Current Affairs : November,2015

Current Affairs : November,2015

Important Days in November
November 1 : World vegan day
November 5 : World Radiography day.
November 9 : World services day
November 14 : Children's Day in India, Jawaharlal Nehru birthday
November 16 : International day for Endurance
November 17 : World Student day, National Journalism day
November 18 : World Adult day.
November 19 : World Citizen day.
November 20 : Africa Industrialization Day, Universal children day.
November 21 : World Television day, World Fisheries day.
November 25 : World Non-veg day, National Milk Day, International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women
November 26 : Law day
November 29 : International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian People.
November 30 : Flag day.

Union Government to roll out BS V norms from April 1, 2019
Union Government has decided to advance the date for implementation of Bharat Stage (BS) V and BS VI emission norms for four-wheelers in order to reduce vehicular air pollution from road transport sector.
As per advance dates,  BS V norms will be rolled out from 1st of April, 2019 and BS VI norms from 1st April, 2021. In this regard draft notification was issued Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways as per the Auto Fuel Policy, 2003.
About Bharat stage (BS) norms
 Bharat stage (BS) norms are emission standards decided by the government to regulate the amount of air pollutants from vehicles. They were adopted in line with European regulation standard ‘Euro norms’ in 2000.
So far, 4 states of Bharat stage (BS) norms have been issued by government. In each stage certain limit is specified on the released pollutants and in the succeeding higher stages, the BS norms reduces the limit of pollutant emission.
Issued BS stages are
BS-I      Euro 1     2000
BS-II    Euro 2     2005
BS-III   Euro 3     2010
BS-IV   Euro 4     2015 (63 cities till 1 April 2015)
Earlier, Saumitra Chaudhri Committee had recommended to introduce even lesser vehicular pollutant releasing BS-V (0.005 rspm) and BS-VI (0.0025 rspm) norms throughout the nation by 2022 and 2024 respectively.

Francois Hollande to be Chief Guest at 2016 Republic Day celebrations
French President Francois Hollande will be the Chief Guest at the 67th Republic Day parade of January 26, 2016.
The announcement might have been finalised during the talks between French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and his counterpart Sushma Swaraj and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi.
The visit of Mr. Hollande to New Delhi for the mega event will be symbolic. It would also send a strong message of a worldwide solidarity among the democratic countries against terrorism of the Islamic State (IS) which had staged barbaric attacks on November 13, 2015 in Paris.

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.
Key facts
 The strategic partnership aims to catalyse the strategic relations between both countries ranging from political, defence and security cooperation to economic, cultural and people-to-people contacts.
It would broaden and deepen engagement in existing areas of cooperation between both countries in various sectors.
The various sectors are defence relations, economic and cultural cooperation, skill development and capacity building.
Bilateral agreements signed are
MoUs on curtailing drug trafficking and improving cybersecurity.
Collaboration in urban planning and wastewater management.
Extending of long-term loan of Indian artefacts to the Asian Civilisations Museum of Singapore. Cooperation in the fields of arts, museums, archives and monuments.
MoU for cooperation in civil aviation services and airport management beginning with Jaipur and Ahmedabad airports.
Operationalization of the Technical Agreement on sharing white-shipping information to enhance bilateral maritime security.

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,.
Key facts 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.

China building world’s largest animal cloning factory
China is building the world’s biggest animal cloning factory to recreate sniffer dogs, racehorses, pets and beef cattle. In this regard, Chinese scientists have signed a deal to create a commercial animal cloning centre in Tianjin, north-eastern China.
Key facts
The factory would be built in the Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Area (TEDA) which is a business development park sponsored by the government.
It is joint project of Chinese biotechnology firm Boyalife and South Korea’s Sooam Biotech. Peking University and Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biomedicine are also part of it.
The cloning factory will include cloning laboratories, a gene bank and a science education centre and will be constructed at the cost of 31 million US dollars. It would produce cloned animals such as pet and police dogs, racehorses and cow to be sold on the open market on an industrial scale.
The factory would produce 100,000 cattle embryos annually and later expand the annual output to one million. It would help to produce enough beef to meet increasing demand.
It should be noted that China’s first commercial animal cloning centre was established in 2014 in the eastern Shandong Province. Since 2000, Chinese Researchers have cloned sheep, cattle and pigs but not for non-scientific research.
In 2009, South Korea’s customs service had deployed the world’s first cloned dogs.

