Current Affairs of 19 November 2015

1. Vijay Keshav Gokhale appointed as India’s ambassador to China

Senior diplomat Vijay Keshav Gokhale has been appointed as India’s Ambassador to China. He will replace Ashok Kantha, who was appointed as envoy to China in January 2014 for a two-year term i.e. till January 2016. Currently, Mr.Gokhale is serving as the India’s Ambassador to Germany. He is a 1981 batch India Foreign Service (IFS) officer. Prior, to his appointment as India’s top envoy to Germany, he had served at different Indian missions including in Hong Kong, Hanoi, Beijing and New York. Mr.Gokhale also had held the posts of director (China and East Asia) and joint secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) headquarters in New Delhi, . He is known to be one of the most knowledgeable Indian diplomat who is well versed with international affairs of China.

2. Justice T.S.Thakur appointed as 43rd Chief Justice of India
President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Justice T.S. Thakur as the Chief Justice of India (CJI) as per provisions of Article 124 of Constitution. T.S. Thakur will be 43rd Chief Justice of India and his appointment will come into effect from 3 December 2015. He will have tenure till January 3, 2017 i.e. till he attains the age of 65.

3. Seven Indians on BBC 100 Women list
Making a mark on the global map, seven Indian personalities have made it to BBC’s list of 100 most aspirational women. They are singer Asha Bhosle, tennis star Sania Mirza, veteran actor Kamini Kaushal, Rimppi Kumari, farmer, Smriti Nagpal, entrepreneur, Mumtaz Shaikh, campaigner, and Kanika Tekriwal, entrepreneur.
Each year, BBC names 100 women — a mix of influential personalities who are world leaders in politics, science and entertainment, as well as less popular but inspirational women from all over the world.
Asha, who started working in Bollywood in 1943, has recorded songs for 1,000 films. Kamini, better known as the Vivienne Leigh of her generation in Bollywood, has acted in more than 100 films. She was the leading actress in Neecha Nagar , which won the best film award in Cannes in 1946, the first Indian film to do so.
Rimppi is a farmer who, along with her sister Karamjit, took over a 32-acre farm in Rajasthan after their father died.

4. Intel launched Ek Kadam Unnati Ki Aur initiative from Telangana
Intel India  launched Ek Kadam Unnati Ki Aur initiative from Nadimpalle village in Mahabubnagar district of Telangana by opening an Unnati Centre.
The objective of the programme is to augment digitalization of rural India. It will be implanted in 10 states across the country and complements the Digital India initiative of the Union Government.
Features of Unnati Centre
• It will be used to create the framework for the Telangana model digital village.
• It provides various citizen services under the Telangana government's e-panchayat scheme.
• It provides devices, relevant local content and training for citizens and creates opportunities for development and empowerment.

5. IEP released Global Terrorism Index 2015
Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) on 17 November 2015 released Global Terrorism Index 2015.
It is a comprehensive summary of the impact of terrorism in 162 countries (covering 99 percent of the world’s population) in terms of lives lost, injuries, property damage and number of incidents.
As per the report, deaths from terrorism increased 80 percent in 2014 to the highest level ever and global economic cost of terrorism reached all-time high at 52.9 US billion dollars.
Out of the 162 countries, India was the sixth most affected by terrorism in 2014. Compared to 2014, India witnessed a slight increase in terror-related deaths to reach a total of 416. It was the highest number of terrorist incidents and deaths since 2010.
Highlights of Global Terrorism Index 2015
• The top 5 countries that were worst effected by terrorism in 2014-Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria.
• The least affected countries in 2014-Japan, Malawi, Togo, Zambia among others.
• 32658 people were killed by terrorism in 2014 compared to 18,111 in 2013- the largest increase ever recorded.
• Boko Haram and ISIL were jointly responsible for 51 percent of all claimed global fatalities in 2014.
• Countries suffering over 500 deaths increased by 120 percent to 11 countries.
• 78 percent of all deaths and 57 percent of all attacks occurred in just five countries-Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria.
• Iraq continues to be the country most impacted by terrorism with 9929 terrorist fatalities the highest ever recorded in a single country.
• Nigeria experienced the largest increase in terrorist activity with 7512 deaths in 2014, an increase of over 300 percent since 2013.

