Current Affairs of 25 November 2015

1.Sunil Kanoria takes over as Assocham president
SREI Infrastructure Finance vice-chairman Sunil Kanoria assumed charge as president of industry body Assocham.
“Kanoria has been instrumental in bringing over Rs. 34,000 crore (over $ 5 billion) of consolidated assets under SREI which became one of the first NBFCs to get listed on the London Stock Exchange
He is also the joint Managing Director of SREI BNP Paribas, a 50:50 joint-venture between SREI Infrastructure Finance Limited and BNP Paribas Leasing Group, France.
Kanoria has been associated with several industry associations — Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC), Hire Purchase & Lease Association, Kolkata (HPLA), Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce, Kolkata (MCC) and Federation of Indian Hire Purchase Association (FIHPA).
He has also held the prestigious position as Member of the Working Group on Construction for the Tenth Five Year Plan (2002-07) of the Planning Commission, Government of India.
He is currently a council member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) as a nominee of the Government of India.

2. Japan conducted its first dedicated commercial satellite launch
Japan  conducted its first dedicated commercial satellite launch by launching Canadian communications spacecraft, Telstar 12V, into the orbit.
The satellite was launched aboard an H-IIA rocket that blasted off from Pad 1 of the Yoshinobu Launch Complex at Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre.
The launch was conducted by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
This was first mission of Japan that carried a commercial satellite as its primary payload and only the second to carry a large commercial satellite. In 2012, Japan had launched South Korea’s commercial satellite Arirang-3 as a secondary payload to the Shizuku (GCOM-W) climate observatory.
About Telstar 12V satellite
The Telstar 12V spacecraft, also known as Telstar 12 Vantage, is a 4900-kilogram spacecraft.
It carries 52 Ku-band transponders to replace the 38 carried by its predecessor Telstar 12 satellite and is expected to provide a further fifteen years of service to the same regions.
It is a communications and broadcasting satellite of Canadian satellite operator Telesat, which is owned by Loral Space and Communications and Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP).

3. Ministry of Railways, TERI University signed MoU to set up Railway Chair on Sustainable Mobility
The Ministry of Railways and TERI University  signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up Railway Chair on Sustainable Mobility at the premises of TERI University.
The MoU was signed by Rajiv Seth, Vice Chancellor, TERI University and Manoj Pandey, ED of Training and Man Power, Ministry of Railways. The Chair would focus and promote research on issues of sustainable mobility, use of energy efficient technology and green energy initiatives.
Highlights of the Railway Chair on Sustainable Mobility
• It will be called Indian Railways Chair for Sustainable Mobility.
• It will focus on research in various aspects of railways that emerged as a crucial mode of transport to achieve sustainable development in the country.
• It will aim for imparting knowledge and enriching professionals in all aspects of sustainability with a multi-dimensional perspective relevant to Indian Railways.
• The tenure of the Chair would be one year initially, extendable upon review.
• Annual funding for the Chair will be 20 lakh rupees.
• A Chair Professor would be appointed, who will be a nominee of the Ministry of Railways and will be selected by the Chairman, Board of Management of TERI University.

4. Ministry of Railways signed AOT Agreements with SAIL-RITES Bengal Wagon Industry Pvt Ltd
The Ministry of Railways  signed the Assured Off Take Agreements (AOT) with SAIL-RITES Bengal Wagon Industry Pvt Ltd (SRBWIPL) for manufacturing and rehabilitation of wagons at Kulti, West Bengal.
Highlights of the agreement
• With the signing of the agreement, two major PSUs namely RITES of Ministry of Railways and SAIL of Union Ministry of Steel will form a joint venture SRBWIPL.
• The joint venture is a 2500 Crore rupees Make in India Initiative.
• This is a long term Agreement for manufacturing of 1200 wagons per annum and rehabilitation of 300 wagons per annum for a period of 10 years.
• The factory will manufacture modern stainless steel wagons which are required for expansion of Indian Railways and for domestic and international market.
• It will contribute to the economic development of the region and lead to employment generation and creation of ancillary industries.
• The land for the factory has been provided by SAIL and has been constructed at an approximate cost of 120 crore rupees.
• This factory will generate employment for about 400-500 people and will provide skill development opportunities for local people.

