrespective of its size or the extent of its contribution to the budget. The General Conference determines the policies and the main lines of work of the organisation.
33. The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) will celebrate the Child Rights Week Hausla 2017 between 16 and 20 November. To mark the occasion various events will be held including Bal Sansad, painting competition, athletics meet, football, chess competition and speech writing. The country celebrates the Children's Day on 14 November and the International Child Rights Day on 20 November every year. The period between the two important events will be celebrated as Child Rights Week by WCD Ministry by hosting an Inter CCI Festival for the children who reside in Child Care Institutions (CCIs). The fest "Hausala 2017" will provide an occasion to showcase the talents of children from CCIs from various child care institutions across the country and provide them with a space to express their dreams and aspiration.
34. Haryana has become the India's first state to treat Hepatitis-C patients of all categories through oral medicine. This drug will be provided free of cost for permanent residents of all categories at the district level. The medicine and treatment costs about Rs 28,000 to Rs 30,000 in the market, but the state government would provide this facility free of cost. The disease mostly spreads through infection and the blades used by barbers were also responsible for this.
35. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been named as the recipient of the Harmony Foundation's 2017 Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice as an acknowledgement of its exceptional work worldwide. The award will be presented to the UNHCR on December 10, 2017. The UNHCR provides humanitarian aid to innumerable people internally displaced by conflicts and helping stateless people all over the world.
36. K Chandrashekar Rao, the Chief Minister of Telangana, has declared Urdu as the state's second official language. Every office in the state will now have an Urdu speaking officer. As per reports, the state government will appoint Urdu officers in all the offices over the next 60 days to receive petitions from public and reply them in Urdu. Apart from this, all competitive examinations will also be conducted in Urdu.
37. Broadcaster Turner International India and Gujarat-based Rajgreen Group have entered into a brand partnership to set up India's first Cartoon Network branded amusement park "Amaazia" in Surat, Gujarat. The park is expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2019 on a budget of Rs 450 crore. It will spread across an area of 61,000 sq m and will have family entertainment destination with 33 theme-based attractions as well as 20 unique water-slides. It will be divided into four major sections – a theme park branded by Cartoon Network, a water park, a family recreational hub and a service apartment and retail shopping area. The park has been conceptualised and designed by the Sanderson Group, Australia. For Turner, this is the third such arrangement globally. It has a similar model in IMG Dubai and CN Amazone Water Park, in Thailand.
38. The National Legal Services Day (NLSD) is celebrated every year on November 9 to make all people aware about the functions and their activities done by the Legal Services in India. It was first started by Supreme Court of India (SCI) in the year 1995 to provide help and support to poor and weaker sections of the society. On 9th Nov 2017, the 22nd NLSD was celebrated to recognise and honour the admirable endeavours of the legal services authorities and para-legal volunteers operating in districts across the country in successfully bringing justice to the doorstep of the less privileged.
39. The 12th edition of East Asia Summit (EAS) will be held in Angeles, Philippines on November 13–14, 2017. It is a unique Leaders-led forum of 18 countries of the Asia-Pacific region formed to further the objectives of regional peace, security and prosperity. The membership of EAS consists of ten ASEAN Member States (i.e. Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam), Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation and the USA.
40. The 4-day traditional Lavi Fair has started at Rampur Bushahr in Himachal Pradesh on November 12, 2017, which was inaugurated by Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat. The 300-year-old Lavi fair is an important trade event between India and Tibet. It is a unique example of the glorious, social, cultural, economic history and legacy of Himachal Pradesh. It provides a good opportunity for people to promote and sale woolens, dry fruits and other traditional crafts and products.
41. The 10th South Asia Economic Summit (SAES-2017) has started in Kathmandu, Nepal on November 14, 2017 with theme "Deepening Economic Integration for Inclusive and Sustainable Development in South Asia". The 3-day summit is organised by National Planning Commission and Ministry of Commerce of Nepal and South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment, Nepal. Approx 200 participants including ministers, members of parliament, former MPs, ambassadors, government officials, researchers, eminent experts and thinkers will attend the summit. The summit is a regional platform for discussing and analyzing economic and development issues and challenges faced by South Asian countries and advancing the cause of regional integration and cooperation.
42. The World Diabetes Day (WDD) is observed on November 14 to promote better diabetes management among people across the globe who are or have been suffering from the condition, which is initiated by International Diabetes Federation (IDF). The 2017 theme is "Women and diabetes – our right to a healthy future". This year, the campaign will promote the importance of affordable and equitable access for all women at risk for or living with diabetes to the essential diabetes medicines and technologies, self-management education and information they require to achieve optimal diabetes outcomes and strengthen their capacity to prevent type 2 diabetes.