ASEAN leaders sign declaration for launching ASEAN Economic Community
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders have signed a declaration for launching ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) which would be similar to European Union (EU)-style regional economic bloc.
In this regard, Kuala Lumpur declaration on the establishment of the AEC was signed by the leaders of 10-nation grouping chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at its 27th Summit held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
It was signed in front of world leaders including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
About ASEAN Economic Community
AEC would make ASEAN a single market with a free flow of goods, capital and skilled labour in the region.
Integrate Southeast Asia’s diverse 10 economies which has combine population of 620 million people and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.4 trillion US dollars.
Abolish tariffs on imports within the bloc member countries and promote the liberalization of service industries such as retailing and tourism.
Calls for more free movement of and skilled labour within the region including of doctors, architects and others with special skills.
Focus on creating an integrated and well-connected economy of ASEAN member countries which would be business-friendly, trade-facilitative and market-driven.
The new economic bloc will be launched in December 2015 and would make ASEAN’s growing GDP, 4th-biggest in the world.

Second World Congress on Disaster Management kicks off in Visakhapatnam
The second World Congress on Disaster Management (WCDM) has started in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
The 4-day conference was inaugurated by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and was attended by Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Kiran Rijiju.
Key facts
The Congress is being jointly hosted by the Disaster Management, Infrastructure and Control Society (DMICS) and Andhra Pradesh government.
It will address among a host of other issues which are interconnected, complex and along with emerging risks in today societies.
It will also comprise technical sessions, paper presentations, exhibitions and cultural events. The first kind of such congress was held in Hyderabad in 2008.
Address and discuss issues such as implementation of the Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction. It will further explore various dimensions of natural and manmade hazards, vulnerabilities and exposures, their impacts across sectors

Pakistan, China kick off ambitious CPEC project
Pakistan and China kicked off their ambitious 46 billion US Dollar China- Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC) project. It was kicked off after China successfully acquired over 2,000 acres of land in restive Balochistan to develop the strategic Gwadar port.
Earlier both countries had signed a deal in this regard to give the usage right of the land to a Chinese company. Under this ambitious project, China is expected to invest around 1.62 billion US dollars in the Gwadar project.
It includes construction of an expressway linking the harbour and coastline with a rail link, breakwater. It also includes other 9 projects which is expected to be completed in three to five years.

Bihar Government bans sale of liquor from 1st April 2016
Bihar Government has banned sale of liquor in the state from 1st April 2016. This decision would make Bihar 6th dry state/UT in the country. It was announced by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on the occasion of liquor prohibition day.
This decision was taken in lines pledge made Mr. Kumar during the 2015 assembly elections to ban liquor if voted to power again. To implement the ban state government officials of the excise department are working on new liquor policy as ruling government does not want a parallel alcohol economy in the state.
Presently, liquor consumption is prohibited in the states of Gujarat (1958), Nagaland (1989), Manipur (1991) and Kerala (2014) and Union Territory of Lakshadweep.

Delhi Assembly passes Delhi Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services Amendment Bill, 2015
Delhi Assembly Delhi (Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services) Amendment Bill, 2015 aimed at providing citizens with time bound delivery of Government services.
 The bill amends Delhi (Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services) Act, 2011. Key provisions of Amendment Bill Seeks to make the life of common man hassle free by providing services in a time bound manner.
Ensure mandatory and automatic compensation for citizens if government services are not provided to them in time. Mandatory for each government department, local body and public authority will issue a ‘Citizen’s Charter’.
They would set out in detail the time stipulated for provision of citizen-related services and the officer responsible for providing it. Imposes penalty on officials for delay in providing services.

UP Government’s Clean UP, Green UP initiative earns place in Guinness Book
Uttar Pradesh government’s ambitious Clean UP, Green UP initiative has earned itself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Under state government’s green drive initiative 10 lakh saplings were planted in one day within a span of eight hours on November 7, 2015 at 10 locations in the state. This new record has surpassed the earlier record for plantation of maximum number of tree that was 8 lakh 50 thousand trees in a single day.
The certificate for UP Government’s record-setting performance was awarded to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at the function held in Saifai in Etawah district.