5. Union Government announced 10 New/Revised Schemes for Disabled Persons under the National Trust
Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot announced the launching of 10 new/revised schemes for the disabled persons in New Delhi.
These schemes were launched under the National Trust for the welfare of persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities.
List of Schemes
•    DISHA: Early Intervention and School Readiness Scheme
•    VIKAAS: Day Care Scheme
•    SAMARTH: Respite Care Scheme
•    GHARAUNDA: Group Home for Adults Scheme
•    NIRAMAYA: Health Insurance Scheme
•    SAHYOGI: Caregiver training scheme
•    GYAN PRABHA: Educational support Scheme
•    PRERNA: Marketing Assistance Scheme
•    SAMBHAV: Aids and Assisted Devices Scheme
•    BADHTE KADAM: Awareness and Community Interaction Scheme

6. 10th East Asia Summit held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The 10th East Asia Summit (EAS) was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia . The year’s summit held under the theme Our People, Our Community, Our Vision. 
It was the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the East Asia Summit.
The summit was chaired by the Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak and attended by the Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member States, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Korea, Russia and the United States of America.
The participant leaders reaffirmed their commitment to
• The 2005 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the Establishment of the EAS
• The 2010 Ha Noi Declaration on the Commemoration of the 5th Anniversary of the EAS
• The 2011 Declaration of the EAS on the Principles for Mutually Beneficial Relations
The commitments emphasised the role of the EAS as a Leaders-led forum for strategic dialogue and cooperation on political, security and economic issues of common regional concern with the aim to promote peace, stability and economic prosperity in East Asia.
The 11th East Asia Summit will be held Lao PDR in 2016. 

7. 13th ASEAN-India Summit held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The Thirteenth ASEAN-India Summit was held successfully  in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Theme of the summit was Our People, Our Community, Our Vision.
The meeting was chaired by the Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak as Malaysia holds the chair for the year 2015.
The summit was participated by the Heads of ASEAN Member States and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. The Secretary General of ASEAN was also a participant of the summit.
Major Highlights of the13th ASEAN-India summit 
• The ASEAN Leaders welcomed India’s initiatives, namely the Act East Policy and Make in India
• ASEAN Leaders encouraged India to work with ASEAN to realise the vision and goals outlined in the ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together.
• They looked forward to further enhancing ASEAN-India relations through the new Plan of Action 2016-2020 adopted at the ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting in Kuala Lumpur in August 2015. This includes cooperation in areas like science and technology, renewable energy, food security, tourism, climate change and connectivity.
• ASEAN leaders welcomed India’s announcement of a 1 billion US dollar Line of Credit for ASEAN Member States to undertake connectivity related projects under the ASEAN-India Strategic partnership.
• They also expressed their interest in availing the Line of Credit to, inter-alia, realise the Master Plan of ASEAN Connectivity.
• They looked forward for signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of the ASEAN-India Centre (AIC) and its early operationalisation.
• It called on all partied to work towards for early conclusion of a balanced Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnerships Agreement, which is beneficial to all and is comprehensive in nature.
• It also called for convening of the 1st Meeting of the ASEAN-India Working Group on Regional Air Services Arrangements for the further negotiations of an ASEAN-India Air Transport Agreement based on ‘open skies’ principles covering both air freight and passenger services.
• The leaders also called further discussion on the ASEAN-India Maritime Transport Agreement to strengthen maritime connectivity.
The 14th ASEAN-India Summit to be held Lao PDR in 2016. 

8. Renowned labour economist TS Papola passed away
Veteran Labour Economist Dr TS Papola passed away in New Delhi following brief illness. He was 74.Papola was specialised in labour and employment, industrial economics, development planning, regional development and enterprise development. He had served as an advisor with the erstwhile Planning Commission of Union Government for eight years from 1987 to 1995.