43. President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the 37th India International Trade Fair (IITF-2017) with theme "Startup India Standup India" at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi on November 14, 2017. The 14-day annual event is organised by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO). Vietnam is the Partner Country, while Kyrgyzstan is the Focus Country. Jharkhand is participating as a Partner State in the event. Approx 7,000 participants from 22 countries will show case their products ranging from electronics to textiles. The fair is a symbol of India's ancient and enduring commitment to international trade.
44. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is attending 12th East Asia Summit and 15th ASEAN-India Summit at Manila in Philippines on November 14, 2017. At the 15th ASEAN-India Summit, Prime Minister and ASEAN Leaders will review the commemorative activities undertaken in 2017 to mark the 25 years of India's dialogue partnership with ASEAN as well as review the broad spectrum of ASEAN-India cooperation in all its aspects. At the 12th East Asia Summit, Leaders will discuss matters of regional and international interest and concern including maritime security, terrorism, non-proliferation, irregular migration, etc. The Leaders are also expected to accept declarations on countering the spread of terrorist narratives, anti money laundering and countering financing of terrorism and poverty alleviation.
45. Aditi Ashok has become the first Indian golfer to qualify for the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship-2017 on the LPGA Tour and will head to Florida to take part in the prestigious event. Apart from Aditi, Nicole Broch Larsen, Peiyun Chien, Nelly Korda , Olafia Kristensdottir, Sung Hyun Park, Madelene Sagstrom and Angel Yin are the other rookies in the field. It will be an extremely competitive field, with each of the Top 10 players taking part and 18 out of the top 20 in the world rankings participating. The $250,000 competition starts on November 16 and will played over four rounds, ending on November 19.
46. China has launched the world's first all-electric ship in Guangzhou in South China's Guangdong Province, which can travel up to 80km with 2000-tonnes cargo after a two-hour charge. The vessel, manufactured by the Guangzhou Shipyard International Company Ltd, is powered by a 26-tonne lithium battery. It can cruise at the top speed of 12.8 km per hour. As the ship do not use fossil fuels, it has zero emission, including carbon, sulphur and PM2.5 and it could be used as a passenger liner or a working ship.
47. President Ramnath Kovind has launched JOHAR scheme worth Rs 1,500 cr on the occasion of State Establishment-Day in Ranchi, Jharkhand on November 15, 2017. The World Bank aided JOHAR (Jharkhand's Opportunities For Harnessing Rural Growth) scheme is aimed at doubling the income of two lakh rural poor. On this day, in 2000, Bihar was bifurcated to give birth to Jharkhand.
48. India's first offshore desalination plant will be set up by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) about 40km from the Ennore coast in Tamil Nadu with a capacity of about 10 million litres of water per day. The Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the plant, which is estimated to cost Rs 2,000 crore, has been submitted to the Centre for approval. The offshore plant is designed and built by NIOT scientists. The plant will operate on the indigenously developed Low Temperature Thermal Desalination (LTTD), a low cost and environment friendly technology to get potable water. The technology is based on the temperature difference in seawater at different depths.
49. The Saudi Arabian government has officially declared Yoga as a 'Sports Activity'. With this, Yoga is now an official sport practiced under Saudi Ministry of trade and industry. This means that anyone in Saudi Arabia who wants to practice can do so just by getting a license and the person shall not be disapproved or face any consequences for the same. Nouf Al Marwaai is the first Saudi woman teaching yoga and has been recognized as the driving force behind the development of yoga in Saudi Arabia.
50. India's longest expressway from Agra to Lucknow will soon provide free Wi-Fi services on the entire 302-kilometre stretch. As per officials, the UP government has offered to provide space to lay an optical fiber cable (OFC) along the expressway. The plan is to earn revenue to maintain the expressway and gain from the agreement with the private firm by leasing rights to lay the OFCs to offer free WiFi along the entire stretch. this will also help the state to have a world-class advanced traffic management system (ATMS) for convenience and safety. Safety will be assured by the usage of traffic monitoring and event detection along with speed enforcement through a network of CCTV cameras and phone helplines at every two kilometers.
51. RBI Governor Urjit Patel has been appointed as advisory board member of the Financial Stability Institute (FSI) of the Bank of International Settlement (BIS). The FSI assists financial sector authorities worldwide in strengthening their financial systems. The FSI was jointly created in 1998 by the BIS and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. Among other mandates, the FSI seeks to promote cross-sectoral and cross-border supervisory contacts and cooperation. The BIS is an international financial organisation owned by 60 member central banks across the world.
52. Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan will be honoured with personality of the year award at the 2017 International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa. The award will be given during IFFI which will be held from November 20-November 28. Mr. Bachchan has starred in over 190 Indian films in a career spanning almost five decades. He has won four national awards for best actor and 15 Filmfare Awards. IFFI founded in 1952, is considered to be one of the most prestigious film festivals in Asia.
53. The National Press Day (NPD) is celebrated every year on November 16 as a symbolic of a free and responsible press in India. This was the day on which the Press Council of India (PCI) started functioning as a moral watchdog to ensure that not only did the press maintain the high standards expected from this powerful medium but also that it was not fettered by the influence or threats of any extraneous factors.
54. The UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) has concluded on November 17, 2017 after two weeks of talks in Boon, Germany. Envoys from nearly 200 countries, including delegates from Washington, negotiated on implementing the Paris climate change agreement including a rulebook to be adopted next year and for enacting the global deal reached to cheers and champagne in 2015. The Paris pact commits countries to limiting average global warming to under two degrees Celsius over Industrial Revolution levels, and 1.5 Celcius if possible, to avert worst-case-scenario climate change. The November 6-17 conference is the first of the UN's climate body since US President Donald Trump announced in June that the US will withdraw from the agreement. Meanwhile, United States again expressed its desire to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
55. International rating agency Moody's Investors Service has recently upgraded the Government of India (GoI)'s local and foreign currency issuer ratings to Baa2 from its lowest investment grade (Baa3) and changed the outlook on the rating to stable from positive. Moody's has also upgraded India's local currency senior unsecured rating to Baa2 from Baa3 and its short-term local currency rating to P-2 from P-3. The decision to upgrade the ratings is underpinned by Moody's expectation that continued progress on economic and institutional reforms will enhance India's high growth potential. Though, the global ratings agency cautioned that high debt burden remains a constraint on the country's credit profile. Moody's has revised the sovereign rating of India a notch above investment grade after a long gap of 14 years. Interestingly, the last time the global rating has revised the rating was when the BJP government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in power.
56. The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will set up Next Gen-Bioscope Village at Panaji in Goa on 21st November 2017, as part of the IFFI Next Gen side bar program aimed at involving greater participation from the local Goan audience. It will be inaugurated by actress Shraddha Kapoor. The Bioscope Village is open to all with a entry fee of Rs. 50 from 21st to 27th of November. The Village is a concept based on the theme New Age Cinema for allowing non-delegates to watch films at the IFFI. The Bioscope Village will screen new and classic films including Children movies. In addition, 'Katta' talk session will also be held with some noted celebrities like Nana Patekar, Sachin Khedekar, Sonali Kulkarni, Dilip Prabhavalkar and Sushant Singh Rajput. The village will also host a skill studio aimed at honing cinematic skills through special sessions on a diverse range of topics. It will also host a short film competition for all delegates who are participating in the Festival. The theme for the short film festival is 'IFFI as never seen before'. The winners will be announced on 27th of November.
57. Sethurathnam Ravi, the noted chartered accountant, has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Bombay Stock Exchange with effect from November 13, 2017. Ravi succeeded Dhirendra Swarup. Presently, Ravi serves as a Director on boards of various companies such as UTI Trustee Company, S Ravi Financial Management Services, SMERA Ratings, SBI-SG Global Securities, IDBI Bank, STCI Finance, Tourism Finance Corporation of India and BOI Merchant Bankers. Besides, he is member of the working group, constituted by Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, for suggesting possible modalities for creation of an institutional structure on corporate social responsibilities matters. Also, he is a member of SEBI's takeover panel, as well as mutual funds advisory committee.
58. The Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu has inaugurated 'Aadi Mahotsav' – a fortnight long Tribal Festival with the theme of 'A Celebration of the Spirit of Tribal Culture, Cuisine and Commerce' on 16 Nov 2017 at Dilli Haat in New Delhi. Over 750 tribal artisans from over 25 States are participating in the festival. The 15-day festival will feature exhibition-cum-sale of tribal handicrafts, art, paintings, fabric, jewellery and much more through about 200 stalls. A special feature of the festival is Tribal India cuisine, recreated and presented in delectable forms to suit urban tastes by special tribal chefs.
59. The 4th Global Conference on Sustained Eradication of Child Labour was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina from November 14-16, 2017. The conference has been organized jointly by Government of Argentina and International Labour Organization (ILO). The Conference was a call to action to redouble efforts in the fight against child labor and modern slavery, in line with Target 8.7 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). More than 1,500 delegates from 193 countries attended the Conference.
60. France will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup , according to the global governing body "World Rugby". The country beat strong bids by South Africa and Ireland. Interestingly, the 2023 World Cup will take place in the year of the 200th anniversary of the legendary 'invention' of the sport by William Webb Ellis.The Rugby World Cup is a men's rugby union tournament contested every four years between the top international teams. Japan will host the 2019 World Cup, which is scheduled to be held from September 20 to November 2.