Railway Ministry inaugurates landmark Silchar-Lumding broad gauge rail line in Assam
Union Railways Ministry has inaugurated the landmark Silchar-Lumding broad gauge rail line in Assam. It was inaugurated by Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu by flagging off a passenger train from New Delhi via video-conference.
Key facts
Silchar-Lumding broad gauge rail line brings Assam’s underdeveloped but strategically important Barak Valley on the broad gauge map. The broad gauge line is also a milestone for connectivity in the northeast region and one of the largest gauge conversion projects of Indian Railways.
The line has 75 major bridges and 340 minor bridges along the track. It passes through 21 tunnels. The entire project cost was around 3, 500 crore rupees. It would play an important role in accelerating development in Barak Valley of Assam and other Northeastern states like Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram as it would act as lifeline.

Nitish Kumar sworn in as the Chief Minister of Bihar for 5th time
Senior Janta Dal United (JDU) leader Nitish Kumar has sworn in as the Chief Minister (CM) of Bihar for the record fiftth time.
He was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Bihar Governor Ramnath Kovind at oath taking ceremony held at the Gandhi Maidan in Patna. Apart from him, Governor also administer oath of office to 28 ministers from Grand Alliance comprising RJD, JD(U) and Congress parties.
First time MLA Tejaswi Prasad Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav who are sons of RJD president Lalu Prasad were also sworn in as ministers.

Harshavardhan Neotia elected as President of FICCI
Harshavardhan Neotia has been elected as the President of industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). He shall have one year term as President i.e. for the year 2016 and presently is serving as Vice President (VP) of FICCI.
He will succeed incumbent FICCI President Jyotsna Suri during the chamber’s AGM in December 2015. Jyotsna Suri is chairperson and Managing Director of Bharat Hotels Ltd.

7th Central Pay Commission submits report, proposes 23.55% salary hike
7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) headed by Justice AK Mathur has recommended 23.55 percent hike in pay and allowances of government employees. In this regard the commission has submitted its report to Union Finance Ministry in New Delhi and the recommended pay revision will come into effect from 1 January 2016.
Recommendations of 7th CPC
Minimum basic pay of 18 thousand and maximum of 2.5 lakh rupees per month.
Abolition of grade pay and pay band structure. The rate of annual increment for employees will be three percent.
The pay will go up by 16 percent, allowances by 63 percent and pension by 24 percent.
Abolition of 52 allowances and introduction of a Health Insurance Scheme.
One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for central government staffers, para military as well as armed forces personnel.
Increase in military service pay and revised pension formula for civil employees including Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and Defense Personnel retiring before 1 January 2016.

Subir Gokaran appointed as Executive Director of IMF
Renowned economist Subir Gokaran has been appointed as an Executive Director on the board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Mr. Gokarn’s name was cleared by Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He will replace Rakesh Mohan whose 3 year tenure ends in November 2015.
He will represent grouping of India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan on the IMF’s Executive Board with a total casting vote of 2.8 per cent of which India has more than 2.3 per cent.

Union Government launches Three Gold Schemes
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched three gold related scheme viz Gold Monetization Scheme (GMS), Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme (SGBS) and Indian Gold Coins (IGC).
These ambitious schemes were launched to reduce the physical demand for gold and fish out 20,000 tonnes of the precious metal lying idle with households and institutions.
Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) 2015
GMS 2015 will offer option to resident Indians to deposit their precious metal and earn an interest on it and will replace the existing Gold Deposit Scheme (GDS) 1999.
All residents can invest in this scheme but are subjected to Know Your Customer (KYC) Scheme.
Scheme tagline: Earn, while you secure. Implementation: As per Reserve Bank of India (RBI) directives all Scheduled Commercial Banks (excluding Regional Rural Banks) will implement GMS 2015.
Deposit limit: Minimum deposit at any one time of raw gold in the forms of bars, coins, jewellery excluding stones and other metals is 30 grams with 995 fineness. There is no maximum limit for the deposit.
Tenure: Banks will accept gold deposits under the Short Term of Bank Deposit (STBD) of 1-3 years, Medium (5-7 years) and Long (12-15 years). Principal and Interest of the deposit: Banks are free to fix the interest rates and it will be denominated in gold.