9.  Distinguished football administrator TR Govindarajan died

TR Govindarajan, one of the long-standing and distinguished football administrators of Tamil Nadu, died  after a brief illness. He was 90.
Govindarajan served Tamil Nadu Football Association in many capacities as Secretary for 24 years, then as Vice-President, Assistant Secretary and Treasurer. He retired as Office Superintendent in Southern Railway.

10. Writer, Journalist Mahip Singh Passed Away

Mahip Singh, the famous Hindi writer, columnist and journalist, passed away at a private hospital in Gurgaon, Haryana. He was 85 and is survived by wife, two sons and a daughter.
Singh was known for his collection of short stories, the first being Subah ke Phool, which was published in 1959.
He also wrote novels and some of his famous novels include Ye Bhi Nhi, Abhi Shesh Hai and Bich ki Dhoop.He was the editor of literary magazine Sanchetna which he had been editing for past 45 years. In 1978, he established Bhartiya Lekhak Sangathan.

 11. Anju Bobby George appointed Chairperson of Target Olympic Podium Scheme
Anju Bobby George, the former long jump world champion, was  appointed as the chairperson of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS). She will be assuming the charge in the first week of December 2015.
Her appointment was approved by the Union Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs. The post of the chairperson was lying vacant after the resignation of Anurag Thakur, the BJP parliamentarian and Secretary, Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI).

12. India, Singapore enter into strategic partnership
India and Singapore have signed a joint declaration envisaging a Strategic Partnership to elevate bilateral relations of both countries. It was signed along with 10 bilateral agreements during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official visit to Singapore as part of his second leg of two nation’s visit of South-East Asia viz. Malaysia and Singapore. The focus of the visit included ‘five S plank‘ i.e. scaling up trade and investment, smart cities, speeding up connectivity, skills development and state focus.

13. SEBI, Bangladesh SEC ink MoU on bilateral cooperation
Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) have signed a MoU on bilateral cooperation and technical assistance. The MoU was signed by SEBI chairman U K Sinha and BSEC Chairman M Khairul Hossain in the presence of Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina Wazed,.
The MoU seeks to promote further development of economic links and cooperation between the two neighbouring countries. It also aims at enhancing investor protection and creating conditions for effective development of securities markets in both countries. It will further ease the training and technical assistance programme between the two different market jurisdictions. The MoU was signed by SEBI as part of its active engagement with the equities and commodities markets regulators in the SAARC region. So far, the equities and commodities market regulator SEBI has signed 20 such bilateral MoUs with other countries.

14. Nuclear-capable Dhanush missile successfully test fired from warship Subhadra
The nuclear-capable Dhanush ballistic missile was successfully test fired from warship Subhadra, off the Puri coast of Odisha in the Bay of Bengal. The test was conducted by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and it was a perfect mission as the missile hit the target point with high degree of accuracy.
The surface-to-surface missile is a naval variant of Prithvi-II missile and can carry both conventional as well as a nuclear payload of 500 kg. The missile has a length of 8.53 meters and is 0.9 meter wide. It is single-stage, liquid propelled which can hit both land and sea-based targets upto strike range of 350 kms. The missile already has been inducted into the armed Services. Naval variant of the missile was first successfully tested in 2012.

2019 new deadline for completion of PMGSY
Union Government has reduced the deadline for completion of flagship Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) for rural connectivity through all- weather roads from 2022 to 2019. The annual allocation of the Central release for PMGSY works during year 2015-16 also has been increased by 5,000 crore rupees. With this, the total Central allocation to states under PMGSY would now be 15,100 crore rupees.
By providing enhanced financial allocation through a modified funding pattern in the PMGSY scheme, Government is seeking to accelerate the implementation of rural connectivity. It is also considering giving financial incentives to the states achieving the targets allocated to them under the PMGSY. Government also has accepted the recommendation of the Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Rationalization of Centrally Sponsored on modified sharing pattern.

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