Current Affairs of 28 November 2015

1. India-Israel co-developed LRSAM missile successfully flight-tested
Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) was  successfully flight-tested for the first time from an Israeli Naval Platform. The missile is co-developed by India and Israel. LRSAM is also called Barak 8 missile in Israel which in Hebrew language means Lightning.
The trial test was undertaken by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in the presence of Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) scientists. During the test the missile achieved the desired goal by hitting the incoming target.

About Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM)
• LRSAM or Barak 8 is an advanced long-range missile with air defence system.
• Its main features are long range, active radar seeker missile, vertical launch and multiple simultaneous engagements.
• For the LRSAM, DRDO has developed dual pulse propulsion system along with other safety arm mechanisms for Solid Propulsion system.
• The LRSAM programme consists of Missiles, Weapon Control System, MFSTAR (Radar), Vertical Launcher unit and two- way data link.

2. Patricia Scotland appointed as Secretary General of Commonwealth of Nations
Dominica-born British lawyer Patricia Scotland was appointed as the Secretary General of the Commonwealth of Nations. With this, Patricia become the first British citizen and first woman as well to hold the role in the 66-year history of 53-member Commonwealth.
Scotland succeeds India's Kamalesh Sharma and will join the office on 1 April 2016. She will receive a salary of nearly 160000 British Pound as well as a four storey mansion in Mayfair.
She was selected during the 24th biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta on 27 November 2015.

3. Eminent Japanese historian Noboru Karashima passed away
Distinguished Japanese historian of South India and South Asia Noboru Karashima passed away on 26 November 2015 in Tokyo. He was 82. He is survived by his wife Takako Karashima, three sons and three grandchildren.
At the time of his death, Karashima was Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo and Taisho University. His body of research has rewritten the economic and social history of medieval South India. He also played a critical role in developing Indo-Japan cultural ties.

4. NHAI approves pilot project for developing greenbelts along National highways 
National Highways Authorities of India (NHAI) has approved a pilot project for undertaking scientific studies on designing greenbelts along national highways. Proposal in this regard was submitted by Nagpur based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).
The pilot project will be implemented on a 5 km stretch on NH-7 (Varanasi to Kanyakumari) between Jam and Hinganghat in Nagpur region. Around 20,000 scientifically chosen species of trees are proposed to be planted on both sides of this stretch in multiple rows at an estimated cost of 11 crore 80 lakh rupees. The project will run for five years’ time span. During this period various experiments will be conducted in NEERI laboratory to record the impact of greenbelt development. Work activities have been delineated considering two major factors such as Highway requirement and objectives along with Plant characteristics to fit in the site requirement.

5. India to launch $1-b equity fund for renewable energy
 India proposes to launch a $1-billion equity fund, with seed capital from public sector units, to support renewable energy companies.
Addressing a ‘Talkathon’ ahead of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference or COP-21, Piyush Goyal Minister of State (Independent Charge) Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy, said, “While we hope the Paris talks will help developed countries provide long-tenor low-cost funding, we are also preparing ourselves to see how we can finance our renewable energy thrust.”
Goyal and Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, were taking questions from the public which were being asked on the micro-blogging social network Twitter.
Apart from the private equity fund, Goyal also said that the country expects to collect $4 billion a year in the next three-four years for the National Clean Energy Fund through a cess on coal mining. Since the Narendra Modi-led Government took charge last year, clean cess on coal mining has been quadrupled to Rs 200 a tonne.
Asked about the International Solar Alliance, Goyal said it will be launched on November 30 by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande. The Minister said that the purpose of the International Solar Alliance is to forge a partnership in countries blessed with abundant sunshine.

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