Great Britain wins 2015 Davis Cup of Tennis
Andy Murray led Great Britain have won the 2015 Davis Cup for first time since 1936 and for the 10th time in the competition’s 115-year history. Great Britain tennis team defeated Belgium team by 3-1 score in the finals to win the 104th edition of the competition.

PV Sindhu wins 2015 Macau Open Grand Prix Gold Badminton tournament
 Ace Indian shuttler Pusarla Venkata Sindhu has won the $120,000 2015 Macau Open Grand Prix Gold Badminton tournament in the women’s single category.
In the title clash of the tournament, Sindhu (World No. 12) defeated Minatsu Mitani (World No. 6) of Japan by 21-9, 21-23, 21-14 score. With this victory, she has won this title for the third consecutive time after she had won it in 2013 and 2014.

Australia, New Zealand create history by playing first day-night Test
Australia and New Zealand have created history by playing first day-night Test match at the Adelaide Oval Cricket Stadium with a pink Kookaburra ball. The first day-night test match was the third match of the series between Australia and New Zealand played for 2015 Trans-Tasman Trophy.

Novak Djokovic wins ATP World Tour Finals for 4th consecutive time
World number one Novak Djokovic from Serbia has become the first tennis player to win the ATP World Tour Finals for record fourth consecutive time.
In the final match played in London (England), Djokovic defeated third seed Roger Federer of Switzerland by 6-3, 6-4 score.
With this win, Djokovic surpassed previous record of Ivan Lendl’s set in 1987 after he had won his third straight Tour Finals title.
Overall, it was the fifth time that Djokovic won this tournament and earlier he had won it in 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Science & Technology
India-Israel co-developed LRSAM missile successfully tested
 Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) co-developed by India and Israel was successfully test-fired for the first time from an Israeli Naval Platform. 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 is also called Barak 8 missile in Israel which in Hebrew language means Lightning. Barak 8 is an advanced, long-range missile defence and 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.
It is capable to counter a wide variety of air-borne threats such as anti-ship missiles, aircraft, UAVs and drones as well as supersonic cruise missiles.

Nuclear capable Agni-I missile successfully test-fired
Indigenously developed nuclear capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni-I was successfully test-fired from Dr Abdul Kalam Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast.
The user trial of the strategic missile was carried out by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of Indian Army.
About Agni I Missile
Agni-I is the first missile of the Agni series launched in 1983 by the DRDO as part of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) in India.
Powered by both solid and liquid propellants and can be fired from road and rail mobile launchers. Features: weighs around 12 tonnes and is 15-metre-long.
Designed to carry both conventional and nuclear payload of about 1000 kg. Can travel at a speed of 2.5 km/s and can destroy targets nearly 700 km away.
Equipped with sophisticated navigation system which helps to navigate missile to hit the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision.

New species of tree frog named Ghatixalus magnus discovered in Western Ghats
Researchers have discovered a new species of tree frog named as Ghatixalus magnus in the Western Ghats in Kadalar High Ranges of Idukki district, Kerala.
It was discovered by team of researchers comprising of Robin Abraham and batrachologis Anil Zachariah during their recent exploration in the Western Ghats. The discovery has been published in the latest issue of International Taxonomic Journal Zootaxa.
Ghatixalus magnus is species of Rhacophorid tree frog of the genus Ghatixalus. It is large in size and biggest known tree frog from the Western Ghats.
In their exploration, researchers also have rediscovered Raorchestes flaviventris, an elusive rhacophorid bush frog species in the Kadalar High Ranges of Idukki district in Kerala. The rediscovered species was discovered by George Albert Boulenger in 1882 in the Western Ghats.

5 New long-haired wasp species discovered in India
Researchers from India have discovered 5 new long-haired species of wasps from different parts of the country. They were discovered by researchers from National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources.
Key facts
These species have been named ‘adikeshavus‘ which in Sanskrit means ‘first one to have long hairs’.
The tribe of these new five wasp species have been characterized by its exclusive preference for spider eggs i.e. parasitising on these relatively medium-sized eggs.
They have tiny wings which allow them to slip through the silk strands of the egg sacs. These sacs which are deposited in leaf litter by the spiders.
These 5 wasp species have a uniform length of 1 to 2mm and cluster into groups. Their discovery would help researchers to yield large number of species of parasitoids attacking spider eggs in India.