61. Sergio Ramirez Mercado, the Nicaraguan author and former politician, has won the 2017 Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's highest literary honor. He has written more than 20 novels, including "Margarita, esta linda la mar" (Margarita, How Beautiful the Sea), which won Spain's prestigious Alfaguara award in 1998. The 125,000-euro ($148,000) Cervantes Prize is awarded annually to honour the lifetime achievement of an outstanding writer in the Spanish language. It is named after Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote.
62. The first-ever Namami Barak festival has started at Police Parade ground in Silchar, Assam on November 18, 2017. The 3-day river festival is an attempt to pay tribute to the River Barak and to showcase of Barak's potential & possibilities to emerge as a hub of trade and commerce. The cultural heritage of the valley together with its cuisine, fauna and flora, socio-economic and civic splendor will be showcased before the global audience during the festival. The event is being organised at 3 locations in Barak Valley also known as Southern Assam. Silchar will be the main event area while other two locations are Hailakandi and Karimganj district.
63. At the 8th edition of the Tata Literature festival-2017, the book "Age of Anger: A History of the Present" has won the Book of the Year Award 2017 in the Non–Fiction category. The book was authored by Pankaj Mishra. Apart from this, the fiction top honour was bagged by Easterine Kire's 'Son of the Thundercloud'. Tata Trusts' Big Little Book Awards' for Author in Bengali Children's Literature, went to Nabaneeta Dev Sen. Actor-playwright Girish Karnad was conferred with Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution in the field of theatre at the Tata Literature Live in Mumbai on November 20, 2017.
64. Manushi Chillar from India, the damsel from Haryana, has won the coveted Miss World 2017 pageant at a glitzy event in Sanya, China. She is a trained Indian classical dancer who also enjoys painting and hopes to open a chain of non-profit hospitals in rural areas. Chillar is the 6th Indian to become Miss World, following in the footsteps of Bollywood actresses Priyanka Chopra and Aishwarya Rai. Aishwarya had bagged the title in 1994, followed by Diana Haydon in 1997, Yukta Mookhey in 1999 and Priyanka in 2000.
65. The World Toilet Day (WTD) is an official United Nations international observance day to raise awareness and inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. It is observed every year on November 19 and the 2017 theme is "Wastewater".
66. The 8th edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit-2017 will be held at Hyderabad from November 28th. The summit is being co-hosted by India and the USA and for the first time it is being held in South Asia. This year the theme of the Summit is "Women First, Prosperity for All". The event will focus on supporting women entrepreneurs and fostering economic growth globally. It will focus on four areas- Energy and Infrastructure, Digital Economy and Financial Technology, Health and Life Sciences and Media and Entertainment. In it, women will represent 52.5% of entrepreneurs, investors and ecosystem supporters at the Summit. The summit will have participation from 150 countries and women from 127 countries are participating.
67. India has been ranked 51st globally in terms of ability to attract, develop and retain talent while Switzerland topped the list compiled by leading global business school IMD. The annual IMD World Talent Ranking covered 63 countries and assessed the methods the countries adopted to attract and retain talent. The rankings are based on a country's performance in three main categories – investment and development, appeal, and readiness – and India was ranked 62nd, 43rd and 29th on these terms. Globally, Europe continues to dominate the rankings, with Switzerland, Denmark, and Belgium being the most competitive countries. Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Sweden and Luxembourg made up the top 10.
68. The Hyderabad based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in association with the Indian Institute of Rice Research (IIRR) has developed Improved Samba Masuri (ISM) variety rice with low Glycemic Index. Rice with low Glycemic Index is considered suitable for people with diabetics. The new variety is also resistant to bacteria blight. The ISM has lowest Glycemic Index of 50.99 against the normal 53 to 70 in several rice varieties. It has shown better yield and fine grain type enhancing its market potential and profit for farmers. The scientists stated that the new variety is not a transgenic one and they did molecular breeding in CCMB and traditional rice breeding at the rice research institute. The ISM has been grown in 1.3 lakh hectares in 7 states including Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The IIRR is a rice research institute located at Rajendranagar, Hyderabad.
69. The exercise code-named India-Myanmar Bilateral Army Exercise (IMBAX) has started at the Joint Warfare Centre at Umroi near Shillong in Meghalaya on November 20, 2017. The week-long Army warfare exercise by India and Myanmar is aimed at building and promoting closer relations with armies of the neighbouring countries. The six-day training exercise also aims to train the officers of Myanmar Army in various United Nations Peacekeeping roles and tasks.