6. World Toilet Day observed on 19 November with the theme Sanitation and Nutrition
World Toilet Day (WTD) was observed on 19 November 2015 across the world with the theme Sanitation and Nutrition.
The aim of WTD is to raise awareness about the people in the world who don’t have access to a toilet, despite the fact that it is a human right to have clean water and sanitation.
The effort of the WTD in 2015 was to draw the world’s attention to the importance of toilets in supporting better nutrition and improved health.
WTD has been celebrated by the World Toilet Organisation since 2001. It was later became an official UN day on 24 July 2013 as the 67th session of UN General Assembly approved it through the Sanitation For All resolution.

7. India and Vietnam inked MoU for cooperation in the field of Animal Health
The Union Cabinet  gave its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Vietnam for cooperation in the field of Animal Health.
The MoU was signed in September 2014.
The MoU seeks the promotion of mutual cooperation between both the nations through joint activities in the areas of animal health.
The MoU will be valid for a period of 10 years unless either of the parties gives prior written notice of at least six months to the other party of its intention to terminate the MoU.
India and Vietnam have agreed to:
• Exchange special information on animal health in general and particularly information on status of animal diseases of common concern, standards and procedures for animal quarantine and inspection status and progress of surveillance and monitoring programmes in place for animal diseases and food borne pathogens.
• Exchange special information on meat processing, meat products and slaughter houses/abattoirs.
• Set up Mutual Recognition Agreement on veterinary hygiene, health certificate between competent authorities of the two parties.
• Cooperate in the training and upgrading human resources in the field of animal health.

8. Delhi Government approved Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015
The Delhi Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal o approved the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015.
The Bill envisages the establishment of an independent authority to investigate offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. It also covers the Chief Minister’s Office.
The bill drafted by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia largely resembles the provisions contained in Uttarakhand Lokayukta Bill, 2011.
Main Highlights of the Bill
It prescribes time-bound investigation of offences within six months and states that as far as possible the trial in such cases should be completed in six months.
It also allows authorities to provisionally attach assets acquired by corrupt means.
It provides that punishment for any act of corruption cannot be less than six months and a maximum of 10 years.
In rarest or rare cases, the corrupt public servant can be sentenced to life imprisonment.
It seeks to bring Delhi Police, Delhi Development Authority and municipal bodies under its ambit.
It provides for special awards for honest officers among other incentives
The Lokpal can have the power to initiate investigation on its own or on a complaint from an individual.
The Lokpal would comprise a chairperson and 10 members. The chairperson and members will be selected by a panel.
The Bill will now be presented to 70-member Delhi Legislative Assembly and once passed by the assembly will be sent to Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung for his approval.

9. Union Cabinet approves setting up of NARF at Genome Valley in Hyderabad
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved setting up of a National Resource Facility for Bio-medical Research (NARF) at Genome Valley in Hyderabad, Telangana. NARF will be set up by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and the proposal in this regard was forwarded by the Department of Health Research of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

10. Union Cabinet gives nod to Tripartite Agreement of IBSA Fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of the Tripartite Agreement on the IBSA Fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger. The IBSA fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger was set up in 2004 by three member countries India, Brazil and South Africa for South-South cooperation.

11. Religare exits mutual fund biz, sells out to partner Invesco
Financial services group Religare Enterprises has decided to exit mutual fund business with sale of its controlling 51 per cent stake in Religare Invesco AMC to the foreign partner Invesco.
While a number of foreign fund houses have exited the Indian mutual fund industry — the latest being Goldman Sachs — there have not been many cases where Indian entities have sold the asset management business.

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