Interceptor boat ICGS C-422 commissioned into Indian Coast Guard service
Indian Coast Guard has commissioned interceptor boat ‘ICGS C-422’ into its fleet to further enhance its vigil along Pondicherry and South Tamil Nadu coast in the Bay of Bengal. It was commissioned in a traditional ceremony held at Karaikal port in Tamil Nadu by Puducherry Assembly Speaker V Sabapathy.
About ICGS C-422
ICGS C-422 is the 36th interceptor boat to be inducted into the Coast Guard service. The boat is capable of multiple tasks including interdiction, surveillance and search and rescue.
It has been fitted with state-of-the-art communication, navigational equipment along with adequate fire power. Presently, Indian Coast Guard has two fast patrol vessels ICGS Rani Durgavati and ICGS Ameya along with two interceptor boats C-428 and C-415 stationed at Karaikal port.

ASW Corvette Kadmatt handed over to Indian Navy by GRSE
The second Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Corvette INS Kadmatt has been formally handed over to Indian Navy at Kolkata, West Bengal. It has been built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) and would be inducted into the Eastern Fleet shortly.
About ASW Corvette Kadmatt
INS Kadmatt is super-sophisticated frontline warship. It is 109 metres long with a displacement of 3200 tonnes.
The basic design of the ship was developed by Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design (DND) while the detailed design was made GRSE’s in-house design department.
Maximum speed: 25 Knots with an endurance of over 3,400 NM at 18 knots speed.
Ship crew: Designed to accommodate 17 officers and 106 sailors.
Advance Technology: Equipped with total atmospheric control ventilation system which makes warship fully capable to fight in nuclear, biological and chemical warfare environments.
Ship’s main role: Protect nation’s maritime interests against possible submarine attack. Provide potent platform for neutralising the enemy submarines using deployed weapons like torpedoes, rocket launchers and helicopter.

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.
About Dhanush missile
One of the five missiles indigenously developed by the DRDO under its strategic Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). 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.

Supersonic interceptor AAD missile successfully test fired
Indigenously developed supersonic Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile was successfully test fired from the Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast.
The supersonic interceptor missile was launched after getting signals from tracking radars. The missile moved through the trajectory path and destroyed the incoming electronically prepared target missile in mid-air at an endo-atmospheric altitude.
During the test, the kill effect of the interceptor missile was analysed from data collected by multiple tracking sources.
About Advanced Air Defence interceptor missile
The interceptor AAD missile has been indigenously developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under Ballistic Missile Defence Programme.
AAD missile is capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile at lower (endo-atmospheric) altitude, giving full-fledged multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system to country.
Features: It is a 7.5-meter tall and single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile. It is equipped with a navigation system along with a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator. It also has its own mobile launcher, sophisticated radars and independent tracking system to secure data link for interception and homing capabilities.

India-Russia Joint Military Exercise Indra-2015 begins in Rajasthan
The seventh edition India-Russia Joint Military Exercise ‘Indra-2015’ has begun in Bikaner district of Rajasthan. This edition of exercise is focusing on ‘Counter Terrorism Operations in Desert Terrain under a United Nations Mandate’.
Key facts
The bilateral exercise would be held between Indian Army’s Infantry Battalion and Independent Russian Motorised Brigade from 7 to 20 November 2015.
It would be conducted 2 phases, namely ‘Combat Conditioning & Tactical Training’ and ‘Validation’ phases.
Both participating battalions would initially acquaint themselves with each other’s counter terrorism approaches including Command and Control systems, operations, arms and equipment.
They would also focus on ensuring a high degree of physical fitness, tactical drills, techniques and procedures.