70. The Universal Children's Day (UCD) is observed every year on November 20 throughout the world to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide and improving children's welfare. The 2017 theme is 'Kids Take Over'. The day was established in 1954, offers each of us an inspirational entry-point to advocate, promote and celebrate children's rights, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for Children.
71. The 5th edition of Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) has inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on November 23, 2017. The theme of the conference is "Cyber for All: A Secure and Inclusive Cyberspace for Sustainable Development". The main objective of the conference is to have mutual understanding of latest practices in cyberspace, more coordination and security measures. For the first time, the event is being organized in India. The representatives from 124 countries and 33 Ministerial delegates from 31 countries including Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremasinghe will attend the conference. nternational leaders, policymakers, industry experts, think tanks and cyber experts will deliberate on issues and challenges for optimally using cyber space. The conference will promote the importance of inclusiveness and human rights in global cyber policy.
72. Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former Vice President, will be sworn in as the President of the Zimbabwe on November 24, 2017 after the resignation of Robert Mugabe following a military intervention. The ruling ZANU-PF party has nominated him to fill the vacancy left by Mr Robert Mugabe. Mr Mugabe stepped down on November 21 after 37 years ruling the country. Mr Mnangagwa's dismissal from the Vice President post led the ruling party and the military to intervene and forced Mr Mugabe to resign.
73. The Union Cabinet has recently approved the setting up of the 15th Finance Commission which will assess the tax resources of the nation and suggest a formula for their devolution among states. Its recommendations will have to be in place before April 1, 2020 and will takes 2 years for Finance Commission to give its recommendations. As per Article 280 of the Constitution, the Commission is required to make recommendations on the distribution of the net proceeds of taxes between the Centre and the states. The Commission also suggests the principles which should govern the grants in aid of the revenues of the states out of the Consolidated Fund of India. The 14th Finance Commission was set up on January 2, 2013. Its recommendations cover the period from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2020.
74. The Union Government has recently constituted a task force to review the Income Tax Act 1961 and draft a new direct tax law in consonance with current economic needs. CBDT member Arbind Modi will be the convener of task force while Chief Economic Adviser Dr. Arvind Subramanian will be a permanent Special Invitee. The task force will draft an appropriate direct tax legislation keeping in view the direct tax system in various countries, international best practices and economic needs of the country. It will submit its report within six months.
75. Indian railways has installed Asia's largest Solid State Interlocking (SSI) system at Kharagpur in West Bengal, which will enable station masters to set 800 different routes for trains in a matter of minutes. Interlocking is a railway signal apparatus that prevents conflicting movements of trains through an arrangement of tracks such as junctions or crossings. The cutting-edge technology is installed at a cost of Rs 39 crore, which replaces the pre-1989 route relay system that only allowed operators to set maximum 423 routes, ensures that no cross-movement takes place. The SSI software will also detect the routes a particular train can take and inform the station masters working at the panel, bringing down the operation time and the possibility of human error. It will reduce the possibility of accidents.
76. Shubhangi Swaroop, a native of Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, has become the first-ever female pilot to be inducted into the Indian Navy and will soon be fly Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft. Besides Swaroop, Astha Segal from New Delhi, Puducherry's Roopa A and Sakthi Maya S from Kerala also created history by becoming the country's first women officers at the Naval Armament Inspection (NAI) branch of the Navy. They are among the 328 midshipmen and cadets who had passed out of the Ezhimala Naval Academy in Kerala on November 22, 2017. All the four will be undergoing subsequent professional training in their respective chosen branches before being employed on duty. The NAI branch looks after the inspection and assessment of the arms and weapons of the country's naval force.
77. Basel, a city in northwestern Switzerland, will become the first city to jointly host the Badminton and Para Badminton World Championships after it was awarded the 2019 edition of the Para event. The Badminton World Federation (BWF) confirmed on November 23, 2017 that the two tournaments will be staged simultaneously for the first time. The Swiss city defeated Tokyo to land the 2019 Para Badminton World Championships in a vote which was delayed by the BWF Council to allow "further discussion". The event will be the last held in the sport before Para Badminton makes its Paralympic Games debut at Tokyo 2020. There will be 14 medal events in badminton at the 2020 Paralympic Games.
78. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched Umang mobile application, an integrated platform for government to citizen services, on November 23, 2017. The acronym of Umang stands for " Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance", which has been developed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY). Currently, the app will host around 162 services from 33 government departments of central and state governments. The app provides all pan India e-Gov services ranging from central to local government bodies and other citizen-centric services like Aadhaar and Digilocker on one single platform. Citizen can download UMANG by giving missed call on 9718397183 and also access it on 'www.umang.gov.in'.
79. The Rani Jhansi Marine National Park (RJMNP) is located in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and covers an area of 256.14 square kilometres. It was founded in 1996 and commemorates Lakshmibai, the Rani of Jhansi (1828-58). The park provides shelter to some very crucial wildlife and habitats which include Dugongs, Crocodiles, Marine Life, Coral Reefs, Mangroves, Terrestrial Moist forest and birds. It is an area which is strictly reserved for the betterment of the wildlife & biodiversity, and where activities like developmental, forestry, poaching, hunting and grazing on cultivation are not permitted. Their boundaries are well marked and circumscribed.
80. IKEA, the Swedish furnishing retailer, has launched its first experiential centre "IKEA Hej (Hello) HOME' in India at Hyderabad. The Hej Home, designed and set up over a six-month duration, highlights what the retailer stands for and what to expect from an IKEA store. It is an exhibition of IKEA products and solutions which its future customers can actually buy it from its store (in Hyderabad) in spring 2018. The display includes the bedroom, living area, kitchen and dining, play area among others. After the Hyderabad store, the second store will open in Mumbai during 2019, followed by Bengaluru and Delhi NCR.
81. The State Bank of India (SBI) has recently launched a unified integrated app YONO (You Need Only One) that would offer all kinds of financial and lifestyle products. The omni-channel platform will allow customers to meet their lifestyle needs across 14 categories from booking cabs to paying for medical needs — all under one roof. For this, the bank has partnered with 60 e-commerce players, including Amazon, Ola, Flipkart, Yatra, Swiggy and BYJU's. Offline players such as Thomas Cook, Shoppers Stop and Cox and Kings are also part of the SBI partnership. The portal has been designed to offer maximum customer convenience and has been developed by SBI using artificial intelligence, predictive analysis and machine learning.
82. The 2017 International Gita Mahotsav will be inaugurated by President of India Ram Nath Kovind in Kurukshetra, Haryana on November 25, 2017. The President will also participate in Gita Yajna and Gita Poojan ceremonies at Brahma Sarovar. He will also lay the foundation stone of the Gita Research Centre at Gita Gyan Sansthanam. The mahotsav, which will conclude on December 3, will have Mauritius as partner country and Uttar Pradesh as partner state. Approx 25-30 lakh people are likely to participate in this Mahotsav.
83. Ritu Phogat has clinched the silver medal in Under-23 Senior World Wrestling Championship at Poland. She lost against Turkish Wrestler Demirhan in the gold medal bout of women's 48 kilogram category. In Semifinal, Ritu defeated Chinese Wrestler Jiang Zhu 4-3 points to reach the finals. Ritu had won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship in 2016.
84. The 2017 Constitution Day (or Samvidhan Divas) is celebrated every year in India on November 26 to commemorate the adoption of Constitution of India. On this day in 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India adopted the Constitution of India, and it came into effect on 26 January 1950. From 2015, the Government of India (GoI) is observing 26th November as Constitution Day. On the occasion of Constitution Day, in 2017, the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD) has launched a Digital Signature campaign to generate awareness on fundamental duties enshrined in the Constitution. People can join the campaign by filling a form online.
85. Rajnath Singh, the Union Home Minister, has chaired the 12th Standing Committee meeting of the Inter-State Council (ISC) in New Delhi on November 25, 2017. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the recommendations of the Punchhi Commission on Centre-State Relations. The issues discussed in meeting included, financial transfers from Centre to States, GST, devolution of functions to local bodies, district planning, special provisions for Fifth and Sixth scheduled areas, communal harmony, deployment of central forces, migration and criminal justice system. The committee also finalized 118 recommendations.
86. The 2017 International Multilateral Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) has started in Bangladesh from November 26 to 28, 2017. The exercise will be inaugurated by Prime Minister of Bangladesh on November 27, 2017 in Cox Bazar, Bangladesh. From India, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba will participate in the exercise to consolidate the bilateral naval relations between India and Bangladesh and to explore new avenues for naval cooperation. The exercise is taking place under the aegis of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) — an initiative of the Indian Navy that was launched in 2008 to bring together littoral states in the region. Indian Naval Ships Ranvir, Sahyadri, Gharial and Sukanya along with one Maritime Patrol Aircraft P-8I will take part in the exercise.
87. Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, who represented South Africa, has been crowned the Miss Universe 2017 at The AXIS at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. The runner-up was Miss Colombia Laura Gonzalez, while the second runner-up was Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett. Nel-Peters is the second titleholder from South Africa, and the first since Margaret Gardiner won Miss Universe 1978. Contestants from 92 countries and territories participated in the decades-old competition. This year's edition had the most contestants ever, including the first ever representatives of Cambodia, Laos and Nepal.