Social Issues
President gives assent to Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Bill, 2015
President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Bill, 2015 or Haryana Cow Protection Bill, 2015. Thus, with the presidential assent the bill has come into force in the form of a law (Act).
It completely bans cow slaughter, sale of beef and beef products in Haryana. It also has provisions for rigorous imprisonment and penalty for violators. Features of Bill Complete ban of cow slaughter, sale of beef and beef products in Haryana state.
Punishment: Violators will get rigorous imprisonment ranging from three to 10 years and a fine of up to 1 lakh rupees.
Cow trafficking: Bans cow trafficking and in case any person who wants to export cows will have to seek permission for the same. Any person found guilty in exporting cows for slaughter would be imprisoned for 3 to 7 years and imposes fine between 30,000 rupees and 70,000 rupees.

Annual Hundred Drums Wangala Festival begins in Meghalaya
Annual Hundred Drums Wangala Festival has begun on a cultural fervor at Asanang near Tura town in Meghalaya. The three day-long started with the arrival of ten Wangala Dance Troupes from various parts of Garo Hills.
Significance of Wangala Festival
Wangala Festival is an annual post-harvest festival of the Garos tribes of North east India. Generally celebrated in the second week of November every year.
It is a thanks giving ceremony to Misi Saljong, which is also known as Pattigipa Ra∙rongipa (The Great Giver) for blessing the people with rich harvest of the season.

Eminent Tamil scholar Noboru Karashima passes away
Distinguished Tamil scholar and historian of South India and South Asia, Noboru Karashima from Japan passed away in Tokyo. He was 82.
His research has rewritten the economic and social history of medieval South India and had published number of writings on them. He also had played a critical role in developing Indo-Japan cultural ties.
About Noboru Karashima
Noboru Karashima was Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo and Taisho University.
Key contributions: His use of statistical techniques to distil information from a mass of inscriptions was his seminal contribution to South Indian history.
Organisations: He was instrumental in setting up the International Association of Tamil Research (IATR) and was its president from 1989 to 2010. He was the principal organiser of the 8th World Tamil Conference in Thanjavur in 1995. He also was the president of the Japan Association for South Asian Studies from 1996 to 2000.
Publications: He has written numerous books on South Indian History. They are Kingship in Indian history, Towards a New Formation: South Indian Society under Vijayanagar Rule, A concordance of the names in Chola inscriptions, History and society in South India and Ancient to Medieval: South Indian Society in Transition.
Awards and Honours: He is recipient of the Padma Shri (2013) for his contributions in building India-Japan ties. Also was awarded with Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize (1995), Japan Academy Prize (2003).

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.

Tianhe-2: World’s powerful Supercomputer for the sixth consecutive time
China’s Tianhe-2 supercomputer has emerged as the world’s most powerful supercomputer system for the sixth consecutive time.
It was unveiled in 46th edition of Top500 list of supercomputers. Key facts from the list The Chinese Supercomputer is capable of performing calculations with processing speed of 33.86 petaflops per second (Pflop/s). It has held the title since June 2013.
Supercomputer Titan of the US Department of Energy has been placed at second position. It has a performance of 17.59 Pflop/s.
Supercomputer Sequoia of Tech giant IBM was placed at third position. It has processing speed of 17.17 Pflop/s.
K computer of Fujitsu was placed at fourth position. It has processing speed of 10.51 Pflop/s.
Supercomputer Mira of IBM placed at fifth position. It has processing speed of 8.58 Pflop/s.
About Tianhe-2 Supercomputer
Tianhe-2 or Milky Way 2 has been developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology. It has processing speeds of 33.86 petaflops (1000 trillion calculations) per second.
Presently, it is deployed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou and is playing important role in boosting China’s capabilities in both scientific and defence fields.

VHP leader Ashok Singhal passes away
Senior Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Ashok Singhal passed away in Gurgaon, Haryana. He was 90 and was suffering from serious respiratory problems.
Singhal was a bachelor and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak all his life and was the prominent leader of temple movement in Ayodhya i.e. Ramjanmabhoomi movement

UN declares 2016 as International Year of Pulses
The 68th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has declared year 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (IYP). It was launched under the slogan ‘nutritious seeds for a sustainable future’.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of UN has been nominated to facilitate the implementation of the Year in collaboration with all stakeholders.
Aim of IYP 2016
To increase the public awareness about the nutritional protein power and health benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition.
To boost their production and trade and encourage new and smarter uses throughout the food chain.

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