88. Gopi Thonakal from Kerala has become the first Indian man to win Asian Marathon Championship. He achieved the feat in the 16th edition of the prestigious event, at Dongguan in China on November 26, 2017. Gopi clocked 2 hours 15 minutes and 48 seconds to clinch gold. He, thus, became the first Indian man to win the title after the formation of separate Asian Marathon championships. Andrey Petrov of Uzbekistan bagged silver while Byambalev Tseveenravdan of Mongolia won bronze. Earlier, Asha Agarwal won the women's title when it was part of the biennial Asian Track and Field Championships.
89. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch the India's first mission to the Sun "Aditya-L1 mission" from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on the PSLV- XL launch vehicle in 2019. The Aditya-1 mission was conceived as a 400kg class satellite carrying one payload, the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) and was planned to launch in 800 km low earth orbit. It will be launched into the halo orbit around the Lagrangian point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system. This orbit has the advantage of allowing continuous monitoring of the sun. The main aim of the solar mission is to improve the understanding of dynamical processes of the sun and help resolve some outstanding questions in solar physics.
90. The scientists from New Zealand have developed the world's first artificial intelligence politician "SAM" that can answer a person's queries regarding local issues such as policies around housing, education and immigration. It was created by Nick Gerritsen, an entrepreneur in New Zealand. It constantly learns to respond to people through Facebook Messenger as well as a survey on its homepage. It may help to bridge the growing political and cultural divide in many countries.
91. World no. 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei has won the women's singles title at the Hong Kong Super Series badminton tournament by defeating P V Sindhu in the final at Kowloon on November 26, 2017. This was Tai's 8th win against Sindhu in 11 meetings and fourth on the trot. This is also Sindhu's second loss in the four finals that she reached this season. She had lost to Japan's Nozomi Okuhara at the World Championship final, while clinched two titles at India and Korea this year.
92. Ace shuttler Kidambi Srikanth, who won four Super Series titles in 2017, has won the Sportsman of the Year award at the first edition of Indian Sports Honours (ISH) in Mumbai on November 27, 2017. Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu was the Sportswoman of the Year award in the individual sport category. In the Team Sport category. Ravichandran Ashwin, who has became the fastest bowler to reach 'Club 300' in Test cricket, was awarded Sportsman of the Year award while women's cricket team skipper Mithali Raj was awarded Sportswoman of the Year award. The Indian Women's Cricket Team, which ended as runners-up in the ICC Women's World Cup, were named as the Team of the Year. The ISH is an initiative partnered by India skipper Virat Kohli and Sanjiv Goenka, in line with their vision to support the development of Indian sports.
93. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President's adviser Ivanka Trump jointly inaugurated the 8th edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES-2017) in Hyderabad on November 28, 2017. The 3-day event is co-hosted by India and the USA and for the first time it is held in South Asia. The NITI Ayog in partnership with the US State Department and other agencies and in coordination with the Telangana state Government is organising the prestigious event. This year's theme "Women First, Prosperity for All" will demonstrate the commitment of the United States and Indian governments to the principle that when women are economically empowered, their communities and countries thrive. About 1500 delegates from over 150 countries are taking part in the three-day Summit. Ten countries are being represented by all women delegations.
94. India's top cueist Pankaj Advani has won the 15-frame IBSF World Snooker Men Championship 2017 at the Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha on November 27, 2017. Advani defeated Amir Sarkhosh of Iran 8-2 (19-71, 79-53, 98-23, 69-62, 60-05, 0-134, 75-07, 103-4, 77-13, 67-47) in the final. It was his 18th world title.
95. Under the chairmanship of NK Singh, who is the former bureaucrat and ex-Member of Parliament, the 15th Finance Commission has been constituted by the Union Government. The Commission will make recommendations for the five years commencing 1st April 2020. It will recommend devolution of shareable central taxes to the States and will also review several important aspects of federal fiscal finance. It will also look at the impact of the GST, including payment of compensation for possible loss of revenues for 5 years. Former Secretary Economic Affairs Shaktikanta Das and Adjunct Professor of Georgetown University, Dr Anoop Singh will be the members of the Commission. Chairman of Bandhan Bank, Dr Ashok Lahiri and NITI Aayog Member Dr Ramesh Chand will be the Part-time members. Arvind Mehta will be the Secretary to the Commission. The Commission will make its report available by 30th October 2019.
96. The Golden Temple in Amritsar has officially been declared the most visited place of the world in 2017 by London-based organization World Book of Records (WBR). The WBR team presented the award certificate to Shriomani Gurdwara Pharbandhak Committee (SGPC), the management body of the Golden Temple. The certificate was given to Golden Temple as over a lakh devotees visit the holy shrine every day. The award, which is bestowed after every three months, has been conferred basis observations made from September 2017. The international organization, established in 2015, catalogues and verifies world records with authentic certification. The Golden Temple stands as a symbol of peace, unity and spirituality and is the holiest pilgrimage site of Sikhism.
97. Nirmala Sitharaman, the Union Defence Minister, has been elected as the new President of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA). The IDSA was set up in 1965 by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as an autonomous think tank, and it is customary to have the Defence Minister as its President. The Minister chairs the Executive Council which governs the Institute. IDSA is funded by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and its faculty conducts research in military, foreign and strategic affairs. Significantly, the Government has sought its views before taking major policy initiatives, like conducting nuclear tests, as in 1974 and 1998. IDSA also executes specific assignments from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). The headquarters of IDSA is loacted in New Delhi.
98. Shaktikanta Das, the former Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), has been appointed as India's G20 Sherpa till December 31, 2018 for the Development Track of the G20 summit. There are two tracks in G-20 — Finance Track and Development Track. Finance Track is managed by the secretary (economic affairs) as India's Deputy to G-20 and the Development Track is coordinated by the Sherpa. A Sherpa is a personal representative of the leader of a member country at an international Summit meeting such as the G8, G20 or the Nuclear Security Summit and are responsible for thrashing out the details before the meeting of the leaders. There is only one Sherpa per Summit for each member country; he/she is assisted by several sous Sherpas. Prior to Das, former NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya, held the responsibility of the G20 Sherpa.
99. Pradeep Singh Kharola, a 1985 batch IAS officer of Karnataka cadre, has been appointed as the new Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Air India. He will succeed Rajiv Bansal, who has been serving as the interim CMD for a little over 3 months. Currently, Mr. Kharola is the Managing Director of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd.
100. Badri Narain Sharma, the 1985 batch IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre, has been appointed the chairman of the newly constituted National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA) under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. Prior to this appointment, Sharma was an Additional Secretary in the Department of Revenue. The NAA has been set up for a two-year period and is mandated to ensure that the benefits of input credit and the reduction in tax rates effected by the GST Council are passed on to the consumers.
101. Raj Shah, who holds a key position in the White House, has become the first Indian-American to hold press gaggle with reporters on board US Presidential chopper Air Force One. Gaggle is the term used for informal briefing by the White House Press Secretary, which is on the record but bars reporters from video-graphing. Mr Shah did so in the capacity of the Principal Deputy Press Secretary. For this position, he was promoted by President Donald Trump in September 2017 as he restructured his press office by making Hope Hicks Director of Communications. He was accompanying Mr Trump as he flew to Missouri to deliver a major speech on middle-class tax relief and business tax relief.
102. The annual meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO-2017) has started in Russian city of Sochi on November 30, 2017. Sushma Swaraj, the Union External Affairs Minister, will represent India in the two-day summit which is likely to discuss regional security scenario, including situations in the Gulf and Afghanistan. On the sidelines of the summit, Ms Swaraj will also have bilateral meetings with several leaders. She also attend the reception to be hosted by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. As a member of the SCO, India is expected to have a bigger say in pressing for concerted action in dealing with terrorism as well as on issues relating to security and defence in the region. In June, India and Pakistan had become full-fledged members of the grouping.
103. The Bhitarkanika National Park (BNP) is located in Kendrapara district of Odisha and is spread over 672 square kilometers. It is in news recently because the national park has registered an impressive rise in mammal population due to adequate conservation measures and vigil by anti-poaching squad of the forest department. According to the latest head count report released by the forest department, the enumerators spotted 7,129 mammals of 14 species in Kendrapara district while the figure stood at 6,122 in 2016. According to wildlife staff, there are couple of factors are contributing to the rising graph. First, the rich and lush-green mangrove forest has turned out to be an ideal habitat for hyenas, boars and deer. Besides, lack of human interference in their habitation corridors has also emerged favourable. There is also imbalance in predator-prey base in Bhitarkanika. Unlike the Sundarbans, Bhitarkanika mangroves are devoid of tigers.
104. India's first crypto-currency exchange "Coinome" has been launched by Mumbai-based payment gateway Billdesk. Coinome is incorporated under Hatio Innovations Pvt. Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of BillDesk. It will allow users to be on-boarded via Instant e-KYC. It means that users can start transacting in crypto-currencies almost immediately upon registering. The exchange supports instant deposits using payment gateway and instant withdrawals, thereby allowing transactions even on weekends or business holidays. Currently, Coinome offers the trading of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, but the exchange plans to support 20 mainstream crypto-currencies by 2018.